High End Brand Brilliance w/ Steph Zahalka – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 006

Steph Zahalka She Leads She Thrives Podcast Guest | high end brand impact | Shannon Dunn | business coaching | brand strategist | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Leadership Coaching
Steph Zahalka She Leads She Thrives Podcast Guest | high end brand impact | Shannon Dunn | business coaching | brand strategist | Thrive Factor Archetypes | Leadership Coaching

In this episode Steph and I talk about

Steph Zahalka has fast become one of my favourite Queen Rulers – one of her Thrive Factor Archetypes – and is the epitome of what Steph represents as a true brand expert and strategist. But with her own Steph twist!


Steph champions branding in such a refreshing way and this is an episode that’ll get you rethinking and possibly feeling challenged about how you present yourself. That’s a good thing!


You can tune into the following topics at the times below;

0329 Who is Steph Zahalka?

1310 “You can’t see the label from inside bottle”

1459 “I don’t brand who people are. I brand the future visions”

2100 Building a brand

2942 “your brand is a whole three dimensional experience”

3123 Clarity and resilience

4201 Final gem of wisdom


Watch the recording of me introducing Steph to her Thrive Factor Archetypes

Notable quotes

Steph Zahalka She Leads She Thrives Podcast Quote | brand strategidt | high end brand | Thrive Factor leadership coaching | archetypes

Meet guest Steph Zahalka, Brand Strategist

Steph Zahalka is the CEO of Jungle Branding Co, an award-winning brand agency based on the Gold Coast Australia, serving clients around the world.


Winner of the prestigious Female Entrepreneur of the Year Stevie Award 2020 worldwide and founder of the EPIC Presence Method™, Steph has spent the last 17 years working with businesses and entrepreneurs of all sizes to transform them into high-end, premium, multi-6 and 7 figure BRANDS.


Her mission is to be the catalyst for the change-makers, leaders and those who will change the world. To help them be SEEN and HEARD and to give them the tools to be found by those they are meant to impact.


She inspires them to dream bigger, to play in the realms beyond reason, to imagine the unimaginable and to think the unthinkable – and make the moves to get them there.


Connect with Steph here

Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.


From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 


I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.


Visit ThriveFactorCo.com/links for all the latest news and offers.

Shannon  01:58

Great big hello everyone and welcome to another guest episode of She Leads She Thrives Podcast. I’m Shannon Dunn, and I’m your host. I am a long term business and leadership coach and have an obsession with thriving is one thing, we also have an obsession with talking with incredible women that are from all around the world. And that brings me to our next guest. 


Shannon  02:18

Now Steph and I met I don’t even know when it was Steph, but sometime in the last couple of years maybe in the online space, right like a lot of the women that you’ll hear me introducing and talking to on the podcast, we met online. So I am eternally grateful for the gift of technology and the kind of global networking opportunities that that provides. 


Shannon  02:38

And I know you’re something about Steph that you kind of your sassiness your kind of like vive everything about you is like she’s cool. And we chatted and like you know came and chatted into your group and talked about Thrive Factor. Some time ago, you know your archetypes. And there’s lots of cool, cool stuff happening in your world. And I’ve also love watching evolution. And I know we’re going to talk about that today because you are a branding queen, like let’s just lay it out there you have the Queen Ruler archetype as well. But you’ve definitely shifted and changed things even in the time I’ve known you. So I look forward to talking about that. 


Shannon  03:14

So before I get you to kind of come and say hello and tell us where you are and where you from originally. In case anyone gets confused with your accent and where you say you are. Let me share your official bio so we can get a kind of a vibe for who we’re talking to today. 


Shannon  03:29

So Steph is the CEO of Jungle Branding Co which is totally on brand in the background there. A brand agency based on the Gold Coast, Australia serving clients around the world. She’s a winner of the prestigious female entrepreneur of the year Stevie Awards and 2020. What a time to put yourself forward for an award. I was super impressed with that one, and founder of the Epic Presence  Method. Steph has spent the last 17 years working with businesses and entrepreneurs of all sizes to transform them into high end premium, multi six and seven figure brands. 


Her mission is to be the catalyst for the changemakers, the leaders and those who will change the world. To help them to be seen and heard and give them the tools to be found by those they are meant to impact. She inspires them to dream bigger, to play in the realms beyond reason, – you so do that. And imagine the unimaginable and to think the unthinkable and make the moves to get them there.


Shannon  04:28

It’s always cool having like listening to someone read out and kind of share your bio and talk about you I get that too. It’s like Oh yeah, that is me. Cool stuff. So beautiful woman you are on the Gold Coast to tell us where you’re from originally.


