Nishi: Hi, it’s Nishi here. Before we continue with the rest of the podcast, I just wanted to take a few seconds to explain what we do. We’re a firm of accountants and business advisors, and we are really passionate about helping people grow and scale their own businesses and achieve the lifestyle they deserve.
To do this, we’ve created a series of resources on our website, unrelenting drive.com. So whilst we’ve got a few minutes after this episode, it’s definitely worth checking that out. And just a quick reminder, if you do enjoy this episode, just like, share, follow, and subscribe.
I’m really excited to be joined by Christina Robinson from Green Umbrella Marketing, and she’s gonna tell us a story of her business and answer those questions I was just talking about.
So Christina, thank you very much for joining us. Um, hopefully like our new studio, it’s, uh, a, a slightly different from our old studio, but, um, really, really like it.
Christina: No. Love it. Love, love the love the development. It’s cool. It’s really good to see not enough people invest in stuff like this, so it’s great to see a business doing it.
Nishi: Yeah. You know what, like, um, we, I, I was using Restream and I was doing really quick live videos and they were taking about five or 10 minutes, and eventually I got to the point where I was doing, um, like a live video every day, and then people, we are getting like a good lead every single, um, every single week.
And I thought, you know what, what would happen if we actually invested in this? So I, I, I think that’s, um, that’s what I’ve learned about one of the things I’ve learned about business. Like, you know, find something that’s working, like double down on it. Don’t try lots and lots of different ideas. Um, but I mean, this is, this is your area of expertise.
So if you could just let us know a bit bit about what Green Umbrella d.
Christina: Yeah. So, um, we are a digital marketing agency specializing in social media for independent businesses. Um, business has been around for 13 years. Yeah. Um, so yeah, so we, we’ve seen some changes over the time, seen some different trends happen, that kind of stuff.
See social media platforms come and. Yeah, good crash and burn. Um, so yeah, like, say lots and lots of different things. We do a lot of work within the recruitment industry, but also with, like I said, local independent businesses as well. Um, so yeah, the, we’ll do your social media for you, but we also do lots of coaching, training, mentorship, and everything you need to market your business online.
Nishi: That’s absolutely amazing. You know, one thing I’m always impressed with is the, the volume of content you create. It’s, you know, sometimes it’s just un unimaginable. How, how one, well, this thing you’ve got team, haven’t you? Um, absolutely. Yeah. It’s, it’s, but it, it’s evil for us, like creating that volume of content and it’s all, it’s all really unique.
A lot, a lot of it’s really original as well. You, you’ve, you’ve followed the trends and then come to your own conclusions and done your own testing. And it makes, uh, I and I, I, I think just the, you must work like a hundred hour weeks, right? Do you
Christina: know what? That’s the perception. That’s the perception. But this is the thing with a really good content strategy, uh, you don’t have to be a slave to content.
You can create a couple of core pieces of content that you can then repurpose, break down. Keep up to date, you can do so much when you produce, don’t, don’t approach it as content creation. Approach it as asset creation. Okay. Okay. So if you think like your house would be an asset. Yeah. Right. So every couple of years you’re gonna touch up the, you know, touch up the gloss.
Yeah. You might, um, you know, have. Build on it, have an extension built you, you know, there, there’s things you do to maintain that asset. It’s the same thing with your content. So people think I’m like, you know, oh my God, she’s producing so much. Realistically, I produce one blog a month. Sorry, one blog a week.
Um, uh, we do one livestream a week. Outside of that, I just do, we just do stuff as we go. And
Nishi: then I, I guess like you could create a blog and then turn it into like 50 videos.
Christina: Somehow, uh, we look at Google Analytics, oh my god. Loads that, that blog’s had loads of hits. Okay. What’s the blog?
Let’s do a video on that. Yeah, we, we are
Nishi: starting to learn a bit about that with YouTube now, cuz before I just. I’d st spend like three minutes preparing for a video. And then like, I, I guess like the key to success is the element of surprise. So I’d just surprised myself and like I, I’d hit the play button probably before I was ready, or the record button before I was ready, and then I’d, I’d kind of have to wing it.
But actually, like, you know, once we’ve actually sat down and thought about, okay, what, what are people searching for? What are people, what are experts in our industry, uh, as well as our us talking about, you know, what, what kind of topics important are. Uh, our key clients. We’ve then, we’ve started, I mean, I think while we’re filming this, we’ve got 143 subscribers, but we, we were about 104 subscribers for like, I know it’s a small number, but for, for years, because we never invested in YouTube.
We, we got like thousands of people on LinkedIn and thou, uh, thousands of people connected on Facebook cause they were always our main platforms. But then with YouTube, cause we never really invested in that. And then as soon as we started creating optimized videos and then, um, and then. Getting proper cameras in and focusing on the quality of the content.
It just, we, we started like having two subscribers a day or like adding up and it makes a, it makes a huge difference. So I think maybe like, you know, my only regret is I didn’t listen to you like maybe about three years ago, years
Christina: ago, but this is thing where focus goes, energy flows. That’s it, you know, so you focus on the video, you’ve invested in it, you’ve stayed consistent.
And yeah, there are those tumbleweed moments where you are thinking like, is it really worth the effort? Like, like, is it worth the hassle that, no, it’s fine. Us sitting here chatting now, but now someone’s got to edit the video, get it optimized, upload it, do the captions, and then we’ve gotta strip the audio, release out the podcast, do the show notes, all that, and you think like, is it worth all the effort?
