Hey hey, rebels. Sandy Connery, co-creator of Namastream Software and co-host of the Soulful MBA podcast, is on the show today. We're talking about one of my favorite topics, the dreadful dude bro marketing and why it needs to end. We're also chatting about why there needs to be more women in entrepreneurship, how this can happen, and what the world would look like if women stepped in this role. Enjoy!
Tune into the audio:
Michelle: Okay. Alright. Hi Sandy. Welcome to the Rebel Rising podcast.
Sandy: Hi, Michelle. Been looking forward to this all week.
Michelle: I am so excited to have you here. I've been a guest on your podcast and so I'm so happy to have you on mine.
So why don't we start by you just telling us a little bit about you and your business?
Sandy: Sure. So my business is Namastream Software and I have a partner, so we are co-founders in the software company together. Namastream is a software tool that primarily entrepreneurs in health and wellness, so yoga, Pilates, fitness, nutrition, those kinds of areas. They use it to teach online. So they take their expertise that they already know so well in person and they are able to use Namastream to create memberships and courses and really augment their businesses and bring in that digital component. So they use prerecorded content and we also have a live streaming feature as well.
Michelle: Oh, that's amazing. Amazing. So, and tell us just a little bit about your podcast too because we have podcast listeners.
Sandy: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So again, the podcast is with my partner Jenny and myself, and we just kind of dive into all sorts of things from women in tech and business. It does have a slant to creating an online business so it's called Soulful MBA. So we have this sort of juxtaposition about sort of being soulful and authentic and heart-centered entrepreneurs, but also we do business. So we talk about all sorts of things around women in business.
Michelle: Yeah, it's great because it's kind of that yin and yang of the, I hate calling it the woo world, but the more spiritual world and then the hardcore business and it's just this beautiful blend of both.
Sandy: Yeah. I think they can go together.
Sandy: We have lots of woo people on our platform but there are also some really hard ass entrepreneurs that make smart decisions and have great boundaries and do some really amazing things even though they may teach the woo or coach the woo. I feel really proud of them for doing that.
Michelle: Yes, yes, yes, yes. I just believe there's such a beautiful synergy there as well. So amazing. So the first question I always like to ask from my whole 3 Word Rebellion framework.
So tell me what are you rebelling against?
Sandy: Yeah. So many things, but for this podcast … I know, I think all of your guests say that like, “I'm rebelling against so many things.”
Sandy: So many things, you're making me pick one.
I would say it is right now, our main focus is that we're rebelling against the way business online is done, so the status quo, the sort of bro culture, online businesses sleazy and spam and kill it, crush it, hustle hard, profit, short term vision, make a lot of money, all of that.
I can't stand it. So we are really trying to operate as entrepreneurs with online businesses in a much different way that is very values-based and intentional and mindful that we're dealing with actual people on the other end even though it's digital.
Sandy: So I feel like the digital world kind of started out really poorly as far as businesses goes and it's just very like yuck, a lot of it. That's a terrible description. That should be in one of my 3 Word Rebellion is yuck. I just don't like the way business is being done and portrayed and the chatter around it. So we are rebelling against that.
In fact, we wrote a digital artisan manifesto to kind of like here's how we want to operate and we're inviting everyone to operate along that same framework.
Michelle: Yeah. So why do you feel it's so detrimental? Because I've been having this conversation with a lot of people lately and I even kicked off this year of the Rebel Rising podcast talking about the decline of internet dude bro culture.
But I'm always curious, why do you feel the dude bro culture is so detrimental?
Sandy: Well, my first reaction to that is that it's not very welcoming and inviting and encouraging women to start businesses in that world. So Jenny and I actually met and we took an online course on how to create software companies and we were like a handful of women and we just sat there like the language and the way that they spoke and they talked about clients and sales and the copyright, we just … All of it felt horrible to us.
So we kind of took the basic of what they were teaching and sort of massaged into our own way of doing and being and it was successful.
But I think that everybody wants to operate that way. That does not feel good. It does not feel genuine. It doesn't feel right.
So to me, it's just like a bit of disgust and I don't want to participate in that. So I think that's why it's so detrimental. I don't think I'm alone in that. I hope not anyway.
Michelle: No, no. I think a lot of people feel this disgust towards it because it feels very transactional to me where it's just like you give me money, I give you a thing. I don't care if you get a result from the thing. Right?
