Flori chats to Small Business Pro student, Lou Fitzpatrick about her journey with Business School for Mums in turning her number one challenge into her biggest business opportunity with The Anxiety Project.
Lou gets real on the internal challenges she's faced for 20+ years around anxiety in this episode. And she also shares how she's turned this internal battle into an empowering vehicle to connect with other anxiety sufferers so that she can help them on their journeys. She explores the steps she took to go from initial concept and idea to now having launched her business.
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Flori Pyke: [00:01:00] Welcome to Episode 31 of the Brave Business Podcast. We're Anna and Flori, the queens of small business and we deliver female entrepreneurs both the business and mindset tools needed to start, grow and scale your small business for success. And it's Flori here today. I am handling the reins and I am very excited to have one of our Small Business PRO students, Lou Fitzpatrick, the super boss of The Anxiety Project and one of our focuses for the month of December is to share a little bit behind the scenes around what's going on for our students and sharing just a few inspirational stories around some of the ladies to watch based on the businesses that they are working on and some of the successes that they've had. So Lou, a huge welcome to you. I am so excited to have you with us. It's just great to have you on the podcast.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:02:07] Thanks so much. I've been looking forward to it and yeah, I'm really excited.
Flori Pyke: [00:02:12] We had a few technical glitches getting here but we're here now.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:02:16] Yes. To be honest that's the main thing. [both laughing]
Flori Pyke: [00:02:21] Luckily Lou has been very forgiving given the fact that I have a seven week old. So thank you, Lou.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:02:26] That's okay. I'll be in your boat soon.
Flori Pyke: [00:02:29] Yes you will be. You just wait till you are in this boat, you'll totally relate. No. But. I think most people listening probably relate. You remember back to what it was like in those early newborn days [Lou agrees] and I'm here. That's the important thing and you're here.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:02:46] You're very inspiring doing that. [both laughing]
Flori Pyke: [00:02:50] Oh look. You know rain, hail or shine, you'll find a way. Now, how is it going Lou? I'd love to, you know, ask you a few questions around your business but before I do, do you want to share a little bit around The Anxiety Project and what it's about?
How The Anxiety Project came to be
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:03:10] Yes. Yeah absolutely. Well where do I start? [laughs] The Anxiety Project, really, it's about inspiring anxiety sufferers to look at their anxiety differently and you know I've struggled with anxiety for over 20 years and tried everything, absolutely everything under the sun, you know nine years of therapy, medication, exercise, change my diet, you know, mindfulness, yoga, everything. And I was actually yeah so middle to late last year, after I had a baby, my first baby, I just.. it kind of got to a new level and I think a lot of new mums experience that. You know, they kind of get through the first maybe four months and then it kind of just really hits you. Well for me it really hit me about like who am I? who am I?
Flori Pyke: [00:04:13] And that's something that's so common, right? Sorry to jump in but like exactly what you're describing, I mean I hear that so much amongst mums be it in our program, right, who kind of lose themselves in the depths of and the beauty, but it is challenging of motherhood to just friends. So I certainly appreciate what you're saying. [Lou agrees]
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:04:35] And I think that some, what I found, you know you get to a point like everyone around me seems to have their s**t together you know and you just like but it's really hard and you go into an even deeper sense of ‘oh gosh, is something wrong with me?’ because I'm not enjoying this motherhood thing. And a lot of people don't say that but I found I needed to start sharing how I was feeling [Flori agrees] 'cause I thought there must be someone out there that feels the same that isn't enjoying this motherhood thing but you know what I found was you know in your head you second guess yourself about all but you know I'm coming across as negative and you know this negative-positive thing but the thing is it's reality and it's not about that I would take anything away. And I don't think any mother would say I don't want this child. The thing is its about being real and being open about it [Flori agrees] and my journey actually started with me deciding to just share how I was feeling so that I could help other people because when I was having conversations with friends and I was starting to just open up you know this how are you going are you loving motherhood and I would just say no I'm not. It's really odd and lonely and I don't know who I am anymore. And you know you just put so much effort and time into this little human being and every now and then you get something amazing. But then you know. And so I thought I'm gonna share this and when I started to share my blog as you know I called it spilled milk and the response that I had was so overwhelming. People were so appreciative that I was so open about it and real. And as I was writing it became really therapeutic for me or cathartic. And I realised as I was writing, it was encouraging me to really look at myself. I got to one blog post and I was writing just you know and I realised the like holy s**t I'm really unhappy. And it was really, it was just it's s**t.
