Tara Newman Hey, hey everybody. Welcome to this episode of the Bold Leadership Revolution podcast. I am so excited to be here with my podcast producer and my right-hand woman, Stacey Harris. Hey, Stacey.
Stacey Harris Hi. I’m very excited for today’s conversation.
Tara Newman Yeah, today we are talking about, well, first of all, we’re celebrating The BRAVE Society being in existence for a year. So, it was established in August of 2018 and when you’re listening to this episode, it will be August 2019. And we are here to debrief the year in BRAVE and we’re both really excited because it has been a tremendous joy. I’m going to speak for Stacey and say it’s been a tremendous joy to work on this project and we’ve had a lot of fun and we’ve had a lot of growth and it’s taken off in a way that I don’t know if Stacey expected. I certainly didn’t expect it.
Stacey Harris I did.
Tara Newman So, Stacey’s the oracle.
Stacey Harris But I think my foreshadowing of you of your genius is much better than yours. No, I love this community much more than I should for a community that is not mine. I’m a little bit obsessed with it. And what’s happened in this first year has been really cool.
So, I want to start us off though by taking us back to before it’s birth before BRAVE came into existence. And I want to talk a little bit about the journey you had to go on with this idea before BRAVE existed. Because it’s not like you just woke up last August and we’re like, “Hey, we should totally have a membership society.” In fact, I’m not even totally sure you wanted to call it a membership community when we launched it.
Tara Newman I don’t do memberships.
Stacey Harris I am still trying to deprogram you from telling people that are paying in full. I’m like, no, they’re not.
Tara Newman True. This is true.
Stacey Harris She gets several slack messages during Facebook lives. It’s annual.
Tara Newman Recurring.
Stacey Harris So, what for you was the pull to create The BRAVE Society after having this idea for a while? What came together for you? For The BRAVE Society to be The BRAVE Society.
Tara Newman It was years of synchronistic moments. And for anybody who thinks in terms of overnight success or that these things just happen or that one day you wake up and you have the idea, I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me that is untrue. I remember having this conversation with you. I think it was like July 2016 about how I want to be a platform for other women leaders and that this business is not about me. It’s really about everybody else: the leaders, the bold leaders out there in the world, and specifically women.
Oddly enough, when I first started my business, I had a really hard time attracting female clients. I worked with a lot of men in the beginning. And then I – you probably remember this – but I got so frustrated that I finally just said, I’m not working with men anymore. I’m here for the women. And I started speaking specifically to women, and then the men were responding, hiring me even more. And it was like, I remember writing an email saying like, “Hey sisters,” and having a man respond, and being like, I’m so in.
Stacey Harris So true.
Tara Newman So, even in that respect, this has been really a journey for me to be able to show up and support women business owners and women professionals the way that I do. So, it’s been a lot of synchronistic moments, and a lot of testing things and it not working, a lot of not working.
Stacey Harris And I want to highlight that because I think too often we think the only success from a test is that that test worked and went on to be the idea. When really I think the success we have in the ninth idea after that is usually dependent on that first six not totally succeeding because we need those lessons. Especially in something that you’re going to have over a long period of time. When you talk about a closed program, a course, or a mastermind, or a one on one coaching contract, you have time from contract to contract to feel that out. But when you’re running something that is ongoing, that takes a lot of smaller projects and finding your way before creating something like a recurring membership. It’s really going to be a good idea. And I don’t think that’s something we talk about enough as people who, when we talk about memberships, that it usually is derived from all the other kinds of work you’ve done.
Tara Newman Yeah, I think people think it’s an easy way to make money. It’s recurring. Yay. And I think that most people don’t understand the level of where your business needs to be at before you can undertake a membership even in terms of people; like platform growth, like the level — my platform has been in existence since 2012, 2013. Then I had a personal blog and that’s a long time.
Stacey Harris And also, internally having the right support. I mean, I know this is something we talked about, I think we talked about this a little bit in the first episode we did about BRAVE last August. But also having the right people on your team was a real important piece for you to put in place. What was the impact of getting the right players on the team, if you will, to just full on go into this cliche? For you being comfortable and confident in being like, now is the time.
