No matter how long we’ve been working at something or how much money we make, doubts will creep in and times of uncertainty will come. But we must learn to listen to that little voice inside that guides us. Tuning into the wisdom of that inner voice, as well as listening to the wisdom of…

EP #11

S03 Episode 11: A Conversation with Deborah Perlman

No matter how long we’ve been working at something or how much money we make, doubts will creep in and times of uncertainty will come. But we must learn to listen to that little voice inside that guides us. Tuning into the wisdom of that inner voice, as well as listening to the wisdom of others will fuel us with resolve to carry on.

In this episode, I chatted with Deborah Perlman, founder and CEO of Cocus Pocus about listening to that inner voice. We discuss building your own Queendom, dancing with failure, dealing with hires that don’t work out, and more. Deborah shares how she was encouraged to leave corporate America and do for herself what she’d been accomplishing for others. As you listen to her share her experiences and what she’s learned since becoming an entrepreneur, I hope you are emboldened to follow your own little voice.

“I look at these people in these high level positions and it looks like a golden cage to me now.” – Deborah Perlman

What You’ll Learn

  • Building your own Queendom
  • Rewriting expectations
  • Dancing with failure
  • Dealing with hires that don’t work out
  • Changing your clothes
  • Sitting with the thoughts as they come
  • Listening to that little voice

Meet Deborah Perlman, Lifestyle Brand CEO

Deborah is the Founder and CEO of Cocus Pocus, an international lifestyle brand that designs and curates clothes, art, accessories, gifts, stationery, and more. Their carefully curated goods are meant to cultivate a creative lifestyle and they are inspired by the power of friendship, the good old days, and all things fun.

Cocus Pocus is also really into supporting their community of customers, fellow artists, and like-minded brands. They think there is room at the top for all of us.

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Deborah Perlman

Connect with Kris Plachy

I love and appreciate reviews from my listeners on iTunes. Would you do me the favor and take a few moments to write one today?

Kris Plachy: Hey, I have a quick announcement before we get started. So many of my clients start How to CEO because they have issues on the team, and they can’t figure out, okay, is this a me thing, or them thing? Am I the problem? Or are they the problem? In order to address that, I’m doing a 5-day course live, called The Team Audit.

It’s hosted in a couple of weeks in May. You need to register. Go to www.krisplachy.com/audit, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. Every day, I’m going to teach you exactly what you need to do to determine, are they the problem? Or am I the problem? And then what do I do about it once I know the answer? www.krisplachy.com/audit, sign up now, it’s going to be amazing, it’ll be fun, and mostly, it’ll answer that very pressing question that I know you have. Now, back to our regular programming.

Welcome to Season Three of the Leadership is Feminine podcast. I’m Kris Plachy, and I’m so happy that you’re here. In this season, we’re doing something different. One of the things that I believe to be true is that there is so much unsourced beautiful wisdom in the everyday person. I really like to talk about what I call obscure wisdom. That means these are things that people know, that unless we meet them at a cocktail party, or at a barbecue, or sitting next to them on a train, we don’t hear about it.

And these aren’t celebrities, these aren’t people who’ve written bestselling books yet, these aren’t people that are on the circuit that everybody else is learning from. These are everyday women, who are CEOs, building, dealing with, working through all the pieces and parts of running a company. And I want to bring my beautiful clients, and their wisdom to your ears, because I know that you’ll find it to be validating, and insightful, and hopefully also some fun. So, without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s amazing personal client and guest on Leadership is Feminine.

Hello, everybody, welcome, welcome to this episode of the podcast, Leadership is feminine, I’m Kris Plachy your host, and I am so excited to have Deborah Perlman here. Deborah is a client, we’ve been working together for a year, yes?

Deborah Perlman: It’s about a year.

Kris Plachy: It’s almost a year. So fun. So, Deborah, why don’t you tell everyone quickly who you are— or not quickly, I don’t know why I said quickly, it doesn’t have to be quickly. Let’s just be clear, that was erroneous direction, don’t follow that. Why don’t you help everybody know who you are and what you do in the world, and all the things, we’ll go from there.

Deborah Perlman: Sure. I am Deborah, and I am the CEO of Cocus Pocus, and Cocus Pocus is a retail brand, it’s a lifestyle brand with home decor, apparel, accessories, and everything in between.

