Ready to be inspired AND take your business to the next level? Patty Farmer shares how she became an international speaker, how she chooses the people in her circle, and (of course!) money, media and marketing! Join us for this engaging interview.
About Media Expert Patty Farmer
Patty Farmer is an award-winning Marketing & Media Strategist, International Speaker, Radio Host, Magazine Publisher, Event Producer and Best-Selling Author specializing in Marketing & Business Growth Strategies and works with small business owners, entrepreneurs & speakers to attract and convert their ideal clients 24/7 so they can make a bigger impact in the world, and even bigger deposits in their bank account. She has created a network of 100,000 + connections while teaching thousands of entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and convert in less time and make more money while designing the lifestyle they want to live. Patty believes we all have a message and her mission is to help them master, market and monetize that message in a way that creates transformation for both them and their clients.
Patty has been seen on the covers of magazines such as Accomplish, Unleash Your Bold, Be the Boss, Women Who Mean Business and EXPERTpreneur. She was recently awarded the “Global Business Strategist of the Year” by the Global Powerhouse Group in London, England, named #3 in the “Top Ten Media Speakers You Need to Know” and awarded the 2017 “International Speaker of the Year” by the Public Speakers Association”.
About Jen McFarland, CEO Women Conquer Business
For the last 10+ years, it’s literally been my job to research and solve business problems — in the public sector, in the private sector, 7+ figure projects and solopreneur struggles.
I’m passionate about helping businesses vet ideas, take ownership of their projects, and incorporate digital marketing from day one.
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Transcript: Marketing, Media & Money with Patty Farmer
Hello and welcome to the Women Conquer Business Podcast. Are you ready to be inspired and take your business to the next level? Patty Farmer shares how she became an international speaker, how she chooses the people in her circle, and, of course, money, media, and marketing. Join us for this engaging interview. All that and more, here on Women Conquer Business. [music]
Hello and welcome to the Women Conquer Business Podcast featuring discussions with your host Jen McFarland. Every week, I discuss a different aspect of building a business while balancing it with an incredibly busy life. I share experiences, successes, and failures, and answer questions submitted by you, the listener. Thanks for tuning in. Let’s get started. [music]
Are you ready to be inspired and take your business to the next level? Patty Farmer shares how she became an international speaker, how she chooses the people in her circle, and, of course, money, media, and marketing. Join us for this engaging interview. All that and more, here on Women Conquer Business.
Hey Patty, I’m so glad to have you on the show. I’d really like to start things off by talking about how you got to where you are today. So if you’d like to just start with that, that would be great.
Sure. I always think this is such an interesting question to think about, these type of things like how did you get started. But I think really what it was for me, is I’ve been doing marketing and media for 20 years. However, 12 years ago, my husband came home one day and said, “Honey, how do you feel about moving to Dallas?” And we were living in Las Vegas and I’ve been there for most of my life and all of my professional life. And so when we moved to Dallas, all of a sudden, here I was, waiting for our furniture to get delivered. And I thought to myself, “Oh my goodness, I don’t know one single person. What in the world am I going to do?” And I had a little pity party. Right? I’m sitting there thinking, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?” I’m sure we’ve all done it. RIght? And you think about it and then all of a sudden I thought to my self, “Patty–” I talk to myself, don’t know if any of you talk to yourself. Right? But–
Right? And I would like to say sometimes I would like to talk to an expert. Right? But what I said was, I thought, “You know what, Patty? Here’s the thing. You lived in Las Vegas, which was a huge town and now you live in Dallas, which is a metroplex. And you don’t know anybody. So put your big girl panties on because this is an opportunity. Why are you feeling sorry for yourself? It’s an opportunity.” Right? And so I got up and I went to my refrigerator and I wrote 100,000 on my refrigerator. And when my husband came home, he’s like, “What is this?” And I said, “Well, I’m always talking about are we B to B, business to business or B to C, business to consumer? And I thought, ‘No, we’re P to P.’ We’re in the people business. Right? So that’s the business I’m in. So I made a decision today, that in one year, I would connect to 100,000 people and I would make $100,000.” My husband said, “That’s a great goal.” I did in nine months. But I did it because I had a plan and I thought, “Okay. how am I going to do it?” And the biggest thing was that I decided that I was going to have to become a speaker. And I had never wanted to be a speaker even though I’ve done training and seminars and that type of thing, but being a public speaker or a professional speaker, really wasn’t something I’d aspired to be. But I decided that I was going to and I told my husband that’s what I was going to do. And I put the work out that I was available and a friend of mine asked me to come and speak. And here’s the part that’s funny. I got on the plane, as she picked me up from the airport and we’re driving to the event, she said, “Oh, by the way, Patty, you know when I told you you needed to speak for 30 minutes? It needs to be an hour.” And I was like, “What?” And she said, “Oh, and I forgot to tell you, we’re videoing it.” I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me. And she said, “Oh, and I know that you go to events all the time. You kind of need to make an offer. You need to invite them to do something.” And I was like, “Are you kidding?” She goes, “Oh, and you need to be funny, literally [laughter].”
