Welcome to Episode #30 of The Planner Podcast.
This was SUCH a fun interview – as I chatted with Leonie Dawson all about the creative life and 8-figure business she has built – all in just a few hours a week!
I know you’ll be so inspired by Leonie just as much as I am – enjoy the episode about planning a life on your own terms!
LEONIE’S WEBSITE FREEBIES: https://leoniedawson.com/ (I’m an affiliate for Leonie and I highly recommend Leonie’s stuff!).
LEONIE’S PODCAST: https://leoniedawson.com/podcast/
WATCH ON YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/FGOMaRC6xys
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(This is an automated transcript so forgive any typos!).
Hi, this is Mim Jenkinson, and you’re listening to The Planner Podcast.
Mim: Hi, lovely. And welcome back. I’m so happy you’re here. Maybe you’re listening to this on the podcast. Maybe you’re watching on my Mim Jenkinson YouTube channel either way. Welcome. I am so, so, so, so excited to share this interview with you today. Today’s guest is Leonie Dawson. You may have heard of Leonie. You may not. By the end of this episode, you are going to love Leonie just as much as I do. I’m a little bit of a fan girl, as you’ll soon see. Leonie is an extraordinary business person and I’m so excited to share this chat with you because Leonie drops so many gold nuggets and advice and tips and wisdom that I know will really resonate with you as well. I can’t wait to share it with you enough of me. Let’s get into the interview now. And at the end, I’ll also share with you how you can connect with Leonie.
I’m so excited that we have a very special guest with us today, and it is Leonie Dawson. Welcome to the podcast!
Leonie: Thank you for having me!
Mim: I’m so excited that you’re here. I’ve been following you for a while now and just have loved your journey. And I know that so many of the people in my community know who you are and know all about you anyway, but for those few that maybe don’t can you share about you, introduce yourself, let us know about you, let us know your pronouns, what you do, who you do it for.
Leonie: I am like the worst and elevator pitches ever. So I’m just a random who talks on the internet. Um, and it’s made up like a big business. Now we’re at eight figures now over $11 million. I only work about 10 hours a week and I’ve only ever worked about 10 hours a week just cause I’ve had kids. And like, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but like kids take a lot of time, like it is too. Yeah. Yeah. That kind of like, I don’t know. I’ll have a commitment. So just keep that in mind, if you ever think about having kids. Um, and what else? Oh, I write books and. My pronouns are she, or they – both work beautifully for me. I live on the sunny coast with my husband and our two kids and um, I just like making stuff really.
Mim: Oh, and your creativity is so inspiring me over here. Very creative, not an artist in any way though. I wish I was. My husband is, but I just love the way that you weave your creativity and your art into everything you do, literally every single part of your business. It’s so beautiful.
Leonie: And it’s just, it’s really my own selfish need to like, oh, how can I make this more colorful? Because if I don’t have color, I get bored so quickly.
Mim: Well, you do a great job of expressing it and helping others as well. So, yay. I know I’ve been, like I said, I’ve been listening to your podcast for over a year now and I’ve been following your journey. And I know that this year 2021 has obviously been interesting for so many of us, including you. And I know that you’ve had a Jenny business-wise this year, I mean, eight figures. Hello. And I also know that you’ve had some other things happening with like personal stuff, health stuff. Um, and do you want to share a little bit more about the events of this year and kind of where you are now, and maybe we can move into what your plans are for the rest of the year and how we might be able to apply that for us.
Leonie: So for me, I mean, I think pandemic times adjust it, it really is that experience of like, wow, I’m leaving through a historical event. And like part of that is like, wow, how amazing. And then another part is like, this is. What a time, like multiple traumas going on and even. So many layers. And even if you, um, have had like a really easy run, like I would say I’ve had a, really a dream run with a pandemic really. Um, because I live in a state that has no Scott, no, COVID, um, I’m very grateful. Uh, and we haven’t had to do huge amounts of lockdown, so I’ve done some lockdowns. Um, and you know, my business has been brilliant, but, um, it’s still in an almost techs. And then there’s also like the mass trauma of like, you know, whenever there’s that psychological phenomenon, when your community, when your country and when the rest of the world is going through something very difficult, you feel that you feel that emotionally and you feel it psychologically, it’s like a mass trauma community trauma.