Steph  04:45

I am a California girl. All the way.


Shannon  04:51

I am a West Coast girl too. Totally. So you’ve been in Australia for some time now, haven’t you? 


Steph  04:58

Yeah moved here from San Diego in 2003


Shannon  05:02

Yeah, there you go. So you’re a local really, completely. So branding is your thing. But again, when I first connected with you there was no question in my mind about what was what you were all about. But how did you kind of get to this space? And then I want to talk a little bit in a moment about how you’ve evolved to really own the high end space. But firstly, how did you get into branding and leading the business that you have been leading for so long now?


Steph  05:29

It’s a long entrepreneurial journey. I am old, older than I look.


Shannon  05:34

Nothing wrong with that.


Steph  05:36

San Diego, we used to run nightclubs and I was a graphic designer and all the flyers got spread around town. So I started doing graphics for the restaurants, nightclubs, and flyers and stuff back when passing out flyers and leaving them on windshields was a thing.


Steph  05:54

Online, maybe even like the beginnings of MySpace. So and then, so I started graphic design company. And then when we moved to Australia, because as I guess, any alien, if you call it that, I was not allowed to work. So I had to keep all my clients from overseas, did everything online, over email, started doing websites, and then I just moved to the Gold Coast from Perth. And yeah, started a graphic design, web design and logo design company with printing as well.


Shannon  06:33

There you go. There you go. So you really have had, like, seen an evolution in your industry. And I, it makes me think that every now and again, I’ll drop in when I’m talking to a lot younger kind of business women that I started my business before we had Facebook, and they kind of looked at me with this shock and horror of like, you mean, there was no social media? That’s right. You’re the same.


Steph  06:56

Yeah, we had to go networking, we had to do DL drops, advertising like the back of a magazine.


Shannon  07:06

So it’s kind of hard to believe because so many people that we interact with as business owners have no understanding of what that’s like, and what networking was like old fashioned style. Yeah, where you literally were handing around business cards. And that was the only way to connect with someone was via their email if they had it on there. Yeah, yeah. It was crazy. Funny, too, if I’m using that. So all these years later, when was a what was there? I guess via what was there a catalyst for you to decide that high end was your thing? 


Steph  07:42

Well, if I may, before I got to the high end stuff, I, I was really, I had a chronic illness, and I had it for 10 years. So I was always in pain, and then ended up being a code blue in the hospital, emergency surgery. So not being able to network anymore. And then I also had a baby. So I was like, Okay, I can’t network, I need to learn how to market a different way. 


Steph  08:06

So I had to learn. I learned Facebook ads, I learned how to make funnels, I was the funnel queen for a while, you know, doing websites for people. Just I started being this jack of all trades and doing all these things for all these people. And then I, the older you get, the more you work with people, the more you realize, like you can’t just jump, start a business and then jump to high end that’s you really have to know who you don’t like to work with, and who you like to work with what you actually don’t really like to do in your business and what you do. 


Steph  08:40

So that’s why when I work with people, they have to have been in business for a while, because otherwise you just really have no idea what you really like.


Shannon  08:49

Yeah, and I think, a lot of people can actually spend, I guess a lot of time in that space of not really knowing where they’re at, and where you guess who they like to work with, who they don’t like to work with and have kind of even any idea of what a brand is,


Steph  09:07

I do a lot of educating. Yeah, so, so it started off like where I’m doing these logos and websites and business cards for people. But then what? Yeah, they start a business, they need these particular things. It’s like on the list of what you do when you start a business back in the 90s and or 2000s, you know, before social media, and then it’s like, well, now what now? Where are all the clients? Where did they come from? So learning all the things I’ve learned and knowing that okay, I really want to take my, like, perfected my methodology is like I need to put myself through this right, so I did it and I definitely it’s a lot easier to hand over a questionnaire than to do one. 


Steph  09:08

Did you have moments where you’re answering your own questions and I, why did I put that in there?


Steph  10:02

No, it was good. It was in there. They’re hard to answer though it really opened your mind in a really like different like 10 different ways. It’s really good. I love it, but definitely easier to give them out. But it came from like, Okay, so now what are these people do? So I don’t just do logos, and business cards and website. So that’s how it evolved into branding. Because branding, you need a strategy, you need a foundation. If you don’t have these things, a business card and a logo. It’s like building a business on quicksand. Right? They just spray and you’re like,


Shannon  10:36

They’re like token visual expressions, aren’t they? But they don’t really mean anything without the rest of it. 


