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Ep71 Transcript – Interview with Tanya Smith
Andrea Vahl: Are you thinking about starting a side hustle, but don’t want to quit your full-time job? Well, then you need to tune in to today’s episode as I interview Tanya Smith, all about how she created her side hustle, Get Noticed with Video while still maintaining her full-time job and spending time with her family. We’ll talk about how she does it and her best tips.
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.
Hello Dreamers. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl, and I am so excited today to be joined by the amazing, the wonderful Tanya Smith.
I’ve known Tanya for a while and she came onto my radar when she started with our social media manager school program. That was the first time I really connected with her. I’ve followed her journey over the years and I’ve just loved what she’s doing with video and live video.
She has created a whole business around this called Get Noticed with Video. And you’ve started this as a continual side hustle along with your full-time, corporate job that you’ve had for 30 plus years, which is ridiculous because you are only about 35!
Welcome to the show, Tanya. I’m so excited.
Tanya Smith: I’m excited to be here and I can’t believe it has been a very long time since we’ve known each other. I’ve attended a lot of your different courses and programs. It feels like you’ve always been a part of my space somehow .
It’s a pleasure.
Andrea Vahl: It’s so awesome. And I’m excited to bring you into this space. When did you start this video journey, start doing this a little bit more? How did that come about and what led you into starting this side Hustle?
Tanya Smith: So I’ve been side hustling for over a decade, so since probably 2007, 2008, for a long time I’ve been side hustling, but I was doing so many different things.
And I could not find the thing that was my happy spot. It wasn’t until I had to make a decision, I was in this mindset of, “Look, let me just be normal and just work full-time and retire and do all the normal things and not try to keep doing this,” because my social media reach, my organic reach was dropping.
It was ridiculous, I could not get attention. Whereas before I was able to send out a simple tweet and fill up seats within 48 hours for a class or a summit, it had got to the point where I was just hustling and putting out content, content, content, and I thought it was quality content, but it was never getting seen.
And I made a decision to do something dramatic and video happened to be that dramatic thing. So it’s only really been a few years now, maybe I’m in my third year of really, really honing in on video. What I made a commitment to do is to just try live video, try live streaming because I kept hearing that all the social profiles and feeds were saying, give us video.
And if I were to do that, I thought I need to make a commitment of a year to see if it’s going to work. And if after this year doing a live stream every week it does not do a thing for me or for my business, or impact anyone, I’m out. I’m completely out of business, period.
I will not do digital marketing. I will not talk about it. I won’t even be on social media. This is what I was telling myself, and I can tell you within a few months it was clear to me that live streaming was becoming the tool. It was the key to me being able to be seen and get my content out. To serve and reach more people.
And when that happened, it was a light bulb moment like, “I need to teach other people who are willing to get on camera!”
Andrea Vahl: And what I love about your story is that you’re a self-proclaimed introvert.
And you wouldn’t think that you would go for video, because I’m an extrovert and I get scared about video sometimes!
So, tell us about what that was like, overcoming that fear and really just leaning into live video and video.
Tanya Smith: It was one of those things that I think at some point you realize you don’t have all the time in the world to make things work. I felt like I didn’t know what my time left on this earth even looks like. If I’m going to do something, I need to just go big or go home and video was big because I was the type of person who would put slides on YouTube channel -it was really dead at the time, I wasn’t doing much with it, but when I did do something with it, I would have PowerPoint slides and I would voiceover.
I was comfortable on audio. I even had an audio podcast called Snack Slides Marketing. I was comfortable speaking but I was not ready to just put my face out there and to have people judge and critique .
I was worried about that. But it was the go big or go home strategy. Do something really, really transformative and see if it works and let that be the guide. And I’ve always been that person that either I’m going to try it and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, or I’m just not going to commit to putting any more time and attention into it.
So the introverted thing… I could be in a cave. I was good when the whole situation happened where most people were at home. I was like, “Hey, this is my happy place. I don’t have to be around people. That’s great!” But I found that more people were connecting with me and reaching out because everybody was at home.
Everybody was having to use Zoom and use video and that’s when really things started to pick up.
Andrea Vahl: And I mean, the reality is video is only growing. It really is. It is not a choice anymore about using video or not using video. It is all going towards video with reels.
And I’m just seeing so much more activity with these short videos that are happening, getting so much more reach. And having a strategy and having some structure around what you’re putting out there is key too, but you’ve got to use video .
Now I want to dive a little bit more into the fact that this has been a side hustle of yours and, you’ve got a full-time job that you’ve had for a long time. You’ve got a family, your kids are doing a lot of amazing things, the schools that they’re choosing and the way you support them. And it seems to me like your family life is just so incredibly important to you. How have you had the structure and capacity to have this side hustle?
