CHALENE JOHNSON: “I'm regularly reminding the people who've raised their hand and said, like, ‘I want to know more,’ people are on my email list, I'm regularly reminding them, based on what segment they're in, if there's a podcast episode that I think is going to serve them. It's regularly using that medium to remind people, and all of the mediums to remind people, what it is that will serve them.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: I want to tell you about a podcast I think you should check out. It's called Marketing Against the Grain. It's hosted by Kipp Bodnar and Kieran Flanagan, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Because I know you market for your business, if you want to know what's trending, what's ahead, and how you can lead the way, this is the podcast for you. Hosts Kipp and Kieran share their marketing hot takes like nobody does. I love when they talk about things like how to turn problems into opportunities or dive deep into A.I. and marketing. It’s so good. So be sure to check it out. You can listen to Marketing Against the Grain wherever you get your podcasts.
Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome to Online Marketing Made Easy.
Thanks so much for tuning in. I'm so glad you're here because today I have someone on the show who has built and sold multiple multi-million-dollar businesses that have stood the test of time. Her name is Chalene Johnson, and in addition to creating one of the most-successful fitness brands in history, she's also a New York Times’ best-selling author, lifestyle and business expert, motivational speaker, and the host of two top-ranked podcasts, The Chalene Show and Build Your Tribe, which we're going to talk about both and how she's built those, in this episode.
Oh, and she just happens to hold the Guinness Book of World Records’ title for the most fitness videos filmed by an individual. I think that's pretty cool.
Now, to say that Chalene is a brilliant entrepreneur would be a massive understatement. She started her first business flipping cars in college to pay for tuition. And so I'm going to have her talk about that. And then, since then, she's continued to create one successful business after another by identifying the needs of her audience and solving their problems.
And what I absolutely love about this woman is that she delivers straight talk and simple strategies, with a side of humor. And it has a way of breaking down incredibly complex topics into actionable steps that anyone can apply to their business. And I'll tell you, she's truly a woman after my own heart for that very reason.
Now, today we're diving into how to find your niche in business and why that's important, how and when to diversify your income streams, and strategies to build a connected and engaged audience that sticks with you through the evolution of your business. We’re also going to talk about how she grew her podcast, we're going to talk about some tips to make Instagram work for you, we're going to talk about how to raise entrepreneurial kids, and we're going to talk about how to embrace aging on camera. I'm telling you, we got into everything, which makes this episode extra fun.
So, there's never a dull moment with this woman. I love her so much. Let's get to it.
Well, hey, there, Chalene. Welcome to the show again. Like, it’s so good to have you.
CHALENE: Amy, I’m excited to do this. Thank you for having me.
AMY: Oh, my gosh. I've been looking forward to it all day because I have so many things I want to talk to you about. What's really unique about you is that there's a lot of layers. There's a lot of different directions we could go. And so this episode is going to feel like we covered a lot, which I think is the best type of episode. So I do like to do this. Most of my audience, 90 percent of them, will absolutely know who you are. But just a few are going to be brand new to the online-marketing and business-building industry, so tell everyone a little bit about who you are and what you do.
CHALENE: Lordy, I mean, I'm although I'm fifty—I think I'm fifty-four. I'd have to ask my husband—but I identify as thirty-five. So that's a lot of years, and it’s a lot to condense into a couple of quick sentences. But I'm probably the—the most people who know me, it's because they've seen me on a late-night TV infomercial. I've sold tens of millions of exercise DVDs—which is crazy to think I'm in the Guinness Book of World Records for having been in the most exercise videos—which is crazy to think because I couldn't get hired I was so bad when I first started.
And I always tell people the reason why I think I've done well in that particular niche at that particular time is that I really love and have always loved business and marketing. And so because I made myself a student of business and marketing, I had lots of different businesses that, like, you know, kind of worked.
But that was the one that when I decided to, like, really just go all in, that's the one that probably made me known, right? But it was a place where I never felt like I was, like, “Wait. How did I end up here? Where did I go?” And so even though it was an incredible way to get into a lot of people's homes and for people to get to meet me and know me, I never really kind of felt like I belonged there or that was what I was meant to do.
And I always have been teaching and kind of a know-it-all when it comes to business and marketing, so I was always doing that on the side. And then, I just found the consumer-fitness space to be incredibly unhealthy for me, and I stepped out. You know, I stepped out on my terms kind of at the height of it for myself, when I had a number-one infomercial, and just was like, “I can't do this. This feels inauthentic, and it's really unhealthy, and I need to do what's best for me.”
AMY: Wow. That's a big, big decision, too, because you're right: you're very well known for that. But also, there's so many other things that you've done, and I want to talk about these businesses that you've built.
But before we get there, we got to take it all the way back to when you were in college, your first business. When I was doing some research for this podcast, I'm like, “Wait a second. What?” Tell everybody what you did that funded your education and kind of what that looked like.
