Guess what? Do what you want! with Sam Pollack
There’s so much pressure to do business the “right” way, whatever that means. I don’t know about you, but if it doesn’t feel good to me I’m probably not doing it. And much of what the “experts” say is the right thing just doesn’t feel right.

When you’re neurodivergent and highly sensitive, it’s important to look inside and honor doing things the way you want to. That’s why you left your day job and started your own gig, right?

This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Sam Pollack, a copywriter and creative strategist who is helping neurodivergent business owners to do business in a more sustainable way. And really…that’s what we should have been doing all along.

From the challenges of visibility to everyone calling themselves highly sensitive these days to judging your productivity to doing the work without feeling the stress, we really cover everything. At my longest episode to date, you’re going to get it all!

About Sam Pollack:
Samantha Pollack is a copywriter and creative strategist who approaches marketing from a Feminist Framework. She works with mission-driven, socially responsible companies who are shaking up status quos and reshaping our culture by doing super cool work in the world. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Business Owner, a 12-week program that helps neurodivergent business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[1:29] – Q4 Goal Planning Workshop
[3:05] – Who is Sam Pollack
[4:33] – Created a program her own way, without videos
[4:52] – Honor doing things the way you want to, not what you’re “supposed” to do
[5:33] – Wrote it and launched it; avoiding hierarchical
[6:37] – Listening to something can be easier to take in info
[7:40] – You can do what you want
[8:15] – You don’t have to have it all figured out from the beginning
[9:09] – How can you know your niche when you haven’t done the work yet
[11:15] – You have to be known for something
[12:58] – Most people started because of something they didn’t want
[13:10] – Why did you start your business?
[15:02] – Do the work you’re great at without being stressed out by b.s. that doesn’t matter
[18:43] – if you’re highly sensitive, you haven’t done enough work – my mindset
[19:40] -Your sensitivity informs how you work with someone
[22:00] – Why is everyone standing around the house on fire
[23:33] – So many people hear they’re too sensitive growing up
[25:24] – Sensitive people are the toughest people
[27:08] – Everyone is calling themselves empaths and people who aren’t highly sensitive are feeling shit on
[31:40] – People get stuck on milestones; done is better than perfect
[33:03] – Breaking down the highly sensitive biz owner
[34:34] – Be mindful of your time and energy
[36:05] – There’s a balance between being highly sensitive and expecting accommodations to be made for you
[37:28] – It’s hard to be authentic all the time
[41:50] – Being in the room is different than being at a bigger level
[42:33] – You can’t have a successful biz if people don’t know who you are
[44:25] – Energy and sensitivity is a spectrum
[47:15] – You’re not wrong for being yourself
[57:10] – Sam’s strategy for showing up and doing what works
[59:23] – Doing what you want with your body and in politics
[1:01:05] – Using strategy to drive your business
[1:07:26] – Why you shouldn’t listen on 1.5x speed
[1:08:10] – Shout out to Dina Martin
[1:10:21] – There’s a Reason sensitive people seek out entrepreneurship
[1:10:37] – Let go of 8 hour work day – no one is actually doing that


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:41
Welcome, welcome, my focus seeking friends. Today, I have an awesome episode for you. It’s a little extra long, but I swear, I feel it’s worth it. If you disagree, you can send me an email that I probably won’t read. I have the wonderful Sam Pollack with me today. In today’s episode, she is a copywriter and creative strategist who approaches marketing from a feminist framework. I absolutely love her and love the work she does. And it’s a really great episode where we dive into so many different things around business and being highly sensitive and being neurodivergent. So I think it’s an awesome one. I also want to mention, because if you’re listening to this, when it comes out, we are just a couple of weeks away from our q4 quarterly goal planning workshop, which is happening September 30. And that is something that’s included with the inner circle membership. So you get that entire workshop where we’re going to plan out your big project for q4 and break it down into small manageable tasks. And hopefully get it onto your calendar so that you can actually accomplish what you’re looking to accomplish and get it done. If you would like more information about the workshop and the inner circle, which has weekly co working and group coaching and trainings every single month, then head on over to Welcome, Sam. So glad to have you here.

Sam Pollack 2:22
Hi, I’m so glad to be here.

Amber Hawley 2:26
It’s so funny, we were just chatting. You’re one of the few people I met pre pandemic after moving to Asheville.

Sam Pollack 2:33

Amber Hawley 2:34
And then we didn’t even realize we are currently living in the same town, which is right next to Asheville,

Sam Pollack 2:39
which is actually just like what how we met the first time where we were working in the same co working space and like didn’t know each other. And then we ran into each other in a podcast in a whole other city.

Amber Hawley 2:50
That’s right. Yes, we were in Atlanta when we actually met. That’s so funny. Yeah, so weird. So weird. We’re it’s meant to be so yeah, I’m excited about everything we’re going to talk about today. But before we get in, I’ll give you a chance just to beyond the fact that you live near me. And we were living parallel lives like what else? What else? What tell us all about Sam.

Sam Pollack 3:15
I mean, that’s about it right now. So I am a copywriter and a creative strategist. And I work within a feminist framework. It took me a long time to like arrive at that and define that and like put it into practice and sell clients on it and all that stuff, which is like a whole long story, I guess for another podcast. But I also have recently founded this is like a kind of a left turn, but not really. I also have founded an online program for highly sensitive and neurodivergent entrepreneurs, which is basically born out of my own experience discovering that I was highly sensitive and still kind of curious whether or not I have some other stuff going on how that knowledge and that learning has affected my business practices. And just like how I run things, like I mean, I know that’s like a big deal. Whenever anybody gets a diagnosis or like learns about a thing takes one of the online tests for the first time. The biggest transformation in my life was in my work, how I relate to clients how I do phone calls, like all the things, and it was actually like right around the time you and I met at that conference that we met at was like the tipping point for me. I had a massive HSP meltdown at that about it. But so I essentially wrote my experience into basically a book, but turned it into an online program that people can work through and it’s all written. It’s not like videos, it’s not any of the things that other people are doing. And so that’s my latest kind of adventure. So I’m doing two things at the same time of that.

Amber Hawley 4:51
Well, there’s so much that you said that I want to come back to and that I love like one, just Eve the last piece about AI I wrote it, it’s not videos like honoring to do things, the way that works for you is something I talk about a lot. And the clients that I work with, it’s like, yet you need to figure that out. And I think that distinguishes you. Because there are going to be people who learn, like you process like you want to consume something in a different way. And sometimes we think, no, this is what you’re supposed to do, right? Like, you’re supposed to make videos you’re supposed to do XYZ. So I think just honoring that is so huge.

Sam Pollack 5:31
Yeah, thank you. I mean, I wrote it because I’m a writer. So I wrote it put the first draft together, I launched it, just to see like how just to get people like using the content, figuring out how I was going to be in the program. And I really tried to avoid like, any sort of hierarchical like authority figure or type of dynamic, like, because like, my sensitivity is different from yours. My business is different from yours, like all that stuff. And so I really didn’t want it to be like, Oh, I figured something out about this, that you can figure out too, if you just follow these nine simple steps. But when I was done with my beta version, I asked everybody, I was assuming, like, eventually, I’m gonna have to make videos like everybody else. And I was like, really dreading it. But every one of the beta participants was like, I so appreciated that it was written. I really loved it. I’m so glad I didn’t have to watch the videos. And I was like, Oh, yes. So glad, like I did test it. But I’m glad I didn’t have to do what I didn’t want to do anyway.

Amber Hawley 6:32
Right. And again, this goes back to even within communities, like obviously, neuro divergence is a huge, like, umbrella blanket for people, right. And I know like, so many of the people I work with, like listening to something is the way that it’s easier for them to take in information and process like they too slow down enough to read. Sometimes it’s like overwhelming, but I like offering things in a few different ways. Because I know exactly that there are so many people who are like, I want to read I want to, even though they’re neurodiverse, because I think we only hear about the ones that operate a certain way. Right? Yeah. And so it’s like realizing, even within every niche, there’s going to be people that still learn differently, still process differently, still take that space in a different way. And so I think, you know, I think just that in of itself is so helpful for business owners to hear that, like, you still will find your people and they will resonate with it, they will work for them.

