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Building an agency model business with Jemma Mrdak

I'm delighted to share with you an inspiring episode today where I had the pleasure of chatting with my amazing client Jemma Mrdak, the brilliant mind behind Dak and Co, a thriving social media agency. Our conversation takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of business growth, the challenges we all face, and the transformative power of intentional decision-making.

Jemma and her team work with businesses to grow their influence, impact, and brand presence through content that genuinely connects and brings their community together. What sets Jemma and Dak & Co apart is their deep care for their clients, taking a heart-centred approach that prioritises understanding their client's needs and aspirations to achieve meaningful results.

In this episode, Jemma reflects on the unexpected surge in client demands during Covid. Along with growth came the challenge of maintaining the personalised touch that Dak and Co was known for. Jemma shares how she was in a state of near burnout before we started working together. She even worked on her honeymoon!

Many of us struggle to find that elusive balance between business and personal life. Jemma candidly shares her personal journey of realising that the constant juggling was unsustainable and she needed to find a more sustainable way of operating her business, especially with the hope of starting a family in the near future. Learning to prioritise different aspects at different times and embracing self-care became pivotal in her pursuit of a more balanced and fulfilling life.

The heart of our conversation revolves around sustainability and why this has been such a game changer on both the business and personal front. Jemma shares how together we have worked on streamlining processes, establishing effective workflows, and refining operational strategies within Dak and Co. These changes allowed her to fully step back from the business and take an actual holiday, which recharged her enthusiasm for her business. It's a powerful reminder that sustainable growth requires strategic decisions and a commitment to self-care.

Towards the end of the episode, Jemma shares insights that are bound to resonate with ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to propel their businesses toward sustainable growth and impactful change. We touch on essential topics like self-care, streamlined processes, business evolution, and personal branding.

So boss, remember that sustainable growth and transformative impact are well within reach. Jemma's journey is a testament to the incredible possibilities that await when we approach our businesses with authenticity, resilience, and a vision for long-term success.

Topics We Covered:

[00:00:00] Kristy: Hello boss and welcome back to the Run Your Business like A Boss podcast. Today I'm joined by very special guest, Jemma Mrdak, who is the founding director of Dak and Co. A boutique marketing agency based out of Canberra. Social Media is in Jemma's, DNA, having built brands on socials for 14 plus years.

[00:00:21] She's seen it all and ridden every algorithm rollercoaster for close to a decade and a half. Jemma and her team work with businesses to grow their influence, impact, and brand presence through content that genuinely connects and brings their community together. In this conversation, Jemma is sharing her experience of growing a successful agency business. Jemma shares her story honestly and speaks to what contributed to the success of Dak and Co, along with some of the challenges she experienced as her business grew.

[00:00:56] Jemma is coming through the other side and has ultimately worked through those challenges to create a much more sustainable business. So we'll be talking about that as well. This is a great conversation if you are thinking. Of building an agency business. If you have an agency business, if you are thinking of scaling with people or you're simply feeling underneath all the things in your business, Jemma shares the highs and the lows and everything in between in this conversation. Are you ready? Let's go.

[00:01:28] Hello Jemma. Welcome to the Run Your Business Like a Boss podcast. I'm so excited to dive into your business today and talking about building an agency model business.

[00:02:11] Jemma: Hello. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:02:13] Kristy: You are welcome. So happy to get into it. So growing a successful agency model business is something that many business owners dream of or are working towards, and you've done such an incredible job of building Dak and Co and. This year specifically, you've been working to transform your business so that you can detach from the day-to-day operations and sit more in that c e o or the leader space of your business.

[00:02:42] So today we're going to talk about that transition and what that's been like for you and how you've been able to free up your capacity. Firstly, I'd love to start with where did it all begin? Like why did you decide to build an agency model business?

[00:02:58] Jemma: So I, I decided to build an agency business. I guess it, it, it started really organically. So for me, after finishing university in 2014, I studied a bachelor of PR and marketing. And when I was at university, social media wasn't a thing.

