Have you ever wondered why no matter how much you work, there is always more to do? In this podcast episode ex-Disney entrepreneur Antrese Wood explains exactly how she went from chaos to control (and a lot more free time with her husband!). You’ll get to hear about the mental shifts she went through and how this changed her business strategy and structure. She is an inspiring example showing that putting simple systems, automations, and boundaries into your business can skyrocket your success and freedom.
Josh Fonger: [00:00:00] Josh Fonger and welcome to the WTS podcast where we help
entrepreneurs move from owning a job to owning a business managing their systems so
they can simplify growth. And today I’ve got a special guest Antrese Wood with savvy
painter and Antrese was actually one of my clients I think over over a year ago now and
I want to touch base with her or find out more about what she’s doing and what’s going
on in her business. So Antrese are you there. I am. Hi Josh. OK. I’m excited to dig into
your story and find out more about what you’ve done with your business so first once
you introduced yourself who you are what you do what your business does. So people
get some context.
Antrese Wood: [00:00:38] Sure. Well my name is Antrese Wood and I am the founder
and host of The Savvy painter podcast. And I also have a membership program for
artists that’s called the Growth studio. I teach artists how to master their painting and
business skills so that they can enjoy their time in the studio again. So that is my
business. I got started with the podcast when I moved from Los Angeles to Argentina.
And when I was in Los Angeles I had this enormous community of artists that I was
rounded by by from my time that I worked at Disney and from college and from like all
the workshops and everything that I would take in the L.A. area and then I moved to this
tiny little town in Argentina. And suddenly I had no artists to talk to you and I really felt it
was incredible. I was just kind of like well there’s just like this void. And so that was sort
of that impetus to start the podcast and then the business grew out of it.
Josh Fonger: [00:01:39] So how did you. I’m just curious now how do you initially
monetize your podcast. You started from scratch in Argentina out of that. You turned it
into a business.
Antrese Wood: [00:01:49] A lot of mistakes a lot of trial and error and the first money to
monetization came from from getting sponsors for the podcast. And those have turned
into some really amazing relationships with these different businesses. And I also get a
lot of donations from the listeners themselves.
Josh Fonger: [00:02:11] Wow. OK. Listener Supported. So it was like I mentioned
beginning the podcast entries. You went through one of the coaching programs about a
year and a half ago and so I’m assuming there was some reason why you decided you
know you wondered why some systems into your your business and we’ll talk about
those in a minute. But was there something going on acutely or specifically that you
thought you know what I need to organize myself.
Antrese Wood: [00:02:35] Yeah yeah I was I was working like crazy. I was doing
everything by myself and I would just sort of I was basically just running from fire to fire
and putting them out and didn’t really have a handle on what was coming next. And I
could see I knew that there was a better way to do it. I could see that I was missing
something but I was so busy and so kind of in the weeds that I couldn’t wrap my head
around how to get out of that. So that’s when I came to you for help.
Josh Fonger: [00:03:09] Yeah I remember that. I mean a lot of people I work with
worked really hard but you were one of the people who really worked hard early
mornings, late nights, weekends. And I was like wow we need to change this model like
this is not a good model long term. Well you were good a lot of things so I think that’s
something that entrepreneurs listen listening need to understand that you usually are
above or way above average and a lot of things. And it is hard to kind of peel off those
layers and in your case we’ll get to it sometimes you just change the model completely
the model is just not sustainable. So when you join the program you went through it.
And so what what did you change about your business.
