This week, we are deep diving into the best advice we’ve ever received regarding business, motherhood, and life in general. Plus, we are answering a listener question about our favorite podcasts.
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
And, if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!
Here’s a picture of Emma’s outfit for the Taylor Swift concert:
Best Advice in Business:
Elsie – Think of your business as a table with four legs—what you are doing now is one of the legs, but you still need three other legs.
Emma – Don’t be afraid to fail, pivot, or abandon something to try something new. Ask questions even if they seem very basic or embarrassing.
Best Advice in Motherhood:
Elsie – Be very quick to apologize.
Emma – Be present and enjoy the moment.
Best Advice for Life:
Elsie – Live your current day the way your elderly self would want you to live.
Emma – Find passions and pursue them. Grow, build, or maintain a positive and important support system in your life.
We mentioned Elemental by Andi Eaton Alleman
Listener Question from Kendall Pereira: Can you share what podcasts you listen to?
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich
- You’re Wrong About
- Elise Gets Crafty
- Your Woo-Woo Best Friend
- Young House Love Podcast
- Planet Money
- The Daily
- If Books Could Kill
- Maintenance Phase
- My Favorite Murder
- Everything Belongs
Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!
- Episode #192: Our Birthday Traditions
- Episode #191: Amazing Home Decor Items Under $50
- Episode #190: The Parent Trap – Comfort Rewatch
Episode 193 Transcript:
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week we are deep diving into the best advice we’ve ever received regarding business, motherhood, and life in general. Plus, we’re answering listener questions about our favorite podcast. Okay, so Emma went to the Taylor Swift concert. She’s going to tell us how much it changed her life or whatever else.
Emma: Yes. I went to the Kansas City July 7th show. I feel like every Swifty like knows little things that happen at every single show. The Taylor Lautner one.
Elsie: Yeah. That’s how I see it.
Emma: That was the one I was at. Taylor Lautner did a backflip on stage. So, I should admit up front because I feel like if I don’t then I’ll be stressed about it the entire time. But I don’t happen to know any Taylor Swift songs from the beginning to end. I thought I did, and I realized throughout the concert, I do not. I know the chorus of most of her hits, but I was very proud to be in the club for the night, and hopefully for life now. Hopefully the Swifties have accepted me. But essentially my friends were like, my book club friends, they were like, we’re going to Taylor Swift this summer. Who wants to go? This was months and months ago when they were buying the tickets on Ticketmaster. And I was like, oh, if there’s enough tickets, I want to go. Like we all just kind of threw in our names in the slack that we have and there were enough tickets so I got one. And as it was leading up to it, I was sort of realizing from social media and also my friends group texts, how this was such a big deal. And to me, I was like, oh, I’m just going to go to a concert with my friends this summer. How fun. Like I didn’t really think about it beyond that. And then when everyone started sharing what outfit they were going to wear, I was like, oh, adult Halloween in the summer. I’m so excited. So I mean, it was like, oh, I got to get a crazy outfit. So I’ll put a picture in the show notes, but I got this kind of disco ball looking outfit. It was kind of a space cowgirl vibe. I had white cowgirl boots and a white cowboy hat and yeah, I’m going to wear the dress for New Year’s Eve, I think every year because it seriously looks like a disco ball and it’s fun to dance in because it kind of swirls. So anyway, so I felt like I looked the part at least, but yeah, the concert was awesome.
Elsie: Did you make friendship bracelets?
Emma: Oh yes, we made lots of friendship bracelets. We had a bracelet making night with everyone who was going in my group of friends, and then everyone’s just been making them all summer. We were making them in the car on the way up to Kansas city. So yeah, we traded bracelets and that was probably one of my favorite things about the concert. I was telling you that there’s like 12 year old girls, there were 40 year old women, there was everything in between. And I’ve never been to a show where there’s that many different age groups. There were seriously like college girls sitting in the row in front of us who we were trading bracelets with and that was just fun and sweet. And everyone was so excited and it was just a really fun environment. It’s also definitely the biggest concert I’ve ever been to. I don’t even know if I’ve been to another stadium show, maybe, but I’ve never been to one this size. That was something new for me and really fun. Yeah, it was awesome. I did feel a little bit like a poser the whole time, but it was awesome. Had a lot of fun. My friends are the best and mostly proud of my outfit.