On the way.
I was like, “You got to be kidding me.” So when I got to the event, I literally went into the bathroom and was so sick. I can’t even tell you how sick I was. And then, I went out there, and I thought, “Oh, my goodness.” And so when she told me, I literally got in front of everybody. I’m trying to think if I was being funny. And I could see that everybody was laughing, so I guess I was. And then, she held up the sign that pretty much was telling me that I was supposed to sell something, right? And I was like, “I don’t know what to sell.” And I didn’t have anything to sell. And so I was like, “Okay.” So I pretty much just said– and I laugh now because now for eight years, I’ve been a speaker, right? So I said to everybody, “If you think that what I said here was interesting, and you’d like to learn more, let me know.” But here’s the funny part. I still have the– I still have it because I like to go back and look at it sometimes. So believe me, if something’s scaring you right now, six months from now, you’ll not be scared anymore, and you’ll go, “Oh, my goodness.” But here’s what happened. I stood up there in front of everybody and said, “But I’m really busy, and I can only help like 15 of you.” I actually said that from the front of the room. I could only help like 15 people, maybe 17. And this is what I said because I didn’t know any better. I said, “But it’s going to cost you [laughter].” I said that from the front of the room. And somebody in the back of the room said, “How much is it going to cost us?” And I said, because I didn’t know any better, “At least $2,000.” That’s what I said. And somebody in the front of the room said, “Well, what are we going to get for $2,000?” And I said, “Anything I teach you will be worth $2,000.” That’s what I said, which I have to tell you I work with speakers now, and 85% of my clients are speakers, and I would never recommend anybody doing that.
But here’s what changed for me. That when I walked off the stage, 37 people handed me their credit cards. And I was like, “Wow.” And then I called my coach when I got home. I’m like, “What am I supposed to teach them because I didn’t have anything planned?” And he said, “Sell first. Then, you create. You always sell it and then you create.” He said, “Send them an email. Ask them what the top three things are.” So here’s your writer downer. What’s the three things that I could teach you that you would consider the most value? And then when they wrote me back, that’s what I taught them because it wasn’t that I didn’t have the knowledge. I just didn’t have the platform, right? And when I went home, my husband said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I’m going to become a speaker.” And that’s what I said. And here’s the thing. He said, “How are you going to do it?” I said, “I’m going to say yes to every opportunity.” And two days later– so here’s the big end, is two days later, a friend called me and said, “Patty, would you be willing to come and speak on LinkedIn Lead Generation?” I said, “Sure, when?” She said, “Tomorrow.” I said, “Where?” She said, “In London.” And I had to get on a plane that night at 11 o’clock. I wrote my speech on the airplane, got off in London, gave that speech in London, booked three other speaking engagements out of the country, and literally sold over $100,000 in business, and they paid me $10,000 to do it. And I came home, and I was an international speaker all because I said I’m going to say yes to whatever opportunity happens. And my career was born.
That’s amazing. Did you then run to your fridge and take down the $100,000 and replace it with like $250,000 or a million dollars [laughter]?
My husband says, “Just add another zero, baby, just add another zero [laughter].” But–
I just love that story. I mean it.
Yeah, I don’t know if we share it all the time, but I think it’s really an important story because here’s the funny part. For the next eight 18 months– I’m just going to be truthful and authentic. For 18 months, I started speaking, and I still got sick every single time. Every single time, I would go in the bathroom and get sick first. And then, I stood on the stage, and I just said to myself, “Patty, this isn’t about you. It’s always about them. What do they need to hear from you to help them?” And I still use that same technique today. It’s never about me. It’s always about them.
