If you are thinking about starting your own business, it can be full of fear, anxiety, and overwhelm. Believe me, I totally get it. I’ve started two businesses from scratch without any experience, and I’ve had to learn to fail fast, which is exactly what you’re meant to do, by the way, just ask Google. This is one of the many mindset secrets and lessons my guest today learnt working for the global giant Google in Silicon Valley. Now she’s helping other entrepreneurs build their dream businesses too.
Starting a new business is terrifying. Will you have any customers who would want to work with me? What have I got to offer? There’s already so many other people doing what I want to do. I bet you’ve got a list of excuses, at least a page long. I had them too. My biggest fear though, was around finances. What if I couldn’t feed my family, pay my school fees, or pay private health insurance? And I know this sound like first world problems, but when you are already in a good paying day job, leaving to start something on your own or new takes, your limiting self-beliefs, your inner mean girl, or your imposter syndrome to a whole new level. Did I do it tough in the beginning? Absolutely, yes. Was I late on paying my bills a hundred percent? Did I have to make sacrifices? Absolutely. Did I have to hustle? Of course I did. But was it worth it? Absolutely. I don’t regret it for a minute. And you might be asking why. Why don’t you have any regrets? Well, it’s because I got to build a business on my terms. I got to set the hours I wanted to work, built the income that I needed and enjoyed the freedom of being my own boss. I never had to miss out on another sports day concert or birthday party. And believe me, when I was working in the media, I missed so many things I’d actually run out of babysitting favors with all of my friends and family. I am so happy being my own boss that I started another business. That property Mum, and for many of you who don’t know this, That Property Mum was started with a single desire to make property management businesses easier and less stressful. I wanted to help find solutions to the big issues and problems. And once I fixed them in my own business, I decided I have to share this with others. I knew so many property managers, business owners and working mums who were all suffering unnecessarily. And believe me, I had a revolving door of property managers inside my own business all coming and going, feeling overworked, stressed, and unhappy as they were when they first started.
So that became my mission. I started with an e-book, the A-Z Guide, Property Management and a blog. I now have a weekly podcast, a whole host of online products and templates to help with mindset growth and systems and procedures. I’ve also got an online Property Management Growth Course and Digital Marketing School. So, if you are thinking about starting your own business, whether it’s in property management, it’s a side hustle, or maybe you’ve got an idea for a tech or software tool that might just revolutionise the industry, I say go for it and get started today. Now, my guest today might actually be able to help you on that journey too. Leanne Abriani Jensen is a former Google employee who worked for the global giant in Silicon Valley. She now helps entrepreneurs bring their business ideas to life and the lessons and mindset shifts she garnered in her role as a project manager in Google’s treasury team. How cool is that? Are now part of the foundations of her new business Start Rethinking is designed to help turn great ideas into profitable businesses.
WHAT WAS WORKING FOR GOOGLE LIKE?
‘I have a business called Start Rethinking. Um, I set up this business to help essentially help entrepreneurs start their businesses. So, my background is over 20 years in project management in lots of different industries, in Melbourne, Sydney, London, and Silicon Valley. And what I’ve noticed in project management across all the different industries is there’s lots of repeatable processes and skills that can be applied to help people to start their businesses. So just really wanted to essentially help other people be successful. Essentially, I’d been living in London, and I decided to take about six months off and travel around the states. And I got to San Francisco and just thought, I think this is the place for me within a couple of hours. I just loved it. I applied for some jobs there and as I was actually boarding a plane to move back to Australia, I got a job confirmed at Google in their treasury systems area. So it was one hell of a ride. I didn’t even have proper phone reception. I couldn’t tell anyone until I got back to Australia. I packed everything up, moved over there, and it was amazing. Very entrepreneurial people. Like it’s the, the vibe is just sort of buzzing in Silicon Valley. They actually call Google like a Disneyland for adults. It’s just got anything you could imagine. Like some days I’d be moving, walking from one building to another and I might come across like a Hawaiian luau with like a pig on a spit and, and all sorts of things going on. I think one of the things that I really took away from that experience is that anything is possible. People rather than maybe critiquing an idea that you have for a business or something that you want to do, they’re kind of like, okay, well how do we make that happen? And that’s something that’s really sort of stuck with me and something that I really like to you know, use as an ethos for my business.
MORE GOOGLE MANTRAS
‘I think one of the other really big principles that, that I’ve found in Silicon Valley is just trying things out. Failing fast prototyping where you can, you don’t have to spend, you know, necessarily six or 12 months developing a product before you release it. It’s really great to maybe do a prototype of that product and release it in like, you know in four to six weeks if you can. And it might not be perfect, but you’ll be able to get feedback from your target audience and that will really help you to refine that product and, essentially develop something that will be more useful to people in the long run.’