Steph  10:42

Yeah, you can’t see the entire picture of a puzzle without all the pieces. Yeah, you can only see a few pieces. It could be like 100 different things, you know, when you’re finished. So it evolved into just niching down to branding and really mastering my craft, like devoting all my time to learning everything and mastering it. 


Steph  11:04

And then you know, you learn from clients, good clients, bad clients, good experiences, everything is needed. That’s why being a business for a while is it’s different working with someone who’s been around a while because they’ve learned a lot of lessons. Yes, good and bad, and refined accordingly. It’s not failing, it’s data collecting and then tweaking what you’ve got. So it’s gets more perfect to perfect refined constant refinement.


Shannon  11:29

Yeah, I think yeah. We think just quickly about your Thrive Factor archetypes and Mentor Teacher that you and I both have, know that every single experience we have is a lesson value. And it might feel like or be labeled from an outside perspective as a failure. But I’m like, No, it’s not. If I learned something from that which you can learn from everything, then you’re it’s a value, even if it makes you feel crappy while you’re going through it.


Steph  11:53

Yeah, while you’re in it, it sucks. I don’t want to do this anymore. But once you get past that, you’re like, oh, okay, I can get I can deal with this. And that also builds resilience, which you need as an entrepreneur to keep going every time you crash, you know?


Shannon  12:12

Yeah, totally, totally. So then what was the point where you got to, you know, high end? Like developing your own high end brand. So that you could then also, I feel like, that’s kind of a credibility piece to be able to create high end brands in collaboration with your clients, because you kind of like you and I both see stuff online, all the time, things that we often message each other about, and we’re going to have to tackle different things. But also there’s that when someone’s kind of pitching something that’s a certain level, and yet their own expression is so far off that you’re like you that you kind of you can’t lean into it.


Steph  12:50

Yes. Yeah, putting myself through my own process. And then really getting clear. The older I get, the more I want. Simplify, simplify, get rid of everything, just do branding. And now I hired a business strategist to really nail down my methodology.


Steph  13:10

And it’s made me realise, obviously, because I think it’s always good to have some sort of strategist, mentor, coach, at some point. You don’t have to spend a fortune or anything but just having outside perspective, because you can’t see the label from inside the bottle. That I am actually really, really good at what I do, like really good and my clients results like it’s not always measured in “I had a $30,000 month” you know, straight after you work with me, although I have had clients who did $136K week after we launched a new brand with their masterclasses, programs and VIP, that’s amazing. But it’s about the long term thing, you know. I lost my train of thought.


Shannon  13:59

Okay, so I can jump in there because it makes me think stuff that, you know, branding, like a lot of aspects of the successful strategies to take forward for business. Branding is not a one time thing. You do it really well, you refine it. Yeah, make sure it’s on point kind of thing. And it’s about sustainability, right. It’s about the long term impact that you can create by having a presence. It’s not just visual goes beyond the visual. 


Steph  14:27

Totally. And I remembered I was gonna say. I realized that I am really good at this. And I’m really good at designing high end looking stuff and the strategies behind speaking to a more elevated audience, finding that premium audience because somebody will buy it every single price point and being able to position yourself, look the part when they stalk you., sound the part and so you can really be this future vision. 


Steph  14:59

I don’t brand who people are. I brand the future visions so they have something to step into, evolve into, grow into. That’s what probably one of the unique things that I do because I do a lot of stuff intuitively as well. And my whole process takes you through to where it’s just a natural evolution and we take off straight at this higher point. So you immediately raising your prices, you’re immediately understanding your unique genius and signature process. 


Steph  15:32

So you can become high end as well, or premium, whatever that looks like to you $200K to one person could be $2000 to another. So it’s all about you. And it’s totally unique, like a fingerprint. And that’s when I realized, like, I can do this for myself, I can embody this and stepping into the vibes, and I love it, I’m obsessed with it. It’s so much fun and juicy. And then my clients know that she knows what she’s talking about. Because she’s doing it, I’m watching her do it.


Shannon  16:03

That’s a totally it’s, it’s you are truly living it. And, you know, I’d like to think that we could say that about more people that are out there, you know, and we have claimed to have a brand, that they’re really truly authentically living an expression of who they are. But there’s no question that you’re doing that. 


Shannon  16:22

And I love that I can tell how much fun you’re actually having. It doesn’t look like a process driven. This is what I said I was going to do and look like and say like, these are the language I’m going to use is like, No, this is actually Steph. 


