You may be doing something you really love, but sometimes you have to make decisions that appease your heart. In this episode, Amber Hawley and Maelisa Hall chit chat about Maelisa’s decision to step back from the My Biz Bestie podcast. Changing the structure of how everything works these days and shifting priorities has become a common move for almost everyone. With this, Maelisa takes change to a more personally satisfying level by doing a major shift. Join the girls as they reminisce about some episodes, talk about priorities, seek out new friendships, and so much more.

Shifting Priorities

We have a big episode for you for the start of the season. It’s going to be bittersweet. We are a little overdue and we have a big announcement to make.

Sorry about being overdue. I will start with the big announcement, which is that I am stepping back from the show. That’s the nicest way to say it.

It’s nice and accurate, but it’s bittersweet because it’s super sad. We’re going to talk about it in this episode and what led you to that decision. It’s helpful and it falls in line with a lot of what we’ve been talking about over the last couple of years, but it’s sad. To let people know and clarify, we are still Biz Besties. It is nothing between us, but that’s the thing in life. Sometimes you’re doing things that you love, enjoy and have fun with, but you have to make decisions to do something different. It will be a valuable episode, although, there might be tears from me, knowing that this is officially the last episode of us.

It’s my official last episode. There may be guest appearances.

There will be because I’ll be like, “I need to talk to you.” We’ll be chatting and I’m like, “That would be such a great episode.”

I do love this show, but through the last few months, we have both had a lot of stuff going on. For me, I was looking at priorities and had to think through everything in my other two businesses and like, “What am I prioritizing there?” I restructured some things and thinking about marketing. Also, I’m trying to have more balance in my life, in general, as to not being obsessed with work all the time, having some fun personal priorities, and making personal life a priority over business stuff, which is a new thing for me. When I was taking stock of all that stuff, it was obvious that something had to go. I was trying to streamline in all areas and that means a lot of different things in different aspects of the business. In one business event, we are restructuring things and another business, it’s ideally going to mean hiring more people. For My Biz Bestie, it meant looking at, “How does this work with all of my life priorities?” Unfortunately, I feel like I had to go.

Sometimes when we’re making those choices, we think, “This thing is going to be blatant. I want to get rid of this. I’m done.” Often, that’s not the case. Even thinking about a lot of the big decisions I’ve made or the choice to move to across the country, it wasn’t like we were like, “We hate the Bay Area. We want to leave.” It wasn’t that at all. It was bittersweet and we’re super happy we did it, but it wasn’t one of those things of we’re in such misery. Sometimes, it’s hard to make those choices when it’s like, “This is something I love, but when I get honest with myself, what can I realistically do and feel good about and feel like I’m giving to all parts of myself and continue?” First off, it’s a little different episode.

For those who are new to it or can’t remember that you do have two other businesses and that is your primary way of supporting yourself, that naturally has to become a priority. You can’t give everything to business and not have anything leftover. This is what we talk about, that support system. There are six pillars in that and there are lots of aspects of ourselves that we have to give ourselves support in. I liked that you touched on in one business, you completely changed the structure of how you were approaching that. I don’t know if you want to share a little bit about that and that decision and process.

I made that decision in the summer of 2019. I was going to do that. That was a slow process of transitioning from membership model type stuff to courses that are set and done, so that there is no regular involvement for me. It’s passive at this point. A caveat there, that business, I’ve had that for years. I’ve built it up to be able to do something like that. I don’t think that’s something that’s realistic to do right away. Also, I am thinking about my time there. I do like speaking and I’ve been getting paid to do speaking. My active time in that business is going to be more about doing paid speaking, which then, in turn, gets me more clients signing up for those courses and focus on the marketing part of that. I have a customer service person already who handles it all the other stuff.

We talked about this in the last season. The other business is still in a startup phase. It requires a lot more of my time. I’m doing a lot more in restructuring packages. The first year is figuring out, “What are your clients want and need?” and discovering like, “I thought I was going to have this kind of client, but the typical clients a little bit different.” I am adjusting things based on that. Honestly, that business has a lot more potential to make a lot more money and to be still helpful. It’s not all about money, but it is about money too. My other business with the courses is a niche business, so it’s going to be limited. There’s only so much you can do when you have a super niche.

Whereas, this other business is doing websites. It’s a lot more scalable. That’s the one that I want to be spending my time on more, but also being smart about building it up. I’ve seen a lot of growth with it. I’ve seen a lot of other businesses who had quick growth and things don’t go well because they grow too fast. I’m trying to be conscious of that and pace it without limiting myself at the same time. It’s a lot of not just time and doing tasks. It’s also a lot of that emotional energy and cognitive energy of like, “This was the situation six months ago. It’s already different and adjusting things.” Knowing that I need the mental space to do that has been helpful.