HOW TO START A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BUSINESS
‘I think firstly, knowing that they want to start a property management business is a really great thing. So, they’ve already sort of narrowed down the scope, they’ve got their idea, and they just need to work out how to execute on it. So the top sort of three things that I would think about is the who. So the, who is the property management business? Who are the target audience? Do you have a geographical area potentially that you’re looking to cover? Who are some of the vendors that you might need to work with? So could be electricians, plumbers, roofing contractors. So, list out all of those people that need to be included in your little bag of tricks essentially to get your business up and running and to maintain it as well. Who’s actually going to be working in your business? So, it’ll be just yourself initially while you’re solely getting additional properties to manage. Will you hire staff? Will you need a virtual assistant? So who are the people that are essentially going to run the business? Then think about as well, who are your competitors? What are they offering? Are there things that you can offer above and beyond what already exists in the market to be more appealing to, to landlords? And so there might be some other people in the mix in property management that probably covers like the vast majority of the who.
Then you’ve really got the how. So how will people find out about you? How will you onboard new landlords? What processes will you take them through end to end from finding you to essentially operating and you managing their property. And the last thing I think about, just to get things started will be the tech that you need. So would you like a website? Are there any specific industry subscriptions that you might need? What social media would you like to be using as part of your promoting your business? And where will you upskill and where will you outsource? And you might have a mixture of that. It might be a little bit of, bit of trial and error, but essentially like that would be sort of the three things that I would look to initially to just sort of map out what you need to get started.’
OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF GETTING STARTED IN BUSINESS
‘So, one of my packages, essentially a monthly coaching package. I would help people to go through all of the steps that we just mentioned, but also address some of the internal fears that people have around starting a business. A lot of the time people have imposter syndrome or maybe they’re not super confident with public speaking or there might be a number of different issues that they need to overcome to get started. They might just be a bit stuck and they kind of have a fantastic idea, have a fantastic geographical region that’s got a lot of potential, but they just need essentially someone to help break things down and, and keep them accountable. So that’s a, a monthly package that I offer. Then I also have separate packages. So it might be a problem solving package. So where someone actually has a property management business already up and running, potentially they’re not making the amount of profit that they would like or they’re finding that they’re spending lots and lots of hours on tasks that could potentially be outsourced. I essentially do a business audit and look at what are they doing currently and where do they want to get to and where are the gaps and how can we look to fill those gaps.’
BIGGEST FEARS WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS
‘I think one of the biggest things is just not knowing where to start. So, they have an idea and they just kind of think, I just don’t know how I’m going to essentially bring that to life. My experience has been in planning things out to sort of finite detail. So, I have a method and part of it is the who, how and the tech, but there’s lots of other techniques that can be used as well to essentially have a really complete picture of what’s required to get the business up and running. So that is one of the big things I think that really makes people stumble a little bit in terms of getting started.’
LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS
‘The launch part is probably the most fun part I have to say. So, when they’re ready to launch, I can essentially put together a six week launch program. So, it depends on the business, but essentially planning everything out in a detailed format, estimating the amount of time each activity’s going to take, putting the costs in there as well. Designing and building content for social media and essentially just giving them a really clear end to end picture of what’s going to be required for launch, as well as what should be done after launch as well. So did we hit the targets that we wanted to hit? What are the benefits that have been delivered to the, to the clients? And essentially putting metrics in place that we could measure the success and so we learn from it as well. And we can roll that into future launches too.
So, you have this continuous improvement methodology. So, you’re always learning, always testing, and again, back to the mindset that you mentioned earlier that really just helps people to just keep improving on what they’re delivering to their clients.’
DO YOU NEED A LIFE COACH?
‘So, with the life coaching, I really look up to how do people want to live their life and how do they want to design their life? And the business is a big part of it, but there is a lot of the foundational things that happen within our lives that we often don’t think about and we’re just on a bit of a treadmill repeating things and maybe not thinking about, okay, does this really benefit me in the long run? So, I tend to look at things like health, relationships, work and essentially do a little bit of a life audit as well. They just work out what’s working, what’s not working, what can be changed and what’s the plan to do it. And you often find that business and life are very closely interlinked. If one thing isn’t working well then it affects the other and vice versa. So, it’s important to look at both aspects if you feel that there’s areas that need to be improved.’
HOW TO JUGGLE IT ALL AS A WORKING MUM
‘I think one of the biggest things is for me personally, is just realizing that I can’t possibly do absolutely everything that there is to do. And if I try to do that and I have in the past, I think it is just a path to burnout, which doesn’t help anybody. So for me it’s really looking at what are the things that I can save time on. So I have a cleaner come once a week. They just came this morning, it’s amazing. Everything’s nice and fresh and you know, clean. I’m looking at preparing ahead of the baby coming in terms of having meals in the freezer ready to go getting things delivered. So, whether it’s groceries or like an egg delivery over a couple of weeks. Just little things like that to make life easier. I also make sure that I spread the load a little bit with, with my husband. He’s really good. He’s great at cooking. He does a lot of the pickups and drop-offs. We spread that out quite evenly. And then in terms of business, I’m pretty much booked up until a month before I go on my maternity leave. So, I’m just being conscious of not overcommitting myself, particularly coming up to the my, my due date as well as there’s a lot of things that I’m researching and planning for now for my business, but I know that I’m not going to be able to get to them until early in the new year because my due date is mid-November. I’m not going to overload myself at this point in time. I have a flexible business. It’s one of the main reasons I set up this business, so that I can stop and start when I’d like to. I can do a couple of hours work here and there, or I can be working five days a week or more if I choose to. But I really wanted the flexibility of being able to ramp up and ramp down as I need to be there for my family.’