Kris Plachy: Fabulous. Yes, and if you all are looking for really fun and different and clever, that’s one of the things that I would say most about Deborah and my work with her, is you’re very clever, right? You just have a really clever personality, and you come up with really interesting things. So, her website’s really super fun, it’s www.cocuspocus.com, right? Is that right?

Deborah Perlman: Yes.

Kris Plachy: Yes, so go check that out. So, you’ve just had a few fun wins too in your business. Do you want to talk about what those are?

Deborah Perlman: I have, yeah. I think every year, I’ve had a big moment. So, last year, I had an item in the fab fit fun subscription box. So, in a really cute and cheeky checkered baseball cap, and that went out all over the country. And the latest big moment was a segment on The Today Show. So, we have these bathrobes that I just wrote funny memes on the back, like when you’re up in the morning, and you don’t want to talk to anybody, and you’re pouring your coffee, you can just say it with your bath robe.

Kris Plachy: It says everything. At this point, read my back, I don’t want to talk to you. I love it, that’s awesome. And how long have you had Cocus Pocus? Where are you in that?

Deborah Perlman: Where am I? So, this is fun, because my background is in the beauty industry, and I worked in factories for a long time, and then I helped other brands get started, and then I thought, oh, I’ll do something for myself that I couldn’t do it in beauty at the time. So, I just thought, I would just do everything else, which everyone told me was not a good idea, that you’re supposed to be very focused, and have a niche, and that’s not how my brain works. My brain works in colors and layers and concepts, and confetti.

Kris Plachy: Well, and for anyone who’s just listening and not watching this video, which you will have access to on YouTube, you’ll see, like her background will make perfect sense, right? We’re looking at all shades of purple, pink, red, orange, yellow, blue, green.

Deborah Perlman: Yes.

Kris Plachy: Yes.

Deborah Perlman: [Inaudible 05:24] It’s my pantone life.

Kris Plachy: And I wear a matching sweater, just for you now, yep.

Deborah Perlman: Okay, Kris, I forgot the question.

Kris Plachy: How long has Cocus Pocus been around?

Deborah Perlman: Oh yes, four years.

Kris Plachy: Four years.

Deborah Perlman: Yes. So, I started it actually just, I thought I’ll just do everything, and I started it just as a website, and I didn’t even have a company open, it was just something on the side, and I knew that I could just do that, and then I got my first big order, and I had to open an LLC. And I had done this for other people many times, and it was the first time doing it for myself, and I remember just being excited to fill out my insurance documents and all those things.

Kris Plachy: Now, those are just exciting.

Deborah Perlman: Well, the new things are exciting, but I just remember the first time, like I’m signing my name, and I’m not filling everything out and taking it to the boss to sign it. Big moments. Those were the programs in the early days, was just getting it started, and knowing that it was mine. And I should mention that I had tried many other ideas, and most of them with partners. And for some reason, there was just always like a friction or an imbalance and motivation, and this was the first time that I just said, I’m just going to do this on my own, it’s going to be all me, and if I want to take someone in later, I will. But as Kris Plachy tells us, this is my queendom.

Kris Plachy: This is your queendom, yeah. And business partnerships, we need to be so right. I think business partnerships require more scrutiny than marriage.

Deborah Perlman: Well, it’s like a marriage…

Kris Plachy: Yes, it is.

Deborah Perlman: …In many situations.

Kris Plachy: It’s just so messy to get out of.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah. Unless you want to walk away with nothing, which is always an option, but yeah.

Kris Plachy: I think it’s a…. I mean, I often meet people on the other end of that, right? When they’re trying to negotiate where all the challenges are, and we’re actually going to do a How to Co-CEO, we’re going to put something together for people who are doing this work together, because people need that, they really need the language of it. But I highly advise anybody contemplating a partnership to be really, really… like I always, my standard advice is, you get a lawyer, they get a lawyer, and the business gets a lawyer.

Deborah Perlman: That’s good advice.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, so everybody’s interests are handled, and then those three people work it out, instead of the lawyer that you have also takes care of the business, and then the other business partner has their own lawyer, right? We know how that goes forward.

