Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.
Julia: All right. So I’m excited to welcome my good and longtime friend Tasha Eizinger to the podcast. This is a really exciting conversation for me just because this is, we haven’t talked for a while, but every time we talk, it’s so good. So Tasha, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you.
Tasha: Yes, thanks for having me on Julia. I remember when you first called me to tell me you were going to start this business and I was so excited for you. And here we are, a couple of years later and doing this together. It’s so cool. So yes, I’m Tasha Eizinger. I am the author of the Little Shot series, which is a children’s picture book and we’ve already published three of them and are going to be working on four more. So that’s an exciting business that I have. I also have my Diary of a Dreamer podcast and now that I know how to do it this way, I’m going to have to make some adjustments. This makes it much easier to do it this way, Julia, so thank you for teaching me!
Julia: And maybe a little bit more complicated, too.
Julia: For those of you listening, it took us 10 minutes to figure out the right settings. But we did it, we did it. And I’m glad that my good friend Tasha got to do that with me.
Tasha: Yes, we’re patient with each other, you know.
Julia: For sure. So tell me a little bit about the Little Shot and how it came to be.
Tasha: Yes. I actually got my start in business and network marketing. And in network marketing, if you find the right company, they will do personal development and teach you all these great things. So I learned all this cool stuff and then fast forward, several years later, I had my daughter and she was only one month old. And for some reason, the quote kept coming to my head, “What’s a big shot? It’s just a little shot that kept shooting!” And I’m like, why do I keep thinking that way? And where’s that coming from? So sleep deprivation brain kicked in and I was like, you know, what’s a big shot, what’s a little shot. And this whole story came to me and I’m not even a writer. That’s what’s crazy about all of this…
Julia: Well, now you are!
Tasha: Yeah! So now I guess I wasn’t one, right. And so I got the first one on paper and then these other six books came to mind and it was, it’s just been a really cool process, a lot of learning, and it’s been so much fun getting it out there into kids’ hands. And I can’t wait for your baby someday to have it!
Julia: Me too. Me too. I really want your daughter to record herself reading it to my kid. Like that’s what my dream is. So I’m just putting that out there, Tasha.
Tasha: Consider it done.
Julia: And I know because you and I have known each other, we actually met at a networking meeting probably, honestly like seven or eight years ago randomly, and we just really hit it off. And our relationship has taken a lot of different phases, I would say? Like none of them bad, but for a while, you did some business coaching for me and now we talk business as friends. And so I just think it’s really interesting because one of the things that we always talked about is the importance of mindset in business. And that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today and how it intersects with marketing. And so, obviously, there’s a lot of things that are important in running businesses, but one of them is mindset. Why do you think it’s an important one?
Tasha: You know, I was thinking about the fact that I could give you all the money in the world, I could give you more than 24 hours in a day, I could give you all the skill sets that you need to be successful, all the technical stuff. However, if you have a poor attitude and poor perspective, your business will never be successful long term. It’s everything to me because, you know, I was a classroom teacher for several years and one thing I learned is attitude is everything.
Tasha: It really is. And, you know, you can put 10 people in the same exact situation. They’re all going to come away from it different, right? And so, even on my team for my book series, the people that I’ve brought on, none of us have ever done a children’s picture book before. But I intentionally brought each one of them on because of their attitude. They’re willing to learn. They’re willing to work hard. We give each other grace. There’s so many intangible things that people can innately have. You can also learn them. But ultimately skills, in a lot of professions, not all, but in a lot of professions, the skills are actually easier to learn.
Julia: Totally. Yeah, I agree. And I liked how you kind of almost reframe it, as mindset being attitude, because I think oftentimes in culture, we hear though, especially in business culture, you hear the word mindset over and over and over again. And you’re like, well, what does that actually mean? And to break it down to be like an attitude and a perspective I feel like is how, really how we approach problems in essence, and conflict. Because you’re right. Two people can approach the same thing from a totally different attitude, totally different perspective. And then they’re also going to have two totally different results.
