Stories, Success & Stuff Episode 09: Success & Your Squad

Stories, Success & Stuff Episode 9 Your Squad

Stories, Success & Stuff Episode 09: Success & Your Squad

By: siarza_admin
Date: 28 Jul 2023

Success in business is often attributed to a host of factors, from strategic planning and effective marketing to quality products and customer service. But we’ve found that one factor stands out as the magic ingredient: your squad!

When Siarza was just two people navigating the complex world of business, we knew that our success hinged on us working together. And sure enough, as our team grew, so did our success. The growth and achievements of Siarza are a testament to the power of collective effort and how much a great team can contribute to an enterprise’s evolution.

Of course we can’t talk about teams and success without mentioning leadership. It’s often assumed that one individual alone is enough to steer the ship towards success, but this isn’t true. A leader is only as effective as their team. As we’ve seen with Siarza, the role of a leader is to facilitate, guide and nurture their team – not to lead it single-handedly.

Don’t stop there though! Assemble your personal power squad as well. When you intentionally surround yourself with an inspiring group of people, it can bring personal growth at rapid speeds.  As human beings, we’re hardwired to connect – and when we do it right, it can make all the difference to our lives. 

So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together, as we delve into the world of teams and their indispensable role in our path to success. Cheers to a team that makes success feel easy! 

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A Siarza Production
Hosted by Kristelle Siarza and Jace Downey
Executive Producer: Kristelle Siarza
Producer: Jace Downey
Videographer/Editor: Justin Otsuka

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About Stories, Success & Stuff:

Are you feeling stuck in your career, relationships, or life in general? Join Siarza CEO Kristelle Siarza and adversity alchemist Jace Downey as they explore the bullshit of success and excitement of failure. They’ll dive into stories from their own lives to provide a glimmer of hope and a reminder that whatever you’re experiencing, you are not alone. Through funny anecdotes and compelling conversations, they’ll show you that you have the power to create your own destiny. Tune in and learn how you can explore and shift the paths of life that lead to true fulfillment. This is an inspiring podcast about shifting paths, stumbling to success and creating a life you can fall in love with. So grab a cup of your favorite brew, put on your comfiest clothes, and prepare for untamed stories of success and stuff!

Episode Transcript (unedited)

Kristelle: 0:00

whenever you’re looking at somebody in leadership, they say I want to be like them. Look at the people that are surrounding them very much, so I love it. 

Jace: 0:10

Nailed, it Nailed it. Nailed it. My sister and I say that, after everything, break me off a piece of that Fancy feast. Nailed it, fancy feast. You’re not even a cat person, as Andy from the office. He’s like has the, he keeps you in, like what is it? And then he’s like break me off a piece of that Fancy feast. Nailed it Nailed it. 

Kristelle: 0:35

I was like, I think you messed that up. 

Jace: 0:39

I think you messed that up. 

Kristelle: 0:40

That’s awesome. Okay, so today’s topic very, very fun topic, something that we care. I’m speaking for you when I shouldn’t be speaking for you, but I think it’s something that you care very deeply about too, which is teams. It is, I’m sorry. 

Jace: 0:57

A series of things went through my head to interrupt you with no, that’s okay, unlike prostate exams. No, that’s not what we’re discussing today, but also very important. Consider if that’s if you’re in that age range. It’s near and dear to our heart. Yes, 40 minutes of the importance of prostate exams on success Wait, can we do? This over. I wasn’t ready. 

Kristelle: 1:15

I’m not ready because I’m looking for the screw. I was gonna say you’re like talking at your. I’m sorry. No, I’m looking for our notes. I’m sorry. Can we start it over? I’m sorry, yeah, okay, oh yeah, that’s right, Okay, so. 

Jace: 1:27

They should be at the top, like the, I’ve said, the squad. 

Kristelle: 1:30

Okay, okay, today’s topic sorry, success and stuff. We’re talking about the squad, how building teams are very important for success. Very excited for this topic because CRSA as a whole, many different lives, I think, for me why this topic just rings really true in terms of building teams or being in a group. The wedding, the big wedding coming up here pretty soon. 

Jace: 1:57

I know you’re like well, does that have to do with doing no? No, in my head. I went dun dun, dun. I’m like nope, that’s not. It’s an exciting thing, jace, people like getting married. 

Kristelle: 2:04

It’s not a you should. Every single time I say the word wedding, that’s like the auto prompt sound yeah, dun, dun dun Dun dun Even, that’s always gonna be really positive. Yeah, it’s a positive one. 

Jace: 2:17

I don’t, yeah, I don’t know how to make positive. 