CHALENE: Yeah. So I had really good role models for my money mindset. Like, my parents, even though we struggled growing up, like, I didn't know that. At any time we wanted something, my dad would be super creative, and he'd be like, “All right, let's figure out a way that you can make some money to buy that,” you know? So from the time I was really young, I was always like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, if you want something, you just figure out a way to make the money.”
And so when it became very apparent that no one had gone to college on either sides of my family, and they didn't have the money to send me, my dad was like, “Well, let's come up with some creative ways for you to make the money to pay for college.” And I took all of the savings that I had and bought a car. I bought a car from the State auction in Michigan. I was fifteen years old. And it was an orange El Camino. And I brought it home and cleaned it for, like, a year—I couldn't even drive—had it painted. And then when I resold it, I made, I don't know, like, maybe a thousand dollars or something?
AMY: Which is a lot of money when you're sixteen.
CHALENE: Exactly. And I was kind of in shock. And so we just kept going back to the auction to buy vehicles. And eventually, I had enough money.
And I wasn't always going to auctions. Eventually, I started just, like, flipping cars. I would really learn everything I could about which cars were hot. And I lived in Michigan, and Detroit was, like, the hotbed for automobiles at the time. And so I would figure out, like, what cars were hot and figure out everything I could about how to flip them and turn them around and make money that way.
And then, eventually, when I went to college and trying to do this, it didn't work, because I was trying to be a full-time student. It was difficult to coordinate getting people to come and look at my car. They wouldn’t show up. Or they would show up; and here I am, this nineteen-year-old little, petite blond girl, doing a cash exchange, with scary adult men late at night. And I thought, “There’s got to be other people who are struggling with this.”
And so I had this idea to rent a piece—or lease, I should say—a piece of land from the State of Michigan. And then I just picked up the newspaper and called every single person who was selling their own vehicle on their own and convinced them to come to this plot of land on a Saturday. And I said, “I'll bring people who want to buy a car from a private owner.” And that became the All-Michigan Auto Swap Meet.
AMY: What?! Okay. I did not get that from my research. What?!
CHALENE: Oh, yeah, yeah.
AMY: So you have been an entrepreneur at your core from the beginning, I feel. Like, that's a really cool move. You were young when you did that.
CHALENE: Yeah. But you know, the through-line in all of it is, like, okay, I’m dealing with a problem in my life right now, and I know other people are dealing with this thing, too. So let me reach out to those people and see if this thing that I think would solve a problem for us will. And that's kind of been the through-line of everything that I've done.
And I always tell people, like, no matter how frustrated you are, there's something there. Like, if you’re like, why isn't there a fill in the blank? it doesn't exist yet, because you haven't brought it to the world. Like, don't be afraid to try.
AMY: I love that. I love that, this idea of solving your own problems and putting that out into the world, and that could literally be a business.
And I want to talk about business building, because I have a lot of listeners who want to quit their nine-to-five job. They want to start a business and begin to craft a life by their own design. We talk a lot about that on the show.
But the problem is, even though they might have many different talents and skills, they're not really sure what they should focus on in their business. In other words, they’re not sure of their thing yet. And this is something that comes up over and over again. I've talked about it, but I’d love a different perspective. So do you have a process or a system that they can use to help identify what their thing is?
CHALENE: Yeah. And my advice is different from a lot of people's, I think, you know, having done worked with entrepreneurs for now twenty years. I think there's so much pressure around finding your thing, which sounds like it's going to be written on your tombstone, which sounds like it's going to be how you will be identified for the next twenty years. It feels like a marriage. It feels like you cannot mess this up; you better get it right. And if you come up with something that's not big enough, then, you know, how can you make a difference in the world?
So I tell people, don’t worry about, like, what your thing is. Fitness was not my thing. I mean, it was one of the things I enjoyed, but it wasn’t, like, my thing.
I tell people, look for the opportunity that gets you excited right now, and just the thing you’re like, “You know what? This would work right now,” because nothing—I know this is going to sound kind of cliché—but nothing motivates people and gives you more momentum than just a little bit of success. So if you can pick something, even if it’s, like, you know, “I'm not completely passionate about this, but I can see that a lot of people want it, and there's an opportunity here to help some people and make some money while I'm doing it,” then freakin’ do it because that will give you this motivation to be, like, “Oh, wow. It wasn't that hard, it wasn't that big of a deal, and I can change lanes later.”
AMY: Okay. I love that you said that. You don't know this, but that's the same advice that I give, where I'll say, “It doesn't have to be set in stone forever, and just get it to be your starter idea. We just got to get started. Action creates clarity. Once you're out in the world, your next thing will come to you, and it's usually bigger and better.”