I think that’s wonderful. I think that that’s the way it should be, right? You still use that same offer, though, right [laughter]?
No, actually, I’m a little bit better now [laughter]. I’m a little bit better. And I actually realized that you can actually have people start with you for like $200. I actually know better now. I know about funnels, and I know how these things work, but it all starts with learning to say yes. So I always like to say if you’re afraid, if it’s making you sick to your stomach, that means that it’s something you really should do. Just say yes. Hire somebody or whatever you need to do to do it because I’m going to tell you if somebody would have told me eight years ago when I owned a marketing company and would have said, “Oh, and eight years from now, you’re going to publish a magazine, and you’re going to put on your own events, and you’re going to teach speakers, and you’re going to have a podcast,” I would have been like, “Yeah, right.” And here I am because I said yes. That’s really the moral of the story really.
Yeah. How many times in our lives do we second-guess ourselves or doubt ourselves and say no to things that are just blocking opportunity at every corner?
I think a lot of times, and the thing is we don’t always have to really do every single thing. When I decided that I was going to write a book, I was like, “You hate to write. I don’t even like to blog [laughter]. I’m thinking, “I speak fast. I can’t type as fast as I speak.” And I was like, “Why would I want to write a book?” But my coach said, “Oh, Patty, you’re a speaker. You need to have a book.” Right? And I was like, “Oh, I just can’t do it.” I struggled for like six months. And then, I just talked and then had somebody transcribe it.
That’s what I was going to say. Yeah, you just talk [and?] transcribe it. I mean, there are a lot of ghostwriters out there. So you just send the transcriptions to somebody, and they help you. You don’t even have to do all of the writing or thinking. You have to have the idea.
I have five books now [laughter]. So it’s really kind of funny. I think about, “Oh,–” and so now it’s like, “Oh, I want to do this, and I want to do that.” So every time I want to do something or I think about doing something else– now, all joking aside because that’s a great story, right? It’s a true story, and it’s a great story. But the reality really is it’s really all about how are you going to monetize that in your business, right? So you have to be able to leverage. Now that is where my background did come in, right? That I’ve been in marketing and media, and I just told myself, “You need to become your own client. And what would you tell a client?” So figuring out how I was going to market myself – right? – and what the strategy was and how was I going to leverage everything so I could monetize it? that’s what enabled me to be able to keep on going. But it’s really all about what’s the lifestyle you want to live? That’s my motto in business, is design the lifestyle you want to live, and then, build a business that will support that, not the other way around because if you design your lifestyle first, you’ll do what you have to do to keep it. If you decide and decide you’re going to have a business, sometimes your business can own you because your why isn’t big enough or you don’t know what your why is. If you design your lifestyle first, oh yeah, you want that. And what I want [through a?] lifestyle isn’t going to be the same as you or anybody else too, right? Sometimes you just have to decide what that is for you.
I really love that. I think that a part of being a CEO is knowing not only what you want for your business but what you want for your life. That’s part of taking charge, I think, and being in that. Yesterday, I heard a speaker and she said, “You need to stop being the chief of everything and start being– so the COE and you just start being the CEO.”
I really believe that too. Because one of the things that I always like to say when somebody hires me and they’re like, “Well, what’s the first thing I need to do?” here’s always my first question, “Tell me how you introduce yourself.” If you say, “I am Patty Farmer and I own a marketing company,” and, “I’m in marketing,” that sounds great. But isn’t it a little bit different when you say, “Hi, I’m Patty Farmer. I’m the CEO of blah, blah, blah”? Right? The sooner you decide to be the CEO of your company, the more profitable you will be. It will stop being about generating revenue and it’ll be about being profitable, because when you’re the CEO of the company, you own your calendar, right, you own your time. And if I hear one more person– I have to tell you, sometimes when they say, “Oh. Patty, I can’t do this or I can’t do that because I was going to do it but then somebody came in that wanted to hire me.” If they wanted to hire you, they wanted to hire you an hour later too. If there’s something in your calendar, you own your calendar. Nobody decides for me what my calendar’s going to look like.