[00:03:14] We weren't talking about Instagram, Facebook, we all had, but we weren't talking about it as we are now. We weren't using it like we are now. So I finished university and I jumped into a comms role with a local boutique hotel brand, which is now a national brand, and I was entrusted with launching them on social media.

[00:03:33] so I essentially launched them on social and learned along with everyone else at that time, how to use Instagram, how to use Facebook from a business perspective. And at the same time, I was building up a network in Canberra with media. I was also building up my own personal profile and things were tracking along really nicely, and I started to get approached by a lot of small businesses in Canberra who were asking me, you know, we've seen what you're doing with this hotel, or we've seen your own personal brand.

[00:04:02] Can you teach us? Can you show us how to use Instagram for our own business? And so I started doing that sort of coaching on the side as, as well as working full-time. And then it got to a point where there was a lot of demand coming through from small businesses in Canberra and interstate for help with their social and also at the time specifically in Canberra.

[00:04:23] There weren't really any other boutique agencies around that were offering, you know, support for small business. There was a lot of bigger marketing, a agencies, but they were charging, you know, big budgets. And that just wasn't attainable for small business. So I sort of thought and saw that there was a gap in the market for a small boutique agency to provide support for those small businesses.

[00:04:46] it really did happen quite organically for me to, to start an agency, and it certainly wasn't something I planned to do. When I finished university I don't have a, a business background in my family, you know, no one in my, in my family has their own business. We don't know anyone that has their own business.

[00:05:01] So it was quite a foreign thing for me to do that. But, you know, it was, it was really driven, I guess by a twofold purpose, you know, the need. I, I found and recognized for small business owners to really effectively tell their stories online. And then for me, from a personal level, I really wanted to be part of that journey with them and really wanted to see those businesses grow and succeed.

[00:05:23] Kristy: Yeah, it also sounds like it was that need, like there was such a strong need from other businesses to use tools like Instagram and other, social media tools as well. And so for you to have already had that level of experience in its fairly young years of the social platforms being around, it sounds like you solved that problem.

[00:05:46] Jemma: Yeah, I, I like to think that I did. I, I really do. And it, it's so crazy to think that now. So I'm seven years into having this business officially. There were a few, a couple of years there where I had Dak and Co, but it was very much sort of on the side wasn't sort of the key focus, but it's still crazy to see now that there still is that need from businesses to still need that support. And that's really, You know, down to the fact that the social platforms are just changing all the time, you know, and when I first started the business, the key focus was Facebook.

[00:06:16] That was the, the key platform that everyone wanted to have a presence on. And then it was Instagram and then we moved to LinkedIn, and now we're talking about TikTok and Threads and Pinterest, you know, there was just so many more platforms out there now. So there is still that need for, for businesses to have that support

[00:06:33] Kristy: Absolutely, and it's, it's actually quite wild to think that, Instagram has really only been here since 2011, I used to use Instagram with my first business by taking photos of product on Instagram just so I could filter the photo to make it look. Pretty, these were product photos to then post on Facebook. So, you know, I mean, to go from that to, you know, Instagram being such a main tool for so many businesses to, you know, attract new markets and to, build connection and whatnot, it's, it's quite incredible.

[00:07:03] Jemma: Yeah, it is. And even just the way in which Instagram has transformed over time, you know, it's no longer just that app where you use, as you did to use the filters and upload, you know, personal updates. It's now, you know, got shopping features and reels and paid opportunities. You know, the, the fact that they have grown so much in such a short space of time too is remarkable.

[00:07:22] Kristy: And And the feature piece is really important actually, because that's the bit that keeps changing. And so, you know, businesses are trying to, keep up pace with all the things that they're doing inside their business, but then to also, work out all the different things of Instagram, that's where it's so, beneficial to be able to go to a business like Dak and Co and get that support where you guys are the expert. Of these platforms and you know how to use the platforms to support their marketing goals and business goals and whatnot.