Flori Pyke: [00:07:04] Yeah it is tough. It's really tough. [Lou agrees]
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:07:09] I'd start to think about oh maybe it's my partner, my husband, maybe you know he's not giving me what I need or maybe this and you know you're just so lost and so lonely and you don't know who you are you know and it's just s**t. And so yeah I got to a point and I just thought right well... my husband's asking what's wrong with you? And I'm like I don't know. I do not know. And I thought s**t I've tried everything, anxiety's next level. I'm so unhappy. I thought I need to figure out what makes me happy. I need to, you know because I can't communicate it to my husband. You know because I didn't know. And yeah it was really damaging our relationship. And so I thought I don't actually don't know what I need and I need to find that and you know it was really hard time late last year and early into this year because I just don't even know who I am.
Flori Pyke: [00:08:20] There's a couple things that I do want to kind of jump in with here whilst you're telling me this. I think that there's such a stigma around motherhood and it is a beautiful thing. But that's really the focus that it is a very beautiful thing and there's not a lot of focus around the challenging aspects around it. And there are a lot of challenging aspects that come with motherhood especially with having your first child because that like I'm getting goose bumps. I just remember exactly like I remember having my first. I had no idea what I was doing. And yeah I was like enjoying it but kind of similar to you. You know I felt really lost in myself. And I remember like my husband would come home and I just give him the baby. I was like I just need a break. Like I guess I've done baby all day. [Lou agrees] And yes it's such a different experience now with my third. I don't feel that way at all because I feel confident and I know how quickly this time passes and you have a different level of expectation with everything. But my point is I feel that you're so brave for putting yourself out there and painting a candid picture of you know what, yeah it's beautiful but it's really hard too and like props on you for being brave and saying like you know what I'm not OK, you know, putting that out there in the public eye in a blog because I think a lot of people aren't that candid about it and there shouldn't be that stigma around it. People shouldn't be afraid to speak candidly about it but they are because there is that stigma, right? [Lou agrees] I just want to say I find that's very brave of you and props to you because not everyone does that.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:10:08] And that's funny because a lot of people say that, you know you're so brave and for me I'm just like no, but it's reality. And you know people connect with people and that's kind of that's the biggest thing that I've found through my 20 years of struggling with anxiety is just I've never been able to connect with someone really, you know it's like going to the psychologist but you know for nine years it was so great, one of the best things I've ever done because they helped me understand my triggers and all of that. But the thing is you only give them so much. I could only, because in my head I'm like I can't say everything because they might take me away in a loony bin or you know in a white van or they might take kids away or you know they just, you don't hundred percent connect. So I couldn't really get to the core of what was wrong what was making me, you know just try and be a perfectionist and please everyone and be this everything to everyone type of person. And that's the thing. I just, I want to be real. That’s what life is about. And it's not about being negative and positive. It's about reality. And I think a lot of my friends say yeah I'm probably one of the most positive people they know.