But it’s that. Have you, have you seen that image of someone kind of like digging in a cave and they’ve given up and they’re just like, you know, three foot from gold? Uh, yeah, I think, yeah, it, it’s kind of like all the time people go, well, I stopped, I gave up cuz nothing was happening. And I’m like, yeah, but you, you just have to keep going.
You have to go through those tumbleweed moments where you feel like, yeah, no one’s paying attention because we could only measure it on. The follows and the likes and the comments. What we can’t, okay. We can measure on the views as well where YouTube’s concerned, but if you think your marketing as a whole, you never really know who’s watching, who’s listening you.
You never know who’s coming back for your content, who’s seeing it. And sometimes your worst performing pieces of quote, it could be a LinkedIn post and only 43 people see it. Yeah. But if. Four of those people then reach out to you. That’s a much better performing piece of content than something else that’s, you know, a TikTok that’s got 75 million views that didn’t bring you anything.
So I guess,
Nishi: yeah, course quantity and, and one thing I noticed is like, YouTube seems to be a bit more evergreen. So like, yeah, you can create. You spend that 10 minutes creating that video for LinkedIn or Facebook and it, and we still do, cuz we were getting clients from it, so why wouldn’t we? But, um, that, that’s, that’s gone in a day really.
But then the, the YouTube, you could, sorry, YouTube, um, you could spend, you could spend like. But, you know, hours creating it. But that was,
Christina: did you suddenly feel very old when you said the YouTube
Nishi: Kind of, I kind of just pictured myself looking at it. Really old fashioned TV in, in black and white. But, uh, yeah, I should, no, I should know better.
It’s, um, I, I dunno if anyone who’s ever got YouTube channel ever actually said the YouTube. But may, maybe they’ll rebrand it now. Cause it does. I I think it does grow and yeah, it’s so in, in terms of like how, how did you get into marketing? Like you seem to know so much now, but you must have. Started
Christina: somewhere my previous life I was working in event management here for a hotel chain, like four staff fivestar hotels.
Um, so I’d like running all, so if you went for a conference or a wedding or a, you know, big exhibition in, in one of these conference style hotels, the person with the clipboard, making sure that everything happens at the right time and every bit cable is taped down and dealing with all the suppliers and everything else.
That was my job. Okay. And, um, we kind of hit the, uh, sort of 2009 sort of, you know, with everything that happened there, sort of financially in the world. Um, and I was made redundant. Okay. Um, and this was a job that I loved. It was a job I was really good at, so I, I’d got quite a big tube as well. So I felt quite empowered in what I was doing.
And all of a sudden the carpet’s been pulled out from underneath me. Now, I never went to university or anything like that. I’d, um, started my A Levels at sick form, but I, I was only there, um, for a couple of months. So at this point in my life, I’m thinking I’ve got two. Two daughters. I want to set a good example.
I’m gonna go back to university as a mature student, get the degree because then they’ve got two parents that got degrees and that’s the dumb thing. Exactly. What will I do a degree in? Well, I know of their management, so let’s do a degree in that. Started that degree and absolutely free and hated it. It was awful because I’d got all this practical industry knowledge.
Yeah. And what was being taught was very theoretical and I disagreed with a lot of what was being shared. Yeah. And so, um, yeah, that didn’t last very long either. So I sort of did about 18 months, two years of that, and unfortunately didn’t finish. And part of the reason I didn’t finish was I’d, I’d had a, um, a spinal injury.
Oh, sorry. Um, so yeah, so that was, that was tough, but, um, As much as I hated that experience, there was one little bit that I did quite enjoy. We’d had this project working with a local charity, um, running an event for them. We needed to do all the marketing around it. Now when I go back to my, the days in hospitality and event management, like I’ve got a very young team, as you would imagine, waiters, waitresses, that kind of stuff.
Yeah. They would all be on the Facebooks. Yes, they’re, and I’d be like, you would, why are you wasting your time on that crap? Like, what is this about? Like, you know, you’re literally, you just putting pictures of yourself up on there. What is this? Yeah. So I wasn’t, I was, I was quite anti-social media, but in doing this one module, I, it suddenly, Opened up the possibilities.
We’d got this brand new bus, well, a charity, brand new charity running. Its very first event. It has no brand awareness locally, nationally, nothing. There’s no real, there was, was one advocate for the charity, but they, um, although they were, they were well known in that they were an mp, but they weren’t a prominent mp, let’s say.
Okay, so this isn’t something that’s got, you know, people’s names behind that you can leverage. But we were able to fill an event with, I’m just short 500 people using the power of social media. So I kind of, you know, I drop out of university, all that kind of start thinking like, seriously, what the hell am I gonna do now?
Maybe I could do social, maybe I could do a bit of social media for local businesses, use what I did, what I learned there and actually, cause it turned out was quite good at it as well. Coming up, the ideas, that kinda thing. Yeah. So did a bit of research as you, as any new business owner or anyone with a new business idea, should do.
Do your research. Yeah. Does this exist already? Is there a call for it? Et cetera, et cetera. Um, and I happened to find a little business by literally five, 10 minutes from my home. Green umbrella. Yeah. Doing exactly what my bright idea was. Um, and within a week I followed them on the social media channels.
Within a week, I’d um, seen an advert for a freelancer role. Had a conversation been taken on, started that six months later I’m full-time on payroll. Um, basically second in command in the business. Yeah, so that was in 2013. So, And in 2019 we went through a management buyout. And I, I wanna say I became the proud owner of Green Umbrella Marketing, but I actually just became really, really poor when I ate Beans on Toast for a year.