[00:07:51] Jemma: Yeah, totally. And you know, we've been using Instagram since its inception, essentially. So we have seen that growth. We understand the platform in and out. We use it each and every day in our business. And so yeah, we're able to support our clients through that journey as they, you know, as the platform changes itself as well.

[00:08:09] Kristy: Mm, definitely. So what would you say, coming back to your business and more specifically your agency model, what do you think has attributed to the growth and success of Dak and Co?

[00:08:22] Jemma: it's a really tough question 'cause it's really hard for me to reflect back, as you and I have discussed, you know, working together, I, I do struggle to look back and, and see, you know, where has our growth come from. But, you know, I, I think it comes down to a, a few different things. The first is that, we are really committed to being more than just an agency. When we work with clients, we really like to see ourselves as a true partner for our clients and being really deeply involved in their teams to understand their business and their goals.

[00:08:51] So essentially, you know, we like to form friendships with our clients. So we are more than just an agency that they only hear from once a month. When we're checking in and saying, here are your stats. You know, we're talking to our clients most days, really, whether it's via text or WhatsApp or phone call.

[00:09:07] You know, we really insert ourselves as part of their team, part of their marketing team, really. So I think that's really helped us with our growth and our success is, we insert ourselves as part of their team. I think we've also really built a reputation for, you know, quick response times and staying ahead of industry trends.

[00:09:25] And I think that's really important when running a social media business is being on top of industry trends, understanding the changes in the platforms, what's working, what's not working, where should our clients sort of have a presence on. And then I think another way, In which, our growth and success has happened is, you know, we're based in Canberra and a lot of our clientele is based in Canberra.

[00:09:44] We do have clients, you know, along the East coast, but we started here in Canberra and it's a relatively small business community here. It's a fantastic business community. And I myself have formed some really key relationships with business owners and influencers here in the community through networking.

[00:10:00] And I think a lot of people forget how important networking still is when you're running a business. And the benefits that can come from that, especially now that everything's online. Like there is just so much benefit to having a coffee with someone or going to a networking event and, and making connections there. And you know, as much as I am an introvert and I don't like networking, I have really seen the benefits from doing that and how that has also helped sort of grow the business as well.

[00:10:26] Kristy: Yeah, look, I think, it's such an underestimated tool. The tool doesn't feel like quite the right word, but initiative, I suppose you can say, is to, to get out there face-to-face and networking. And I think that, you know, obviously in recent years especially so in the southern states, Little less so here in Queensland where we didn't have the extensive lockdowns that New South Wales, ACT and and Victoria obviously had, and that wasn't necessarily available to us, but everything's back on the world has opened back up. We're all good to go for networking and I think sometimes we forget that this is an option available to us.

[00:11:04] Jemma: Yeah, absolutely. And I also find that, you know, you might go into a networking scenario and, and not necessarily get benefit out of it on that day or straight away, but down the track. So often I'll get emails from someone saying, Hey, I met you at this event a few months ago.

[00:11:18] We're now in a position where we need support with social. Can you help us? So it's not necessarily that you're gonna get results straight away from going to a networking session, but you might make one key connection there that down the track could form into a client or a friendship.

[00:11:31] Kristy: Absolutely, and I, and I imagine it's not also just that they might become a client, it might be that they refer somebody that they know onto you as well. So there's also that opportunity to, you know, for them to become the middleman.

[00:11:45] Jemma: Exactly. And actually a lot of our clients do come from word of mouth, and some of them are because we work with a friend of theirs, but other times it is exactly that. You know, I've gone to an event or we've been somewhere and we've met someone who knows someone who needs social help. So, you know it, it certainly does help with word of mouth referrals as well.

[00:12:04] Kristy: And then of course, staying on top of industry trends is, is a big one as well. I mean, you know, that's why a lot of people outsource their social media is because they want to, you know, get access to somebody who understands the platform, but also can meet the needs between knowing the trends on the platform, their industry trends and their business goals too. It's like that sort of magic piece in the middle, isn't it?