Tanya Smith: That’s an excellent question. I really believe that systems are a gift. I think that when you can put systems in place that work for you, it’s like magic. It opens up doors, it makes you so much more effective. And so for me, I’ve always been a systems thinker.
I’ve always been someone who thought, “Okay, how do I replicate myself?” And then how can I do three things… one of three things. These are my buckets that I do for everything. Either I’m going to act on it, I’m going to automate it, or I’m going to assign it. It’s one of the three
And that’s really literally how I’ve been able to get so much done, because I structure everything with boundaries. I put everything into a process document of some kind so that even if I’m not doing it, if I’m assigning it to someone they know and understand the process.
I’ve focused on structuring the way that I livestream this year in such a way that I can teach a course, a program that I’m working on building out right now called From Livestream to Leads and I’m teaching people the operating system for how I actually get my live streams done. And at the core of everything is the live stream itself.
But then it spits out those other pieces that you talked about, the reels and the TikToks, the short video clips, and it leads people into a paid course, some type of masterclass or webinar, or even my membership program. I think that there are ways that you can leverage what you love to do and turn that into other multiple facets that maybe somehow are going to make you money or they’re going to attract people to you so that they feel the impact of the service that you’re trying to offer.
It’s not always that my systems work. But I’ve done a lot of tweaking so now they do. But at first I was going through a lot of trial and error, which I think people will do until they find the spot that works for them. So just having the logical thought process of, okay, if I start here, what’s my very next step?
And then what’s the next step after that? And if you’re repetitively doing the same thing over and over again to achieve the outcome, which for me is the livestream every week, you can process that. You can turn that into a system that you can share with other people that will keep you safe, and I mean mentally safe, physically safe, all those things, which is important to me and that will also honor the commitments that you have to other people in your life.
Because you’re right, my family is so important. So everything that I do needs to be grounded and needs to be scheduled around their activities but also the activities of the the full-time job that I do for now. It’s thinking through and creating some type of system. The way you do systems is the way you do everything. That’s the way I feel.
Andrea Vahl: Yeah. That kind of makes sense because my systems are a little bit of a mess!
Tanya Smith: No, but it works for you.
Andrea Vahl: That’s right. I’m getting better actually.You know, it’s funny, systems is one of my words. I usually choose three words every year.
So systems and focus are two of my words this year to really concentrate on. I joke that my third word is cash.
Tanya Smith: That’s not a joke. Good word.
Andrea Vahl: I had a lot of fun last year. This year we’re getting things dialed in , but I love the way you approach it so logically and so systematically.
You seem like you’re naturally that type of person, but I think probably because you have it as a side hustle, you’ve had to get super, super focused and clear about how things work to minimize the time?
Tanya Smith: Absolutely. And plus, when you’re working a side hustle, you still need to respect the fact that you have that full-time job, right?
So I never want to create conflict between any of the roles that I play. I try as best as possible to create those boundaries. So, for instance, initially when I first started, I was just taking any and every client. So anybody who said, “Hey, I want to work with you!” I was like, “Okay, cool. What do you want to do? What’s that look like?”
And I realized that was not smart. If somebody is not really engaging in video, I don’t want to have to pull them. If they don’t want to use technology, which you have to do if you’re going to be doing video, either you have to do it or you have to have somebody who’s at your side all the time working through all the different digital and technical aspects of video.
If you don’t want to even engage in, let’s say for instance, you don’t want to follow my calendaring system, “Hey, can you just call me right now? I’m available at this number.” That’s a sign to me that this is not going to be a good client/coach relationship. That’s a sign that this is probably not going to be a good working relationship.
So making choices around even the people that I work with has created more freedom. And to me that’s what systems have allowed me to do. They’ve allowed me to have those boundaries in place so that I respect every role that I’ve decided I want to take on. You train people how you want to be treated, right?
It’s set expectations for people in terms of how we’re going to work together. And I’m honest with folks that I think may not be the best fit and I share with them resources that may be better for them.
Andrea Vahl: I like that. I love that idea that you just talked about that was systems equal freedom.
And I think people think that it’s rigid or it feels too forced, or it feels too difficult to write down all the steps. But it just pays off so much in the long run to have that system. And there’s certain times where a team member is unavailable and you have to hand over what they do to someone else or take it over yourself.
And if you don’t have that system in place, that’s really hard to do.
Tanya Smith: I’m a solo person. I don’t have a team at this time. I get a lot of work done and the reason why is because I put in the effort on the front end. I put in the time on the front end to create the system and the process.
So now it’s working for me, I’m not working for the business. The business is working for me because I’ve set those things up. So I think as business owners, we have to think, okay, it may feel like it’s rigid and it may feel like all these things are on the front end but on the back end, now you can go on vacation, you’ve set out spaces in your calendar and in your strategy that allow you to breathe.