Mim: You can’t name it. You just, it’s this feeling of like a weight or a heaviness, like unexpected. And it’s only when other people start to share what they’re going through that you realize it’s the collective, right?
Leonie: Yeah, yeah. And that we’ve had to really adjust our brain on so many levels in terms of what is okay for right now. And what’s really important. Um, and you know, if the added complexity of the rise of like conspiracy theories and how divisive that has made things and how it makes things feel really scary, you know, like I loved when people like their conspiracy theories were just like, man did land on the moon. Like great that’s, that’s awesome conspiracy theory to be in. Um, but when you’re like other people were going to conspiracy theory, which means like, that may have like very negative health impacts on me and my family and my loved ones and eldest and the community, all that kind of stuff, then it feels scary. It feels, it feels really intense and very scary. Um, so that’s, I think that’s really challenging to, to leave through that kind of part. Like, can we just go back to UFO, conspiracy theories? You know, we do that.
Mim: We used to talk about the eighties when we were like kids and how you could leave the house without locking the door. And we used to joke about how for you, that was like, that is, that’s nothing, that’s nothing compared to yesteryear.
Leonie: It’s true. It’s true. Um, yeah, so like on a personal level but also on a global level, it’s, it’s a big time to live through. And for me personally, like I’ve always got health stuff going on. I have something called hypermobility, which means my bones dislocate really easily. So, um, it just seems like every single month there’s something that happens upon dislocates. And then I can’t walk for a while and I’m like, come on now. I’m like a jellyfish, just like with a bag of bars, just floating around, like going wherever they want.
So my current injury, uh, is, um, I was playing monsters in the house with the kids and I was stomping really hard and I’ve displaced something in my foot now, and now I can’t walk. So I got to my leg, knees and legs and crawled back to bed. My husband was already in bed and he was like, and what’s happened now. And I was like, of course.
Mim: My life, I don’t have the hypermobility. I have the 42-ness. Yeah. I think I’ve got a few years on you. So it’s literally like, what’s that? Is it, um, is it the perimenopause? Is it the age? Is it because I’m a little bit unfit? Like, what’s that, not that new thing. What’s that new thing?
Leonie: Yeah. I got to see what the forties will do to my body because. Nice. Yeah. Is it, is it depression? Is it a pandemic or is it your forties?
Mim: So you’ve had a year, but in terms of, cause I know that you’ve said if you like quite a few times, and you’ve said as well today, but you’ve been really lucky in that your business has like, you’ve literally created a business that fits around almost every eventuality. So, you know, no business is a hundred percent pandemic proof for example, but yours absolutely has. I’ve seen it thrive. And what’s behind that. Like, what’s the, how have you been able to set up this business that works so well for your life, but has really, really grown so significantly as well.
Leonie: So I think, um, first and foremost, to recognize it, when you own a business working more, does not equate better profit or increase revenue working smarter. Absolutely does. And by working smarter, I mean doing the things that are really critical to the business growth and then just killing off everything else. And like, I know that inside all of us as a part of us, it’s like, no, I can’t kill off those tasks. They need to be done actually. No they don’t. Um, unless they are a commitment that you’ve already made to a paying client, um, and you need to see out the end of that contract, then know like everything is up for grabs. Like you get to decide how you design your business so that it works as efficiently as possible. So for us, so for us now, like we turn over over a million dollars a year, um, and I only work 10 hours a week. And so the next question people always ask me is you’ve got a really big team then. And I don’t, I have, um, one part-time assistant who works 20 hours a week. And then, uh, another part-time assistant who just does customer service. And that’s, I think she does maybe two or three hours a week. So together they’re not even a part time. Like I’m still part time.
Mim: But like you say, so it’s working smarter, isn’t it? And let’s just for anyone who doesn’t quite know what you do share with us that the product range that you have at the minute that is leading to the eight figure.