Flori Pyke: [00:11:27] Well it's funny. Sorry I have to say here like it's... I agree. You know this is the first time that I've connected with you over a camera and spoken with you in this kind of context and like from the minute we connected before recording this podcast I said to you wow I love you. You have this infectious energy that's pouring out of the screen and the microphone. [Lou laughs] Yeah like listen to your laugh. It's beautiful. And I can see why your friends say that. You are just like this little ray of sunshine.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:12:08] Yeah. I don't know, I am that person still you know. But this is me. But I'm real and I think it's about delivering that honesty and we hide behind so much s**t because of expectations out there and coming back to the discussion on that you know, your first kid, and you're just like am I doing it right? Am I you know this and like let's look at you know look up this am I doing the right thing for my kids? Am I feeding them? Am I? You know it's just constant. [Flori agrees] But we never actually stop and say okay well I know as a person, I am a very kind person and I am caring. [Flori agrees] I need to trust that I'm going to do the best that I can for my kids and for my friends and for my family, my husband and be the best person I can. But we don't get to that because we're just, we're trying to fit in with the Joneses. I would say it's because it's like we're always trying to fit in with the f**king Joneses right. [Flori agrees] And this is what got me, to like why am I doing all of this, and why. I enjoy it. There's so many aspects that I enjoy about it but I'm unhappy. So what's wrong you know. And I don't think I've ever told you this or you guys this but you were... Business School for Mums was a big part of my turning point. You had a free mindset course and this point of where I was like you know I'm not happy with my husband. He's not making me happy. I'm not happy. Like who am I? One of my things was I read this book called The Five Love Languages so that I could understand what I actually needed so I can communicate that to my husband. And I'm not a reader. I don't read. [both laughing] I don't read and I'm just like I've tried everything. And it was a small book. And I was like Lou you can do it. Even if you just read you know the summaries. [both laughing] Just like I need to do something. I've done this you know. And that's kind of like it started with the relationship with my husband and how I was feeling about being a mum. And then this book and then you guys had this mindset course and then I did this other course, I was just like signing up to all these things and it kind of like I started it and I've always been a person of oh start this and then stop and I'll do this and then I'll stop and just really you know like a project sl*t really. [both laughing]
Flori Pyke: [00:15:02] Self-confessed project sl*t. Oh my god. What a handle. But you know what, it takes awareness and recognition of it. Now the tables have turned. I can see. So props to you. [Lou agrees and laughs] You can own it because now things have changed.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:15:22] Yeah. Exactly. But again in my head, there's that little, I call it the black dog in my head it's like oh Lou that's just another thing you're going to start and stop or you're going to really do it or are you going to do this and I've just had that black dog in my head for 20 years, that second guessing, the self-doubt, the what are people going to think, or are my friends just gonna think oh it's just another one of Lou's hobbies or you know that's just constant or even what my husband is going to say is he going to make fun of me or you know. I was just always in my head and so I never complete anything. I've never done anything 100 percent fully and just that second doubt. But then I was like why can't I just own it? Like why do I care so much about everyone else? And I realised because I'm trying to fit in and I'm trying to, I don't even know you know but I'm like well I need to find who I am. So that I can be confident. I'm going totally off track here. [Lou laughs]
Flori Pyke: [00:16:30] No, no. You've certainly got me totally captivated here. I think one of the things that I was going to say and it kind of made a little note for myself is that you know I think from listening to you in your explanation of you know, you tended to pick up projects and then you know you were saying, I think you confessed yourself as a project sl*t. [both laughing] But my perception of you in describing your passion for what you're doing now through The Anxiety Project is that you have discovered your why to a degree.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:17:10] Yes. Not to a degree. I am bloody owning it.
Flori Pyke: [00:17:14] And that's exactly what I was going to say. And that is why this is not a passion project. This is not a piecemeal thing that you're going to dip in and out of. This is why you're going all in. And we've seen you be going all in throughout the course of the program in Small Business Pro and you've been doing an exceptional job. So I know I've been chatting to Anna about you. And yeah this is very clear that you are very dedicated to this project. So on that note can you just share a little bit more around... So you've told us a bit about the story leading into why you created The Anxiety Project. Now can you just tell me a little bit more around what it is and also maybe if you can shed some light on how you came to determine what it was throughout the program itself because I know that you did a lot of research in terms of market research and that you've been going through the program with a fine tooth comb, so if you can you just kind of tie it back and just share some of the lessons that you've gleaned from the program and being able to mould and sculpture, you know what The Anxiety Project is all about that would be awesome.
Creating The Anxiety Project
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:18:26] Yes. Okay. So from going into myself I guess and finding my you. And my biggest thing was finding the root cause to my anxiety and it was something that I had never even thought would be what it is. But by doing what I did the process that I went through with all these different questions I asked myself and the things that I wrote down and finding that it was like the biggest epiphany I've ever experienced. And it just, it changed my life, absolutely changed my life and 11:05 on the 12th of April I found my root cause. I will never forget that day, that time, that moment. It was so amazing like it's just... [Lou is close to tears]
Flori Pyke: [00:19:27] And what was it that you were able to, because you described you know you've gone through all these different motions to try and find you know what it is that's going on. So can I ask you like yeah what was the thing that lifted the lid? how did you...
