Mahrukh Imtiaz

erin Baker_35_11zon

S1-EP002: How to do what YOU love and get PAID for it with Erin Baker – Part 1

“The more I accept all of me, the vulnerable parts, the powerful parts, the darks, the lights, all of that, the less I give a shit of what other people think.” – Erin Baker

#002 – In this episode Erin and I discuss how we can start creating the life we want despite all the fears we face. We talk through how we attract the right people through our content, how vulnerability can be bad and why we need to give ourselves permission to be imperfect.

This is part 1 of the two-part series. Hope you enjoy the episode!

Have a question/comment or just want to chat? Email me  at [email protected]

Highlights from this episode: 

[2:47] Erin: It baffles my mind on a regular basis that people pay me to do this work
[3:40] 90 day Facebook live challenge
[7:46] Feeling like there is nothing to say
[9:50] The curse of knowledge[12:42] Difference between I don’t like this because it’s not fun vs I don’t like this because I am afraid.
[17:45] Erin: I am in a place where I am very clear on why I am doing what I am doing
[22:07] Carry it as a rule that you post every day
[24:10] Quantity vs Quality
[26:11] Practicing vulnerability
[29:29] Erin: We can’t draw people to us if we are not willing to share our own stories

Connect with Erin: 

Shift Starters Podcast

A bit about Erin:

Dr. Erin Baker is a transformational coach and strategic advisor to high-performing, heart-centered leaders and entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact in the world while also creating a life they love.
Erin exceeded the 200k revenue mark in 2020 from their coaching practice.
Erin hosts a podcast called Shift-Starters and runs a membership based Facebook group.

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Mahrukh Imtiaz: Welcome to the spicy Chai podcast, a podcast for content creators. Today’s guest is one that I met three years ago at a conference, a conference called forefront. I met them in an elevator and they casually mentioned that they worked at Facebook, I was instantly impressed. 

So I followed them around, tried to be buddies with them. And at the end of the conference, ask them if they’d be like, if they’d like to be in a mastermind group with me. To my surprise, they said, Yes, three years later, we meet on a weekly zoom call with two other friends of ours. 

And it’s been amazing. But that is not why Erin is on this show. You see, Erin actually quit Facebook. The reason I was actually very impressed with her right after the conference. And then she joined Yammer and she quit Yammer right after she has had the courage to make one gutsy move after another to follow her heart. And that is why I respect her so much. 

Two years later, she’s hit a 280k revenue mark. She’s had one on one coaching clients that have been booked, she has a waitlist for them. She’s running a successful podcast, she has an engaged group of followers on Facebook. And honestly, above all these accomplishments, she’s one hell of a human, Erin, and I’m so excited to have you on the show. Welcome.

Erin Baker: Well, thank you. And that is a hell of a list of accomplishments. It’s so fun to have somebody reell them back to you. And I have to say, even since you saw the last post, I have crossed 300k. Meaning it’s not it’s all assigned and clients for next year, but it’s yeah, it’s incredible, having left a very lucrative corporate salary behind to take this leap of faith. 

And really, like you said, follow my heart and do something that really matters to me, and then also be able to be paid for it. Like just baffles my mind on a regular basis. If people pay me to do this work.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I know. And that’s, that’s the dream, right? That’s for ones one wants to go for it, hey, I want to do something that I love, and I want to be paid for it. And this is where I remember, I mean, I remember you posting regularly on Facebook, even like before you were really in the entrepreneurship world. So yes, posting was something that came a bit like more naturally to you. Is that correct? Or

Erin Baker:  Yes and no, actually, that’s a really good thing to dive into. Because, yeah, what you see on the external, right is very different than my internal experience. And then we that happens with all of us humans, right, is that we see other people’s, you know, outsides and our insides are like, Ah, why am I so not like that person? 

So yeah, I posted on Facebook. And in fact, I, when I worked at Facebook, I worked on the team that cared about the posting experience, and I worked on launching Facebook stories to the world. And yet, I have not a natural poster, or share, or I don’t know what you want to call it in, in the content creation world, but it does not come naturally to me. 

Partially, I think I am an introvert. And I’m an only child. And so I grew up most of my life, in my own head playing by myself conversations with myself, it’s just not a thing. And so there was some natural sharing that I did. And at the same time, it was a muscle I really had to develop. 

And something that I’ve been saying a lot, even more recently is I noticed I was blocked again. So I actually signed up for some programs to help me get back into it. And what I noticed is it’s kind of like when you turn off a faucet, like you’ve had the pipes cleared, right, and you turn the water back on, and it takes a minute and it drips, and it drips and then all of a sudden the water comes and gushes out and all of a sudden you have all these ideas. 

That’s the place I’m sitting in now is now that I’ve trained my muscle or metaphorically turn the water back on. The more I post, the more ideas I get. So I often tell people who are working with me as clients like action is actually where you want to be action creates the creativity, or the content, thoughts or action even kind of creates clarity in some senses of what you want to talk about. So I think it’s a misnomer for or not misnomer, but misleading to think that content creation, for the people that you’re following always comes naturally.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah. And that’s what’s really interesting about you because you did a 30 day live Facebook challenge was it 30, 90?

Erin Baker:  90, I did 90 days yes and live.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Were you with Facebook, you were live and you were just recording yourself. And here you’re saying posting doesn’t come naturally to you. So you just put yourself in a position, which is like a step ahead post, you can still edit live, you can’t say yes through that, like, how do you see yourself in those situations.

Erin Baker:  I’m, I’m a natural risk taker. In some senses, I’m actually very motivated by not risk. But I would say, instead of putting myself in those situations, this is why I love coaching, this is why I am a coach, I wouldn’t have done that on my own. B

ut I said something to my coach, when this was about a year, a little over a year and a half ago, at this point of, I really, I, I have a PhD in psychology, I have so much knowledge about how humans behave, I have so much knowledge from my Facebook days, and I said something that sounds in retrospect really silly, which was, I have nothing to say, I have no idea what to say. 