That’s kind of what happened. Um, but yeah, it’s like I say, you know, I took it on a hundred percent. We did, uh, the, the, the founder exited on the day. We didn’t do an earnout period or anything like that. Um, you know, A year later we hit Global Pandemic and I just smiled my way through it and here we are now.
Nishi: Yeah. You know, um, and I guess I’ve probably known you for about seven years or, or maybe even late. And I’ve kind of seen you all the way through that journey, cuz I think when I first met you, you just started off at Green Umbrella and then like, No, actually, probably a bit before then, but, um, but I, I guess what I’m picking up from your story, I know this is a podcast for business owners, but actually if I was a young person watching this, uh, cause it was my business owner, parents made me watch it.
Um, it’s essentially I’d be thinking, wow, that’s, um, that’s a lesson why you’ve gotta get your foot in the door. Um, and really, like a lot of people are, Are out there just waiting for their, like, you know, gold plated, like salary after university or after a levels and the power of just doing something and it turning into more stuff.
Christina: Do you know? I think it’s about opportunity. Yeah. Okay. It’s, um, it, it sounds like a, it sounds a grand story and inspirational and all that kind of, it’s all that kind of stuff. Okay. But it’s a, the person I was at the point where I was thinking, okay, what if I had to start doing something, doing social media for people?
I was in a desperate place. I was at best, you know, I thought, I always say average was the best I thought I could be. I had no self-belief beyond that I’d, um, I’d grown up in quite a violent, abusive household that had, you know, the reason I dropped out of school at 16 Yeah. Was because I left home and I was like literally left home, moved in with a friend, um, was doing three part-time jobs to support myself.
Which was why I had to drop out of school essentially. Why I then didn’t go that university track. Um, and I kind of bounced around just doing the, you know, the, the, the kinds of jobs that we need to have in this world. Yeah. But when you don’t have anything really beyond a secondary school education, these are the jobs that are open to you.
And I did well then I progressed in companies and that kind of stuff, but because I had this belief of I was never, um, Never to be prominent, never to stand out in the crowd. I’d, you know, I’d, because of the way I’d grown up, it was, you know, I was always the quiet one at the back. I would never push myself forward.
So to actually come from that, like I said, it’s in life. You get put into situations of tension. When I was made redundant, that was a situation of tension. Like, what the hell am I gonna do? Okay, let me go and do this hard thing now, which was the degree I had the injury. Like if. I think that’s roughly when we met around, around that time.
Oh no, it was after that we met, um, if you’d have seen me then there were times I’d be, you know, I’d take the girls shopping in Milton Keys and I’d be walking around with two walking sticks. It was, you know, it, it wasn’t just, I’ve got a bit of a slip disc and a bad back. It was, there were times I was.
Literally unable to move. It’s, are you fully recovered now? Yeah. Thankfully 2016 I had had surgery and it, yeah, just game changer. Um, so it’s a, you, you kind of come up against these blocks all the time. Yeah. When I was first asked, did I want, when I was first given the opportunity, you know, the founder said to me, you know, we were talking about exit strategies and that kind of thing.
What would happen to the business if she were to exit? She’d sold a business previously and she didn’t have it was a recruitment, it was a recruitment business. Yeah. And, um, she didn’t have a great experience and she didn’t wanna go through that again. She would want to do a, a, an MBO management buyout.
And she, I remember us walking and, um, she said, you know, is, you know, do you think you’d be interested in buying? And I said, yes. Yeah. And in my head I was like, what the, is wrong with you? Like, who am I? Like I can’t do that. I can’t run a business like this is like, I don’t, I don’t do things like that.
That’s, I’m not that person. Yeah. She had belief in me. She could see what I was capable of. Yeah. I was completely blind to it. I was still stuck in this, like I said, average is the best that I can be. At what point did that change? I don’t know, I’m sometimes, I’m not even sure it has changed, if I’m really honest.
It definitely has. Is do you know, I just think I live in a, um, what do I need to do to make the next thing happen? Yeah. And all of a sudden, like every now and then you give yourself the opportunities and you look back and you go, okay, wow. That’s how far I’ve come.
Nishi: Yeah. It’s, no, it is amazing cuz like, I think.
Every time I see you, like, you know, as the months go by, I mean, I guess I see you all the time on social media cuz you, you are just, I guess you own
Christina: social media. This is what people keep saying, Christine, you are omnipresent. I’m like, really? Because I worry all the time. I’m not practicing what I preach.
So, um, and that’s one thing I never wanna be guilty of. Yeah, I
Nishi: kind of like, you know what, this might just be an insecurity of mine, but I’m like, I wonder why do my friends get in touch with me more? And uh, then I’m thinking, but they’re always seeing me on social media and like, they’re always like mentioning, Hey, I saw you on this.
Or saying like, you know, when I say get in touch, like to go out or something. And maybe like if you’re on social media, not say, People just have enough of you that they don’t actually wanna see you in person. Or may, maybe there is a, or maybe it’s just me, but it’s,
Christina: do you know, sometimes there’s a perception though.
Okay? Perception and reality are very, very, very, very different. Um, There is a quote. I absolutely bloody love it and I always butcher it. Always, always, always butcher it. Guy called Jeff Mask, um, he, he’s a, a business mentor essentially over in the state coach mentor in the States. Um, and he says it’s, um, it’s never, it, uh, it’s never as good on the outside as it feels on the inside.