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:19:40] Yeah it was I realised that I had this huge fear of rejection and that was the big thing.
Flori Pyke: [00:19:48] And it is such a common fear I have to say. Can I just say it's such a common fear. And I think everyone experiences it. It's just hear how much you let yourself listen to it and how much you lean into it.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:20:02] That's right. And that's the thing because all my friends and people that know me would say yeah Lou that's pretty obvious. But to find it and accept it yourself is another level. And I had this moment like oh my God I have this fear of rejection. And I just wanted to shout it from the rooftops. But then I stopped and I realised that my root cause was that I was so scared that if I was to move forward, my mum would reject me even more. And that was my thing that I, you know and something that you know I haven't had a really close relationship with her but this moment was like wow I actually care about my relationship with my mum that I haven't had but I've been pushing her away without realising. And my root cause was just like I can't move forward in my life because I need her to accept me and not reject me, not that she did, but in my head. I picked up the phone. I rang my mum. And I said, we don't barely talk, but I thought holy s**t like I can change this. I can make this change now that I know, my whole life made sense, my whole life, every decision.
Flori Pyke: [00:21:29] Must have been such an enlightening moment for you. Well I mean for you to remember the exact time of the exact date. Obviously, it was one of the most significant moments in your life.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:21:39] Yes. Yeah. I just thought I can make this change.
Flori Pyke: [00:21:41] Yeah yeah. And that's a thing right. Like as soon as you can identify awareness around what is going on. That is where the change can then commence. But if you don't have that awareness it's so difficult to implement the change so awareness is such a powerful thing is it not?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:22:00] That's right and that's the whole point you know. I’ll get to the question sorry.
Flori Pyke: [00:22:03] I'm sorry. No I'm getting carried away too. You're so captivating.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:22:07] Oh it's just a... But this is what I want to do. This is why The Anxiety Project is here, because every person has their own root cause but no one in this world knows it as well as that person. And it came because I want to share the ins and outs of everything of my journey so that people can look at their own journey and say wow I need to do that and maybe I need to do that it's like you know when you've got a really good friend and you're having a big D&M and after a few wines and they're telling you about maybe some things in their life and what's going on with it, you know their mum or their dad or their son or the husband and you go away and you're just like I really liked how they did that or how they stood up to their husband and they stood up to their friend. And you take a bit and you say I'm going to try that. And this is what I would like to do, is share my ins and outs so that people can apply it to their own journey. With Business School for Mums, I was just like I need you guys because I need to take all the s**t in my head in this journey and put it into a format that I can deliver to people to help them change their lives. And I know that I still need that validation even though I found that root cause I'm not going to change overnight in terms of not needing validation.
Flori Pyke: [00:23:40] No, well it's a process. I mean that kind of change is really significant and it takes a lot of time and energy and effort. You have to constantly remind yourself. I mean this is like a mental exercise that is accompanied with instigating change and it doesn't, just because you've got it down, it's down pat. You have to constantly work on it. So i really agree.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:23:59] Yeah. And that's you know that was my decision to really come on board with you guys and get that coaching and get those tools because you know it's funny I've come from a business consulting background. But the thing is I need someone to kick me up the arse.
Flori Pyke: [00:24:18] We all do. It's not just you. Everyone does.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:24:21] Yeah yeah. And you know and with what you guys delivered in that short three days...
Flori Pyke: [00:24:30] The challenge. Yeah.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:24:35] And the connection. So again watching these videos of you and that's what it’s all about. You connect because you speak the language. You're not afraid about what people are going to think of you because you, by being you, you can connect with people, real people.
