Updated: Dec 21, 2022
The hard part of being a creative entrepreneur is that you are so much of your business. Your identity and values reflect the mission and core values of your brand.
In this episode of The Pollen Podcast, #GIRLGETAFTERIT founder Cassidy Wendell joins us to share her creative entrepreneurship journey. We also talk about the pivotal turns Cassidy took before she finally learned her ‘niche.’ She also builds on her experiences in the hospitality and restaurant industry and how they taught her the value of self-trust and personal boundaries.
If you want to take the leap into creative entrepreneurship, listen to this episode and let Cassidy Wendell's story inspire you!!
Create your own creative entrepreneurship story of clarity, professional confidence, and profit. Join Diana’s 90-day group course Camp Clarity and learn everything you wish you already knew, like how to land dream clients, harness the power of social media, and make the money you deserve. Learn more here.
Heads up! I will also be hosting a free 90-minute masterclass on my website, Diana Davis Creative. The class will be all about attracting your dream clients on Instagram. The event will be on May 16, 1:00 - 2:00 PM (MST) via Zoom.
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🔥Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
Learn how the best course of action as an entrepreneur is to dive into what lights you up and let the rest unfold.
Understand the importance of self-trust and self-love in making big, bold moves.
Why having a solid support system - like a partner, coach, or community – is a non negotiable.
Achieve the life, career, and clients you’ve always wanted (and fully deserve!). Sign up for Diana’s Camp Clarity Course
Access other courses from the Diana Davis Creative
Sign up for Diana’s free 90-minute masterclass on May 16 here.
Get The Numinous Tarot Guide here.
Visit Outdoor Voices.
Find hip athletic wear by Ty Haney at Get Joggy!
Find out more about Training 2XL by Elena Luciani.
Read Cassidy’s blog, The Wellness Rookie.
Listen to what Cassidy’s listening to: the Sword and Scale Podcast.
[06:26] Cassidy’s First Job
Cassidy spent her childhood in rural Montana, where she grew up loving and playing sports. She believes that the team aspect of sports helped shape her.
Her family owned a steakhouse and bar. Her first job was to stock the cooler for a week.
Since then, she has worked in every single position in the restaurant industry — from a dishwasher, grocery runner, bartender, to manager.
Her experience in the restaurant industry made her a customer service-oriented person and a people pleaser. But eventually, she learned that customers are not always right.
[09:02] Navigating through College
Cassidy went to college at Washington State University. She describes this as the best and most challenging time of her life.
At 23, her dad died after suffering a severe stroke.
During this time, her mental health deteriorated; Cassidy felt isolated, lost, and depressed. According to her, this was the most unhealthy period of her life.
[11:58] Pivotal Turn to Wellness: Beginning of Girl Get After It
Cassidy worked in the hospitality and marketing sector but then proposed a wellness event hosted by her blog, The Wellness Rookie.
Around 40 to 50 women attended the event, opening Cassidy's eyes to the health and wellness community.
The event started her current career, #GIRLGETAFTERIT. It is a wellness community that brings women together through sweat-working events and gear.
She describes #GIRLGETAFTERIT as 'Bumble BFF' because it is an inviting space for women to meet new friends and try new things in health and fitness.
Diana: “Sometimes pivot means crumbling at all and restarting.” - Click Here to Tweet This
[15:13] Lessons from the Creative Entrepreneurship Journey
Never put yourself in a box. Cassidy never thought she would land in the fields she ended up in — from marketing to health and wellness to personal training.
You can ignore what other people are doing to some extent.
Cassidy describes herself as a connector: someone who brings people together for a cause.
Cassidy: “It wasn't until I really tuned in to what it is that I wanted out of all this, and how can I make that my life. And I just like started saying yes to things and take chances in order to get there because the path was never clear. It was never like a straight line that I knew exactly where I was going.” - Click Here to Tweet This
Entrepreneurs often think they should focus on what they're good at, but we can always take leaps. Dive into two things: what you're good at and what you enjoy.
[27:48] Creating Boundaries as Creative Entrepreneurs
The hard part of creative entrepreneurship is that you are your business.
Cassidy came from the hospitality industry and was used to people-pleasing, so setting boundaries is challenging for her.
Setting boundaries will help you and, consequently, your clients. Set the scene and have an open conversation with your clients.
Hustle comes from a lack of boundaries. It's not about how hard you work. You can still work hard and smart while maintaining boundaries to prevent burnout.
[14:06] The #GIRLGETAFTERIT Journey
#GIRLGETAFTERIT began as a side hustle with a monthly meetup series in Bozeman, Montana. They started by giving away stickers and then turned them into shirts.
The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted the business because of people’s sudden need for online socially connected friendliness.
#GIRLGETAFTERIT was a Facebook group for years before transitioning to its own platform. Joining the community now requires a paid membership.
The business landed its first full marketing client at $400 a month.
[36:12] Cultivating Self-Trust
Cassidy attributes her self-trust to her entrepreneurial parents.
She doesn't have a checklist for cultivating self-trust — it's purely a gut feeling.
Do not be afraid of leaving things behind. Give yourself space and time to work through processes.
Understand that you have yourself. No one else is going to catch you but you.
[41:21] Generating Creative Solutions for Businesses
As a wellness brand, #GIRLGETAFTERIT places a big emphasis on community. It believes that you are only as good as how supported you feel.
Research brands you look up to or even brands in unrelated industries. Take inspiration from how they solve problems, market products, and reach their audience.
Examine your mission and core values through different lenses.
Don't get stuck in a niche. Your niche can be as broad or narrow as you want. It can be as grand as "empowering women" and everything that idea entails.
[46:43] Customer Is Not Always Right
Create conversations instead of being a “Yes, Master” or “I’m Sorry” person.