Sam Pollack 7:35
Yeah, I like have this little joke that I have with myself, which is like, the main takeaway of all my work essentially, is just like, guess what you could do whatever you want. And that seems so like simple. Like, why do you need to go through 12 weeks of a program that you paid money for? To be like, that’s really the answer is like, do whatever the fuck you want. There we go. There’s our first

Amber Hawley 7:54
I love it. Sometimes we need to hear that over and over and over and over. Right? Like, sometimes we need it, like every time then like, the anxiety comes up. Or the you know, the resistance comes up. And we need here. No, you can do whatever you want. I love that. I love it. Yeah. So going back to, you know, some of the other stuff that you had said like that process. I think also that gaining clarity through time about how to define yourself and how you show up in your market and how you attract people. I hear from so many, like new business owners that think like they have to have it all figured out. I was like, Well, no, I mean, you’re gonna iterate, you’re gonna grow, things are going to shift, right? I feel like I was just having this conversation yesterday. And I use like therapist as an example, even though I really feel it applies to all like business owners. Even as a therapist, like when I started what my specialties were are very different. I mean, some, you know, there’s some overlap, but when I’m into what I’m interested in and passionate about is very different than when I started. And so it just changes.

Sam Pollack 9:03
I don’t know if this is like a neurodivergent thing, or just a personality type thing or what, but like, I can’t imagine how you could know what your niche is when you haven’t done the work yet. Like, I think I feel like everyone is talking about niching lately, and I maybe it’s just like what I’m seeing in my little bubble, but it’s like, I feel like everyone everywhere is like that’s the big thing right now. And then there’s all the people who are like, Screw your niche. Think about something else. It’s like everyone’s got to be a contrarian about something. And yeah, like, I mean, for me, like focusing so hard on a niche in the early days of my copywriting career was just like, I knew what style of writing I was good at. But also what I was discovering around that time is that I am just actually like a really talented writer, period, so I could really work on anything. I mean, that sounds arrogant, I guess but the truth is like I was discovering this like talent, I’ve had my whole If that I ignored and didn’t know about and like the educational system failed me all these things. And so I changed my career and was like doing this writing, I just wanted to write anything, I literally took every gig that came my way. I said yes to everything. And most of it, I had a lot of fun doing. But it wasn’t until I’ve done that for a couple of years, that I even occurred to me to niche. But when I did, my first niche was like email marketing. And that was like my thing for a while. And I mean, I’m still really great at that and have that as an eye kind of specialty. But it’s not really a niche so much is because there’s so much like douchey, bro, email marketing, like, crazy stuff going on in that in that like realm that I’m not a part of. So just saying I was an email marketer wasn’t enough, because I was drawing all these like, stupid things I didn’t want to work on. And that’s stupid. Just, you know, if we’re gonna happen.

Amber Hawley 11:00
Yes, yeah. But I think that distinction too, like, I do see that. So like, I think there’s good information, in most advice out there, right? Like, sure. On one hand, when you’re new, when you have a niche, like, then people you stand out. So people remember who to send to you. Like, you have to be known for something, right? Because if you try to do everything, it’s there’s no way plus that I find that. It’s like you’re not having good boundaries, and you’re probably burning yourself out. And I agree with you, I think that that distinction of I have different specialties as a therapist, because I had somebody else in a different group, like respond like that. The fact that I saw couples and worked with neurodivergent people, whether that was on their business, or like executives, like that was too broad. And I was like, well, first of all, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m very successful. So I wasn’t asking for feedback on that. And I was like, you know, like, as a therapist, how can you? I’ve been doing this, like 16 years? How could I not have developed some expertise in more than, like, if I just did anxiety? Right, like the I think that’s ridiculous, right? So it’s kind of like what you’re saying is, there’s you have these specialties that you developed an expertise in? And at the same time, like, yeah, so when you’re beginning kind of, so people know what you’re known for. And at the same time, I agree with you, I think you have to be doing the work. And sometimes you have to do the work to say, oh, yeah, I actually hate doing that. I’m not going to do that. Right. Right. And right. It’s just as valuable as what you love to do is knowing what you hate.

Sam Pollack 12:38
Oh, I mean, most people, I forget where this has come up. Lately, I’ve been working with someone around one of my clients, we’re working on what she calls like her golden thread, or her North Star, which is like the central kind of defining value that like runs through your whole entire business. And everything you do is like, informed by infused with this, like one thing. I like the golden thread a little bit better, because it like, runs through everything. Yeah, but it’s either way, pick your metaphor. But we were talking about, it’s the reason why you started your business. And I’ve been thinking about it so much since we had that conversation. Because most people I know who started their businesses, myself included, started because of stuff that we did want. Like I started my business because I got fired from some sexist people. And a company that was like, peddling in diet culture and some misogynistic practices. And I was like, I was already clearly about to quit, I just they jumped they beat me to it. But I mean, I was planning on going out on my own, but it wasn’t because I wanted something it was because I didn’t want to like work with people like that anymore. And I didn’t want like, idiot dudes, like talking down to me about how to write copy when I knew what I was doing, you know, and I wanted people to like, listen to me, do it my way. And I just couldn’t find that I tried. I had a couple of like writing jobs when I first started. But yeah, I mean, it’s hard to translate, starting something because of what you didn’t want. And then turning that into like, what what do you like, Why do you have this business even? Rather than just because we live in a capitalist society, and you have to pay the bills? That’s always there.

Amber Hawley 14:15
Yeah. So I mean, that’s always a part of it. But I agree with you, I think that was part of mine as well is having been a dropout, as I call it, you know, working in world and there were so many things I enjoyed but but there was that, like working for people who I felt were far less intelligent than me. And they would get like the higher up job and they would be paid so much more and I’m like, okay, and then and then realizing like no, I want something where I get to create like, well, first of all just being a DHD like, if it’s telling you have to be here by nine o’clock every day, like I’m going to struggle because I’m just not a morning person. So like being able to create had a business that worked with me and my body clock and how I work and get the best out of me. But also knowing, like, the dumbest person I’m going to work for is myself. And I was okay with that. So I’m like, like, let’s, you know, let’s help making better choices, right? And so yeah, kind of started from that I’ve just, I don’t want to deal with other people’s shit, I just want to do the work that I’m great at, which was, you know, initially, it was just the therapy business. And it was, I love doing therapy, and I’m great at it. And I don’t want to be stressed out over all this other bullshit that I feel doesn’t matter. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Sam Pollack 15:39
You know, I, so I did a ton of interviews and calls and things when I was putting together my program for highly sensitive people. And, like, a lot of the people I talked to, you said, some really similar things. And I like yeah, there are people who like officially know a lot more about this than me, probably yourself included. But there’s like a strong correlation of women who find themselves running service based slash creative type businesses, who like can’t really work for other people. Like, they it’s like, they’re highly sensitive, they have some neuro divergence, they’re like, it’s like a real and and it’s like, that grouping of people also is like, super dedicated to their work, super good at their work, really, like obsessed with quality, very in tune with our clients experience almost to like a detrimental degree. That’s in my program. It’s just interesting. It’s like, I’ve never had a nine to five, like real job in my whole life. I’ve never worked in an office. I was like a waitress and a personal trainer, like I had all jobs where like, I had some schedule autonomy. And I kind of like, didn’t really have like, even in a restaurant, you just you have to be there at a certain time. But the time is like four o’clock. Yeah, exactly. And like, you just do your thing. You know, you’re not like working with other people the whole time. You’re just like doing your thing. And then your shift is over. So yeah, that’s a whole that’s like a real interesting, like, mental health rabbit hole.