AMY: “But you got to start somewhere.” So I love that you give that advice, 100 percent what I say.
CHALENE: You can't be afraid to make mistakes. Someone asked me the other day, do I think everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur? And I used to say yes, but I don't know that that's true. I think it is a special breed of individuals who are, like, truly have that entrepreneurial spirit. Your brain has so many ideas, you don't know which one to pick first. I think that's a special person. The person who, like, everything that they look at, they’re, like, “That could be something, and that could be something.” That is a unique brain. And I don't think everyone has that. I do feel, however, everyone and their brother can find a way to make some money online. And is that entrepreneurial? Yeah. I just think there's degrees to it.
AMY: Ooh, yes. I do think there are degrees to that, absolutely.
Like, my sister is a second-grade teacher. She does not want my life. She sees, like, how much I work or how I work. She doesn't want to be in the limelight. She doesn't want any of this. And so she is meant for what she's doing. And I don't believe she's even ever meant to be an entrepreneur, nor does she want that.
So when I started to see that, I started to realize, “Wait. Not everybody wants this or they're cut out for it.” But I do think that there are levels of it, absolutely. So I'm glad you put it that way.
CHALENE: I want people to not be afraid to experiment with that. Like, I think one of the riskiest things, honestly, people could do today is to rely on one stream of income. I mean, with the massive changes that are happening with A.I. and everything else, it's, like, just having one thing is so risky.
AMY: Okay. You just literally don't know it, but you just set me up, because my question was going to be, your career and your niche actually started in fitness, but over the years it's grown. And today you have many different topics that you teach from marketing to finance, which also means you have multiple streams of revenue. And that is exactly what I want to talk about. So how did you know when it was the right time to introduce something new to your business? And how do you do that without feeling totally scattered?
CHALENE: Yeah, that's a great question. So you, as many other people have said, will often kind of say, well, you know, you started in fitness, but the truth is I started in eighty-five things at once. You know, so while I—
CHALENE: Yeah. While I was flipping cars, I was also selling e-books. I was also doing personal training. I had also franchised a personal-training business. Like, I was doing all of these things. I was trying to teach business and marketing to women who were new moms—this was, like, in my early thirties, late twenties—in hotels. Like, I was trying to do, like, all these things because I'm, like, “All of these are great ideas! And I can do them all! And I'm not going to pick one because what if I picked the wrong one?” You know? “And if I pick one, well, then, I'll lose out on this income.”
And eventually, I just realized the only thing that was working was me, and I wasn't making money at it. Like, I was just working, like, eighty hours a week, doing all the things and making a little bit from each one and just kind of feeling like a loser in all those areas. And, you know, it was just a message that I heard listening to the radio one day, that just kind of like hit me, like, duh, I need to just do—I just need to focus. Like, all these people who have kind of been in my shoes and trying to do ninety-five things, none of them got anywhere until they became known for one thing. So I can do that. I can learn—I don’t know how to focus, but I will learn. I will learn, and I will discipline myself to focus on one thing exclusively, at least for a couple of years. And then, if it doesn't work out, then I'll move on to the next thing that I'm excited about.
And so for me, it was waiting until the point in which I felt known. And when you asked, “When do you introduce the next thing?” I have very strong feelings about this: when you can almost set it and forget it, when it almost runs without you. That's when you can bring on the next new thing. Or when you realize it's no longer fulfilling you or serving you, and it's actually killing you, then it's time. Maybe from a spiritual standpoint, you've just got to get excited about something else.
AMY: Oh, I love both of those answers. Either it can run on its own or it's something that you're like, “I can't do this anymore,” then it's time to add something new. And I'm glad you said that, because I think a lot of my students want to do a million things, like you just said, and they start things, and they don't finish them. So this idea of getting it out there, being known for something, that literally changed my life.
When I became known for digital courses, I finally got on the map. People knew what I was about. That's a really big deal.
CHALENE: Yeah, it’s huge. The thing about people who are doing so many things and they're afraid to just pick one, and I'll often hear them say, like, “But it's doing really well, and this thing's really doing well, too,” but neither of those things are as successful as you want them to be. And almost, I'd say 100 percent of time when I talk to someone who's in that position, they're exhausted. They're exhausted, they're overwhelmed, and it's not working, so they're, like, really beating themselves up, They’re like, you know, “Neither of them are really making me that much money,” that same person who’s like, “I've got these four Instagram accounts.” I’m like, “You don't have any help. Why are you trying to run four Instagram accounts? Pick one.”
AMY: Pick one. I love that.
But here's a question I've never asked anybody on the show, but I think that you would absolutely be able to answer this with your own experience. What advice do you have for building an audience that sticks with you through the evolution of your business? Because you have done a few different things, you have been known for the infomercials and the fitness, now I feel like you're doing something different than that. How did you get your audience to come along with you?