And it’s actually more that I have this ocean of knowledge, right, and I can’t figure out where to grab the right coral reef to focus on. So she just said, Go live for 90 days. And I went, huh? What? And I will say, I don’t know of how you feel about swearing on the show, but I’m gonna swear I said to her, 

I was I really wanted to say fuck you to her. Because the last thing I wanted to do, as an introvert as someone who’s shy, was go live. I had left behind my academic training. And so I didn’t want my academic friends thinking I was full of shit. With anything I posted. I left behind my Facebook world to go become a coach, which some people have a stigma around. 

And so I was because I want to be a coach today. Right? Like, exactly. And like there’s a stigma around life coaching and what that actually means. Whatever point being I was just, every fear I’ve ever had around visibility was coming up when she said, Go live for 90 days. What if people think I’m full of shit? 

What if I don’t have something to say? What if I misrepresent some knowledge? What if people think I’m stupid, like, everything I could possibly think of. And I actually did a video of this saying, I’m going live for 90 days. 

And here’s every fear that I have. I had fear of losing friends, I had fear of pissing people off. For the first probably two or three weeks, every day, I went and I did it. And I hated it. Just and what I challenged myself to what she challenged me and my coach, but I challenged myself to was not planning it. 

So here I am, like going to the extreme of from, I have nothing to say to Okay, go on, go on Facebook Live and have nothing to say for 90 days. 

And it was terrifying. And every day I went, what the fuck am I doing this for? And then it turned the corner. All of a sudden, I realized this is fun. People were engaging with me. I realized, the more I spoke, the more I had to say. I realize that people didn’t, the things I thought were obvious people didn’t know.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that pace. The obvious to you but not obvious to the world. Where did you notice that the most? And what what what do you think makes you the kind of person who can tell the difference between what’s obvious to you versus not what’s versus what’s not obvious to the world?

Erin Baker: Or let me answer that second question first. Okay, I don’t know. So there’s a there’s a scientific term called the curse of knowledge. And it’s basically this idea that as soon as we know something, it becomes common knowledge. It becomes obvious basic, whatever.

And it’s actually this really curse, like the more like especially those of us who are really knowledge based, like we eat it up. And you know, high achievers, the more we achieve, the more we think we know nothing.

And so what I’ve actually come to realize is I don’t know the difference between what’s obvious and what’s not, I just take the risk every time I post that I might be saying something obvious. And when I catch myself going, this is obvious. I know that’s a moment to go test that in the world. 

And it’s not just knowledge. That’s the scientific term, but I’ve learned in my coaching practice, it’s also about the ways we grow as humans, right. So we get we adopt new mindsets, or we adopt new ways of showing up in the world or new identities. 

And that becomes obvious to right so I think everybody leans into fear and just does it anyway be because that’s how I’ve learned to do it, or I think everybody thinks, I know one of your mindsets is be a master and a disaster. Right. And I think everybody does that. And then I have to remind myself, no, not so much. So the more obvious I think it is, the more likely I am to then go share it.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? And you said a few things there like one of them was, when you did it did live a few weeks, and you started to have fun with it. Now, what if you didn’t have fun with it? Like, you know, would you have stopped? 

Or would you have kept pushing? The reason I’m asking this question is, when people do when people start anything new, they don’t know, how much should I push myself before? Okay, I know, this is not actually for me, or yeah, we’re still growing. So what are your thoughts around that?

Erin Baker: Yeah, I actually, I think I did a live about that at some point, which was that we don’t know, obviously, way if we’re going to turn a corner, right. And so I love that I committed to 90 days, 

I generally think setting a timeframe like that, because a lot of we know in the psychology literature that almost any change in your life takes a habit of 30 days, 21 days, sometimes with 30 days. So really, that’s just not enough information. So I was really committed to trying it for 90. 

And at that point, if I didn’t like it, I would have stopped. But I generally promote this idea of sticking out just a little bit longer than you think you need to to have good information.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I like that very much.

Erin Baker:  And and check in. So check in with why you don’t like it. So there’s a difference between. I don’t like this, because it’s not fun for me, I don’t enjoy this type of sharing, or I don’t enjoy this, this method or whatnot. And then there’s the I don’t like this because I’m afraid. Right? I don’t like this because it’s uncomfortable. And I’m facing my fears every day.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And how can someone know the difference? Let’s say I’m going through something. And I’m posting every day I commit to 90 days, and 90 days are done. I’m not liking it. I’m doing it every day. 

How do I know if it’s just my fear? Of again, lack of engagement? People think I’m scammy people think oh, look at her trying so hard. That’s one of my resistances that comes up a lot worse is this is it. This is growth? How do I as a person know?

Erin Baker: Well, so there’s a couple ways I check in with myself. And I don’t know that I have the answers to this. But one is I can feel fear in my body. If I close my eyes and sit with like what’s going on here, 

I can feel that fear like right in my chest that comes up. I think the other thing is to look at what’s the voice that’s going through your head what’s saying when you say you don’t like doing this? 

Why don’t I want to do this like really, some of the things that we we don’t do enough of in our world is slow down and really get get comfy with what’s going on in our head. So like even in a meditation, I can sort of sometimes have a an idea come to me but when I start slowing myself down and ask okay, so why do I not want to share today? 