Yeah. You know? No, it was, uh, basically right. Let me do it. My words. Right. We get really stressed sometimes we think life’s a bit shit. On the outside, it still looks amazing. Okay. Um, but other people, the perception they have is like, we are amazing. We’re doing fantastic things. And the reality is it ain’t as good as that.
Nishi: exactly, cause they’re not pushing themselves.
Christina: I think sometimes it’s just what the, we all have our view of the world, right. So it’s what we see. So, um, you know, I arrive today and you’re like, oh my God, you’re doing amazing things. You’re in London. And I’m like, am I? Yeah, it’s. Because you see that stuff.
You don’t see me, um, you don’t see me rushing my daughter to college this morning because she missed the bus and doing my call on the way back, having to go at one of the team because they didn’t do something the way I wanted to do it. And you know, just like I’ve sort of, I was late for this, waited about 10 minutes because I was on a call with, uh, a new business partner sorting something out.
And um, it’s like, and this is all stuff we were supposed to. Deal with on a meeting yesterday and we haven’t. And yeah, nobody sees that part of it. They just see the Instagrammable stuff.
Nishi: Yeah, yeah. No, I agree. Like I’d probably look better than I feel today cuz like, well, yes, I had to make a tough decision in the business and then I lost a few hours of sleep.
Because of it. And then I was about to fall asleep and my, uh, one year old daughter like woke up crying. And then, uh, o obviously I, I tried to ignore it. She like, you know, 10 her for about a few minutes, but then it was just like, there was no, no, I had to get up and give her milk. Um, and, and not to give you a breakdown,
Christina: but the thing, but Yeah.
But no one sees that bit. Nobody sees that bit and they, they see, oh, Nishi’s doing a video again on how treat profit and loss or, yeah. You know, and, and it’s, they. I’d Say what they see is not the reality I get. I guess it’s
Nishi: like when I used to do those videos, they used to be really forced, like even with the podcast, it was something I was like, I’ve gotta do this, I’ve gotta do this.
And then eventually I. Like, it, it, it became a habit. Like I, I don’t normally believe in habits because I’m not like, usually like, if you’re trying to form a habit, you should really just outsource it or give, give it, get someone else to do it. But then I, I do, I do recognize myself forming new habits, especially where it comes to social media and
Christina: then like marketing.
Okay. Let me ask you, is it habit or is it ritual?
Nishi: Oh, actually that’s a great question. Um, and more importantly, what’s the difference?
Christina: So I think habits, this thing we’re, we’re supposed to do. Yeah. Okay. So it’s like it’s, the habit is almost like it, it feels like when we’re, when we are creating a habit, it’s like it’s forced.
Yeah. When it’s a ritual, it feels like it’s something more for me. I
Nishi: think it started off as a habit. And then based on what you’re saying, you became a ritual at the point we landed our first client off it. Mm-hmm.
Christina: When it becomes
Nishi: something you enjoy. Exactly. Yeah. Uh, when you, when you see the value in it, before it was just like, Hey, these people told me to do it.
Or like, cause I’ve gotta, I’ve got business coach. And she was like, you’ve gotta do it. And I was like, well, I, I trust you. So Okay then, and then, uh, and then yeah, it took, and I, I, you know, I. Did it for maybe four or five months. And then, yeah, we, we did get, oh, actually it was maybe a bit less than that before we got our first client off it.
And then I was like, hang on a minute, this maybe I should do well. Oh my God,
Christina: shit works.
Nishi: Cause you know, I think I’d got to a point, like in business where I was used to a lot of people letting me down. Like that’s just the norm when you’re running a business, but you get a lot of people letting you down.
But, The one or two people that, sorry. There’s many people in our business and, um, suppliers and and customers that didn’t let me down. But when you’ve got a handful of people that don’t let you down, you, you kind of see all, all the other pain makes it worthwhile. So that’s why I’ve always been a bit skeptical of it.
And then when you actually see. Someone say something and they mean what they say and it works. It, it kind of, um, it kind of reaffirms your belief in business as well, because I guess business is just one big journey of faith. Like build it and they
Christina: will come and it is, but I think there’s, there’s another thing here that I think is really important is you, you’ve kind of touched on it a couple of times.
You sort of said, you know, I wonder why my friends don’t reach out to me. Yeah. People let us down. Yeah, you know, you, you’ve got. A team to support and like looking after them. Like that’s where the positives come, but it’s all on you. Yeah. And there, you know, people say, oh, being in business is lonely. And it is.
And yeah, it’s one of those phrases that everyone says, and it, it’s a, um, almost a throwaway phrase now. Yeah. You know, and I use that in, in my po in the description of my own podcast. You know, who knew? Being a business owner would be so lonely, but it completely is because you, you have a little bundle of problems that you, challenges you need to overcome.
Thoughts in your head that you need to make decisions over. Some of them are pressing, some of them are, you really need to think through because that’s what’s gonna get you through the next level of growth. But your mates that you would’ve hung out with before. Mm-hmm. They got, they’ve got issues on a different level, so you can’t talk to them about that stuff.
You can’t talk like, I believe in being transparent with your team, but you can’t be transparent about every little thing.
Nishi: Hi everyone. You’re listening to the Unrelenting Drive podcast.
before we get into today’s episode, I just wanted to let you know I started this podcast because over the years I’ve had hundreds of the most inspiring conversations of my life with small business owners, and they really helped me grow and scale my own business and get my mindset right, even when times were really tough.