Shannon  16:36

Yeah. Which is so good. Because, you know, one of your other archetypes is the Shapeshifter Alchemist, which is the archetype they can have challenges with visibility. But instead of kind of been caught in the veils of I’m not really sure who I’m going to be today, because I’m chopping and changing and be whoever I feel like, you’ve kind of used that to your advantage in many regards, and shown up as the grounded like enigma, if that makes sense. Yeah, I’ve got a bit of edge, who got a little bit of this and that. And you know, but it all comes together so that there isn’t any question about who you are.


Steph  17:11

Yeah. And it’s all based on your personality. So you can be all the things and still be on brand.


Shannon  17:17

Yeah, totally. Yeah. And the fact that you’ve gone for that high end vibe is in line with your Queen Ruler archetype. Because she is, right. I remember when I entered like, we were chatting about your archetypes ages ago now. And you’re like, Yeah, of course, I get that Queen thing. Like it was kind of such a cute kind of response that you had, like, yes, that is me. But I’m kind of maybe still owning it.


Steph  17:42

I’ve stepped into it. . 


Shannon  17:44

Oh, you certainly have. So you talked about using your intuition in the work that you’re doing. But that I would imagine would be one part of what makes the branding experience with you quite unique. But what else is there like, tell us more about, you know how you’re different to everyone else out there who’s claiming that they can you know, they’re a branding specialist or strategist or whatever they call themselves.


Steph  18:08

I do a lot of market research. And I look at what all the other branding people are doing, even though they say don’t look at your competitors. I always like to see what’s new, what’s up.


Shannon  18:18

I often say to clients, they’re like, Oh, “I got into that comparison” thing. It’s like, you can look, but use it for inspiration, not for comparison.


Steph  18:27

And yeah, to see, you know, also to really help yourself feel better about how different you are as well. I have my methodology starts with energetics. And I don’t know many people doing that with branding, because it’s about your vibe and your energy. 


Steph  18:41

At the end of the day the online space is just loads of information. And everybody’s looking the same, standing the same. So how can you with only so many colors on the chart, with only so many fonts that people use, with only so many words that people can use for their programs or whatever it is they’re doing? How do you stand out and it’s, there’s a vibe and an energy to this as well. And that comes into it along with the future visioning. 


Steph  19:08

So I like I said I designed for the future vision brand, not who you are now because if I do who you are now what you see now is past, you’ve already manifested it. So there’s nothing for you to step into nowhere for you to grow and evolve and to light that fire under your ass. You know? 


Steph  19:26

So that’s also what I do different and I do the design work completely at the end. I don’t start with that. I don’t ask people. Okay, do you like, you know, what’s your favorite font? Or what colors do you like? And you know, things like that. I don’t give people a choice of logos. You don’t get six to choose from where you can then go to a group and ask everybody and their brother what their opinion is when they have no idea about you, which is one of my pet peeves.


Shannon  19:55

Yes, yes, I totally get that and I don’t even have to work anywhere kind of near the branding space to understand how you feel. Because when I say anything like that, the visuals I saw a lot when I was first self publishing books, was the what do you think I should choose for my book cover. through to the brand, through to What colours do you like best? Through to what price do you think I should, you know, make this thing.


Steph  20:19

You might as well ask your dog to point to one is like smells better to him, right? People have no idea like these brands are birthed and created out of me based on the entire process I go through before I hit the design. 


Steph  20:38

And then I do you know, nail down the positioning like I don’t know a lot of people, they talk about market positioning, but they’re just like, they don’t really dive into that at all. And I really want to know where you want to sit, how much you want to charge, who the people that are going to pay you, how you look good to them, how you sound to them. It’s a whole range of things. 


Steph  21:00

And then I dive into this abstract crazy questioning that I get into during the workshop where the questions that I ask people are like, what? That’s crazy. I’ve never heard anybody ask that before. It’s out of this world left, like straight up left turn, abstract, but it’s really paints a picture for me and for them. And they’re just like, wow, I never thought of it like this. And then it gives me this. Like, I’ll know more about this brand then they do by the end of it. Do you know what I mean? 


Steph  21:33

And then not to mention their minds are blown open with everything they learn. And the question that we go through not only do we use it to build this and create this brand, they now have a document that will give them content ideas for like a year. Yeah, all you have to do is look at one little question and answer and then they can write posts for a week on one little thing.


Steph  22:02

And then I don’t make you write your mission statement, your vision statement. During our workshop, the questions I ask, I have this uncanny ability intuitive, I don’t know what it is, to extract things from you and just type out your statements, your vision statements, your positioning, all content for your website, for whatever you’re using, you can just use them. I develop the whole brand guide, but I do it, you don’t have to do it. 