Elsie: That sounds like a good review. Well, it looked like lots of fun.
Emma: It was very fun. And it really wasn’t even that hot. It was kind of outdoors. It was great.
Emma: Magical. Good time.
Elsie: Okay. So this episode is about the best advice we’ve ever received. I’m so excited. to do this because it’s kind of just like a little bit of everything and I love advice. I love it when people give me like, I always say the best book I want to read is something that someone told me was their favorite book of the year, that kind of thing. Like when people get really in your face passionate, that’s my favorite thing.
Emma: You would have loved the Swiftie concert then. That’s all it was.
Elsie: That’s funny. Yes.
Emma: No, me too, though. I do feel like if anyone ever says this thing changed my life, then Elsie’s already buying it, whatever it is, or reading it or whatever it is. Big time. Yes. Okay. Well, we have three different areas we’re going to talk about business, motherhood, and then just life generally. And some of mine’s kind of specific and some of mine’s kind of like spread out. So I think it’ll be a little random, but one thing I wanted to say up top that’s really served me well in my life is I have always been pretty into reading or hearing other people’s stories. So like any chance I get to read an autobiography or a biography of someone who’s in a field that I’m interested in or living in a time that I’m interested in. I’ve always loved that. I also love the podcast, How I Built This, where you learn about how people started their businesses. I’m obsessed with it. I’ve listened to so many episodes of that while painting various rooms. So I don’t know if that’s really advice but just one thing I would say is if you feel like you don’t have enough good advice in your life, do that, read biographies, read autobiographies, listen to podcasts about how people started their business or got good at being a parent or had a great marriage or whatever it is that you’re wanting to learn about. Because I think hearing people’s specific stories, even if their life is very different from yours, something about that to me is always very meaningful.
Elsie: Yeah, I know. I agree. I love that. I love a memoir any chance I get for sure. Okay, so what’s your best business advice that you’ve ever received?
Emma: I was thinking about it because I sometimes feel like business blends into money, but that’s more personal finance so what I landed on is I feel like the best advice I’ve been given over the years is to essentially don’t be afraid to fail, pivot, abandon something and try something new. And to ask questions, even questions that might seem really basic, like you’re embarrassed to ask. You feel like everyone else in the room knows the answer, except for you. And it’s a very like an ego death thing to be like, I’m just going to give up on this because it’s not working and I’m going to try something new or to be like, I’m going to go ahead and raise my hand and say, I have no idea the basics of this. Can you explain it to me? Like I’m a fourth grader. It’s my Michael Scott but sometimes you need to do that, especially in business.
Elsie: Yeah, no, I agree. Asking a question you don’t want to ask is such a good quality and admirable. And I think that nodding along and pretending like you know when you don’t know, people can usually tell. I don’t think that that’s an admirable quality. I think it’s cool when people are willing to say like, oh, I’ve never learned about that before at any age. That’s normal and acceptable. So I think that’s great. I like what you said about pivoting and stuff. One of the things I wrote down was there’s no shame in quitting. I think that that’s something that I didn’t understand when I was younger. I would have like a very specific goal or dream, a lot of times it was something that I saw someone else do and I wanted to do it too, but just like they did and have similar experience. Now I know that that is not such a good path to go down in life because when you’re looking for success in the same way someone else experienced it, you’re almost never going to find it. But if you’re willing to open your mind to all the different possibilities, maybe you’ll find something different. A lot of times even better or at least better suited for you But yeah, I think learning to quit and pivot are one of our strengths. I don’t remember where or why we learned it. We did learn at a young age that if something’s not working then we can just drop it Drop it and move on and kind of feel no shame for it. No feelings for it. I mean, sometimes I get sad, but for the most part, not really. Just freaking move on and don’t feel obligated to finish what you started every single time. I don’t think that that’s always a good move in business.
