Episode 247 – Unstoppable Successful Entrepreneur and Big Gorgeous Goals Setter with Julie Ellis

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Ah, “Big Gorgeous Goals”, you may ask. Listen in to hear Julie Ellis tell her story including developing the concept of big gorgeous goals. Julie was a bit of a traveler as a child living in various parts of Canada as well as living, for a time, outside New York City. Her father worked in the finance arena at the time. When Julie graduated from high school and went to college she majored in dance and graduated with a degree in that subject. She mentions that she liked teaching dance and loved to learn about how children’s brains developed.
Later she went into the finance world including becoming a certified financial planner. While that career worked for her she realized that it didn’t totally make her happy.
In 2003 as she will tell us she helped form Mabel’s Labels. Why, listen and see. Bottom line, Mabel’s Labels was quite successful and grew to be valued in the eight-figure range when it was sold to Avery in 2015. Successful indeed.
Julie took a bit of time to reflect on what she wanted to do after the company was sold. She now works as a successful coach teaching people about, you guessed it, “Big Gorgeous Goals”. I think you will be fascinated both by Julie’s story as well as the many insights and thoughts she shares with us.
About the Guest:
Julie Ellis is an author, professional speaker and leadership coach to corporate leaders and scaling Entrepreneurs.  Julie provides her unique experience and expertise to her coaching clients, gained through 25 years of working first in the corporate world, and then as a leading Canadian entrepreneur.  She is a co-founder of award-winning Mabel’s Labels, one of Canada’s greatest small business success stories.
Julie’s book, Big Gorgeous Goals is written for women entrepreneurs who want to step out of the small box they find themselves in and set world domination in their sights.  In discussion with over a dozen women entrepreneurs, Julie explores their stories of why and how they have achieved great things in their lives and careers and pairs that knowledge with her own stories of how she built, grew, and sold her business to a giant in her industry.
Ways to connect with Kiefer:
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-ellis/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/thejulieellis/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/biggorgeousgoals/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/julieellisandco
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Transcription Notes:

Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Hi there. And guess what you’re right, it is time for another episode of unstoppable mindset. Today we get to interview Julie Ellis who’s going to tell us about a lot of different stuff, including something called Mables labels that we were just talking about. But we’re not going to start with that. But we’ll we’ll get to it kept to leave you a little bit in suspense. We hope you enjoy the podcast and that you, as always will give us a five star rating when you go to review us and we really appreciate your reviews. But for now, let’s get to our conversation with Julie and Julie. Welcome to unstoppable mindset.
Julie Ellis ** 01:56
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so delighted to be here. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 02:01
we are just as delighted to have you. So we don’t even need to see who’s more delighted. We’re both very delighted. So that works. But where does why don’t we start with maybe what I love to do tell me a little about the early Julie growing up in some of those kinds of things. And so on.
Julie Ellis ** 02:20
The early Julie growing up, moved around a little bit before we settled into where I did most of my school years. And you know, had a very sort of 70s childhood, the you know, everybody had to go home when the streetlights came on. And we roamed around the neighborhood together in a pack and got up to lots of things that were probably slightly troublesome in the big picture. But you know, we never got we never got into any any big, big difficulties. And then I did a bunch of dance training as a kid and worked at the studio. I cleaned the studio, I helped teach classes to pay for the lessons. And I ended up going on and doing my university degree in dance.
Michael Hingson ** 03:08
So the the trouble you got into is Congressman John Lewis, or the late John Lewis would say it was good trouble, right?
Julie Ellis ** 03:15
It was good trouble trouble. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 03:17
So you moved around a little bit at first, where did you move around from in to did well,
Julie Ellis ** 03:22
we started out in Vancouver, and lived outside of New York for a little while. And in Montreal and Toronto before we landed in a little small town just west of Toronto, where I spent most of my childhood.
Michael Hingson ** 03:35
My goodness, a little bit in New York. What took you guys there? My dad’s work? What did he do?
Julie Ellis ** 03:41
He worked in the finance industry. And so of course, that’s one of the big hubs of the world.
Michael Hingson ** 03:47
Yeah. Well, needless to say, New York tends to, to have that rep. And a lot of finance stuff goes through there. And I was, you know, was there for a while and dealing in the financial markets. And what a what a crazy place. Have you ever visited? Or did you ever visit one of the trading floors from the stock? I
Julie Ellis ** 04:06
never have. I would love to that would be so fascinating.
Michael Hingson ** 04:10
I hear it’s a little bit more calm. So I don’t know. But I know back in the late 90s into 2000s. It was pretty crazy if you went onto a trading floor and probably the movie Wall Street depicted some of it pretty well. But it was pretty crazy to go on those trading floors. Yeah. And
Julie Ellis ** 04:27
I think probably the digitization and you know, the papers they used to throw and all the things that would happen. Some of that excitement is gone for sure.
Michael Hingson ** 04:36
You mean they don’t throw computers now? No,
Julie Ellis ** 04:39
no. Okay. Hopefully not.
Michael Hingson ** 04:43
Yeah, I know that a lot of the Wall Street firms move to Sun Microsystems computers because they were fast. They they could be programmed in the ways that they needed to be this footprint was great. And that’s what what was it opted in over the years. I don’t know what what they’re using now. But you’re right, it is. It is in a different place. And probably they’re not throwing as much. But you know, they’re still a lot of the wheeling and dealing and ethics and lack thereof. Yep.
Julie Ellis ** 05:13
Always. It seems to be part of society at all times. Really?
Michael Hingson ** 05:18
Yeah. It is strange. But what do you do? Yeah. So you majored in dance, any things? Anything? Any specific dance? Hmm,
Julie Ellis ** 05:30
I was mostly a teaching focus for ballet. So focus on child development, and how kids brains are working as they grow. And as they learn to do things physically, you know, it’s often tied to the development of their brain.