Kristelle: 2:19

So you know talking about the squad. So the reason why I was thinking about the wedding is because of the wedding party. Some of you may have heard, some of you may have not. I’m getting married in September. It’s coming up here really soon and right now we’re recording this podcast at the end of July, right, and so everybody’s just kind of falling into place. My family is coming in incredibly generously. They’re coming in asking almost every day what can I help with? The bridal party is expecting, even though I’m not trying to, they’re expecting to help in some way, shape or form. It’s like the bride squad to me is like a team on its own. They’re fun. They’re also inappropriate on. 

Jace: 3:08

so many levels. 

Kristelle: 3:10

Naturally, so that to me is kind of like my squad’s finally coming together. So, curious to see, Jace, any experiences in your life where you said the people or the team that you’ve built or the team that you have around you have made you successful in your life. 

Jace: 3:25

All of them. Any time I’ve been successful in my life, it’s because of the people around me. Hands down, I used to have this notion that things only had value if I did them by myself. Or there’s a lot of pressure that I have to absolutely have to do things on my own, and I kind of grew up that way a little bit, that you made your bed and now lying and everything Like you’re on your own, do your best, figure it out. And this idea that we should be able to do everything. You know running a business and when you’re small you started out what three people was the beginning of it, trying to do everything a company needs to do as one or three people. Oh yeah, it’s impossible. I always say we build failure into the foundation of entrepreneurship and we have this notion like I got here by myself, right, and it’s like nobody did. 

Kristelle: 4:14

Oh, fuck those guys. 

Jace: 4:15

Yeah, and I’m like no, I’m gonna tell you they had some people in the background helping them, probably women. Quietly working for their benefit. So, yes, absolutely everything that I’ve been successful with is because of having the right people around me, and I know we’re gonna talk a little bit about how to build the right team. I call it a team, you call it a squad, you can call it we got a lot of names for them nowadays. 

Kristelle: 4:39

But yeah, yeah. So CRS has started with two people. I actually was on, I was by myself up until about, I would say, 30 days and I hated it. I loved it and I hated it. I had the. It started in 2014, november, and I was by myself and I loved it, and then going on my calls and going on my meetings and trying to find my place in the world, I remember thinking about that. And do you remember the show New Girl, or was it New Girl? It’s Jess, yeah. So I felt like her all the time. I was like it’s me, I’m awkward. It’s so fun. 

Jace: 5:18

I’m gonna do this. 

Kristelle: 5:19

And then I hated it at the end of it. And I said at the end of a month and I said, okay, I’m gonna have somebody help me out, and at the time I was still kind of finishing up my MBA and learning about managing a company, getting my managerial experience in and then bringing on other folks afterwards Our first intern, who ended up being our first employee Like there’s a lot of really great stories out of it and we were more successful as time went on, with the right team members. There were some challenges and failures and lessons learned Definitely failures on my part in terms of leading teams that I always take to heart, right, but yeah, so CRS has started as a team of three, including myself. One of the interesting things, though, that one of our old team members used to say was he said I found it very fascinating, crystal, that you started with two guys, and I said huh, what does that mean? He goes. That’s a very common thing that women do when they’re establishing themselves Is that they surround themselves around men to feel the strength of the company. And I said well, that’s very strange you know, but I thought about it and I was like well, okay, like sure, and then over time I don’t think, I think that I looked at gender as kind of not the qualifying you can’t. I was gonna say yeah, I mean, obviously I really felt like culture was really what set the tone for CRS over time, cause I wanted to make sure the culture was humble, welcoming, community oriented, innovative. Not that everybody needed to be. I definitely didn’t want the company to be in ER mode, or as they say in public relations, it’s PR, not ER. 

Jace: 7:06


Kristelle: 7:07

Heard that from a friend recently, which I do crisis a lot. So that, okay, whatever, anyways. So I felt that the culture really defined teams and I know that we’ll talk about culture, we’ll talk about how to set that for success. But over time the team of CRS has really become everybody’s been family, whether we ended great, whether their time here ended poorly, whether they graduated out of CRS and became an alumni, whether they left and it just unfortunately didn’t work out for financial purposes. Every entrepreneur has to go through that. I think that the team that we’ve had here good, bad and ugly have been incredible people and part of the story of the success of the company without a doubt. 

Jace: 7:54

How did you decide to in those early stages, when resources are limited I would imagine, yeah, super limited and so you’re like, okay, I am financially able to hire one person. How do you decide what position is the most important when you’re that small and starting out and then it feels like pressure’s really high to get the absolute right person in that role? How did you do that? 

Kristelle: 8:23

I didn’t know how I didn’t. Ooh, that’s a great question. I didn’t know what I was doing. 

Jace: 8:30

Which, by the way, is the truth of every business owner in the beginning. Oh what? 100%? Just completely winging it? Yeah. 

