The Captain Coder Podcast

Running a Purpose-Driven Business with Julia Taylor

October 03, 2023 Marisa VanSkiver, Captain Coder Season 2 Episode 64
The Captain Coder Podcast
Running a Purpose-Driven Business with Julia Taylor
Show Notes Transcript

Julia Taylor, founder of GeekPack, took her self-taught love of coding and created a business that works to get more non-traditional people into tech.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Julia and I dive into what it means to create a mission-focused company. From starting GeekPack and understanding her bigger purpose, to how she builds a profitable business and keeps her team on board with their overall calling.

Plus, she talks through how their mission keeps them going through the tougher days, the power of community, and how she personally stays on top of everything as an entrepreneur and leader.

Do you want your business to do more than make you money, but you want it to make an impact in the world? Now, many of us create a business because we were good at something we did, or we had a unique way of what we do. But often we don't want to just build a business, we want to help others with our expertise and leave a lasting mark. Now, if your business has a mission behind what you do, keep listening. Today I get to talk to the amazing Julia Taylor, founder of Geek Pack. Now, Julia is a lot like me where she is a self-taught coder and she took this love of coding and getting into the world of tech and created a business that works to get more non-traditional people into tech. Now, in this wide ranging conversation, Julie and I dive into what it means to create a mission focused business from starting her first business and understanding her builds a profitable business and keeps her team on board with their overall calling. Plus, she talks through how her mission keeps them going through the tougher days and how she personally stays on top of everything. As an entrepreneur and leader, this conversation is honestly just amazing. I cannot wait for you to dive in. You're listening to the Captain Coder podcast. Each week I take you through actionable strategies that can help you grow your online business. I'm your host, Marisa Van Skiver, A k a Captain Coder. Hello, I am so excited to have Julia with me here today. Can you introduce yourself and tell us just a little bit about who you are for those that don't know you? Yeah. First of all, thank you so much for having me. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here. Very excited, Shane. Thank you. I'm the c e o and founder of Geek Pack. Geek Pack. We empower women to learn tech skills, and that's what we get to do every day and it's awesome. That's amazing. So tell me a little bit, because that, I know that your original career path was not tech. So tell me a little bit about how did you get into that? Yeah, sure. A very roundabout way, which I think a lot of people can relate to, the non-normal linear career trajectory. Especially, I don't know many people that have worked at the same company for 25 years. That's not a millennial perspective. No, no, not at all. Not at all. Okay. So it all really started back in 2008. So in 2008 I used to work US Intelligence community, and in 2008 I was deployed to Afghanistan. It was my first deployment, and while I was out there, I met my now husband. And the thing that's useful to know in this context is he's British. So we did long distance. For a long time. He was in the British military. He's retired now, but he's British. So he was living in the uk. I was in DC at the time. Both of us deployed, traveling all over the world. That's rough. I mean, honestly, that's a rough way to do things. For sure. Yeah, it was a hard start to the relationship. So I ended up leaving my job with the government. I moved to the uk, got married, military wife, which I'm incredibly proud of. But my career trajectory just took a nosedive because here I was with the government, everything was great, and then I didn't really have much to do and we moved all the time. So in one of my nine to five jobs when I was moving around, I stumbled upon coding and I was in the job and my boss asks me, tells me to make a change to our website, and I've no idea how to do what he's asked, but I Google it, I find this line of code, I put it into the website, it worked, and I am sold. And it was magic. And it was one of those kind of doves fly and it was the heaven's open. It was. Oh my God, it's an incredible feeling, right? I'm going to get all of my clients. I mean, no, it's really, really difficult. But no, it's an incredible feeling and it's amazing to me how easy it is, and we make it feel really unattainable to code. But when you can get in there and even just adjusting C Ss ss and do some really quick styling tweaks, it's like seeing that change that result is like, I don't know. It's an intro to learn rush every time. It's glorious. It is. It makes my heart very happy. So that kicked off my journey into tech, and I started learning everything I could on YouTube and Google and all the free resources. And it took me about three years to kind of start a business because I was terrified and I had imposter syndrome and I thought, what if someone finds me out? I don't have a degree, I don't have a tech degree, I don't have a tech background. All the things that you tell yourself in your head. And I finally started my own business, found clients, and then eventually got into the teaching side, which is where Geek Pack comes into its own. Oh, that's awesome. So what led you into entrepreneurship at last? What was it that really kind of kicked off and you're like, okay, I need to go do this for myself? It was because we moved a lot with his job. I wanted and needed a job that would move with me, and this was all pre covid, so remote work wasn't really a thing. Yeah, it was pretty unusual if it existed. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I kept going from one job to another and it was kind of admin roles in regular nine to fives, and I thought, well, the only way I can make this happen is to do it myself. And I realized that the skills that I taught myself, particularly web development, building websites I could use to serve small businesses with the tech skills that I had taught myself, and that was where it all kind of pieced together. Yeah. So tell me about your first business. Was it mostly just building websites? Did you do any other kind of marketing? What was your main focus? My main focus was building websites because that's just what I loved. But I still have the same coach now, business coach and mentor. And that was on the marketing side. And so I know digital marketing very well, but for some reason I was never super comfortable saying that's what I did, or offering it as a service. When I had a client and I built their website, I would then say, oh, and by the way, have you thought about all these other things that would help with your business? So I did have an agency and I did do all those things, but the main thing that I was did and was known for was building websites. Perfect. So how did you go from teaching yourself tech and teaching yourself coding and starting a business, but then what got you into doing Geek Pack where you're teaching other people how to do this? Yeah, sure. So in 2018, my husband retired from the military, and at the time we were in North Carolina and we decided to sell everything and move into an rv. And again, this was pre Covid before living in an rv full time was cool. So you guys were the hipster RVs, I dunno. I dunno about that. But it was definitely pre covid and we sold everything. We moved into this RV and we lived in this RV for a year and a half. We traveled all over the US and we were trying to find our forever home, forever town. He's from the uk. I was from Georgia. So we come out west and we're traveling all around and we found and fell in love with Durango, which is where we live now, Durango, Colorado. But while we're traveling, sharing on social media, so I'm on Instagram and I'm sharing about all the travel that we're doing, and people would ask, how are you able to travel full-time and work? What do you do for a job? So I told them that I taught myself how to code, how to build websites, find clients, and now I'm able to work from anywhere. And they said, we want to be able to do that too. Can you teach us? And I thought, I don't know how to teach. Yeah, exactly. That's a totally, but every time, so he comes to me, they're like, can you teach me how to code? I'm like, no. But you can. I guarantee you can. I know, but I know it's an overwhelming feeling to pass on this information because I mean, most of my education was self-taught. So that I think adds in another layer. And then of course, being, let's just be honest, being a woman without a computer science degree, it just adds all these layers in of imposter syndrome of feeling comfortable with teaching somebody else how to do. Oh yeah, absolutely. And when I first started and people asked and I thought, okay, I'm going to teach'em just the basics. And I started with a five day coding challenge, this free five day coding challenge, and it was H T M L and C Ss Ss and build a really basic website in five days. And it was really good fun and a lot of people loved it. But what I decided from is from the very, very beginning, it wouldn't just be teaching. There would be a community element alongside, because when I was learning, I didn't have a community and I would ask questions in Stack Overflow or wherever, and I would get made fun of. And that's probably why it took me so long to actually start finding clients. People were making fun of me and saying, if you don't know how to do that, you shouldn't be doing this in the first place. So my decision to teach was I will show you how to do it, but there will be a community that goes alongside it where there's no such thing as a stupid question. And if anyone is mean, they're kicked out. They're not welcome in my community. I love that. I love that because I mean, so many of us are afraid to even ask the question. It doesn't feel safe. Absolutely. And that's exactly where the name Geek Pack came from. I mean, that's exactly what it means and what it stands for. We we're a pack and we look after each other and we are geeky. And that came from. I love it so much. So tell me, I mean, you have a very purpose-driven business. I mean, this isn't your goal in creating Geek Pack wasn't to make tons of money selling and teaching hot people how to create and get into tech and all of those things wasn't your number one goal when you built this business. So when you started, I mean, did you start with a purpose? Did you start with, my mission is to help other people? I didn't start, I guess I didn't dream that big back then because it's scary to dream too big. And I say that and one of my team members got me for my birthday. I'm looking