Tara Newman Yeah. It’s interesting because some of the things that I struggled with was feeling like I could energetically hold space for this many women without feeling completely drained and exhausted by the time it would take from me, or the resources, or whatever. And it was a huge fear of mine, which is probably why some of my other programs hadn’t really gotten off the ground. By the way, I just want to say, I can’t even tell you how many programs that I launched that I never even filled, or I filled with two people and one person asked for a refund, or I filled it with one person. So, I really want people who are listening to this to hear that for years, I would launch group programs to nobody. So, I think that’s just really important.
So, it dawned on me that the way to do this was through having people come in and support me in supporting this group, which was you and Lane, and that you each had to have your own specific roles within this. But also, that we had to invest ahead of time in structure and in systems. So, before we even made a dollar there was, if I just quickly tallied up and I don’t know directly in my head, but if I were to quickly tally it up, I probably invested about $5,000 – $7,000 in this community before I even made a dime. Because I had your hours in there, I had Lane’s hours in there. We had hired Nicole Jackson Miller‘s crew to come in and do some project management and set up a sauna for us. So, there was that in there just so we knew that we can take it through a year with some kind of architecture.
Stacey Harris Well, that’s an interesting point that I hadn’t thought of before we got on the phone, but I think it’s worth mentioning and we mentioned this in BRAVE in March when we did the price increase, but that first round was really a Beta. It was really us testing if people were going to respond to BRAVE, if you were going to like running BRAVE, if this was actually going to fit in your business. And so, I think that’s a really good point to make is you did spend a lot of time trying this on. And as we go into year two – and this is something we’ll talk about later – there will be some shifts and some changes as we move into what’s next for BRAVE. But how much of what BRAVE is now did you already have in your mind, and what about BRAVE now is something that you totally didn’t expect to happen.
Tara Newman That’s so great because there’s a lot in that question. So firstly, the intention was for this to be a marketplace. I really need women to come together and to network and to open doors for each other and to do business with each other. And to pay each other, right? Because sometimes women have some, we’ll call them some programming, around like, “We’ll be friends, and we’ll barter,” or like, “we’re all friends” and then we’re friend-zoned. That’s not what this is. This is a group of women with a purpose of coming together to do business together.
And that looks like a lot of different things. That looks like them actually working together, that looks like them making referrals and opening doors for each other, and that looks like just leading together, and supporting each other in life and leadership. And nothing makes me happier when I see the people that I connect do business together and make money. And collaborate, and support, and refer, and all those things.
Stacey Harris I mean, like sharing each other’s content. We all have a part of our content that goes out that’s from other sources. I always prioritize people who I know through BRAVE when I’m going to share, I’m going to shout out people in my Instagram stories or whatever. I love that component so much.
Tara Newman And I wasn’t sure how this was actually going to work to be quite honest. I mean, I just trusted that if I grabbed the right people together and put them in a room that this would happen. And initially I thought maybe we’d be prompting them to promote things and we’d have special threads or whatever, but I really haven’t needed to do that. These women have really come together and 100% have been referring each other, and have been hiring each other, have been collaborating, going on each other’s podcasts. So, maybe a few months ago, by the time you’re listening to this, a few months ago we had a member who is relatively new, and she had some things going on in life and that was coinciding with her having some things going on in business. And she was like, “Oh my gosh. I don’t have enough episodes to go out on my podcast and I don’t have enough time to sit down and create three or four podcast episodes.” So, she very courageously, because anytime a woman asks for support, I think it’s the most courageous act that they could take.
And so, she very courageously came in and said, “Hey, listen, I have these things going on in my personal life, I have these things going on in business. Here’s where I’m at. Here’s what I need. Can you – I don’t even have time to interview you. You need to record this on your own. You need to come up with a topic, record this on your own and get me the audio file, right? And I think she wound up with four people creating a podcast episode for her to take her through the month that she needed coverage for on her podcast. And I was blown away. And even if people couldn’t do it, like it was tight timing. I would’ve done it, but the timing for me, I couldn’t. I thought I was going into loom…no, I had the mastermind day. I had something going on and I really – my schedule was crunched.