Stop apologizing so much — only say sorry for things you regret.
Cassidy: “Self-trust is: I know exactly who I am and what I believe in and what I stand for, what type of a human being I am, what I put forth into my business and what it exudes.” - Click Here to Tweet this
We all have toxic tendencies, but it's our job to filter that out or break off the relationship. Have boundaries. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself safe.
[50:14] Learning to Take Compliments
Women have a hard time taking compliments.
Instead of hesitating, take the compliment. Say ‘Thank you. That’s true.’ and then it becomes a ripple effect.
[57:46] Cassidy and Diana’s Humble Beginnings
Cassidy and Diana both used to have full-time jobs. Eventually, they took leaps to enter creative businesses.
Creating and cultivating takes time.
[1:02:47] The Lightning Round
When you feel stagnant, look back and see how far you’ve come. Zoom out.
Creativity is building a life on your own terms.
Only join and promote things you are obsessed with.
Cassidy Wendell is a wellness lover, adventure seeker, and community builder in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the founder and lead community builder for #GIRLGETAFTERIT, a women's wellness brand and small boutique marketing agency that brings together women through sweatworking events and gear that gives back.
Before her work with #GIRLGETAFTERIT, Cassidy also did digital marketing consulting for brands and businesses wanting to create 'online communities that matter through thoughtful strategies that work for your schedule, resources and community.'
Cassidy recently launched her podcast, The Highlight Real, where she shares her take on health and fitness, what it's like running #GIRLGETAFTERIT, her journey as an entrepreneur, interviews with the baddies who inspire her, and everything in between.
Enjoyed this Podcast on Creative Entrepreneurship?
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Thanks for listening! Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.The hard part of being a creative entrepreneur is that you are so much of your business. Your identity and values reflect the mission and core values of your brand.
And I think like in that phase of my life, too, in the early phase, I was really focused on what other people were doing as well. And then it wasn't until I really tuned into what it is that I wanted out of all this, and how can I make that my life and I just like started saying yes to things and started to like, take chances, I think in order to get there because the path was never clear. It was never like a straight line that I knew exactly where I was going. It was always like, “Oh, let's go left. And then let's go right and then let's circle back around and do it all over again.”
Diana Davis: Welcome to Pollen, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Diana Davis, multi-passionate creative business coach, Gemini manifesting generator, macho drinker and travel junkie. I'm also the founder of Diana Davis Creative, where I went from a six figure photography business to coaching creative entrepreneurs like you. If you want to have a career and a life you love, you're in the right place. On this show, I'll be coaching on all things, creative entrepreneurship, and you'll hear stories from fellow creative entrepreneurs that will show you it is possible to do life the way you want to. They'll share the nitty-gritty of their journeys, like the real shit, and how they are doing it differently. I'm stoked to have you along on this journey. Let's go.
Hello, Pollen listeners! I am so stoked to have you listen to the story of this next guest. She is such a long-term friend. She is such an inspiration to me. We've been paralleled in entrepreneurship, basically our whole entrepreneurship journey, but on very different paths, as we all are. But before I intro you to this powerhouse, I want to let you know that I am doing a free masterclass on May 16. It is called Bloom and it's all about attracting your dream clients on Instagram. It is going to be 90 minutes of just gold advice. I will be holding nothing back. There is none of this smoke and mirrors bullshit where I just keep you on, you know the end of a fishing line. Until I tell you the one trick at the end of the masterclass.
No, this is a true free training and I just want you to get a lot out of it. So it is May 16, from 1 to 2:30pm Mountain Standard Time. It will be on zoom so you will get to connect with me and many other creative entrepreneurs in the room. We already have so many amazing people signed up, all you need to do is go to the show notes and click the link or dianadaviscreative.com/masterclass and we will see you on May 16th, from 1 to 2:30pm Mountain Standard Time. It's going to be epic. Do not miss it, it's free—it's a no brainer. Just come.
Okay without further ado, I am so excited to introduce you to my good friend Cassidy Wendell—Cass is what I call her. She is a wellness lover, which is why I was so frickin attracted to her when we met. I was obsessed with getting into wellness. She was actually my first wellness photoshoot I ever did. She is an adventure seeker, a Montana native, she's hooked on building community. That's a true story, for sure. She is the founder of #GIRLGETAFTERIT, which is a wellness community that brings women together through sweat working events and gear that gives back.
Cass knows just how important your mental, physical and emotional health is to your overall well being. How community plays a huge role in professional and personal success—amen. and how the feeling of being supported can ultimately change your life. I cannot wait for you to experience this episode and hear the real story of how she got to where she is.
Hello, welcome to the second guest episode of The Pollen Podcast. I cannot wait to introduce you to this guest she is a longtime friend. One of my first wellness photoshoots of my entire career. We've been through it all together and I think every time we meet up or we constantly remind each other how far we've come because we've just been like in parallel and tandem and entrepreneurship for so long and I've made so many pivots and expansions and just done a lot together. So without further a do Cass Wendell of well what used to be—what did your Instagram handle used to be cast? We've been all over the place.
Cassidy Wendell: Oh my gosh, my Instagram handles go through like three different changes. I was that with Cass and then I was the everyday athlete, and then I was the wellness Turkey. And now I am just @cass.wendell
Diana: Which is a new change. And so we will say of #GIRLGETAFTERIT, which is a whole other brand and story of a birth of a company that you're so successfully running now. But yeah, a lot of people probably listening to the podcast know you as the wellness rookie. Because I intro you and basically every conversation I have, you're such an inspiration. Let's just get into it. Are we ready for this?
Cassidy: I’m ready. Let's go.
