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Late Starters Club Podcast
Late Starters Club Podcast

This is the place for inspiration, motivation, and mindset resets. You will walk away ready to take action with practical and informative advice from some of the most amazing “Late Starters” on the planet.


Ep143 Transcript: Interview with Phyllis Khare

August 28, 2023

Andrea Vahl: My friend Phyllis Khare has gone from performer to author, digital strategist and course creator. She has written two books late in her forties, including co authoring Facebook marketing all in one for dummies with me and Amy Porterfield, as well as another dummies book. She has done so much later in life, and I can’t wait to dive into this interview.

Intro: Hello, dreamers. Welcome to the late starters club, giving you the inspiration, mindset, and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Andrea Vahl: Hello, late starters. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl. And I am here with a longtime friend, probably one of the people who has been influential in changing my life the most is Phyllis Khare. So I, we were joking before the before we went on that trying to figure out her bio is we’ll be here for half the episode.

Talking about our bio, but I do want to highlight a couple of things that were exciting and fun for our, it’s a combined bio for us. Phyllis Khare is the coauthor of Facebook marketing all in one for dummies along with Amy Porterfield and myself. So the three of us coauthor, the first two editions of Facebook marketing all in one for dummies.

She went on to write two more dummies books, right? Two more?

Phyllis Khare: Just one.

Andrea Vahl: Just one more. It felt like it feels like…

Phyllis Khare: it felt like two though.

Andrea Vahl: Feels like two. Yes. And we co founded Social Media Manager School, a fantastic, amazing program that had, I don’t even know if we tracked exactly how many students, like official students came through.

It was at least 1500, probably more. Probably more like 2000, but we had, we definitely had grown our webinars and presentations that we did with that to into the high thousands, very like lots of thousands of people went through our training, free training, free programs. But then we had students who were and members who were connected with our group.

We had retreats, we had so much fun. Doing that and sold that program that, course a few years back and now, Phyllis does all kinds of things. So it’s amazing. It’s fun. And you got started with all of this later in life.

Phyllis Khare: Yes. All of it, like all of it because I was in my late forties / early fifties when we wrote the books and started the school.

So and I’m much older than that now. So it was a good, it was a good chapter. I like thinking of things like in chapters these days because it seems like there’s an arc and there seems to be like this thing that happens and it was a beautiful chapter. It was lovely from. Tip to toe. And now there’s like this new.

Especially for me, like this chapter change. When you read an actual book, usually you change chapters pretty quickly. Mine’s like taking years to turn that page into the new chapter, but I can see it going in that direction and it feels really good.

Andrea Vahl: That’s such an interesting thing because I definitely feel that same way this, and I think that’s important for everyone who is listening to hear that because there is this messy middle transition part that can feel like it takes forever, right?

It can feel that way. It can feel, like a, just an up and down ride of rollercoaster through this and thinking, and you forget how long it took to, to start those other chapters. Yes. Yeah. You forget that. You forget that was bumpy in the beginning of those chapters as well. And we think it was just an easy page turn.

Okay, now I’m going to do this. No,

Phyllis Khare: No. And even in that last chapter, it really took about four years really to really build up to where we really had a viable business with all of that. And then it really hit its stride. And so with this new chapter, I think, okay, I’m only a few years into this.

It’s okay. I have a lot more to go. And even though I’m in my sixties now, I don’t feel like I’m in my sixties. I’m weird that way, but I’m like, I’m just, I have so many things that I still want to do and work toward and build and create. And so I’m just like, it’s okay. It’s totally okay. Because in the next chapter, I’ll be in my seventies when it hits its stride.

And I’m chill with that. At least today, I have to say some days you think what the heck, but then you think the things that I really dislike the most are boredom. And not being creative. Yeah. And so I have to stay creative and I have to keep going and doing it, doing the work because I love it so much.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that. Creativity is huge and I think it’s important to stay engaged and it’s so fun. I think I was talking to someone yesterday. Oh yeah. I was talking to Brian Clark yesterday and we were talking about this whole whole idea of like just. Not really retiring on purpose, just because you want to stay engaged.

You want to stay productive. You want to do it all on your terms and really bringing in that creativity that we’ve realized is so important now, back when we were younger, it was all about like, you know, making money and earning and, you know, kind of just grinding it out. Now it gets to be so fun.

Phyllis Khare: Yes, and that’s the key. I think that a lot of people who are in their 50s, 60s and 70s are finding that they just do not have the patience for doing things that do not bring them joy, patience is just not there for it. And so they try to create something that’s more in alignment with what gives them joy and I think that even though that advice do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life is Weird in your forties.