But we all came on, even if we couldn’t do it, we came on to support her in asking for that support so boldly, and her allowing herself to be supported. And it was probably one of the greatest moments inside BRAVE. It was the truest example of what I meant for this community when I created it and couldn’t even have a tangible proof of what that would look like. And this has gone on to happen in other ways and shapes and form. But that’s probably the most prominent example that I could have never foresaw that happening.
Stacey Harris Well, and what I love about that is it’s something that, this idea of a marketplace and this idea of people coming in and supporting each other, was a tangible idea. But it evolved into something that you couldn’t see. It evolved into something that was so, you’re like, “Yes, this is why this community exists.” This is why we wanted to build this room for these leaders and for these women is because stuff like this is then possible. And I’ve really, I love that.
Tara Newman The other thing that I didn’t foresee. And it’s so funny because it’s the most powerful part of BRAVE. And I never in a million years saw this coming: the conversations.
Stacey Harris Yup.
Tara Newman Hot. Damn.
Stacey Harris I think that’s what everyone in BRAVE says. They’re like, “No, you don’t understand. We have conversations unlike anywhere else on the Internet in this place.”
Tara Newman It’s like a bunch of women are having the most conscious slumber party. I don’t know what else to say.
Stacey Harris Oh my God, I love that. It’s a conscious slumber party. That’s the best way of describing it.
Tara Newman You know the things that we talk about in there are so relatable and honest, and real, and necessary. These are conversations that are not happening anywhere else
Stacey Harris And they’re whole life conversations. They’re business and.
Tara Newman This is nothing that I have done. The only thing that I can say that I have done to potentially cultivate this is this belief that I have around leadership and one that we are all standing shoulder to shoulder in taking responsibility for this community in the sense that if you don’t like something that’s happening, let us know. If you want to see something done differently or you want to see something here that’s not here now, lead. Start it. It’s a blank slate. You use this as your opportunity to take responsibility for what you want to see in this space. And so, that I can say a lot of the women have done, they’ve really taken this space and made it what they want and what they need in their business.
Stacey Harris Well, and that takes us back to the beginning because I remember a video you did when we first launched the community in the group, giving them that instruction. And now that lives in our onboarding and it’s one of the first things everybody sees is this idea of like, if you want something, create it. And it’s something that yeah, your voice rings in my head regularly. The quickest way to manifest something is ask for it.
Tara Newman Yup.
Stacey Harris Like I think that’s the motto. If you want something in this space, say something, use your voice. But I want to take us back to launching initially last August.
Tara Newman Yeah. Are you going to tell this story?
Stacey Harris Do you want to tell the story or do you want me to tell them? I was going to make you tell the stories, is what I was going to do. By the way, guys, that’s an inside look. If you had Lane here to also joke around like that, you would have just what our team meetings are like. When we launched the community…
Tara Newman You can’t even say it with a straight face.
Stacey Harris I can’t. What was that experience like for you Tara? I’m leaving all of this in.
Tara Newman You should, it’s honest. It’s real.
Stacey Harris What was launching BRAVE initially like for you?
Tara Newman Okay.
Stacey Harris I’m like literally covering my face right now so she doesn’t see me laughing at her.
Tara Newman Okay. So, first I didn’t realize we were launching because you tricked me.
Stacey Harris I did not trick you. That makes it sound terrible. I should tell this story. Geez, I sound better in my version.
Tara Newman I’m going to do it. And then you can chime. If we can get through this without the massive giggle fit. Oh Gosh. Oh, so funny. Okay. So, I have been launch phobic. Is that a good word to use?
Stacey Harris I think it’s a perfect word.
Tara Newman Okay. So, I have—
Stacey Harris Everybody just went, “Oh my God, I know that feeling.”
Tara Newman Okay. So, I have been launch phobic for a really long time because I look out into the world and I see how people launch, and it doesn’t feel good to me. It doesn’t feel good. The tactics, the tricks, the whatever, the vibe, the culture around it, has not felt good to me. Clearly, I had to get over this if I wanted to fill the rave society with the most beautiful and amazing women that are in there today. So, Stacey was smart enough to realize that she had to back door the launch. And a week into launching, Lane says to me in a panic…so, Lane and Stacey both came on my team at the same time, probably end of June, beginning of July, and in August we were launching. So, they had only been with me for about four to six weeks on my team.