Steph  22:27

The only thing you have to do is show up. With the workshop, which we do together, I create everything. My mood board, vision board, colors, that’s another process on Zoom, where we do everything live, there is no emailing no back and forth. It’s done right then in there, I open up Photoshop, we share a screen, I do everything. So when we get off the call, it’s done. 


Steph  22:54

Next stage, same thing. And then I do my presentation, have everything all my design programs open anything that needs to be changed, which hasn’t happened yet. Everybody’s instantly in love what I create, because there’s a reason for every little swish swash mark, I define it, I tell you what it all means. Everything has a reason behind it. And they’re just like, holy shit. The cry, they jump up and down.


Shannon  23:21

I don’t need to ask you is anyone been unhappy? Because you just answered that before I even had a chance to ask you. 


Steph  23:26

You don’t even need to make changes. Like I think once I had to change the color of font from navy blue to black, and that was it, I do it live right there. So when we get off the phone, it’s done, what you’re getting, and then I give you everything into the folder as we go, so you can use it as your heart’s content. You don’t have to wait months for anything. And I can do this whole thing in 30 days.


Shannon  23:48

Yeah. Amazing. So there’s efficiency, it’s such a genuine reflection of the kind of the soul of the person that you’re working with or the business you’re working with. Right


Steph  24:02

Soul extractor and turn it into a visual brand. And strategy foundation.


Shannon  24:10

Love it. Love it. I am looking forward to kind of getting it a sense of some of the brands that you have worked with you can tell me later, I can go and go What were they like before and what kind of where are they now that they’ve been Steph’d? 


Steph  24:27

I had a really really good compliment. She said this more than once publicly post that. She can never tell who I’ve done because nothing there is nothing in anyone’s brand that has anything that they can tell that I had a hand in it because it’s their brand. It’s their fingerprint, it’s their soul not mine. 


Steph  24:49

I look at brands and be like I know who designed that.  You can’t tell with mine. You would have no idea who I’ve designed. They are also different And that was the coolest thing. 


Shannon  25:03

Yeah, no, that is because you’re right. It’s once you’ve been like you and I have in the business space for some time, and being online where we see a lot of visual sharing, you can kind of go right that and that and that and that and that, like all these different businesses, or kind of, you know, a header image for a program, someone’s running our master class, they all start to look the same. 


Steph  25:30

They all look the same.


Shannon  25:32

The font is the same. The colors are the same. The background imagery is the same. The kind of the language used in the messaging is the same as like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. This is not good. 


Shannon  25:43

So you know, what we do when that happens, right, is that we lean back, and we’re just like, I’m not kind of like, No, there’s nothing about that that’s calling me in making me want to find out more because I can’t really tell what this there is that’s different or unique or enticing about what’s on offer. Yeah. 


Shannon  26:03

Fascinates me that there, though, that there is almost been like a trend. Can we say that of brands? Or brands? I’m doing inverted commas for anyone who’s listening and not watching the video part of this, that have so much become a clones of each other? Yeah. 


Shannon  26:26

Well, what’s your kind of thoughts on the how to, I guess, shock people back into themselves and to kind of connect in with their own style, their own expression, rather than, “Oh, that person seems to be doing really well. Or they’re really successful that if I make everything I’m creating look like that I’m obviously going to go down the same path”, which is we know is you and I know is not going to be the truth. How what how would you work with someone who’s  fallen into that? Looking like everybody else thing.


Steph  26:57

Well, if I’m gonna work with someone who’s in that category, they’re reaching out because they don’t want to be in that category. The only way to jump out of that really is they need someone – anyone – to point out their differences. They need to know what makes them unique. Because they’re all they all take a course. And then they all go away and say the same thing. They take a course and go ahead and say the same thing. It’s like little armies of coach clones running around. 


Steph  27:27

Take note, and then it’s all about the sale like transaction. Oh, I made $50K  month or $50K a week. Cool. Okay, now, are you going to be able to do that, again, are your clients going to be happy when they’re done with you? Do you even know what you’re going to tell them after you’ve made the sale, that’s the problem. 


Steph  27:43

It’s like, it’s when you work with me we figure out what your results are with your clients and how they’re going to feel after working with you make sure that you can actually deliver. 


Steph  27:52

And, you know, another point of difference with me is I’ve got a red carpet client experience that I put them through. So they all feel like they’re a premium, they’re treated like it. And that’s, they can take that and get inspiration and we can create a client experience for them, which is just another tick on the box for being high end. 