at it, there's a plaque right in front of me that says Dream Big. Now, I have no fear in dreaming big and the opportunities that come from that, but at the time, why did I genuinely, I didn't want anyone else to feel the way that I had. So when someone asked me to teach them, I figured, well, I don't know. Technically I don't know how to teach, but I know how I learned. I know how I wish I'd learned, and that's all I can do is to kind of pass that knowledge on. And I thought knowing the importance of digital marketing and building an email list, I thought, I don't know what the future holds, so I'm just going to do this thing and collect email addresses. So that was about the extent of it is I don't want people to feel the way I did, and I'll future proof this a bit and see what happens and start building an email list. And that was really how I got started. Yeah, I mean, that's awesome. And so when did you realize that you had something here that could be more mission driven, that you could make an impact the way that you're making an impact? Almost immediately. When we started having women come through and just doing the five day coding challenge and that, oh my gosh, this is not as hard as I thought. I can't believe I just did that when I started seeing the testimonials come through and just that simple, I've never done this before and I didn't think I could do it, but look at me. I'm coding those. And to this day, we have so many success stories, students who are way more successful than me making lots and lots of money. But the things that are the most impactful testimonials to me are the very first, oh my gosh, I can't believe I just did this. Because it's that opening of if I just did this, what else can I do? It becomes possible. Exactly. And that lights me up more than anything. And so it was almost immediate when I was getting feedback of the realization of how cool this was and that realization of how much more I can do. So then it was a, oh my gosh, I've got something here and this feels better than when I was serving clients. This feels better. So it's kind of selfishly, it just feels good. But I mean, you have to love what you do or there's no point in doing it. Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. So let's talk a little bit about, I mean, let's be real. Let's go back a little bit. Being a woman in tech and you are targeting women in tech or getting more women in tech, you've been made fun of. I was never dumb enough. No kidding. I never comment on stack outflow because I knew what would happen. And I've talked to other female coders who have said when they stack overflow accounts or their GitHub accounts, they don't have their first name in it. They keep it gender neutral for that reason. And it's sad, but it is unfortunately the bro developer world that we live in. Have you ever gotten pushback as you've grown this, and especially because you were very vocal in all of your marketing and everything that you were trying to help women and more diverse people move into the tech world and give them the skills that they need to change their life and to get a new job. Do you ever feel that you get pushback for that? I can think of one instance and I didn't, but I wasn't as vocal as I am now when I got started, because I was probably terrified of getting pushback because I don't like I'm an Enneagram nine I peace, so I don't take it very well. Yeah. That's my boyfriend. That was years ago. I mean, now I am much better because we have thousands of successful students and. You have confidence and testimonials to back you up, but. It's taken years to get there. But I did have, I'll never forget, and I think I even screenshot it and I laugh, I laugh at it, but did a TikTok video where I was talking about how you can learn to code at any age. I mean, we have women in their, from twenties up to their seventies and eighties in their learning to code. Love that. That's so cool. Absolutely awesome. And that's such a big thing is it doesn't matter, age, gender, race, anything. None of that matters. If you're I will do everything in my power to teach you how to code. From the very, very beginning, and I was talking about this on TikTok, and there was a comment from a guy, there was no picture but guy's name, and he's like, oh, yeah, great. Get some more. Let's get grannies into coding and into tech. It was just really unnecessary. But literally, that's the only thing I can think of because if someone is going to, I don't think anyone would outwardly say, you have a crap mission. Who would say that? I mean, but that's the thing. I think a lot of us who come to our businesses with more of a purpose behind them, we're really worried about getting that pushback. But like you said, who's going to tell you that that's bad? You know what I mean? Unless you're trying to do something horrible and you're trying to restart the empire, which it's fine if everybody's watching a soka right now, that is happening. But I mean, that's the thing. Most people, they're going to be afraid, I think, to say anything negative. And the stuff they say negative, I feel like it can roll right off your back because you know what you're doing is great. And for you especially, you have the community, you've built that community, the impact you're having on people's lives. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Let's talk about profit because yes, you're here to help people, but you also have to make money. You have a business to run. So when you have people that you're like, man, I just really wish I could help them, how do you balance that with making money to continue to do this? Is there anything special that you do or. It's such a good question. I struggled with this for a long time because I don't know why, but I feel like, I dunno if it's women or what, but you almost feel guilty for making money. And I don't think anyone has actually said that to make me feel guilty, but. No, it's an engraved thing. I hate sending invoices. Yeah, exactly. And I've kind of come around to, and now there's seven of us on my team now, so there's seven full-time team members, including myself, and I have zero issue with saying I am a for-profit business. I have very hard expenses. I pay my team. Well, they all work. They love what they do, and they're very good at it, but it is very expensive. So if I don't make money, I can't pay my team. That's the bottom line. My team is, I think 70% of my overall monthly expenses. And I love my team and they're amazing, but if I don't make money as a business, I can't pay them. And I know the value of our paid products because I have seen the result. So I have no issue with coming to terms with that and being okay with it. However, we have lots of really good free resources, and we run events online, virtual events throughout the year where we are providing a lot of really, really good free content that you can take and do it yourself. So if someone wants to do what we teach for what we charge for, they can, but it just won't be as easy. We have the curriculum and we have the community, and we have the path and the support and all of that, but that, yeah, you're. Short cutting it for them because you've already done all the work. You've put it together. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And the support element, because we do have a private community where all that support is, and I pay the people who provide the support, so I can't give that away for free. But we do have a lot of stuff and events that we do for free. So that's exactly how I do that. I love that. Do you guys offer scholarships or anything like that? I've seen a few organizations do that, and especially when you're doing some kind of education. Have you ever done anything like that to help someone move into that? We did a scholarship for WP Rockstar probably about a year or two ago. We did it direct to the consumer B two C, and that was fantastic. We have started doing more B two B and a year or so ago we partnered with Dress for Success up in Denver. Love. That. And they identified a handful of women and we sponsored them to come through our program. So we've done Oh. That's really cool. Yeah. I love that. And that's a great way to get connected with people that can utilize your help, give back to the community. But I mean, let's be real. We do. We have to make money. Yes, we have to provide for ourselves. We can't do this for free. Even if you are kind of what have you, it just, I don't know. Do you ever find it hard some days where you're just sitting there going, I just love this so much, it feels wrong to charge for it? Oh yeah. I mean, I would love to just give it all away for free. Now, that being said, I do think it's worth noting that for the people who have had a scholarship or my best friend, I gave her access. I think my mom, she's got access if you maybe a cousin. So if someone gets something and they don't have any skin in the game, they are very unlikely to actually do it. So I do think there's a bit of a disservice to giving something away, because if they really want it and they put some skin in the game by paying for it, then they're probably going to do it. So there is that element in there as well. Yeah, I mean, I work with a digital course creator, Amy Porterfield, and she talks about the same exact thing that most people, if they don't pay for that resource, they can consume all your free lead captures and everything else, but when they pay for it, they're invested and they're, they put money down, they need to see that return. Now. I mean, you probably have people who drop off because that's just the nature of things, but especially with keeping community, do you feel like that also helps propel people and keep them in there? Absolutely. And I know just from my own personal experience that I don't know how I did it without a community, but That's how I did it. And with the community side, it just means that if you get stuck, you can ask because oh my gosh, sometimes you just need someone else to look at the code and see the missing semicolon or whatever it is. Every day. Yeah, exactly. My Discord channel with my developer and I, we will literally go back and forth, Andre, what am I not seeing? Exactly. Yeah. Love it. So are there specific people or success stories that you've had that really stand out to you with your community over the years? As I mentioned before, the ones that I love the most are the starting at the very, very beginning. And that initial kind of, oh my gosh, I didn't know I could do this. I've got a number of students who, for example, one woman named Erin, and she has just gone from strength to strength, but she started the course to be rock star. She went through it all. She started finding clients. She did all the things that we suggest and we teach 'em the course. And she's gone on to make six figures. And so. Awesome. Now she's gone into digital marketing, and I