Tasha: Exactly. And it could be the same skill set and same money. Everything else could be the same, but they’re still going to get different results. And you and I both know that business is not easy.
Tasha: There’s, oh my goodness, and I even thought, “A picture book. How hard could that be?” Oh, girl, it is hard work. And so, you know, there’s so much more to any business that you do than what you realize until you’re actually doing it.
And so if you can go into it and be crystal clear on who you are as a person and what you are about, it shines through in your marketing.
Julia: Totally. I actually, I guess I did not put it in the list of questions, but I’m curious. I think about your journey through the Little Shot, like at one point you had to switch out a good portion of your team and you’ve had to go through a lot of challenges. How do you feel like your mindset has carried you through those?
Tasha: Whew. That was hard and you got to be there with me and I’m so thankful that I had you supporting and encouraging me. That’s just, that’s a side note for everybody: part of keeping a good head on your shoulders is who you surround yourself with and so, you’ve got to have those people that can kind of understand business as well. And so when it came down to it, during that whole situation of losing a big part of my team was really thinking about ultimately, at the end of the day, what is my long-term focus? Because so often we get caught up in, well, right now I’m uncomfortable.
So I had to make a decision that makes me feel more comfortable. Right now, this is what I need. And so sometimes you do have to make those decisions right now. But when you go to sleep at night, you need to put your head down on your pillow and be able to sleep with a smile instead of feeling like you made poor choices. And so everything that I decided from there on out was, ultimately, what do I want long-term? And then when I rebuilt my team, it was, okay, what can I learn from everything I just went through? And I took time, you know, I walked outside. I processed and really thought things through, I like to talk to myself because I’m an external processor. My neighbors have to think I’m crazy cause I’m walking in the backyard talking to myself. And so I did all that. And then I wrote it down. It was like, okay, so what went well with the current team that, you know, the current team that I was leading at the time and where did it go poorly and how can I learn and be better? And what am I, what adjustments will I make?
Because I can tell you right now, in business, I think one of the hardest things for people going from like an employee to an employer mindset is you can’t pass the buck. You had to take full responsibility. And part of that is just you deciding what was my role in, how can I be better so this doesn’t happen again? So I’m really thankful that I look at everything from a learner’s perspective instead of a “poor me,” you know, the victim mentality or focusing on that. And it’s just, it’s never going to work.
Julia: And I would say, even with that, by looking at it with a learner’s perspective, you were able to, like, it didn’t make it any less challenging.
Julia: I was witness to that. And I have also had those moments where like, you have to replace people who weren’t good fits or whatever, but I think that ultimately, like it didn’t make it any less challenging, but it did help you navigate it better, in a way.
Tasha: Yeah. You make better choices, right? Because you’re right. I mean, that was really hard. And I mean, I cried, I got angry. It was so hard that, actually, and I’m a very healthy person, but I thought I might be having a heart attack right now. I mean, that’s how hard it was. I was like this isn’t a panic attack, something’s really wrong. And it was just because of the stress of all of it. And so it didn’t take that away, but now on the other side of it, it’s like, oh, like I still feel like I did the best I could in that situation and learn. And now we do have team members that are a better fit and it’s going much smoother and it’s become so much more fun, as well.
Tasha: It should be! It’s a kid’s book! It should be fun.
Julia: Should not be stressful. Totally. And I think that with that, your mindset carried you through it, and then also you could find, by learning from it, like you could find people who might have been a better fit for your mindset and what you were headed towards.
Tasha: Exactly. Exactly. Oh and we published the first two books during the pandemic!
Tasha: I mean, you gotta have the right people with the right attitude going through something like that because we’ve all had to figure out how to be better business people and think outside the box during everything, right? And as a picture book author, you’re supposed to be in schools. And that’s not happening, so we’ve had to figure out, okay, I got to do this instead and so, that’s the other thing, is adaptability, I think, has been a really good mindset to have as well. And the team, we’re all very adaptable and we work together to figure things out.