Stacey Harris And at this point, we had not talked to each other yet.
Tara Newman Yeah. Lane and Stacey hadn’t really even been chatting with each other. So, Lane, in a hot panic, says to me, “Tara, are we launching?” And I’m like, what? I’m like, I don’t know. Let me go into Slack and ask Stacey. I’m like, “Stacey, are we launching?” And you’re like, “Yeah, for the last week, Tara.” And I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” And then that’s what I was like, “Lane, we’re launching, go talk to Stacey in Slack.”
Stacey Harris And Lane and I have been friends ever since. So, let me just say, there was no trickery here. I just was like, “Hey, we’re going to need these emails and what do you think of this copy?” And then I was like, “Okay, here we go.” I started sending them. That’s not mean.
Tara Newman I didn’t say it was mean.
Stacey Harris I know, but when we use the word trickery, it sounds…
Tara Newman I think it’s incredibly strategic.
Stacey Harris …suspect.
Tara Newman I thought it was incredibly strategic of you.
Stacey Harris What I love about that experience though is it really informed us as we went into this year to change the way you look at launching.
Tara Newman No, no, no, no. I’m going to correct you.
Stacey Harris Okay.
Tara Newman We’re going to change the way everybody looks at launching.
Stacey Harris Yes, yes.
Tara Newman So, in the beginning of the year, it donned on me that for the love of BRAVE…for love that is always holy and BRAVE…if I wanted to continue to do this work and I wanted these women to continue to have this experience, I needed to get over my own shit and I needed to figure out how we as a company were going to launch. And then I decided that once we figured it out, we were going to teach everybody else how to launch like a bold leader.
Stacey Harris And that was really the birthplace of a term, much loved inside and outside of BRAVE, called the encouragement period.
Tara Newman Yup.
Stacey Harris Yup. And that really came from a lot of those lessons we learned in that initial launch of BRAVE because you went through a lot of your own, it was really a crash course in your own launch phobicness…launch phobia? Because like, we wrap that launch and you got crazy sick.
Tara Newman Which one?
Stacey Harris The initial launch. We got through the initial launch and BRAVE, we closed out the founder’s price. So when we launched BRAVE, we had founding members, and then with the initial launch we extended the founder’s member pricing to people who jumped in on this idea with us, those amazing people who were like, “Sure, let’s see what BRAVE is.” And when we wrapped that initial launch, it was the close of that founders’ price. Then we went to the regular price. Two days later you got sick.
Tara Newman You know what’s weird?
Stacey Harris Hmm?
Tara Newman I had to ask which one because I got sick after the March launch too.
Stacey Harris Did you really?
Tara Newman And I got the stomach virus in April. So, we closed the launch in March when I was in Mexico, and you guys…
Stacey Harris We were both in Mexico. All three of us were in Mexico.
Tara Newman And everybody was coming in for the retreat, and then I got home from the retreat and like a week later I got sick.
Stacey Harris Yeah, but that was also your first big retreat internationally. There were other firsts than that one.
Tara Newman I’m just noting.
Stacey Harris It is worth noting, but I think that’s a really good lesson for anybody who’s listening, like paying attention. This is one of the things I love about debriefing is you have that data. We’ve been able to pull this data into evolving how we treat encouragement periods, and how we launch programs, and products, and all sorts of places inside of the business. So, when you think back to us launching and when you were aware of it anyways, are there any things you wish you’d known then that you know now about facilitating this community, holding this kind of space? What would happen inside the community? Is there anything you wish you had known before I tricked you?
Tara Newman No, because I think that everything has just rolled along in divine timing and unfolding and it just happens so organically that I wish I would have known it was going to be such a fantastic hit.
Stacey Harris Well, yeah, I mean our, our test has gone really well so far.
Tara Newman Yeah. I think that the lessons that we’re learning and continue to learn are just unfolding at like the best possible time for us to be learning them.
Stacey Harris I think that that is in itself a really great lesson and I think that so many people go into development of a program, or offering, or regardless of whether it’s a membership, maybe it’s a mastermind or maybe it’s a new way you’re packaging your one on one, or maybe it’s a product, a certain amount of allowance for how this whole thing is going to shape up on its own. I think sometimes we death grip so hard onto literally everything. But specifically, when we’re developing a program and we don’t leave that space for like, “Oh, hey, this actually turned out really cool because we gave it the space to figure out what it was.”