[00:12:28] Jemma: Yeah, totally. And look, there are a lot of trends and things like that that pop up, you know, through the apps and stuff, but not all of them are relevant to businesses. And so people do get quite confused with, you know, well, should I be doing reels or should I be doing lives? Or, you know, they, they forget that they actually need to think, well, what's relevant to their target audience?

[00:12:46] Because you don't need to have a presence on every single platform and be doing every single thing on that platform. So that's why it's good, you know, for us to step in and say, Hey, This is what we think you should be doing, judging by who you wanna be talking to and targeting.

[00:13:00] Kristy: Yeah, that is such a good point because you don't need to do all the things, and some of the social media advice isn't necessarily targeted at business owners or maybe even your unique business. So working with an agency like Dak and Co can really help you to separate out what is relevant for you and what's actually going to work for the goals for your business.

[00:13:21] Jemma: Exactly. Yep.

[00:13:22] Kristy: Now I'm curious to know, so as your business begun to grow, what were some of the challenges that you experienced as a business owner?

[00:13:32] Jemma: Oh, quite a few. But challenges are good because, you know, What comes from that is growth. And it's really common in any journey to have challenges. I guess for us, one of the main challenges was increased client demands, particularly during Covid, we had a massive growth surge of clients who needed support with social because they had to close their bricks and mortar business and they needed to pivot.

[00:13:55] So we took on a really large bank of clients during covid and scaled quite significantly during that time. But what it meant is that we sort of lost our personalised approach that we are known for and that we love to have within our business. And, you know, so that, that was a big sort of challenge for us was managing how can we help all of these people but still have that quality of work there and that personalized approach that we like to have.

[00:14:18] Uh, so that was more of, of a business challenge, I guess, challenges for me personally. Finding the time or finding that juggle between both business and personal life. And I think a lot of business owners can relate to that. And for me, one of the hardest things that I had to come to terms with was the fact that I can't have all my balls up in the air at once like I once thought I could.

[00:14:38] And something's gotta give. So sometimes work is the key focus and other times personal life or relationships are the key focus. And so I've had to come to terms with that's okay. It's okay to not have everything in control all at once, and sometimes other things take priority So that was a big challenge and struggle of mine that I'm still grappling with how to, how to deal with that.

[00:15:00] And I think, you know, nothing will ever be perfect, but I, at least I'm now conscious of that. You know, as I sort of work through as, as a business owner.

[00:15:07] Kristy: Absolutely. you're absolutely right. A lot of people listening to this podcast will relate to that, and I think that, you know, it does get to this point in your business where you realize it can't all be about the business. You have to also create space for yourself. You have to create space for the people that you love and.

[00:15:28] If you don't, then those relationships begin to suffer. Your health begins to suffer. And there are times where you can go all in on the business and things can be like go, go, go, go, go. And you can get through those launches or those specific, periods and projects. But there has to be the offset of that, and the pendulum has to come back where you've then got that time for you, that time for the people in your life that are important. But if the pendulum always sits over here in the business, It's just the fast track to burn out.

[00:15:56] Jemma: hundred percent. And I've totally experienced burnout, you know, at the end of last year and started this year. And you know, as you and I have discussed, you know, I'd like to start looking towards having a family with my husband. I got married last year and so I'm now sort of thinking, well, how can I not have these, this crazy life that I have now with this business and make it sustainable so that when I do have a family, I can do both As well as I can. And so that's something that's been in the back of my mind throughout the year is how can I plan for business, you know, when I move into that family stage of my life. And also remembering that, you know, I'm not saving lives here. The work that we do, whilst it is, important for businesses and it's necessary, we're not saving lives.

[00:16:35] You know what I mean? Things don't always have to be urgent and done straight away, and that's something I've really had to learn this year as well.