Some days it couldn’t be Oh, I really just don’t have anything that I feel compelled to share. Or it can be Oh, nothing is good enough. Oh, that’s a clue. I’m starting to have a fear right of fear of not being good enough. And then that signals to me 

Okay, choose something to share. It’s not that I don’t have an idea. It’s that I’m judging myself and so like the more I can get clear on the why I feel the resistance or why it feels icky. I’m starting to separate the This isn’t fun, because it’s just not for me. Versus there’s clearly something I want to work through.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I I really liked that because I think it goes back to something I do as well. It’s when I get any kind of feelings of okay. I don’t feel like doing this or I don’t know if this is for me. I asked myself a question like, What? What are you trying to tell me like what are you really telling me? 

Am I too lazy right now? Am I too tired? Do I not have ideas? Or am I just scared because I think this is repetitive information? Am I judging for the audience? Am I judging for people? Or am I just bored of it? Because it’s not new anymore? I mean, it’s just kind of and that’s a skill that I really had to learn because for me I thought it was stupid. I’m like, 

What do you How Why should I talk to myself? Like why should I talk to my feelings? Sitting down and just being like, Okay, well hey, feeling. I see you’re they’re acknowledging it and then okay, well, what are you trying to tell me and all that Yeah, thank you get to I do that. 

Thank you. Thank you for that. And they totally and deep. Yeah. So it’s definitely a practice. I think that’s been really beneficial to just check in for if it’s fear, or if it’s just, yeah, I need to stick to that. Yeah, I’m sure. Yeah.

Erin Baker: I’m gonna say, Well, I’m curious for you, if you also have this experience, which is sometimes I have to go back to my why in the first place. Why am I sharing? For instance, why was I going live in that particular moment, I wasn’t going live because of anything I wanted to do out in the world. In my business, it was clearly a gross thing for me. 

But now when I’m sharing on Facebook, I reconnect to my why. And then when I get there, I either get re motivated. Or I can ask myself, Is there another way to accomplish this? Why that would be more fun for me. That can help me get a get clearer again on am I having no fun? Or am I in fear? Because if I’m in fear, that fear is going to show up in any way, I try to accomplish my why.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And you said, you go back to your why. So how do you like reduce? Do you save it in a Word document? Do you save it on your phone? Like how do you keep going back to it?

Erin Baker: I have it in my head personally. I don’t do anything without clear intention anymore. When I started my business, the first the first year was all about just doing everything I possibly could to experiment. I’m a I’m an I’m a scientist by training. And so I just collected data. 

And so I would try all kinds of things, you know, content creation, wise, client creation, and all the different ways. But now that I’ve gotten a more established business, now I can be more intentional about what I’m trying to do. And so I actually, before I commit to any sort of path in my business, whether it’s a podcast, now I’m writing a book, Facebook content creation, I get really clear on why I’m doing it and why that channel. 

And then so I can go back in and check in with myself and say, Is my wife still there? Is there another way? So for me right now, the biggest thing I want to do is build community. And so I can look at am I still committed to that? Yes. And is this channel still helping me get there? I’m having that same question around my podcast. So I think you know,

I’m changing the name of the podcast and the actual contents not going to change that much. But I stopped and got really clear and said, Well, what why did I start a podcast in the first place? And then that allowed me to make some decisions around. 

Oh, what’s not fun right now is I’ve constrained myself in my podcast, now I can I can pivot it. It’s not that I don’t like podcasting is that I don’t like this particular thing. And it all came back to starting with well, why did i Why did I start this in the first place? Because I want to have really fascinating conversations with interesting people. And I know those conversations will help others.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And, and you mentioned like, how you when you started, you were experimenting a lot. And it seems like that you’re still doing but it was a lot more of that in the beginning. And right now you’re a bit more intentional. 

And so when you’re starting off you, as you said, you’re trying to figure out clients, you’re creating stuff for potential courses, you’re also creating content. And at least personally, I felt you were doing a really great job at it. 

Like you know, I saw constant posts, I heard about how you were getting these client wins when people are starting off, like not in an entrepreneurship area like and they do want to post content the biggest complaint that I hear is I’m unable to post regularly I’m unable to post actively I fall off what are some things you have done to be able to post frequently what are some systems habits maybe groups that you’ve you have

Erin Baker: This is gonna sound really, really simplistic. I have a I have on this video right so I have a post it note on my desk

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that Wow.

Erin Baker: Very and that’s very new. It says carried as a rule that you post every day do you post every day I it is hard to post every day. And so part of it was being forgiving with myself around. 

You know sometimes like when I did my 90 Day Live challenge at some point I realized I didn’t want to go live on weekends because nobody was watching and it felt like I was always on. So my 90 Day Live challenge was actually weekdays gave myself permission to only put 

Also on weekdays and to give myself a break. And I do something very similar in the Facebook group I have been running, I made a commitment to showing up and doing something every day. But the thing that was really helpful for me is taking the pressure off of that thing being big. So, sometimes in my Facebook group, 

I would post a single question for people to answer. Sometimes I would post a couple line posts, sometimes I would do a three minute video while I was on a walk. It very rarely was I doing something that required hours and hours of my time. And so when I started thinking about that, there’s really no excuse to not put something out there every day, it’s taking the pressure off of it always being gold.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yes, yeah

Erin Baker:.And so and then if I have ideas, I’ll write them down. I’m actually not great at systems. I’m working on a content calendar right now to see if that I’m playing with that idea. But for me, there’s so much more joy in that spontaneous moment where I want to share something, and actually feels more disconnected and stifled. 

If I plan ahead, like, Oh, I’m going to write a post on, I have it in my head, my dad used to say to saying about data has no meaning. And there’s actually something I want to do a post on with that. That’s about experimentation and business. 

But I’m not writing that until the movements moment strikes me because if I try to write it, now I get all up in my head, I try to perfect it, I try to make it mean something. And when the inspiration strikes, I write it in 15 minutes. 