CHALENE: Trust. I think we all worry about views; we worry about followers; we worry about pricing and how to name things and all the stuff. But, like, the true, most-valuable commodity today is trust. I mean, it's so hard to maintain people's attention today. You know, people will see a Reel will get six million views, and you get no new followers for it, because we want to be entertained. And it's really hard to create a connection with people where they're like, “Wait a second. There's a familiarity here. I trust this person.” And it's hard to create trust, and if you can create trust, you've got what I call a lifer. It's someone who's, like, “I relate to who you are. I believe in what you're saying. I understand this journey. You understand me. You see me. And I'm here for the ride,” you know? And you're always going to lose some of those people. You can't worry about that.
You know, when I made the transition, when I stepped out of consumer fitness, I had to make a clean cut. So I went from posting, you know, having built my social-media following up to, I don't know. At that point it was probably a quarter of a million on Instagram or something. And it was almost all fitness content. It was all quick little videos, etc. Of course, I was still teaching some Instagram marketing at the same time, but my social was just fully niched to fitness. And when I stepped away from that, I deleted all of that. It was gone. And I never posted anything fitness related again for years, knowing that I would lose a very large percentage of my audience. And that was okay because I'm one of those people who always knew that there was more to the journey than fitness. Like, maybe fitness was the gateway drug to personal development, and I believe personal development is often the gateway drug to business development, you know? And so it's people who are, like, “I see how you connect the dots, and I'm here for it.”
AMY: So one thing that's really special about you is you share a lot online. So you've shared about your father-in-law. It's Alzheimer's, right?
CHALENE: Yes, uh-huh.
AMY: So you’ve shared about your father-in-law. You've shared about your ADHD, which actually I want to come back to and talk about that, because you've called it your superpower, and I’m so curious about that. But you’ve shared about your kids, different things that happened in your life, a plastic-surgery issue that you had. Like, you really shared this stuff. And I have always struggled to share the personal side of me. And not that I'm super private; I just struggle with it. I don't know why. How have you done that? How have you been so open? And it seems so easy for you. Like, talk to me about that.
CHALENE: I’d love to because I want to be really clear. You're probably doing it right, and I'm not. Like, I tell my students, “Don't do what I'm doing. Do what I'm telling you to do, but don't do what I'm doing, because I'm not in the same season.” So, you know, when my students look at my social media, and they're, like, “Oh, I want to post some things like that,” I'm like, “I'm not trying to grow my social. I have other accounts that other people run that are niched. My account is now just for fun. I've got eight other streams of income. I don't need to bring in income from my Instagram. So do what I do if you want to crash and burn.”
AMY: Oh, my gosh.
CHALENE: Literally. I mean, I have to be honest about that. My Instagram grows so slow because I'm not trying to grow it. If I've got—which I do, you know—close to eight hundred thousand followers, I don't need another follower. I need to know the ones who've actually been with me for eleven years, and I don't even know who they are. Like, I need to spend my time for me. My goals are different from someone who's listening who still does need new followers, does need to be known for something.
And so I would just caution people to not do what I do until you're at this stage, right? Like, I'm in a totally different season. I'm older than you, probably, anyone who's listening. And I've been there, and I've done that. So niche down and stick to one thing.
In your Stories, however, you can be an open book. And I think it is important in our Stories to let people know who we are because if there isn't that familiarity, if there isn't that connection, it's hard to know someone. It's really hard to know someone, and it's really hard to trust them.
AMY: Okay. That is so true. So I love that. In your Stories, you can share more of it. Like, on your Grid, when people come to it, you want them to know what you are all about, like, how you can serve them.
CHALENE: Absolutely. Yep. And then Stories, it’s like people peaking, going, like, “But who are you, really? What are you really all about? What is your sense of humor? How do you live your life? How do you start your day? How do you dress? How do you style your house?” Like, all of these things, we're looking for these cues where we're, like, “Oh, okay. I understand who they are, and I connect.”
AMY: Ooh, that's great advice. I love that. The difference between Stories and your newsfeed, I can get on board with that all day long.
So I want to come back to your ADHD because you call it one of your superpowers. And I love how you reframe this. So can you talk a little bit about that? And did you always think you had this superpower, or how did that even come about?
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CHALENE: Yeah, it's a good question. So I was not diagnosed until age forty-five.
AMY: And how do you get diagnosed?
CHALENE: I had Dr. Amen on my podcast to talk to him about ADHD, and at the end of it he goes, “You know, you need to come in and have your brain scanned.” And I was like, “Okay.” And I remember thinking to myself—well, I've always felt like I had a special brain, but that it didn't translate to most people. Like, in school, I found recently my diary from, like, age twelve, and it is so funny. It's, like, “These people who get good grades, I'm smarter than every one of them. They'll all be working for me someday. And my teachers say that I don't reach my potential, but they're wrong because I'm getting other things out of the class that they're not even teaching.” It was like a pep talk for me, or maybe I was hoping my parents would find it, and it was an excuse on why I had bad grades.