Steph  28:12

And it doesn’t mean you have to look like you fell out of a magazine or you have to look like everyone else to be high end. It’s almost like these people have jumped into quit their job to become a coach and they really have no idea. So they’re just doing whatever they see online without having a clue of branding and their version of branding is their program graphics. Yeah, that’s not branding. Always love your branding, or your branding is on fire. That’s not branding. That’s a f**** flyer. Sorry.


Shannon  28:47

Always someone that was gonna swear to you, right? And this is where it can get used as the impassioned part of Steph coming out, right? No, I understand. You know, when people like I have to get my brand sorted, I’ve got to get a logo designed. And as I said, I’m not a branding strategist. I’m not a graphic designer, but I have a real – what’s the word? – respect for brand and respect for design. Because I love it so much. 


Shannon  29:12

And I guess the artist in me understands it in a different kind of a way to a lot of business people. I’m like, oh, and I was like, God, if that’s where we’re starting, we’ve got a lot of work to do, right? If that’s where people but you when you think someone comes into a business, and maybe they’ve only ever been an employee, and they’ve heard branding talked about as the logo or the font, or they’ve seen a brand guide, and all that’s talked about is the color and the font, and a word that you’re allowed to use or not use. You can kind of understand how they have no idea.


Steph  29:42

Branding could be considered like the stuff that people see and consume, but your brand is a whole three dimensional experience. It’s the perception people have it’s the judgments they make when you’re not speaking to them. So you have to make sure you’re intentional about every single touchpoint. Your logo is the last thing like no one’s gonna hire you because you have a cool logo. The logo is the least important as a designer, like starting off as an artist and designer, it’s like weird to say, but your logo really is not that important. It is once you have your whole brand sorted.


Shannon  30:24

yes, it may get as you said, it becomes a one of those pieces of that puzzle that slots in.


Steph  30:29

And then it’s recognition and something people see. And they get to know and they realize like, Okay, I’ve seen this around, but they won’t even stop to get to know that logo until they get the vibes of you and what you’re saying and your messaging and your voice and how you speak to people and a whole array of things.


Shannon  30:49

It’s everything, isn’t it completely, so Steph,  we’ve both mentioned more than once now that, you know, we’ve both been in business for some time, like having the opportunity to have some kind of sat back and taken on board the different, I guess the different ways that success is shown in the world. 


Shannon  31:10

What do you think it really takes to be successful as an entrepreneur? Like, you know, what’s your view of that? What have you seen? What are the trends you’ve seen come and go? What’s the reality thats stuck and been sustainable?


Steph  31:23

I think no matter what you’re going to do, or how many times you pivot, or change your mind, do all the things narrowed down to one, do more things do something else. I think, clarity. Now being crystal clear on what it is you’re actually doing at this time, and where you want to go with it. Being clear on a whole range of things is a game changer. It’s totally underrated. 


Steph  31:50

Because your decisions are easier. You know which direction to go, everything just becomes easier. Because people can pick up on that, like, she’s like crystal clear, I don’t have any questions. I’m not confused, I don’t have doubts. Which then leads into confidence, you have to have confidence. If you’re gonna sit and be shy, you should probably maybe have a different brand on the front. Maybe not be an entrepreneur Got to have confidence. 


Shannon  32:20

I remember being at a conference some years ago, and there was a group of women in business there that were creatives. And there was a lot of talk about being very introverted, being like what do you mean, I have to be the face of my business. And they were all kind of sole traders or in their businesses by themselves. And a lot of them are like horrified at the thought that they may ever have to show their face or speak in any kind of way to express and to market and share what they were selling, which was a range of lots of mostly product businesses of that group. And so the term that was coined around what they were actually doing was “shy marketing”. But there was variations like of extreme shy, you’re never going to ever see me ever to you might see a kind of a still of me, maybe if I’m feeling like I’m on a good day, but I might not probably ever say anything. But lot of that was because there was a lack of clarity and a lack of confidence. So it’s interesting that you talk about those two things.


Steph  33:20

You used to be able to get away with not showing your face. But now the more the global economy. Everything is online. People want to see who they’re buying from, and they want to speak to at some point or even if they are never talking to you, they just buy something through a payment link, they buy it, they do it and they consume it. There still has to be an element of confidence behind the sales page or the offer or whatever, like in your work on the underneath layers of the vibe, whether or not they see you and your visible confidence. There has to be the confidence in what you’re selling to make the sale. Yeah, otherwise it will end up. I mean, it won’t grow anywhere. You’ll probably just keep making your little sales as you go. And that’s all it is.


Shannon  34:17

we’ve got clarity and confidence. What’s the next one?