Tara Newman Well, this is the reason why a blueprint doesn’t work.
Stacey Harris Right.
Tara Newman Because you have to be able to ebb and flow and evolve.
Stacey Harris I mean, you’ve been running your mastermind for a couple of years now. You’ve worked with one on one clients for a couple of years now. As we go into 2020, do you have a single offering that’s going to look exactly like you did in 2019?
Tara Newman Oh Shit. Uh, no.
Stacey Harris And going to 2019, did you have a single offering that looked exactly like it did in 2018?
Tara Newman No, but that’s intentional. I intentionally do that because everyone that I work with is growing and evolving at any time. And so, I don’t want them staying in our programs because they’re the same. I want them staying in there and in our programs, which we have a lot of retention in our programs, but I want them staying because we’ve met them. We’ve done a great job at meeting them where they’re at now. So, anybody who’s in the mastermind experience right now, can stay and have just as good of an experience in 2020, as well as having a growth experience in 2020 because we’re evolving the program to meet these women where they’re at now.
Stacey Harris And it’s worth noting, just while we’re talking about the mastermind, but applications are open now, right?
Tara Newman Correct. They are open and we are welcoming in 10 to 12 women. 10 or 12, it doesn’t matter to me.
Stacey Harris Or 11. It doesn’t have to be an even number.
Tara Newman Right, it doesn’t have to be an even number. Somewhere between 10 and 12 women and spots are already filled. Yay.
Stacey Harris I’m so excited. Anyways, sorry. Slight sidetrack into the mastermind. But the same is true for BRAVE. As we go into year two of BRAVE, we have learned some things in year one that we will be evolving. What for you was the one thing as you look at year two and as you and I sat down and did our planning for year two of BRAVE, that was like a non-negotiable. This for sure will be in BRAVE for the foreseeable future forever and ever. Is there a part of BRAVE that you’re like, this will always be there?
Tara Newman I mean I think there’s the core of BRAVE that will always be there. So, I think the core of BRAVE is we’re always going to have these bold and powerful conversations. I think at the core of BRAVE are the CEO debriefs and the reasons for why we debrief and that will always be there. I think that we will always have these panel discussions where we’re hearing from myself or others. And we actually evolved the panel discussion to be once a quarter, we turned it into a laser coaching session with me. So, that I love. I love giving that to the group. I love for them to come and to have their questions and their challenges or whatever it is that they need to work on and have an opportunity to receive coaching or advisement from me. And that will stay. And the one thing that, well, can I talk about something we’re adding?
Stacey Harris If you want to. That was going to be my next question. Look at you jumping ahead on the sheet.
Tara Newman Yeah. So, the one thing that I am the most excited about, is really us taking a stand for women paying women. And really taking a stand for the fact that we pay women for their expertise. So, bringing in women in The BRAVE Society – probably going to have maybe four, we’re going to say start with four women – come in and lead us in a discussion, in a workshop, however they want to do it for 90 minutes. And we are going to be paying them as consultants to come in and deliver their expertise to our group. None of this free guest expert that really devalues women. But this is a group where we as women come and pay other women.
Stacey Harris And I am so excited for this. So, I want to take us back a quickly, the core of BRAVE being CEO debriefs because I think that for me that’s one of the most valuable habits I added to my business in 2019. Mostly because you make me, but also because they’re helpful. So, I love that those are staying. If you’re listening to this and you have no idea what we’re talking about, we do have the CEO debrief questions publicly available. So, if you haven’t yet joined BRAVE, you can listen into what actually happens in these conversations because it’s not like what you expect. I’ll just leave it at that. But what I’m so excited about as we move into 2020 and we move into year two of BRAVE, is that taking a stand for paying women for showing up and supporting this community. Because I feel like so often we see these memes or whatever on Instagram where it’s like, “I can’t pay my electric bill with exposure.” But then we invite people to come into our mastermind group or into our membership or whatever and teach our people because you’ll get exposed to all of these people in my mastermind and then they’ll definitely hire you. And I’m super over that. So, I’m very excited about this being not only something we’re doing inside of BRAVE, but something we’re talking more about publicly.