Emma: Yeah. And I think, we’re talking in such general terms, so everyone will know for themselves. There are times you can tell you’re like, I’m not done with this or this thing’s not done with me although I’m feeling like this isn’t going well, or it’s kind of floundering, I think I should keep pushing. There are times you can feel that. And then there’s other times where essentially I think it’s kind of like, well, I’ve told all my friends I’m going to do this thing so even though I kind of don’t want to do it anymore, I’m kind of realizing it’s not a good fit. I already told everyone, so I better just keep going. That’s not a good reason right there. So that, and then also kind of the whole like sunk cost fallacy, you know, that whole thing where it’s like, I’ll just keep throwing money at this cause I’ve already put 20,000 into this house so I can never move and I have to keep going. And it’s like, well maybe, but maybe you should cut your losses because before you might be 50,000 in and still know better. So it’s like, maybe you should have just moved on and accepted a loss or whatever.
Elsie: Yeah. I trained my brain to be very good at that. I think the smallest example is like when you’re cleaning out your closet and you’re like, I don’t like this, but I never wore it or I wore it only a few times and it costs 50 dollars or whatever. It just bothers you. And you feel like what I need to do is wear it five more times or keep it for this many more years. But in reality, it’s probably just going to keep hanging there in the closet, taking up space. Wasting your time.
Emma: Bumming you out.
Elsie: Wasting your time because having a closet where you have to go through things that you wouldn’t wear, it is a waste of time. It’s like that in business too. I think sometimes we keep things hanging around because we feel like we’ve already invested in it or already put time or money, energy, whatever, into it.
Emma: Yeah. So you’re like, I have to keep going because I’ve already invested my time, my money, whatever. We’re kind of into Star Trek Next Generation right now. That’s our nighttime watch. I thought you’d be interested. So this episode we watched last night, I promise this relates, the folks on the Enterprise are battling this robot that’s trying to kill them. There’s no need to know the whole episode. What happens is every time they encounter it, they defeat it. They blow it up with their phasers or whatever. But each time it comes back, it’s a little bit smarter. And I think you should think about that when you’re like, oh, I failed. oh, I have to start over. It’s like, no, you’re just a robot. That’s didn’t work. Try again. And before you know it, you’re going to be undefeatable because you accepted all of the fails as just the process of getting better and better. Be the robot.
Elsie: I love you so much right now. That is truly some like, I don’t know, sixth grade teacher that you’re giving out and I love it.
Emma: Boldly go where no one has gone before.
Elsie: Okay. I have one more business advice thing. So I know I have said this before many, many times in our podcasts, but it’s the one for me. It’s the one. And just in case there’s a few people here who are new, who haven’t listened to our podcast for 150 episodes or whatever. 193? What? Oh my god. How long have we been doing this? We’re getting close to 200. Wow.
Emma: We gotta do something.
Elsie: My guess was way off. So, we should have a party. Send us what kind of party you think we should have. Alright, so my friend Carter Bryant told me this advice when I was very, very broke. It was kind of in my first iteration of starting stores, and I had to Etsy. I was just trying to find a way to pay all my bills and have enough money to live. He told me that I needed to think of our business as a table with four legs. What you’re doing now could be one of the legs but you need to have three more. So through the years, we begin to build those and having our website makes money. We have our books that when we were writing them earned money, not as much now.
Emma: Now we get those sweet six dollar checks in the mail.
Elsie: We’ve had our app company and I could think of a couple more, but like, whatever we’ve made the four legs.
Emma: The thing you’re listening to right now is one of our legs now.
Elsie: Check, check, check. Okay. So yeah, having the four legs and they don’t all have to be big. They don’t all have to be like a main income. It could just be like four pieces of one pie. But the thing that’s beautiful about it is that if and when, I would say when, it’s time for you to pivot or one of them suddenly flops, that happens sometimes in life. We had it happen last year with our sponsor program. We’re doing so good for like 10 years and then all of a sudden we had no sponsors. And if we would have relied on that solely,
Emma: it would have shut our doors a long time ago.