Amber Hawley 17:11
I like that. You’re saying that even for people to think about, like, even if you are working for other people, because there’s certainly I’ve met plenty of people where they’re like, the pressure of running a business was so much that working for others, and that structure that was helpful, but remembering that there are jobs out there where there is that flexibility. And there is you know, that way of getting the autonomy that you’re needing. And there are great companies out there to work for right. But, but it is intriguing when you kind of see that pattern like oh, actually the things that I really thrived in or did had this element to it, where there was that flexibility. And I think that’s what drew me to, like World initially is, you know, when you’re working in tech, like nobody was coming before 10am. But there were times when we working until midnight, you know, like it just offered it because it’s that idea that somehow the whole world’s supposed to be on one body clock or something. I don’t know, I just yeah, it’s intriguing. But going back to that, like the HSP part, like that’s something even for myself that initially I did not I identify as that, because I always, I think there was part of it was a reaction of being told, like, You’re too emotional or sensitive. So to me, as it was showing up was, I was expecting others to accommodate, like, my feelings. Right? And so there was a lot of resistance for me in that. And then once you know, like doing my own work and going through time, and I because I mean, I still think about like when people ask you like, what was some of your worst experiences, like I broke down crying after like, I can’t remember it was during the meeting or after, you know, one of my jobs and fucking mortified and it was just like, the worst thing that could happen, you know? And so it was like, Oh, if you’re highly sensitive, it means you haven’t done enough therapy to like, work through that shit. Like, that was my mindset at the time. Like, yeah, you know, like, that’s not okay. Like, there’s something you’re emotionally like liable, like, you’re not, you know, you’re not together. And so I had a lot of resistance to that. And because again, I think there’s also the part of like, I believe in even as a therapist, like taking personal responsibility for I’m being triggered right now, that doesn’t mean you necessarily did something wrong. But I’m feeling triggered, but being able to own that and like take care of yourself in that is important. So yeah, the last few years of like realizing, oh, yeah, I am super sensitive and like you said it. It kind of informed how I do my work with people. Like who I want to work with. That is something that’s really come out for me, as I’ve hired people and realizing like there are certain personality types, or when something shifts in the dynamic that I can’t work with that person anymore. because it feels so, like they hit all those shame spots where it’s like, I’m the bad one. And so I’m like, Okay, this is just no longer gonna work. Right. So I think there’s so much value in understanding that about yourself.

Sam Pollack 20:14
Yeah, God, so much in what you just said.

Amber Hawley 20:21
First intro like, oh my god, well, I should have wrote down those other things. But yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

Sam Pollack 20:26
So you bring up, like, all right, if we’re really gonna get into it, who I am, what I really about is like, I’ve been like fully radicalized in the past couple of years, if I’m honest, like I’m, I’m, I’m working in the system. I’m doing marketing. I’m considering doing Facebook ads, zoom, we can talk about why I’ve had a whole journey about it. But like, I’m here, I’m doing it. I’m, you know, pricing my services appropriately and making money. And I think capitalism fucking sucks. And like our set our whole like, country is just in such a spiral right now. It’s really just like, scary, depressing. I’m convinced the world’s gonna end soon, just like, straight up. Like, I have a bleak worldview. I couch it in dry humor, which I actually find quite hilarious, but most people don’t. We talked about this before we started recording that I have a little spidey sense for when I’m making people uncomfortable, not like just for the sake of making them uncomfortable. But if I’ve like, see a dude start struggling with his male fragility a little bit, it’s like a, it’s like a button. I can’t stop pressing.

Amber Hawley 21:36
For example, I agree with you, I will press that button. I guess it depends on the button.

Sam Pollack 21:43
when people are like, try not like we Okay, nobody wants to talk about like, what climate change really means. But I think it’s part of being highly sensitive that like, you can fucking see and feel what’s going on. Yeah, and for me, one of the big pieces of my sensitivity and how it all plays out is like, I’m like looking around at like a house on fire and wondering why everyone is just standing around. Like, to me, that’s what it feels like a lot. And I think it’s such just anxiety too. So I it’s blurry, the line between sensitivity and anxiety, right? But anyway, so I mean, I think that like, the idea that that emotion is weakness, the idea that sensitivity is weakness, like, I’m so tired of all of that I’m so tired of look at what we built from those values, you know, like some some Okay, stuff, I guess, but like, it’s not, right. It’s, it’s like, trying to like shit on other people or, like, make people feel bad for the jobs they’re doing or the work they’re doing. But like, I just think, what if sensitivity was like a value that everybody thought was really sought after, you know, if you just like, imagine a world where that was the case, instead of like, toxic masculinity and toughness. There’s a version of reality where that’s the truth, you know? And like,

Amber Hawley 22:57
I became a therapist. Yeah, in all honesty, that was I had my existential crisis at the, in that corporate environment. And I was like, fuck if the world ends tomorrow, like, will my job matter? You know, yeah, you’re not like you said, not in a way to shame what people are doing. But like, that’s the thing. It’s not valued. And that’s a problem. Sorry, to interrupt.

Sam Pollack 23:21
I mean, this is shut me off. I’m like, Oh, no. Did it again?

Amber Hawley 23:27
No, we need that. We need to hear people who are saying the house is on fire.

Sam Pollack 23:32
I mean, I think that’s the truth. But then I also think like so many people, me too, like, I was told all growing up that I was too sensitive, too serious. Like my mom called me the Princess and the Pea because I like was so sensitive to like tags on my shirt, and like pulp and my orange juice and stuff like that. And like she was teasing and kidding. She didn’t like I mean, mom, but and like, they didn’t have books in ship about this and the 80s. So, you know, it’s not like she did anything wrong, but it’s like this stigma. You know, it gets woven in and then you know, crying is bad. And I have a real stoic, like super tough tightlipped grandmother. That was a very strong presence in my life. So like, my mom always tells a story about when I got my ears pierced and how much it hurt. I was like, eight. And I like, tried so hard not to cry. She’s like, I thought your head was gonna explode. But you didn’t cry. Like people say that. Like it’s a badge of honor. Right? Like, that’s messed up, man. It was only a kid like what did that do to my like, psyche to like, not let that out?

Amber Hawley 24:31
Yeah, like it’s not okay. That’s the problem, right? It’s those subtle messages, not not because they were trying to do be bad or be mean. But that subtle messaging that we constantly get like that this is the right way this is yeah, like, don’t be too emotional. I mean, as a couples therapist, I hear this all the time when they’re like, especially when one partner is like, Well, I’m very logical and they’re emotional. And I’m like that, like you’re both emotion. Sunol and you’re both using logic, you’re using different data points, like you’re using a different data set where you’re, where your information is coming from, right? I think that’s important. But that’s the thing is that messaging is throughout our whole life. Like constantly.

Sam Pollack 25:15
I think sensitive people are like, the toughest fucking people agreed, agree, honestly, like, I think like, the amount of bandwidth it takes up to like, perceive all all the different stimuli that are out there. And it’s like, different people have different things like I have a ton of environmental sensitivities. And I have a lot of emotional sensitivity, but that is like more manageable for me. Other people are total opposite, you know, like, but just to perceive all like I my big thing is like injustice, which there’s just so much out right now. I’m just short circuiting constantly. And then still to like, be turning out good work and like being good to your clients and being like a good member of your family and a good pet owner and all that other stuff. Like, I think sensitive people are like, the toughest ones.

Amber Hawley 26:06
I think it’s real bad, I guess it is because it’s like you said that bandwidth and just, like, it’s so much harder to feel everything and continue on, then to be like, I’m just, you know, not, you know, you don’t want to just say compartmentalisation, but like in denial or not in touch. I would say that people, they’re still emotional. They’re just not in touch with those feelings and emotions. And they’ve really shut it down. And so I think that yeah, that’s it is easier, in some ways. Like, it’s I’m not saying it’s great. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but it is, it can feel easier, it’s really hard to feel it all and keep going.