Michael Hingson ** 05:50
And what did you discover about all that,
Julie Ellis ** 05:53
that I really love teaching. And I, you know, they had a special program with a very high quality teaching program at a ballet school, where you could kind of get a dual track education. But for me, my dream changed because I had an injury that really stopped me from dancing at a high level. And so that set me on a very different path. What kind of injury? Just I, you know, cartilage and knee problems,
Michael Hingson ** 06:25
it wasn’t an ego injury, just check it out.
Julie Ellis ** 06:29
No, physical, physical limitation. And so I started looking for other things.
Michael Hingson ** 06:34
And what did you discover or do? Well,
Julie Ellis ** 06:37
I ended up going into a management training program at a bank where I had worked
Michael Hingson ** 06:42
back to finance. Okay, finance,
Julie Ellis ** 06:44
here we are. And so I went through a management training program and became an account manager, lending money and looking after book of clients and that sort of thing, and ultimately, became an accredited financial planner. Oh, so I had a book of clients that I worked with, and help them with their, you know, sort of plans and their lives and the investments they wanted to make, and all of those sorts of things. And I really loved working with people.
Michael Hingson ** 07:17
Well, of course, that’s the real important part about it. And you, you chose a profession that certainly allowed you to do that. And you could be a major help to people in a lot of different ways, I would think, yeah,
Julie Ellis ** 07:31
yeah. Yeah. And there were a lot of things I liked about it. And there were a lot of things that probably at the time in my life that I was at, where I had young kids and young family. And I wanted to continue to advance in my career, but felt kind of limited with the role I was in and where I might go next.
Michael Hingson ** 07:54
So how long ago was that? That was
Julie Ellis ** 07:57
well, that was in the early 2000. Okay, that I was in that role. And so then, you know, starting to sort of look for what an entrepreneurial venture might look like, sort of the regain control of my schedule, and have more time with my family idea. Which, you know, turned out to be not so true. But definitely, you know, looking at something that I could control my own destiny a little bit more. And I think that’s really then, you know, being a mom, and seeing the need for things in the marketplace that weren’t there sending kids to daycare where they said, Please label everything. And we said, well, how and they said, well, permanent marker and masking tape. Oh, and so we kind of thought that we could do something that was better than that.
Michael Hingson ** 08:53
What did you do? Well, we
Julie Ellis ** 08:55
were able to, we spent over a year doing research and testing to try and find a labeling product that we could print personalized labels that would go through the dishwasher, the microwave, be UV resistant, label all the things that parents sent out into the world. So they would come home again.
Michael Hingson ** 09:18
And of course, the logical question becomes what did you find?
Julie Ellis ** 09:24
Well, we, over time worked our way through a few different technologies, but we found that it was possible to do it. And so we in 2003, we set up a little e commerce venture called labels, labels, and started selling labels direct to consumers on the internet. Once Yeah, and once they ordered labels, we were custom manufacturing them in our own facility.
Michael Hingson ** 09:48
Well, and Mabels labels got to be, I guess, relatively visible in Canada and elsewhere.
Julie Ellis ** 09:54
It did, yeah. North America. It was the we were the first to market in North America. And we built a great brand that you know, we were got a lot of coverage on in a lot of different media, we’re on the Today Show on The View, CNN, lots of lots of coverage, People Magazine, all the places that we wanted to be found. And so we were able to really grow the brand. And we really stood by we made a really quality product. And we had a no questions asked return policy. So if you did not like your product, we would refund your money.
Michael Hingson ** 10:34
I would trust if since the business was successful, you didn’t have any returns? We did
Julie Ellis ** 10:39
not we had very high standards, and we you know, wanted to stand by the product we were making.
Michael Hingson ** 10:44
Now, is that still going on today? It is
Julie Ellis ** 10:48
yeah, they’re doing really well. We grew the business quite nicely up into eight figures in revenue, we launched a couple of other products that we sold in Target and Walmart. And we eventually in 2015, late 2015 sold the business to Avery labels.
Michael Hingson ** 11:10
That well you you can sell to a much larger company than that, can you? No,
Julie Ellis ** 11:14
no, as I always say, when a giant in your industry comes knocking on the door, you at least have a conversation. Yeah. And so that’s what we did, we had a conversation. And it turned out there was a quite a lot of fit in terms of, you know, I think you get to a point in your journey of entrepreneurship, were taking some of your money off the table is desirable. And you know, when you think about getting older and retiring, and all those things, like being able to sell your business is certainly important. And I think that you know, there was a good fit, they were owned, the company that owns Avery is Canadian, they make lots of acquisitions, they let those companies run themselves, you know, you have a general manager, you run as a business unit. And so we would keep our team, we would keep our real estate, we would keep you know, a lot of things would be the same, a lot of things would change, because they do. But a lot of things would also be able to stay the same.
Michael Hingson ** 12:12
And that was actually going to be one of the questions I was going to ask was what happened to the people because oftentimes in acquisitions, they want the technology, but they’re not really interested in the people. So they they didn’t do that with a brewery.
Julie Ellis ** 12:26
No, they wanted to run a us to run a profitable business for them. And so we were able to do that, and really, you know, take advantage of being under the umbrella with a lot of knowledge and those kinds of things, but but also retain, you know, a good amount of independence.
Michael Hingson ** 12:44
Well, to use the term. There’s something to be said for tribal knowledge. And if you get rid of the people, you lose that you lose all the knowledge that they have. And it’s lovely to talk about having the technology. But there’s so much more when you start to deal with the people. How many people were on the team when you sold it
Julie Ellis ** 13:03
made about 40? Huh. So that was a sizable group. Yes, it was it was.
