Casey and Erin sat down with us this week to discuss their journey in creating the hilarious podcast Down the Foxhole. Read on for their refreshingly honest and raw conversation with us on inspiration, hustle, and tips on podcasting.
What inspired you to start Down the Foxhole?
Casey: Honestly I had the idea maybe 6 months before I finally bit the bullet and asked/dragged Erin to start it with me. It started like a little bird in my ear and finally the voice was so loud I just said f*ck it let’s just do it and figure it out on the way. Now that we’ve been doing it for almost a year I think deep down we really wanted to create a space that helped new entrepreneurs feel less alone, help inspire them and make them laugh. We focus on interviewing women who are in the early years of their business instead of well established companies who are often taking in hindsight.
Erin: When Casey and I left our corporate jobs to focus full time on our own businesses, we noticed there were very few (if any) resources from new entrepreneurs about what the first year is truly like. Most resources are from super successful people who are speaking in retrospect about their struggles a long time ago, and millions of dollars ago. We wanted a community where we could talk about the REAL shit that we are currently going through with our businesses and lives. Plus, Casey and I spend way too much time together so we figured we might as well be productive!
What does a typical day look like for you at Down the Foxhole? Has it changed significantly from when you worked corporate?
Casey: Erin and I both run our own businesses full time in addition to Down the Foxhole and work on the podcast one full day a week. Typically a Foxhole Day is filled with several recordings, some brainstorming and some housekeeping. We just hired an intern so we’re hoping to start getting into some more big picture planning for the brand and community.
Erin: The podcast is one of 3 of my businesses so no two days are the same. For Down the Foxhole, we have a pretty good system down now where we dedicate each Thursday to all things podcast – scheduling, recording, editing, planning, etc. I’m a big fan of batch working so it works really well for us. BUT it did take us maybe 6 months or so to figure out that it’s our best workflow.
"When starting your own business, I always tell people to think about the things they are doing in their free time because they love and brainstorm from there."
What are your tips for women wanting to start a podcast, or their own business in general?
Casey: First, podcasts seem SO simple to start but they aren’t LOL. They are so complicated on the back end so my first piece of advice is if you can, hire someone to help you set everything up. Personally I love challenges so once I hit my first road block I was so motivated and determined to do it myself I spent an entire day figuring out how to build our RSS feed haha! As far as starting your own business, I always tell people to think about the things they are doing in their free time because they love and brainstorm from there. For me, it was taking photographs. I was always looking for great photo spots or making my husband drive to picturesque winery to take photos and voila I became a wedding photographer. I say this because starting your own business is NON STOP WORK anyone who tells you anything different is lying so you’d better LOVE IT.
Erin: Good question! For starting a business in general:
- Just freaking do it. There is truly never a “good” time to make any major life change, especially starting a business, but it’s really always the right time. No one is holding you back but you, so once you get out of your own way, you can make it happen.
- Surround yourself with a kick-ass team of supportive humans. Things will be super up and down and you really need to have people there by your side who you feel safe sharing your failures and achievements with.
- Realize that there is no formula. No one will be able to tell you exactly what to do and you won’t be able to copy anyone else. It will take a while to figure out your best routines, workflows and goals, so just spend a lot of time getting to know yourself and your own business.
For starting a podcast – very much the same as starting a business with these additions:
- Figure out a way to gather data. Podcast analytics are still very naïve, so you will need to figure out how to produce numbers if you ever want to get sponsors/monetize.
- Build a community. The podcast is just a mouthpiece for a community we’ve really wanted to cultivate. Whenever we’re not sure what to do next we always come back to the question- does this help create a community? What do they want?
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. We didn’t even have a proper microphone until recently, but that wasn’t going to stop us. My dog parks in pretty much every episode but who cares. There are so many excuses not to do things but when you just do it, you realize it’s all going to be just fine, and probably pretty awesome.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Casey: I hate the saying “work smarter, not harder” when it comes to being an entrepreneur. It’s just not realistic. You are dreaming if you think being entrepreneur means unlimited vacation days, long lunches, doing whatever you want everyday, etc. Sure, you can do things when you want but if you want to run a real business you can’t get away with working only 40 hours a week. Not only do you need to be working harder than everyone else but you need to work harder than you did the day before every single day in order to grow a real thriving business.
Erin: I don’t know that I’ve ever received BAD advice, but I’ve definitely learned to narrow in on who I seek advice from. Not everyone is my type of person, either in a business sense or a spiritual sense, so knowing who I admire and who I really want in my ear has helped a lot. It doesn’t mean they are wrong or I am right, it just means we don’t vibe with each other.
"I’m not a morning person. And I’m not a night time person. I’m a foxin’ daytime person and PROUD OF IT."
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Casey: Most mornings I’m up around 6:30/7AM. I’ll do my skincare routine and then I’ll do a 5-10 minute meditation (I use Meditation Studio) depending on my mood. After that I make coffee and breakfast and get straight to work. I’m not sure I believe in balance as an entrepreneur haha. But recently I started scheduling everything and it’s definitely made me feel more level headed in my business. Every month has the same flow so the first Monday of every month I review last months analytics, trends, sales, etc and brainstorm for the new month. Every third Tuesday of the month I schedule time for education whether it’s a webinar or reading a business book and so on. It’s helped me sleep better knowing I have everything in my calendar.
Erin: SO GLAD YOU ASKED because here is my answer that took me a long time to own up to. I’m not a morning person. And I’m not a night time person. I’m a foxin’ daytime person and PROUD OF IT. Every single thing you read is like blah blah successful entrepreneur wakes up at 0 o’clock and only needs 16 minutes of sleep! Kidding, of course, but I really always have tried to be a morning person and I’m just not. Rant over now. When I do decide to wake up (not at 5 or 6am, more like 7:30 on a good day), here’s what I do:
- Before I touch my phone, I write 3 things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal that I keep on my nightstand. I find it helps me wake up with fewer complaints and puts me in a good mood expecting good things to happen. It also makes me nicer to, say, my husband
- I make a fresh ginger, lemon and turmeric hot water drink and drink that first thing (ok I lied I drink my coffee first)
- While I drink my drinks I do my real journaling using Penzu.com. I truly wish I could keep my journal in a handwritten notebook but I’m on the move so much and forget things a LOT so I like being able to journal from anywhere. Journaling is really my meditation – I really helps me start the day with a calm brain. Not an easy feat! And it gets my creativity flowing.