But I really did always—I was fortunate enough that my father also has extreme ADHD. He had his brain scanned and diagnosed at the same time. So I had this, you know, role model who had the same kind of brain as me. So my parents never put emphasis on grades. I didn’t get in trouble for being late, because they were late. I didn't get in trouble for changing subjects and for being distracted or daydreaming or inventing things. I didn't get in trouble for losing things. I was never reprimanded or called names like “lazy,” or “You're not reaching your potential” by my parents. I did in school. So I always felt like there was something unique about my brain that wasn't translating to the real world, and I would compensate for it. So I did feel like it was special.
And then, as I became an entrepreneur and had, like, all these, you know, spinning plates, I felt debilitated and overwhelmed. And the things I had to do to remain focused I knew weren't normal. Like, we lived in a humongous home at the time, and we built this, like, big office. But I couldn't work in that big office because I could hear noise on the street. I could hear people in the house. And so we had this little, teeny tiny kind of, like, it's basically a closet under our staircase. And I soundproofed it, and I would work in this, like, basically, a dungeon so that nothing would distract me. And I knew that wasn't normal.
So anyway, once I had my brain scanned, then I realized, like, oh, not only what type of ADHD I have, but then how to manage it with lifestyle. And for me, I'm also very open about the fact that I do take a medication for it. I take Adderall. But I don't think everyone is a candidate for that. And, you know, so I'm really open about it because I do think that people who are easily distracted, whether they've been diagnosed or not, I do think we make exceptional entrepreneurs.
AMY: I was going to ask you, how do you think it's contributed to your success as an entrepreneur?
CHALENE: Because I think, you know, entrepreneurs, we have to see patterns. You have to be really good at spotting the less-obvious things. So someone who is easily distracted, when they're watching a movie, everyone else is watching the plotline, and that person who’s easily distracted is thinking, “I wonder where the cameraman is standing. You know what? I noticed in that last scene her shirt was untucked, and in this scene, it's just a moment later, now it's tucked back in.” So we notice these, like, little details that other people don't see. And then, you know, you can feel bad about yourself because people are like, “Are you even paying attention to the movie?” You're like, “Yeah, I am. But something very, very different than what the average person is paying attention to.”
And it gives us an incredible advantage because we're going to see trends before everybody else sees them. We're going to hyperfocus on the little details that make a difference. We're going to pick up on nuances, you know, that make that, like, 2 percent conversion happen, that other people are like, “I never even noticed that every single call-to-action button on the top-performing websites is this certain color of green.” You know, but we pick up on these weird little things.
AMY: Oh, I love that. That is a superpower, for sure.
Okay. So that part I wanted to talk to you about it. I know you talk about it a lot online, and I was so curious what that looks like in your business. But I'm going to take a sharp turn, which you're really good at. So there's one more topic that I wanted to make sure we got to talk about, and that is your podcasts. So you actually have two podcasts, so tell everyone the name of both your podcasts.
CHALENE: So I have one that's a business podcast—it's called Build Your Tribe—that my son and I now do together. And then the other one is called The Chalene Show, and it’s, you know, the kitchen sink. It's everything that's going on in my life. It's anything and everything, but not related to business.
AMY: Yeah. It's a great show. Both of them are fantastic shows. But both of them are very highly ranked. Like, they have a lot of downloads. I often see them in all of the charts. And I know my listeners. I have many podcasters listening or want to be podcasters. What are some secrets or tips that you can give to people that are wanting to grow their podcast? because you've done a really good job.
CHALENE: Yeah. So, you know, to be honest, this is a tough time to grow a podcast. It is.
AMY: And why is that?
CHALENE: Because everyone and, like, your cousin just started a podcast. Like, everyone has a podcast. Gwyneth Paltrow has one. Everyone has a podcast.
AMY: And I will say it was way easier five, six years ago.
CHALENE: Wasn't it?
CHALENE: Yeah. I mean, I always say, like, don't judge yourself against somebody else who's, like, at the top, who's been there for a hundred years, you know? So part of the success was just being an early settler.
And then in addition to that, I think, having an email list, right? Like, so, I'm regularly reminding the people who've raised their hand and said, like, “I want to know more,” people are on my email list, I'm regularly reminding them, based on what segment they're in, if there's a podcast episode that I think is going to serve them. It's regularly using that medium to remind people, and all of the mediums to remind people, what it is that will serve them.