[00:16:41] Kristy: Yeah, it's a, it's a good lesson to have to, to get to that realization that we're not saving lives, and I'm not either, quite frankly. And and I think that, you know, it does give you an opportunity for perspective as well when you can, when you can step up out of the situation and realize, okay, what is, what's really happening in this bigger picture?

[00:17:03] Rather than just feeling like you are, Behind the eight ball all the time in your business and, and making those decisions and. You know, the truth is, I think, well, I think it's very important what you're doing now is to set the business up for that ability to be able to take yourself out to start a family, and also to change the way that you're running your business for that time.

[00:17:23] Because you know when you've got kids, Things change like they need you and I mean, you know, Jemma, my kids are 12 and a half and and nine and they still really need me. So I think it's really important that we do consider that and that that becomes part of how we run our business. And that leads me to my next question.

[00:17:45] You talk about sustainability, and this is why we begun working together. you engaged me to help you to figure out, you know, what does this sustainable business model look like and how can you get to that point where you can comfortably, you know, make a shift in your time and capacity inside of the business. So, I'm curious to know how has the business evolved this year?

[00:18:07] Jemma: Well, as you would know, I absolutely love our time working together. It has been so transformative from the get go. And I think, you know, when we had our first catch up in February and I remember you got me to fill in this questionnaire about my business and my goals and my values, and. You said do it over the summer break when you've got time to sort of decompress from the year, and I really struggled to do it because even though I had a break over summer, I was still in that, that whirling mindset of work, work, work, work, work.

[00:18:36] My head in the ground, you know, stuck in the weeds, not able to sort of, Stick my head out like a periscope and look around and actually assess everything. And so I was really in, you know, a struggle town, you know, at the start of the year when we started working together. But you know, through all the work that we've done, and I feel like there's still so much more that I wanna do with you is, you know, we've been able to put.

[00:18:56] Proper processes in place operationally, you know, put together smoother workflows, work through, you know, team priorities so that I can have more space to be more strategic with innovation and strategy. And also you've really helped me work out who is our ideal client and what work do we really wanna be doing.

[00:19:14] I think, before I engaged you, we were taking on a lot of clients and a lot of doing a lot of service offerings because we felt we had to. And it wasn't necessarily what we wanted to be doing. It was more just our clients needed that support. And I had this fear of, well, if I say no, I'm gonna lose this client.

[00:19:32] Instead of being honest with them and saying, Hey, we specialize in just social and that's what we're really good at and that's what we can help you with, but here's someone else that can help you with. The other stuff that you need help with and we can all work seamlessly hand in hand. And I really struggle to have that conversation with clients because for out of fear that I would lose them.

[00:19:50] So I've done a lot of work in that space of really honing in on what are our key service offerings and really sticking to that and knowing that that's what we specialize in and that's what we're really good at. So I think that's been a really key takeaway for me, is honing in on what are we actually doing and what do we enjoy doing and wanna keep doing.

[00:20:08] Kristy: I love that so much. I think that, you know, your experience is something that other people can definitely relate to in that we build our business and, and you spoke earlier about that fast growth that you experienced over Covid. And so we build this build business and we have all this momentum. And because we are so busy serving clients, I love that term, putting your head up like a periscope. I think that just perfectly articulates it, is that we don't pause and then think, is this right? Is this working for me? Is this working for the business? Is this what we wanna be doing? And more importantly, what are I building for the future? does all of this still fit?

[00:20:49] And so for you to. Take that space and, and to step back and really assess and make those tough decisions. And even though, at the time it it did feel really hard and it was a big call to like, go all in on, you know, a particular type of client, particular type of services, the freedom that you're experiencing as a result of that.

[00:21:09] And that doesn't limit your opportunities. It just means that you are working with the right people, doing the right things. Growing your business in a way that feels good for the future, doesn't make the past wrong, it just means that you are really intentional about the future. And I just love that because you've gotta make bold decisions.