Kristelle: 8:36

I definitely winged it. How I calculated, how I learned how to do it over time, was you calculate based off of demand? Makes sense, right, if it’s just like products, right? Products and services two types of businesses, b2b versus B2C totally two types of different businesses. So I said, okay, what are we increasing in terms of demand? And it was content writing and managing the accounts. So that was our first hire. Was somebody that to learn how to become an account executive. He definitely believed in me in the beginning, when I barely had any money to push through, but I knew I didn’t want to do this for myself. I wanted to make sure that he got paid first before I ever paid myself. So, yeah, that’s what it really was in the beginning was Paying this individual a part of the portion of the company finances to make sure that he, that the individual, was an account executive that also wrote content. And then people were asking questions about websites and website development. So that actually became the second part of the company. Was investing to somebody to be an account executive but knows how to do the basics of the web development. Well, I did the web development. Not many people know that I do have a background in web development or WordPress or WordPress management. So I was doing the web development. Well, that person was the one that was actually contacting the client. I still do a little bit of web tinkering here and there, depending on what the needs of the clients are. So I would say that the how did I know? I didn’t you know? Every entrepreneur knows that feeling of trusting your gut. I had a gut feeling that I needed more people, so I added them, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs operate that way. 

Jace: 10:18

Was that scary at first? 

Kristelle: 10:20

Oh yeah I. An entrepreneur that puts themselves first in their livelihood is a good entrepreneur, but when an entrepreneur puts the priority of their employees or their team or their people first, that’s an even better entrepreneur. Because what scared me the most was the livelihood. Like, for example, one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had to have, which one of our team members here doesn’t remember, was I said the cash flow is not coming in, I’m not gonna make payroll. I died, yeah, and I said I never wanted to put the livelihood of an employee first, or sorry, my livelihood first, but they depend on me. I am paying for their kid and paying for their husband, brother, son, whatever, whoever lives in the household. That’s what scared me the most was their livelihood was really focused on me to give them their paycheck, yeah, so when I didn’t have that moment, when I didn’t have the cash flow and I had to have that moment I it was a very deep depression. 

Jace: 11:40

You can feel that it’s just like yeah, that humility that comes with that like very humbling maybe, since a failure comes with that. For sure it’s embarrassing. 

Kristelle: 11:51

Oh, yes, it was very embarrassing, especially since that was immediately after our one year anniversary. One team member, like, ran to her car and cried. Another one was just like well, we have to do what we have to do. The other one was like, okay, but then got a stable job afterwards and we were really proud of them. But that’s a perfect example of with the team that you have, how do you not only keep the team that you have, but how do you maintain that responsibility of their livelihood? On top of that, or keeping very conscious of itself? It goes back to, I say a good entrepreneur is an owner or a founder that can put themselves first. They still have to make sure that they’re emotionally and mentally there for their team right. Be strong for their team, be whole for their team, be a good leader, that’s great, but on top of that, please remember that they come first. You can’t be who you are without them. 

Jace: 12:49

And so you said that a good entrepreneur takes care of themselves. A great one takes care of their employees first. And I made a face with that, because if you don’t make it, the company doesn’t make it. 

Kristelle: 13:01

I already heard your voice in my head when I said that. 

Jace: 13:03

I was like, well, and I agree, and I get it, because you make commitments right, you do this work, I will pay you this amount. You’ve made an agreement and upholding that is very critical, so important. And I’m like, yeah, if I make an agreement, I’m gonna, to the best of my ability, stick with it and at the same time, if that goes on too long where you’re not cared for, and then either you’re we talk about burnout, we talk about all of these things and you’re crumbling, the company’s gonna crumble with it, and then everybody and the clients and it all comes down, especially when you’re smaller. 

Kristelle: 13:36

Well, and I know that there’s definitely people that are out there that like, for example, funding ran out on one of my projects and there’s still definitely payroll that needs to be executed- and as difficult as it is, you just have to own up to it and just continually progress forward and as patient or as impatient that you’re gonna get, it sucks, it sucks. And we but entrepreneurs feel the same way. Like we have to wait on contracts, we have to wait on invoices all the time, and so sometimes teams don’t see the mental burden of the willingness to speed it up and get money in the door and I’m just like hanging out by the pool and you’re like, oh bummer, we missed that this week. Like oh yeah, it’s something that we. I think that’s why entrepreneurs are often called sociopaths, because one moment we’re higher than a kite, another moment we’re like super depressed. 

Jace: 14:31

It’s true, it’s a lot. I always talk with people that are considering becoming entrepreneurs. I’m like ready, get ready for everything to come up mentally and emotionally. Anything you’ve been pushing down, oh, it’s gonna come up. It will bring up absolutely everything. It is so trying. I don’t think we’re realistic enough about what it’s like to be in leadership, to be an entrepreneur, be a solopreneur, be a business owner. It is not just business. No At all, especially like you are your business and your business is you. When you’re in that, when you’re, it’s just you and then you’re everything like yes, it’s gonna bring up some shit On top of that. 