I'll tell you what does not work, Amy, and that is promoting, just a simple promotion to your Instagram feed for your podcast. It'll kill the algorithm. You won't get any likes or any engagement. I'm exaggerating. But, like, it just does not work, because we don't want self-promotion, right? Now, if you can find a creative way to tell a story, and then in the caption say something like, “If that was interesting to you or if it resonates with you, you should listen to the podcast that I did on Monday. Send me the word podcast, and I'll DM you the link.” Don't use “Link in Bio.” Link in Bio has such a low conversion rate. The link sticker box also on Stories, incredibly low conversion rate, low engagement, low reach, all those things.
So at the moment—of course, you know, this changes monthly, weekly—but at the moment, I think the number-one marketing tip I could give to people who are promoting your podcast is use a tool like Manychat. And if you have a small-enough following, you don't even have to use that. You can just tell people the word to comment, and then you search for that word, and DM that person the link to your podcast, and start a conversation, as opposed to, like, saying, “Go click the link in my bio,” which nobody does.
AMY: Yeah. Okay. That's great. I can use some of those tips, for sure. So I’m glad that you shared that. You are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Instagram. I feel like you know so much about that.
And thinking about your podcast, you do one with your son.
CHALENE: Two episodes a week there. And then, we were doing three episodes of The Chalene Show.
AMY: A week?
AMY: That's a lot.
CHALENE: Plus, a Patreon that I do once a week. So it was six days or six episodes, basically, a week. And so The Chalene Show ones are easy. Like, you know, there's not a lot of—they're easier than the business ones. I guess there's less preparation that goes into them because it's kind of like what's going on in my life. But they still took a lot of time. And, you know, I think we're at, like, ninety million downloads or something. And there were a couple times, if I'm being honest, in the last, like, probably six months, where I would catch myself talking myself out of the idea that I'm overwhelmed.
CHALENE: You know, like, “No, you’re not. It’s just because you weren't organized today, but, you know, you'll just get ahead, and you'll batch content, and you'll do blah, blah, blah, and then you won't be overwhelmed next week.” And I just kept having this conversation over and over and over and starting to resent the thing that I love the most, which is podcasting. And I just realized, like, “Wait. Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? I don't need to compete with myself. I don't need to beat anyone. I don't have to prove anything. What do I want? I want peace.” And that's why I make most decisions.
You know, like we were chatting before we started today, a mutual friend of ours was talking to me about, you know, maybe writing another book someday. And I'm like, “Never.” I mean, I should never say never, but, like, I want peace. And it was very disruptive of my peace. And I tried it twice, and I think a third time would really make me a fool. Like, there's other ways for me to reach people. There's other ways that make me happier and keep my life peaceful. I want peace.
AMY: Oh, I love that. That's my word of the year, so I love that you’re saying that.
CHALENE: Is it?
So there's two other things I want to ask you before I let you go. Number one, I want to talk to you about aging in your business, okay? And I've got a point to that, so I'm going to come back to that one. But also, you have two kids, a boy and a girl, and I think both of them are entrepreneurial. Is that right?
CHALENE: Yeah. My daughter has a graphic-design firm, and she's launching a beauty brand. And my son is a digital marketer.
AMY: He's fantastic. I know more about Brock, right?—
AMY: —than your daughter. And what's your daughter's name?
CHALENE: My daughter's name is Cierra. And she—
CHALENE: —she is, like, the antithesis. Like, she wants to stay as far away from anything that could be associated with nepotism as possible. She's like, “Mom, do not tag me. Do not tag me.” I'm like, “All right.”
AMY: Oh, my gosh, I love her.
But how did you raise entrepreneurial kids? Because I got to confess, my son also goes to Davis, like Brock did, and he's going to graduate in a year, and he wants to be an electrical engineer, and that is his focus. That boy is going to work for someone. And he has no other idea in his head, no matter what I’ve tried. So I have not raised an entrepreneur yet. We never know what's going to come of Cade.
AMY: But you have. Like, since they were really young, I feel like you've been doing this. How did you do that?
CHALENE: Not intentional, other than, like, kind of just doing the things that my parents did. And my goal was not to raise entrepreneurs. My goal was to raise kids who knew they could do whatever they wanted, and they would be able to figure out the problem, right? So I wanted them to figure out, like, “Okay. I've got this thing I need to deal with. Instead of Mom going in to talk to the teacher, you're going to be able to do that. Let's figure out—we’ll plan what you need to say and how you want to approach this. You want to buy this special toy. Well, let's come up with a creative way to make some money.” So I want to teach them instead telling them, “Hey, you can do anything,” I want them to experience that.
We made them—listen, we could have bought them both brand-new Mercedes. We made them both buy their own cars. Like, Brock bought an old Ford truck. I forget what Cierra bought.
And I knew how much confidence—like, look, I'm on a podcast, what, forty years later, telling you with such pride about the first car that I bought.