Steph  34:19

Resilience. Yes. tenacity and resilience. Yeah, gotta be able to roll with the punches. Yeah, learn your lessons and keep going. Even if you have to take a week off. To cry or whatever you need to do sit under your desk rocking back and forth. You have to be able if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, take the punches and get up and keep going. 


Shannon  34:44

Totally. there’s so much value in resilience. And I was just messaging with someone else that I know quite well online in the online space just in the last couple of weeks. And she was talking about the key things that she felt were important for being in business and then was sharing a story us how she received some feedback that she felt was kind of very personalized, and unwarranted. it had a really nasty tone to it. And I would say she’s quite resilient. Yeah, it was a horrible thing to go through. 


Shannon  35:13

But it’s possible any of us could go through some kind of feedback like that at any point in time, right. And I said to her, you know, what, I think one of the biggest things that all of us could benefit from in business more than the kind of the skills of like, how do you market and how do you get clients and all that kind of how do you price is resilience. So I love that you’ve talked about that. Yeah. Because it’s so much more than in kind of regular life, right?


Steph  35:37

Yeah. Well, you have to be able to roll with the, like, if you’re an employee, and someone makes a complaint, you’re like, Oh, well, I’m just receiving it on the phone. It’s not my company, I go home at the end of the night. With us like, knots in your stomach, you feel like you want to puke, you’re stressing out going, Oh, my God, the client is so pissed off. What am I going to do? You throw money out of your own pocket to fix it? Yeah, working extra, you’re freaking out, like, and then you get through it. And you’re like, ah, but that’s like, nother notch. You know what I mean? I’m like, Yep, I’ve got that one under my belt, I can make it through this, if it ever happens again.


Shannon  36:16

Yeah, because every new experience that we could face that may have a not so great tone to it, when you can recollect a time where you’re not necessarily went through the same thing, but felt the same, a similar way. You can go, you know what I got through that. And this is what I learned from it. And this is, so this is what I can bring in this time. So you know, that’s the the joy of resilience. So they’re really great things to consider. I love it. 


Shannon  36:41

So I’ve got some questions, I’m going to ask every one of the guests on the podcast. So put you kind of in the hot seat for now for a moment. And really to bring us back into the themes of She Leads She Thrives which is around self leadership, and really looking at what thriving really means to us. So we’ll start with the first question is, you know, what role does leadership play for you in your life and business?


Steph  37:05

Leadership? I, I try the stuff that I do for my clients, I try it first. I lead myself, I do it, I give it a go. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes it doesn’t sell. That’s okay. I stop talking about it and talk about the next thing. But it gives me a whole database full of things that I can work with my clients and say, You know what, you can try this. This is what I did. It didn’t work. Maybe you could tweak it for this or. 


Steph  37:39

Yeah, leadership is huge. I’m an Aries. So I’m just a natural born leader. Yes. And I can I like taking charge leading, but also open to other people’s feedback and not just bossy, you know, like, taking on board what everybody has to say. But leading the way. So I think leadership is is very important. Because if you’re just a follower and a copycat, then…


Shannon  38:08

Well no, uou end up with as one of those clones that we talked about before, right? For sure, for sure. So the next question I have for everybody is how do you know you’re thriving? Like how do you know when you’re thriving? What does that look like for you Steph?


Steph  38:22

Thriving for me, is the fact that Oh, God just like wanting to do a list of things. Let me see how I’m going to what order am I going to put this in? Thriving for me is being able to do my client work, have my clients be absolutely stoked, happy seeing their face light up, and I still have free time to go walk the dog up for an hour walk with my husband on the beach, go to lunch with some girlfriends, go shopping, lay on the couch, work on my own stuff. I have time, I have freedom,  I’m not worried about money. Like I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m joyful all the time. Like everything that happens I can just turn around and look and just be life is just so goddamn good. I wake up in the morning happy as, I go to sleep happy as, that’s thriving. Even though there’s ups and downs and roller coasters and I still have to market and show up. Still tired and grumpy sometimes. The fact that life is just amazing is I think, yeah, I’m healthy happy.


Shannon  39:37

Yeah, that’s good.


Steph  39:38

I love my clients. I love what I do.


Shannon  39:41

I think there’s opportunity one of the guests that I spoke to just recently who’s going to be like you are on the show live very soon said to me oh my goodness. Imagine when you if you took out all the answers to these questions and turn them into their own episode. I was like, maybe because then that would also be so interesting. To hear the similarities, but also the nuances between everyone’s answers, because we are so unique and individuals. And while we may have similar things that fall into, you know, well how, you know, what role does leadership play? And what does thriving mean? We’re also going to have our own take on it. So that’s really cool. So I have one final question. But before we get to that one, the most important thing right now is where can people connect with you? Like, where can they find you?