Julia: Definitely, which leads me, since we’re in the Marketing in the Wild podcast, we have to talk about marketing at some point. But I think you just give us an excellent segue because being in schools was part of your marketing plan. And so all of a sudden you had that taken off the table and like you said, you had to be adaptable, figure out new strategies. How do you see mindset affecting your marketing or marketing in general, really?
Tasha: Yeah. So here’s the thing. I have to laugh because as a new picture book author, speaking at schools is like 95% of your marketing. So it’s like okay. So a couple of things that I think is important is, here again, you have to get clear on who you are, what’s your “about,”
what you stand for. Take that time because all of that comes through in your marketing. Whether it’s your social media posts, which I’m not good at, unfortunately, but I’m learning.
And then, you know, going through even like now, what I’m doing is vendor events. So I had to learn like, okay, that’s not in my comfort zone. So I’ve walked around and I looked at the booths.
I’m like, what makes it eye-appealing? What’s making people stop? Where are people saying that you need to be, right? Like, so when you think of marketing, it’s like, you need to figure out where are you even supposed to be? Like your target market and all of that. So they were saying like, well, maybe school events and church events and instead of a crafter’s fair and so, a lot of it is trial and error too, with your marketing and figuring out like, okay, so right now this is what I have to do. And here again, I’m learning. So, and being adaptable and flexible. So when something doesn’t happen when you’re marketing, right, and, and you have this plan in place and you’re like, it was a flop, I usually say that laughter is better than crying. So if I can laugh about like, well that didn’t go as planned and kind of laugh about it and be like, okay, just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did, surprise. And then, here again, and I teach this in my first book, Courage, because it’s that important, you ask yourself, what did I do well? How can I improve?
Julia: Well, and I think that really, for around marketing, you kind of need to have this resilient mindset, just like you’ve already said, you’re going to try things. It might work. It might not work. And there’s tons of different factors that go into it. Like I tell a lot of our clients, marketing is half art, half science, because something that might work for somebody else might work for you, it might not. And there could be so many different contributing factors that add some respects, l ike we could try something and it works fabulously. Or we have to like play around with some different titles for ads or different audiences. And so you’re right. You have to know who you are, who you’re trying to reach, and then also you have to stick with it. I think that’s really important.
Tasha: I agree. It was great at this particular event because there was another author there, so that was really cool. And I actually, when my older daughter was a baby, we were gifted this woman’s book. So I already knew the book!
Julia: That’s awesome.
Tasha: So yeah. So it was really cool to connect with her. But also what was interesting was, because we were the only two authors, I was able to see what she was doing and I, you know, I love what your podcast is all about because it’s bringing awareness to different ways of marketing and what’s working and what’s not. And I will say like what she’s doing works for her, but it would never in a hundred million years work for me, because it doesn’t fit my personality, it goes against the StoryBrand model of what they teach, and I really love StoryBrand and what their philosophy is and approach.
And so when I watched, I was like, well, this stuff is good and I like what she’s doing there. So when you’re all paying attention to marketing and what other people are doing, grab what you like, but always know who you are and what is important to you because eventually, time reveals all truth. And if you’re not being truthful with yourself, it will eventually show up and you could lose your clients. You could lose your target audience just because you were trying something that maybe was trendy or that you thought would work and you stuck with it and kept pushing it. and it wasn’t a good idea.
Julia: For sure. For sure. I totally agree. So I would love to hear if you met somebody, which I know you have, and I know you would give them advice because you love people.
Tasha: I do love people.
Julia: If you met someone who was struggling with their mindset around their business or their marketing, what encouragement would you give them?
Tasha: I think, and I’m an ambivert, so I’m not super introverted by any means, so keep that in mind when I share this, I do think that there’s a lot to gain from taking some quiet time for yourself to process. And then I’m saying that you know, as a mom of an infant and a six and a half-year-old, and we got a very full schedule, but you can really maximize your time by just walking around or just take some time to think through what is it that you want most in your life? And your decisions need to align with that.