Kristelle: 15:08

everything that you just said, sandwich that with the team, the team’s burden, the team’s emotional success, the team’s skill set, the team’s financial stress, the team’s mental I have an anxiety type to say. That’s what I’m saying. I mean remember you’re not an entrepreneur. I get that and you were once were. Well, I take that back. You Jase person will always be an entrepreneur We’ve talked about. 

Jace: 15:36

We’re a species. You can’t, you don’t choose it, You’re born into it and then it never leaves, and maybe you pause down on it for a while. It’s your identity. Yeah right, isn’t there? 

Kristelle: 15:44

Yeah. However, you get that feeling like the fact that you had that anxiety reaction, Like an entrepreneur has their own shit and then multiplied that by every team member that you have on top of it. But we wouldn’t have, we wouldn’t do it any other way. We would always have a team around us. 

Jace: 16:04

So, okay, so, and we were talking about teams very differently. So I’m glad we’re in this space, cause when I think my team, I think of my personal team, my mentors, my guides, my I was talking to someone, your bridesmaids, and then too, yeah like my and you know the people that I lean on for different things and I have like a where we should all have an adversary, something like a devil’s advocate. Oh yeah, I always want that on my team. 

Kristelle: 16:29

Oh, you don’t have a problem with Filipino. Ansel on that one for a while. 

Jace: 16:32

Yeah, it’s like to me. Like that person that I’m having friction with, that’s on. They’re on my team. I want that person what do you mean by that? I want my rider die. Yeah, that, no matter what they’re gonna be, like amazing, that’s fantastic. Like the yes person who’s just like everything you do is the best ever. Those support people. I had a someone that is a mentee of mine when I was talking about my team. He’s like wait, you, you have people. And I’m like yes, we should all everyone needs people. And he’s like wait, so you go to therapy and stuff too. And I was like yeah, would you think I’m just sharing this stuff with you and I don’t have people that I’m working with? It blew his mind and I was like never, ever have someone you’re taking guidance from that doesn’t have their own team with it as well, especially for, like, let’s think about the scenario you brought up where you couldn’t make payroll. So there’s multiple things going on there. Right, you needed a support team, because that’s embarrassing, it is like failure. Like there’s so much emotional stuff that comes up with that. Maybe an advisor as well. What do we do here? Maybe even what legally could happen here. So you have your team and then that person that just went to their car to cry, you know they need to be calling somebody up on their team so that they have the support or maybe they can talk to someone in their life and go, I’m gonna get paid, but not until two weeks from now. Can you cover me? Or whatever, like the doing it alone which I took so much pride in in my younger years. I’m gonna be out here, I’m gonna explore, I’m gonna find whatever. Right, I’m so strong, I’m so independent. 

Kristelle: 18:01

And that, oh, yes. 

Jace: 18:03

Dumbest thing. I always say we can survive on our own. Today we can. We couldn’t back on the day, but we can today. We cannot thrive on our own. We make it so hard. So I’m hearing like there’s multiple levels of teams. We all need teams and different people on the team. 

Kristelle: 18:18

It’s funny that we picked this topic because one of our friends from the change agency CRS’s friends from the change agency is a really phenomenal agency called Zaid PR. Shout out to our friend, sonia Diaz. She’s rock star, president of the Hispanic Public Relations Association, and what’s really incredible about Sonia is that she had worked at larger public relations agencies for so long and we were talking about trauma bonding. We were talking about friends that have experienced stress from reporting to somebody, having to tell your manager but also having to tell your boss at the same time, et cetera. And very strong Latina very strong Latina. And I’m very honored to be in her circle. She said something on Friday when we were talking about a client, and she’s been in business for two years, so I always like to ask entrepreneurs how are you doing? What do you need? 

Jace: 19:16

What can I do for you and so? 

Kristelle: 19:18

she had said I’ve been in business for two years now and I realized I need to have a team. So she has her first account executive and she has her mentor working for her. And it brought me so much joy because she is Zaid PR now. It’s not just her last name, spelled backwards D-I-A-Z, z-a-i-d right. It’s not just her, it’s her M-O now to have people around her to collaborate with. That was a big thing, she said. She said I need to have people I can collaborate with, I need to have people to bounce ideas off of, I need to have people to laugh with and to cry with and I said no more trauma bonding. She goes yes, right, but it’s really weighing on her success right now and not weighing it’s uplifting her success right now, especially as she nails these huge contracts with national media involved into them. She couldn’t do it by herself. She could. I’m sorry she did do it by herself. She would prefer to do it with a team. 