Tara Newman Yeah. And I just think it’s so in the spirit of BRAVE on so many levels to do things differently, to go against the grain. To take a stand for women’s value and building wealth for ourselves and others.
Stacey Harris And it’s a powerful way to model that this is a marketplace. Because not only are we paying these women to come in, but they’re from the community. And so, these are the women who you’re already spending time within this community and now we’re gonna, in a more structured way, get a little more of their time. And I think that’s a really cool thing. So, as we wrap up this conversation, I want to hit on one more thing, which is what is the thing that makes BRAVE so special in your mind? In your experience as the creator of this space?
Tara Newman There’s a lot of things that make BRAVE special.
Stacey Harris I know, but I want you to pick one. And I already have your answer in my head, so you better choose the right one. No, I’m just kidding. Share what it is that makes it special for you.
Tara Newman What I wanted more than anything else was to provide a soft place for women business owners to land. Because it’s not always the easiest role to have when you are the sole provider of your income. When you have the strain and stress of everyday life plus running a business on your shoulders. Whether you are the one who’s contributing solely to your financial situation at home, or whether or not you are in partnership on that, it’s still a weight that you carry that you are solely responsible for. You’re hunting, and you’re fishing, and you’re gathering, right? Like your bill paying whatever you want to call it.
And so, when you’re juggling that with life…I just wanted to be the calm in the entrepreneurial storm for women to come and be themselves. I think this is really so demonstrated too on the CEO debriefs. It’s just come as you are. We have people come with babies, and with pets and, fresh out of the shower with a towel on their head, and it’s from the car. They’re listening while they might be driving, but not participating. Safety first. Or waiting at the school for their kid or whatever it is that they’re doing. They just show up as they are, they can come and go. You don’t have to be there at a certain time or stay for the whole thing, but that they’re making this commitment to take an hour out of there life and business to focus on themselves twice a month and to reflect and to think strategically and to be self-critical without judgment. We’re still working on that without judgment part many of us. But…
Stacey Harris I’ll just wave my hand right there.
Tara Newman …we’re coming together and we’re doing it together, and to really have this experiential learning together.
Stacey Harris I will be honest. I think the only reason I’m able to do my debriefs is because we do them together. Because I often get great insights from a question someone will ask you or an insight someone will share in the chat. By the way, the chat is like the hotspot.
Tara Newman Isn’t it life? That chat is like, I go back in after and read it.
Stacey Harris I have been known to on weeks we don’t have them, go listen to one and pull up the chat like while I have to do another one. But no, I think that oftentimes my biggest insights or takeaways, or like accountability for answering the question I don’t want to answer comes from you sharing your stuff from people in the chat chiming in about theirs. That fundamental like, “Oh, I’m not alone. I’m not screwing this up.” You know what I mean? That place to be like, “Oh, hey, we’re all weird, but in the best way because we’re all weird in a way that makes us connect.”
Tara Newman And sometimes it’s messy.
Stacey Harris Oftentimes it’s messy, let’s be honest. But messy is where the fun is because nobody ever ended up party with clean house. I’m just saying.
Tara Newman That’s a great analogy.
Stacey Harris It just came out of my mouth before my brain even thought of it. It just, I heard it with you. Anyways, so I’m very excited. I want to wrap this up by telling people to come join us in BRAVE. So, tell them to come join us in BRAVE.
Tara Newman Come join us in The BRAVE Society.
Stacey Harris Good job. You see how well she takes direction, guys. Thank you for sitting down with me today and celebrating one year of BRAVE. Thank you for doing this. For creating BRAVE. I’m just going to speak on behalf of all the people in BRAVE. We’re glad you did it. And for the people not yet in BRAVE, get it together guys. It’s a really cool community. And that’s all I got for you today.
Tara Newman Thank you for supporting us, all of us in the BRAVE Society. I appreciate you deeply.
Stacey Harris I appreciate you too. See, I like this part of the episode cause it’s all like, “Oh, I love you too.” That’s all and it’s over.
Tara Newman Awesome.
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