Steph  40:28

You can find me on social media. Facebook, my personal profiles, where I do all my business, so Steph Zahalka, so search for me, I’ve also got business page, but those are pretty much ghost towns lately on Facebook.


Shannon  40:45

I find the minds mind spin a little bit more active than putting any more content. But yeah, I was so surprised that all sudden interact to be on my Facebook page. That’s good. But I will keep putting content on there. But yeah, the personal profiles are doing much better.


Steph  40:59

Yeah, I would, I’m on Instagram, but I’m not there very often. I don’t like the direction it’s going so much. I used to love scrolling all the images, but now they’re, it’s like TikTok.


Shannon  41:13

The images move too much. And they can sometimes be noisy. .


Steph  41:16

My website. And I’ve also got a branding mini series, that’s free to watch at the moment. So people go binge on it. They’re all like 10 minutes, nine minutes. 11 minutes.


Shannon  41:28

Yeah, your content is great. So we will make sure anyone who is listening in that all the links to find stuff will be in the show notes, which are always going to be on my website thrivefactorco.com. If you go to the blog, you’ll be able to find the different episodes. 


Shannon  41:44

And if anyone ever has a problem connecting with one of our guests, just reach out to myself or Team Thrive Factor and we will make sure that you can find these fabulous individuals. Okay, Miss Steph, final piece of wisdom you’d like to share with the ambitious ingenious souls that are tuning into She Leads She Thrives.


Steph  42:01

Oh, final bit of wisdom. Don’t wait to do your branding. Nice, because a lot of people look at it as Oh, I’ll do that later. Or I’m not ready yet. I have to figure out a few things before I do it. Oh, I’ll get on a call with you. You know, when you know when I feel a bit more ready, or it’s like all this later thing. 


Steph  42:28

And it’s weird, because branding is what gets you to that later thing. Branding is what gets you the money that you can then invest. Branding is what gets you to make you feel like you’ve made it so you’re ready for this stuff. Branding is what gives you the whole like, it’s what helps you figure those things out that you think you’re waiting for before you call me. Know, we figure this out, we build the mansion, I don’t decorate a room in your favorite room in your rental unit. 


Steph  43:00

I build you the mansion, then we build the rooms, and we fill it with people and then I decorate it. It’s your mansion, built on solid ground so it won’t fall it won’t shake. It’s not quicksand. 


Steph  43:13

Don’t wait, because there’s a reason that all of the successful, big money making businesses invest in branding. And they do it really early. All do it. And if you’re not doing it, you’re focusing on the wrong things. It makes your marketing easier, makes your sales easier. It makes the people that work for you more cost effective. It makes your decision making easier, it makes you talking about what you do, and having people love you and want to pay you all of that clicks into place when you understand your brand. So do not wait. It’s a now thing. So, thats my piece of wisdom.


Shannon  43:52

Got that. It was an extra level of kind of impassioned energy in your voice sharing that. Yeah. And you follow Steph online for any amount of time that the same beautiful energy and passion and energy will come through. What do you mean, you know, you can’t spend time with you, Steph and go I’m not really sure why I need branding because you are so clear about it, as you said educating people about the value of it and that yeah, don’t wait. So it’s very, very cool. 


Shannon  44:23

So my beautiful friend, thank you so much for being here and being a guest on she She Leads She Thrives. I look forward to sharing your episode and sharing you with the world as we followers all and listeners all the time. Listeners, thank you for tuning in and listening to Steph and I have a chat today. I hope that you really got what she said about branding. Like there’s some really cool nuggets of wisdom there to take action on and you know, you don’t have to necessarily let the fear I think another thing that I hear Steph is a fear of but I can’t afford to do branding, or I can’t afford  branding to do it like to do it properly, so I just won’t do it at all. And no, I would disagree with that as well and suggest that someone speak to someone like you and find out what the process is and where they can start. So they’re not doing nothing waiting for that magical time in the future that probably will never arrive.


Steph  45:18

Yeah, yeah. If the everybody waited till they’re already no one would have kids. No one would do anything. You got to do it. And there’s always different price points. There’s different entry levels all the way up to the high end. Just got to get it going.


Shannon  45:35

No hesitation people, no hesitation. So thank you everyone for listening. And thank you again, Steph. Have a beautiful day wherever you are listening to us from in the world and I look forward to being back with another episode very soon.

Thank you

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.


Aside from this podcast, my favorite place to hang out online is definitely Instagram. So come and join me shannon_thethrivefactor and know my DMs are always open for genuine questions and connections.


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