Flori Pyke: [00:24:53] And yeah there's a lot of similarity there. But I see what you're saying like and it's so true you know, you said people connect with people. And I've said this on the podcast a million times so if you're an avid listener, I'm sorry. You're gonna hear this still another million times but it's so true you know, you connect with people. You don't connect with just some logo or some business that you've never heard of or some brand. It's about connecting with your audience and being authentic and genuine. And that is certainly something that I'm seeing that you also want to do with your audience is just be real, let it all hang out. And I am so for that you know like that's why you've got me captivated here [Lou laughs loudly] because you’re being you and you're letting it all hang out and you're being so honest and that is what people appreciate. That's what they connect with, you know. We're all human.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:25:42] Yeah. Oh absolutely and that's... But I didn't have that before because there was this thing stopping me and you know I couldn't because I was so worried about f**king everything, like everything. But now I don't care because I don't care that little Sally down the road when I'm walking down the street with my son is going to say that I've got two different shoes on or you know I've got a wine glass in my hand.
Flori Pyke: [00:26:08] Oh yes. By the way, like do you actually do that? Can we be friends if that's the case? It's a shame you're in Perth because I would totally accompany you in walking the pram with the wine in hand any day, any time, I might just add especially at the moment.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:26:26] Yes things like that or it's just like oh but then people would think that I'm a mum that's not capable, that I'm an alcoholic mum or that you know, how could I be saved. But the thing is, f**k who cares? I know I'm a good mum and I care for my son and my family but I didn't have that confidence before because I was so worried about fitting in and getting people accepting me. But really the deeper thing was I just wanted my mum to, but I just created my life around trying to find this acceptance and trying to belong and fit in. But that's all it was. And that's what everyone has. There's something in there. So with coming on with you guys, you pull me into line because I am really passionate about it and I go into lots of detail and here I am. I ramble but because...
Flori Pyke: [00:27:23] No, no. It's like the passion is oozing right now. But that's, I mean, what more rewarding thing is there than to discover your why and then to be able to create something around it to help other people? [Lou agrees] I mean that is just like the ultimate fulfillment and you're doing it.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:27:45] I know. And it makes me really emotional but so excited because you see this is the thing you know. I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on stuff to try and help me. And yes those things are great coping mechanisms, great management tools but nothing gets to the core. They're all just band aids. They're all, you know and it just gets you through a day and gets you through a week and I respect that people are at different levels in mental health and I totally respect that because I've been at all levels. I've had three years of depression where I was just like an absolute mess in a dark hole that felt nothing that was no one and didn't give a s**t about anything but, so I understand that and I respect that. But I want to help those people that are over it, that have tried everything, that understand their triggers and understand it could be this, it could be that but just they can't move forward in their life. They're stuck. They're blocked. They want to find who they are. They want to stop people pleasing. They want to stop worrying about you know if the cushions are lined correctly on the couch properly or in the right colour order or if the washing is done or if the dinner's cooked.
Flori Pyke: [00:28:56] Maybe we should talk. You had me at cushions lined up on the couch properly. Totally guilty right here. I'm putting my hand up. [Both laughing]
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:29:08] And this as well I'm going to share all the stuff that goes on in my head that no one shares. This is a thing I thought. Better have the cushions lined up because someone might pop in today and say my f**king cushion is not lined up.
Flori Pyke: [00:29:22] Yeah I know. Look, you had me at cushions. So tell me Lou with The Anxiety Project, so is it essentially as part of you sharing that journey, have you created a program around this that people can kind of partake in or what exactly is it, because I know you're about to launch, is that right?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:29:42] Yes, yes. And again it's an evolving... This is someone who had plans from a to z, who knew everything and was a perfectionist too. I am really letting this journey evolve and letting the business evolve. Just yesterday, it's quite an emotional day I put out to the world the five steps that I took to conquer and to beat my anxiety and some questions like categories and this is where I guess it comes back to you guys and how you've helped me with the resources that you've got and your coaching, you helped me organise my mind mess and put it into form so that I can deliver it to the people that want it in a way where it's just like okay, this is structured, this is you know, I can follow this. And so I was able to create those five steps with all the stuff that I did. I cleaned it up and put it into kind of categories and into a sequence because that's the biggest thing about what I did was the sequence of things that I've found and how I connected them all together. And so I put that out to the world so people could do it themselves but what I'm wanting to do I think starting next week or maybe this weekend we'll see, I'm creating, so I've called it the 21-day Building Bravery through Anxiety Challenge. I'm creating a community on Facebook so you can come on and over 21 days I will deliver every single aspect of my journey through these steps with examples, with real life context so that these people can connect and apply it to their own journey. It's not about telling people what they already know. We know that we need to take time to relax. We need to be mindful. We need to look after ourselves and so we know that. It's out. So I'm going to deliver the actions that I took to find my root cause. I decided to do that in a community because that's the thing, that's what was missing in my anxiety journey was no one to relate to, no one like people and you see even with your closest friends you kind of like oh I won't say that. That's a bit weird or crazy or you know. I realised my shoes in the house all the time. You know it's just things like we can be open and it'll be safe and it'll be fun like I want us to learn from anxiety you know because that's the thing, if you think about it, we're anxious because your body's saying knock knock knock. You're not being yourself. It's like hey so let's use it but we can't sometimes move forward because we don't understand it. So we need to understand that cause so that we could say ahh. So now I very very rarely get anxious and before it was just like a whole day of tight chests, sweaty palms...