Antrese Wood: [00:03:45] Well what I changed about it was it was a complete 180 on
my mindset. I think we talked a lot about in the program. But having to put fires out and
how how that is just not sustainable for a business and how to kind of pull back and look
at what are the things that repeat. What are the things that can be done ahead of time
like how can you kind of put everything in boxes and batch them together and kind of
organize your time and your tasks in a way that allows you to get things done faster and
more efficiently. That was would be the first sort of mindset shift does like OK let me just
stop running from fire to fire kind of pull back allow things to get messy while I
reorganize myself and figure out instead of trying to do 20 things and one day why don’t
I just do all of the writing for example on Mondays and then all of the recordings on
Tuesdays and things like that I’ve just kind of not doing things whenever it came up but
actually is saying no I as an example here’s a good example. I use to do podcasts
interviews whenever anybody wanted to. I would say I would love to have you on my
podcast. Let me know when is a good time for you and if they said 11 o’clock at night I
was like sure let’s do this or if it was like 5 o’clock in the morning on a Saturday I’d be
like yep we’re in let’s go. And now I interviews are Wednesdays and there’s a strict time
line in between and it’s rare exceptions that I will go outside of that. So just even that
was a big shift. And then even the entire process like I automated everything from the
invitation to the podcast goes out.
Josh Fonger: [00:05:31] Well tell us about some of those automatons because this is
this is help for me because you’ve done a lot more podcast than I have. So what are
some automatons that you started with to kind of make yourself more efficient.
Antrese Wood: [00:05:42] The. Well the obvious ones are they are email right. I think I
think a lot of entrepreneurs are going to be very familiar with that with email automation
and doing email funnels and things like that and I kind of took a look at that and said like
OK how can I amplify that and make it even more helpful. So I had been let’s see I’m
trying to think how how exactly I got there. Probably not that interesting but I finally
figured out that programs. There’s these programs like Zapier for example and I
basically just sat down and thought about all the programs that I currently use and
removed all the redundancies and settled on the ones that were the easiest and most
accessible to me and thinking ahead easy and most accessible to anybody. And then I
took those and I just doubled down and I learned how to use Zapier things like really
well. And so basically everything from when I change as an example when I put the
publication date into my spreadsheet Zapier picks that up and then when I when that
date occurs it will grab that email bring it in to my email service provider which is active
campaign tagged the host with your interview as live and they get an email that says
hey guess what your interview out. Here’s where you can find it.
Josh Fonger: [00:07:18] It’s pretty slick now. I mean that that’s amazing is that as.
Antrese Wood: [00:07:22] I say it’s a really detailed example but like I just look for
every place in my business anywhere where I could do that that would save me time
and save me from hiring somebody.
Josh Fonger: [00:07:32] Yes well before we scare everyone away I love you design
them and you have the mind to do that. I have the I think I think about that I like wow
that’s really cool. You can also go the other way. I think when you get to it is you can
also find a team people like I’ve got a guy who does programming with Zapier and all of
our stuff. And so for me it’s more sharing hey this is a good idea let’s build a plan similar
to you. But then I wouldn’t actually do it myself because that’s not my skill set at all. I got
into destroying it. So you built that but what about you get this whole systems mindset
and you start to build a team as well. What do they do for you? Do they build new
Antrese Wood: [00:08:09] Well I can tell I could tell immediately from the first
conversation that I had with the company that does my podcast editing and and they
also do my show notes and they I mean just by the questions they asked and they walk
through that they gave me I could tell it they’re extremely extremely systems oriented.
And so from that it’s like it’s so easy for me to be able to tell them like hey here’s how I
work here’s what I need here’s the steps and they follow it to a T and I never have to
worry about anything with them like it is it runs so smoothly and in comparison before I
was just like you know almost the day before I’d be like oh my gosh I need a graphic.
Oh my gosh I need this and now it’s just like there’s a checklist you just go boom boom
boom. And it all happens and it happens like a week ahead of time and it’s just just like
heaven compared to how I was before. I mean I was just a stressful policy.
Josh Fonger: [00:09:12] Well how most people join the programs I mean I think people
can relate to that. So it’s only a big thing for you. And I’m just trying to unravel the onion
here is thinking differently getting outside is slightly elevated seeing the separate pieces
instead of just running running running. I understand there’s just 10 components that
make up a podcast. How do I build them in advance? How do get strategic about using
my team? How do I get strategic about automation? Then just filling things in those
slots. And so the stress kind of goes down. Here. So with your business model was it
the same it was at the same when you started as when you were going to program or
did you adjust and simplify some things so that you could really have the automation.