And so I am like the antithesis of a systems human. And I just trust that if I keep up some form of sharing every day, and it doesn’t have to be profound. That’s all that matters.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: It goes back to the quality versus quantity debate, you know, should it be quality? Should it be quantity? And most of the people that I spoken to they all say quantity, because you don’t know quality?

Erin Baker: You can’t you don’t know what other what posts, you’ve had this experience, right? Where the you’ve posted some stuff on Tik Tok. And it was used both ways, right? One, one, that one that blows up, you had no idea that was gonna blow up. And then one that you were like, damn, this is good. And then I think I

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I think I spent like hours editing it on Adobe, and putting all the music and everything get like four views. And I was like, okay, all right. 


Erin Baker: Yeah, exactly. And that’s one thing we have to recognize as entrepreneurs and content creators, right, is that we can control what we do, we can’t control the outcomes. 

And so what we can do is be there have volume, one thing I have also, at least on Facebook, and I don’t know how people think about this on other platforms, but a lot of the entrepreneurs I work with get really stuck on now showing up with a professional all the time. And so there’s this also this pressure that every post be about their business or how they think about things, right.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And like within this specific niche, I’ve heard

Erin Baker:  It in a specific niche, right? Yeah. And actually, what’s even better is just, the more you can express you. And so that also takes the pressure off of me posting every day because I can usually find something to share about me in my life, that builds that know, like, and trust factor, right? 

The people that I tend to hire for my own business help are the people that I can see their full humanity, I can see like, oh, I, I relate to them, I get them, that person seems great. And so part of this quality and versus quantity debate as well. Also, there’s this quantity of can you be in full range of who you are? Can you show your personality across the spectrum? And a how much more fun is that?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That is true. Yes. It’s also less pressure because you’re just being yourself. But to be very honest, that requires a level of vulnerability. And I know does are very, very good with that, you know, yes. 

Make yourself very vulnerable to the world and you post things about yourself that I would say on average humans wouldn’t you know, and to be able to post regularly you have that a How did you gain the courage to be become that vulnerable? 

And how do you continue to do that on a daily basis? And what would you say to people part B, who feel like they posting content makes it a like it makes it less private for their lives. Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot. So there’s two piece.

Erin Baker:  Wealth. Oh, so yeah, posting a lot does make you less private, you get to control that, right? There’s just you have that’s, we can’t control our outcomes, we control our where the, we can’t control the outputs, right? 

Well, I guess the outputs not outcomes, but we can control what we put out there. Couple of things for me. One is, it’s all a muscle to build, I really love this metaphor, if if you wouldn’t walk into the gym and lift the 100 pound weight, the first time you go in, you go in and you find the five pound weights. 

So there’s that similar idea of, what’s that thing that’s vulnerable, that’s like a five pound vulnerability that like won’t crush you to put it out there. And you put it out there, and you see how people react, and then you wait till you feel ready to stretch to that 10 pound weight. 

And then you stretch and then you stretch. So there’s that. The other piece is, and this is why I do a lot of work that I do is the more I’m okay with who I am, the more I accept all of me, the vulnerable parts, the powerful parts, the darks, the lights, all of that, the less I give a shit what other people think. And the more I am able to be comfortable with who I am and comfortable with who I am publicly, the more my people come to me. So, so much of what I was worried about early on, and I said this about my lives. 

Were those the academics or the Facebook friends that face not the Facebook friends like but the ones I worked with, right. And then I realized they’re the people that I gathered, doing the things that I used to do, like their community, I gather, but they’re not necessarily my people. And I’m preventing losing people who aren’t my people. And so by toning me down, and not sharing myself vulnerably my people can’t be magnetized to me I

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Really, really love that. It’s so very true. Because I remember my first few posts, I think I was sharing at that time, my Instagram was also private. So I needed a private Instagram. And I was like, You know what, 

I’m going to post my journeys, it’s going to be for me, I’m not going to show to the world. My first few posts where my weight. And it’s one thing I would say I’m the most insecure about, you know, as an athlete, obviously, you know, you’re you’re playing at a national level, and you get to hear oh, you know, you’re not you’re you’re unfit, how can you be an athlete? 

And you’re like, Well, I’m very strong. And then you put your weight out there, which is not the average athlete weight. That was really bothering me. And I remember putting it out there. And then making my Instagram public. Everyone knew my weight. And once I did that it kind of lost its power. Yes. No, I Oh, yes. Oh, I’m, I’m doing 165 pounds. Like I have no issues saying that. But if you were to ask me five years ago, I’d freak out saying Oh,

Erin Baker: Yeah. Yeah. So it loses its power. It’s empowering. And a lot of ways, and that’s what then draws that person out there who you truly want to help. Right? So many of us get into, especially content creation or thought leadership, because we’ve been through something that we now want to teach others. 

And yet, we cannot draw people to us, if we’re not willing to share our own stories and our own transformation and our own struggles. If I go look at somebody to hire to help me with something, and I think they’re perfect, I think I can’t live up to them. 

Or they’re superhuman, or they’re hiding something or something else. And so I noticed for me is, the more I know that person gets me because they share them, the more I’m drawn to them. 

And so it’s actually not even a question at this point, that I just share all of me now I will say it can be done wrong. And I’ve had a couple of clients who lead with their vulnerability rather than leading with their expertise. 

And there’s since there’s a lot of people out here listening are probably new to the content game. The first this is then there’s some scientific research on this you want to establish that you’re an expert first doesn’t mean mean you have to go for years and years being an expert and then you show vulnerability. 

But if you start out with a vulnerable piece, you make your followers feel like they need to rescue you from you, or whatever you’re going through. And you actually don’t Don’t show them that you have answers that they are looking for

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah. And it’s funny because just recently I was doing a Google search on when vulnerability could be bad. And it all came from, how much should I share? That is me struggling because I mean, I put myself out there. 