But if you don’t have those things in place, you’re constantly running and that’s not healthy.
Andrea Vahl: Great tips for sure. , so you’d have had this corporate job for a long time. You started 14 or 15 years ago or so just thinking, “Hey, I want a side hustle”, what was the thing that started you down that path of ” Let’s add something to my plate”.
Tanya Smith: I don’t always share this story, but I’ll share with you. I did not have an inclination to become self-employed or a business owner.
That was not my dream. My dream was the traditional dream of go to school, get your bachelor’s, you get your master’s degree, you get married, you have kids, you get a job that you stay in for 50 years, you retire. That was what I thought life was supposed to be because it was such an opposite thing from what I grew up with. I grew up without a lot of roots and we were constantly moving and so I wanted that traditional life.
But when I moved to Dallas, this is what happened. I had someone approach me in the mall and I had a stroller and I was moving my little baby who was only a few weeks old around and my husband was still in Indiana.
I was in Dallas because of the corporate job, I had been moved to. He was in Indiana and it was a time where he just could not seem to get a position here in Texas. It was just taking forever. It was right around 9/11. So things were just crazy. I remember I was just going through the mall with this stroller and I was thinking, “Man, if I could live a different life, I would. If I could choose something different, if I could actually live in the same house and city as my husband, that would be nice”.
I’m a new mom. I’ve got all these things but this woman approached me at the mall and she said, “What would it be like if you had time freedom? What would it be like if you could map out the way you want to live, and you could have whatever you want, you could create the life you want?” Well, what she was selling me on was makeup. I didn’t get it at the time. And I ended up going into business and I laughed at her at first. But a couple days later I called her back. Because something just was lit in me about this idea that if I could just have my own thing, if I could create whatever I wanted, if I could have a backup plan in case things don’t work out right that would be great.
And that seed morphed over years into me coaching and working with other people because I saw the power of women supporting women, first of all. But then I also saw the power of you mentoring and teaching other people what you know. And that’s what brought me into business.
I loved it. I never had a desire really at that point to separate from the company and to do my own thing permanently… over the years that may be changing but I love that I got to have a little bit of both.
Andrea Vahl: I love that because that’s kind of is similar to my story as well.
I was laid off from my job and then I did end up starting doing in-home wine tasting. It was a network marketing company, that whole idea of starting something on the side, we don’t have to change careers.
We could just start another thing that’s, like you said, a backup plan, just a little extra insurance and extra money, which is amazing. And I think people for sure have success in network marketing, nothing against that, but I do feel like you own your own destiny if you have your own total thing that you have created and built up and your own brand, which you definitely have.
What a fun story. I didn’t know that about you. And I’m glad your husband finally made it over to join you.
Tanya Smith: Well, he didn’t, that’s the funny thing.
Well, he made it to join us in Texas, but now he’s primarily overseas, maybe about 85% to 90% of the year. It really was supposed to be a two year thing. Mind you, when we got married, he was a Marine. He says he’s always a Marine, he’s a vet now, and at the time we lived apart, he was in Okinawa, Japan two weeks after we got married, for a year.
Because of just the path that we’ve taken with both of our careers he’s mostly overseas in Asia, even now.
Andrea Vahl: That’s right, I have seen you posting that he’s coming home.
And that’s another good reason to have a side hustle, to do a little extra project that keeps you busy.
So I want to get a little bit into your being older when you started this. You’ve been doing this a while or doing something like this for a while, but how have your views on aging changed over the years, and how has being older and starting this contributed to your success in what you’re doing?
Tanya Smith: That’s a really excellent question and something I haven’t been asked before, but I think it’s important. When I first started doing more video and getting into this space, I felt like I needed to fit in. I felt like I needed to be the face that was every face I saw on visual media, primarily YouTube, Instagram, some of the other spaces. There were a lot of young faces, and so at first I did not feel comfortable talking about the fact that I was over 50.
I didn’t tell people. I didn’t say anything about that. But what I was finding was that because of the maturity of my audience and because of the stories that I would tell and the experiences that I would share, I was attracting people who had similar stories and they really understood, they got what I was talking about.
When I said that I needed to buy a fan to keep on tap because these lights get bright and when you start sweating and the hot flashes come I think I started attracting an audience of women in particular and a lot of women of color and other women who feel underrepresented when it comes to social media spaces.
I felt like it became a duty and a responsibility for me to create a safe space for them. I only created the membership that I have because the women kept coming back to the video, to the live stream and they were asking, where are we going to have our space where we ca n talk about sensitive things that maybe you can’t say on the live stream.