I wanted to capture those conversations and make them available to other small business owners who are following in my footsteps. And I’ve just got a small request. If you enjoy this episode, if you find it. Really inspiring. If you find it helps you and your own business, then please just like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
The more subscribers we get, the more we can invest in making the podcast better, so enjoy the episode.
Christina: Now there’s, there’s certain things that you ha that we have to protect them from. Yeah. Or we need to have made a decision first. And actually that decision making process can be really tricky. Okay. So let’s go and find a business mentor or a mastermind.
Well, even then you find in there that you’ve got room with rooms of people on different levels, levels, different values, different motivators. Business mentors as well. There are some that I’ve, I’ve had some amazing, amazing business mentors. Um, I’ve had some money grabbing Twats as well. Yeah. You know, where I kind of bought into something.
I went, okay, the reality is not quite what I bought into. And you know, and you live and learn. So it is really difficult as a business owner to kind of, like I say, know where, like where to go with all this stuff. And even when you find somewhere, Mm, because we are on this kind of up and down highs and lows, highs and lows, it’s actually then very difficult, even when you find the right place to be completely vulnerable.
Yeah, you’re right.
Nishi: That’s, that’s a really important one. I, I think you’ve, like, you’ve bought into that concept a lot more than. A lot of business owners I know cuz you actually went and found a community and, um, you, and I think you made a huge priority, And, and you know, I do believe in that saying you’re only an average of the five people you surround yourself by.
But I think there’s gotta be the caveat, like people. Better and worse in different areas. So, um, because people would be like, why would, from a mathematical point of view, why would the person at the very top hang out on the others? But they’ve all got strengths in other areas. That person at the top of that group doesn’t.
And then I guess they’re not at the top of the group. They’re just say, yeah, I, I, I think I, I’ve been. When you’ve got negative people in your life, you’ve gotta try and limit your, um, limit your exposure to them. I did a really good video on how to deal with NG vampires cuz I was, I was watching a, a video by a, a Hindu monk called Dander Party.
And uh, and yeah, and he’s just like, okay, this, like, you first see if you’ve got an NG vampire, you gotta figure out what kind of energy vampire they are, are they, um, Inherent or transient, like transient energy vampires are that they’re just going through something in their life and they genuinely need support.
And if they’re, if. Transient. You got, you do need to help them. But then if they’re inherent, that means it’s, doesn’t matter what amount of support you give them, they’ll come, still, come and drain you. And Dander party is amazing. And that’s why I did this video on him. And he was like, so if you’ve got a inherent energy vampire, you’ve gotta, the only way you can defeat them is by giving them a task to do before the next time they come see you.
And I, I’ve learned this over the years, it’s just like, Hey. Yeah, let, let’s catch up. But first you might just doing that thing and then, and then next song we want to catch up is, but maybe I shouldn’t say it. Everyone will know.
Christina: Yeah, exactly. But you know, I think one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given is like, because I know you are the same, because we, you know, we, we know each other personally is we’ve had these kinds of conversations before, but I’ll end up on a call with someone and I know you do it as well.
They’re not even a client. And actually in that conversation you realize. They’re not really a prospect either. No, but they’re just a nice person. You want to help them. So you give them that bit of advice or you offer them something, right? You say, oh yeah, what? I’ll help you. I’m at an event. I’m like, do you know what?
Just give me a call and then we’ll, you know, let’s jump on a call and let’s do this. And I would then follow up with them to like, cuz I could be, cause I’d made a promise to you that I would give you my time. And I want to fulfill that promise because that’s one of my values. I, I don’t lie, you know, if I say I’m wanna do something, I do it.
But then the bit of advice I got was actually in these situations it should be on them to book in with you. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So yeah, absolutely offer the call. Mm-hmm. But they need to contact you in order to get it, like put the onus back on them, because most of the time they won’t do it. Yeah. And then you haven’t let it down.
It’s them. There was someone, um, a few months ago we were at, at an event, and there’s something that just is. It could be game changing for her business. Um, and she’d asked my advice. I was like, absolutely, you should be invested in this thing. But financially she, it was gonna, you know, it was gonna be a bit of a struggle.
And I, you know, I sort of said, look, you know, you can’t get yourself into debt over this, but you know, if you’re going to do it, I, you know, I will help you get that cash back. We, we can get that cash back into your business. In the next six to eight weeks, I said, I’ll do four calls with you free of charge.
You know, if you choose to sign up, then the, I’m in another attendee, but it’s something that I’ve done previously on know her business and the two just marry up perfectly. I said, you know, if you choose to do it, You have, I’ll do four calls with you between now and another point in time. Um, and we’ll make sure you get that money back in your business.
Oh, Christina, I’m so grateful. So grateful. I said, the only caveat is you have to put the first call and you don’t get the next call until you’ve done your homework. Okay. She’s only ever done one call. Yeah. And that’s like
six months ago.
Nishi: It is. Um, you know, I, I noticed that a lot with business owners and I, I don’t, I don’t judge them for it.
It’s just, but I kind of. When you, when you think about stats on, you know, how many businesses don’t make it, like, I think the last time I, I saw one, it was in Forbes and it was about 36% of businesses make it into their 11th year. So, but I know there, there’s loads of others floating around, but I mean, I
Christina: saw a stat literally last week.
Um, I, I was at an event and funny enough it was an accountant that was speaking at this event. Um, I was at Metro Bank in, um, London, and I think the stat was, One in four. Basically one in four businesses fail in the first 12 months. Yes. Um, but businesses with a mentor, businesses that use the use mentor services essentially have, um, increased their survival, if you like, by 30%.