Most people do when they’re starting off, they’re documenting their journey of sorts, and you’re just like, I document my struggles. And I’m going to document my successes, and you want to you want to show the real peace. But the truth is, when you’re starting off 80% of your days struggles, and then there’s 20% wins. 

I mean, that’s been the case. For me. It’s like, struggled, struggled, struggled, struggled, struggle, boom, great big win, which I didn’t even see coming and then struggle for months. And then you kind of wonder what, I’m not really sharing all my struggle by being authentic versus but I don’t want to be so vulnerable that people lose faith in my content and what I’m doing. Yes, that is really how Yeah,

Erin Baker: Yeah. So I don’t think you having a filter is inauthentic. Because the things you are sharing are authentic. It’s just like, you know, we go out in the world, and we can’t take in every little piece of information that’s flying at us, right? 

We can’t take in. I’m looking at snow right now. But I can’t take in every little tree branch. Right? Right. The same goes on the reverse. We can’t share every little tree branch about our lives. We still no matter what are creating a picture. 

And we’re we’re showing people where we want them to look at our lives. And that doesn’t mean that where they’re looking is inauthentic is just a slice. And so it’s about figuring out, yeah, what are the things that feel good to you to share? 

Because I think first and foremost, there’s a difference between stretching yourself and pulling a muscle when it comes vulnerable. bility wise, right. And it can be really easy to be like, Well, I am supposed to be vulnerable, and then putting all yourself out there and actually not being ready for it to be out there,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that you’re talking in sports terms, just let you know.

Erin Baker: I love sports terms. But so like it’s about the stretch, right? And it’s about Yeah, figuring out for yourself, what feels really good for me to put out there. What do I think for me, I think about what’s going to help my people. And then I just trust that, you know, for me, 

I’m expanding the range of what I what I share over time. What it started off with what what kept me feeling good. What was that five pound weight, that 10 pound weight? Still lifting the weight? I’m still being authentic? And then making sure yes, I am I take a look on a regular basis just to kind of make sure I’m on balance. 

If I struggle, I’m actually really good at sharing the vulnerability on the this is the struggles, you my my harder struggle is struggle, my harder thing to share is the wins. Right? So when I put out a few weeks ago that I had in two years made 280,000 and even saying here today, well actually in the last few weeks now we’ve crossed 300. That’s hard for me the powerful vulnerability. 

So now I have recognized that that’s my my thing to work on. And I go back and look. And I actually will look at my posts and say Okay, where am I right now? Where’s the balance? Because it can over rotate.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that you have check in points like constant checking points, you have that with yourself when you’re being you when you’re getting a project. You have that with yourself when you’re posting. How do you establish these check in points?

Like for example, someone who’s just like starting off? Who has no clue? How do you would be self aware? Yeah, how does one start? Okay, well, you know, cuz people talk about metrics a lot. Okay, know your metrics know who you’re talking to. 

But that gets overwhelming. How do I know? This is where I should check. This is where I need to just kind of go with the flow.

Erin Baker: Yeah, so I don’t there’s there’s a piece of it. That’s regular this piece of it that’s intuitive for me at this point. But I adopted something that I learned from so the conference we met at forefront was by this guy roommates at and he has a course called Success triggers that I took many years ago and it’s more about corporate. 

But one of the things he talked about, excuse me, it was a reputation check in that’s monthly. And I applied it in my corporate job of like it was really a reflection of the last month. What was my reputation that I can tell right and what reputation do I want to cultivate and so it helped guide me forward. 

There’s a very similar thing I do with myself now and reputation, not quite the right word, but it’s that same idea. have like, Okay, how might I have been perceived over the last couple months? Where is the balance? How do I want to show up in the next month, especially right now I’m in the process of launching a couple programs. 

And so that shifts the balance a little bit towards where I need to, you know, focus on being more in the power, sharing a little bit of vulnerability, but more on the power side of things. And it’s, it shifts things a little bit more away from my personal life into the professional life. And so I can plan for that. And I can start making sure I’m showing up that way. And then I can go back at the end of the month and say, Well, how did that go?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I really liked that the reputation check in and almost like setting it up weekly on a calendar invite. Just kind of, yeah, who loves systems?

Erin Baker:  Yeah. And I will say I never look at the feedback. That’s one thing I don’t do. So when I was doing my 90 Day Live challenge, I had a whole spreadsheet of like likes and comments and shares, and I realized how much that took me out of just a place of pure sharing into a place of let me get the engagement. 

And the thing that I have come to learn is it is not about the engagement numbers, because maybe it was something like tick tock where it’s like views are important. I am speaking to a very specific ideal client. And of my Facebook followers, there’s only a small subset that are my my people. 

So I can’t really gauge the impact of a post that’s geared towards my ideal clients. In comparison to a post. It’s about, let’s say, my wife and I had our eight year dating anniversary, right? There’s just gonna get more engagement.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s very true. Yeah, it’s because it was right.

Erin Baker: Right. And it’s, it’s looking for what do I see down the line? So do I hear about that post from I had a client the other day talk about a live that I did early on in the pandemic about thriving during the pandemic that she never forgot? 

And now I know, okay, that was a good one, right? Or a client came to me, during the pandemic, I went live during all of April, and someone who’s now one of my favorite clients reached out didn’t even know she was following me reached out and said, 

Hey, that one live you did on its concept called check engine lights really hit me, are you? I know, we’re former coworkers? Where are you interested in working together? So for me, I am very aware that my impact is pretty invisible. Because my people may not be interacting.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right. But they are consuming.

Erin Baker: They are consuming. And so yeah, I went to before COVID Had I went to a meet up and on the elevator, a woman said, Hey, that thing you posted on LinkedIn was really, really impactful on what Wait, what I posted on LinkedIn. 