Leonie: Um, yeah. Apart from just talking on the internet. Um, so yeah, I mostly run online courses and on a really big range of topics on whatever I’m interested in. So I think the big ones at the moment are money manifesting and multiple streams of income, 40 days to create. So eCourse four days to finish your book. Uh, my sales star master class and oh, my new one, which has been really popular too, is marketing without social media because I, I quit social media this year and my business continues to grow. And it’s awesome.
Mim: Every time you talk about quitting social media, there’s something inside of me that grows a bit bigger, like do it to do it. And I know that so many other people have followed suit with it as well. Um, I mean, I, I know why that course would have been such a successful U because it’s one of the biggest, so when I’m teaching people how to sell on Etsy and how to grow their online business, one of the biggest things that come back is overdue. I have to do social media. What if I don’t have a big following and like your course emphasis all of those questions in that you don’t need social media, you know.
Leonie: And it’s like, there’s so many businesses and really large companies that aren’t using social media as well. There are literally thousands of ways for you to market your business. And social media is just one of the Amanda all marketing methods are completely optional. So like the advent of social media did not like suddenly, like that’s when the business world burst forward. Like it’s like finally now we can actually have businesses and market it to people, no business I’ve been around for thousands of years and using all different kinds of marketing methods to find their right people.
Mim: Oh, it’s so true. And your business has been around for over 10 years now, hasn’t it around? And I haven’t been in the digital marketing space for a little while myself as well. There was all this strong messaging of, well, if you don’t get on social media, you’re not going to keep up with the trends and your business will go down. And the new people was five and so on. And I think that there’s an element of that, of trips and everything. So there will be an element of truth in that, but you’re just an example, a booming example of how you are around your business was around before social media became the mammoth that it is now actually decided, you know, you went along with it for a little bit, decided it wasn’t for you and ditched it altogether and your business has thrived beyond it. So that’s very reassuring to so many online business owners.
Leonie: The thing to realize as well is that social media will have its own ups and downs. Like, um, you know, I remember when Twitter was really massive, like a massive source of traffic, you know, I went Paris. Skype was like the new, big thing. Like I remember when vine came out, everyone was like, are these places like, does anyone give a anymore? No. Uh, like, does it like how many, like my space follows? Do you have, does it make any difference to your business? No, I loved when that, oh, what was it called? Clubhouse.
It is too much. And so it’s actually just not a sustainable way to build a business. You know, there’s been so many bills gotten favors on one app and then not being able to translate it into that, into any kind of commercial success or any longevity.
Mim: So true. And I could, I could name many, many, many people who have got huge Instagram accounts who are making no money and the opposite, those who have less than, less than a thousand deepen and making a ton. So I’m not the only one. Obviously you can name them. It’s just, it’s crazy. Um, yeah, I love it. I love that. You’ve thrived beyond it as well. And all right. So tell me, you’ve got, you’ve got one and a half assistants, not even one and a half. So what, how do you spend the few hours a week that you’re working? What’s it like a day in the life of Leonie at work?
Leonie: I have a little post-it note above my desk that I wrote years ago and it said, what would my business look like if I could only work two hours a week? And, um, so I wrote down like the three things that I would do and that really kind of holds firm to is actually the priority here. So for me, the priority is always, um, you know, bring out a new program or relaunched an old program, um, and create some kind of free content, whether a blog post or a podcast, um, they get sent in an email to someone. And if I have some bonus time outside of that, then create something free to give away. So it’s very, it’s like a very clear, like that’s all I’m doing.
Mim: And so essentially you were just doing the things that you want and people are also buying them, which means that you can sustain your business and pay your bills. And everyone’s delighted!
Leonie: Completely, completely. And I don’t have to like repeat anything. If, if anyone asks me a question, I have to repeat the answer, like to go the one person, I just create a course about it and then they can buy that thing.
Mim: And I love that. Like, hi, I’m like, everyone’s an ideas person. I love coming up with new things, you know, because I want to do 50 different things every single day. And I really try and reign myself in, but I like that. You’re just like, oh, if I’m going to keep on putting new things out there, if, if the urge takes you and if the passion takes you and then you’re also not afraid to, like you said before, change things and retire things as well. If it’s no longer work and if you don’t want to do it anymore, if you want to focus on something else, I think, you know, you know, by now don’t you want to call something and prioritize everything else.