Flori Pyke: [00:33:10] Yeah. So hard. Because like we all get anxious at some point or another, but to feel that the whole time, like that would be so challenging.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:33:19] Oh it's s**t. It's just s**t. And now when I had that anxiety I can see it coming. It's like alright I'm anxious because of this or do you know what the funny thing is half the time it's butterflies and I'm excited.
Flori Pyke: [00:33:35] You know I remember hearing this really great quote in terms of butterflies. It was actually on a podcast I recorded with Colin Morgan and he said you know everyone gets butterflies, the challenge is in seeing them fly in formation. [Lou agrees] And that's your job. And I remember absolutely like that quote resonated with me so much and it's something that even now it's like a little tool in my mind when you know I'm feeling anxious or what have you. Yeah. I basically repeat that to myself because it's so true like you know, you just gotta take a deep breath and compose yourself and just you know funnel that energy in a different manner and know how to channel that energy.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:34:19] Yeah and even you saying that you know, and that's what we hear a lot you know you need just take some time out. But now with that understanding of why, I can just say ah I'm worried about that person thinking that I look like this because I want my mum not to reject me, like that's the reason and it's funny because if I think about now you know I was always wanting to people please, women more so than men, because of my mum, the female thing and it's so funny how these little things just shaped my life and understanding. And now I laugh because like this morning, I was like looking at some, with the launching, the Blueprint and you know if I find mistakes before I'll just be like s**t I better bring it back. What are people going to think? Are they gonna think that I'm not professional? They're not going to think this, but now I'm just like I'm human. Before, I didn't have the confidence. Now, I've got confidence because I know the core, it’s…
Flori Pyke: [00:35:30] It's very empowering, isn't it? And liberating. [Lou agrees] I can see that. Even in your body language I can see like yeah. You know when you're like ahh you know what, it's almost like it was like a calming... like to be able to identify this you know and draw that awareness to it. It's just like it's a relief because then you can work on you know how you're gonna fix it basically. How you're going to change that core root of anxiety.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:35:58] Yes absolutely. And I've actually totally forgotten what the question was. [laughing]
Lou on market research
Flori Pyke: [00:36:02] Oh no. So I think like one of the things that I, you know in forming for instance the 21 day challenge and the five steps that you launched yesterday I think you said. I'd love to, can you just tell me a little bit around how you came to formulate these things? Because I know you've done quite a bit on the market research side of things like really building your foundations with us in the program. I just love to hear from you essentially like how that's helped you to form the five steps, the challenge and where you're taking things with The Anxiety Project.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:36:40] Yeah for sure. With the market research, I think that's been the biggest thing and I know you guys bang on about it a lot.
Flori Pyke: [00:36:50] Yeah we are so big about it.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:36:55] But it is because we forget... it's funny because I, say for an example at the start of this year and for the last 20 years I was Person A. I was this anxious, hectic you know I was a different person. I am now Person B. So in my Person B, I'm doing all this stuff and I have to keep bringing myself back to what does Person A want, that comes down to the target audience. It's the same as you see a need for something out there and you’re like OK well I'm going to find, I've got this solution. I'm going to do that. So we are focused in the solution mode but we need to be focused in how that person's feeling with that problem.