Antrese Wood: [00:09:53] I did before I was doing individual courses individual online
courses and they were that they had a heavy heavy like my involvement was it was
heavy like it was it was a lot of personal attention and personal time. And on top of that I
had several different programs. And so anytime I had to lunch it was. Kind of like almost
reinventing the wheel again. So I took everything that I had and I combined it all into
one program and made it a membership program so that I had one thing to focus on
and one thing only and everything was kind of grouped; again grouped together
according to like okay here’s some instruction on how to paint here’s some instruction
on how to market yourself and here’s some instructions on how to manage your
business. So all of that just kind of went into a single program and instead of trying to
figure out five different launches in a year four or five different programs it became one
program one kind of continual launch structure and I could plan it out for the entire year
in advance as opposed to I think what I was doing before which is like you know I need
to launch again and it would just be like boom go into the launching frenzy and then
three months later do it again. But for a different program and so like the whole
marketing narrative everything was done over again by hand and now it all gets. There’s
a common thread that runs through everything. Everything gets re-used like all the sales
material gets kind of taken apart. And put back together into an on-boarding email for
people who’ve just found the podcast so I’m constantly just taking everything going OK
before I even do this. What’s the plan for how to reuse all of it and how can I get the
most leverage out of every thing that I create.
Josh Fonger: [00:11:56] Yeah that’s great. I offer you simplified things and you
combined. I’m in the process of doing the same thing. I more conversations now years
ago about how you were doing all these different launches and now it’s just
consolidation getting the most out of each asset at the most out of each email. Most of
your time. So if you’re going to invest in building something you can use it again and
again and again and then it’s really worth it. Let’s go. So with your with your
membership site now this is going. I’ve got a few clients who have membership sites
and they have different ways of launching. Are you doing an ongoing launch for all new
subscribers is that the way you’re building or is it. Once a quarter is event based or
seasonal. How do you get them all excited about joining?
Antrese Wood: [00:12:37] I’m starting you know here’s a funny thing too. I’m actually in
the middle of a launch right now and I’m having an interview with you and I’m totally
calm and fine if you talk to me two years ago and I was in the middle of a launch I would
probably still be in my pajamas and my hair would be sticking up everywhere and I
would probably be 10 minutes late for this interview so that that’s another sign. That’s
pretty like the launch is happening and I’m totally fine and relaxed about it. So to answer
your question the the the launch cycle right now is about every eight weeks and what’s
coming up in the future is just like a continual sort of content change within the podcast
that leads people into that direction. So everything’s just gonna start funneling into the
launches themselves in a way that’s super valuable for the people listening. So that’s
one of my main goals is that when when you’re listening to the podcast or when you’re
receiving my emails that it’s always something that’s super super helpful to you whether
or not you buy the program. One thing I’ve noticed I don’t know if this is particular to
artists I’m probably very keyed into it because I’ve experienced this so much with my
own art that people have been. Watching me and following me or been on my email list
for my own painting for my own paintings and they’ve been on there for years and then
all of a sudden I didn’t even know they were watching me and all of a sudden they’re
like hey I want to buy this painting. So I kind of know from that that sometimes it takes
people longer to buy. So you have people that have an immediate need like I need this
right now and they’re gonna buy within the first month and then there’s other people that
they just they’re not really aware of how much I want to say how much pain they’re in
but it’s really awful. But they just have this sort of like underlying stress level and they’re
kind of used to it so they don’t realize how much it’s affecting their ability to. Make a
living off of their art until you kind of like show them look here what you’re doing here’s
how you’re sort of shooting yourself in the foot and it takes them a while to realize like
oh yeah. And guess what I can change that.
Josh Fonger: [00:14:54] Yeah. So the very comfortable being the starving artist
becomes part of their identity.