And then if it comes down to skills and strategy, like with marketing and things like that, then you need to find somebody who you can consult with. You know, Julia, I love what your company does. It’s such a high-quality company and you need to find somebody that you like what they’re doing, even from a mentorship standpoint, find a successful business person and ask them “Hey, can we go out to lunch? I just want to ask you some questions.” So far, anybody that I’ve asked that to, they’ve always said yes.
And what you’re going to find is, a lot of your struggles, it’s very common. What’s uncommon is continuing to persevere and be resilient and figure out how can I still make this work? And so sometimes you do have to talk with somebody that can understand business. I know sometimes you come to me, Julia. You’re like, “I just want to tell somebody that gets business!” and I’ll be like, “That’s amazing!” Right? And it just, it helps having, you know, that person.
Julia: Totally. I was just at a Bible study last night and the questions that we were asked at the end was who are you? Where are you going? And what do you want? And I think that those are like, and you mentioned “what do you want” as one of them? So that’s how this came to mind. But I think that those are questions that have been coming up over the past 20 minutes that really help you determine what your mindset is going to be, because if you decide, okay, who am I? And you fall into this, like “poor me” mentality, then your mindset isn’t going to carry you through those challenges. And if you decide where you’re going and what you want might be totally different, so at that point, you really have to do some soul searching. And I think that that’s really important when you’re creating, when you’re setting up your mindset or training your mindset, because if your direction is not in the same direction as what you want, like your mindset is going to be less persevering and less resilient, in my opinion.
Tasha: I agree.
Julia: And if you have those things super clear, like I think about, Tasha, one of the things that I admire about you is that you have been through a billion challenges with this. I remember you telling me about the Little Shot like five years ago and you have persevered through it. And I think that’s because it’s been very clear, like your vision is clear. And if that vision, which I’m sure there have been moments where you’re like, “What the heck am I doing that?” I mean, I’ll have those, but like, because your vision is clear, your mindset is gonna stick with it. Like it’s not going to detract you from it.
Tasha: Well, I appreciate that. And if, if you really want me to be totally honest with everybody, yeah, there was a moment, a very long day, where I thought maybe I should throw in the towel. Maybe God is like, you’re not supposed to be doing this and you keep pushing it, right? Or maybe it’s just not that good. Or maybe, maybe — so this is what we do, right? We start rationalizing things. And I really thought maybe I was supposed to come up with this idea so that my daughter, someday, when she’s grown up and she wants to turn it into a book, I can give it to her. And then I thought, wait a minute, wait a minute. So I’m trying to take the easy way out. And my first book is about being courageous! And leading from your heart! I was like, so I’m going to be a coward instead of, I define courage as leading from your heart despite your fear, and so I’m going to make her go through all these terrible things and encourage her and say, you can do it, but I’m not going to do it? And so I like to think of it like, you just go look in the mirror and, you know, look at yourself and say, okay, you got to do this, right?
Julia: For sure. Yeah. I’ve had those moments too, where, after a long day of work, I’m like, what am I doing? Am I making my life better or am I making my life worse? But I also have a vision of what I want my life to look like. And I think that because I have people in my life like you or Roger, who can remind me, like, Hey, I know this is a bad day, but like, this is what your vision is. The moment that we have those people to remind us what our vision is. I think that that helps us stay on the path because I think like the idea of having a mindset that is a hundred percent positive all the time, like, I think that’s silly. Like that’s never going to happen. We’re going to have bad days. But what are we doing with those bad days? And are those helping propel us forward or are they pulling us back?
Tasha: Right. Well, that’s so true. Cause when our attitude is low, it’s our perspective that can bring us back up. So they kind of go hand-in-hand of, you know, if your perspective is “I can get better, I can improve. I can learn.” Instead of, “Well, let’s throw in the towel,” you know, then your attitude that’s already low and your perspective matches it, you’re just going to, you’re probably going to quit, you know? Or take it out on people or do something that you won’t be proud of. I think also, like you said, talking to somebody who can be encouraging or even just like shut it down and listen to some fun music and jump around and dance and be silly.