It doesn’t make sense in your thirties and forties as much as it does in your sixties and seventies.

Andrea Vahl: I’m just going to tease a little announcement we’re going to make at the end of the, this podcast about something that we have coming for people who are in this messy middle, creating something, starting later in life, doing something new.

So if you, this is you. Stay tuned till the end because we have something fun and exciting for you.

But I want to dive into a little bit about you, you had this past career as Miss Phyllis and I want to talk a little bit about that, but then also talking about how it came to be that you dove in, took that transition from Miss Phyllis, performer to Phyllis Khare, online digital strategist. What a giant leap that is and what that took. So talk about that, where you came from in that transition.

Phyllis Khare: Yes. So talking about chapters in my twenties and thirties, I was a performer, songwriter, and I did all of those musical things out in the world.

And I created CDs and curriculum for schools, for elementary schools, for music, and I did all of that. And I taught music and I taught choir and I did all of that. And I performed myself all over. I was a artist in residence with the Iowa arts council and I got lots of grants. And that was like. My career for like 20 years.

And then I basically got burnt out. Basically the fourth grade boys just about killed me. So I decided to just take all of that, put it in a Tupperware, put it in the basement and move to Florida. And it was a big solid chapter turn and living in Florida for those two years was like the best pretend retirement ever.

And I got to walk on the beach twice a day and it was wonderful. And during that time I fell into doing stuff online. This was a new thing back in 2004. It was not normal to be online. People just didn’t do that very much. And I ended up building a Yahoo store back in the day. And I found all these artists and crafts people that I loved.

And I contracted with them and I presented them in a store, an online store. And I was like way before that whole thing was like a viable venture and it was beautiful, but it did not make any money. But along that way, I learned how to do everything online and I learned how to build websites. I learned how to market.

I learned how to do all the things. And so when I was approached by a friend of mine. She said, Phyllis, you know, everything, you know, about WordPress. I, my editor wants somebody to write the book called websites with WordPress for dummies. And I was like, I could do that. I can write that book.

And then, so I did a little digging and the person who had been writing those dummy books about WordPress, it seems like she would have been the person to write this book. And I asked the editor, I was like, but wait, shouldn’t this person be writing the book? And she said, Oh, she’s too busy. She’s already writing three books.

Don’t worry about it. Write it. So I spent a lot of time writing, as dummy books, they want you to write the whole outline of the book, like three levels deep and just a lot of work up front before you even get the gig. And so I did that, sent it in, very proud of myself for doing all of that.

And she wrote back to me in an email and she said, Oh, remember that other woman? We’re going to have her write that book now. And I was like, and I felt at that point I had a choice. I could take the low road or the high road on this one. And so I decided I wrote her back and I said, that’s okay. If you ever need anything.

I’m here. I’m happy to help. And that was basically all I said. And literally 30 seconds later she wrote back and said, how would you like to write Facebook marketing all in one for dummies? And that’s how the whole book thing started. And and it was a wild ride to get that first book. And then the second book, they called me when I was at a conference in Las Vegas and They said, Hey, you want to write a second book?

And I said, yes. And they said, and we’re going to pay you a fee for this. So it won’t be royalty base. And it’s three times what you made last time. And I’m like, yes. And then they said, you have 30 days to write it. And it was, and it was over a 300 page book. And for those of you who have written for dummies, that it takes about an hour per page because of the way they make you format it, the way they make you research it, the style guide, the whole thing and everything that goes with it, and you have to make your own images.

It’s like you’re writing the whole book. And so I thought. Sure. And I signed that contract and just about killed myself trying to write that book. And that’s when I had to master time management. And that’s when I started bugging everybody I know about how to use their Google calendar for time management.

And, but then the second book came out. And that changed from being a performer. To being an author was very hard because my brain was not set up for writing, especially a dummies book, which is very structured and very the architecture for it has already been determined as far as being an artist, it was like I had, I could do anything I wanted.

It was my project. So it was a hard transition. A very hard transition brain-wise. , just go through that. But being forced to do that actually made me a much better artist and it also made me a much better marketer because it forced me into figuring out systems to be organized ’cause that was not the thing back in. Yeah.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. It was definitely, that book definitely changed the way. I write for sure. I didn’t like writing at the time and now I feel like I’m just a much, much better writer because it was so brutal. So brutal. And I’ll never forget that phone call.

It was in August. I still remember like right in August when you called and you’re like, Hey, we had connected through a four. We went to this weekly weekly chat and that’s how we connected. I was grandma Mary at the time.

Phyllis Khare: And I have to tell this story because it’s embarrassing to me.