Sam Pollack 26:46
And I think like, this brings up something that I think about a lot, because I have a lot of people in my life who, you know, I’m pretty vocal about, like who I am and the fact that I’m highly sensitive, and just like my needs, and how I’ve set up my work and my boundaries and all that. There’s something that happens when people start like so, high sensitivity becomes like a little bit more mainstream, and people are talking about it. There’s the one thing that happens where like there’s this offshoot of like every one of their mothers calling themselves an empath now and they don’t really know what it means and like a lot of people who say that are like the opposite of empaths. No other like little train. But then there’s this other thing where it’s like all the people who aren’t highly sensitive now feel like they’re getting shit on. Like I noticed this a few years ago, especially in the early days of lockdown in the pandemic, like all the introverts were like, smug introverted thing, like they were like, I’ve been preparing for this my whole life, look at all the extroverts crying because they can’t go anywhere. Like it’s so me. Yeah. And if like, extroverts are great, like, we need both, we need everything. Of course, 15 to 20% of the population is highly sensitive, that means most people aren’t. And so that doesn’t mean like, we’re special snowflakes, it just means like, we live in a culture with certain values where like, life’s been kind of hard for us in a certain type of way. And, like maybe, in ways that it wouldn’t be for someone who’s not highly sensitive. I don’t know, I haven’t lived that other life. I’ve only lived my life. But we it isn’t to like, I mean, I guess people listening to your podcast, probably all are highly sensitive, creative. neurodivergent.

Amber Hawley 28:32
I think, obviously, from like you said it’s a spectrum. But But I think yeah, not everyone who listens is neurodivergent for sure. But I so many people are or, or yeah, that are that are sensitive, even if they’re not a technically an HSP, like you said, if that’s tend to if that’s 15%, you can be a sensitive emotional person. And like you said about anxiety, the hard part about distinguishing this. And this is where I feel like then it only matters what you feel right, like at a certain point. But because PTSD, like post traumatic stress disorder, like people have gone through traumas, they may feel or they’re either came grew up in families where they were much more emotionally reserved than the person. So they’re told they’re super sensitive. And in like, mainstream life, they’re, you know, quote, unquote, in the middle, right, you know, on the spectrum of that. Yeah. Or they’re with somebody who’s telling them like, they feel too much like they’re too much, right. So I think people can, it’s almost like you’re saying, identifying with that, but it could be a whole spectrum of things. But I agree. And I liked that. You said that. That’s why I’m trying to choose my words, because I’m like, it’s not like, this is the good way. And this is the bad way. And I can see value in both. And I think most people are in well, we know it’s a bell curve, right? Most people are in the middle. So they’re in the middle of all of this stuff.

Sam Pollack 29:55
Oh, yeah. I mean, the people I talked to when I was working my program, like they’re like was a like a way different than mine. And I talked to people who I would say like when I first took like Elaine, Aaron’s highlight like that sort of like the gold standard of like, are you highly sensitive, or it’s kind of just one of the only ones. It’s around, but like, I blew that test out of the water, like, I got, like, 100% on it. I’m a, I’m an overachiever. So I’m proud that I did so well. But like, I could have gotten a little bit of a higher score, but like some people I talked to have, like misophonia. And like, just serious, just they’re like debilitated almost, by the way, their sensitivity plays out and people who are true impasse, like, I feel like have kind of a hard time in the service based world.

Amber Hawley 30:42
They do first. And you are right, because I think I there’s a difference. Like I’m I’m a very empathetic, compassionate person, and I’m sensitive, but a true Empath, when I ride with them the pain that they take in, in, you know, it can learn skill levels, of course, but it’s it’s so impactful, like you said, it’s like, it takes so much more bandwidth. And so if they’re thinking, Oh, I have to do this, and still do all these other things that I see everyone else doing, like if you’re judging your, you know, productivity, or how much work you do, you know, I see this too, with people were like, Oh, I see 20 clients a week and somebody else, like, I can only see seven or eight. And somehow they’re not a good business owner. It’s like, no, that’s your bandwidth. Like, there’s nothing wrong with that. Right?

Sam Pollack 31:29
Well, that’s another reason to go back to like, why people start their businesses is like, the therapy model is a good example. My husband’s a therapist, and he’s working on setting up his private practice right now. He’s really stuck on niching. Just like, I mean, he’s like, so I’m like, you just need to see clients dude. Like, sorry,

Amber Hawley 31:46
but in a support his niching

Sam Pollack 31:50
he’s right. And it like shouldn’t stop you from just like doing work. Like yes, yeah. You know, people get stuck on hitting milestones, and like doing things the right way, in the right order. And I mean, it’s as a complete perfectionist, I totally get it. And the whole Done is better than perfect thing is helpful. Yeah. Perfect. is still good, though. Let’s be Yeah,

Amber Hawley 32:13
I love it. I’m a I’m a Virgo. Like, I love myself some perfect, but But I agree. Like it’s a constant. It’s a constant thing. Yeah. I wondered if you said something unless you had a thought because I’m like, Oh, you said something. Good. Now, it’s probably going to escape me see, normally I write down a word, so I can come back to it. But like talking about this spectrum, and not wanting to shut anybody out. And I because I do think that’s important. But also like for people who are highly sensitive to hear, like, there are things that you can do to support yourself. So you know, and again, that comes usually comes back to boundaries and self care. And, you know, even though nobody likes those words anymore, like whatever, I just get to that point. Yeah.

Sam Pollack 32:58
I mean, there’s so like, I the way I broke down, the highly sensitive business owner is starting by just like understanding what is going on with you. So like, defining having common definitions, and like what, you know, when I say sensitive, what does that mean, when you say sensitive, like, what does that mean, in this program? What are we saying? What do we mean when we say different things, and just kind of like paying attention, like one of the things that happened to me when I first kind of like, realized I was highly sensitive, is I started just kind of like a less than conscious process. But I started just kind of like letting go of the screen that I had put, like an in like a filter kind of thing. Question. So I started feeling stuff more like, it wasn’t like totally numbed out. But I just wasn’t mindful in like, how I was just setting up my workday, for example, like how many calls I would have in a day, or who I would be having the calls with, or like, when I was scheduled, like just I would just kind of doing everything in real time, like randomly. And, you know, I started really paying attention to how I felt like after certain things, and I was like, Rick, and we’re act like it was a rough period of time. But then doing that, like, alerted me to like, Oh, I’m real tired after zoom calls are like, Oh, if I’m like texting, like a phone conversation with one of my internet friends, I have like a threshold where like, I’m done, I get communication fatigue really easily. So anyway, the first part is just like understanding all that stuff. And then we go into like, schedule and like policies and boundaries, feedback from clients. There’s a whole bunch of stuff about clients. Like so much. Good team members, like co working stuff, like all that just all the things that come up in a business, and there’s even the nodule that is really the thorn in my side that I’m still working on finishing. There’s a whole module about like injustice and systemic racism and like, how your sense how to use your sensitivity as like as a tool and see it as like a, an asset, when it comes to like activism, like a tool to spur activism instead of like a way to keep yourself stuck. That’s a, that’s one of the like, privileges that it’s easy to be like, I’m stuck in an action because I’m so sensitive and I can’t handle like dealing with learning about what my ancestors did. Like, that’s like sucks.

Amber Hawley 35:28
One because like you said, I think you both like the therapist, to me is like we have to honor when we’re overwhelmed, overstimulated, overloaded and take space. They can’t be permanent space. Exactly. Because that’s a privilege that we get as, as white women really, you know, like, for sure, yeah. And I so yeah, I think that’s so great. I, the thing is, what you’re talking about, and I think this is important is you first have to assess and look at unique data, you can’t make changes without data, because then you’re just making arbitrary changes that might end up just as miserable, right?

Sam Pollack 36:03
And you can’t just go around being like, announcement everyone, I’m highly sensitive. So I’m gonna need all these things from now on. Like, yes, that’s

Amber Hawley 36:11
that whole, like, you need to accommodate everything about me, it’s very different in real relationships, or in, you know, like, you can set your boundaries for your business. But yeah, there’s a balance, right?