Diana: I'm so glad to have you here. I want to know, well first of all, we're going to say kind of like the last episode where this was a happy accident. We're going to let all of the listeners figure out what your astrology is. So you get to guess as you pass during this episode, I'm super curious. All I'm going to hint at is that my Gemini self loves these people. We need these people in our lives, that's my only hint. But other than that, we'll see if we can zip it shut. As far as the astrology goes— I almost said it. Oh my god, this is gonna be hard. For me, we so identify with our signs. I want to hear who you are, what you do, what makes you tick. And I would love to just get into your story of the real reel—which is what you say a lot. The real reel of how you got to this point on the map in your life right here.
Cassidy: Ready, set, go. Oh my gosh. Well, hello, everybody. I'm so honored to be here today, Diana. Like you said, we go back years and years and so many twists and turns and kind of shared experiences. I'm so honored. And who am I? I always like struggle with that question as I think we all sort of do. And I always like go back and forth on what should I share? Am I sharing too much? Do I only focus on this this. But I think more and more in the last like year or two of my life I've really started to dig into who I am as a person versus like what I've identified as in the past, which is a lot more about like accomplishments and goals and career and entrepreneurship.
To start there who I am as a person. I am a Montana native, I grew up in a very small town in Montana called Cardwell. I always say you blink you miss it. I think we can share that small town experience there. And I grew up in rural Montana, middle of nowhere, so there wasn't much to do. And I sort of poured myself into playing sports. And I think like, you can either do two things as a kid growing up in small town, Montana, you can farm and ranch, or you can play sports.
Diana: And like, drink and do drugs. Right? Like there's that.
Cassidy: There's that too. Oh, yeah, for sure. I grew up and I was super into sports, which I loved. And I think that like team aspect really shaped who I am today. And then also what shaped who I am today is I grew up and we owned a family own steakhouse and bar. And my first job was when I was eight years old, and I stuck the beer cooler for literally 20 bucks a week. I would say that's how I got my muscles. And I've worked literally every single position in the restaurant industry that you can think of everything from dishwasher, to Costco runner to bartender, manager, you name it.
And that has really shaped who I am today in the sense of being a customer service oriented people pleaser, I should say, recovering people pleaser. Because turns out the customer is not always right. But it took me a really long time to sort of figure that out. Anyway, I grew up in small town, Montana. And I left for college, I went to Washington State University over in Pullman, Washington. Had literally the time of my life, probably way too much fun. And during that time, I actually lost sight of who I am and what I sort of liked to do with my free time and really lost sight of my health and wellness goals. Growing up a multisport athlete, I was very health conscious, and I love to move my body.
And I think giving your guests like, I think stepping into all of that freedom at WSU really rocked my world, but it wouldn't change it for the world. But like I look back and it was a really hard time to sort of navigate that period of my life and come out of it and step into the real world quote-unquote, from that time. But I learned so much about myself and so much about like what I wanted my life to look like too. I grew up I went to college, studied advertising, and then I actually got a job offer back in Bozeman working for the Montana State Bobcats and their sports marketing department, which was basically my dream scenario.
Now I was living in Bozeman, downtown Bozeman, I was single, I had like a one-bedroom loft apartment, I was quote-unquote, had my dream job. I was basically living the life that I always thought I wanted. And then it wasn't until like six months, eight months into that phase of my life is when my dad actually suffered from a really severe stroke. And at that time, I didn't know much about what a stroke entailed, and had no idea even what it was. And my dad was actually in the ICU of the hospital for three months. And it was one of those scenarios where he would take one step forward, two steps back until just after Christmas of that year, he ended up passing away. Now that moment, I was just shy of turning 23 years old, which is such a pivotal age, I feel like I was sort of starting to discover myself starting to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
And when that happened, the life that I thought that I had and where I thought it was going was completely turned upside down. And I felt like—I felt lost, I felt isolated, I went through a really big period of depression. And my health and fitness and sort of mental health started to relapse again. And I started to sort of run away from my problems, like physically run away. I remember taking probably one or two trips every single month just to escape my reality, and go visit friends in Texas, or visit family in California. I just wanted to escape. And I did that consistently for probably like two or three years, which was probably the most unhealthiest period of my life. And then I finally realized that that wasn't working, that wasn't helping. And what I needed was to sort of pour my heart and energy into something that really lit me up.
And at that time, I was working at a business in downtown Bozeman in their hospitality and marketing sector. And I approached them with this event idea and it was going to be hosted by like you said earlier, The Wellness Rookie, which was the wellness blog that I started, basically from going through losing my dad, and that was sort of my outlet. I approached them about hosting an event as The Wellness Rookie and I had this idea to make it a sweat working event. A healthier form of networking. And I wanted to host this free yoga class actually taught by Nicole Weil, who I'm sure will be on this podcast.
Nicole taught the free yoga class. And then we followed it with a small group discussion on what work life balance means to you. And then we had drinks, and snacks, there was a cute photo booth. And then I made stickers that everybody took away that said, hashtag #GIRLGETAFTERIT. Because that phrase was something that I said to my personal training clients when I was doing that phase of my life. And also, it's what I hashtag my fitness-related Instagram posts with on the gram. That's literally how that all started. And I hosted this first event thinking that like maybe a handful of my friends would come to it, because I'm from this area. And I just felt like, “Okay, like, I'm just gonna put this out there, and maybe we'll get a few people.”