Elsie: It would have killed our business. But having those four legs, and I think of this as a good tip for personal finance too. Just four different, one could be your savings. One could be your income you earn every month. One could be your retirement account, things like that. That’s my advice that really saved me. It changed my life. And so I have to repeat it as much as possible just in case there’s a younger person who is like me out there, who is getting started and needs to build their four legs.
Emma: I love it. Next up is best advice that we’ve gotten about motherhood or parenting in general. Oh, maybe you should go first this time.
Elsie: I have a good one. So I think it was through Instagram when we were about to adopt our first daughter so about six years ago, I think I wrote like, what’s your best parenting advice you’ve ever received or what’s parenting advice you want me to hear or something like that. I can’t remember, but I just remember that my one friend, Tara, sent me the advice that was be very quick to apologize to your kids. I remember at the time not being a mom yet, and this is laughable to me now, but it is very sincere. I couldn’t imagine what I would need to apologize for. I couldn’t imagine a time when I would be making a mistake because I was just so, so ready to be a mom. And it was like the thing I wanted more than anything in the world. The way that you feel right before you become a parent. Now that I’ve been a mom for six years, I completely understand her advice and I can see how it’s for sure the best parenting advice I’ve ever received, because I think that every parent is going to make mistakes throughout your day, maybe every day. You’re going to make big and small mistakes and having the willingness and the awareness to apologize quickly and to be humble about it has made such a difference for me. And so I think that’s the best advice I’ve received.
Emma: I love it. Also just letting your kid as they age see you be human and make mistakes and accept it and quickly say, sorry, I think is really powerful. Generally like being a human around your kid. I think it, because like I’ve heard parents say, I think our friend, Elise, she was like make sure to read in front of your kids when they get older, not as a baby necessarily, but make sure that they see you doing the things that you’re passionate about, things that you love. They see everything. They know what’s up. So make sure you read around them or whatever, like make sure that you and your partner, if you have a partner, you both do chores and you both take on things so that they know that that is normal and that is good. All the things of being a human. It’s actually terrifying to be a human in front of other people, though, too, at times. It means being flawed, and it means being not good enough in some areas. That is actually okay. And you want your kid to know that it’s okay if they’re not good enough, in air quotes, in some areas.
Elsie: My therapist always says that your kids don’t need a perfect mom, which means so much. It can be so hard sometimes. I think remembering that, like, it’s more important for them to see you behave the way you want to behave in the big picture than to try to be perfect every single day. Like no one’s, no one’s perfect.
Emma: You should be decent, not perfect. Be a good person. Don’t be a perfect person. I love that.
Elsie: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Emma: So I wrote down two things. One’s practical and one’s more big picture life thing, but lots of versions of essentially be present with your kids and enjoy the moment and a lot of versions of it goes fast or it feels long, but it goes by really fast and you’ll cherish the times and all those things. I live it, the more I’m like, oh yeah, all this cliche advice is totally true and a hundred percent accurate. And I feel it in my soul, even though it all seems so cliche and I love it. I actually think I’m not the best at living in the moment. I’m a very, like, forward. I’m very goal oriented. I’m always working on the next thing. I think that’s part of why it’s easier for me to fail. Like we were talking about in the business advice, because I’m kind of like, that’s the past. Who cares? I’m running forward to the future. Like, that’s what I’m like. So I do feel like being a mom, I’ve gotten better at this and I hope I continue to get better. Watching him play with his Legos and noticing what his little legs look like with his little diaper because that’ll be over in like a year, probably he’s already interested in the potty. Just like all these things. It’s like, oh, it’s going to go by anytime. I have to clean out his closet. He’s grown out of things. I’m like, oh, he’s not going to wear this one ever again. It’s too small. And just like have all these moments of like, oh, you already grew out of that. I’m like so much less on my phone than I used to be. And I’m so much more like, let’s let life be boring. I just want to watch my kid play with Legos. That is a good morning in my book. Like that’s how I define it. And then the practical. And this is more for newborns slash little kids, but we did sleep training, which there’s lots of different ways to do it and every kid’s different. So I’m not going to pretend like the way we did is the cure all for every kid ever. I just raised one kid so I don’t know. But we did a little bit of Babywise, which is a book. Then also we did this online course called Taking Cara Babies. The woman’s name is Cara. So it’s like spelled taking Cara babies, the name, those are really helpful to us. Oscar sleeps through the night, very regular on his naps, which is great for daycare. It’s also great, like all the time. And it makes it where when he is at a grandma’s house or for traveling, I feel like we all kind of know what to expect more. And I’m not very strict on very many things as a parent, but that’s probably the number one thing I’m pretty strict about is making sure he can go to bed on time. Like I will leave a family function in the middle if it has gone too long and it’s his bedtime and everybody understands.