Nishi: That. That’s
Christina: really powerful. Yeah. You know, just by having that external and, and this is the thing, you know, a men, we look at investing in coaches, investing in mentors, that kind of thing. Yeah. Um, you know, a mentor has been there and done it. Yeah. Which means they know where every pothole is and therefore you’re never gonna hit one.
In theory. Yeah. Unless you haven’t listened, which is on you, not on there.
Nishi: Yeah. You know what, when you’re saying that, like, I’ve done a couple of videos really recently on like, um, an investment mindset in business because I, I think when people talk about investment, they, they think about like Warren Buffet, like, you know, buying loads of shares.
But I, I would argue Warren Buffet is a business owner. Uh, well, I mean, Berkshire ha ha Hathaway is, is huge company and it’s, it’s what they do, their trade, but. Um, like I, I guess people just picture like the stock market and they, I don’t, I don’t think a lot your average business owner pictures investment being related to small business.
Christina: they certainly don’t look at it as it as, um, looking. And it being something they do for themselves either.
Nishi: Yeah, and, and I think one of the things I wanna just focus on over the next few months really is just educating people about the difference between a cost and an investment or an overhead and an investment.
Because I, you know, from one of the biggest mindsets, Issues I’ve really had is, is about overcoming understanding about investment. Because I think when you first start out in business, the first couple of years, you, you kind of, you kinda come, come to terms with, you’re gonna make a loss, and then you get to a point in your business where you realize you, you’re almost starting a second business because you’ve learned all that stuff from the.
When you actually first started, and then you, you come to the conclusion. Actually, if I just structured it all differently, it could been a million times better. And then you go down this route of having to, to structure it, restructure it, and then so you go from growth to scale, in my opinion. And when you go from growth to scale, it’s sometimes.
You, I, I think people overlook, cause this is definitely something I overlooked, is you have to end up with a startup mindset all over again. Um, and, and when you’re, you’ve got that startup mindset, you’ve gotta be willing to make a little bit of a loss. O obviously spend money wisely, but you’ve gotta reinvest money into, into changing that structure and gaining your dream business.
Christina: But I think as well, um, we have to understand that. Um, business is this living, breathing thing. Yeah. So every two or three years it kind of needs to. It’s almost like a rebirthing almost. Yeah,
Nishi: like a snake siding
Christina: out of it skin. Yeah. I mean, I was going more for like the butterfly cocoon thing, like, you know, I think mine’s a bit, you know?
Nishi: Well I think that’s a very valid point. What, what would you say? Um, Like I, I think I, I’ve, I’ve seen your mindset journey over the years and you, you kind of spoke about the earlier bits, and then I think it was probably about two years ago, you, you kind of found th this group that, that kind of understands you.
And from, from, this is just the outside looking in, but, um, I I, maybe it’s not, not as simple as that, but, um, do you, where do you think you are in terms of mindset? Are you, are you in a place where you can improve it or you just have, do you think you’re a finished
Christina: product now? Oh, definitely not the finished product, I am definitely way ahead of where I was.
There are so many different elements to mindset. Okay. So. I think I always had a growth mindset. Yeah. But then my emotional intelligence was way behind. So then I, you know, I’ve done a lot of work in terms of, you know, that side of things as well. Um, money mindset, you know, literally just so many people. My money mindset is something I think I’ll continually be working on because of, um, the way I grew up.
Um, issues. I, I had in my sort of late teens, late teens, early twenties. Yeah. You know, it’s a, it’s when you have, when you’ve stood in the supermarket with your toddler Yeah. Looking at reduced shelf and you’ve got like 60 odd pence in your pen and that’s all you’ve got and you’re thinking, Okay. There’s like two things on this shelf.
I can buy one or the other. Yeah. When you go from that to, and I said I was about 22, 23 at that point, you know? So 20 years later to living a life. Don’t get me wrong, I ate rolling in it, not at all. But if I wanna go out for dinner, I can go out for dinner. Yeah, if I wanted to pay for the person shopping in front of me at the supermarket, I could do that.
And I have done that, you know, and honestly, I have done that. You know, so it, it’s that, um, The money mindset that shift Yeah. Has been probably one of the biggest lessons for me being able to see something and go, it’s just something ridiculous. Like I, um, I, when I’ve been interviewed on podcasts before, I’ve told this story being the Vista Village, and now I’ve started the Queen and there’s this handbag Yeah.
That I absolutely love. And um, you know, it’s like, you know, he’s got, got a price ticket on it. Yeah. And then I’m like looking at it going. I can actually afford that. Yeah. And I’m like, leave the shop. And I’m like, two, three times I go back into Alexander McQueen going like, no, I can’t. I better not. I can’t.
But then when you, and then going, yeah. And, but it, it’s that, it’s that shift in money mindset. And now I’m finding, once again, I’m needing to kind of make another shift. Yeah. And, and it is. We are. People say, oh, Christina, oh yeah, yeah, I’d love to cause you’re a successful business owner. I’m like, am I, I’m doing okay.
I guess it’s, yeah. You know, and it, and it, and it is that kind of like, you know, how do we measure our success? Yeah. You know, but like I said, you know, for me, from the mindset piece, it really is, I will always be the farmer’s daughter that grew up in ox, you know, looked Oxford. She, yeah. Um, I didn’t go into this, I didn’t go into London till I was like, first time I was in London, I was about 18.