CHALENE: And they knew that was a gift that my parents gave me was to not give, but to teach me by experience that I could figure it out. And I wanted to give that same gift to my kids. So anything they wanted to do that was, like, big, we would say, “Let's help you figure out a way to do that.”
We never—you know, sometimes I watch these shows, like on Shark Tank, and they have, like, a twelve-year-old on there with a little suit, and he, like, knows the numbers and stuff for his business? And I'm like, “Give me a break. Let the kid be a freakin’ kid.”
CHALENE: “That kid’s going to need therapy later.” So we were never that kind of entrepreneurial parent. I was, like, “If you want to do a lemonade stand this weekend, great.” Brock had, like—they both had, like, ten different businesses, but they would be interested in them for about three weeks. And that was enough.
CHALENE: It was enough.
AMY: That's a great point, too. Letting them be interested and then uninterested when they want to be.
CHALENE: I just wanted them to, like, experience, like, “Okay. You figured it out.”
AMY: Yes. Okay. I love that. Well, it's worked really well. They're beautiful kids inside and out, so it's really fun watching them.
CHALENE: Thank you so much for that. I should have mentioned that when you said, “Tell people about yourself,” I think that's the thing I'm the most proud of is that, and I have the most confidence in what I do, is I am a great wife. We've been married for twenty-eight years, and I know I did—I wasn't perfect—but I know I really focused on being the best parent I could be, and that was more important than being a great entrepreneur. And that meant, a lot of times, I had to do things slower. It meant a lot of times I had to put blinders on because I was seeing what everybody else was doing, and I’m, like, “But if I do that, I won’t have time with the kids.” For me, it was about knowing I would never, ever get an opportunity to parent them again. But I could always, like, hustle and grind later.
CHALENE: And it was hard. So I want to say to anyone out there who's a mom or a dad and you're in the thick of it, don't compare yourself to anyone who either doesn't have kids or that's not their priority, because it is yours. And that's a really difficult decision, but, man, you will not regret it later.
AMY: Ah, I totally agree with that, 100 percent. So I'm glad you brought that up because we have a lot of parents listening.
So. Okay. So the last topic I want to talk to you about is aging in your business. And the reason I say this is you—I don't know if I've ever had a woman come on the show and say, “I'm in my fifties.” First of all, I loved how you owned it, right when you got on the show. And also, of course, you look amazing and gorgeous. And I've always felt that way about you. But even if you didn't, this conversation is still equally important in the sense of, you know, I started fourteen years ago, so I haven't been doing it as long as you have. But I'll see videos of me fourteen years ago, and I look a whole lot younger. And so because I've done so much video, watching myself age, and I know some women can relate to this, it's a little daunting to see the wrinkles come up and see you change on camera. And there's proof all over online. Have you embraced aging? Do you love, you know, getting older and embracing that? Or what does that look like in your world?
CHALENE: Yeah. Okay. So let me be completely honest. First of all, I love Botox. I love, like, doing all of the things. I'm a fan of—if you want to get plastic surgery, go for it, girl.
CHALENE: Just make sure you do your research first. And I'm a fan of all those things. Like, I've had fillers before. I need them right now. But people have said, when I do that, I've heard people comment, like, “You should just embrace aging.” I'm like, “Excuse me? Like, dude, I've been doing this—this is not about aging—I've been doing these things since the moment I could afford it. Are you kidding me?” Like, I'm trying to make the most of what God gave me. These are veneers. The second I had enough money to pay for veneers, I'm like, “I'm fixing these Michigan teeth as fast as possible.”
AMY: I love that you're so honest about it, though.
CHALENE: Oh, god, yes, because it's not fair to someone who, like, measures themself up against, like, you know, and think that this is just good genes. No. This is money. You look at people who got a lot of money, they always look younger because they can afford all the things. So there's that.
But again, I don't know if I have, like, body dysmorphia, but I was looking at my iCloud account yesterday, and I was looking at videos from, like, five years ago. I'm like, “What—oh my god, who even let me go on camera? I look horrible. Like, this horrible makeup, this horrible hairstyle, these hair extensions down to my butt. What was I thinking? Like, so dumb.” So I usually have, like, rose-colored glasses on and probably think I look younger than I do. Like, when I tell someone my age and they don't freak out, I want to go, “What is wrong with you?” You know? Like, I'll be, like, “I'm fifty-four.” And then I wait for the reaction, and then there's none. I’m like, “Son of a…”
AMY: Okay. I love it.
CHALENE: So here's what I would say about aging. And as a woman, like, I just feel you fear aging, right? But every single year—this is all I can say for me—is I feel smarter, and I feel more attractive. And maybe it's not true, but who cares? because that's what I feel.
CHALENE: Right? So I feel like I was fatter, uglier, and dumber, probably when, you know, ten years ago when I was probably thinner, you know, like, all those things. So I don't know if it's, like, God's way of, like, making everything fairer, but maybe it's confidence, maybe you just don't care.