Elsie: That’s how we are too. We’re very, a very scheduled family.
Emma: Yep. And I think that’s been really good for him and every kid’s different, but for our son, I think that has helped him a lot with growth and behavior and just like knowing what to expect with his day and that kind of thing.
Elsie: Okay. The next one is the best advice for life. So mine is kind of emo.
Emma: You know, life is emo. Let’s hear it.
Elsie: Okay. Okay. So I don’t know when it started, but for some reason my husband and I started this thing when we, I think when we were dating so a long time ago and it’s kind of like we try to envision that we’re waking up as our elderly self and try to really feel how much you would want to live a life or a day in this life now as the perspective for living a day. And he’s really emo about it and I am too. We’re definitely in a season of parenting now that is pretty exhausting and pretty full. It feels like it’s going really fast and it feels like we’re tired all the time. So it’s like a very good time. Anything that can make us slow down and appreciate it and just enjoy the little things that are beautiful about each day or things that I want to hold on to. So yeah, that’s mine.
Emma: I love it. I had two things, less emo. So one is find passions and pursue them. So that could mean hobbies. It could mean really anything but I think it’s really important, especially when you’re young to be really passionate about something and it can be comic books. It can be theater. It can be whatever, but just like find things that really excite you and research them and become a fan girl. If it’s something that you’re gonna participate in then participate with all your heart. I just think that that’s what life might be for so like just being a really passionate curious person, so that. Then the other one is to grow or build or maintain, whatever phase you’re in, a really positive and important support system in your life. Some of us get lucky and we’re kind of born with it. I was that way. I have two wonderful parents and two awesome siblings I’m really close with, but I’ve also grown that network over time and some people have to grow. There’s a lot. And it also is work to maintain great relationships and friendships and family relationships. But it’s, again, I think maybe like what the point of life might be a little bit is having that support system when you need it and being a part of someone else’s support system when they need it. It’s just special and when you need it, it’s really important.
Elsie: That’s beautiful.
Emma: It’s like an entire Swifty concert, you know, whatever your support system.
Elsie: I think that’s wonderful advice. We have a listener question from Kendall. Can you share what podcasts you listen to? So I will just be honest, I haven’t listened to a podcast in a while. So audiobook queen. I am like, audiobook mom, like go crazy. I at least listen to one to two audiobooks every week. So it’s like that’s all I do pretty much. Go for walks and listen to audio books. And if I have a little bit of time in my day alone, audio book, but the podcast that I enjoy most, my go to podcast, when I do listen to them, I have three. I like, I will Teach You to be Rich Podcast, our friend Ramit Sethi’s podcast. It is really good. So the thing I like about the podcast, if you follow him on Instagram or you’ve seen his show, I seriously think the podcast is like the best one. And the reason why is because it goes really, really in depth and it’s really personal with each couples. There’s sort of like financial therapy with him, like a counseling session. They’re usually really honest. I don’t know how he does it, like how he gets people to be so open and honest so seemingly fast. It’s very interesting. My favorite episode ever was an episode about a woman who knew that she was going to die, likely within the next 10 years. She had a certain condition that she likely wouldn’t have a long life. She was maybe in her forties, maybe early fifties and she had kids and she didn’t need to work because she also was a multimillionaire. And she couldn’t stop working and it was like such an interesting, emotional, it was so great. By the end of it, I think she was starting to think about it a little bit more, but it was just like the mind blocks that you put up with, like why you feel like you have to do things a certain way. That’s the thing I’ve loved most about learning from Ramit is that he teaches a lot about the emotional side of money and the psychological and sort of like if you’re raised a certain way with money that can be hard to change over time, even if your circumstances change. So anyway, love that podcast. My second one is You’re Wrong About. I’ve always listened to it since like Jessica Simpson era, remember when during COVID they were doing episodes about that book. I’ve always loved it since then. And I just think that it’s a great podcast. And then my third one is Elise Gets Crafty. Our friend, Elise has a podcast when people always ask me like, what’s a podcast that’s sort of like your podcast. That’s probably like the best one I would recommend. I don’t really know. I haven’t really heard a lot of podcasts that are similar to ours that are still currently making new episodes.