When so I’ve come to this idea of instead of worrying about who’s watching, or how many people are watching, just assuming that they are and not knowing when it’s going to come back to me in the form of a client or someone joining a community of mine. And just assuming that if there’s something that impacted me, I and I put it out there, it’s going to impact somebody else.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right. And there are a few things that you say you said there that I would like to unpack a little bit. Sure. So first thing you talked about your wins and how you’re very comfortable with your wins. That’s very, very, very common thing. Yes. Especially for the beginner entrepreneurs like I want to talk about wins, 

I don’t want to show off. My parents told me if you show off your you’re gonna stop succeeding. I’m scared. What if I don’t grow? How do you get over that? How do you continue sharing your wins? Because I know it’s very important.

Erin Baker: So there’s a couple of things and I want to say this, I cannot emphasize this mindset enough. I feel the fear and I do it anyway, all the time. I think there’s this misconception that we have to get over our fears before we act. 

And we just don’t always and so sometimes I will close my eyes and hit post and then I’ll run away from Facebook for a day and hope and pray. I also you know, the program I did for posting on Facebook was I was given some prompts of how to post write the post this one thing today and I let myself go well Varian who was the person who was running the program told me to post this so I gave my like, I have permission so it’s okay, right. But even deeper than that.

I am very aware that people hire people based on on what they think they can do this, I’m coming at this from the coaching perspective as a one on one service provider, right? So people hire me, because they think I can get them where they want to go. Right. Right. I hired my mentor, because I knew what she had done in her wins. If I don’t put those out there, how are people going to know that I can help them? Right,

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  It’s like attracting your people

Erin Baker: Right? So like, if I don’t put out there, how much money I’ve made, and there’s someone out there who wants to hire a coach to help them make more money. That’s true. I they won’t they won’t know. Right? If I don’t put out there that I’m fully booked in my one on one practice. 

That’s actually intentional. It’s it’s hard for me to put out there. It’s intentional to create the Oh, she must be really good. Great. Yeah. Right. And so the more I can remind myself that this is a service to my potential client, I am signaling to them, that I can help them this, then it becomes so much less about me and me bragging,

Mahrukh Imtiaz:  right? This is a service to other people, you putting your wins out there helps other people and even if it’s not thinking of you as a coach, or someone that they could hire, it’s someone that they would like to follow just because your wins are somewhere they want to get at play, for example, me losing weight, currently don’t plan to be a weight loss coach, but someone right, want that result and might want to follow me. Yeah, if I don’t put my win out there. How will they know?

Erin Baker: So totally, and there’s a there’s a an effect, right? Where they can see, oh, she lost weight that she must have some sort of thing figured out about life?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Sure, right. together. 

Erin Baker:  And I will say one of the things that I also really adhere to one of my mentors, his name is Rich Libin will say constantly, it’s not bragging if it’s true. We have this societal thing against talking about our wins as if they’re egotistical. But it’s just truth. 

I created this much money. It’s bragging if I say I created this much money, and I’m better than you and they don’t even know boo boo, ya know, but so many of us. Yeah, so many of us are afraid of that, that people are gonna perceive us as filling in that last part of the sentence. Right. And I’m better than you.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And that also goes back to NFP, there are certain people who still will, you know, yeah, yeah, they might be was oh my god, what a bragger. Or I’ve seen honestly some comments as well, when people are in their nice car and talking about it. 

And there’s people commenting like, Wow, what a show off. Right. And, but that says more about the commenter? Yes. So there is a possibility that people will think that, but it’s about you understanding that there’s a difference.

Erin Baker: And they’re not your people. Exactly. They’re not your people, right. And so there’s, here’s another metaphor, I really like. A lot of us are trying to prevent the dead leaves from falling away from our tree. And the problem is those dead leaves, those are hurt on not our people, right? 

Don’t allow for the growth of the new leaves. Right? So we’re trying so hard not to lose the people who aren’t our people that we can bring in the people who are so there’s somebody out there who’s gonna see that car, that nice car, and they’re not gonna say Show Off I go, how did that person do that? Let me follow them. Exact right?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: One, that exact car, I want that journey. And it goes back to even posting because, I mean, I had this problem. When I started posting, there were two or three people in my mind. And I was like, I don’t want them to see it. Like I don’t. Yeah, I don’t want those two or three people to see my posts. 

And then I remember like, this was a Wednesday wonders conversation. And everyone was like, Well, yes, those three people will see it regardless, you can block them, yes, I can block them from my social media, they will see it regardless. And what about those strangers that you might not even know of? That might get some value out of those posts. So you’re not even thinking about?

Erin Baker: Right? Yeah, it’s, it’s who’s missing out. And I think what you say to also brings up another thing that’s really important. When we start making content. It’s really easy to want to speak to everybody. And a lot of content creators do have these bigger aspirations, right? I’d love to reach 1000s hundreds of 1000s Millions. 

And the more you try to speak to too many people, the more you’re not gonna be able to say anything. It’s the it’s called, like the least common denominator programming problem, right as you’re trying to find the thing that’s most appealing to the most people, which becomes completely boring and not actually you. 

And so it’s really about for me, yeah, I would love to eventually have this huge to community and I don’t know what that means I don’t that’s 1000s or more. But I’m building it one person at a time. And I’m thinking about that one person I can impact and then other person I can impact and like, the more I can speak to those few people. That’s the real impact.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yes. And that that brings up like the idea of scarcity versus abundance. Because for me when I started thinking, Okay, well, maybe I should talk to this one particular person, someone who wants to lose weight, someone who wants to be a content creator, or somebody who wants to also make a lot of money doing traveling for cricket. 