It ended up being between 40 and 50 women and I knew probably three of them. That was really eye-opening to me and it kind of showed me that I wasn't the only person creating this type of community in this type of experience. So all that to say now to like the career part of who I am and what I do is that first event and that moment was actually the start of my current career, which is #GIRLGETAFTERIT. The #GIRLGETAFTERIT is a wellness community that brings women together through sweat working events and gear that gives back and most recently, we've started to expand our I-R-L so in real-life communities to cities across the country, in order to create a really inviting space for women to meet new friends, and try new things in the world of health and fitness. Because that can be a really intimidating space to break into on your own. I always say it's like Bumble B-F-F. But for wellness and probably a little less awkward. Yeah, so that's, that's me. And that's what I do
Diana: So much more than that to your story. Take like 15 hours. What I think is really interesting is you had so many phases, you just like casually dropped in there and I think as creative entrepreneurs as people, when we're like in a thing we think that's like the end all be all. And if we really zoom out to any point in our life, it was just a blip in time like you're like “Oh yeah, huh. When I was a personal trainer, oh yeah.” When The Wellness Rookie was like a thing. “Oh, yeah, by the way, I started that blog once that I maybe don't do anymore.” So what do you have to say about that, like, of all the phases and pay pivots and expansions, I don't always love the word pivot, because I think a lot of times pivot is different than expansion, right? Sometimes pivot means like crumbling at all and restarting. But what kind of lessons have you found in all of these different journeys you've taken?
Cassidy: Yeah, I think two really big ones stick out. One, being never put yourself in a box. And two, don't pay attention to what other people are doing to a certain degree. I think like even hearing, you just point out all those things. And me, like going through that story and looking back on my experience, I'm getting to where I am today, if you'd asked me this 5-6-7 years ago, this would never have been on my radar, ever. I didn't even think you could do anything like this. And I think going from the marketing world, and that's like, kind of what I studied in college, to more of like the health and wellness, the personal trainer world, like that was a huge pivot. But obviously, I took tools away from what I did in those marketing positions and brought them into my own business.
And then when I was in the health and wellness industry, there wasn't really a lot of people doing things differently. You either we're a personal trainer, or a health coach, or a nutritionist. In that sense, I love the health and wellness world and that's always kind of where I wanted to be and where I saw myself being. But I never knew like what else to do, besides tell people to go work out or like, help them with their eating or meal plans. And it's so cool to see that kind of evolved over the last several years. And just like really diving into not only what I enjoy doing, but what I'm good at, as well.
And I've always said what I'm passionate about is bringing people together. And I'm a big connector, I don't really like to bring the content, for lack of a better phrase. I would way rather bring people together for somebody else to bring sort of the meat and potatoes to the scene. And I think like in that phase of my life too, in the early phase, I was really focused on what other people were doing as well. And then it wasn't until I really tuned into what it is that I wanted out of all this and how can I make that my life.
And I just like started saying yes to things and started to like, take chances. I think in order to get there. Because the path was never clear. It was never like a straight line that I knew exactly where I was going. It was always like, “Oh, let's go left. And then let's go right, and then let's circle back around and do it all over again.” So those are definitely the two takeaways that I have. Because you never really know where you're going to end up. And I think like just being okay with that, and just following your intuition is the best way to go.
Diana: Yeah, following the yeses. I think there's a lot in that. And I want to tap into and circle back to like, this whole, the customer is not always right thing in a second, because I think that's been a huge theme. But I really want to dig into because so many of the listeners are multifaceted, multi-passionate entrepreneurs, they have a lot to offer. But often we're like so told to niche down and only do the thing and put yourself in a box because a box is easier to look at. It's easier to carry around, it's a lot easier to consume all of the things. So you've done so much you've gone from marketing to physical trainer, to influencer, we didn't even talk about that. Like truly you are one of like the O-G Instagram people in Bozeman using Instagram before, a lot of people in New York, were using Instagram. You were really in it as well as, can we talk about the pivot into social media and like you being sort of your own agency you haven't even brought up yet and also how you navigated into that and also out of it.
Cassidy: Yes. Oh my gosh, okay. So I owned my own digital marketing business for about four years and just to kind of give the framework. #GIRLGETAFTERIT was always like a side hustle to my full-time hustle. And how I got into that space was yes, I had like a background in advertising in school. And then like, did a little bit with sports marketing. But this was back in 2013, which is crazy to think about that less than 10 years ago, the digital space was just starting to blossom, and especially being in little Bozeman, knee slap! Bozeman and just Montana, in general, is always like five years behind the rest of the country, if not more.
And, I definitely took advantage of that in a way in the sense that I had all these skills and then I learned a ton from trying to grow my own social media following and trying to grow my like personal training and online coaching business that I started to just pour myself into all of these online courses and just absorb anything that I could about Instagram about S-E-O, about blogging, which was huge at the time. And I gathered all of these tools and then when I got back into the sort of like the nine to five grind, and I was with that hospitality company, a lot of people started to reach out to me through social media. Because I was still doing The Wellness Rookie, a lot of people in the area reached out to me asking if they could take me out to coffee to pick my brain.
Diana: Picks the brain, phone calls, and coffee.
Cassidy: Oh, my gosh, yes, they still haven't stopped. But I did it and I had coffee with so many people. And all they wanted to chat about was like, “How did you like get this social post to do so well?” Or like, “How do you use Instagram for Business in this way?” And then just like started to realize, “Wow, like people really need help with this, especially small businesses in Bozeman. So like, maybe I can make this work.” And I started to take on a couple of consulting clients, and everybody was like, mind blown with what I was saying to them, even though it's the most simple thing.
And then I landed my first full marketing client, which I say full and it was probably like, $400 a month. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh, wow. Like, yes, let's do it.” And I started to sort of put myself out there in that sense and started my own marketing business. And I left my full-time job and just dove headfirst and ended up landing like the clients of my dreams in Bozeman. They were all women-owned businesses, they were all centered around whether it was wellness, or the outdoor space, which I really, really love. And I not only like helped them learn a lot in the space. But I learned so much to the point where like, I've taken so much away from working for other people in that sense to put into my own business and make it work for us too.