[00:21:27] And me as a coach, my job is to facilitate the conversation. But all those decisions come from you. You are the one who's figuring out, okay, what is it that I want it to look like? you are reflecting on those questions and digging deep within to figure out. What you want your business to be.

[00:21:43] And I, I really love that for you and I really love all of the changes that you've made and the systems and the processes and the workflows are so important. But I'd love you to share, like, why, how has that been so transformative? Not only for the business, but for you personally?

[00:21:58] Jemma: It's just freed up more time for me and it's time that I can spend both. Working on the business, but also just time enjoying life. You know, like I've had this business for seven years and I think you and I spoke on a call once where I was like, I was even working while I was on my honeymoon, and I haven't ever really had proper time off to just enjoy life and enjoy, I guess, the successes of the business and the growth that we've had.

[00:22:24] And so, through us putting together these workflows and these processes, yes, they sound boring, but they're so important because what it meant was last month I could take three weeks off and I went overseas with my best friend and I completely switched off from work. I didn't open the laptop, I wasn't on emails.

[00:22:41] I could completely trust my team to handle things while I was away, and I came back and I was just, Different, and I still feel different. You know, I felt lighter, I felt clearer, I felt more excited about my business. I felt more passionate about what I do. I feel like before I went away, I'd lost the passion for working in social and for running my business.

[00:23:00] And while I was away I was like, hang on, you have grown this incredible business. You need to enjoy this and you know, be so thankful for this. And so that's why putting together all those workflows and things like that really helped because I could actually take time out.

[00:23:14] Kristy: Yeah, I love that. And, I mean, gosh, working on your honeymoon again, I'm sure that someone else out there, it's one person at least who's listening to this, will have experienced something like that. And I know I have, you know, with my first business I was ordering stock from the maternity suite.

[00:23:28] I. Like hours after giving birth. So I definitely can relate to having had a similar sort of experience, but to go from the honeymoon, working on the honeymoon at the start of the year. Even just creating space to think about your business. You were. Coming back from quote unquote a holiday exhausted, and then to this point where everything was able to run without you, and you were able to disconnect and actually take a break.

[00:23:54] And my goodness, like if you were an employee, you would not. Be working on an international holiday, you would not be working you know, on your honeymoon. And yet we allow this into our businesses sometimes because we just don't have that, structure in place. But we really do let the boundaries slip more than what, we would like to admit.

[00:24:17] Jemma: Yeah. And like I was acting like I had a boss breathing down my neck saying, you need to work 10 hours a day. You need to work on your holiday. When in reality, I'm the boss, and yet I was just, Acting like I was an employee. Like it was, it was just crazy. But it's so nice now to be able to reflect back on that and know that that's not how I wanna work moving forward.

[00:24:36] Kristy: Yeah. And it's about intentionality, isn't it? It's, it's just that you are very clear on the intention for your business, for your life, and putting in place the work. And it hasn't, you know, it's been work. The, the things that we've done over these past six months or more specifically that you've put in place over this.

[00:24:52] These last six months, it's taken work, but you can already see the results for that. And not just for this holiday, but into the long term, starting a family, things changing for you. you've got your business set up in a way that's going to support those goals. So speaking of looking forward, what's going to happen for you in the next six to 12 months? What are you most excited about when it comes to your business?

[00:25:15] Jemma: Oh, I'm, I'm excited about a lot of things. I guess the first is we actually just completed our stage three submission for the Telstra Best of Business Awards. And look, whether we get through to stage four or not, I don't know, but for me it was just really nice to get through to stage three and to have that time to reflect and recognize our achievements as a team, which was really nice.

[00:25:37] But as I look. Towards sort of next six to 12 months. You know, there's a lot we're doing with our service offerings where we're gearing towards working more with our ideal client, but also looking towards how can we still help small businesses who we used to work a lot more with and how can we still offer them something in terms of support through coaching and guidance and things like that.