Leonie: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, part of it is like, for me, if I was one of those people that created one signature course that they promoted for the rest of their lives, I would die. Like honestly, I would die of boredom. I need novelty. I need to create, I need to make new stuff. That is what keeps me alive inside. It makes me excited to be alive. Otherwise, like if I just had to like turn up and just keep on promoting the same thing, I just wouldn’t want to work. I wouldn’t want to do. So whatever is going to keep those motivation levels really high for you do that.
Mim: Uh I’m with you. I hear you. I hear you. And you people hear you as well. Don’t they? Because they changed too. They don’t, you know, they, and I think that so many of the, of the people who follow you like me, a suit, I really interested in your journey and how you’re evolving and the different things you’re doing as well. So I think if I was listening to your podcast and you just talked about the same thing, day in, day out, like we’d get bored too. Right. I never get bored listening. You know what? I love your car episodes. That likely only talking in the car. Like, and every time I listen, I think I need to do a talk into it in the car episode, but then perfectionist comes in of, no, I must sit at my desk with my mic on I’m like, no, no, do the things that I love listening to.
Leonie: And it’s so great. Like I was talking to her friend, um, and she was like, what equipment do you use for your podcast? I was like, uh, my foreign. And then usually I wear overalls with a pocket down the front. Right. And then I just shove it down the pocket. It was still facing towards my mouth turn on the car and off I go.
Mim: That’s your equipment guide? Um, iPhone and a pocket!
Leonie: That’s right!
Mim: So clever. So clever. So what’s happening for you for the rest of the year?
Leonie: I have no clue. I never plan anything out! Um, I do know, like at some point we’ll release a new goal, get a workbook. So like kind of the annual goal setting planners, um, they’ve been hugely popular, about 450,000 people around the world have used them now, which is so freaking cool. Um, but I’ll probably bring out a new course. I don’t know. I’ll just see like, but then, then I could just be like, you know what, I’m just going to take a month holiday. Like, I don’t know. I really don’t know. But then I’m like, Ooh, what if I decided I write two new book? I don’t know. Like I have no idea what I’m going to do until I actually do it. And even my assistant doesn’t know my assistant, like I’ll release a new course. She’ll look at her emails on a Friday night. She’d be like, oh yeah, I just got a new course coming out and that just slip away to my desk and make sure that she’s set everything up properly.
Mim: And I know you’ve tried, haven’t you from what you said, like when you had the big team before and you just, you live in Lando, you did things don’t work. I think it’s hilarious that we have in the planning space and neither of us really plan much. Like I only plan my week ahead, a very on anything, anything beyond that at all, partly to do with a bit of anxiety about planning too far into the future, but a lot of the time it’s because I know I’ll change my mind and I want to leave space to you just want to leave space to see what happens and where I’m at. I don’t want to limit where a new idea comes along or a new opportunity. And I can’t do it cause there’s no time. Do you feel the same way?
Leonie: It’s true. And I like, instead to give myself like a menu of options, like these are some possibilities. Um, and I definitely like set goals for like the next year or for the month or whatever, but I don’t want to skid, like I don’t want to time block it in. I don’t want to schedule it. And I want to be completely open to the fact that it may not happen at all. And I may just like take a, a fallow month. I call them where I just, I just read books and do stuff around the house and like, not be motivated.
Mim: I love it. So on the flip side of that, for those of us who, uh, like was two and a half months left of the year, I’m not really hitting my goals or what I wanted to do this year. Hasn’t panned out for whatever reason. What advice can you give to help people feel that they like getting back on track or making the rest of the account in some way?
Leonie: Sure. Like first and foremost, I just want you to like really know that it’s absolutely. Okay. You know, like your worth as a soul is not contingent on how much you made to tick off. I’m lazy. And to also be completely present with the fact that this year and the last year has been very tricky and you’ve had to move in lots of different directions to be able to manage this whole show. Yeah. And so what you thought you might get done may not have gotten done and that’s really, really okay. And you’re still lovable and worthy and, um, it’s, you’re still so important in the world. And if there’s stuff that you’d like to have done in the next couple of months, realize that there’s things that you’re going to have to say no to, in order to make them happen. You’re not going to be able to do all the things you could do, maybe one or two big things and carve out some time for yourself to do that.