As you’re talking about that, in your first business, you’ve had it for a long time. It has been your bread and butter, but you were able to get that to a place of being as passive as possible so that it runs on its own. Making the decision to go from membership to courses makes sense. It goes back to all the books we’ve read and every business person talks about focusing on one thing at a time. Not that you can only do one thing because you’re doing more than one thing, but doing one thing at a time. When you’re in that growth mode, it does need that love and attention in order to grow it. When you have something scalable and you’re passionate about it, it’s not about money. This is something you love doing and you’re good at it. You have a passion because you see other people getting not served as well.

I see a big need in the market too, which is what prompted me to start it in the first place. I’m like, “How long am I going to see this need and not fulfill it?”

I remember you having that conversation like, “How many times could I complain about this thing or this concern I’m having for people and then not do it because it is something that was already a skillset of yours?” It was interesting because we had this discussion about it and you talked about how you were transitioning away from the core membership style. We talked about My Biz Bestie and at the time, it was like, “We’re still good. We can keep doing this.” Both of us have been going through so much transition with moves and shifting our businesses, trying to figure out what it is we want to do and how we want to approach it. It became clear that it was hard for both of us even to focus and to have that time and energy. For me, some things cleared up and I got some more clarity. For you, the clarity came to like, “I have to be nurturing the things that are my top priorities.”


That is important to bring that up too. It’s funny because when we were talking about it, for both of us, for a long time it has been the thing that was still fun. It’s the whole reason season lifetime thing. You can apply that to anything. For a long time, it was the thing that kept me energized. We had an episode that was talking about complacency in your business. We were talking about experiencing that ourselves because there were all these other things going on. Sometimes you have these lower periods in your business. During that time, the show was still something that I was always excited to do. Not that I wouldn’t be excited to do it now, but then there can be that tipping point where, “Is it something that you’re holding onto because you’re holding onto it? Is it something you’re holding on to because it’s almost like a self-care practice that you continue to need?”

The added layer is like, “Are we holding onto it because it’s the only way we can say that we’re still friends or we’re My Biz Besties?” I think that’s not the case. It was something as friends that we decided to do because we were having fun. It was our passion project. It was great. I learned a lot from it. We both have said this many times that we don’t know that we would have launched and stuck with something if we hadn’t done it together. With all that stuff going on then, that’s life. There’s always something going on. I’m grateful that we did it. I would love to have you forever but I also understand, it’s not saying like, “This is five hours a week,” which I was like, “I’m great about rationalizing stuff like that. It’s only five hours a week or whatever the time period is. It doesn’t matter.” I’m great about doing that.

The reality is it’s the energy thing, it’s not the actual time. Sometimes it is the actual time. Sometimes it takes up a lot, but I continually think back when we were doing episodes and joking about prioritizing health and all this other stuff. I think about it every day that I’m at the gym because I was joking, but I was serious. At that time there was no way that health could be my priority because I was in the weeds. To have to feel the pressure to add it at that time wouldn’t have worked and it was insane. That was part of the decision to move and saying like, “I get to shift it to what I know is going to serve me in the long-term because what I’m doing is not sustainable.” It’s funny to me to think about those episodes where we were both like, “We’re not doing this.” It’s almost like it sparks that thought and like, “Is that a good idea?”

We talked about it even with the four burners episode where we talked about the Four Burners Theory and how there’s a theory that you can only have three burners going and only two burners going strong.

Three, if you want success and two, if you want to be successful. They were friends, family, work, and health. I forgot the other one. We need to revisit it. I talk about it all the time. Stuff doesn’t always stick in my head. It comes and it goes.

Family and friends are separate, which makes sense.

It does because I’m going to prioritize my husband, children and immediate family over friends, even though I love my friends.

It’s talking about the whole energy and time. This is something I’ve been thinking about too. I know that friends have been way off of that priority list. That’s one of the things I’ve been like, “It would be nice to have more friendships that are local and reaching out to people that maybe I haven’t talked to in a while,” but that is a lot of time. As you get older, friends have probably been the most difficult one to maintain for me and that’s being an extrovert.