Deborah Perlman: Oh, that’s a great filter right there, because you have to be really serious to go and have three lawyers.

Kris Plachy: That’s legit, even if it’s just out of your garage right now.

Deborah Perlman: Sure.

Kris Plachy: I get it, yeah. So, I’m kind of curious about, because I have so much respect for, and I’m so inspired by so many different types of entrepreneurs, it’s always so fun, right? So many different ways that people make money. But it is this audacious thing, right? Like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to do that, I’m going to sell these products, and I’m going to make money.” What did he think it was when you first decided four years ago, “I’m going to do this?” Like what was it? Doesn’t it seem like its kind of audacious, like I think it’s true for all of us, like, what makes you think you can do that?

Deborah Perlman: I think it was a combination of I had done it for other people, I knew I could do it, and it was a mentor I had in another area of my life, he said, “You might want to think about how you talk about yourself, and your ability to make money for other people. You might look into that and see if you want to just do it for you,” and that planted a seed, and then I thought, “Okay, yes, I do know how to do this.” And in my jobs, when I was working as an employee, I was so all in. And I know if I go all in on myself, or on a project I want to do, if in the end I can’t do it, it wasn’t doable, it just.

Kris Plachy: Because if I can’t do it, listen to me.

Deborah Perlman: Yes.

Kris Plachy: No, but that’s true, right? The one person, you know you can rely on the most. I remember when I was first starting my business, I was doing master coach training, and I was getting coached, because I had been building my own business for almost a year. And it wasn’t going very well, right? I just wasn’t getting a lot of traction, I’d had a couple clients, but nothing major. And the thing that I kept telling myself was that it’s irresponsible, I’m being irresponsible for pursuing my dream. It’s an irresponsibility of three young kids, mortgage, like this is irresponsible.

And I remember Brooke, who was my master coach, teacher at the time, she said, “I don’t think there’s anything more responsible than being self-employed. Like, you are absolutely saying, I’m completely in charge of this, like it has total responsibility.” And I’ll never forget it, because it was, I had been sort of, I think we all, a lot of us have that corporate, or I’ll be an employee mindset. And we think that’s somehow more responsible than being an entrepreneur, when really, like you said, “Listen, if someone’s going to make this work, I’m going to put my money on me.”

Deborah Perlman: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: I love that, that’s awesome.

Deborah Perlman: And now, I look at some of my friends who—and I was a director level in a beauty company. I look at, I’m in Berlin, Oregon, and we have a lot of shoe people here, like Nike and Adidas, and I just bought my Portland Leather Backpack.

Kris Plachy: Oh, I love that shop.

Deborah Perlman: I do too. I have a dream to open a store on the same street as them.

Kris Plachy: Okay, there you go.

Deborah Perlman: But I look these people in these high-level positions, and it looks like a golden cage to me now. And I’m like: It looks great, and it’s great and you’re moving forward, and there’s always just something else dangling out there that keeps people in those positions until they retire. And then they never live that dream. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

Kris Plachy: No, and you’re not, so that’s nice.

Deborah Perlman: I had something else too in that transition of like, am I really going to do this? Am I really going to be self-employed? And he was a family friend, and he’s a financial advisor, and I went to him, I would say just for…And we had a long talk about everything, and then I think he was giving me a tour of his office, and I just mentioned like, I have this order coming up, and maybe I need to take on a partner, and he was like, “Bankroll yourself.”

And I was like, “I can do that?” I mean, I took money out of like a mutual fund, and I put it into my business. And I was like, “Are you sure? Like, I thought I was supposed to leave it there, and not touch it.” And he’s just like, “I would bet on you.” “Well, I would too, so now there’s two of us.”

Kris Plachy: So, it’s clearly a path forward, that’s how we’re going to do this.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: But it’s true, right? If you’re willing to make that kind of, it’s risk, it’s all risk.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: But it’s a lot of fun. So, what would you say, because now you’ve been this entrepreneur for four years—and you have another part of the work in the world that you do as well, right? In international trade.

Deborah Perlman: Right.

Kris Plachy: Yes. What have you found to be the biggest stumbling…? You know, there’s the tactical stuff that I know is hard, but from a more strategic leadership perspective, what has been the biggest stumbling block for you that you’ve had to work through?