Julia: Give your brain a break too. Like if you need to sit and watch the British Baking Show, nobody’s going to be mad at you. You need to give your brain a mental break. I think we have these, like, there’s wonderful authors out there talking about mindset and personal development, and I think all of those are really, really good, like you and I love that sort of stuff. But one thing that we don’t give ourselves permission for is to take a break for a second. Like, that’s okay.
Tasha: Yeah. Yeah. It shouldn’t be a badge of honor to run yourself into the ground.
Julia: Right, exactly. And I think when we do give ourselves a break then we come back stronger afterwards.
Tasha: I’m telling you what, as a mom, one of the things I have learned for sure — yesterday, for example, it took me all day to get done what normally would have taken me 45 minutes. At the end of the day, I was like, are you kidding me? It took me all day, right? And so, when we run ourselves ragged, so that’s just an example, you know, as a mom, but like, if you’re not a mom or a parent, you know, if you’re running yourself ragged, your brain is not operating on all cylinders. So what you could normally get done in a half an hour to an hour and have creative energy, it could take you all day and, because you won’t give yourself permission to take a break, you’re running on fumes. So I’ve also looked at it from the perspective of, you know, I could force myself to do X, Y, and Z, or I’m going to give myself the day or the afternoon to just chill out because I know when I’m on my A-game, I can crank this out really fast.
Julia: Totally. And I think that’s really good for efficiency. I swear, I could just talk to you forever. And this is like the problem, everybody, like whenever Tasha and I do talk, it’s like usually for an hour or two hours, but we won’t make you sit through that. I feel like some things that I would say are takeaways for me are, mindset is really…if you break mindset down, it’s about attitude and perspective. And those two things are what really determine our mindset.
I think another thing is that when it comes to marketing and business, there may be moments that you’re like, what, what the heck am I doing? And that’s okay. I think we can give you permission, we can give all of us permission to have those moments and to realize that sometimes it requires adaptability and that should be a really big piece of your mindset, is to be adaptable because not everything will work right away.
And then the last one is that if you need to take a nap, go take a nap. Like nobody’s going to give you a badge of honor for working really hard and running yourself ragged because that’s probably not part of your vision. So, yeah. Do you have any takeaways that you would say?
Tasha: Oh, my goodness. Well, I agree with you. I could talk to you like all day, which means we do need to see each other someday in person and be able to visit! Yes, I just think that, really, my big takeaway just from your podcast in general, and it’s something that, just from you doing this, it’s already got me thinking as I’m out and about, I am being much more aware of how people are marketing and what is working and what’s drawing me in and why did that draw me in and why isn’t it drawing me in? And is that the type of message that best serves the business? And so I just appreciate you doing this in general because it’s really cool.
Julia: We love it. So, Tasha, I know how to reach you. I have Tasha’s personal cell phone number, which we will not give out on this podcast, but, Tasha, if somebody wanted to connect with you and learn about the Little Shot and all of your other work, what could they do? Like how should they reach you?
Tasha: Well, thank you. So my website is under construction. I still haven’t finished it yet, but thelittleshot.com would be one place, and then on Facebook, is probably the best place. I’m Tasha Harper Eizinger. And my last name is E I, so Eizenberg, E I Z I N G E R. Feel free to send me a friend request or send me a message. I don’t even know the lingo. Is it called a message?
Julia: I mean, yeah, you can call it a message. Send her a friend request and just tell her how you heard about her so that she doesn’t think you’re a weirdo who’s just stocking her. Tasha, I’m so glad that you were on this podcast today and that you’re willing to speak to everybody and also just speak to me. I just really appreciate your friendship and who you are. So, thank you!
Tasha: Thank you so much. The feeling’s mutual, love you girl.
Julia: I love you too!