Very, very specific things. But I was like, I can’t find many people who want all those three or four things like what are the chances I will find that. But what I’ve noticed is, there are so many people out there who want those exact things. So people who fit in that niche. So people that haven’t even tapped, they’re like, Oh, I really like that, because you fit into all four categories.

Erin Baker:  Yeah, so it’s a lot more people out there than you think. And yeah, the more you can go. So we’re not wide is another thing rich, like Venn says, you know, the more you can tap into those things that are truly you, the more you’re going to actually find the right people, and that there’s more people out there. 

And then I like this concept of one of the reasons I’ve been, I’ve moved away from posting in my Facebook group, that’s I was giving you a lot of free content out there into the regular Facebook realm now is this idea of the splash zone, right. 

So there’s the people in your world that don’t necessarily fit all four of those, right? They’re right on the periphery, and there’s something about you, right, that they’re really attracted to. And that happens to me on my Facebook, too. 

So a couple of my one on one clients don’t fit, who I quote unquote, market to, but they were in the splash zone of receiving my content, there was something relatable and turns out, I really just like coaching people, I like humans a lot. 

So we ended up working together. And I think about just even if they’re never my clients the impact I can have by really focusing on that core niche of people and then that splash zone, and then that’ll get bigger and bigger. And it’s better to me and my world to have deeper impact with fewer people, then kind of be somebody that people kind of like for a million people.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? Yes. I love that. And the other thing that you mentioned was you posting on on Facebook. So like, you know, so you have a lot of personal contacts and your Facebook, your family, your friends. 

When people when they start off, that’s where they really start, they start with their personal pages, not a lot. Not everyone creates another extra Instagram or Facebook, they want to leverage their networks. But then there’s this thing of, but I don’t want to I’m okay with strangers knowing my content. I don’t want my family and friends to know. Right? How do people get over that fear?

Erin Baker:  I don’t know how you get over that fear. I don’t think you get over that fear. I think you decide whether you’re willing to. So there’s this other concept of, you know, we talked about the people who would be missing out if you didn’t post right, because of those three people you didn’t want to see. 

There’s the cost of not posting. There’s the fear around what if I don’t post and for me, oftentimes that becomes the greater fear. The cost of not helping people for me, my heart can’t. Right. So the cost of not posting or the fear of what if I don’t outweighs the fear of what happens with friends and family? 

And yeah, granted, there are some people in my family that don’t get it. And if they want to have a conversation, sure, why not? You know, my wife’s uncle at one point said that my posts are intense, but he loves me anyway. 

And I just I remember having that oh, God, I’m intense and being like, he’s not my people. He’s my family that he’s my extended, you know, in law family. But yeah, I don’t get past the fear.  This is a huge, huge mindset shift on everything is if you can realize that we can still feel fear and do things anyway. 

And that the more we try to get over our fears, and then don’t that’s actually creating a negative thought spiral, right? Like, why can’t I get over this? What’s wrong with me? I must not be courageous enough. And the more we try to tamp down a fear, it’s like, if I tell you to not think about white bears, what do you do? Do think all you’ll do is think about white bears. 

So if you’re telling yourself don’t be afraid, all it’s going to happen is that fear is going to well up and project itself even more So it’s about being able to hold that fear. And I have all kinds of other strategies, which is for another day of how to like, minimize those fears, because that they still happen. Agreed. But the cost of not one is huge. And if I’m connected to my why, again, why am I here? Why am I serving? Right? It’s, it’s a lot easier to handle the, the things that I’m scared of.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right. And the common theme with you is, again, you feel the fear, and you’re still extremely scared, and you do it anyway. And the one thing that you did that weird was investing in yourself. 

So you invested in yourself, before your business gave back from my understanding, is that correct? Yes. So there, that’s also another thing I hear a lot with beginner content creators don’t invest until you start making money. No, and I agree with that. Exactly. So what would you say to people who say that, like, Hey, I’m only going to invest in myself, once I start making money? What would you say?

Erin Baker: Oh, there’s so many things. First of all, you’re telling yourself a story about when you’re worth investing in? Ooh, I love that. Right? Yes. The other piece is, I couldn’t have done some of these things alone, I just couldn’t have stretched myself, I wouldn’t have done a 90 day live challenge. 

You know, I think about there’s two really main things when you’re building a business, and it’s your yourself. And it’s the strategy of what you’re doing. And I actually break it into four different SS. But there were things strategically, 

I didn’t know what to do, I could have looked around, but everybody in their brother wants to sell the formula. That’s true, everybody. 

And they’re competing formulas, right. And then on a self, I couldn’t have known where I got in my own way, right, I couldn’t have known where I had limiting beliefs where I had fears, where I had doubts. 

And so part of me, just really couldn’t have gotten to a place where my business was ready to pay for my coaching, without the coach. So I personally think the minute you start building something, it’s time to invest. And that doesn’t mean you have to invest in a one on one coach. And there’s a lot of different coaches who will sell a whole lot of things. So you want to know what you’re looking for?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And that’s the other question. Yeah. How do you know the difference between there’s this is the coach for me, where is this? Like, you know, how do you know what’s a good coach? What’s a good investment?

Erin Baker: Yeah. So this is where I have really leaned into a couple things, one, connection, right, connecting with the person and seeing have they been there? Do they get it? Have they done the things that I want to? 

Do they have similar ways of, you know, have they gotten in their own way, that kind of thing. But that’s actually less important to me, then one thing that I think is fundamental, and I think you will not hear this from a lot of coaches, my job as a coach, and so I work with mission driven business, right, and some people who are startups, leaders, that kind of thing. 

The one thing I believe in, is that there are as many ways to build a business, as there are people on this planet. And so my job is not to hand somebody a map. My job is to help them develop their own. Right. And so I help them think through and that doesn’t mean I give them the menu of all the possible things they could do. 