Jace: 20:19

And I really think we can only do things on our own well for so long. Even the strongest, coolest, smartest, most capable person has limits. It’s that welcome to being in the human embodiment, right, like we run out right. There’s only so much energy, there’s only so many skills. We can gain all the skills, we can get every certification, but at the end of the day we’re not gonna be really at our peak in all of them. Oh yeah, that’s done. This whole idea that we’re supposed to be somehow. I don’t know who started that, this notion that we should be able to do everything in a business, do it well and be successful with it. 

Kristelle: 20:55

Okay, yes. 

Jace: 20:56

And then we’re like, why is entrepreneurship fail so often? And it’s like because that’s a real stupid expectation for us to be living up to. 

Kristelle: 21:03

I think it’s the perception of leadership, so it’s a really good point. But let’s look at what are our figures of leadership in society? Right? We see in a monarchy, you see a queen. In a democracy, you see a president. I think that the definition of leadership has been led by the conversation of one and you see that figurehead and they say, well, they’re leading the country, they’re leading an empire, they’re leading a team, and you see one person there, or a partnership, maybe right, and I think that’s where the concept of not having a team looks like success for some people in that aspect, but to me that’s not right. So I mean, look at the governor, not necessarily our governor, but any governor. There always needs to be one side, that are her team, her cabinet secretaries, his cabinet secretaries, and then the team is underneath that. A department will have 100 people you look at. And then you look at the other side, which is the legislature, which you’ve got 200 bosses to report to, because that’s your house, in your Senate. Like people think that leadership is just the one person who gets elected, who serves the people and is in that particular position, but that’s definitely not the case. 

Jace: 22:23

Well and right away, I’m seeing images right, so I’m seeing a TV screen or whatever. They’re not standing up there by themselves ever. There’s always people around them, or there’s no fun show where a person’s just by herself all the time and then that’s the show right. And maybe she talks to her dogs and they have voices in her head and she does them back and they talk them back. 

Kristelle: 22:42

Overheaded audience, right Overheaded audience. But she brought people in. 

Jace: 22:45

Yes, absolutely, it wasn’t just someone’s in it, so it’s like but we do. We have this idea in America, this over individualized nation that we’re in, where it’s like we’re all on our own or take care of you and yours, or all of these stupid things that don’t make Individualism. Individual, yeah, and then they don’t make any sense and we lose this concept that having a team is in a weakness. It doesn’t mean I failed. It doesn’t mean, oh, I couldn’t do it on my own. Of course, you couldn’t do it all on your own. You’re not meant to. And when I can have someone like you said, like, ok, I do some of the web tinkering and things like that, yeah, but what if you have someone in that position that loves web design? They need sleep and drink it. They wake up designing websites in their head. Those websites are going to be way better than we go. Well, I could do it. I can do it. I did everything. I can do every position in a company. I did it in two of mine. It’s stupid, yeah, but putting someone in that right position on the team now we’re thriving, very critical. 

Kristelle: 23:39

So, board development sometimes I learned from being a board president, from going through strategic planning, learning from great mentors like Lynn Nguyen, our board chair at ABC, learning from Lynn Lee Daly, who works with a lot of nonprofits on strategic planning. One of the big points of success is when a board has a matrix of people based off of ages, based off of talent, based off of educational background non-educational background included based off of commonalities, and that’s what makes a good team, a good board, a good squad is when everybody brings something different to the table. So, for example, if your organization, for example I get this question a lot why is nonprofits so messy? I said, well, it depends what part of the problem it is First off. 

Jace: 24:44

And how long do you have to have this conversation? Yeah, do you want this over a drink or over a coffee? 

Kristelle: 24:48

So we look at the board and we say, oh, there’s no people with a finance background to give you feedback, as president, on what you should do with the finances. There’s nobody with leadership background how to lead a company, how to lead a team, et cetera. They don’t see the leadership opportunities there or they don’t see the opportunities to serve. There’s some people that sometimes a nonprofit really needs to have a mental health background. They have no social workers, they have no psychologists. They’re plenty of people to go around. They don’t get that. And so that’s what good team building looks like is understanding what the holes are and filling those holes with the right talent. 

Jace: 25:24

What I’m hearing is intentionally building the team. So, when we think about that, who have you intentionally put on your personal team? Not your team below you, but the people in your life. I know we talked about mentors. If you missed that episode, go back and check that out. I know it’s important to both of us. 

Kristelle: 25:45

On CRSAcom Indeed, I would say that the person so I had a lack of fun and I know that’s our next five cast, which I’m really excited about, and you know this person is Colb. Oh yeah, yeah, dave Colb, dave Colb. So David Colb. It’s not that I don’t have fun with my fiance, I absolutely do. Let me just make sure I say that Spencer Spencer Moon is getting in trouble today. 

Jace: 26:11

No, I’m not getting in trouble. 