But that was like a really big pivot there. And then, as I said, I did that for about three to four years full time. And then I got to this point where #GIRLGETAFTERIT was just growing like wildfire. And I was like, “Wow, this is what I not only love doing, but I'm also really good at it.” Like where passion and purpose collide. Yeah. And I was basically just like, This is my chance to leap headfirst and just see if this works. I can always go back to marketing, I can always like probably lame clients. But this is my time just to dive in and step outside of that box and just try something new. And this is actually when the pandemic hit and I feel so lucky to say that because so many businesses were opposite of that. But kind of like everybody not only being online so much but just like now craving community more than ever, I just stepped into that space fully and #GIRLGETAFTERIT took off. That decision was not easy. Because like I said, the client list that I had was dream clients and some of my great friends. And to sort of not leave them but like, pursue other ventures and other passions is a big step for me. And that was almost two years ago, which is crazy.
Diana: It's so funny how sometimes when we pivot or leave or pursue our dreams, we think we're like letting people down. This is like, first of all, we're a business. and obviously, we're an extension of our business, which can be really the hard part of Creative Entrepreneurship. We are our business and so it gets personal ad it's hard not to get personal. I have many questions but one of mine is how did you ended you create boundaries around that? All these Bozeman is a small community. You know the people they know you, they know when you're not working on their shit, or you're taking a vacation and they're wishing, like, “What is she doing? Why is she not working on our social media posts and things like that?” And even just the business relationship getting paid from like friends and aspirational figures in the community versus the personal relationships, like where what did you learn around boundaries?
Cassidy: Yeah, I don't think I learned around boundaries until I left that phase of my life like 100%. And making that transition from being full-time marketing to grow. But after I wasn't fully supported in some instances, and that actually hit me harder than anything. And I felt like I was letting people down. I felt like I wasn't doing the right thing. And without like, I really want to say my son, but I'm not going to—I just have that personality that like I just want to make sure that my friends, my family and my people, my clients are just thriving like almost before. I'm always going to be like that. And in that sense, setting boundaries was really hard for me. And then also to your point of like when I'm posting that I'm off having fun and like, maybe something's not done. I will say like, I'm a very hard worker, and I always got shit.
But on that note, like, I would work crazy hours of the day and wake up at like, five in the morning, just to make sure this post went live because I didn't want this person to be mad at me. The hustle and I did not have boundaries. And I think like, where I like, I've always seen myself as a mentor, versus a mentee, in a way. I have a lot of people that are in the marketing world, more so in like the last couple of years that have approached me just for like tips and tricks and like how to kind of work with these people or what or even like, including contracts or like, what do you include in meetings, and I really, really lead with like, just make sure you have boundaries and make sure you're setting the scene and putting that container in place. Because that is gonna help you that is going to help them. And like just having that open conversation to begin with, to set the scene is one of the most important things you can do for yourself as a business owner. So now I feel like I'm better at that, but back then No way.
Diana: Boundaries, same. And you and I have been through so much where we were in phases of our lives, like basically screaming in each other's faces, like “We don't have boundaries, like we don't have”, like “Jesus Christ, what is happening to us?” Being on vacation together and just being anxious messes, because we have all of this weight on our shoulders that we put there because we didn't set expectations. And so saying like camp clarity, the first second module is boundaries. I think hustle comes from lack of boundaries. It's not about how hard you work, you can still work hard and smart, but still have boundaries, so you don't burn out.
You're not doing the 5 am, you're taking the week off, you're outsourcing the thing. And also money being boundaries, right? If you're having a $400 client for the whole month, you're probably going to be hustling your ass off to be making the money you want or need. And that's that whole thing. I love that and I think it's such a good lesson to hear that it's not all just like sunshine and rainbows and you landed and you're doing girl get after it and it's all good. It's like a lot of pivoting and shifting in that space. My question is my 15th question is, where was #GIRLGETAFTERIT? What did that actually look like? Give us a little bit more of a painted picture of what#GIRLGETAFTERIT looked like before you took that leap? And what it has evolved into including the clothing and the membership and all of that during the pandemic?
Cassidy: Oh my God, my favorite thing to talk about. Okay, so the evolution of #GIRLGETAFTERIT. So pre-pandemic, before the last couple of years,#GIRLGETAFTERIT slowly grew. Like I said, it was this side hustle is this passion project. I didn't even like work on it every week, I would say it just sort of happened when it happened. And it started as a monthly meetup series right here in Bozeman, Montana, which it's still an activation till today, which is really cool. And it was all about just meeting new people. trying new things in the wellness world. And then after kind of giving up those stickers, more and more people wanted more stickers.
And then I started to get people ask if I would put it on a t-shirt. Because yes, it's like such an empowering statement. It's so fun to say, I love it and I wanted to wrap it and I know other people did too. I started to just say yes. Sounds like yeah, I don't know how but yeah. I googled the life out of it. And I found this really cool platform called Bonfire, which is basically like a Kickstarter campaign for apparel. And I put the hashtag #GIRLGETAFTERIT logo on I think like a crewneck and a tank top. And then as long as it sold a certain number, then Bonfire would print them and ship them to whoever bought them. So I launched that first campaign, we ended up selling way over the amounts. And then I launched the next one sold over the amount again, and that kind of like sparked in me, “Okay, like this is really cool. This could be something just like something extra that goes along with this thing.”