[00:25:58] And then I guess for me personally, you and I have done a lot of work on how can I build up my own personal. Profile, as an experienced social media marketer and communicator. And it's not something I have ever done before. But it's funny because I always talk to clients about why you need a personal profile and how important that is, but I've never done that for myself.

[00:26:17] I've never done my own sort of PR or promotion and things like that. So I'm really looking forward to diving more into things like podcast interviews and writing knowledge pieces and articles and you know, putting more social media posts out there that share my insights as as a business owner and seeing where that takes me as well.

[00:26:35] Kristy: I love that so much and you have so much value to hear. I know that our listener today will hear you today and then they'll start seeing you pop up in various different places and you know, you have so much knowledge to share and I. Again, you now have time freedom because you are not in the business doing all the things to be able to explore, you know, projects that feel really good for you, that, uh, can showcase and create bigger impact.

[00:27:01] When you are out there, share, sharing your knowledge, you can create bigger impact for others outside of the clients who work with you. So that's pretty exciting.

[00:27:09] Jemma: It, it is, it's such an exciting feeling to know that I have that spare time now to, to work on that, that part of my life I've never done before.

[00:27:15] Kristy: And I think also just thinking about in what other ways can you create impact for, you know, those smaller businesses that still need your support, but you know, it may not be something that you can take on, in terms of managing their portfolios. But to have that opportunity to be able to support them in other ways is amazing.

[00:27:35] So you've still got, you know, the core clients that you're doing, your done for you work within the agency, but you've also got this ability to be able to serve in a different capacity. But knowing how that all fits together within your business and assigning those tasks across yourself and the team, so that, , you can fulfill all of those obligations.

[00:27:54] I love the fact that you are, at this point, Jemma, that you've got. Really exciting things, and this is the, cool part. I feel like there's a lot of work that happens to this point, and then all of these exciting elements get to start to come into your business and into your life as a result of the, the work that you've put in over the past six months.

[00:28:15] Jemma: Yeah, exactly. Right. Like I remember when we first started working together and you're like, we need to do this, we need to do that. And I remember thinking, Why, you know, like I can see, and now I can see why, I can see why we needed to do all that because now all the fun stuff happens and it just made so much sense why we need to work, work through all the nitty gritty in the backend before I could do all the, the fun stuff now, because it's all, it's, yeah, it's all just made perfect sense.

[00:28:40] Kristy: I love that. Well, I have loved chatting with you and just even hearing, I mean, obviously I chat with you regularly inside of our coaching calls, but even just hearing this from such a different perspective today and you know, for our boss who's listening today, who might be thinking about growing an agency or, or any other different type of online business for that matter, what would be your best business advice to our listener?

[00:29:06] Jemma: I have a few. I guess advice for agency owners specifically would be to remain authentically committed to your client's success and don't get sucked into taking on more clients. Than what you can sustain. And I can tell you that from my own perspective of taking on way too many clients and not being able to sustain it.

[00:29:25] And I think it's really important to think about your quality of work versus quantity of work and how you can, you know, service people really authentically. in terms of running your own business. There's a reason why they say, you know, put your oxygen mask on before helping others.

[00:29:39] And I think, you know, from a business owner's perspective, you need to look after yourself first, before you can be a good partner, be a good boss, be a good friend. You know, it's so important to look after yourself first and to put in place. Best practice for how you can do that. That might be, you know, for me it's not having meetings on a Monday or a Friday to make sure I've got that time for me in the office.

[00:29:59] It's, you know, making sure I don't do work on a weekend or little things. It can be whatever works best for you, but how can you first and foremost look after yourself, before you look after anyone else?

[00:30:09] Kristy: That is such great advice and I think that we hear this often, but very few people actually put that into place, and, and I hope that hearing it articulated from Jemma in this way, in addition to everything that you've shared today, Jemma has resonated with the importance of that to look after yourself, to create capacity within your own life.