Kristelle: 26:14

Well, we needed somebody. It’s funny because he loves Colb. You guys needed to spice it up. No, no, no. There’s a lot of spice and there’s a lot of monster cans in our relationship. We’re learning a lot today. So I needed somebody in my life to always remind me to have fun, and Colb is it. And I love how Colb is always asking me let’s go play golf, let’s go do this, let’s go sign up together. He and I have such a love for social sports. Key word social. He’s very patient with me when I suck at golf. He’s very patient with me when I just want to party and drink and he’s like, let’s just go and have fun. Somebody needs to be. I needed somebody always in my life to just always be positive and optimistic, and he is it. That’s why I love the guy so much. 

Jace: 27:04

I’m so glad you brought this one up first, so I call it the Playmate. Oh, you got to have a Playmate, someone who you’re going to go out in the world with and do the things and just going to be able to call them up and be like we’re doing this in 10 minutes, you in, and they’re going to be like of course I’m in and they are the ones that even pull you out of that space when it is stressful or you’re feeling that failure or whatever, and they’re like. 

Kristelle: 27:25

I know what she needs. 

Jace: 27:26

In my case, you’d be like someone who’s going to take me out dancing. 

Kristelle: 27:29

I’m not going to be on the golf course, but, yeah, a Playmate so important I also need somebody on my personal and my professional life and you’ll get a kick out of this one Somebody to tell it like it is on the finances, ooh. 

Jace: 27:47

So that’s my Ed’s here. Yep, love Ed, love Ed. How can I incorporate him more into every part of my life? 

Kristelle: 27:52

Like he’s just love Ed. 

Jace: 27:54


Kristelle: 27:54

How would you describe Ed for those that have not actually experienced working with Ed before? 

Jace: 27:59

Ed is an incredibly down to earth, super chill person who just happens to be good with numbers. Like, does not look like he would be, he just he looks like he’s a beach bum in the best ways possible and he has a huge heart and a very sharp mind. Yes, yes, but very unassuming, very unassuming and I haven’t come up with anything with him that has ego behind it 100%. 

Kristelle: 28:28

So I brought Ed into the mix when we needed a finance manager. I was always trying to balance the 50-50 of skill set versus culture and trust was trust even more so with a finance manager is more than an individual like you. Like for you your role to me is grow the organization and represent the brand and we’ve talked about this, like you, are a crucial part. On top of finances. That’s even more crucial, and there’s no one over the other, right, they all have to they all have to be there, but the financial part is like you could get into a lawsuit if you don’t have your shit together on your finances. Yeah, so that’s kind of important. So in this instance, ed is very important to the team, not only from a cultural perspective. Right, he can’t take him seriously, he just can’t. And it’s great because that’s a serious job that he’s a damn bean counter. 

Jace: 29:33


Kristelle: 29:34

That’s not fun. He loves it. 

Jace: 29:37

But he makes it fun. 

Kristelle: 29:38

He makes it fun. 

Jace: 29:39

And, like I do, he’s not serious but I do take him seriously, like if he says something I’m gonna take it to the bank, but he’s not a serious. I literally been walking it to the bank because that’s thank you, yeah so, and in that piece and I’m gonna expand it out like maybe that’s an area for you where you need someone to call you on a finance part. I need us very much so For me, that would be relationships like my romantic sexual relationships. I need someone on the out to be like girl how are you this smart in making these dumb choices and what like? That’s my area of. I need someone to just call it. Like it is no BS, no fear of losing the relationship or anything like that and someone to just be like. You said this, but now you’re choosing this Like is that really an alignment, jayce? I’m gonna call me out on it. Like that’s an area for me that can be a blind spot. 

Kristelle: 30:28

Yep, I’ve talked about my sorority sisters a lot, yeah, collectively as a whole. They’re my they’re my call it like it is group Nice. So some of you have seen on my social media. I went to my bachelorette party in Vegas and those are the nine women around me. Very similar to how Zeta was actually formed as a fraternity 1898, they had nine women that founded a fraternity. 

Jace: 30:50

I had nine women in my squad Like it just happened that way. 

Kristelle: 30:53

Right, I love that kind of stuff and so yeah, incredible. So there’s one logic Hispanic, that’s my bestie. And then there’s one stupid smart one with her MBA that will tell it like it is, but she’s ruthless with her words if you get on her bad side. And then we have one that’s like the she calls herself the bog witch, which is hysterical. 

Jace: 31:11

Okay, but she is specific. Witches can live many places, so in a bog is an interesting choice, is all I’m saying. 

Kristelle: 31:19

In New. Mexico, we got the ditch witch and you gotta watch out for her. 

Jace: 31:23

If you grew up in New Mexico, you’re afraid of the ditch witch. 