AMY: I was going to say there's a lot of confidence that comes from aging—
AMY: —and also carrying a whole lot less.
AMY: Like, I see as I get older, I care a whole lot less. And so that's a beautiful thing about aging.
CHALENE: It's such a waste of time to worry what other people think, because someone will—I don't care who you are—they will find fault. So it's, like, just embrace yourself. And it is harder for the ladies 1,000 percent. I mean, when was the last time—my husband watches, like, I don't know, his financial programs on TV, and I watch the men newscasters they bring on. I’m, like, that guy is a troll. He's old, and he's a troll, but they never bring on women who are old and unattractive. They have to look like, you know, thirty-three and va-va-voom.
AMY: Yes. It's really unfair. So I feel like women have it a little bit harder, for sure. But also, I think, I love that you said you feel smarter, sexier, confident as you get older. That's a beautiful thing. I think that’s the way to do it, for sure.
So tell me this before I let you go. What are you excited about right now? What's going on? What are you looking forward to? What's happening?
CHALENE: Yeah. You know, I am excited—well, I just started with therapy with a new therapist, so I'm always excited to find out, like, how can I be a better human? And that sounds like cliche, but if I were to be specific about it, I don't really know how to be a great parent to my adult kids, so I feel sometimes a little useless to them, if that makes sense. Like, when I used to be able to tell them what to do, I knew I could make their lives better. But now I have to, like, stand back and let them just do what they want to do. And I have to learn how to do that and also still feel valuable or good about myself. So that's an honest thought. And I get excited to grow because life is easier when you grow. And I'm also excited to just embrace the season where my kids aren't at home, and we can take on these things that I had always kind of waited until the time was right, waited until we had more bandwidth. And we've got more bandwidth now, and so that's exciting.
AMY: Oh, absolutely. It's like a new season, and I feel like you're really embracing it.
So tell everyone where they can learn more about you.
CHALENE: Well, the regular day-to-day stuff, my Instagram Stories, I think, are pretty epic.
AMY: They are.
CHALENE: I'm constantly sharing, like, whatever crazy, fun thing I think is going to make your life better. So I'll probably make you spend more on Amazon than you need to.
And for business, I would tell people to listen to Build Your Tribe.
AMY: Yes, absolutely. Great podcast.
My friend, thank you for being here. I was so looking forward to having this conversation. I'm glad we got to kind of go all over the place because these are all the things my audience wants to hear about. So thank you so very much.
CHALENE: Amy, thanks for having me. Talk to you soon.
AMY: So there you have it. I don't know about you, but I am always blown away by that woman. I feel like she is a wealth of knowledge, and I love all the advice that she shares, because it comes from actual experience. She's done it herself. She's in the trenches. She's made the mistakes. She's put a ton of hard work over many, many years into this. So what she says, I feel like it has extra weight to it, in the best possible way.
I think one of my most favorite parts is when I was asking her about being so vulnerable on social. And she's like, “Don't do what I do. Do what I say.” Like, who's usually honest like that? Like, I thought that was very refreshing.
And also, it had me thinking—just stay with me here for a minute, and then we'll end this episode—but it had me thinking, you know, we follow people's advice. We look at what they're doing online. We try to mimic it, model it. “Oh, they're doing that. I should do that,” or “She's sharing a lot on social media. Maybe I should share more.” But Chalene said something that I probably need to talk about even more, which is seasons. We're all in different seasons. You, if you're still in a nine-to-five job, you just read my book Two Weeks Notice, you're thinking about leaving your job, starting your own business, you, my sweet friend, are in a very different season than I am, fourteen years in.
Now, I make sure that when I teach something, and I know Chalene does this as well, I know who I'm teaching to, and I make sure I give them the advice that works for their season. So whenever you come into my world and you learn from me, I'm very clear about where you are and where you want to go, and I teach you for the season you're in. But just watching people online and what they're doing, we can't compare like, “Oh, I've got to do that,” because we're not really sure what season they're in or what their goal is. And Chalene’s like, “I'm not trying to grow my social media.” Uh, I've never even heard that before. I feel like everyone's trying to grow their social media. That was interesting to know.
So before you—here's my point—before you compare yourself or think you're not doing enough to someone online, someone on social, you're seeing them do something that you think you should do, remind yourself they could be in a very different season. So why don't you put your head down, get clear on what you want, where you're going after, and you just do what's best for you? How refreshing is that? That's kind of what I took away from this talk today, amongst a lot of other things that I thought were incredible.
So if you loved it, tell me your favorite part. Jump on Instagram, DM me, let me know what you loved most about this episode. I want to hear from you. I'm just @amyporterfield on Instagram. Hopefully, you're following, because that's where I share most of my tips, secrets, and strategies.
All right, my sweet friend. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.