Antrese Wood: [00:15:00] It’s a little bit more that they don’t feel like they have the
ability to change it. They sort of that myth is so prevailing that people think that that’s
just the way that it is and that there’s nothing I can do about it. And when you show
them that oh yeah you can do something about it you don’t have to be miserable you
don’t have to. You don’t have to choose between making great art and and making a
living and having a comfortable home and having like and feeling like you contribute to
Josh Fonger: [00:15:31] Mm hmm. Wow. I love the message and I think that that is so
true and with your audience and my audience as well with entrepreneurs that they get
stuck into a pattern and they think that’s just the way life is as being an entrepreneur is
is suffering and life doesn’t happen and business doesn’t have to be so hard as long as
you get the right system structure design bill exactly built in. That’s very cool.
Antrese Wood: [00:15:55] Yeah and it’s like it’s you know it’s that that mind shift that
same mindset that I had that I was just that’s a really great point because my. What I
was thinking was just like oh my god running up being an entrepreneur is so hard this is
so hard look at all this work that I have to do. And then it’s like wait do I do I need to do
all this. Do I need to stuff like this? And so you guys kind of showed me that, no you can
actually like here’s a different way of looking at it. So if you’ve been looking at it from
this direction it’s. Kind of like you just said hey can you walk over to the side and look
and then you see like oh well OK I see kind of behind the scenes and how much extra
effort is being wasted. Let’s fix all those things. And it took me a long time. You know it’s
the work that you do upfront to systematized things to make things scalable to make
things to make it so that you’re not reinventing the wheel every single time you launch or
you run a new marketing program or whatever it is that you do then. It’s just like it
becomes easier and easier. Like all the work that you do up front pays off like 10 times
or 20 times or 100 times because you invest that one day to pull it all apart. Look at it.
Put it back together in a more efficient way and you get to use that for the next year or
two years 10 years whatever it is until you realize like OK and I can add this or this is a
new way to make this this thing even more efficient. And once you get that wheel rolling
then you can go away and go do something that really requires your brain that really
requires your creativity and really requires you to be there.
Josh Fonger: [00:17:39] I think that’s great. And I think most people again get stuck in
the pattern and then they get a built in I think well now what I do in my time and it’s like
when you can plan ahead you can build ahead. You can build things for the future and
and do the creative work that you’re meant to do. That’s cool I’m good at. I got some
questions about your your your team so I have people in your family so your family or
your team if they notice any differences in you and the way you work now that you kind
of have this new mindset? Is it easier to work with with them?
Antrese Wood: [00:18:08] I think had definitely way more relaxed. It’s like four for me in
particular like I would say that I would I would always be very very anxious anytime I
had a lunch and about everything and I would be very anxious like throughout the
month kind of going like OK when’s money coming in. Is it going to come in in time on
time or where. You know like I wasn’t really sure where anything less and now like even
including my finances everything there is automated. So when I get paid like there’s this
much money goes out for taxes this much money goes out to to. Well that was a private
first with my. That was fantastic. So all of that is just automated. So in terms of what
people are noticing it’s just like I’m not freaking out every day all the time I’m just kind of
like more chill about things and relaxed. And as another example where I was telling
you before we kick this off that we’re moving to get back to Argentina. It’s like a Where’s
Waldo trying to keep track of where my husband and I are. So I started this
conversation talking about how I moved from Los Angeles to Argentina and we were
there six years came back and now we’re again going to Argentina. And so all of these
systems that I have in place allow me to make that move again without freaking out like
the podcast are done. They’re ready to go. I don’t have to worry about that. My classes
are those are all set and I know these are the times that I have to be there in person
and that these are the times that I need to be in the community answering questions. So
instead of feeling like I have to be there 24/7 I know like Thursday is the day that I call it
sort of my gratitude day that’s the day that I am it’s like my customer appreciation day.