Sam Pollack 36:22
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, I want the people in my life to know what’s going on with me in my personal life. And even in my professional life, like, I’m, I have no time for like, this professional version of Sam that like, is different somehow than the personal version of Sam. Like, it’s just so much effort for me. I can’t lie. Like I’m like a terrible, terrible liar. It’s like, it’s a joke. Like, I brought my husband got a cute Ted last a mug for his birthday. It just turned 50 like two weeks ago, and I was a little under the influence. And I was doing dishes, and I broke the mug. And my friend was like, Don’t even tell him just replace it will cause the show. I guess that’s a bad reference. But like, you know, we just like replace it. I’ll never know. And I was like, No, I have to tell him. Like I did. I had to tell him.

Amber Hawley 37:12
Like, why wouldn’t you like why? Why lie about dumb shit like,

Sam Pollack 37:17
well, I know. And I can replace it. Yeah, I still have to replace it. But I found a lot cuter mugs when I was looking so like, hey, we want these other ones. Anyway, it was a cute blog. So yeah, I mean, I gotta be who I am. And sometimes that works to my disadvantage, but I’m trying to see it as like, it’s hard to be authentic all the time to be like authentically, really not performatively authentic, but like, really, really who you are. And, you know, it takes a longer time to build your following that way. It takes a longer time to like, connect with people, if you’re only doing like a one on one phone calls all the time. It takes a long time. But it’s also just like, trying to do it. Other it’s good to experiment and see what works but like, trying to accelerate the pace. That’s just not your natural pace is just like, fast train to burnout. Yes,

Amber Hawley 38:12
right. I agree. Yeah, I agree. I think it’s you have to experiment, you try different things, or you figure out ways to do it, like to leverage that by utilizing, like other stuff, like, for example, on social media stuff. There’s that part of me that, like I could do all as, as people on my team will say you love creating things you love building it, and then there’s like this, like putting it out there is where I fucking suck. So I need other people to put it out there because I will build it. And then I’m like, Okay, let’s go on to the next thing. You know. And just because even that being authentic and vulnerable, like I think like you I’m, I always say like, like, maybe in my therapy in the therapy room. I’m like Amber on is six. And then there’s, you know, Amber, Amber on a 10 is probably at the club or something, you know, or with my best friend. Like, that’s number 10 Total unfiltered, you know, but that doesn’t mean even that, like, I’ll be my I’m still myself, but there’s still that sensitivity part is then I will Oh fuck, like, how did they perceive that? How did or did? Did I offend somebody because that wasn’t the intention and the way that I because I can say half thoughts, flirty, half thoughts being ADHD, right? And so I still think even that being authentic is is takes a lot of bandwidth because of the vulnerability hangovers and like you said that it’s like a different kind of thing. And I think the worry about feedback because unless the people who love me and know me understand where I’m coming from when I say something wrong, and when I say you know like misspeak or something, they give you the benefit of the doubt and then that the other people aren’t and so it’s I think all of that is so hard. And so it’s like to remember, this is all the shit we’re dealing with always and to give ourselves a lot more like compassion about, well, why haven’t I you know, hit whatever whatever it is for people, six figures, seven figures, why haven’t I done XYZ? It’s like, well, because like, there’s all this shift going on, like life is still happening, you know?

Sam Pollack 40:17
Yeah. For me it’s like, why am I not famous yet? Like, why am I still like a secret on the internet? Why is XYZ copywriter like everyone knows who she is and she’s got this like loud shouty personality or like I’m not referring to a specific person, I’m I’m actually referring to like several specific people. Exactly. It’s like, I look, it’s comparison. It’s like submitting writing and not having to get accepted. That’s like a whole frickin thing that is like, it sucks. Because I’m a writer, that’s like, literally part of my job is like making submissions. I’m getting rejections. And like, as many times as I hear about how Stephen King nailed all his rejections on as well until he ran out of wall space, or as many times is that, like, any, it doesn’t matter. Like, it still sucks when it happens. And it’s a blow take, it gives me a blow. You know, it takes me a while to recover. And I am like, I’ve been working really hard on my like visibility this year. And last year, I just like doing stuff like this, like trying to grow my Instagram, which I’m about to give up on jumped ship for Tiktok. Maybe? I don’t know, I don’t know, but I’m like working on all these things. And like visibility is vulnerability. And yes, you know, it’s like taxing.

Amber Hawley 41:30
I love that line. That’s yeah, visibility is vulnerability. It’s true. I mean, yes, people can show up in authentically, we all know that, like, we’ve seen those people but, but there is a level of putting yourself out there like that. And, you know, that’s something I’ve talked to many people about, like when I built a very successful therapy practice. And it’s very different to be in the room than it is to be out doing a podcast or speaking or because you’re you are putting yourself out in a much different way. Whereas one to one, like you can read people, you can kind of adjust. But when it’s at that bigger level, it’s hard, right?

Sam Pollack 42:08
But I think that’s what’s kind of cool about like right now is like right now, you can show up on podcasts and be guests, you can go to conferences and do that you can speak like there’s so many communities like you have your community and you have people come into your community and do like trainings and stuff, like that’s a whole thing that people can do. Then there’s like Tiktaalik, if you want to try that, there’s I mean, there’s just a lot of different ways now to have visibility, be a part of your business model that has to be like you can’t have a business and have it be successful if people don’t know that you exist. And you can absolutely get to the point where your only, you know, referral base, and that’s it. And you don’t need even a website anymore. But like, sooner or later, even people like that, I feel like that what happens to people like that is like they just neglect their online presence. And then sooner or later, they need it, and it sucks. You know, like, sooner or later, I’m like, sooner or later, you’re calling me to write you a new website copy, and then you realize it’s gonna take, like 12 weeks, and you’re like freaking out because you need it now. Just for example.

Amber Hawley 43:15
For example, yes. So being thoughtful about, yeah, like taking the time to build it now. And when most people aren’t in that circumstance,

Sam Pollack 43:25
right, like, No, I mean, my point is like it to get to the point where you are totally referral based, you have to have enough people coming in and out that are going to give you solid referrals, and then those referrals are gonna be good people that you actually want to work with. Like, that shit doesn’t happen overnight.

Amber Hawley 43:41
No, no, it takes a long time. Like, that’s, I feel like I’m talking a lot about my therapy business today. It’s interesting, but I mean, obviously makes sense. But yeah, that’s the same thing where Yeah, it took me a long time to build that reputation where I get, like, referrals constantly. And so I get to be very discerning about who I take, because that is me managing my energy and knowing like just certain types of client or certain types of clients, and also how they want to work. Like when people just want one offs. Like that doesn’t work energetically. That’s hard for me because I go all in and invest and so like, having that stability is important. Even that’s, that really reminded me of something I want to come back to that you said that I think is really important, is also like remembering so this is a spectrum and so even like when I think about myself, I have the some of the boundaries I have because like sometimes people like if they meet me out or an event I’m you know, I’m still myself, but I’m like I’m there to kind of have fun or connect and I, I don’t want to add a conference because it’s one it’s a lot of people it’s like stem overstimulating. I want to have that time where I’m connecting and having fun, and I’m not wanting to be serious, like that’s the last fucking thing I want to do. Because I have I have to protect space to not because as a therapist, and even in the work as my coach in the coaching work I do, because we’re dealing with the emotional side of business or like, with like, you know, I’ve like life coaching people that come to me. And so it’s like, I deal with a lot of serious shit all the time. And I still like most people, I have a life that has serious things going on in it, you know, a spectrum of things. I have to, I have to have a lot of compartmentalization and boundaries. And so sometimes I’ll meet people, and they just think that they either underestimate and don’t think you’re that smart, or whatever, because you’re just having fun. I’m like, I need to fucking have fun right now. Like, that’s what I’m showing up for. Now. If we went and sat in a corner and had a deep conversation, one on one, because I’ve connected to you, it’s very different, right? But I’m like, this is the thing to think about. I just want to say this for the people out there that, like, I think even that sensitivity can look different. Because I think most people would assume I’m not. I think they don’t think I am like, well, you’re so outgoing. And you talk to everyone I was like, yes, because that’s that filling up that that extroverted side of me, because I am an I am the most you know, ENFPs are the most introverted extroverts. But I have that deeply introverted side that I also honor. And so I find that balance and I take that space for myself, I’m really good at that. But it’s like, remembering, it’s okay to have those boundaries with people like it doesn’t all, I can’t do serious all the time. So sometimes when people are in too serious mood, I’m like, I gotta move on right now. Like, because I’m not in that state. Right. So I think that’s important to remember for people as