For me, I get so much energy from my friends. It’s important. I can’t remember if I talked about this before. You can more astutely hear the concepts because we are not on that one. Having friends and being with my friends is important. I was realizing, I didn’t get to see my friends very much that was local because as a therapist, that is something I’m advocating all the time to my clients. I have all these friends from different places because I’ve moved from Minnesota to California to North Carolina. I have friends everywhere and I still can feel connected to them, thank God for technology. When I see them, I feel like we picked up where we left off, but having people locally where you can be like, “Do you want to grab lunch?” I need to have other people that I’m with face-to-face. It can’t always be business-oriented. I went to a conference, Podfest, and it was wonderful. I made all these new friends, but there’s part of me that was saying like, “I want to go away and not have any pressure to work. I want to go away with friends and have fun, not just doing a GSD,” which I already have in the works. I’m going to do a GSD because I am prioritizing the work stuff when it comes to that, but I’m like, “I want to go away with some friends. I want to spend time with them.”

It takes a lot of effort when you’re trying to rebuild that up because it’s coordinating. I think each area has its difficulties, but being in the no kids camp, you realized that a lot of adults have friends around who their kids are or meet a lot of people because of their kids. Also, it ends up things and changing where people all of a sudden understandably don’t have the same amount of time because they have kids. It used to be people would pop on over whenever and/or we do the same, but they can’t already do that. It’s not as easy. I think because of kids, a lot of people end up doing other things too. They end up moving or making other types of life decisions that they need to around having kids. Being in my late 30s, for the last several years, friendships have changed dramatically. Whether that’s slowly spending less time with people, people moving, or me moving or whatever, it makes a big difference. For a long time, I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that maybe some friends are dropping off or I have less contact with them, but I am consistently seeking out new friendships. I wasn’t or I have, but a lot of them have been people who are far away. I feel like I have a great network of people all across the country, but less of a network locally that I’ve ever had.

There’s a lot of truth in that. As having friends that have older children, I know that shifts again as kids get older and people are more available. It is interesting because I remember having a conversation with you offline that I said like, “I had this awareness that all my new friends are all child-free by choice. They have the flexibility to be able to say, ‘Sure.’” They could do something in the middle of the day, which is when I want to do something because I do want to spend time with my kids. I still need to prioritize and I am going out even if my kids are home because I see people fall into that trap. It’s that entrepreneurial thing too, where it’s nice to have people with flexibility. The downside of that is it’s easy then to choose work because that feels responsible. It’s a logical response to choose to prioritize work. It can take a little extra to say like, “I am feeling the need for some fun time.” I don’t care if you are an introvert or an extrovert.

Friends that don’t necessarily work friends. We’ve talked about for us, it’s both work and personal, and you can have that with a lot of people. I’ve been meeting random people. They might have a regular day job or I’ve met them multiple times, and we haven’t even talked about what either of us does for a living, which is crazy. It’s fun connecting with people on a different level and having different types of connections.

There’s a lot of value in that. Even if you’re connecting via work or some shared thing, you meet many different kinds of people, but there’s something about it not being another business owner. There are downsides. There’s not as much flexibility usually, but it is something where that’s not even a thought to talk about. I’ve been fortunate and probably because of my kids I’ve met people. Not every single person I meet I connect with, but the ones that I do, it’s like, “This is amazing.” I get to have fun with people that get me, but we’re not talking about work. It has nothing to do with that. That has been interesting in the move across the country because I know I need to have local people to hang out with. I’m one of those people like, “I need people.” My husband and I are together a lot, but I need my female energy. I need that space to talk about other things and connect with somebody. I am realizing, we go through these shifts in these times and we become aware of like, “I am missing that and I need that.” There’s no way to do that if you’re giving 90% of your energy and time to one area of that pie.

I do respect the Four Burners Theory as far as how much time and energy you’re putting into different things. I also think that I can spread it out a little bit more evenly. We talked about this. We’re both tending towards the extremes, do a whole work thing over a whole weekend and having this extended focus time. The biggest shift for me has been being better about ending work at a certain time and then like, “It’s done.” I feel like I am more focused on my off time than I even was when I had a job. I was like, “Not at work.” I’m even better about mentally not thinking about at all and craving personal time or working out or prioritizing time for my relationship. It feels good and in alignment. Honestly, it’s something I thought I would always struggle to do, but I’m doing it well. I’m like, “I need to maintain this. I need to make sure that my priorities are staying in a way that I don’t let myself get back into workaholic mode.

Shifting Priorities: Nurture the things that are on top of your priorities list.
Shifting Priorities: Nurture the things that are on top of your priorities list.

I feel like I’ve been cured of workaholism. I feel like I have gone to the opposite, so I’m still extreme. I feel like I’ve gone to the other side of it.

I did have a period of that time too.