I also I only work with people who are self starters enough to go out and do their own research and say, here’s a bunch of different strategies, right? And then we come back and we experiment and we go, okay, I tried, I tried LinkedIn for a bit, didn’t like it. It wasn’t about fear. I just didn’t like it. And so I moved on to a different strategy. 

And my mentor is doing the same thing with me, right, building up my own. What’s fun for me building up my own trust in my decision making process, building up my own strategies and processes for finding my path. 

And so I would say to anyone out there looking for guidance, don’t hire that person who’s going to give you the four step formula, because yes, that formula worked for them. But that worked for them under very specific conditions that are only relevant to them. Right? 

Go find the people who will help you develop your business your way there is no reason for us to be stepping out as content creators as coaches as leaders into more visibility. If it isn’t something that’s lighting us the fuck up. I agree. And the only way to know What led to the fuck up? Do it your way?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Agreed, agreed. And that’s something I would like to break down a little bit. So say I’m starting a Tik Tok, you know, and I, now I’m I want to invest in myself, I want to find a coach. Yeah. Where would I go? 

Like, do I go to Google? Do I search best coaches? Do I Instagram coaching? And then go to hashtag? Like, could you break it down for someone who, let’s say, was listening to this and really wouldn’t want to find a good coach?

Erin Baker: Hmm, that’s a good question. Because I build my business, for the most part, through word of mouth. And so for people who come to my Facebook, I would say, if you’re looking to invest in a coach, it’s go follow someone who’s doing what you’re doing. Right. So there are content creators all over the planet. 

On Facebook, one of your former mentors, right? The holistic psychologist, yes, has blown up. I would say before deciding who to hire, go find content that you resonate with, and you’re bound to find someone who’s a coach. Right has the same content. So follow your your curiosity for content, and you’ll find a coach like that follow everything and follow everything go down the rabbit hole, right? 

That’s what I did with my current mentor is I actually found her you recommended a book called the prosperous coach, which was written by Steve Chandler and rich live in, I looked up reg live, and afterwards found out he had a very, very nice British accent. And he was very attractive, even though I was gonna be queer. 

But then I saw a video he did with this woman named Christina Berkeley, and I went down the rabbit hole of everything rich ever did, I went down the rabbit hole of everything Christina ever did. And lo and behold, those are my two mentors. 

Now I’m in. I just finished my second year working with Christina as my one on one coach, and I’m in Rich’s community of high level coaches. And it’s because I went down the rabbit hole. And just, as soon as I saw all their content, I was like, I know enough now to reach out and explore. 

And I did that with some other coaches too. And they’re not necessarily my coaches. And a lot of it was looking for. I’m a critical thinker on this. How much do I agree with what they’re saying? How much does that align with my own philosophy of how I want to grow my business so rich, and Christina as well come from pure service. 

They talk about you can build a business without marketing and it doesn’t have to be salesy and it’s it all comes from this place of heart that appealed to me. Not necessarily I don’t have to mark it, but like that, that it’s possible to have a truly serviced based truly heart centered business and be successful.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, I really like that. I’d like to add that there are times when people don’t even post that their coaches like when I reached out to Dr. Nicola para the holistic psychologist. I can DM her. Hey, are you? 

Are you available for one on one coaching? And see? She said yes. So a lot of times, yeah, well, who are searching just when you connect with just DM them? Okay, yeah, one on one coaching. What are your charges? What are your rates? Or can I talk to you just memorization?

Erin Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. And you never know when you might actually spur someone to become a coach. Say I have a the forefront I went to before the one I met you at I met a friend and she’s an artist. 

And now she’s doing coaching because somehow some way someone started asking her for advice on building an art based Instagram business. And so now she’s into coaching. And it’s because somebody gave her that Oh, so you never know. Yeah. So you never know you when you might spur someone to expand their services.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I really, really love that. All right. Well, it’s been a great conversation. So I’m Yes. going to ask you one final question. Okay, Erin, two years ago, who was diving into this entrepreneurship world? What advice would you give her what is something that you know, now that you did not know two years ago?

Erin Baker: What’s immediately coming to me, and it came up again today in a conversation is this stuff takes time. And one of the things I didn’t know until I experienced it was that you’re always planting seeds. And the expectation of the new content creator or business owner is that there’s this payoff really quickly, right? 

I put something out there and it gets a return right. And my business, I worked really hard to plant a lot of seeds, but so Much of my and I did really well, my first year, but so much of this past year and the pandemic was seeds I planted last year. 

And I went to a conference right before the main lockdown. And six months later, someone I met there says, Hey, I have a potential client for you. I used to coach her dad. So it’s a conflict of interest. Are you interested? I didn’t go to that conference to get clients. I went for other things. And so what I want to say is, you’ve got to be really thinking long game, you’ve got to not you don’t know what seeds you plant will will spring up, you don’t know when they’ll spring up. 

You’ve just got to have faith. And it really does take just like 90 Day Live took 90 days to figure out if I liked going live. It takes years. And I’ve heard from people, you know that it can take a couple more years than you think like some of my coach friends really didn’t build their communities took 568 years. So just be committed to doing things that you just don’t know if and when they’ll pay off. And I guarantee some of them well. I love surprising, surprising times.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: It’s it’s it goes back to working hard every day, but having the patience long term. This will work out in one way or the other. So thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you so much for being a wonderful self. 

The common theme definitely was feel the fear and do it anyway. I loved that. So for those of you who have subscribed to the show already, thank you so much. And for those who haven’t, please subscribe. Today I am meeting people like Aaron, having great conversations with them and there’s so much gold that I don’t want you to miss. So please hit the subscribe button and I will see you next week. All right. Thank you.

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