Sam Pollack 46:40
well. That is super interesting, because you’re talking about like, choosing how you show up, like what version of yourself or you’re bringing to certain events. And when you talk about conferences, specifically, like, like one of the reasons I don’t know if you saw my notes that I sent over ahead of time, like I like, boy, I’m not done with conferences. I’m like, I’m not going anywhere. Like it’s, it’s done. But one of the reasons why is because I have this like, I am so hard on myself and I have listened I’ve done a lot of therapy, I’ve done a lot of work. I would say I’m a recovering perfectionist, but I also feel like I don’t want to make myself wrong for like being an organized and detail oriented like Capricorn, like, part of it is just like who I am. And I cannot be me. But it is very difficult in in work, like work is where I still have like my biggest challenges of like, comparison and perfectionism. I’m like, kind of done with the overachieving stuff. I feel like being in your 40s helps a lot. Like I just felt done done with all that

Amber Hawley 47:41
kind of, yeah, the bandwidth is there to give a fuck. So you

Sam Pollack 47:44
know, but I think right, I think like, the conference thing is like, you spent all this money, there’s going to be so many people there that I finally have a chance to, like, put myself in front of like these people that would be super cool to work with. And so I come in with like expectations of myself, you know that, like, I’m going to achieve a certain amount of connections or something. And when I get there, I’m like, there’s so much going on. Like, like, there’s bright lights, it’s a big, like cacophonous space, the air conditioning is usually super cold. Like, the there’s never enough food. And then I get social anxiety. So I drink too much. Like it’s just never, it never goes how I want it to go. And then even like, the some of the most valuable things I’ve gotten out of conferences are just like the seminars like you go and sit and like, listen to a really interesting person, like, tell their story and action. But sometimes I’m like to fried to like, take all that in. And then I’m like taking notes on everything. Since it’s a nerd. It’s just like a lot of effort and a lot of money for when I look back. And this goes back to like, data, data, data, like looking back at like, what went into it versus what I got out of it. It’s just like, it does not make sense to keep going to those things. Yeah, like big 3d things, maybe little are shorter, more intimate, like might be better.

Amber Hawley 49:02
And I will say I love like smaller, intimate events. Like that’s actually that is my Thrive spot, I think. But I like I’d like this discussion because I have many introverted Capricorn friends, where I’m like, I always there’s part of me with my introverted friends where I feel the word and the word envy is coming up. And it’s not the right word. But like, there’s part of me that’s like, Oh, they’re so unapologetic about taking the space and going to the room and recharging and I’m, like, good for you, or I feel pressured to be sometimes to be out because I’m here this is I need to maximize and capitalize on this, right but, and there are times where, I don’t know if it’s like a conscious choice, like I’m going to be on Amber. It’s not that it’s more like I go with where my energy is, and then I’m energized by people. So I’m just up and I’m like, I don’t want to have a heavy fucking conversation right now. Like I want to go to the dance party or whatever. Right, like because that’s, it’s feeding that part of me. But there are times where and even recently, because you know, just getting back into conferences, I’ve gone. Now the first one I went to Well, I ended up speaking at both, but I the first one, I was speaking at xi podcast live and October of last year. And there was part of me that’s like, I didn’t do enough connecting, because I was so nervous about speaking because it had been so long. And I just had like, all this stuff. And, you know, I was, like, many people, like, the last couple of years have been hard. So there was all this stuff going on. But I ended up meeting people. And I kind of stayed with my group of people that felt safe. And that’s kind of one of my strategies is like, I connect with me. And then I, that’s like my home space and my safe space. And then I’ll kind of venture out. And I walked away the last couple of conferences, I didn’t necessarily make the most strategic connections, but I got to connect with people I enjoy. And I made some really good friends. And to me like that was valuable enough. Now granted, yes, if I’m going to spend a few $1,000, a couple times a year, I’m probably going to want to make sure that it’s enhancing my business as well. But I do feel like sometimes looking at what is that ROI, like? This is where I say to people, like use the data point. If it was just to have fun, then have fun. You know, like, that’s okay, it’s okay to do that. Although, then I would start to question, do you just need to take a vacation with your friends? By the way, I probably should have done that. But yeah, I wouldn’t change it because I had a great time. But that’s, that’s the thing where like understanding, you get to show up and kind of choose. And I like that approach. Like some people I love, I talk highly about going to conferences, I love them. And I think you have a really great point of it’s okay to say that’s just not my jam. And I’m going to choose something else for myself because it’s the pain of it outweighs the benefit, right?

Sam Pollack 51:58
Yeah. Yeah. I the first one of the first conferences I went to as a writing conference, right? And conferences are like a whole frickin thing. Because the publishing industry is like very snobby, towards people who work on the internet, I find, like, what do you do? I’m a copywriter, it’s like instantly eyes glaze over, like, but

Amber Hawley 52:16
if you went to a business conference, people are like, oh,

Sam Pollack 52:21
all the writers are like freaking out about how to build their platform. And I’m like, Yeah, I’m saying, like, you can do some online marketing. But the first one I went to was the Writer’s Digest conference in midtown Manhattan. And it was like, so he was like, the hugest conference was in Manhattan, which is like, awesome, but crazy. And this giant, I forget which hotel it was, but takes up a whole block and midtown. And I, of course, because I was in New York, I was like partying with my cousin. And I was like, up super late the night before. And I have to take the subway in Brooklyn, and then I missed it Saturday, and they don’t want on that. Anyway, it was like, such a nightmare. And they I signed up for the pitch fest where it’s just like, agents sitting all around the room and you just like, go pitch your book to a bunch of agents. I even have a book, I just had an idea for a book. And like, that’s how I just like, do shit. I’m just like, I’ll do that whatever, we have an adventurous spirit. But the day before they were doing like a prep for that at the conference. And they said it was like The Hunger Games and they were doing all these like do’s and don’ts and it really like intimidated me. And like I then I went to this panel where there was like somebody who worked for the New York Times somebody who like was the head of like the MBA program at such and such University. It was like all these like elite people on this panel. And I was like, Oh, my I just like had like a total meltdown. Like left the conference early. It was like crying on the streets. And I mean, I still had a great time in New York, I really needed to do is just take a trip to New York. Right, right, like go see your cousin’s. But then the next writing conference I went to was like a super tiny, sorry, there’s a cat like loose. With a piece got a paperclip Flog. I went to a super tiny conference at Rutgers. It was like 200 people. And it was like, great. Like, I met so many people, I got to talk to authors that I really admire. I like totally fan girl that Amy Tan. And like, it was awesome, you know, and it was like, so it was only two days instead of three. And like the whole vibe was just so different. So I think I said I was banning conferences forever. But what I mean is those types of conferences big huge, like, big hotels are like not a great scene for me. Like what’s going on? But like little more intimate things are a lot better. Yeah, it’s