So Thursday is I am just I’m doing the live classes I’m in the community I’m talking to
them I’m answering questions. They get a ton of attention and I give them things to do
and that basically keeps them completely focused on their objectives. And then we talk
again the next week and there it’s so much more focused calm and I think helpful for
them. Mm hmm.
Josh Fonger: [00:20:23] Well I think and also since you weren’t going so many different
directions now you’ve business is just a consistent direction. One product one client
teletype and you can serve them in a mature way better and better and better each time
because you really focus in on it. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs get the shiny object
syndrome we’re always on to the next thing the next thing and I think I think of some
easy way to getting rich when you’ve really just found that you’re sticking to your core
and refining and refining refine it and building more and more systems more more
freedom which is which is awesome to see that actually happen make up a year from
now. I mean you might who knows you’ll be maybe not in Argentina anymore but.
Antrese Wood: [00:21:03] Who knows even better. I could be anywhere.
Josh Fonger: [00:21:05] Yeah. Well this has been great. I want to give you a chance
to kind of share what you device you to give to entrepreneurs listening to this because
as you know you fit into the shoes of most people who listens all business owner all
entrepreneurs have a couple employees. What would you tell them if they’re saying
gosh I wonder if I should either one of the coaching programs or just you know just put
this into place in general what what would be your advice to them?
Antrese Wood: [00:21:28] My my advice would be to to trust that you you can do this
and to trust that no matter what your business is. I mean stereotypically I deal with
artists. We’ve got to be. We are stereotypically we are the most unorganized people on
the planet I think. And. And if so I would say that if anyone can if I can do it then anyone
can do it. But more importantly than that I think is I think probably if people are listening
to this are watching this it’s because they already kind of know that they need to get
organized and get more productive and just you know make their lives better by not
working 24/7 or you know like. Like you said when. We. First met I was like 20 hours a
day practically. And. When. I think for me the pain was so great of not dealing with it
that I wanted everything to happen right away of super impatient like I wanted to make
the systems and I want them to just go immediately. And so. What I would. Think the
advice that I would give is that you know any even if you’ve just got like 15 minutes to
just tweak that one little system like. You. You gave us sort of this chart of like OK
here’s how you you start to document the systems that you know we’re coming up and I
think some of the best advice that you gave was. You don’t need to do this all at once
just do a couple of just do one hour every week and just do a little bit at a time and all of
that every hour turns into you like 10 hours later. So every 15 minutes that you spend is
going to like amplify itself. So like a couple weeks later all the sudden you’re going to
have an extra three hours. And if you invest that again it just pretty soon you have like
three or four days during the week. That used to be total chaos that now you can be like
you know what I’m going to take the morning off and go for a walk with my husband and
I’m fine. I’m not walking with him thinking like oh my God I should be working Oh my
God. OK. But I know I need to do that. You know?
Josh Fonger: [00:23:31] That that’s awesome. Yeah I think that’s great advice. It really
is. You’re not going to build the record building the machine the machine in a day build a
piece of it today. And if it’s a piece it’s going to endure for a while. That was a good
investment of time and you’re a perfect example of that. That’s awesome. So where can
folks find out more about savvy painter?
Antrese Wood: [00:23:50] You can find out more about savvy painter savvy painter dot
com. And I’m on Instagram a savvy painter podcast dot com that’s that’s where urban
sorry at savvy painter podcast that’s probably where I’m the most active in terms of
social media. That’s the two places where be the fastest.
Josh Fonger: [00:24:08] Ok well great Antrese. Thanks for taking the time for the
interview sharing your wisdom. I learned a lot of help make so obviously I do a podcast
as well. So learning from you has been good because you’re a pro and thanks
everybody for joining us on that on this podcast. Tune in next week where I’m gonna be
sharing another example from one of my previous clients like Antrese or a business
expert and they’ll be sharing one of their tools techniques or resources so that you can
make more and work less. Thanks everybody.
Antrese Wood: [00:24:36] Thanks Josh.