Sandy: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah. It's all about the money and there are so many claims about six figures in six months. It's all about big and fast and no, I just don't believe that that's …
If you really want to create a business for longterm success, that is not, those are not the tactics that you want to use.
Michelle: No. The money focuses always just felt super soulless to me. Are you just making money for money's sake so that you can have a big house or show us that you're at the beach? Your business has no soul to it.
Sandy: Right. Yeah. That's right. I guess if you want to do that then all the power to you.
But I think that I personally want to create something really beautiful on the Internet that supports our clients, that allows them to do bigger and better and greater things and that also supports me so that I can have the life that I want.
So that I can be home when my son comes home from school, that I can make good money. All of those things. It's not all about sales. There's a whole lifestyle around it. I think that is not … That is completely lost in the whole bro culture.
Michelle: Yeah, I agree with that. It's really about, yeah, the kind of life that you want to create. It doesn't necessarily have to be about the money.
Success is multi faceted. It's not just money.
Absolutely. The definition of that and you define it for yourself, right? Maybe it is and then that's great. But for me it's not, it's around lifestyle and freedom. It's travel and buying what I want, doing what I want, and also feeling really good about the people that we support, our teachers, allowing them to build those lives as well.
Michelle: Yeah. So I'm curious, I'm curious to hear about the manifesto because I think it answers this question.
What change do you want to create in the world?
Sandy: Yeah, I love that question.
So I think that we would really love to be able to see more women come into entrepreneurship.
So I say women because that is who we primarily see coming on our platform and who we primarily speak to. However, we have lots of men and they do very, very well and I would add too that the men seem to get up and running faster and more successful faster than, which is interesting.
But I think what the change I like to see is I would love to draw in more women who are perhaps nervous about starting a business and I just want to nurture them to that place where they can start a business and create the life that they want in a way that feels really good to them and ticks all those boxes of success for them. So I would love to see more women in entrepreneurship to make that a short statement. More women in entrepreneurship.
Michelle: More women in entrepreneurship. I'm all for that.
Why do you think women have a tougher time than men getting themselves established or even taking the leap into starting their own business?
Sandy: Yeah. I can tell you so. So I can tell you based on our little experiment with Namastream. So this is what happens. So a new teacher, male will join Namastream. The next day they will have a thumb logo up, some colors they have chosen, they'll write some copy and they will be forced other membership or whatever they're creating a course that will be for sale the next day.
The women agonize over logo, color, copy, am I ready, do I look good enough, do I have enough videos, who is going to buy it, why would they buy it, there's so much free content on YouTube and all this sort of ideas around fear and perfectionism and am I enough than the men and I hate to make such gender statements but it is literally true.
Sandy: Also women will under price and men will not. So for membership … This is something I just realized the other day that we had a handful of new teachers on our platform recently and a lot of them are pricing memberships like $10.99, 12.99. I'm like, “Oh my God, I think that's why …” They have like good stuff, good content, right? You're going to sell like 10 people and make 80 bucks in a month? No, that's not okay. So a lot of the women will underprice where the men, men, I've seen the men who come onto our platform who had literally zero social media following, like nothing, zero, zero, zero followers and he was pricing himself at 35 a month. So it's like isn't that interesting that these women with thousands of on Insta or decent sized email list are charging $8.99 or $9.99 a month. They just don't see the value.
Sandy: So they're culturally … There's a problem there.
We're not seeing our value. We're not believing in ourselves and that's what I want to change.
So the men just get down and do it. They're much more business focused. It's like, “I need to sell this as fast as I can.” Women are like, “This needs to be really good, this needs to be perfect. I'll just tell my friends about it. Maybe I'll launch next month.” There's a totally different attitude around getting it out there.
Michelle: Yeah, I've noticed that in my business as well. When I was only working with speakers within a week I have the same conversation with two clients who had like a similar profile about doubling their speaking gigs and one was male, one was female. I told the guy, I was like, “I really think you need to double your fees.” He said nothing to me. Calls me a week later and was like, “Hey, I asked for double and I got it.” I'm like, “Awesome.” I have the same conversation with my female speaker and she was like, “Oh, I don't know, would they actually pay me that much and is it worth it and am I expert enough?” I was like, “Wow, we have so much going on in our heads that actually just keeps us out of action.” One of my friends and one of my coaches, Tanya Geisler says about the Impostor Complex, it's meant to isolate us and keep us out of action and it does an exceptional job of that.