And that became Stream Boss’s Academy and it became a safe space for women who felt, because of their age, because of their race, because of their weight, whatever the challenges were, that they weren’t really popular society when it comes to social.
We’ve been able to create this connection in this community where we can say, “Hey, here’s why you should feel empowered to get on camera, because when you show up, other women feel that they have power to show up.”
So the age thing became something that was an empowering thought versus me feeling like I can’t tell people because if I say anything – like right now I can carry it and play it off, like I’m still really young – but the topics I talk about in the way in which I speak about them, it’s a different perspective because I’ve got that tenure behind me.
So I feel like that has given me much more of a unique perspective and a different way of speaking on camera. Just like when you started the show, I was drawn to this Late Starters Club because I was like, “Wow, that’s me!”
Andrea Vahl: I think that it’s so important for us to shine a light on women, older people. People who feel different because we all are different and we all need to be represented out there.
And by showing up, like you said, we’re giving each other permission to also show up and shine our lights. So I love that. I love that you are doing that, and especially doing that for people who are scared to get on video.
And I was just thinking about this. Why is it everyone’s like, “Oh, look at her skin!” I’m like, “Oh, look at her wisdom!” That is sexy.
Tanya Smith: I know. Yes. Look at how much she’s been through. Look at her experiences.
Andrea Vahl: We’re not valuing that in the same way as we value youth. And I think it’s really unfortunate because I feel like I’m just getting good here.
Finally we come to this time and we’re more comfortable in our skin and all that stuff.
We’ve put so much behind us in the way we judge ourselves. D on’t get me wrong, I still judge myself quite a bit, but…
Tanya Smith: Me too. That hasn’t gone away, but I do feel like you start to be like, “This is who I am.”
And not in a bad way where you’re saying, this is who I am and I’m not changing. Because we’re still continuous learners. I’m a lifelong learner and I know you are too. But it gives us this ability to be able to stand more firmly in our skin and more confidently. So getting on camera is just an extension of that to me.
Andrea Vahl: For sure.
I also like to a sk guests their favorite quote or inspirational saying. What keeps you going and gets you excited?
Tanya Smith: It’s the mantra that I told myself when I first started doing video, and it was the reason behind it, it’s what keeps me propelled. It’s what happens or what I say to myself when I see trolls and people that are trying to keep me and prevent me from doing what I know I’m supposed to do.
The statement that I tell myself, and now I get to speak this life into other women is, “When you do the things that others won’t, you get the opportunities that others don’t.”
I knew that doing video was going to be something a lot of people won’t do, and I knew that it would open up, or I suspected that it would open up doors that I had not been able to open and it did just that. So I feel like we have opportunities, especially as we get older, to open more doors, to adapt.
To be able to be open to the experiences that can come. Even when other people are saying, “No, I’m not going to do that.” We have the chance now to make a decision about being more brave. Experience the gifts and the rewards that come from that bravery.
Andrea Vahl: That is great. I don’t think I’ve ever quite heard it put that way, but I love it.
Well, Tanya, this has been so amazing. I just want to let people know where they can get in touch with you, what you’ve got coming up. You’ve got a livestream…
Tanya Smith: Let’s Go Live Challenge.
Andrea Vahl: So where can people get plugged in with you? We’ve got Get Noticed With Video.com, but is that where they find it?
Tanya Smith: Yeah, the Get Noticed With Video.com is my primary website. We’re starting to build in more of our brand from Stream Like a Boss TV, which is the weekly live stream that we do.
But for the challenge the Let’s Go Live Challenge.com website is a more direct way to get there. And what I’m doing in this challenge is creating a safe space for people who are saying, “I want to try out livestream video. I’m not sure, but I want to try it and see if it can work for me.”
I do this challenge typically once a month. We may go to bimonthly but I try to keep it very intimate and small so that I have just 10 people max because we’re doing this in a video immersion style.
I had a Spanish teacher that said, when you walk in the room,we speak Spanish. And that’s how we learn so quickly. And that’s the same with this video immersion program.
On the Let’s Go Live Challenge, the minute you walk into our space, we use the Volley App, we’re all using video from our phones. It’s still safe, but I’m teaching structure and a step-by-step process to going live.
Andrea Vahl: Awesome. And for anyone listening, just make sure you go and follow Tanya wherever she is. She is one of the most uplifting people. Whenever I see a post from her, I’m always stopping to read it because she has got some unique insight, something that makes you think and something that makes you feel better.
So go and follow her. Thank you so much for being with us here today, Tanya. It’s been amazing, you’re great.
Tanya Smith: Thank you for having me.
Andrea Vahl: I hope that was helpful and make sure you grab the free guide Top Tools for Late Starters on the website at latestartersclub.com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.
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