Whatever it was, I didn't know what it was. And I didn't really refer to it #GIRLGETAFTERIT yet. In that period of things. It was still underneath my brand which was called The Wellness Rookie. So it was in that phase of like pre-gear and merch like soft launch phase and then just a monthly meetup in Bozeman, Montana for probably a solid year, I would say. And then something really cool happened is I had a couple of my friends from BU, which is a town an hour away or so they reached out to me asking if I would meet up for coffee with them to chat about the possibility of starting a group like that for them and Butte. Went out for coffee with them and we had a great conversation. And they really opened my eyes to the potential that like this is needed, not just selfishly by me, and by the people of Bozeman, but like in so many other communities, if not all of them across the country across the world.
So we launched another sort of chapter in Butte, Montana. And then we launched in three other cities across Montana and that was like year two, year three. And that was really cool to see. Because I think that was just one proof of concept proof that this could work in other areas, and people wanted this, or that also, it was like a little push for me and sort of like not pat on the back, but I need that words of affirmation. That's like my number one love language, I need words of affirmation in order to like, do big, scary things. So just seeing that from other people in my community who wanted to bring this to life was really cool. Now, at that time, all of those events and like the community model was completely free. And we hosted it on just a Facebook group, we're off that now thank God.
But it was on a Facebook group for a really long time. And things are going well like I wasn't really focused on taking growth after it's the next step yet, I was like really in it with my marketing business. And then the pandemic hit and obviously, that pandemic made in-person gatherings go nonexistent. And so that's what we did, Bozeman, here locally, we kept going to a certain degree. We took like, a few months off, and then everything was outside for a really long time, at really low capacity limits socially, distance, all of that. But a lot of people just fell off the radar as well. They didn't feel comfortable kind of going to anything in person, rightfully so. But I didn't want it to die. Like, because I believe in this so strongly. And it's changed my own life and I've seen it change others too so I wanted it to keep going.
So we did so very lightly. Also, during the pandemic, everybody, as I said earlier, sort of went through this online social connected friendliness ad that part really catapulted our business in the sense of the gear and the merchandise and the E-commerce space. And our sales went wild. I don't even know if there was like a moment that that happened. But I just like started noticing more and more orders would come in on a regular basis. I'm like, “Oh my gosh, this is really cool. Like people are actually buying from us.” Like, it's not just my friends in Montana. It's like, people from New York and people in California and all over the country. And so that catapulted e-comm which obviously helped with our cash flow and we started to dive into sort of other areas like paid social advertising, we did that for a long time.
One of my friends is an amazing ad buyer, and she helped us in that space. So that not only grew our E-commerce site but also grew our social following. And then our website started getting more hits and that sparked and hit SEO. That online space is really a unique time to kind of like leap into that. And then that was, so first-year pandemic, during that whole time we're still slowly still doing events for #GIRLGETAFTERIT. But it wasn't until this last year that I really started to look at this brand and what I wanted my life to look like. Because the first year, the pandemic 2020, and well into 21, we were so focused on E-commerce and sell sell sell like merge merge merge, which is great, but it's not what I'm passionate about and it's not what I want to be doing, and it's not what I want #GIRLGETAFTERIT to be known for.
Because that's not why I started it in the first place. I really took a look at things and I decided to make some changes. And it was sort of good timing, quote-unquote, in a way because people were starting to come out of their shell a little bit from those pandemic years. And in-person gatherings are becoming more of a normal thing, not just in Montana, but elsewhere as well. In September-August of 2021, I made the decision to completely revamp our community model. And now we've like kind of leveled things up to where it is a paid membership. And we're off of Facebook—hallelujah.
We're on a whole other platform, a whole other app, and we're starting to expand to other cities. Obviously in Montana but also outside of Montana. And then as of next month, we're going to be in 16 cities nationwide, which is nuts. It's crazy.
Cassidy: Yes, yeah. So that's another thing that is kind of fizzling away. It's still there, but it's just not as rampant as it was during that pandemic. In early 2021, we launched an online community called the Digital Squad, which basically brought the vibe feel, and fun of our in-person events into the online space to make it just more accessible to more people all over the world. And that was really awesome for the first year and now we're in kind of this phase, where we're really taking a look at where do we have like time and energy to devote to and what kind of makes us tick in the digital space isn't like the focus. We're kind of like exploring ways to sort of meld the two on keeping up with the I-R-L component, but weaving in these digital experiences on an every other month basis on Zoom events, everything from workshops, to workouts, to fundraisers, and so on and so forth. But, yeah, that's where we're at now.
Diana: So incredible. I'm curious. And I think so many of us have this dilemma of when it's time to pivot. Because some stuff again, like I know your whole story very well. And for example, you landed a Lululemon Partnership, which had never been done before, in the way that you did it. Like you could have so easily been like, “Nope, we have to keep doing clothing. This is obviously the right thing, we have to push this even though in your gut”, even if you are going back to your why and going “This isn't quite aligned with why I started this company.” How—is there any like checklist of items? Or is it truly just an act from the gut, when it's time to change things up or pivot or, “Hey, this digital squad that killed it, during the pandemic. You know what it's not working like we want it to anymore.”
And that, like ran its course. And let's leave it behind. Because we all have such an issue with leaving stuff behind like I was a photographer for so long, how am I just gonna, throw all that experience away and realize it's not really throwing it away, it's building on itself. But how do you know when it's time to do that?
Cassidy: Yeah, definitely not a checklist for me anyway. It's definitely a gut instinct and I think like looking at what you're leaving behind, not as a failure, but as like a stepping stone too. And sort of like how we're chatting earlier. There's so many twists and turns and lefts and rights in your path to your personal life, your career, your relationships, all of that. But it's like, how can you look at the next step as like the perfect step for you, rather than a failure of what you're leaving behind. And I think that was me, and kind of pivoting away from the digital squad into more in real life. But also like pivoting away from E-commerce and selling gear, even after landing a huge Lululemon partnership.