It was like the pendulum swing all the way back over. It was like, “Swap mode.” No work, it was all play. I’d worked in business enough to structure it so that my life could still be supported that way. My business is able to pay for me to be able not to have to worry about that. At the same time, not enough to have the lifestyle I want. I had the same awareness or epiphany come through. I love the joke of my goal is world domination, whatever that means. It’s funny and people don’t say that. It was a joke, but I realized it’s not. I don’t think I want to be in that place. This is mindset stuff. I’m not saying this is true. What I’m saying is this is the perception or the mindset of, “I don’t want to be in this place where I feel like I’m going to go, give, achieve, and ended up.” There’s that pressure to keep going and achieving. I never have that because I do work with a lot of people who are in that mode. It’s hard when you’re stuck in it and you feel like you’re on that wheel to get off of it or to figure out how to step off of it temporarily so that you have more of that balance.

I realized that I want to be successful. I want to do it easefully. This was what we talked about with Denise Duffield-Thomas in our interview in the previous season. I want ease in my life. I want my work and success. I want to help people because that’s what I love doing as a therapist, but I want my work to pay for the lifestyle I want to have with my family. I want to be able to travel and see those friends that aren’t close by and not feel stressed out by that. To be able to do things and have more fun, that was my goal and I wasn’t having that. I wasn’t having more fun. I feel like I’m doing more of that like, “What do I feel like doing, which is not ultimately a good thing for your business?”

You can only do that for a certain period of time.

I even posted it on Instagram. This was the thing, it was like my husband and I have this new routine. It’s like dropping the kids off. We sit in the car at the gym and I finished my coffee because I need my coffee. We then go to the gym and either he makes breakfast or we go out to eat. We come back and then we need a nap. I was like, “This is ridiculous.” I’m the opposite of my life, but it’s wonderful. That is my top priority and I don’t know. Maybe that will shift as the kids get older or things change, but I want to have a successful business. That would be like the Three Burners, at the same time, I’m not willing to do it at all costs. I don’t think I want to have this mogul empire. Sometimes I fantasize about that, but what wonderful business that feeds me both financially and fulfills me.

I was listening to Gary Vee being interviewed. I’m on another podcast. The woman who has the podcast, she’s very much like it’s all about intuition and feeling. I was of even surprised Gary Vee was on her podcast. They have a different vibe. I haven’t listened to it in years honestly, because she switched the focus. She was talking to him about the hustle mentality because that’s all his reputation. I was glad I heard this fairly early on in my entrepreneurial journey because the more I hear him speak, I realized the hustle thing doesn’t accurately represent him.

The interesting conversation is not like, “Can you quit your job, work your ass off and make $1 million a year?” He’s like, “The interesting conversation is if you’re making $100,000 at a job but you could make $65,000 a year doing something you love and coaching your kid’s soccer team every weekend, then do you do that business?” He was pointing out like, “It has nothing to do with this hustle thing.” It is like, “What are your priorities? Is money one of the priorities for you? How much of that thing?” but thinking through like, “What is it that you want your life to look like?”

Either you talk to me about it or I heard that interview as well, but he said stuff like that before. I still do like him. I see a lot more caring and compassion. He can be divisive to get you to listen and to wake up. I love that, but it makes me feel accepted. He is talking about to create the life you want, stops bitching and moaning and do it. It doesn’t mean that you have to work 23 hours a day. I love that analogy of like, “What would you do?” That’s what I’ve realized. I would rather have a business that felt easeful and sustainable and I am enjoying my life. In 2019, I even got to volunteer to be an assistant coach for my daughter’s basketball team. It was exciting. At first I was like, “I don’t want to be in charge. I’m always in charge of everything. I want to be an assistant.” I slowly realized like, “That’s not true.” I do want to be in charge. I want to be a basketball coach. I want to be calling the shots because it was fun. I have many opinions about how life should be. I never would’ve been able to do that before. Mentally, it would have broken me. I wouldn’t have had the time to do that.

It’s in those small ways that I’ve appreciated that I made sacrifices. We made a sacrifice of moving across the country. We made changes in our lives in what we do so that we can have the things we want. I see it showing up. That’s one great example. I had bought a card game for Family Feud because my kids are all obsessed with it and we love watching it. I love Steve Harvey. Sometimes they are inappropriate and they don’t get it goes over their head. They kept saying like, “Can we play?” It was the night before I was leaving for a conference. I was speaking and I hadn’t finished my speech. That’s peruse, but no matter how much time I have, it can’t be done in advance. I was like, “I got to do this. I still have to do my laundry.” I realized like, “Realistically, what am I going to do tonight?” If I’m stressed out, I wouldn’t be able to think like that. We were able to play a couple of rounds and I said, “I can get them 25 minutes here. We can do this and then I go back into my work mode.” It was wonderful. When you’re in that overwhelm, it’s hard to step back and do that.