Michael Hingson ** 13:10
Has it grown since or do you know?
Julie Ellis ** 13:12
They’re still growing? Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 13:15
Now you’re not directly connected with them, though anymore? No, I
Julie Ellis ** 13:18
ended up leaving about a half a year after the sale.
Michael Hingson ** 13:24
So you just buy labels today?
Julie Ellis ** 13:26
I do? Well, I do. I do still know people there. So sometimes I get them for free. But you get a deal. They do.
Michael Hingson ** 13:37
That that’s fair, though. But it’s exciting that it has grown and continues to grow. And as you said, clearly a great Canadian business success story that that happened. So you for 13 or 14 years just devoted your life to that. And so you sold the company, and then what did you do?
Julie Ellis ** 14:02
Then I felt like I needed a break. And it you know, integrating your small venture, even with 40 people into a big publicly traded company is a lot of work. You know, going through the due diligence process, all of the things. And so I felt like I wanted a little bit of a break and I took one eventually going on to run a business for somebody else. And about 18 months into that engagement, I really realized that I wanted to build something for myself again, I didn’t want to work for somebody else. So it took it took sort of two two tries at that and then I sort of said okay, so what am I going to do now? You know what, what are the big dreams that I have for myself and how am I going to go about you know, getting on track and and really starting to chase them
Michael Hingson ** 14:59
and Where did you go with that?
Julie Ellis ** 15:02
Well, I think that as entrepreneurs, a lot of the time, we’re really climbing for pinnacles, you know, the top of the mountain is, you know, we’re getting we’re game we got our backpacks on, and we’re here for the climb. And I hit this plateau after I left Mabels labels, and I didn’t really know what to do. And I struggled with that with the idea of, of not having anything defined. And I wasn’t sure where what I would do next, to be honest. And so I sort of, you know, I was like, you know, what I really, as a manager, and a leader of people, I love to coach and grow and develop my team, and it, you know, and to bring them together and to really, really work hard together. And so I decided to go through a coaching program, because I didn’t really know what else I was going to do at that point. And it gave me some structure, and it gave me something to look forward to. And I met some great new people, so starting to sort of branch out my network and meet people that are doing different things. And it’s where I really started thinking about the idea of, you know, so here I was having done something, you know, in a brand that was recognized, actually selling the business, you know, the entrepreneurs dream, right, you build your business, and you sell it. And there, I was really unsure of what to do next. And you know, losing my way, a little bit on that big thinking and feeling very uncertain. And as I started getting back in touch with, you know, what my own big dreams were for myself, I really started to think about why do some people do big things? And, and why are some of us, you know, why ending up in the dust of our to do lists, and I felt a little bit like, that’s where I was in the dust of a to do list and not chasing my big, big dreams. And, you know, I started talking with people about what they had done, and why they did it and telling my story. And it really is one of those things, you know, what you see of people is the actual pinnacle of the achievement. It’s not the long and difficult road, the sleepless nights, the crying over, you know, the spilled milk are the things of the day and the struggles that you’ve had in getting there.
Michael Hingson ** 17:39
Right. And
Julie Ellis ** 17:40
I found that, you know, kind of interesting, so I started talking to people who had been very successful, and trying to uncover why they were, why they felt they were successful, what were the ingredients that helped them reach that pinnacle. And what started to happen was, whether they were the visionary and came at it from a very big dreams kind of way, or whether they were the person who could operationalize it and build it up. Inevitably, they felt like the ingredients were the same. So you needed, you needed the right people, the right team had to be there, you needed the right supports, you needed the right processes to you know, so that the team could all work and pull together, and you needed the right systems that could help you sustain and grow something. And without those things. It all started, you know, the wheels start falling off the car. Yeah. Yeah. And I found that really interesting, because I thought, you know, with people having such different kind of viewpoints of how they approach things, that those ingredients might not be the same. And I was really surprised as I started peeling back, you know, why do you think you got to your to your own big, gorgeous goals, that that was where we kind of landed. And it felt like where I was sitting with what I experienced myself. And so, you know, eventually I wrote a book about it, because I was so interested in in this idea that, you know, you have to step out and be bold, and that chasing your big gorgeous goals is really about, like finding your own magnificence and stepping into it. And if we play it safe all the time, we don’t get there.
Michael Hingson ** 19:30
What did you discover were your big dreams that you really wanted to do? Because clearly that’s a lot of what you have to address as you go forward. You you have your own desires. You have your own goals, your big gorgeous goals, and you have your dreams what were yours.
Julie Ellis ** 19:51
At first it was really about getting my message out to the world so you know how doing things like You know, I do leading workshops, writing a keynote, eventually writing the book. But I also really have focused in on women as entrepreneurs, and you know, how, how we came up as entrepreneurs, myself and my co founders, and the support networks we built around ourselves to help us be successful. And those support networks where, you know, coaches, advisors, mentors, all the, you know, some of the team members and their expertise that we hired. And you know, what that sort of melding of things kind of look like, and thinking about how I could take the fortunate position, I found myself in with, you know, the coaching certification, the experience in building an eight figure business, and then running another business, and how I could bring that to the table to help people think about how they want to grow their own bigger businesses. One
Michael Hingson ** 21:01
of the things that strikes me with regard to all that we’ve been talking about here, and you sort of said earlier, is that, clearly one of the things that you liked to do was to teach. And it sounds like along the way, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, but it occurred a little bit was you lost sight of that, as you were doing the business and so on. And I’m sure that you, you realize that and it came back. But that’s just one of the things that was one of the ultimate sort of ingrained goals that you had.