Deborah Perlman: Oh, there’s been a lot. You’ve been coaching me for a year. There’ve been stumbling blocks, and this is crazy, because I can say all of these hard things that happen, like, I had orders canceled, I have problems with shipments, I hired staff, and they would leave, and I got coached with Kris all the way through this, and all through that stuff, I look back and I 4X my business during that year that I was coming to the calls, and spilling the tea. I’m wondering, is today the day I quit? I’m just curious. And Kris gave me permission to quit, she’s like, you might want to quit, that’s fine, you can quit. I’m like, oh no, I’m not going to quit now.

Kris Plachy: That’s good to know, that’s a good incentive for you.

Deborah Perlman: Good. Yeah, I didn’t quit.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, you can send all of your excess merchandise down to me, I’ll take it.

Deborah Perlman: It’s a lot.

Kris Plachy: I should be careful, right? Yeah, because I think the thing about the team part, right? Which is, of course, what we focus so much on, and all of these business operation, business model, how to deliver results, and you, like so many of my other clients, have beliefs about how it should look, right? And once you realize, oh, maybe I don’t have to think about it that way, maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, maybe it could be different, and maybe it being hard or difficult or crazy frustrating isn’t a stop sign, it’s just like, okay, well, let’s get more clever, let’s think about this differently. What else is available to me, that I haven’t considered?

Deborah Perlman: Right. One of our topics that I’ve asked for so much coaching on is Facebook ads, right? How many coaching sessions?

Kris Plachy: For anybody listening to this who knows me is like, “Oh, that’s funny, Kris Plachy’s coaching you on Facebook ads.”

Deborah Perlman: But to learn how to hire a marketing company, and do all this stuff, and I finally had the epiphany about the Facebook ads.

Kris Plachy: Which is?

Deborah Perlman: Which is, I am always…I think I’ve hired four different agencies and a couple of freelancers, and now no one is currently hired, but in all of these meetings, conversations, presentations, they’re all these statistics. 93% of this, and 95% of that. And I listened really hard, and I believed really hard in the 93’s and in the 95’s. And then I realized, when there’s a 93, those like another seven, and I’m over there. And when there’s a 95, there’s another five, and I’m over there. And I just have to listen to myself on some of the stuff, and the businesses at a point where so much of it is still me, and coming from my brain, and I’m pretty sure the next Facebook ads campaign, it will be written by me, and I think it’ll pop the top off this topic.

Kris Plachy: That’s one of the…I was just having this conversation with Michelle today in our team meeting, that that growth of you being all of the elements here, from strategy and tactics, to then strategy, you hire for tactics, right? And then you hire for strategy, that’s how it works. And so, there’s a lot of failures through that process. And that’s, I think, what is ultimately so frustrating, because as entrepreneurs, we don’t have a tremendous amount of patience, right?

Deborah Perlman: My patient expired.

Kris Plachy: It’s way past…It’s by use by date. It’s so true. Yeah.

Deborah Perlman: I mean, I do have to just throw in here, but when there is something expired in the fridge, I just tell everyone, it’s just a suggestion. It doesn’t mean we have to throw it out. Sniff test, right?

Kris Plachy: Do not sniff test sour cream or milk. But you probably don’t have this in your fridge [inaudible 17:51] dairy.

Deborah Perlman: Thank you for the tip.

Kris Plachy: That’s fine, because the other ones last a lot longer anyway. Anyway, we’re off topic, but it’s like, who are we talking about? Oh, there’s so much failure. You have to go through this dance with failure to arrive at things, and sometimes it ultimately means, okay, I have to get this clear. Because I think every time we make a hire that doesn’t work out, sure there’s people who don’t tell, who are not honest with us, they don’t tell us things that we probably should hear. But we also, I think, are eager to be helped that we don’t pursue a lot of answers as well. Because it’s so like, “Oh, someone is here that is going to save me a little bit.” You just get better and better and better at the questions you ask.

Deborah Perlman: And I think dialling in the job descriptions, that was the biggest key to unlocking how to get help in this world, where a lot of companies…I hear on our calls, it’s hard to hire people, especially, food and beverage people, in those in-person jobs are hard to hire. I feel really lucky that I have people who want to be a part of this. They want to be here, they believe in me, they believe in what I’m doing and they’re excited to learn. So, that’s been amazing. Lots of bad hires though, did have some people.

