The Pioneer Playbook with Juliane Grasekamp
A girl just trying to build her empire.
Originally from Scotland but I now live in Vancouver, Canada.
I do have a business degree, but to be honest everything useful I have learned from just getting out there and doing it.
I started my first business when I was sixteen and built that up over the next ten years to be one of the biggest independent cake companies in the country - that had a lot of steep learning curves and I picked up so much along the journey.
How did you get inspired to start doing what you do as an influencer in your industry?:
When I first started in business there wasn't a whole lot of information out there on what I was supposed to be doing.
People underestimated me constantly and looked at me as a young girl who they shouldn't waste their time on - there were very few people and places for me to go for the real business advice I needed. So I wanted to provide that for girls and women in that same boat - that's how I started business coaching.
I want to be a resource that they can turn to to figure out the next steps in their entrepreneurial journey so nobody has to feel underestimated or lost.
We often have a book, podcast, video, or event that stands out to us and is instrumental in shifting our perspective in business. Do you have one that has been a significant impact for you moving forward? If so, can you share?
The eMyth by Michael E Gerber! This book forced me to see the bigger picture for the first time and to learn how to roadmap my goals. It changed the game for me.
What are some of your biggest lessons learned over the years and what are you applying to your business today that is working for you?
I have learned to put myself out there a lot more recently. I am used to hiding behind a brand and putting a more corporate foot forward. But since I have been stepping into the light a little and promoting myself as a coach I have seen a huge difference in the relationships I am able to build in my business and the ease of building trust with potential clients when there is complete transparency in who they are dealing with.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you worked to overcome it?
Keeping a balance as a manager. I have hired a lot of employees over the years and the hardest thing is that every single one of theme requires a different management style to excel.
Some thrive in a family style environment, some need more structure and authority, it's really hard to get a balance with the whole team.
I'm constantly learning new ways to do this, but the main thing I advise to overcome that is to just keep a veery open line of communication, making sure you are constantly talking to your people and making sure they are getting what they need to provide the highest quality of work.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
My Mum always raised me quoting the Lee Ann Womack song, 'I Hope You Dance' . the lyric goes 'If you get the choice to sit it out or dance - I hope you dance". I have applied that to every area of my life, especially business, I will always choose to do the scary thing, even if I don't want to - it means I have no regrets about not going for things!
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
Try not to take it personally. It's so hard to separate your feelings from criticism, but try to see it without emotion - ask yourself if there is merit to the criticism and if there is something you need to work on, if not then toss it out and get on with your day!
What do you believe your true purpose is? What value and impact do you hope serve and give to others?
A few years ago I felt the challenge was convincing women that they COULD start businesses, showing them that they had what it takes.
Now there has been a wonderful shift and there are so many female lead startups - but a lot of the time I feel they don't know what to do once they'v launched. There is so much support for people starting businesses but not nearly enough info about what happens next and how to continue to grow a business to be truly successful.
I want to help with this. Through my own experiences I have learned so much about what to do (and what not to do) to take a business from a one woman show to a full scale operation, and the truth is it's all about structure! I want to help other women to figure this out for their own companies and help them to grow some seriously big businesses.
How do you structure your days?
Oh I am an organization freak!
I have every part of my day planned and scheduled out in advance. Once a week I sit down and plan out everything that needs to get done that week, then I schedule the tasks out into my calendar so I know exactly what I'm doing each day.
My most productive times are either first thing in the morning or really late at night so that's when I'll do the stuff that I really need to focus for, then the middle of the day I'll schedule my errands/meetings/admin tasks etc
How do you find time to follow your entrepreneurial journey while juggling other life responsibilities?
For the longest time I was really bad at this. I spent years pretty much in permanent burn out mode. It's not until recently that I discovered the importance of keeping a balance and how much better I can show up for my business if my mental and physical health are also taken care of. The biggest thing is that I have a social life now, which used to seem like a low priority, I also try to get outside a little bit every day.
What tools do you find indispensable in your day-to-day business?
My calendar and Asana - my entire existence is on Asana. If i lost access I would probably just curl up in a ball and not know what to do haha. I like to keep everything super organized on there so I always have my finger on the pulse of what is happening and what needs to happen next.
Social Media is such a gateway for influencer’s today. What platforms work best for you and why do you choose to use them the most?
I find facebook groups to be the most effective for my business right now, mostly because they encourage conversation and interaction, people are more willing to share and get involved in a group than on a public page and they seem keen to be a part of something.
What are you tips for maintaining a present influence on these platforms and how do you encouraging continued engagement with your following?
I used to see social media as a bit of a trap I couldn't escape, like I felt like I had to post and could get quite down about it sometimes, but now I genuinely see it as updating my friends and my people .
I think that helps because rather than it being a chore it is just authentic interaction with people who share the same interests.
I think the difference came when I started stepping into the brand more personally and showing up as 'me', then it was just sharing my journey which is a lot easier for me, more real for my audience and it builds better connections.
What can people expect to see when following you?
My focus is to share two main types of content:
Business tips, advice and coaching
The lifestyle of a busy boss lady
I mix it up between 'straight to the point' training and a glimpse of what it's like to be in my shoes, running a business and living that entrepreneurial life.
What do you believe set's you apart from others in your same industry?
I'd like to think that my experience sets me apart, not many people can say they started a business in high school and made a success out of it. There are so many coaches out there but sadly many of them have never actually done it for themselves and so I imagine would find it hard to truly connect with their clients and know for real what they are going through, or how to overcome their challenges.
That and the fact that I try to be as real as possible with it, I'm a very direct, no fluff kind of person and I like to tell it like it is - so hopefully people can appreciate that they get the real life full picture with me.
What’s next for you?
My focus this year is on creating more quality content to share with business owners. I love providing 1 on 1 coaching but sadly there are only so many hours in the week, so my focus right now is on creating content that can reach way more people than what my schedule limits me to.
I am also launching a programme this year to offer coaching 'scholarships' to young female business owners who don't have the means to get mentorship that could really impact their businesses.
Lastly, what legacy do you hope to leave behind and imprint do you hope to make on others?
I want business owners everywhere to know that their biggest baddest business goals are completely achievable if they just have the right strategy. That that kind of crazy success is not off limits to anyone - they just need proper structure. So stop thinking small and start thinking smart!
Where can people find you?