Julie Ellis ** 21:36
I think you’re right about that. And I don’t, I think I lost it, maybe in the after of selling the business, because really, a coach or a teacher can be similar shades at the same thing, right. And I would say that is very much my management style as a coaching style. You know, I like to, I like to teach people how to be self sufficient. I like a culture of accountability within my team. You know, where, you know, all the decisions aren’t hinging on the the management at the top, the decisions are being made effectively and constantly by the team.
Michael Hingson ** 22:14
Right. Well, and but you, you did come back to it. And I did. And now you coach and teach.
Julie Ellis ** 22:24
Yes, I do. And I really love it.
Michael Hingson ** 22:28
Which proves the point, in a sense, but there you go. So where did you coined the term big, big dork, gorgeous golf, I could talk I’d be good, big, gorgeous goals from
Julie Ellis ** 22:40
I think it was really a reflection of like, everybody talks about, you know, big, hairy, audacious goals are big. But like, there’s something about gorgeous, and one of the definitions in the dictionary is magnificent. When you think about gorgeous, the word gorgeous. And I just love the idea that it is about these magnificent goals, they’re gorgeous. They’re, they’re Somehow it feels like rich, you know, like something that there’s a lot of things to be peeled back a lot of layers, a lot of a lot of things. And it feels like that sort of like when you’re manifesting something, and you’re really trying to make that leap forward. It’s the big leap forward, it’s the big thing that that is, you know, where you find your life’s purpose, where you find the things that are going to really drive you forward. And yet, at the same time, I think I like the word because driving forward to those places can be scary. So when we get outside of that zone, where we feel comfortable, where we are, you know, pushing the bleeding edge of of our skills and our abilities and our confidence. That’s where we can struggle and end up back in that sort of checklist to do list mode.
Michael Hingson ** 24:05
Well, so there are all sorts of goals, what would you describe as a big, gorgeous goal, as opposed to just a goal?
Julie Ellis ** 24:14
I think it’s the kind of goal where you don’t know what all the ingredients are for it or you don’t, or you know that you don’t have them all. So there’s something missing, you know, it’s not a goal where you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna write it down. I’m gonna measure it. I know exactly the steps that I have to go down. I’m going to bring these people to the table, and then we’re going to complete it by January 15. It’s more like a goal where it feels like you can’t quite get it defined, or you have a really pretty good idea of where you’re going but you don’t have the money, the knowledge the people, you’re not sure where you’re going to find them. You need to build a network for it. It’s where there are unknown or gaps. And I think part of the process that’s really important for it is to have a have a check in of like, on a quarterly basis, what I like to do is sit down and say, Okay, where did I think I was going? Where am I gotten to? Let’s calibrate. Am I still heading towards? You know, is the goal shifting? Is the goal still the same? And if so, am I getting where I need to be? Because I think that sometimes they come into clarity, as you start climbing, they’re not clear in the very beginning.
Michael Hingson ** 25:36
Yeah, the bottom line with with big goals, big gorgeous goals, lofty goals, whatever you want to call them is that a lot of times, things can change during the course of what you’re trying to do to achieve the goal. And that’s not a bad thing. Not
Julie Ellis ** 25:54
a bad thing at all. And I think that it’s like, it reminds me of, you know, when you would set goals in business, you will never hit something on 100%. Right, if you set $1 target for sales, you are never going to sell to that dollar, you will sell $5 less, or $5,000 more or miss it by half a million or overshoot by 2 million, you know, whatever the case, right, you’re never gonna hit it bang on. And the thing with big gorgeous goals is you have to allow yourself the room to continue to adjust them as you figure out, and I don’t mean, simplify them or make them easier to get, that’s not what we’re after. But you need to allow yourself the space for that adjustment to get where you’re really meant to be.
Michael Hingson ** 26:44
Which really gets down to things like how you get there, which becomes part of what you have to do with the goal. It isn’t, it isn’t getting there, but it’s how you get there. Maybe your motivation changes why you get there, and what is there anyway. So those are, those are all aspects of it. And I agree, it makes a whole lot more sense to have a goal that from an overall direction and vision standpoint, can change as you change and move toward achieving the goal.
Julie Ellis ** 27:20
Definitely, I think it’s a really important piece, I think the other thing that’s really important is, you know, allowing yourself the space to, you know, dream bigger, and to imagine those possibilities and to figure out how to access that. And, you know, that for me is one of the things where I value myself as an employee, whether it’s an employee of my own self, or an employee for, you know, a business I own or whatever, on my capacity and ability to get things done. And so putting, you know, sort of white space on my calendar to, you know, go out into nature, take a walk, do something that will, you know, even just read a book or layer it, you know, lay down on the couch and really think about how I want things to unfold, that doesn’t always feel productive to me. And so we also have to like, find this place where, you know, you have to almost like still and quiet yourself and get out of the busy, busy, busy Go Go Go mode that we find ourselves in, because we just keep filling our lives with this busyness. And we’re not taking that time to create space to have those dreams, and really think about how we need to get uncomfortable and start chasing them.
Michael Hingson ** 28:43
How do we deal with the people who say I just don’t have time to do all that I’ve just got to keep moving forward and and going toward what I’m supposed to do. And as a result they, I mean, I would say they lose track. But how do we get people to take that time and slow down and recognize the incredible value of taking introspection time and so on each day.
Julie Ellis ** 29:11
learning to say no, is big and important. That’s one, I really don’t like saying no, I learned that about myself. I want to say yes to everything. I want to do all the things and have all the fun. And I need to do. One of the things that I saying is for next year, I want to do more of less. I want to focus on less things so that I can do more of those things. And I think that’s what big gorgeous goals is about. It’s about really, you know, yes, I’m going to have to say no to some things that might give me short term gratification, or just keep me in that busy state but they don’t necessarily matter. It’s about prioritization. And we can all prioritize. We may not like to, but we can do it.