Kris Plachy: Lots of bad hires. I was just talking with someone today, she’s reading Ready, Aim Fire, is the name of the book. And in that book, he says that 50% of your hires won’t work out.

Deborah Perlman: That sounds like something Broke Castillo would say, 50/50.

Kris Plachy: 50/50, isn’t that interesting? She might have said it.

Deborah Perlman: She might have said it. I might have mentally argued with her on that topic for months.

Kris Plachy: Plenty people want to argue.

Deborah Perlman: But I gave in.

Kris Plachy: It does make you feel better, right? 50% of the people you hire aren’t going to work out. So, what does that mean? That means that you stop arguing.

Deborah Perlman: With 50 are.

Kris Plachy: Exactly, 50 will, 50 won’t so keep hiring, instead of arguing that you have to keep hiring.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah, that was something I accepted, after I mentally argued with you about it, is like, a lot of us in this program have become friends offline. And so we do all talk like, we’re going to be hiring people forever. And that’s going to look like people in our companies. And that’s going to look like if we need someone to do some type of home repair, that’s all hiring. And we’re doing this for the rest of our lives. And then when you accept that you’re like, “Fine, I’m just always hiring”.

Kris Plachy: There are lots of people available to help me in whatever it is, I want to do too, I love to believe that because I do believe it’s true. The only time I ever struggle with tapping into people that are the right people is when I’m not clear about what I’m looking for. That’s it.

Deborah Perlman: That’s true.

Kris Plachy: Elizabeth Purvis, who’s in the program, you’ve probably met her…

Deborah Perlman: She is a volunteer. She came to my last… I like having celebrations for myself when I hit big milestones, I met her for the first time. She came to our party.

Kris Plachy: I love that. That makes me so happy that you guys gather outside of your time here. We’re going to do a Client Appreciation gathering. Were you on that call?

Deborah Perlman: I don’t think so.

Kris Plachy: I will look for that. We’re going to save the date come out. They’re going to come to my hometown.

Deborah Perlman: Fun.

Kris Plachy:Yeah, right? Totally hosted day, let’s do it, which won’t be a big deal for you, because you’re just a hop, skip and a jump.

Deborah Perlman: I can just pop down for the day.

Kris Plachy: See, so fun. But one of the things that she said, when I did this podcast interview with her, she said, “I know that as soon as I have imagined and gotten super clear about who this person is., I know that they’re there.” But that’s the work, that’s our work, right? And that’s where a lot of us just want someone to come in and do it without really cultivating it. And even you said the job description, which, listen, there’s nothing sexy about a job description, it’s excruciating for a lot of people to write them, but then you have one, and you tend to find people better that way. You find the better people that way who are better suited for what you’re looking for.

I have another question; this is something I’ve been asking a lot of the clients that I’ve been talking to. There are lots of things about being a CEO that nobody talks about, you running this business, and I’m curious what you think some of those things are?

Deborah Perlman: Oh, what we don’t talk about? But it’s hard now because we talk about all the things in our calls and offline. The stuff nobody talks about in a product-based business, what we don’t talk about is how many boxes I carry and how many times we’ve been working with storage units and calling friends and family to come iron, pack, I’ll pay you in pizza…

Kris Plachy: Yeah, there’s a grubby part of it.

Deborah Perlman: But I have a lot of energy and I like to move, so that suits me well. So, I’m happy that there is a physical component to my business. I wouldn’t be able to just sit on Zoom calls all day long. And then probably my biggest struggle as a CEO is turning my brain off and switching roles. We’ve definitely talked about this. I have three young kids and Kris just told me, “Just change your clothes.” Do you remember this?

Kris Plachy: Yeah.

Deborah Perlman: And it totally worked. She’s like, “You’re going from CEO mode to mom mode and you don’t have time, you’re just going to have to change your outfit,” and that has worked for me.

Kris Plachy: I’d love that that has worked for you. I just wrote an article about, how we can take better care of ourselves with intention. And one of them is – this is my belief, this is not a firm fact – but I believe I’m getting to the point where I think the best thing is that the business has a social media account, but the human doesn’t. Especially if you’re in an impasse because you pick up so much and of course, right now, it’s overwhelming. But that was another one, because I’m the same, you have an office that you go to, I work in my office in my home, and then I walk across the hall to go to my family room and my kitchen.