think she's starting to dip her toes into paid advertising and things like that. And that's really what I want, is I want students to kind of know that learning a tech skill, regardless of what that is, makes you very marketable and it increases your confidence. So then just because you learn how to build a website, that doesn't mean that's the end. There's so many other avenues that you can go down, and I want my students to try email marketing or copywriting or ss e o or whatever it is, and see where that path takes them. But I think tech and particularly building websites is such a good place to get started, such a good confidence booster. So Erin's a great example. We just recently partnered with the Wyoming Women's Business Center and one of the recent cohorts of them coming through, so these are entrepreneurs in Wyoming, and she was a bookkeeper, she was in her sixties, a bookkeeper like QuickBooks expert, and she was really uncomfortable finding clients. And in the cohort that she was in, they were learning digital marketing, specifically social media, kind of learning the platforms. And she set up a Google business profile and she started doing some marketing on Facebook, and now she has five or six clients and she's going to be booked out by the end of the year. And it's things like that that is just so. It's really simple. Yeah, Yeah. No, and I love that. And back to your point about building websites, I mean, that's how I got started in marketing in general. And a lot of my marketing experience came from being the youngest person in the room, and there was a lot of new technologies and they're like, can you figure out this thing called Facebook? But I feel like when you understand a website or you understand that this is accessible, because I feel like the websites are this mysterious thing to a lot of people. And so when you can start with almost like eating the frog, you eat the worst piece of it or what feels like the worst piece of it, and then you can go, oh, that really wasn't that bad. What else can I do? Yep. I love. How you compare building websites to eating a frog. Yeah, there are days, I mean, I like it, but I don't know how in your agency days, how many different people were like, oh my gosh, you're a genius. I, I did a really quick tweak last night for a customer. All I did was take out a take out the Vimeo code and put it back in and re-save the page and it worked. I'm like, oh, you're a wizard. And I'm like, I'll take it. It off. Back on again. That's secret. Hundred percent. That's always the answer. Don't tell everyone, oh, shoot, this isn't a podcast. And for it's clear your cache and it will probably work. But those are our tricks. So that's our magic. Yeah, you guys, nobody knows I'm going to cut this part out. No, I'm kidding. So you have a team of seven, you have all these people that you've helped. How do you make sure that your team are involved in your mission? And they have. I mean, I have a team one full-time plus myself, so I guess that makes two. And then I have three contractors that work with me. And I'm not saying they don't care about our clients as much. They do do care, but I feel like I lead by example, but not in a great way. But when you're dealing with people's livelihoods and helping them really improve and build something different and unique for themselves, how do you instill a love for the work in the people on your team? And I think I got, this just happened organically. I didn't do this on purpose, but every single member of my team was a student first. So they came in as a student, they saw what it was, they loved it. They provided support in our community without me asking. They just wanted help. And I said, you're awesome. Can I hire you? That's literally how it happened with all of 'em. So they were all. I love that. They were all brought in before even coming on the team. And that's very important that anyone who has anything to do with my company believes in what we're doing, not just, like you said, it's not just for profit. Yes, I'm a for-profit company, but it is for bigger reasons, and I need anyone who has anything to do with my business to believe in what we're doing. Yeah, I mean, I think even as an agency, I think that's important. Like I said, my team has great, and I think a lot of it is because I lead by example. I don't do anything specific to instill that. And also I've gotten very lucky in hiring the right people. But I mean, for a lot of you have to believe in it, otherwise you're just showing up for a job. And I think especially when you're dealing with a business model like yours where you're totally focused on helping other people, it's vital. It's so vital that they want, they want to be part of that in that same way. Is also helpful to kind of realign, because we all have bad days, bad months, years, and this has been a hard year for us revenue wise. I think it has been across the board. I have an email waiting for me from a colleague who is in a similar space. He's kind of saying, seeing is it hard for you as well right now? And it is, but that's okay because we're going to float through it. We're going to ride through the storm and we're going to keep our head down and just keep doing what we're doing because we're here for a bigger reason. So when we have those bad days, it's like, okay, bad day. But you know what? There's a reason why we're doing this and it's bigger than ourselves. It's bigger than me, it's bigger than my