But I found grandma Mary on YouTube and I was like, this is awesome. She has like the best tutorials for YouTube and Facebook. I was like, she grandma Mary’s. Great. And then I’m sorry to say it took me a little while to figure out that you were grandma Mary it was like I was so convinced Mary was an actual person Good you were and then when I figured out it was you I was like Oh my, I’m so embarrassed, right?

And but we connected and when when the Wiley editor said, look, Phyllis, you’re a first time author. It’s a humongous book. You need to take on someone else as a writer with you. And I said Andrea, because, she knows, Lots of things and she’s very smart and she also has this weird persona that she could bring to the table because, dummies books usually have that humor in there.

And I thought that was a great thing. So I, I said. Definitely Andrea for this. So that’s how we connected you into the book. , and then it was a whole nother story about getting Amy . That was a wild thing we went through.

Andrea Vahl: So funny, I just remember that phone call.

You’re like how would you like to write a, I was like, what?

Phyllis Khare: What? . How it was for me out of the blue from my friend who said, I have an editor who wants to you to write this book. So I love those out of the blue moments. They’re really wonderful.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And definitely life changing. Cause I think for sure that book has, been the catalyst for speaking all over the world and all the opportunities we’ve had and us working together to launch the social media manager school, which was just such a beautiful part of my life as well. So many great people connected in there and love seeing their businesses grow and just being able to really. Build the people who are coming from starting from scratch into a thriving business.

It’s so much fun. So that’s awesome. And I know that you had some kind of qualms being, and same with me as well. I was a little bit older person. Social media was a young person’s like game. It felt like people were all younger. How did that feel jumping into that space and being a part of this kind of up and coming digital space as an older person?

Phyllis Khare: Yeah, it’s so that all goes back to the fact that I don’t see myself as an older person. Occasionally at things now I do because I do things that I think to myself, Oh God. Old people do that Phyllis. Why are you doing that? But back then I didn’t feel it so much. I just didn’t feel it and I just kept doing my thing and Where that sort of came into play was a little bit later When in my early 60s, I would hear 30 year olds and 40 year olds talking about marketing as if they just discovered it.

And I was like, so I’ve been talking about that for two decades, and so that’s the odd part when you see things repeating, that’s when you feel like, Oh God, I’m really old. And then one time I’ll just tell this fun story when Michael Stelzner introduced me as a elder in the community.

I almost hit him and I, but he wanted to give me that platform to speak as someone who’d been around, and all the things, but I just didn’t, I was like elder? come closer so I can hit you.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. I mean, Obviously it was meant as a compliment as someone who was seen as you know, Respected person who knew stuff, not just brand new to the platform, all of these platforms, all that stuff. But it is funny that word choice, word choice matters, word choice matters, people, even the whole OG, it’s like, Oh, I don’t know. But I think what makes you different and has been such a service to you is the curiosity you have around learning.

And I think that’s what it’s about. You dive in and you see something, and then you’re like, I got to learn all about that. And So much stuff because you’re always consuming knowledge and growing and like out there learning some of the tactics and piecing it together and then saying, Hey, here’s where, a real good strategy can be.

And you’ve taken businesses and grown them from like almost where people have almost shut their business down to all of a sudden it’s grown to, Multiple six or multiple, what is it? Tens of thousands of dollars each month, from, to a million dollar business basically, essentially,

Phyllis Khare: Or many million dollar business.

Many. Yeah. And the thing about that is it’s true. That if somebody talks about a topic and I don’t know about it, I’m like all in for the next few weeks. I’m just learning everything. And for example, right now we’re real knee deep into a web stories on Google. It’s hello. And also Amazon, certain tactics with Amazon and WordPress plug plugins that do this and that and Like lots and lots of very weird, bizarre things to have to do with online marketing.

And if I made a list of all the things that I’ve either studied or mastered in the last 10 years, it would be super long because I really love to learn something new. I don’t like to be in conversation with someone and they say what about web stories? And I’ll be like, oh, I don’t know, but I will find out.

And I will master this in a couple of weeks and that’s definitely how I feel.

Andrea Vahl: I know you’re amazing. Whereas me, I approach it like, you know what? I’ll learn that if it really becomes a thing.

Phyllis Khare: And that’s like totally okay. You have to really be clear about who you are and what you are and how you work.

Because I know a lot of people, if they looked at all the things. I’m doing, we get very overwhelmed very quickly. But remember, I come from that creative brain structure that allows me to do a bunch of different things at one time. And I, and that’s the way I work. It’s not how everybody works. It’s the way I work.