Kristelle: 31:27

So she’s always the one that’s super spontaneous and doesn’t fit any boxes, and you need that reminder in your life, right? Yeah, she can’t she can’t. 

Jace: 31:36

You just all need a bog witch. Yeah, it’s all. You’re bog witch in your life. 

Kristelle: 31:40

Then we have one, that is, she’s constantly reminding everybody about mental health, especially since she’s got three kids and she has anxiety and she talks about how, like. You know, she’s like, this is what I’m going through in my life right now and all of us have to remind ourselves that. You know we we want to support her, but you know she’s very much willing to be supportive of us. There’s one that’s really interesting. She’s actually my little sister in the sorority and she’s very close to me because she’s always somehow this follower and she’s always the perfect reminder that you can be a follower too. 

Jace: 32:15

Yes, right, like we. I don’t know we got into this whole thing where that’s a negative no and it’s not. 

Kristelle: 32:21

Being in a supportive role is a beautiful role to play on someone’s team oh especially as and I’ll get to our the last one, the two last ones, but you know that’s a very important role, especially in a group of nine women. 

Jace: 32:36


Kristelle: 32:37

You just kind of tag along or do whatever you’re told to do, or when it’s time to step up, you step up. She’s been the most successful out of all of us to help the fraternity continue at Eastern New Mexico University, cause that’s how committed she is Right and she’s. She knows how to be a leader when she needs to step up, but she knows when to follow, when she needs to follow. And the two others one of them, she’s one of those. She’s the mental health. She’s professionally a mental health counselor, lasw, and so it’s great whenever she sits down with us and she says do you have your shit together? She’s incredible at that. And then the last one is the everything’s fun, everything’s exciting, everything’s joyous. Everything is Disney, everything’s joy, and you need that constant reminder. She’s the oldest too, which is really funny. 

Jace: 33:26

That actually makes the most sense, right. Yeah, the older we get, the more like I just ran out of fucks to give. I don’t know if we can say that word on here. 

Kristelle: 33:33

No, we can’t F’s to give, we ran out. Oh no, no, no, no, am I in trouble? No, can we? I don’t know what the rules are anymore. No, you absolutely can say you know zero fucks given. 

Jace: 33:43

You get older and then things are more fun because you’re just like oh, I just gave them all away for stupid shit. In my younger years I gave a fuck about everything all the time. 

Kristelle: 33:52

Exactly, and then I ran out you need that person, and so now easy breezy because you know I would give them if I had them. Yeah, but I ran out, so let’s have fun now. Yeah, you really need that person right as that reminder. And then the last person is the crafter, like the one that’s always like very ingenious and coming up with her. 

Jace: 34:08

Does she actually like put the t-shirts together for? 

Kristelle: 34:11

you guys, and stuff. 

Jace: 34:12

Oh, I need that she did. 

Kristelle: 34:13

We had like custom names for our Mean Girls t-shirts during our bachelor party, and she was the one. But she’s also the very kind listening soul too. So, yeah, you get lucky right by having the right squad, the right tribe, the right people, and they all have a various different roles. So let me ask you this In the teams that you surround yourself with, what’s your role that you didn’t know until somebody told you that was your role? 

Jace: 34:44

That I play in their life. Oh, that’s an interesting question and I do want and I will answer. I’m not evading the question, but I will say also you said you get lucky with the people and I just want to say I disagree. I think there’s something very important about being intentional with who’s on your team, so I’m going to put a pin on that and then we’re going to come back to it. So the role I play OK, the most surprising one, and spoiler alert for next week’s episode, I’ll talk more about this I used to be very rigid, very like I just it had to be a certain way, like control was a big thing coming from a trauma background, and so it’s like I want needed to mitigate everything. I worked, that’s it. That’s all of my life for a long time was just work. I was killing myself and so people stopped inviting me to think. So they’re like oh, she’s not going to come, she just is working all the time, and I’ll share more of that in our next episode. But once I realized how unhealthy it was and how big of a legit danger it was to me, I started loosening up and learning how to have fun and play and chill and rest. And the most surprising thing anyone ever told me was you’re just the person I go to when I need to feel calm and just have fun and just play like you’re my go-to person. And I was like what’s that now? Never, ever have I been that person. 

Kristelle: 36:06

And I intentionally worked on it. 

Jace: 36:08

Oh now, I love fun, I’m all about fun. It’s so important. But that was the most surprising thing, when someone was like you’re just so laid back, you’re the person I go to when I just need to feel calm, and I was like said no one ever until this moment. Until that. I mean, this was years ago. You’re seeing that pro-level fun now, but back then it honestly blew my mind and it felt like such a big win. Varsity level fun. 