It's like, I just realized that that's not what brought me joy. And I think it was sort of a build-up of a lot of different things. Retail and having a product-based business is really hard. It's really expensive and it's a big headache, I would say. Because, earlier I mentioned, I'm recovering people pleaser, well, the retail space, like you have to please so many people, and you're never going to be able to. I think like just all of that sort of being a culmination of like, “Man, is this really what I meant to be doing, but also what I want to be doing? No.” It was a big gut check for me and just like giving myself space from it was big too. Because I'm always the type that like, “I have a goal, I have a path and I'm gonna set it and I'm gonna hit it.”
When something doesn't really go, as you assume, for me, it like is really hard for me to navigate. I really have to give myself space and time. When I start to feel like “Oh, like this gut reaction, I just have to remove myself.” I have to sort of just slowly work through the process, journal a little bit more, meditate a little bit more, and then come back to it too, and discuss it with other people those words of affirmation, even though I may know exactly what to do, just like hearing that from somebody like having conversations with you, where you're just like, “Yeah do it, go for it,” you're like, “Oh, cool.”
Diana: So what I'm hearing from you is a lot of self-trust. How did you cultivate that? Do you think you've always had it? Where did that come from? Because I think as an entrepreneur myself, self-trust has been it when you hear the big leaps which you've taken, so many, like some people have taken like a few. You've taken so many. That's usually from self-trust—knowing that we've got us, no one else is going to catch you like, It's you, right? But you have your support system, of course, all of that. Where do you think that comes from?
Cassidy: Man, I honestly think I've always sort of been that way. I just had this conversation with my mom a few months ago. And she was basically telling me that when I was a kid, she didn't even have to parent me. Like, I just did the things on my own by myself. I didn't really like to be told what to do. I always had this version in my mind of like, how things should be done, and I would just go for them. So I honestly think that it's just been sort of this innate part of me. But I also kind of think like, growing up with entrepreneurial parents, that was like a really big part of it, too, because I saw that with my own eyes from such a young age up until I was 27 years old, like I was four years ago.
Diana: That's from them?
Cassidy: Yes. Yeah.
Diana: When needed another massive hint about your sign. I love this. Okay, so a couple of other things. And then we can kind of go into the nitty-gritty of some lightning round stuff. One of the big themes of this podcast that I really want to get across is doing things differently, like coming up with creative solutions for your business. And instead of just having a blueprint of what other people are doing, for example, in the coaching world, holy shit, it's like, “Okay, well, I'm and I'm doing the same thing, but it's working for me, but one on ones, and then a group course. And I have to do this to make this.” And you have done it differently. So where have you done it differently? And what do you chalk that up to? And can you give some advice around, just problem-solving in a creative way and thinking outside yourself and outside the box of solutions? Like, “Okay, this digital membership isn't working.” Or, “Okay, I don't want to be just a clothing retailer anymore?” Or all of the above? Where does — tell me more about that?
Cassidy: Oh, my God, that's such a loaded question. So doing things differently, I think we do that in a lot of ways with #GIRLGETAFTERIT. So first off, we're a wellness brand. And I feel like we've always approached wellness in a really unique viewpoint. And I approach it from the standpoint of like, you're only as good as how supported you feel.
Diana: I love that
Cassidy: Whether it's by one person or 1000 people, and so placing a really big emphasis on community has always been our thing. I think like, starting there is like how the rest of it goes. And kind of melding in the digital aspects mixed with the retail aspects mixed with, giving back is a really big part of what we do. And how we kind of mold that into everything from workouts and workshops to the gear that we sell. Being in that space is really cool for me too, because it allows me to be creative because it has never really been done before in that way. What I like to do as far as creative problem solving also is I really do like to research brands that I look up to in this industry, but also like to see what brands are doing like totally random industries too.
There's so many parallels and inspiration that can come from what people that have nothing to do with you could like, I don't know why this comes to mind, but a car company. Like just to say how random you could get and looking at things like how they're solving problems, how they're reaching their audience, how they're marketing themselves in the online world? And like, what can you pull from that? And how can you number one, make it your own and sort of lead with that like, like I said, like how we're doing things differently, your mission statement, your why who you are as an entrepreneur and a business owner, and then gleaning with that is key too.
Diana: Totally so good. Just like instead of how can I succeed it business? It's how can I look at this through the lens of my why? It's like really going back—is this in alignment with our mission? How do we make it in line with our mission? And going back to that always like starting with that? And from there create an eight-armed business as social media consulting buying and apparel and a digital membership and collaborations. And, we're gonna work with Lululemon but also the same time a local Bozeman company, and then it all makes sense. And that's how we can be multifaceted, is we go through one lens of what our mission and our why and our core values are. Do you agree?
Cassidy: 100%. And like, one of the biggest quotes or sayings or whatever the heck it is that gets on my nerves is: find your niche.I don't know, I've never resonated with that. And I guess in a sense, like, your niche can be like, as wide or as narrow as you want, right. But for me, I'm so interested in so many different things. I call myself a multi-passionate entrepreneur. And even like, what I'm interested in as far as workouts like I love doing it all. And I've never put myself yeah, I've never just liked to put myself in a box. And I think that's just translated over into my business naturally, too. You don't really have to find your niche. So yeah, whatever feels good to you.
Diana: And I think your niche could be for you. It's like, empowering women can be a niche and then that's it. It doesn't have to be this tiny little ball. You empower women that can look 15,000 different ways. instead of being like, you know, I'm a wellness professional for women who are 30 to 35. who live in X-Y-Z, like, fuck that. Your lens that we keep talking about—that can be your niche, and then everything filters out from there. Okay, yeah. Let's get spicy for a second. So the customer is not always right. Can we talk more about that?