You know, I didn’t get on an airplane until I was 32. You know, it’s like, I don’t think I even really had a passport much before that. Yeah. Um, you know, so it’s like this, this small, this little tiny world I grew up in very sheltered world meant that my mindset was very small. Now it’s like wide open. So it, it is that, I think it’s the open-mindedness, the um, the self-awareness that comes with actually, okay, yeah, I need to do some work there.
Okay. I need to do some work there is really, really important. Yeah. And also being able to, I think a lot of us have things that hold us back in different ways, like, so that thinking of like average was the best I could be. Yeah. Imagine if I’d held onto that. It’s. It’s almost like a manifestation. Yeah.
When I let go of that, all of a sudden, like crazy stuff was happening. I, um, I, um, I’ve become involved. Um, literally this was announced last week. I’ve partnered in a new business. Okay. Um, and this is very much around mindset, personal development, that kind of stuff. And I first, um, came across the, the person.
The person I partnered with that I came across, um, or was introduced to rather through these communities I joined, um, about a year ago. And, you know, certain things on the time when we’ve been at things together, conversations, presentations, and I just, my mind became more and more open, more and more open.
I went to this event last September, um, and it just, the experience at this event, some of the things that we went through, yeah. Okay. Just actually allowed me to. Put down all this crap I’d been carrying that had actually been holding me back. Mm-hmm. You know, so all those, all those patterns we repeat because we’ve always done it that way.
We’ve always thought something that way. All of a sudden, like my mind just opened a another whole level again and sort of elevated me again. But in doing that, I wasn’t really doing any of my day-to-day stuff any differently. No, but all of a sudden we win those contracts, we’re winning that. I never thought we would win.
We’ve got, um, You know, I, I mean December, December, 2022 got embarrassing. It was like, you know, you have all these Christmas events, right? Yeah. It’s like every event I went to, I was like coming home with another reward. Yeah. And it’s like to the point where I was like, oh my, I can, I literally, I can’t share this one on social media because it’s like, this is like four weeks straight now.
Just like consistently all this stuff. People are now making jokes about it, you know? Maybe. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just, I just get the mark out designer to edit the images, right? Yeah, exactly. Um, but it is a, you know, you said that the pe you are the, some of the people you hang around with. Yes. So I joined a few communities and there were, um, You know, you attract people with similar values.
This is why we’ve always got on, yes. This is why some other people can’t stand us snitchy. Right? Because, you know, my, my list is growing. Um, but you do, you, you connect with people that think like you, that feel like you as well, and that you feel that affinity with. And for me that’s what’s happened. And I really have ended up with a core of people now who, um, I said, You driving back after dropping my daughter off at college, I, I read one of these people and I was like, I’ve got nothing to talk about.
Um, but I’m driving back and I just thought if you’d, if you’d be around for a chat and we ended up having a conversation and, um, we’ve just like with, you know, if there’s a solution to something that I’ve, I’ve shared that there’s an issue I’m having and I’ve kind of got solution to it. But these are people that, they’re your cheerleaders.
They will support you. Um, they will, when you are being unreasonable. They’ll frigging tell. Yeah, that
Nishi: actually that’s really important cuz I guess like business can be quite an emotionally strained thing so you can, you can end up making a lot of decisions based on gut feel and unfortunately you don’t always get ’em right.
But, um, a lot of the time you do. Um, yeah, I think I’ve noticed, like when, when I look at maybe like, uh, people employment, they tend to have more people around them and they, it’s a lot easier for them to build that community because, There, there, there’s more of them. Well,
Christina: their problems are more run of the mill.
Yes, yes. Their challenges are more run of the mill.
Nishi: Whereas I think for, for the people I know in business, I’ve had to work really hard to, to pull them together and, and because they’re like ambitious and they’re, they’re, they’re not all over the places and not composed. They’re all over the places and they, they literally wanna explore and see the world and the country and go places and do business.
So, uh, I guess with. You know, the people in, in the community I have, have built, and people like us, we might not see each other as much as other people do, but when, when we do come together, it can’t, we always seem to find a way to gravitate towards the same things and come together. And it, it does make, it does make, um, a big difference.
This has been amazing, like just getting into your mindset and, uh, I think we, as you mentioned, we do have a lot in common. I think there’s a lot in common with a lot of business owners. Definitely. And, um, one thing, um, I, I, I just want to definitely make sure we cover in this podcast is like, I, I, I guess you talked a lot about the mind mindset stuff, but, um, do you, what would you say the gr greatest challenge while you’ve been running Green Umbrella has been, um, are you allowed to talk about, maybe you’re not,
Christina: maybe, um, the biggest challenge, the biggest challenge has definitely been finding that support network.
Really? Okay. Yeah. It really, it really was, um, It took a lot of investment. Yes. You know, it, it really did to find the right people, but it has a hundred percent been worth it. Yeah. Um, I’m now, so, you know, I’m four years into, well, yeah, this April, it’ll be four years since I bought the business. Um, I’ve kind of gone from being, I really appreciate the people that were with me.
As I was going through the process of buying it, at the time of buying it, um, but my circle then was very small. Yeah. Um, and whereas now my circle’s much wider and there’s people in it that are running. Yeah, there, there’s one guy, um, his business is worth over 150 million. Yeah. You know, he, he’s, he’s operating on a global scale.
He’s the chairman of the business. So I talk to him about things. He’s very, the conversation I would have with him over an issue is very different. The conversation I would have with you over an issue perhaps, you know, because, you know, you know, we’re, you know, with, with the businesses that we’ve got, the, the teams we’ve got in comparison, well, there is no comparison, right?