Kristelle: 36:32

No, I see, and to me that’s surprising, that it’s not surprising that you’ve fit that role with the changes, the incredible changes that you’ve made in your life. But I was thinking about this yesterday when we were on our business development meeting. Right On Mondays, we have a business development meeting. We go over, how do we grow the company right? And it was funny because I said to myself oh, she’s really calm. I really appreciated the fact that she did that. 

Jace: 36:58

No, I mean it. Yeah, no, yeah, I’m very calm. Yeah, you were very calm. 

Kristelle: 37:01

And I said, well, she’s not mad, but she’s very intentional about being calm and she’s just calm when she wants to get shit done. That’s really cool. Like I said that to myself, I should have said it out loud because I was very. I was very. As you know, I’m all over the place and trying to make sure everything’s good and you have this grounding element that I and Alexis is the same thing, my executive assistant or community developer. She’s very calm most of the time, unless she has to do something. She’s like what do I have to do? And I said, oh no, she’s kind of I believe You’re rubbing off. It’s contagious, yeah yeah, yeah, and at the same time, she’s very calm and I can’t tell you how great that is to have around where my internal squad is you now with your new role, and then Alexis, and then Ed, and that’s my team and it’s everybody’s super calm and super chill. It does make a difference. 

Jace: 37:56

It’s interesting. You said that because sometimes I worry people think because when there’s something to be done, my focus is there and I’m not going to be silly, I might throw a pun in every noun again. Very unbranded yeah yeah, but I worry people think I’m mean or cold, when really I’m like no, we got shit to do, let’s get it done, and then, when we’re done, we’re going to cut it up and then it’ll be fun. So I’m glad that it’s calming and not I don’t seem mean. 

Kristelle: 38:22

Oh yeah. 

Jace: 38:22

So I want to touch back on the intentional team things before we wrap, because I think oftentimes people do just end up with the people in their life that they have and they make the best out of it, when in actuality, humans are adapt. We are amazing at it, it’s one of the oldest skills that we have. We adapt in order to be accepted by our squad or tribe or team, because back in the day, if you weren’t and you were kicked out, you were dead very literally, and so, as a survival mechanism, we adapt. So whoever is around us, our environment, we will adapt to. If we are not intentional about the people we put around us, then we are putting ourselves at a huge disadvantage. So we talk finances If you want to make more money, hang out with people who make that money. You want to travel more? Go join a group of travelers and there is a legitimate, actual physiological change that will happen based on the people we have around us and having intentionality, knowing who we want to be, life we want to live, and then the people we’re going to need in order to get there, and they shift right. So we might have a playmate and maybe it’s Colb, and maybe it’s your other friend and it switches. But having those specific things is one of the most important parts of success that doesn’t get talked about enough. 

Kristelle: 39:40

Oh, I think so too. You grab it. I’m fumbling over this. Steven Covey always said surround yourself around successful people if you want to be successful yourself. I kind of abbreviated. 

Jace: 39:52

You have to. 

Kristelle: 39:52


Jace: 39:53

And it’s not an option. 

Kristelle: 39:54

Yeah, and I 100% agree, and I think, while we think that people behind the scene or people that are in leadership roles always take a lot of that credit or they’re very self-serving sometimes, at the end of the day we think about the people we might be envious of or people that want to really work for themselves, They’ve got to be doing something right if they have a very large team behind them or people that are the heartbeat of the organization, there’s got to be something there that makes these people very successful outside of the usual team that they have, and I think whenever you’re looking at somebody in leadership, they say I want to be like them. Look at the people that are underneath them as well, or surrounding them very much so. 

Jace: 40:43

I love it. So we’re here, I’m here. You have the and you mentioned probably captures all of them A playmate, someone who’s going to keep a check on mental health, someone who’s going to be there and just be really supportive. Someone who’s going to call you on your shit, on whatever your weaknesses. Areas are having that devil’s advocate in the mix. Don’t forget the Bogwitch. You’ve got to have a Bogwitch. I don’t know where you find one. If there’s a website or a dating app type of situation for Bogwitches, please let us know in the comments below. Your ride or die. 

Kristelle: 41:11

Your ride or die. 

Jace: 41:13

Who am I missing? 

Kristelle: 41:15

I think that covers it. Creative one. 

Jace: 41:17

A creative one yeah, that’s a good one. Someone who brings out the best in you, always also, and then someone who’s going to ground you down 100% as well, I think those and then surrounding that with the people that have the life you want so that you can grow into it. That’s a team, right there. 

Kristelle: 41:31

It’s a team right there. Try not to succeed. 

Jace: 41:32

Try not to thrive right there with that intentional team in the mix. 

Kristelle: 41:35

Yep, most definitely. So we’re wrapping up story success and stuff. Thank you for listening. We really appreciate it. Thank you to Justin and, as always, for producing another phenomenal episode. Thanks to you for always putting this together. Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast channel, apple Spotify and definitely don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube. Thanks so much.

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