Emma: Yeah. John and Sherry’s. Thanks a lot.
Elsie: We all want it back, but we get it. John and Sherry’s podcast, Young House Love was our inspiration when we first started. If you just want an old podcast that you can like, it has a lot of episodes, you can marathon it and it’s great too. So also our friend Andi has a podcast called Your WooWoo Best Friend and I love the title. I’ve been a guest on it before and I would definitely go on it again. It’s a very spiritual podcast. So she teaches me pretty much everything I’ve ever learned about human design, astrology, and past lives. If you’re interested in any topic like that, she has a new book out. We’ll link all of that in our podcast show notes today. But yeah, I definitely recommend her podcast to just kind of like scratch that itch if you’re someone who has it.
Emma: I love that podcast and I also got a copy of her book and I love it and also Oscar loves it. It has little illustrations in it here and there.
Elsie: It’s Elemental.
Emma: Yes, I love all the ones you mentioned too. So I will not remention them because you’ve already heard but for news slash money stuff, I like to listen to Planet Money and The Daily, which I believe are both NPR podcasts, I want to say. Then for pop culture stuff, Elsie already mentioned You’re Wrong About, but I also really like If Books Could Kill, which has Michael Hobbes and also Maintenance Phase, which is kind of about diet culture and other things too. But I love those podcasts. They’re really fun. I really love them for the hosts. I love the host. And I think they’re really funny and interesting and informative. Those are also areas that like, I don’t really know that much about, so it’s fun to learn. For murder stuff, my top two are Criminal, which is kind of a random one. They don’t just do serial killers. They do all sorts of very random things, like there’s one episode that I loved that’s from years ago now and it was about a shark that kept eating people because it was illegal for the shark to kill people. You know what I mean? So it’s just like any crime anyway, so it’s very interesting. Sometimes it has people who are impersonating a celebrity or bank robbers or someone who got away with some kind of fraud thing in the 1800s like it’s very random and it’s really fun. The host is amazing. I love her voice. So that, and then my other favorite murder one is My Favorite Murder. I’m a murderino, obviously, if you’re not, get with it. And then the only thing I was going to mention is for more spiritual slash feel good. I really love this podcast. My friend Madison does one called Everything Belongs. She has all sorts of different guests, so you can pick an episode based on something you might be interested in. But even the ones where it’s just her talking through things like her morning routine or her tea ritual or different things like that, I love them and I think she’s just very down to earth and interesting. There you have it. There’s some podcasts to listen to.
Elsie: Yeah, and if you have any suggestions of a podcast that you know we would love, then send it our way, because I definitely think that I say the same ones every single time, and I’m curious to try a new one once in a while. Especially, maybe a book one. That’d be fun. Okay, so I’m going to pass it off to our next segment, a joke or a fact with Nova. Alright, we are back with Nova. Nova, what do you have for us this week?
Nova: A joke.
Elsie: A joke? Okay.
Nova: My joke is what do storm clouds wear under their pants?
Elsie: What do storm clouds wear under their pants? I don’t know. What is it?
Elsie: Ah, I love it. That’s a good one. We’ll be back next week with a comfort rewatch episode. We are going to do an oldie but a goodie Now and Then. So we will be back next week.