Michael Hingson ** 30:07
That’s really the the issue, isn’t it? We can do it. We just need to learn to be willing to it. I’ve been a proponent for a long time, of the concept of taking time each day to think about what happened today. What worked, what didn’t work, and even going so far as to say, Why did what worked work? And can I make it better, much less? What didn’t work? And what were the problems? Because we always focus so much on why didn’t this work, that we never look at the positive aspects of what worked? And what what can I do to even make that better? Or what are the lessons to learn from that? It’s
Julie Ellis ** 30:47
so true, thinking about what are the pieces, especially here, as you sit at, you know, the changeover of yours, that sort of thing? What are the things to actually take forward with us? What were the great things that happened that we want more of? You know, I think you’re right, we have a predisposition to the well, here’s everything that went wrong. Yeah. never doing that again. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 31:14
Which is probably not a wise thing. Because if it went wrong, that’s not a fit, you know, and I and I’ve learned to say that’s not a failure. All that means is, okay, a went wrong. Let’s look at why. And what can we learn from that? I used to always say, and I’ve said it several times on these podcasts, I used to always say, I’m my own worst critic. And I’ve realized, what a wrong thing to say. Because really, I’m my own best teacher. And that puts a whole different positive. See, that puts a whole different positive spin on it. And the reality is, I’m my own best teacher. And in fact, no one can teach me anything. They can provide me with information, but I have to teach myself and if I learn to be my own best teacher, and take everything as a teaching opportunity, and experience, how much more positive and better that is.
Julie Ellis ** 32:07
It’s really, really interesting change of perspective. Yeah, right. And it is amazing how if you can shift that perspective and look at something from a different angle, you can reveal things that are so valuable.
Michael Hingson ** 32:23
I used to Well, I still do when I give a speech, I record it. And I go back and listen to it. I always say on my own worst critics, I want to listen to it. And I forced myself to listen to it. And I’ve learned, it’s a blessing to be able to listen to it. And again, I’m taking it from the standpoint of I’m my own best teacher, it makes it a whole lot more fun to listen to. And I still look for the things that I can improve up. But actually, I discover more things that I can improve. When I think about it as me being a teacher of myself, then, if I’m just worried about being my own worst critic.
Julie Ellis ** 33:00
Yeah, and I think that’s where, you know, having some amount of like journaling or recording method that captures some of that stuff is so important, too, because you are then able to look back and you know, find that thread and start to pull on it. And you know, what is it I’m seeing here? What is it that I’m consistently bumping up against, you know, am I you know, self sabotaging, am I in fear? Am I you know, coming to this from a place of lack? What is it that’s stopping me? And then on the other hand, what is it I’m doing right? What’s happening? What’s going really well? What are the things that I said a year ago that I have just, you know, punched through and made such a difference for? And so I think that it is with that sort of like longer term tracking, it really helps you see those trends and themes, too. And
Michael Hingson ** 33:55
there’s no wrong answer to any of that with what’s right and what’s wrong. There’s no wrong answer. There are answers. And the issue is what I decide to do with the information. And that’s really what it comes down to is getting the information. And there’s no wrong answer to that information. It’s again, how I use it, what I choose to do with it.
Julie Ellis ** 34:17
Yeah, it is. It’s that informational. Well, and I mean, it’s, it’s listening, right? It’s like really listening and really thinking about those things, and just trying to get yourself into tune with what’s happening, I think.
Michael Hingson ** 34:34
So, the name of your book is
Julie Ellis ** 34:37
big, gorgeous goals, how women achieve great things.
Michael Hingson ** 34:42
Do men read it too? They do.
Julie Ellis ** 34:44
And they told me they like it as they should?
Michael Hingson ** 34:49
Yeah, I mean, it is it is really important. I think that that people recognize that concepts work for everyone and That’s a good thing to do.
Julie Ellis ** 35:01
Yeah. And I think, you know, I took the focus on women, because I think in the entrepreneurial world, they face challenges of, you know, 3% of venture capital goes to women. You know, women’s business, women typically don’t grow their businesses as big, like those kinds of stats that made me really narrow in and focus on like, why are there some women that are just and how do we become them? Why are they why are they killing it? And how do we become?
Michael Hingson ** 35:29
Right? And there are reasons for it again, I think it goes back with like, a lot of things to what we teach and how we teach, but more what we teach. And women generally aren’t taught to necessarily think as big or be as strong as they can be. Yep. And they should. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And not everyone, man or woman is necessarily going to do the kinds of things that you did in taking a company to eight figures and selling it. And that’s also okay. But we all have gifts, and we all have skills. And what we really need to do is to learn what our gifts and skills are.
Julie Ellis ** 36:14
Yeah, yeah. And to figure out, you know, if that is something that you really want to do, like, really, there’s no reason you can’t. And so then it’s about how do you put the right people around you the right systems, the right processes, and you know, start making the right steps forward? Because I think that, although it will never be easy to do it. There are harder paths and easier paths to take while you go on the journey. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 36:44
So today, I’m assuming that you do a lot of teaching and coaching of people to help them learn how to create and develop these big gorgeous goals?
Julie Ellis ** 36:57
I do I do, and I help them build strategies to to grow their businesses. How
Michael Hingson ** 37:03
do you and what do you teach people? How do you teach people to develop these goals? And to establish a mindset that says I can create these goals? And I’m going to do it and then go do it?