Amber Hawley 54:40
I love that. I love that distinction. And, you know, like, yeah, like some of my favorite events are even smaller. I would say that that were probably like 80 and under. Yeah, because I too find it really overwhelming. And that’s part of that ADHD part where it’s very hard for me to focus on this person in front of me not because I don’t Yeah, find them in justing I like them, it’s because there’s so much going on. And then they feel that I’m distracted because I had somebody who is actually a friend and we’ve stayed connected over the years. But when she first met me I still because this is that that RSD the rejection sensitive dysphoria that remembers the moment where I was being introduced to her at a small like networking gathering at at Social Media Marketing World, which is huge, right? It’s a huge, like, clocking, huge conference. And it was just like, all the stimulation from the day. And so I’m being introduced and I but I was like, oh, I need to sit down and I needed to eat or something in my mind was there. And she like said something, something to the effect of like, oh, okay, like, you’re, she basically let me know that I was letting I was making her feel like she wasn’t important enough to talk to hearable. And I was like, I’m glad she said something. But it was like, No, that’s not it. And that was before, like, and I think I would have words for it now. But I want and it was like, and now we’re still friends, right? But it was that thing of like, I’m just in a distracted space. This isn’t about you personally. But anyway, I think the reason I’m sharing this, too, is like, just to honor for people. Because I think this is an interesting conversation like having like, these are we’re just two people. Can you imagine if we had 10 of us having this conversation about going to live events or showing up in our business, like, we’re all going to have our unique ways. And so like, I’ll say, I’m pretty great at networking, like most people will say, like, you have an amazing network of people. And you know, everybody, and that doesn’t mean and then some people will look at and go, Oh, well, you didn’t capitalize on this, that and this, I’m like, well, because I’m networking in a way that works for me. But I can be very strategic. And I can teach people that stuff. But at the same time, like, just because you think it should look a certain way it shouldn’t. So I think I like that we’re trying to honor that. There are so many different ways for people to show up and, and have it be okay. Right? Yeah.

Sam Pollack 57:03
Yeah, totally. And I think like, this is like, kind of woowoo, which I don’t love. But like, my strategy has really boiled down to just like, well, it’s a whole journey to to, like, claim, like, I want to do something or I don’t want to do something as just like valid reasons to do or not do something as a woman. Yeah, first of all, that’s like, not not really what we were taught generally. And then even in like, larger sort of cultural sense of, of, like, work ethic, the work ethic of our society is like, you know, even I’ve had conversations like this with my dad who’s like a super cool, like, spiritual dude. But his worldview about work is like, who cares what you want, we need to work like that so many people’s view about work is like, it seems Yeah, that gets indulgent to be like, I don’t want to work with that person. So I’m not going to work with them. You know, like, it seems like I’m entitled, I don’t know, snob, but like, or I don’t think I don’t think that but like,

Amber Hawley 58:09
yes, well, and I’ll say even with my husband, like when you know, because as a as a primary business or as a primary, like breadwinner breadwinner, right? Like the i We have a certain financial reality that we have to make. And so when my money dips, because all businesses ebb and flow, then it’s when I say like, I think I’m gonna take this day off, like he’s, you know, he’s a solid Gen X. He works at UPS for 26 years and he was in the military for 24. So like, they overlapped of course, but so like he’s retired from both and so his his thing is, like, we’ll give it we need money so like you need to work you know, and it’s like, I don’t know I’m, if I don’t make this shift and give that boundary I won’t be able to continue to sustainably work right like, so people won’t understand it. And they don’t get that like like your dad it’s not because he’s my husband’s very supportive. It’s not because he’s shitty. It’s just literally doesn’t understand it. Right? But I think there’s something to that of like, I don’t want to do it is enough of a reason. 100% wife just like the IRS does not agree with that.

Sam Pollack 59:18
They don’t there’s such bitches I’ll drop I’ll drop a bomb. I don’t want to have kids and therefore I’m not

Amber Hawley 59:27
I guess in my world that doesn’t feel like a bomb. I have so many my sister’s child free by choice like I have so many people in my life that see I know for some I actually forget we’re in the south now. Cuz Oh, yeah. I know, that’s not a bomb at all. Like that’s just, you know,

Sam Pollack 59:45
well with the current conversation around reproductive rights, because like, all of these circumstances keep getting brought up is like excusable like appropriate reasons to like, have an abortion. So now we’re talking about this. Yeah, no one’s ever taught. I mean, I guess this isn’t as powerful Have a political argument. But like, one reason is just I don’t want kids like, it just doesn’t have to be this like tragic, awful thing. Like, it’s just no. I mean, people ask me a lot, why not so much anymore? But like, people think there’s a reason and the reason is like, I never wanted them. Like, do I need more? Do you need more of a reason? That seems like a really good reason. That

Amber Hawley 1:00:22
seems like the best reason. But I agree with you, I think in the Roe v. Wade, discussion, that doesn’t feel like that doesn’t feel like a good selling point. I think that people definitely that’s not they’re like, oh, that’s just you being selfish. And it’s, I mean, I, I wholeheartedly disagree with that, right? Like, I agree with you, like, who you don’t need to be some tragic story for it to justify that you get to have access to that. Right. So I love that point. But that’s yeah, that goes back to and I think that’s the stuff that we’re ingrained with, is this a good enough reason to not do X in my business to not show up to not go to conferences,

Sam Pollack 1:01:01
right. And I think like, there’s strategy and like, for me, you know, as a copywriter, so early in my career, it was all about, like, the numbers, it was all about how you’re gonna like, get hired as a copywriter, you need to show that this sales page made $100,000. And you need to be able to go in with with numbers and email, open rates, and all this, like spreadsheet shit, and like, I’m a writer, like, I don’t have that stuff. Also, a lot of times when I do my work, I go in, I do the work, and then I’m gone. Like, I don’t really know how it performed. Right. And on top of that, there’s a lot of factors that go into how something performs that are more than just the words on the screen, there’s like, design, if you’re doing ads, there’s a whole bunch of competence, a whole bunch of factors that determine the success of any marketing. Copy is just one of them. I would argue it’s one of the most important because of course, but I actually agree with that. But they also have like, no lists, right? But tested early in copy, which is great. If they have like a busted design. Yeah, then that’s the worst man when I do this, like beautiful, like wordsmithing. And then they have like a crap design. I’m like, I don’t even want to show that to people. But, you know, where was I going with that? So I had a lot of resistance, like, a lot of insecurity around, like, I’m never going to be one of the big shots because like, I don’t have data I’m never gonna have I mean, I have, I can say like, oh, I worked on a million dollar launch, or like, I could say that shit now. But even now, I’m like, who cares, though? Like, I know what I’m doing and like, like, I there’s so many other things that went into that launch. That had nothing to do with me that yes, I was a part of it. But like, I can’t promise I can do that for somebody else. Because they have so much else.

Amber Hawley 1:02:52
There’s so many, like you said, there’s many factors, I think the hard thing is, and I’m susceptible to this as well. But I’ll say like this is another important aspect of business is marketing. And so I’m like, there are people out there that don’t even have degrees that are doing more therapy oriented work, like quote, unquote, helping people, you know, well, however, well, they, you know, whatever, whatever it’s looking like, and I’m like, and I here I am with the degree and all this all this expertise, and I’m like, Yes, but they’re marketing themselves better. Like they’re doing a better job. I gotta give it to him, you know. And so there’s something to that because I, I’ll have those moments I even today, I was like, coming back from an appointment and I saw this place sushi place and said best sushi and Asheville and I was like, oh, I should go there some time and eat. And then I was like, wait a minute, I think I got food to go from them. And it sucked. And I was like, but the fact that they said best sushi and ash. Phil, there’s a part of me that’s like, yes, I want the best sushi and Asheville.

Sam Pollack 1:03:51
We it’s so great. And a cup of coffee. Exactly. I’m

Amber Hawley 1:03:56
like the craft or something about that. That’s what I love. Like some of that this is a total aside, but like a lot of the restaurants in California, like the Asian restaurants locally, like tasty something and I was like, that’s just fucking spar marketing, put it in the name, this place is tasty, like wouldn’t want to eat at a tasty place, you know? But But yeah, it’s that balance of Well, part of me would say, you then need to hire somebody to help you figure out and get the data, because that’s not your strong suit. So that you have enough credibility because unfortunately, two people do they do respond to that. However, you could do it your way. But like you said, that could be a slower grow. Because as people experience you and say, oh my gosh, I worked with Sam, she’s amazing. And, you know, here’s her information, you could still grow, you can grow, but that’s going to be slower. Right? And that’s how I do the same thing where it’s like, it’s just like, be a better marketer for bucks sake.