Cassidy: Yeah, growing up in the restaurant world, you see it all. And I don't think I ever once stood up for myself or talked back to a customer or anything in that phase of my life. And that was, like I said from the age of eight until I was 20. And I think that period is so ingrained, and so many of us that it's really hard to shake. And I think like, this entrepreneurial journey for me, has really opened my eyes to that. And really, because like, that self-trust piece is like, I know exactly who I am and what I believe in and what I stand for. And what type of a human being I am and what I put forth into my business and what it exudes, I mean, so many things. That when somebody kind of questions that or what something that doesn't make sense—I don't know how to say this.
But like, when somebody sort of like attacks that side of you, in that self-trust thing, like, “No, that's not always right.” And I think people have to realize that. And I've been so much better these last few years of standing up for myself, not in like “No, you're wrong” type of way. But like, “Hey, thank you for communicating that with me. I appreciate that insight. Your opinion means so much to us. But like here is why, or here is the lens that we're looking through,” kind of thing. And I think it just becomes more of a conversation rather than a “Yes, master”. Like an apology, and it's an apology, like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. You're so right.”
Diana: And that's one of the things this is actually a from my really good friend, Shosh, but we implemented into all of my programs now of like, not saying sorry. Aas women especially, like the amount like literally, I could be 60 seconds late, and I would come on and I'd be like “I'm so sorry.” Or even like “I'm so sorry, I interrupted,” or literally like existing we're sorry for. And it's like your sorries for when you're really sorry. And so our program’s based on Shosh’s recommendation, I don't know where she got it, but we say sexy instead of sorry. So it like becomes kind of funny where you're like, “I'm sexy. Sorry”. And it's like “Hello, yes, that's amazing.”
I guarantee you everyone on this podcast listening is a recovering people pleaser. Like yeah, the toxic clients that you and I have like they will not be named, but just like, dealt with. But we also have to realize that we allowed that. Like we enact that and maybe we have toxic tendencies, but it's our job to either filter that out, break off the relationship, have boundaries, whatever we need to do to make ourselves safe in that situation.
Cassidy: Oh, yeah, definitely. I don't think I said sorry in two years. I'm gonna steal that sexy thing. I love that.
Diana: It's super fun. I think the other thing I just learned in Colombia on this retreat was, we really have a hard time taking compliments. Also, as women will say, like, “Oh, what a cool shirt” and we'll be like, “$5 at Target.” We're like, beautiful, and it's like, God, can we just grow a backbone? The thing that I learned in Columbia was, “Hey, Cass, I love your headphones”, and you say “Thank you. It is true.” Or like, “You're beautiful.” “Thank you. It's true.” And it's just like, “Whoa, it's powerful and will, like, catch people off guard.” But it really has a ripple effect. Yeah, then they're gonna be like, that's a bad bitch.
Cassidy: You know in their mind, that's a bad bitch.
Diana: Like, I want to say that exactly. Okay, let's get into this here. So many nuggets and I love your story, because it is so multifaceted. And that's why I created Pollen because I want people to see expanders like you who are doing it differently, and who are not just like following a blueprint, that's the whole point. And also that it's not been fucking easy. Like, what a winding road this whole career stemmed from you losing your dad. That's not fucking easy and it's something you talk about and share a lot which is so powerful. So I want to quickly give a little synopsis of who you are, Cass, because we've talked about your business. Who are you as a person?
Cassidy: Yes, who am I? I am a wellness lover. I love all things wellness, I love movement for the sake of moving everything from trail running to skiing to hitting up a spin class going to yoga, you name it, I will probably try it at least once. I also love being outside. I love where I live so Montana is so lucky because we can be in the mountains i literally five minutes and see nobody but a bear which I also love just the thrill of it. I do love to travel I think as the last couple of years I have not traveled barely at all. So I'm starting to get back into that and it feels so good. Like I just got back from Bend, Oregon, which is a quick trip and a close trip but it was so fun just to be in somewhere new and I hope to do more of that as well. What else my oh without saying my sign I was just about to say that.
Diana: Okay, I feel like you were almost to that part so you can reveal and if you know your—do you know your sun your moon and your rising I check out that.
Cassidy: Yeah, I am because I don't have that memorized.
Diana: We got to talk more about this. I'm so into it now. I'm like, Yeah, okay, Lauren would be like “Cass Come on.”
Cassidy: I'm pretty sure Lauren knows my whole chart out right.
Diana: She's like, “Don't worry, I got your chart pulled up.”
Cassidy: All right so I'm a— so you want sun, moon and rising?
Diana: It'll say ascendant I think
Cassidy:Yeah. Okay. So sun I'm a Capricorn very much, very much Capricorn. I have a lot of cap in my chart.
Diana: And she has a lot of Geminis in her life. Like me.
Cassidy: Tons, tons. Geminis and Aries, just saying. Yep. So I'm a Sagittarius moon.
Diana: Me too. We're travel junkies!
Cassidy: I need to learn more about the moon and the rising and all that but okay. And then my rising I'm a Taurus.
Diana: Ooh. So yeah. Okay, you're ready for my very junior reading free. How I've had it explained. My favorite Oracle deck is The Numinous shout-out The Numinous. Go order it on Amazon, or I don't think there's a direct place to order. But that was something that helps me learn more about astrology, but it's also an Oracle Card Deck. So your sun is like your mission in life if you choose to accept it, and then your moon is how you do that thing. So for example, your Capricorn-ness is just like independence and self-trust and like doing the things and working the mountain goat, right, needing everything to be organized in a certain way and that kind of thing.
And then you do all of that through exploration and travel and de