And changing my clothes has been a huge part of just that ceremonial, like, “Okay, I’m taking off the day.” I actually know some people who go through the whole process, they wash their face, they do a whole process, “I’m done, taking off my makeup. I’m done.” But I love that you do that.

Deborah Perlman: I do. And then my friends are like, “Oh, I love your mom clothes.” What does that mean?

Kris Plachy: Listen, you probably look nice and comfy. Mom’s clothes, I don’t know. I’m assuming there’s a sweatshirt involved, a very cute sweatshirt from Cocus Pocus.

Deborah Perlman: My daughter has started to steal my stuff. And it’s huge on her. But it’s been disappearing.

Kris Plachy: Yes. Welcome. That’s the rest of your life as far as I know, at least for me, I have a daughter, every now and then, “That looks familiar. That’s cute. Where did you get that?” Okay, so I think that’s the grubbiness of the other side. It’s been interesting to hear what other people say. I’ve been equating it to people talking all the time about getting pregnant and how great it is to have a baby, but then there are all these things that happen when you’re pregnant. You’re like, “Seriously, nobody was going to tell me this part. I didn’t know about this part.”

Deborah Perlman: I have a girlfriend who was like, “Listen I just had a baby, and let me tell you what’s not in the book…” I have that girlfriend.

Kris Plachy: We all need those friends, like, “This happens, it’s not weird. It’s normal, just no big deal”.

Deborah Perlman: I hope that we are those girlfriends for the people listening, where we are like, “Listen, this is happening”.

Kris Plachy: Well, what I think is super cool… shameless plug for How to CEO Lab, but I will say it, it’s just that everybody is cool, down to Earth, authentic. I’ve been in different environments where everybody feels like they have to be dolled up and ready. And the goal for everybody, at least in my experience is people just want to be there, they show up, regardless and I love that. I love the realness of people.

Deborah Perlman: I’ve been fortunate to be in different communities and groups at different times. And sometimes there’s that feeling of we’re all supposed to be here. I was in the last round where it was live, with five classes for the beginning. Of course, I was in the last round. That’s usually where I land right on time, maybe a few minutes early. It’s been a great group of like-minded women. And I’m not sure if I told you this, but I went to a real estate conference because I do some other transactions in another company I own. And I wanted to learn more about real estate and I went and there was so much value in these three days, so much and then they wanted to bring people on for more. And I was so turned off by it. And that’s when I realized, oh, I already have my people, I already have them and they’re in the How to CEO Lab. And that’s when I signed up to go to the Hawaii retreat. My people are not here, they’re going to Hawaii.

Kris Plachy: That’s a nice thing to say, why did you decide to go to Hawaii? What was it?

Deborah Perlman: It was literally that weekend, where I was like, these are not my people, I already found my people. This was really interesting and there was a lot of information here. But these are not my people.

Kris Plachy: Interesting. Well, I’m so excited that you’re coming. I do my first lunch next week.

Deborah Perlman: Jealous.

Kris Plachy: I know, I’m so excited. I’ll be in Hawaii for two weeks.

Deborah Perlman: It’s tough.

Kris Plachy: It is a little rough. I know. I was in the Berkshires last week. Listen to me, “I was in the Berkshires last week.’

Deborah Perlman: Now, do you remember when you were having drama about should I go work for myself?

Kris Plachy: Yeah, but there’s so much value. When I started my business, in 2012, I did my first retreat in Hawaii. And I’ve wanted to do this forever and for eight and a half of the 10 years, it’s been very difficult to do the retreats to fill, and I just kept doing it every year. And now I’m going to do four this year, and they’re sold out. So, you have to just believe and the vision and the dream in my heart were just so compelling that it was never going to end for me. Like, I’m just like, “Listen, if two people come, I’m still going because those are the two people that need to be there.” And I do believe that. And I think that’s true for everything that we do. We have to change our model, we have to change our assets, we have to change maybe the people that help us. There are things we can do but we don’t give up on the goal.