Sandy: Yeah. As a woman when I hear that, I think I'm never going do that. I don't want to be that person. When you hear that a man just does that and is paid for it, it makes me so mad and I just want to double down and make sure that in my life and the prices that I'm asking for and the things I want, the things I need, I'm asking for because I think often we just don't ask.
But it's terrifying that women show up and play at that level. But it's not our individual fault, it's culture, right? It's we have been taught, it's what we have been seen.
We are pleasers typically. I was just reading in what was that? I think it was from Tara Sophia Mohr's book and she was talking about how in school we have an authority figure, the teacher and we are learned, girls do very good, do very well in school because there's an authority figure that they've figured out what that teacher likes, how to please them, how to perform.
Sandy: But we are not very good at just doing it ourselves and going on our own and we want to please the authority figure. When we become the owners of our own business, there is no authority figure besides ourselves. It's like, “Ah, I need more validation that someone is actually going to buy this.”
There's all these self-worth issues that come up, this inner critic that just sneaks in there and stops us.
So I'm grateful for podcasts like yours and ours that sort of bring these to the forefront and sort of … I want to wake, sort of shake women and go, “Wait, just think about this.” Because there's nothing more motivating than when I hear a man does something and is successful at it and then I'm stopping myself because of whatever mindset issues or-
Michelle: The story you're telling yourself.
Sandy: Yeah, yeah. It's maddening.
Michelle: Oh, I completely agree. So I'm hearing from you that one of the things that you do to really get more women in entrepreneurship is number one, you're modeling that for other people by being a woman entrepreneur, charging appropriately for your product and being that role model for them. So if you could give them, well, and the other thing that I see is like you're using that competition as fuel when you see a man raise their price, you're like, “Okay, yes, yes I can do that too without blocking myself.”
But what do you think is one of the best ways for women to basically stop blocking themselves and start getting into action?
Sandy: I think if they start to ask themselves why they want to do this because I think often it's if this is just for me then I'll just make it free or all just charge a really low price or I'll just … I'll do it for free. So I think if we start to get really clear on why am I building this business, what is the … What do I want out of it? Whether that is a certain income level or the ability to take holidays with my family or work three days a week or be home when my child is sick or whatever.
I think understanding why you're building your business and having, making sure that that is very, very clear, I think that is incredibly motivating.
Michelle: Yes. Getting absolutely clear on why you're building it the way you're building it and why you want the business.
Michelle: I agree. I agree. Because then when it's something bigger than you or bigger than the money, it's just far more motivating.
Sandy: Yeah, that's right. Even if it's like I guess it kind of plays into goal setting to, like for me, we've decided we want to buy land and so I'm focused. It's not about me. If I just said, “I need to make, I don't know, whatever, half a million dollars or some gigantic number.” All of a sudden it becomes like a bigger thing than me and I'm much more motivated to be very efficient with my time and really focus on what I need to do to move this business forward so I can reach that goal.
Michelle: Yeah, I love that. It's a great example of having … It's like, okay, the money serves a purpose and it's part of the legacy that you're leaving.
Sandy: Right. That's right. Yeah.
Michelle: Making that connection can be very powerful. So I have one final question for you.
If women entrepreneurs acted on your message, what do you think the world would be like?
Sandy: Oh my goodness. It would be such a wonderful place. I think that people would be really happy, to use a very boring word. I think if people could build the life that they wanted, if women could have the income that they wanted and deserved, I think that everything would be so different.
People would … For me, it all comes down to like freedom of time. So I see a world where people can spend their days the way that they want to. They can focus on what they want so they don't have to be at a place at a certain time for these hours and then be rushing around. I just wish that everyone could have that kind of life where there's just ethical businesses, profitable businesses, efficient businesses. I think the world would be so much happier and in such a better position than it is now.
Michelle: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Especially, I just want to point out the ethical part. I don't feel like we have enough conversations around the ethics of business, the ethics of how we communicate, which is kind of like bringing the conversation back full circle to the whole dude bro marketing. That lack of ethics that I find highly problematic.
Sandy: Yes. Very short term thinking, right? Like, “Let's sell now. Let's do anything, anything that we have to do to make that sale now.” It's short term for sure.
Michelle: Oh, yes, yes, yes. Well, thank you so much, Sandy, for being on the podcast. So tell us where can people find you online?
Michelle: Awesome. Do check out the podcast. It is really amazing. If you find yourself in that intersection of hardcore business skills and that more spiritual side of yourself, this is a podcast you definitely want to check out. So thank you so much for being here.
Sandy: Thank you, Michelle. It was wonderful.