No. And it took me a long time to get to that point, but I’m the same way. I have time or don’t have time. And the people who really value you and who really want to work with– and honestly, the people that you want to work with [laughter] understand that you have a calendar, and you own that calendar.
I think there’s this exercise that I like to take people through, and I’ll share it with you too. I think it’s very visual, and I know that people can’t see us but they can hear us. But I’m going to ask you, if you just close your eyes and picture a table and chairs. Four chairs and a table, right? [Make it?] beautiful. And here is how I make all my decisions [laughter]. And if it will help you, great. So what I do is every time an opportunity comes to the table– that’s why it’s a table, right? Every time an opportunity comes to the table, each one of the legs of that table has a criteria for me. Now, yours will be different than mine. But one of my legs is speaking. One of my legs is products. One of mine is services. And the fourth leg is philanthropy. Something that somebody asked me to do that just fills my soul, and I just want to do it. I don’t have to make money. But as soon as an opportunity comes to the table, immediately, I ask myself, “Will it fit into one of the legs?” And if it does, then I want to know more. If it doesn’t, I have to make that decision right then and there that this is not the right time. It doesn’t mean no. But it means no, not now. And the sooner you can get yourself to knowing what your criteria is and just think of that table– opportunity comes to the table, make your decision and then move on.
That’s the best description I have heard about setting priorities and making aligned decisions [laughter] I’ve ever heard.
Thank you for that. That’s great. That’s great.
You’re welcome. It’s just so simple. I actually have it printed, a really beautiful one, and I used to keep it hanging on my wall. I actually use it a lot in my speeches. When I’m teaching it, I hand them out to people and stuff because I really think that if you can– I don’t have to look at it anymore. It’s in my head. But a lot of times, you can analyze until you’re paralyzed, right? And I still have one decision I’ve been working on as you know. We talk about it all the time that I’m still in the process. But it’s mostly because I can’t figure out how it fits my criteria. But once it does, you just have to be able to know. Yes or no.
Yeah. And then at least– and I want to hear your opinion on that. And then you move on one way or the other?
And then you move on well, I have what I call a parking lot. That’s what I call, I have a parking lot. And I have this book and it’s called– and this book, it’s a journal, and it is called, “Brilliant, Awesome Ideas. And so what happens for me is every time I have those ideas, if I can’t do it right now, I just put it in the book. And my rule for me is that before I can take something out of the book and incorporate or implement a new idea, I have to finish an idea I already have because what happens, a lot of times as an entrepreneur is you have all these things going on, and you don’t finish any of them. And if you don’t finish any of them, they don’t make you any money. And if they don’t make you any money, you’re spending time away from your family and your life for no reason. So if it’s not working, then it needs to go, maybe come off and go back into the parking lot, right? Sometimes, I think that’s important. And I also think it’s important that every area of your business needs to pay for itself. When I decided to publish the magazine, I told myself, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do, and I’m going to do it for six months.” My business is going to pay for it for six months. At the end of six months, if it’s not paying for itself, then it has to go, right? But you have to have a plan to give it a chance, right? It may not be six months, whatever it is for you. But if you have all these different things, all of a sudden what will happen is, you’ll realize that some of those things are bleeding your business dry, and you could go out of business because one thing wasn’t working that you shouldn’t stop. So you need to be able to track and measure and really know what those things are so that you monetize your business by having everything paid for itself.
I couldn’t agree more. And I think sometimes it’s hard for people to let go of those passion projects. But if they’re bleeding money, then they’re not worth it because it’s also draining you and other ways and taking away from–
I think you have a lake for that instead of a [laughter]– there’s a link for that, right? And maybe you can have all your projects being that one lake, right? And I have passion projects to that I love and when people will ask me to do something that just really fills my heart and my soul, and I’m okay if that doesn’t make money for me, right? Because it’s all about serving. I truly believe if we lead with contribution, compensation will follow.
I think that’s true. That’s been the case for me. I think that because it’s just authentically part of who I am, is the service, but it also is magnetic and brings people in.
I absolutely think so. I think you have to decide right up front. And for me, it’s always been about connecting, always has been about connecting. And I believe that relationships are the currency in today’s business environment, right? So more than ever, it’s really important to be building out those relationships and in today’s day, I’d really rather have four quarters and a hundred pennies, right?