And knowing who you are and how you work is probably one of the most important things. I’ve learned about myself in the last 10 years is really understanding who I am so much so that I made a t shirt. I should have worn it today. Darn it. It just says remember who you are. And then it has one of my pretty flowers on it.

So it’s, and I made one for my granddaughter. And she has some challenges in life, but she is like this beautiful gem of a soul. And so I want her to always to remember who she is at her core. And for those of us who have had a hard time being nice to ourselves through time, remembering who you are and honoring that is, is sometimes, a challenge and it takes some time to work through it.

So it’s one of those things.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And I think it’s definitely, so I think, that’s the other beautiful part about this time in our lives is that there isn’t as much apologizing for who we are. We’re, we are more clear about that and we get to choose and we get to have better boundaries.

I think personally.

Phyllis Khare: There, there’s some great comedy around that. And I think I even know a joke that you do about how after 40 it was just like, that this is who I am, yeah. And that’s it. That’s just the way it is. Yeah. Yeah. Which, by the way, I have to just give you some major kudos for all of that work you’re doing in the comedy field.

I think you’re super hilarious and everyone needs to go follow her on Instagram and youtube and all the places that she’s got her comedy channel up because it makes my day When it shows up in my notifications and I get to hear a joke and I get to hear something funny from you So thank you so much for doing that.

Do you understand that creativity bringing that out to the world? Being the creator instead of the consumer It’s so important. If people stopped creating, we would all be like, Oh my gosh, so bored because it would be like nothing to keep us going. So the creators, the makers of the world are really where it is, where it needs to be.

And so thank you for doing all of that.

Andrea Vahl: Oh, thanks. Thanks. It’s so fun. I love it. It’s another chapter in my life. So yeah. So speaking of creating, let’s, the other thing I think that That is really cool about things that you do and have done is that, we’ve had these different, like little segments of what we did.

So we built the social media manager school and we’re running that and we’re, we were launching several times a year and that was a whole cycle. Of building that community, but you’ve also worked in other communities and work to build other communities. And what I like about that is that people don’t often realize how many different possible online jobs there are for people who are good at different types of things.

If you’re good at, engaging community and bringing people together, There’s community manager places out there that are available for you. If you’re good at building a course or teaching, you can do that all online. If you’re good at one on one consulting, that’s a possible road.

And you’ve done kind of all of that.

Phyllis Khare: I was like, yeah, I did that one. And I did learn a lot about yourself by doing all those different things. And I. I have learned through time if, I’m going to be coaching someone, I like to do it in more of a small group setting. And because I just feel like that’s very supportive to people is to get all that variety and energy and understanding into one space.

Instead of maybe just doing some private coaching, which I’m happy to do, but I’m also it feels more fulfilling to do in a group. And I think that was because we cultured that beautiful community at that time. And so that feels very good to me naturally. But yeah, I’ve done all those things and I’ve taught people to do all those things.

And that’s, that’s the fun part too, is to see other people that I’ve taught through time. Really being very successful doing something that they learned through me at some point.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. That’s super fun. That is super fun. So let’s, you know what? With that, I would like to just, I think it is a good time to talk about the next thing we have coming.

So cause I’m excited. So we are starting. So the late starters club mastermind. So the late starters club is going to be a true club in a mastermind format. And we’re going to be bringing people in to help mastermind their next chapter mastermind, starting something new or even just growing it.

You can either be in. The startup phase where you’re like I know that I want to get this new thing off the ground. I have an idea. Maybe you even don’t have an idea, but you have a seed of an idea and you want to bring something new out into the world. You’re you’ve got all the wisdom and experience that we do as late starters, but you’re.

Branching into something new, or it could be that you’ve got something going and you want to just ramp it up and grow it and you want ideas on how to market it, how to get it a bigger visibility out in the world. We’re going to be masterminding about that. As well.

Phyllis Khare: And the third track, which is my favorite because I have definitely been in this space is the business burnout recovery track.

And so many people, especially people that we know who have been. Working online for maybe 10 years or more find themselves very burnt out on the whole thing. And they just want to chuck the whole thing and go live in a coffee cafe the rest of their lives and just be done with it. And that burnout is real.

And so we call it burnout recovery for a reason, because we really feel like that, that being with other people who are going through this can give you the support and the emotional support to get through it. at your own pace and come out on the other side a little more settled and a little more positive about working.

So that’s an important track too. Yeah.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah, for sure. As as we used to joke that we were going to move down to the banana farm,

Phyllis Khare: banana farm, that banana farm was like a real lifesaver for us for 10 years because we had this alternate universe we could. Click into and say, yeah, I don’t have to do this.

I can be a banana farmer and I, and all will be fine.