Julie Ellis ** 37:18
I think it’s about sort of, you know, peeling back those layers of like, well, what if it was bigger than that? What if it was, you know, as big as I could imagine? What would it look like, if I climbed a little higher? What would it look like if I put an extra zero on that? And just, it’s pushing a little big, you know, asking a lot of questions, and really pushing people to sit in discomfort as they think about what they really, really desire. And then it’s about saying, okay, and now, now we’ve got something, what are the next steps, you know, what are the first three steps because ultimately, the sort of tension you have to create is having something big, and potentially not fully defined. And then breaking it down into some kind of actionable, you know, steps. And if you’re thinking about climbing a mountain, I think the pinnacle of a mountain always looks far away until you’re basically upon it. And so you have to create a cadence of climbing and looking behind you, and seeing what you’ve where you’ve come. And then you need to like stop, put the put the goal away, put your head down and walk some more. And so that those are the pieces of then you need some practical steps to follow. And you need to get into a cadence of checking in to see how you’re doing, recalibrating, figuring out the next steps and moving forward again.
Michael Hingson ** 38:50
And unfortunately, it seems to me a lot of times, we just don’t teach any of that we don’t teach people that it’s okay to think beyond your comfort zone. But rather we teach people to, to do what’s comfortable and not go beyond it. How do we change that? Overall in a society because I, I see it so often, I’ve seen it with, with blind people who don’t have necessarily overly high aspirations. I’ve seen it with a lot of people in business, who think they do but they don’t. How do we change that?
Julie Ellis ** 39:26
I think it is, you know, that Be the change you want to see in the world. I think it’s about having more people talking about these things, moving outside their comfort zones and chasing this and really telling the world that they’re doing it
Michael Hingson ** 39:44
and recognizing that it’s okay to do.
Julie Ellis ** 39:47
Yeah, it’s more than okay, like it. It feels like we could solve so many problems if we, you know, reached for something really big. Right and I I think that it is, you know, it also I really that stepping into our magnificence peace, like, you know, living living the life of of your innermost heart’s desire.
Michael Hingson ** 40:13
So a lot of times, we are the way we are because something’s holding us back, whatever that may be, how do we discover that and what happens when we really let go with what’s holding us back,
Julie Ellis ** 40:26
that’s when I think we can make fast progress is when we’re able to let go of it. I think that trying to, you know, use some tools and techniques to figure out what it is that’s holding us back. And you know, whether it’s a coach or a mastermind group, or mentors, or paid advisors, or all of the different ways, I think a lot of getting through what holds us back is about knowledge. And people that will help us to, you know, break through some of that.
Michael Hingson ** 41:00
It gets to the time, I think, at some point where when people are discouraging us from moving out of comfort zones and saying, Well, you really can’t do that, or that’s just unrealistic, that we have to develop a thick enough skin and surround ourselves with people who will help us develop a thick enough skin to say, No, I can do more than you think I can do.
Julie Ellis ** 41:25
Yeah, yes. And we have to, we have to believe that. Yeah, then ourselves.
Michael Hingson ** 41:32
Yeah, that’s, that’s really it, we’ve got to learn ourselves, that it’s okay. And to think bigger than we do.
Julie Ellis ** 41:41
Mm hmm. And that, you know, I think that everybody’s scared on some level. You know, we all have, we all have the voice in our head that doubts that the Lord tells us we can’t, we all have fears zones that are hard for us to cross, and nobody is without it.
Michael Hingson ** 42:01
The other side of it is that we also have voices in our head that are telling us we can and we have to learn how to maybe listen to both voices, and make a decision. And the problem is all too often. We only listen to the negative voice. And again, I think it is what we’re so collectively often taught that we only listen to the negative and we don’t listen to the other side of it.
Julie Ellis ** 42:27
Yeah, we got to switch the channel and listen to the listen to the positives that are that are there for us and look for those positives that are there for us look for the reasons why we should do something.
Michael Hingson ** 42:39
There is really something to be said for the fact that way, if we have a mind, we have a way of thinking and that all too often. We ignore our inner voice that’s telling us to do something. My favorite example is trivial pursuit, right? You’re playing a game a trivial pursuit, and the question comes up and youth immediately think of an answer. And then you go, No, that is right. And invariably, when it comes out, the answer that you originally thought of was the right answer. We just don’t listen to that inner voice nearly enough.
Julie Ellis ** 43:13
Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Look at that sort of like, what is your gut telling you? What’s that first imagined thing? That yes, oh, I could do this. And then no, and then you start to say, oh, no, no, that can’t be right. I mean, we have to learn to trust those instincts and trust those little whispers and to listen to them. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 43:35
Mm hmm. And, and work to try it. I mean, yeah, at least you can experiment with it and see, well, absolutely. If I try that, well, let’s try that and see what happens.
Julie Ellis ** 43:46
Absolutely. Yeah, that would there’s nothing scientists fail at their experiments all the time. And so if we think of ourselves like scientists, then we can give ourselves permission to fail and try again, that it’s part of that process. And I think we get to holding too much importance on success, and that it has to be big, and it has to be immediate. And the truth is any success is made up of a whole lot of failure.
Michael Hingson ** 44:16
Or little successes. Absolutely.
Julie Ellis ** 44:19
Oh, it’s made up of both like it
Michael Hingson ** 44:22
is, right. Well, and the issue is we oftentimes don’t really focus on what success really means. You know, it isn’t always just about getting bunches of money now, and I mean, you you clearly did with Mabels labels, but you had other successes, you found so many jobs for people in the company and and it’s still your success, in a sense that it continues to grow today, which has to be cool. It
Julie Ellis ** 44:56
is cool, and it’s always cool to sit in an airport and walk Somebody walked by with a maple label on their, you know, water bottle or their suitcase or, you know that that will endlessly bring a smile to my face. And
Michael Hingson ** 45:10
that’s great, you know, and, and it wasn’t an accident that it happened. You know, some people will say, Well, you were just lucky. No, no, you did a lot of listening to your gut.