Deborah Perlman: Thanks for telling me that. Sometimes I come to a call and I’m just like, “could you just tell me they keep going?”

Kris Plachy: Remind me I want to be here.

Deborah Perlman: Let me raise my hand, can someone tell me to continue? Help me with my brain a little bit?

Kris Plachy: Yeah. And that’s one of the truths I tell, I know, and is a truth that nobody talks about in some circles is that people who are running $500,000 businesses all the way to $500 million businesses, I would bet at least once a week, question whether or not they should keep doing it, it never ends. I have yet to meet the woman who’s making hundreds of millions of dollars, who doesn’t still think, “I don’t know. I wonder what I could get for it,” at least every now and then. And so there’s this belief, though, that you arrive at a revenue number or a success level, that you don’t do that. That is a lie.

Deborah Perlman: When we did some thought work about what I really want and this and remember, we came to the conclusion that I want to be limitless. Then I realized, that if I want to be limitless, then I’m going to be doing the thought work forever.

Kris Plachy: Yes, you are. As long as you’re alive, your brain is going to be making thoughts.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah, I’m doing it for the rest of my life.

Kris Plachy: And some days, it’s easier to hear your own thinking than others. And some days, those thoughts are so heavy and hard. For me, I always know if today’s kind of a harder thought day, there are days where I don’t even give them a lot of attention. I just know that they’re there. And I know that tomorrow, I will have gone through the cycle and it’ll be okay, like, let’s sit with them and then move along. So, I love that, it is great wisdom. As we pull this together and wrap up, I am curious, you are lovely and so intelligent. You have created quite a world for yourself. So, I’m curious what your wisdom is that you would share with women listening who are running their own businesses.

Deborah Perlman: If you have that idea, if you have a little inclination to do something, you need to listen to it. You need to follow it. I’m 41 and I don’t remember who told me this, but, right around that age, if you don’t listen to that little voice of what you want to do, it comes back to you a decade later, shouting. So, I listened. And it’s not the easiest path but it’s really rewarding, really fulfilling. And I have a lot more time to do other things I want to do and show up for other people in my life. There’s this image that someone with this type of job and a family is super busy, and that’s not true. I’m super productive, but I’m not that busy.

So, if a friend needs help moving, or someone to hold a hand one day, I get to show up, I get to do that. And those friends are always surprised that: “Deborah with the two companies and the three kids, why are you carrying boxes?” I pack boxes faster than anybody I know. So, I’m here for you. And one other thing about being in a position to be limitless and generate revenue is, I know some of my friends have a hard time wrapping their minds around that, and we don’t talk about money that much in this program. But instead of asking those friends who are starting their businesses, how much money do you want to make? I started to ask them, how much money do you want to give away? And then everybody gets this moment of like, “Okay, that’s totally a different place,” empathic CEOs. If we can hold that thought too, it becomes an entirely different mission.

Kris Plachy: Total service. I love that. I love that you said, “I’m productive. I’m not busy.” I love that. That is a gem. So, if you’re listening, think about that. Because there’s a lot of busy that you can indulge unknowingly… started to get lost in it, so very good. Well, thank you for being here today.

Deborah Perlman: Thank you.

Kris Plachy: Where can people find you and Cocus Pocus and all the other things?

Deborah Perlman: You can find Cocus Pocus, and it’s www.cocuspocus.com. And the Instagram handle is the same. It’s @CocusPocus, and you can find me I am Deborah Perlman, that’s my Instagram handle and you can come and see what’s going on in my life as well. It’s pretty wild.

Kris Plachy: Because she does cute, fun Instagramy posty these days with bathrobes and dances to music.

Deborah Perlman: Yeah, there might be a Tik-Tok challenge or two in there.

Kris Plachy: This is the difference between 52 and 41.

Deborah Perlman: Oh, Kris, now we’re doing it, when we come for Client Appreciation Day.

Kris Plachy: Well, we could Tik-Tok. I will do that. You’d be in charge, I’m in. I’ll just do what I’m told.

Deborah Perlman: Just give me 15 minutes.

Kris Plachy: All right. Well, the links to contact and connect with you will be in the show notes, everyone. Thank you for listening and thank you so much Deborah for being here. It’s just been an honor.

Deborah Perlman: Thanks for having me, Kris

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