team, and we got to be around for it. Such a great perspective. And keeping your team bought in on the rough times too, knowing that they're doing this for a bigger thing. That's so important. So let's talk about the fact that as entrepreneurs, we don't tend to take care of ourselves. Oh, is that just me? When you're running a business, you have sevens team members, you've had maybe a rough year. How do you prioritize taking care of yourself? Because I mean, here's the other thing. I think with a purpose-driven business, you are giving so much of yourself emotionally during the day and investing yourself in people's lives. So how do you take care of yourself to make sure that you have a place to give from? Yeah, this is probably the thing that I'm least good at. I mean, honesty, I know you take the doc for, I'm afraid to say the word, a walk mine's right there. But that helps. I mean, to me, just getting out and moving is good. So you're probably better than you think. And to be fair, in the last, so I traveled a ton earlier this year with my husband's business, and we got back on August 30th, I want to say. And since then, actually I reread for the fourth time Atomic Habits, James Clear book, great book. And I read, I actually did something with it, so his chapter on habit stacking. And I thought, you know what? I'm going to come up with a morning routine now as an entrepreneur. And when I first started out freelancing, I'm like, I will never have a morning routine. I rebelled against it. What is it that it feels weird? Same, because you're like, I'm not going to be one of those lemmings that does this. But it is kind of important to have a little bit of structure. So for the last two, oh no, to three weeks, I have had a morning routine and it's not perfect, and I've adapted it slightly. And this morning I had a call. I've been on Zoom since seven 30 this morning. Oh gosh. I'm so sorry. No, no. As soon as we finish, I'm going to go and do some yoga and that. Perfect. I look after myself. So in my morning routine, I am forcing myself to do all the things that when I get to the end of the day, I go, oh, I wish I'd done that earlier. I'm now doing that in the morning and I've blocked off my calendar. So I don't do anything until a certain time. And I've set aside some day afternoons and full days where it's just focus time to get work done that I can only do content creation and things like that. But my morning routine has been really, really good over the last three weeks, and that's made a huge difference in my self-care. What kinds of things are you doing as part of your morning routine? I mean, is that inappropriate question? So. Is it running through the snow? I guess it's not, it's not probably snowing yet. Up in the mountains it is, but not here. Yet. There's a reason I don't live in Colorado. I just visit. Yeah. Do you want to hear the whole routine? Yeah, I'd love to. One, because I need to put mine back in place. Mine right now is being held up by a husky from six 30 till seven 15 ish because it's husky weather now. It's cool in the mornings, and he would like to go for his walk and does not understand. I would like to sleep. So it's a lot of grumpiness. And then we go for a mile and a half, and then I have breakfast. And so it's not the best morning routine. I need to get back into it. Okay. So when I first woke up before I would always put my on, and if you've seen any kind of my social media, I have a star robe on that's genuinely my robe, and I absolutely love it. It. Looks cozy. Oh, it's amazing. And hence, I never want to take the damn thing off. So my very first thing is I put gym clothes on immediately. So because that's, for me, in order to work out, the hardest thing is just putting the clothes on, which sounds silly, but that's just how. It's No, but it's true though, because once you put the clothes on, you have to do it. Exactly. Why would you not do it? You've already done that first step. So first thing, put my gym clothes on, and then if it's cold in the house, which it kind of is now, then put the robe on over. But that's okay. I still have the gym clothes home. I'll make the bed and then I take mushrooms. But the legal kind, so I already had things that I did first thing, and that was mushrooms, it's mane and cordyceps. Oh. Yeah. Okay. So I take those and then I drink what my husband calls potion. It's not potent. It is kefi like that yogurt drink, and I get there a juice with it, which is really good for your gut. I had gut issues, so I've sorted out my gut issues without medicine, which was the aim. So I had mushrooms and I was drinking my potion, and I was doing that every single morning. So I stacked other things before it, gym clothes and making the bed. And then after it, as soon as I finished my potion, I emptied the dishwasher because I would get to the end of the day and I hadn't emptied the dishwasher from the day before, and I would just put new dirty stuff on top and run it again, and this cycle would keep going. Yeah. That sounds very familiar. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So right after I enthusiast er and then it's walk, the eat breakfast workout journal, I've started journaling, which I've never done before, and so far so good. And then I work out and shower and I start work. So it's quite a long thing, but I get all this stuff done that I want to get done. First thing. Juan, do you feel more like when I follow an actual routine of some sort, which isn't reactive to the demands of a husky, I feel more productive. Do you feel like you started a better head space for your day? Yep, a hundred percent. So much better. And it just forces me to get all that stuff done first thing, and then I have the calls or work or whatever is left in the rest of the day, and I get to the end of the day, I'm like, look at all this stuff I got done and I worked out and I emptied the dishwasher. Well done me. I think those little positive steps, especially when you're running a business and you're dealing with the stress of everything that comes with that. I mean, they're important. It's important. It really does help improve your mindset. This is me reminding myself to start that again. Love it. Absolutely love it. So last couple of questions for you here. What do you think is the key to building a successful business that also makes a positive impact? Because I mean, you're building a business, but you're also providing a really important service to people and changing lives and helping them build new careers or change careers and all of the things. So is there anything that you found that's like this is what's really worked for us? Yeah, the thing that really kind of changed, I think probably our whole team mindset and where we were going was when I sat down, and I did this with a coach at the time and clearly defined what our mission, vision and core values are, and they're all different. And we just recently adapted them. We had an in-person team retreat a few weeks ago, and we've adapted them. And just getting really clear on what that is, and not only that, but how every single team member kind of fits in and how they're a part of that. And going on that journey, and I know that's easy for me to say with the business and what we're doing, but one thing that we do with our students, and I have an example here. I know this isn't video, but when we have a new student join, we send them a postcard and we kind of explain on there like, welcome. We're so excited to have you on The reverse side of this card is based for you to write down your reasons for joining the program, whether it's to have more flexibility or freedom. I call this your why display this card somewhere where you'll see it often, and on the back it just says my why, and there's some lines to write it down. So we try to get our students to immediately identify why are they starting your own business is not the easy option, it's the hard option, and you're doing it for a reason. And we want our students to identify what is that reason? Because it is going to be hard. They're going to be tough days, and you're going to want to quit, period. It's going to happen. So what is the reason that you're doing this? Is it to spend more time with your kids, to homeschool, to look after elderly relatives, to travel the world, whatever it is for you, you got to know that, and you got to make sure that it is front and center for when on the hard days, you can look back to it, just like I was saying before. It's been a tough year for us, but we have a bigger mission, our bigger why, and we will through. No, I absolutely love that. I think for anybody in that situation, they need to know exactly why they're doing what they're doing. I mean, I have to remind myself, there are days I, and you probably feel this too, as you run a business, there are days you look at people working in Walmart and you're like, that looks like such an easy stress-free job. I come home at the end of the day or weekends, you're not thinking about work and you'd be. Yeah, you don't take that home with you and you're not laying in bed at midnight worried about things. Yeah, I mean, that's the thing. Choosing this path is tough. So I love that you start people out with making sure they're very clear on what they're doing, and I bet you that that's keeping people in your community longer because they're clear and you're setting them up for success. Hopefully. But yeah, it is such an important step that is very easily missed when you just want to learn the skill and you just want to do the thing. But if you can have that foundation of why you're doing it, you'll be a lot more successful quicker. Absolutely. Love it. All right, perfect. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Julia, before we let you go, where can people find you online and get to know more about you? Yeah, the easiest place is geek pack.com. That's where everything is that you can check out about us and what we do and on social media everywhere is also pack. So check us out there. Perfect. Awesome. Well, thank you again so much. I cannot wait to hear how things are going for you guys, and I love watch. I'm in one of your communities and I love watching all of all the excitement that comes with people as I learn. Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure. I hope that you enjoy that. As much as I enjoyed having that conversation, Julia and Geek Pack are proof that you can build a profitable, thriving business that scales and make a lasting impact on the world. We can, as entrepreneurs do something we love with a higher purpose. If you loved our episode today, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or share this with an entrepreneur friend of yours who needs to hear it Now. If you have questions about today's episode, reach out@katcoder.com. That's C A P T coder.com or on Instagram at Captain Coder. Thanks so much for tuning in and talk to you next week.