Andrea Vahl: I think you, you started it and I just latched on. I’m like, yeah, sounds good. We just, head down and hopefully it’s by the beach and just,

Phyllis Khare: yeah, so the

Andrea Vahl: exciting thing is this is. this is going to be small groups. What we’re going to be doing is meeting meeting a couple of times a month. We’re going to have just, little groups that we’re going to start with. We’re in beta here with this. And so the idea is if you are interested in, Getting more information, learning more, talking to us about being part of this mastermind.

There’s going to be no, it’s not like it’s going to be a hard sell or anything like that. We just want to have a conversation, chat about if this might be right for you, because we really do want to get the right people into these groups that we think we’re going to be able to really launch into that next chapter, that next phase very well.

And Like we said it’s going to be in a beta format where it’s going to be very heavily influenced by the people who are coming into it as far as what they want to see in this program. And I know it’s masterminds in general have been so Influential in my career in my, 14 years of having my business that I just can’t stress enough the power of getting together and connecting as a group of people in a similar phase and just the energy and the ideas that come out of it.

It’s a huge

Phyllis Khare: thing. And, in our industry there are people who are very gifted at what they do, but they don’t have any. community to enjoy that camaraderie with and they might be the only person they know that knows how to do Facebook ads. And so they, and if they want to just like chat with somebody, it’s hard finding people, especially locally that you can just hang out with and have that peer to peer.

conversation and discussion and that support that you get from being around people that have the same experience that you do. And so this is, it’s like that whole feeling of being together and doing things together really broke in 2020. It just, that whole system broke. And so this is a way to put things back.

In order or back to peace from pieces is to find community with people. And there, there are a lot of people who are very lonely out there who have, don’t have, like I said, peers in this industry, right? None of their friends are online marketers or social media managers or business people or entrepreneurs.

They’re just not. And so finding those communities are really important for them. So hopefully they’ll find us.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So the next step for you, if you’re interested in hearing more about this, there is a link here. It’s going to either be in the show notes or in the description, wherever you might be listening to this, you will find a link to this form to just put your name in the hat to say, yeah, I’d like some more information.

We’ll be connecting with you and talking to you about. What you’re interested in and making sure this is the right fit in the right space for you. But we are super excited about this. We have been doing this type of, masterminding group masterminding together, the two of us for years and ran, ran retreats and all of that.

And it just has been such a fun. experience to see the growth and to contribute to that growth. So we’re excited to team up again and

Phyllis Khare: do it back together, baby.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. So this has been awesome, Phyllis. I do like to end with a quote or inspirational saying that you have, cause I’m such a quote junkie. So just if you can share something inspiring that gets you going, I would love to, to hear that too. Close it out.

Phyllis Khare: It’s a funny thing because every time I read any quote it becomes my instant new favorite, right?

Yeah, I love all of them, but there’s one that I really like a lot and it’s Life is what we make it always has been always will be Grandma Moses. Now, I don’t know if grandma Moses, but grandma Moses was a very famous Americana painter. She didn’t start painting until she was 78. Oh my gosh, 78.

And she’s an icon of the, in the painting world for this particular genre. So I just think it’s great. And that whole thing is life is what we make it always has been. always will be. So I just really like that one a lot.

Andrea Vahl: That is awesome. I love that. And I’ve never heard that quote. So I, that’s why I love doing this and so fitting for this podcast.

Oh my gosh. And for and for. new mastermind that we are doing. So that is awesome. So thank you so much. Phyllis, where can people find you online? What share your socials with us or where people can find you do so many things. I always

Phyllis Khare: the funny thing is I do a lot of. Different things.

Lots of different things. And a lot of it is art based now. I have this one space you can go to, to check all that out. It’s, you gotta spell my name correctly. So it’s Just go there and you’ll see all the kind of fun things I’m doing in these new chapter ideas that I’m working on.

Not so much my old chapter stuff, but my new chapter stuff. So you can go to

Andrea Vahl: Awesome. And that will be in the show notes as well. And just to one last plug, please, if you have any idea at all about, yes, this might be something I’m possibly interested in, just fill out the form, have a conversation for it with us.

We’ll just see what is a fit for you. And we are excited about the potential for growing your business, get you started later, get you, crushing it out there. Yes. So I hope to talk to you guys soon. All right. Thanks everyone.

Outro: Hope that was helpful and make sure you grab the free guide top tools for late starters on the website at late starters club. com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.

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Late Starters Club Podcast
Late Starters Club Podcast

This is the place for inspiration, motivation, and mindset resets. You will walk away ready to take action with practical and informative advice from some of the most amazing “Late Starters” on the planet.

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