So, The challenge for me really was finding those people, because otherwise I was in an echo chamber. And when you’re in an echo chamber, your progress is very, very slow.
Nishi: People give you the same advice you’d give yourself? Yeah, I, I guess to some extent, yeah, and no, I, I do understand that it’s, um, yeah, I, you know, I, I’ve always been on search for a mentor and, um, maybe I need to search a bit harder, but, and, and also then like, just, um, moving on from that, what, what would be that one bit of advice where you, you’d give a business owner who’s maybe just been running that a business for like a year or just at the beginning of their business?
What, what, what would. Could they do differently to, to just really achieve the results that will get them to the next level?
Christina: Um, I would look at who else is around at the minute that is, whether they’re within what you are doing or they’re just the kind of business leader you want to be. Okay. So you see yourself as a business owner, find someone who sees themselves as a business owner, but maybe the next level up, if you see yourself as the entrepreneur, go and find someone that sees themself as an entrepreneur.
But the next level up and really. Like I said, study them. Take them for coffee, learn from them, understand them. Um, take what you want and leave the rest. Don’t try and be a carbon copy because that won’t align with you, be you. Yeah, a hundred percent. Be you back. You, um, When I talk to people from a marketing perspective, when I’m looking, know, when we figure out what it is that’s actually holding them back from getting the results.
I think the reason I’m so passionate about mindset is, you know, I have clients that won’t post a video. They, they won’t have a podcast because, well, who am I? Why would anyone want to listen to me know? And it’s like, actually, you know your, you know your stuff. Yeah. So just. Just go and give it to people.
Nishi: have to inspire one person. It’s been worth it. Exactly. Because that person will probably come back to you one day. And
Christina: let’s face it, we all wanna make an impact. Yeah. We all wanna leave legacy. Mm-hmm. Okay. And if someone hears me saying that and they go, I don’t wanna leave Legacy. Yeah. I don’t want, I don’t wanna make an impact.
Well, maybe being a business owner isn’t for you. Maybe the entrepreneurial life isn’t for you. That’s cool. Yeah. You know, no judgments here, but honestly I think that, um, You know, when it comes down to sort of our basic, basic human, like, what do we want in the world? It’s like, you know, we all want a reason for being, you know, so, yeah.
Um, like I said, it’s, it’s important. We have, we retain our individuality, but yeah, go and learn from the best. You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve met some, I’ve met some pretty cool people, some, you know. Household names, shall we say, that kind of thing in the entrepreneurial world and had conversations with them and they’ve um, said stuff that’s been like, I’ve been like, oh my God, that’s like, I really need to retain that.
And other things that I’ve just gone. Is that it? Is that all you’ve got? Do, do you ever get a bit of starstruck? Like
Nishi: you, you, you just like frozen there cuz it same.
Christina: It’s very funny. That’s not, uh, probably no. I, um, So when I met Steven Bartlett the first time, so I’ve met him a few times now. When I very first met him, um, it was like I, I’d got like this top, top level ticket at this event and you’ve got photos with people and blah.
So it’s like, okay, if everyone could come to this room now and he’s in there. Cause he was like, headline speaker, and he’s in there, they’ve got, it’s all cued up. So the idea is you go, yeah, and you stand there and you pose and you have your photo and you can say hello. And it’s like you’ve got 23 and a half seconds and then you’ve got
Fuck off cuz it’s an expert. Did they say hello back? Well, yeah. They, they do. But what happened was he was really friendly and then he is like, oh ha, you know what, you know, what’s your business? And I told him, um, you know, and I specialize in recruit marketing. And he’s like, oh, that’s really interesting.
And he starts talking to me Yeah. About employment branding. And we end up having this conversation and he’s talking to me and he’s asking me stuff and talk and he’s like, I’m actually working on something at the minute. Do you like, who would you recommend for this? And blah, blah. And I’m like, Really, so we’re having this very organic, normal conversation like, like you and I would have.
Um, and then his, um, I don’t know, his PR manager, whatever that was there, the event was like, Steven, we need to move on. So yeah, I don’t really get, I don’t really get staff struck now, but again, that’s probably the elevation in my mindset. Okay. Whereas, yeah, previously I probably would’ve like, you know, got flushed and like, hello Mr.
Parklet. Yeah. But yeah, it’s a, like I said, it’s, it’s, it’s elevating who you are. Having that self-confidence, I would not be where I am if I hadn’t shown up and back to myself.
Nishi: Yeah. And I, and I, I guess they can sense it in you and I can sense it in you. And it makes a lot of sense. Christina, thank you for so, so much for joining us on this podcast.
I think the people listening in are, I, I’m definitely inspired. I’m, I’m gonna just follow you at your next event, uh, to your next event. Um, and, but not in a creepy way, but
Christina: it’s Saturday in Langley. If you wanna come, come.
Nishi: Yeah. So yeah, there’s, there’s definitely a lot I’ve learned there. I’m sure the listeners have.
So, um, thank you for joining us and, um, would you like to say anything before we sign off?
Christina: Uh, no. Just thanks for having me. It’s been absolutely amazing. Um, you know, if anyone wants to reach out, LinkedIn’s probably the best place. Or, um, Instagram’s, Christina under school talks. Christina talks podcast. So, yeah, just, um, or just, you know, Dm, this machine Yes.
Can give you our details.
Nishi: Got a thousand dms there and, uh, thank you very much. You’ve been listening to the Unrelenting Drives podcast, and I’ll see you the next one.