Julie Ellis ** 45:20
Yeah, we did. And, you know, I think luck is an interesting thing, because I think we maybe had some luck in the timing of which we wanted to enter the market. You know, at the sort of Dawn of the E commerce era, we had, we had great fortune with some of the things we did, but none of it was easy. And, you know, we weren’t we weren’t magically lucky that one day we sold the business, we worked really hard. And we made our own luck in a lot of ways also. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 45:54
Which is why it isn’t so much luck as it is working to achieve those big gorgeous goals. Exactly.
Julie Ellis ** 46:02
Michael Hingson ** 46:04
So when you were working with the company, and you developed the goals that you did, and then well, let me ask this, did you ever imagine that you would sell to Everly A, for every when you were working with the company and getting started? And all that? Was that ever something that was in your mind or a goal that you eventually had?
Julie Ellis ** 46:26
I would say no, except that one of the things we did at the very, very beginning was we had a budget for stamps. And we made an Excel spreadsheet, and trimmed it and trimmed it and trimmed it because we had more people on it than we had stamps. And we sent out a letter to a lot of friends and family saying, we’re starting this business, we you know, here’s what we’re doing. Love to hear from you. Check out our website. And the night that we all got together and stuffed those into envelopes. Somebody had, you know, a cheap bottle of champagne sitting around, and we cooled it down and we opened it up and we toasted and said, Here’s to the IPO we’re gonna have some day. So, yeah, so we did we did we had big, gorgeous goals for Maples labels from the very beginning.
Michael Hingson ** 47:20
Nothing wrong with that. No. And the issue is, it wasn’t just words to you. I mean, I’ve known a number of companies that say, Oh, we’re going to have this big IPO, we’re going to do all this stuff. And it’s really so much talk. Because they don’t at all think of how are we going to get there. But clearly, it’s some level. And at some point, you thought about the fact that you wanted to grow the company, what do we do now to grow the company? And it wasn’t necessarily what am I going to do in 10 years to grow the company. But you thought about the whole issue of company growth, and you took it very seriously. We did.
Julie Ellis ** 48:04
And we spent a lot of time, you know, we had a good planning process and a good, you know, where we would sit down and say, you know, how are we going to find more customers sell more things to the ones we have get people to come back and you know, continue to provide the kind of experience that we want as we grow the business? Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 48:25
Well, how would you say that systems, people and processes and just sort of mechanisms help you when you start to think of something big?
Julie Ellis ** 48:35
I would say that I think about, you know, do I need to hire somebody to help me with this? Where’s my zone of genius on it? And where am I going to need help with it? So is that through, you know, my network? And somebody I know who can share their wisdom with me? Is it somebody I need to hire? Is it you know, a piece of like a system I need to actually implement within the business through software? Or through something like that? Or is it a way I need to be working? And a thing I need to do? And that’s more where the process comes in is, how are we doing this? And is there something else that I need to implement or uncover in order to be able to do it? And so I think that, you know, it comes into all the things and, you know, as you grow a business, the things that you put into place at the beginning, don’t serve you as the business grows and changes all the time. That change. Yeah, so it is that cycle, it’s a cycle and, or a flow of, you know, how you do things and how you get to that next spot and how you continue you know, it’s a kind of a bit of a continuous improvement and continuous thinking about what way could we do this? How could I, you know, get into a new, you know, channel or do place or sell a new product or offer a new service? And what does that look like? And how do you go about that? Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 50:09
When you were writing big, gorgeous goals, did you do it all yourself? Or did you have anyone that you worked with?
Julie Ellis ** 50:15
I wrote all the words myself, I was in a couple of different author groups. The first one really helped me hone my ideas. I wrote sort of an outline of what I thought the book would be in that group, and you know, really tried out my material. And then after about a year there, I landed in daily writing group, and AJ, the woman who runs runs the group, you show up for an hour every day, and you write, and you, you know, stay away from your writer’s block, you basically you start writing and you ask questions, and you have a little bit of chit chat. But it’s a writing group. And I wrote the whole book that way in about six months. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 51:02
I remember, when I first started writing thunder dog, when we actually got down to the writing, actually, somebody had contacted me, Susie flurry, who wrote the book with me. And we ended up collaborating, and I enjoy that so much I can write, but it ended up being so much better, because the two of us collaborated, and, and worked together some way. And we each wrote some of the words. And we each help edit the that some of the words, and we ended up with a book that worked really well. And so I decided to do the same with the the children’s book, we wrote running restaurants L, which I love to say more adults buy them people do or than children do. And now, there’s a third book that will be out in August, that’s entitled, live like a guide dog stories of a blind man and his dogs, who overcome adversity, who are brave, and learn and walk through faith, and walk forward through faith. And again, collaborating, I think has made the book a lot stronger, which is the way I choose to do it. And I think there’s, there’s so much value in it. And also, it makes there be a whole lot less ego of Oh, it’s my work. It is I love teamwork. And I think that teamwork is so important in so many ways. And I know that for me, I think it will help make the book more successful.
Julie Ellis ** 52:30
I, you know, I think it’s so interesting how all, there’s so many different paths to getting somewhere. Because although I wrote my book on my own, I couldn’t have done it without the people that were around me, you know, people that showed up to write every morning in the Zoom Room, the questions I was able to ask in that room, the people in my first writing group who gave me all their feedback on my ideas, and, you know, really helped me move things forward. I think that, you know, doing anything in a bubble is is more difficult and probably not as good in the end. Yeah. So
Michael Hingson ** 53:05
again, the way you utilize teamwork may have been a little bit different, but probably not so different. But still, having other people around to be part of the community always helps a great deal. And I think that’s really important.