Sam Pollack 1:04:54
It also like yeah, to start getting the types of jobs where I was able to get those results, you know, like, yeah, the size of the business, the size of the list the size of the audience, my last client, my biggest, like celebrity client, I guess, is like amazing at abs. She’s so good at them. And so she’s so good at them. And then she, like, grew a lot by herself really, without before she hired a team. And then continued the things that were working, she was really good at, like, sticking to what works and doubling down on it and like ditching everything that doesn’t, that is a really tough skill to master. I suck at it. I want to do everything. You should see how many unfinished things I have in my Google Drive. It’s like, embarrassing?

Amber Hawley 1:05:40
No, the I bet you. Yeah, you’re among young people here.

Sam Pollack 1:05:45
So like, there’s just it takes a minute to get to where you have something to really even brag about. And then there’s like the ethical side of the types of claims and testimonials on social proof that people are using in their marketing that is either dishonest or predatory, or misrepresents like results. Not typical type stuff.

Amber Hawley 1:06:08
Right? Yes, yeah.

Sam Pollack 1:06:10
Then you don’t want to participate in so then it’s like, well, what do I say that? Is it that that still is compelling to people?

Amber Hawley 1:06:16
And that’s what’s hard when you? Yeah, when you’re when you’re caring about that. And you’re being sensitive to it that sometimes we can keep ourselves stuck. Because we’re, we’re afraid of that perception. Right? That that’s how it’s going to come across. So I am so aware of the time normally, like, I know, I normally end it i was i normally asked like, Do you have something at the top of the hour? And then I didn’t and I’m like, damn, like, tell, but like, this will be my longest episode.

Sam Pollack 1:06:41
conversation has been like so all over the place like,

Amber Hawley 1:06:45
Oh, I’m hoping well, maybe my editors will figure out like, maybe we need to break it into a two parter or something. But I feel like it’s been really good, like, helpful, at least I feel that way. I am thinking I got the best, like the best email on Sunday from a listener. Like that, just and she was talking about she saw the episode on imposter syndrome and saw it was like 40 something minutes and was like, Oh, this is gonna be torture, and then listen to it and loved it. And then did the same thing had another episode, and thought, Oh, this is too long for me and loved it. So I was thinking of her like, as I’m like, Well, I think this is so good that she’ll love it. Like she’ll,

Sam Pollack 1:07:27
she’ll love it. She listened on like one and a half speed.

Amber Hawley 1:07:30
But can I deal with people can do that. Like for me? I’m like that is I know, I actually do have people in my community who are like, I you know, we didn’t have that on our videos are like I have to be able to listen on one and a half. And I’m like, I just can’t like I that’s so overwhelming to me. It makes everyone sound so annoying. Yeah, everyone sounds like a chipmunk. And that’s super annoying. I can’t handle that. Yeah, but yeah, this is I don’t know, I feel like it’s been really great. Because it’s well, you know, it’s one of those things we feel that way. But yeah,

Sam Pollack 1:08:06
I they had a lovely conversation.

Amber Hawley 1:08:09
It was it was good for me. It wasn’t good for you. It was great. But I do want to give a shout out to Dina Martin for her your email. It just it meant so much to me and Nina. Yeah, it just, it’s nice to hear that, you know, because I’m not the I’m not the person who’s getting those emails all the time. And so it was it’s it’s those small things that are reaffirming, but I had that thought as as we’re going on to be like my longest episode.

Sam Pollack 1:08:37
Do that a lot. I make a practice of like, emailing people DMing them being like, you’re great. I love what you’re doing. Keep doing it. I think it’s awesome.

Amber Hawley 1:08:46
I do. See and I say this is something I wanted to create days in my membership where we do this because I say like, if you want people to give you testimonials or feedback, or you you’re wanting this from people like even thinking about like clients who are like, Oh, nobody’s answering or responding to my surveys or my whatever. And I’m like, What are you doing that for others? I think there’s an integrity thing about like, if you do that for others, like there’s something that like people show up for you. So to remember that I think is a piece of it, right? Like, and we need to hear that we need to remember this is really hard and your email could just make someone’s day or make such a difference for them. So literally, I think we’re gonna hit every fucking facet of business that could be possibly comes to being sensitive and boundaries and all this stuff. But yeah. Okay, so I think we will we will wrap it up, because and perhaps we’ll have another conversation another time. But yeah, I just think it’s been really valuable to and I’m hoping people identify with this and if you do, please feel free to email me and let me know if this episode worked for you. Or both of us. But I think like you said there’s I think it’s important for us to be talking about this Section of business owners, because I think they’re I think they are a lot of business owners when you’re a lot of people who are neurodivergent, they estimate like 40% of business owners are neurodivergent are actually just ADHD. So it might be bigger when you when you factor in autism and all the other, you know, ways that neurodivergent shows up. And then you talk about sensitive people. Like, I think there’s a reason we seek out entrepreneurship. Yeah, I agree. But then if we’re just reenacting what other companies do, then we’re not really honoring ourselves in that. And so then we’re stuck in this struggle, right? So

Sam Pollack 1:10:37
it’s like the world is your oyster like sounds like a great thing. That’s actually like super stressful if you have to, like start over and create everything from scratch. It’s the hardest, it’s hard to let go of the idea of an eight hour workday is like a thing, because it’s just arbitrary. Yeah, nobody’s actually going to work on working for eight hours straight at their office.

Amber Hawley 1:10:56
No, they’re not there. You’re you’re taking breaks, you’re talking to people like, yeah, it’s, I talk about this stuff all the time. Because I love it. I think it’s important. And yeah, see, your comment made me want to share another story and keep going. We’re not gonna do all the stuff we didn’t even talk about today. Oh, my gosh, I know. But we’re gonna we’re probably gonna have to come back to this. Okay. But thank you so much for coming on. And I really do think it’s valuable. And again, if people were gonna have everything in the show notes, but where can people find you? What is the best place to go stalk you? Yeah,

Sam Pollack 1:11:26
come stalk me at cult of Deco. Cult of is my website. It’s also my instagram handle. And that’s pretty much it. For now. You can love it. join my mailing list on my website or on my Instagram, and then you can find out about the highly sensitive business owner in both places, too.

Amber Hawley 1:11:46
Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. Hey, less is more simple, be simple. I think that’s great. You’re either an Instagram person or you’re not. So do you have two choices?

Sam Pollack 1:11:57
I mean, it sucks lately, for real, but that’s where I’m at right now. I don’t know one thing I’ll say too, is, depending on when this episode comes out, I may have already launched the program. So if someone is listening, and they like want to, I’m pretty chill. It’s like a live thing. It’s not evergreen. It’s not like automated. Just they can just email me and ask if they want to sneak in. And I’ll be like, hey, sure.

Amber Hawley 1:12:22
When? When is it launching?

Sam Pollack 1:12:24
The next cohort starts on September 9. So I know it’s probably pretty tight for you. Yeah,

Amber Hawley 1:12:31
okay. Well, maybe I’ll just move. I’ll move it up. Because this would be great for as an opportunity for people if they’re interested. Because I think we were going to schedule it. I think it was scheduled for like the 21st. But or the 28th. I can’t remember which one, but we will move it up so that that way people can hear about this beforehand. And if they want to join but like if you’re listening to this late and not on the day it came out.

Sam Pollack 1:12:54
Right. That happened. Still reach out. Yeah.

Amber Hawley 1:12:58
The shifts in perpetuity, my friend. They’re like it’s still there.

Sam Pollack 1:13:04
Yeah, I just went and ranted on someone’s Instagram post from like three months ago about a podcast episode. I was like, I can’t believe you’re talking about this. Three months later.

Amber Hawley 1:13:16
Okay, so what? We all have our diving. Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

Sam Pollack 1:13:21
again. Thank you so much. This was awesome.

Transcribed by

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