Sure. Yeah. You mean like four people you can really rely on than like 100 scattered, right?
Right. So you have like, here’s your network. And then you have like an inner network that is really the people that you go to first, right? Stuff happens and you have to have a go-to set of people that you can because no matter what we all say, we could sit here and say how great all this is, but don’t think that that doesn’t mean that we all don’t hit a wall. There’s times that things happen and you hit a wall or have a meltdown or whatever.
Yeah. So what do you do when you get stuck?
First of all, I have to tell you, what always happens for me is I do, do, do, do, do. And then all of a sudden, I’ll hit a wall and I’ll think, “This has happened to me.” I don’t know if it’s ever happened to you. I have literally told my husband, I’m like, “Honey, I am so busy. And I have so many projects that are on deadline, that literally I don’t have time to take a shower or eat for the next three days, right? And I do my best work under pressure, he says. I always feel like I do. It’s not good for your health, though. And so I finally had to just tell myself I needed– when I get to that spot, what do I do, right? And so I have what I call a personal advisory board. So it is three women that I trust with everything, right? And when I hit that wall and I’m like, “Okay, what am I going to do?” I’m like, “I need to see my personal advisory board.” And we get on a Zoom call and they’re on there. And then I lay it out. And then I have to be quiet. Then I have to be, not do. And I really need to know. And that really helps me a lot. You just have to have someplace that you can go that you can just drop it all and be able to say, okay. But you have to be willing to listen, though, because a lot of times we don’t want to listen. And that’s why your personal advisory board or your inner circle or whatever word you want to use, whatever your phrase is, choose those wisely, right, because one of the things that I used to do is I used to pick people who I really cared about, and I knew they cared about me. But they didn’t have the expertise to really answer and help me. And so I really had to realize that, yes, I have that route too, right? But really what I needed is the ones who can answer the questions for me. So I facilitate Masterminds. I belong to Masterminds, but I needed ones that are on speed dial [laughter]. Who’s on speed dial so when I’m going to have a meltdown I can go, “Oh,” and they know– because if they know what you’ve done so far, they also can give you advice because they have history, kind of like a best friend, right? You don’t have to tell her why you reacted this way, she already knows. She knows everything about you. You need to have that in your business as well. And you need to have it with people that you can trust.
I like that. And then how do you feel about hanging out with people that are making about the same amount of money as you?
Well, I feel that if I’m the strongest person in the room – I mean, the smartest person in the room – then I’m in the wrong room, right? I love surrounding myself with people that are eclectic. And what I really love is being in a room with people who do marketing just like I do because I think that I’m very abundance-minded. Marketing is a huge umbrella. And I do more business with people who do what I do than anything, I think, right? That’s all about having the right mentality and realizing, the only competition you have is the mirror, or what you did yesterday, right? There is really no competition. And so I think it is really important. Although to get back to what you said, I am very clear about how I spend my money. I will not, for me– I’m not saying across the board in the beginning. I don’t think this is necessarily true when you’re still in startup or ramp-up phase, but I think that when you get to a point, where for me – I choose to not hire someone if I’m going to hire them for coaching or something like that – if they’re not where I want to be, I could go to school for that, right [laughter]? I went to college. I got my degree. He’s not making as much money as me, right? So when you think about it, I think that’s really important. If they haven’t done what you want to do, and if they’re not making the money or they’re not where you want to be, why are you asking them for advice? Why are you not asking them, right? That’s who you should be asking, right? A lot of times what happens– and women I think are worse than this than anybody, is what we do is we go to our friends that do that, and we ask them, “Oh, what should I charge? And what do I think there?” That’s ridiculous. Why are we doing that, right? Do your market research. What’s the value you bring to the marketplace? So I think it’s really, really important to ask yourself the right questions, ask the right people. Surround yourself with people who are going to give you answers, not just the ones that you want to hear, but that their expertise is able to do that. I’m going to tell you, Jen, there was a time where I was coaching with this one coach, he was male. And every time he would push me and push me, sometimes to tears. I had to have another coach, who I used to call her up every time he’d put me on the ledge, so she could walk me off the ledge, right, before I finally realized that, Oh, it was time for me to find a new coach. But I think it just really kind of all depends. So I always have at least one or two, sometimes three, depending upon what it is that I want to do, but finding the people who will support you, have the expertise. And the biggest thing that I could really say if I was going to leave anybody with anything is you can’t ask anybody else to invest in you if you’re not willing to invest in you. And the biggest return on investment you will get is the investment you’ve put in you. So one of the things that cracks me up is when people will tell me, “Oh, I didn’t want to buy this program. It was $500.” But then they want to charge $5,000. And my first question to them is, “Have you ever written a check for $5,000?” And they’ll say no, and I’m like, “Then you’re not going to be able to do it. You will not be successful.” You have to be able to invest in you or nobody else will. So that’s where your first investment needs to be, in yourself.