Julie Ellis ** 53:24
Which I think I think the teamwork, I think teamwork is so so important. And yeah, that doing anything. I you know, I think over the last few years, if anything, that’s one thing that I really learned is that, you know, I want to do work that is has people around me, I don’t want to do work where I’m in a bubble on my own. Because that, to me is, you know, it’s just so fulfilling to work with people.
Michael Hingson ** 53:58
It is a whole lot more fun. And oftentimes you get some incredible new ideas that you didn’t think of, and that’s happened to me with the book. And it’s also happened, for me, getting to do all of these podcasts because it’s helped me clarify a lot of things think about things in a different way. I mentioned, I’m my own best teacher, and that came out in part of discussions I’ve had on a few of these podcasts. I love to feel that I need to learn at least as much as anybody else on these podcasts are I’m not doing my job well. And I want to believe that I’m a better person for getting to do these and it is a lot of fun. And every person who’s ever come on this podcast is a part of the team and listeners who comment are a part of the team, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Julie Ellis ** 54:49
I agree. I agree. So it’s
Michael Hingson ** 54:53
really a lot of fun.
Julie Ellis ** 54:55
So there’s there’s something about all of us where Working together, the all the boats rise together kind of sentiment like just that, that we lift each other up when we work together and when we create community. And when we talk about the things that are hard for us, or the things that are, you know, like out there and what we’re feeling and what’s happening, I just feel like that, you know, nobody should isolate themselves. And it’s, it helps all of us when we talk about things and when we work together.
Michael Hingson ** 55:31
Well, when we’re talking about big, gorgeous goals, or talking about the things that we do, obviously, we’re visioning and we need to make a plan and plan along the way, what do you what would you say about the difference or, or what it means to have the intersection of visioning and planning.
Julie Ellis ** 55:49
I think that it is about like, spending the time to dream and think big. And also, knowing that having a good plan to underpin it is going to help you get there. And so, you know, I think a lot of people will be like, I’m great with the vision and like the follow through, or people are like, I got all the steps. But you know, that’s kind of me, I have all the steps, but it’s hard for me to value the visioning time. And so how do you get what you don’t necessarily think you’re good at or what you don’t feel as comfortable doing? Right? So, you know, you help somebody, you get somebody to help you create the planning steps like me who’s good at planning, or I get out into the world and talk to people who are great at Big Vision and, and bounce ideas around with them. You know? And so how do you sort of like, find the duality in that? And if you’re good at both, like, Hmm, I bow down to you, because I would love that. But you know, so how do you just build, build, you know, ways for yourself to have help that you need to do the thing you feel you may not be good at.
Michael Hingson ** 57:00
And there’s nothing wrong with asking, and there’s nothing wrong with seeking help to make something work.
Julie Ellis ** 57:07
And I always say to my kids, like, knows are free, you know, like, somebody can’t help you or doesn’t have the knowledge or the time or whatever it is, they can say no. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never know what could have happened. And
Michael Hingson ** 57:21
that goes both ways. Because sometimes it’s better for you to say no, because it just isn’t the right thing for you. I I’m a firm believer in something else that Gandhi said, you talked about Be the change you want to see in the world. One of my other favorite expressions that I’ve learned over the years that Gandhi said this interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as a self sufficiency. And that is so true. It
Julie Ellis ** 57:49
is true because we can’t be islands, we can’t do things all on our own.
Michael Hingson ** 57:53
No. Or at least, even if we can, we shouldn’t. Agreed. Yeah, I mean, that’s the most important part about it. Well, I want to, I want to thank you for being here. If people want to reach out to you maybe take you up on being a coach and so on. How do they do that?
Julie Ellis ** 58:10
They can find me on LinkedIn. They can also find me at Julie Ellis and co.com.
Michael Hingson ** 58:19
And how do they find you on LinkedIn?
Julie Ellis ** 58:20
I am Julie Ellis.
Michael Hingson ** 58:24
E l l i s right. You got it. Yeah. So Julie, J u l i e E l l i s there you go. Well, this has been fun. And I really appreciate you been willing to come on and chat for an hour. And I hope that we’ve been able to give people some things to think about that are positive. I’ve got lots of the go away and ponder some more, which for me is always fun to do. And I really appreciate you taking the time to do it. And I know that I probably won’t use too many. Well, I won’t read any Maples labels unless there is a braille version but that’s okay.
Julie Ellis ** 59:01
True. Yeah. True. That would be a great product.
Michael Hingson ** 59:06
Well, there are Dymo has developed a Braille labeler but you know, over time, there will be more technologies and other ways of doing labels I think we’re gonna go more into the ability for smartphones to recognize labels from a distance away and and won’t I’ll be optical so a lot of things happening. Yep.
Julie Ellis ** 59:27
Amazing the technology and how we can advance so fast.
Michael Hingson ** 59:31
Isn’t it scary? Yeah. Not really.
Julie Ellis ** 59:33
It’s great to dairy and amazing all at once.
Michael Hingson ** 59:36
It is and I like the more amazing than scary. We don’t need to be scared of it. Now. Well, thank you for being here. And I want to thank you all for listening to us today. And again, love it if you would give us a five star rating wherever you’re listening to us. Reach out to Julie I’m sure she’d love to chat with you and help in any way that she can. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me Michael M i c h a e l h i at accessiBe A c c e s s i b e.com. Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast. So we’d love to hear from you and Michael Hingson is m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. So thanks again for listening. Love to get your reviews and your comments and keep them coming and we will be back next week with another episode or actually in a few days with another episode of unstoppable mindset. And again, Julie last time, thanks very much for being here and being with us.
Julie Ellis ** 1:00:34
Thank you so much for having me, Michael. I loved our chat today.
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:41
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com . AccessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for Listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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