Flori Pyke: [00:37:45] Yes definitely. That is what marketing is all about. It's understanding exactly that, what is the number one problem that person has and then how am I going to create a solution around that problem. [Lou agrees] You're so right.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:37:58] So you guys, with you always, you're so strong about coming back you know, it's like come back to the basics, to the foundations and I guess that helped me refocus and because I do get excited and got track and you know I am the project sl*t. I have 700 things on the go. [both laughing] But yeah I now know I need a check in even in a few times I've contacted you guys and just said this is what I'm doing. And I got this really long email. I mean like Lou you just need to come back here, focus on these, come back here and you know and so with that, with the market research I completed it all. That's amazing I completed it at last. And it helped because I interviewed, I put a shout out and asked people so I can interview them who suffer with anxiety and also share what I'm wanting to deliver to see if it is value because for me it's value but is it value for other people? Is that what's missing? Because in my head I'm like I think this is missing because there's nothing out there you know. You've got all the structured and you've got the system mental health, and they're all great things but there's no real people talking real.
Flori Pyke: [00:39:22] Yeah you know I really agree with you. Like I mean I obviously have not gone to the degree of I haven't done your market research. I don't know about your competitors. I don't know about the space exceptionally well. However, I can certainly identify with what you're saying in the sense that you know, you think about anxiety and mental health, you basically just exactly you start thinking psychologists, you start thinking accreditation but there's not very much of that being brave, letting it all hang out and being really real. And that was you know one of the first things I said to you like I really commend you for putting yourself out there the way that you are because it's not something that you see often you know. And so I certainly can identify how you are filling a real gap in the market.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:40:10] Yes. And even yesterday, I went to a networking event and someone said oh so you know, what are your qualifications? And I said I'm a professional anxiety sufferer [Flori laughs] you know because I have 20 years experience of being really controlled by anxieties. And this is the thing and I come back to, I respect that people at their different levels and different parts of their life and they do, you know people do need medication. People do need psychologists. I've had it all. But I'm here to help those people that have tried everything and it's done. And I want to create that connection. I want to be relatable and real and I feel if you think about anything that you do and you walk away you feel really good about it, it's because you can connect with whatever that was and you build your confidence. You connect with that person. And you walk away like oh they made me feel really good I'm going to go home and do some washing. Woohoo.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:41:16] Is that how you get a high Lou? [laughing] Like we need to talk girlfriend. You definitely had me more on the friendship lines when you were talking about the glass of wine with the pram. I don't know about celebrating with laundry but you know.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:41:32] You know if you look in my blog you'll see how I do my laundry. It's with the wine. [both laughing]
Flori Pyke: [00:41:36] Okay okay. We're friends again.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:41:40] It’s Wednesday – Hello!
Flori Pyke: [00:41:44] Oh my goodness. Is it five o'clock yet? I'm with you.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:41:47] It's five o'clock? I think this was one o'clock.
Flori Pyke: [00:41:50] Well it's 5 o’clock somewhere.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:41:52] Yeah that's exactly right. Yes. So it's totally going off track. Yeah. I'm wanting to... for those people that want to connect with real people. I'm not worried about not having a qualification because I'm so qualified in how anxiety feels.
Flori Pyke: [00:42:10] Yeah. You're the real deal. It's hit you for a long time. So I have a question for you like on the market research front when you did your market research. I mean obviously, you found a demand around this because you've continued and really taken a step by step approach in formulating The Anxiety Project. But yeah I just wanted to ask you like did you have an overwhelming response of people saying like there was a need for this or what was the resp... Because I would imagine so. But I just love to understand a little bit more. I'm personally curious like what was the response like?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:42:43] Yeah. It was very, very overwhelming. And when I asked the question about what made you say, put your hand up. What made you put your hand up? And majority of them probably 98 percent of people said I just really connected with you. You were just really honest and raw and real. And you just said it how it was. And I just... and also the other thing was I want to help other people that suffer anxiety. And that's my whole thing is you know anxiety sufferers helping anxiety sufferers.