Logistically with the time, you can maybe rationally see that you could do it, but you can’t be in it. You can’t be mindful. It can be enjoying it.

I have done that where I feel that I have to do this because I feel bad. “I don’t want to disappoint my kids, my family, my friends, or whoever it was,” but I’m feeling the tension and I wasn’t. It was different. That’s the point of what we’re talking about even on this show. Finding your business support system, but it’s about figuring out, “What do you want your life to look like? What is the lifestyle you’re creating? How do you get the support system to support you in achieving that?” That’s how I see it. Even though it is sad to lose you because you’re frankly the best cohost. It makes sense because that’s the whole point of this is figuring that out for ourselves. What is it in the season of our lives do we need to be doing for ourselves, our businesses and our loved ones?

For me, it was a hard decision. It was something that was made more difficult because it doesn’t impact me. At the same time, I was like, “I avoided talking to you about it because it was difficult.” Although, I was also going back and forth with it for a while too. When we did talk, I wasn’t worried that you were going to be mad or something. I knew that you would get it and you did. I knew you weren’t going to be happy about it, but there was no like, “What’s going to happen?” I was like, “I know that you’ll get it because of why I’m doing it.”

It’s hard to have those conversations because it also makes it real. It makes it final because you can say, “I know I need to do this.” Having that final conversation, pulling the trigger or doing the thing is it makes it real. That’s scary because any time we decide to let something go or to choose something, choose a path, it brings up some anxiety and stuff. It takes a lot of bravery to do that, to say no to something that you enjoy but isn’t in your best interest.

Shifting Priorities: Focusing more on your time off than when you had a job can be a big shift.
Shifting Priorities: Focusing more on your time off than when you had a job can be a big shift.

It’s hard to be such a top-rated cohost to our millions of readers, it’s going to be sad.

Blog-famous. I hope you can all hear the sarcasm in our voices, but I know the fans of the show will miss you. I hope they don’t miss you so much that they don’t want to read anymore. I think they’re going to miss you, probably as much as I’m going to miss you in the show.

I’m going to miss it even though I’m the one making that decision.

That’s an adult decision. A lot of adult decisions aren’t clear cut. They’re like, “I still have to.” It’s one of those things but I feel, and I shall continue to champion that, one day you’re going to have to start another show for one of your main businesses because you need to be still putting your voice out there. People need to be hearing from you in that venue. I know you do speaking, so that’s great. They can hear it that way, but you have important things to say. I’m hoping she will be back in some form or capacity and she will be our MVP guest to come to talk about some cool stuff at some point.

I’m excited about that. Doing shows is addicting so we’ll see.

It’s like the coolest people and you get to connect with people. I love when you meet someone who reads and you’re like, “There would be no way that we would have known each other if it wasn’t for that.” It’s cool and fun. It’s rewarding. Our whole goal of this was to help women, the support system and have a life and have more fun. That was part of how to make it less lonely and had more fun. If you have to work and have all of these three-business stuff going on, how are you going to have fun for the rest of your life?

We’re making it happen, but the show continues.

It will continue. I will be out with another episode, but I should have prepared some kind of montage or something like a farewell. Maybe I’ll have to create that video and put it on YouTube.

I keep saying I’m going to do a blooper reel because I do have a lot of bloopers. Maybe that will still happen. Maybe I’ll have time to do that.

One night when you can’t sleep and you’re bored. I thank you. I’m grateful that you were willing to go on this journey with me because I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I was scared of putting myself out there. That would have made it hard for me to be consistent. This is technically season six. I’m grateful for it. I’m going to miss you, dearly, but I’ll call you every week and make you talk to me unofficially. We’ll do a boxer. That’s a change to, all of a sudden, we’re both loving boxers. Remember, we were like, “We don’t get it. I don’t understand why everyone loves it.”

We’ve done a 180.

I’m obsessed. People do change.

I know and it works. We’re totally on board. Thank you to everyone. I have loved being part of it. Thanks to you, Amber, because it has been amazing. It is cool and I wouldn’t have done it without you. It’s brought us many opportunities and given us such a great experience. I’ve loved every part of it.

I know we have to go. We have to end, even though I don’t want to, but we would love to hear from you. You can visit Instagram or Facebook. You can always email us and let Maelisa know how much you’re going to miss her. Let us know what your thoughts are. Have you had to make a decision like this where you had to let something go that you loved because you realized it didn’t fit with this season of your life? I would love to hear that as well. Thank you.


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