And remember that like productivity goes hand in hand with self care. Like you just can’t take, take out of the bank account constantly and not put stuff back in. Otherwise you will overdraw your burnout. And like that will suck. And to be aware that your bank account is probably all currently anyway, because yeah. So you’re going to need some like really diligently put some good staff back in. And so that might mean that you have like, you know, write yourself a list of what fuels up your wealth. What it might mean is that you may give yourself the gift of childcare of some extra childcare in some way, uh, that may not be possible if, when you’re locked down, um, you might give yourself the gift of a earlier bedtime. So you can go to sleep. You might decide to give yourself a sabbatical from social media, because that will free up at least two and a half hours of your day. If not all, um, you may give yourself the gift of like, for me, every single weekend in the afternoons, I don’t care what the kids are doing. They can ride the moon if they want, they can play Minecraft. They can watch movies. They can, whatever. I don’t care. I’m in bed. I’m filling up my well, I’m watching beautiful creative eCourses and doing art journaling and reading trashy books in bed. Um, they know where to find me mom’s in bed.
Mim: Yes. Yeah. But it’s good. Isn’t it? Cause it’s saying, it’s saying boundaries that you actually have to set to be able to keep on doing it consistently. My kids are the same. Like they know, they know I have that like just lying on the bed, reading books while listening to books and reading books it’s fills up my, okay. It fills up my bank account and, and it’s so important. And I think as well, I, um, I think I’m the same as you in the economy of finances business wise, but I don’t plan too much ahead, but at the same time, just because the year ends on December the 31st, the journey doesn’t end, you know, it’s okay. It’s okay. If the thing doesn’t get done this year that we wanted to, or any of, any of the things or all of the things and um, and like you say, you know, it doesn’t mean that we’re not important and significant and lovable.
Leonie: It’s going to be that beautiful balance of putting it back into the bank account when you take out as well.
Mim: Oh yes. Completely agree. Now, is there anything in our chat that we haven’t talked about that you want to share and also, can you let everyone know where to find you?
Leonie: Well, the only place to stalk me now is on my website. I’m not on any other social media. Um, I say all the time is given back to me. Um, so I’ve got newsletters that I send out every week with new free and long stories about whatever I’m like experimenting with. So what I bled next door, um, I’m constantly doing 21 day challenges where I try out something new and then share the results. Um, so the newsletters are really fun.
The podcast is called Leonie Dawson Refuses to be Categorized. Um, it is unplanned. It is off the cuff. It’s me talking. Uh, whenever I feel like it. So, um, there is that to look forward to.
Mim: Leonie shares all of the 21 day challenges on there. And when you say you give free stuff to your peeps on your email list, you really do. You’re incredibly generous with the things that you give. And I’m very appreciative of that. And I love being able to share in your creativity and your art from that perspective as well. So, um, keep doing everything you’re doing.
Leonie: And I should say all the free is available on my free page on my website. Leonie Dawson.com.
Mim: Oh, I just love it. I’ve loved talking to you today. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I know, I know that everyone in my community who isn’t already following you is going to be really interested to get in, to know more about you and your journey and popping over to have a look. Make sure that you subscribe to Leonie’s email list.
So thank you so much for joining me.
Leonie: Oh, you’re such a joy!
Mim: Oh, I really hope you enjoyed the chat with Leonie as much as I did! So, so, so, so much valuable information and tips. And I think I’m going to call this episode planning a life on your own terms because it’s just so clear that everything Leonie does is with such strong intent and purpose and isn’t that we want to create a life doing the things that we want to do and spending our time really wisely.
So we’re making time for those things as well. I loved what Leonie said about having a bank and filling that bank with money, essentially self care, for ourselves as well, so that we have more energy and focus on the other things that we wanted to do or need to do.
I hope you enjoyed this episode in this chat with Leonie Dawson, and I can’t wait to see you in the next episode!