[00:30:33] Because when you are, when you are running to the ground, if you are feeling burnt out, if you're feeling overwhelmed, you're not gonna do your best work. You can't sustain running a, a high octane business like that long term. And it's either gonna be one of two things. You'll crash and burn and you'll wanna close the business, or it will, you know, make that choice for you I think

[00:30:54] Jemma: Exactly. And for me it was like I was crashing and burning and I was questioning why am I doing this business anymore and forgetting why I started it in the first place. So yeah, I hope people listening can sort of hear my experience and that can sort of maybe be a bit of a trigger for them of, okay, how can I look after and preserve myself a bit better?

[00:31:11] Kristy: Absolutely. And just to circle back on the point about building an agency to stay authentic to you and to do your best work and yes, volume is nice, and I think that this is where sometimes we can be so focused on the numbers and the advice we're given online, that we reach this target and we do reach that.

[00:31:29] Target targets are great and absolutely you should be profitable and paying yourself above market wages and all of those sorts of things. But you know, Integrity is also a key piece of this. And to your point, Jemma, so much of your business comes from referrals. And if you are not doing your best work, a clients won't wanna stick around, and B, they certainly wouldn't be referring you on to other people.

[00:31:56] Jemma: Exactly. So important for us to remain authentic and you know, I used to think, oh, let's take on X amount of clients because we can help everyone. For me, it was never about the money. Whilst that is an important factor, but if I was trying to help everyone, then I was helping no one, no one was actually getting the time and the, the effort from, from me and my team that they deserved.

[00:32:16] Kristy: very good point. You can't save everybody either.

[00:32:20] Jemma: No, you can't.

[00:32:21] Kristy: everybody as much as we'd all love to. Well, Jemma, I am so proud of you. I'm so proud of everything that you have done, what you are doing inside your business, the. Impact that you are creating for the clients that you serve. And then also this next step of being able to create a much broader impact with your knowledge and expertise through thought leadership and all the wonderful things that you're going to be doing into the future.

[00:32:45] You've made bold decisions, you've made courageous decisions, and you've dug into the work, and you will be reaping the rewards for that forever. So I'm so excited for you and very, very proud of everything that you've done and continue to do.

[00:33:00] Jemma: Thank you. That means so much. It's, it's, yeah. That, that's really nice. Thank you.

[00:33:04] Kristy: So Jemma, thank you so much for joining us. I've loved this conversation. Can you share with our listener today where might we be able to get in touch and soak up all your goodness?

[00:33:15] Jemma: Yes. So you can follow our business page, Dak and Co on Instagram @dakandco or my own personal Instagram is just at @jemmamrdak. Or our website is d

[00:33:26] Kristy: amazing. And I will tag all the links down in the show notes so you can take a look. And Jemma, thank you so much for joining us for today's conversation. I've loved every second of it.

[00:33:36] Jemma: Thank you so much for having me. It's been such a pleasure.

[00:33:38] Kristy: to you boss, thank you so much for joining us for today's conversation. I hope that through Jemma's story, you felt less alone in the challenges that you might be experiencing as a business owner. Hello, not being able to take a break or a holiday without needing to dial into work.

[00:33:56] I also hope this gives you great confidence to know that you can make changes in your business so that it can be more sustainable, Just like Jemma's experience, don't you just love Jemma's approach? You can really see that she has deep care for her clients and has a heart-centered approach in helping her clients to achieve their aspirations and meaningful results in their business.

[00:34:19] Jemma's details are down in the show notes if you'd like to connect, and if you too would like my help to restructure your business so that it's more sustainable and you can create an even bigger impact, then head down into the show notes and And grab the link for my coaching programs. Now is an excellent time to be working on your business as you'll have a solid runway into the new year. Boss, as always, I appreciate you. Thank you so much for joining us for this conversation. This interview was recorded on the land of Kilen Darbin. I pay respect and tribute to the turbo people who are the traditional owners and caretakers of the land in which this podcast is created.

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About your host, Kristy

Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.


I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum. 

As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.


Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!

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