Yeah, and you can’t ever think that you are a master. I love that you say that you meet with other people in marketing, because I think one of the biggest things we need to do is to be open and continue to learn so that we are continuing to grow in our own profession and then have that openness to take advice from peers and people that you really trust. I think that’s part of the learning environment. It makes us better at our work for sure.
And I think that comes down to integrity too. For me, when people say, “Well, why would you do business with people who are your competition?” I’m like, “They’re not my competition.” But the reality is, and I’ll give you an example, I can’t tell you how many people that are in marketing send me clients for a specific area that they know is my area of expertise. If any of those people that they sent me– so they’re my client, right? So they send me someone and I’m working with them on leveraging something. And then they say, “Oh, Patti, I didn’t know you did this and you did that, whatever. Oh, could you help me with this?” My answer will always be no. I always edify the person who sent me them, right? And then I tell them, “Oh, you need to go back to them. If that person wants to come to me and say, “Oh, Patty, could you help me with this?” I’ll be more than happy to. But there is no one client that is ever worth burning a relationship that you build with somebody, right? So that’s integrity. So I only work with people who have integrity. I never overstep. Because how confusing it is to somebody if they said, “Oh, well, she told me to do it this way and now you’re telling me this way and somebody else told me this way. They can’t make a decision and they can’t move on, right? We’re the experts. Edify each other. Support each other. Work together because ultimately, we’re here to serve the client.
Yeah, and if you truly want– yeah, if you truly want them to have the best result, then that’s how you have to do business.
Exactly. I always like to say all the time, Google’s in the information business. YouTube’s in the information business. Facebook’s in the information business. I’m in the transformation business, right? So I think it’s really, really important to know why you do what you do. And I think that’s really, really important and surround yourself with those people, hire the right people, and then know who you want to work with as well. And then you’ll have a great great lifestyle, a great life, all the money you want. Because here’s the thing, you can always make more money. You can’t ever get back time.
No, that’s totally true. So do you have– I mean, this has been great. I could do this for hours. Actually, we have been doing this for a couple of hours before we hit record on the podcast. But do you have anything to offer our listeners?
Sure, I would love to have them come check out the magazine. The magazine is no cost. But what I love about the magazine, it is my community give back really, because I have built such a great community of experts. What I love to do in this magazine is have them contribute what’s working now? I think what’s really important is what’s on trend now, not what was working last year or the year before. What is working now? What is working in your business right now? What’s making you money? How are you leveraging? What’s the strategy so that we can pass that on right now? So that is really, really important to me. And you can get the magazine by going to Patty with a Y, so pattyfarmer.com/magazine. Nice and easy.
That’s great. And we’ll put it in the show notes. So if you’re listening to this, you can always click from inside iTunes or Google Play, or Google podcasts. I always get all these things confused. There’s so many platforms now [laughter].
Absolutely. I love choices.
I love choices. Me too. So thank you so much for being on the show.
Thank you so much for having me. It was a great conversation before and during. Thanks so much, Jen.
Thank you for listening to the Women Conquer Business podcast. You can find us online at www.jenmcfarland.com/podcast. You can also connect with Jen on social media at Jen S McFarland on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The show was produced in Portland, Oregon by Jen McFarland Consulting. Women Conquer Business is available on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, and many other podcast apps.
Jen McFarland is a business systems expert, podcaster, and blogger. She’s helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners make better business decisions. Jen’s passion is helping women-owned businesses get the growth tools they need to meet their 3-5 year business goals.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out Jen’s Picks, my favorite business growth tools.