Flori Pyke: [00:43:17] Because we get each other. [Lou agrees] And the biggest thing.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:43:21] That's right and it's like that sometimes when you deal with something sh*tty and you find someone else that has dealt with the same sh*tty thing, you connect. And it's so authentic because you feel like you know it's like after having a baby just like you know. When I first had Nate, I was walking down the street and I just went to high five every woman I saw that had a baby. [Both laughing] Because that's you know it's that connection. You get it. You relate. You build and you know and that's what I want to create for that, for the mental health area you know for anxiety especially like Yeah I've dealt with depression better. I know that's another, you know that's another deeper level that I'm not here to focus on. So yeah with that market research, it was very overwhelming. But I also respect that people are at different stages in their journey and for some people by saying like oh yeah pick me, that's them putting out to the world hey I have anxiety. Hey I have depression or you know and I respect that. That's hard to do like I did it for 20 years. I was a closet…I was a closet anxiety sufferer. And so I respect that. And it's the same with you know building up you know Instagram and social media and things. Before I'd be so worried about getting likes and follows and people making comments. But that's when I was trying to fit in. That was when I was trying to be liked and loved. But now my whole purpose is just to share my message and to share that there is hope. There is light. We can do it. Like you can do it yourself. You don't need anything.
Flori Pyke: [00:45:16] I totally agree. And what about Lou, so I mean when you started out with us you came basically with this idea right that you wanted to do that but you know you hadn't really taken any steps forward in terms of fleshing this idea out, whereas today you're now in a point where I've seen you take these steps to your market research you know you've fleshed out this challenge. You just released this great, the five steps. What was the title of it yesterday that you released? The five?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:45:48] Yeah it's uhm.. I should know. [laughing]
Flori Pyke: [00:45:52] Sorry I totally put you on the spot.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:45:58] It's The Anxiety Arse Kicking Blueprint.
Flori Pyke: [00:46:00] Okay. Okay. Like you've done all these awesome things and one of the things that you've also worked with us a lot in taking this really methodical step by step approach to creating what is and will be The Anxiety Project, because I understand it's all happening right now in terms of launch mode, is your branding. And I was checking that out and it looks great. I love it. We are so big on branding. And I think that it's such an important vehicle to connect with your target audience but also you know, you have such a short time to connect with your audience. And I always say this you know you've got a couple seconds to really make an impression so you want to put your best foot forward. And I love how you're even wearing yellow right now. Because your branding, I mean there's, I've definitely seen some yellow in there and it's just I'm very impressed with how methodical you've been in taking each step that we've taught you and applying that to your business and really building things out for the long term. So that was kind of a question slash it ended up being you know well done. Yeah I kind of went on a little rant like I went off track there as well but it's you've done a great job. That's what I want to say. And I, you know with Anna and myself, we've seen you learn and apply, learn and apply at every turn. And it's very exciting now to see this all come into fruition where you're about to formally launch with the business and this challenge. So I'm pumped for you.
Lou on branding
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:47:51] It's funny that you say about the branding and I guess this is something that I like to share. With the feedback from all the market research and the people I talked to and I did I asked about colours and then you think you know anxiety, mental health, you think you need like calm colours you know, really soft colours and because it's all you know business is about connecting and it's people-people and its emotions that people...
Flori Pyke: [00:48:24] You know what sorry I'm just gonna jump in here as well. You're so right and you're hitting on the way that people act, the way that they buy. People act based on emotion and then they justify that emotion using their logic that is like your Marketing 101 so you couldn't be more right in saying exactly what you said that you got to hit on the emotion.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:48:45] That's right. And I was kind of stuck between... and this comes back to the how important market research is and I guess you know your target audience because you know there are a lot of people in the mental health state you know journey, and they do need those calming colours and reassurance and things but I'm not targeting those people. I'm talking to people that are just like you know I need somebody. I need to get on with my life. I'm determined. I just, I need something that you know. And so for me I started like I've actually got my colours on my wall up there and they're all quite soft and this is one thing that I haven't done for a long time is actually invest in the specialist in that branding arena. And I'm very glad I did.
Flori Pyke: [00:49:38] It pays off. I mean it's something that you have for the long term, right? And so I always say it's one of the most worthwhile investments you'll make because you take it with you from today until the future. It's not you know a one off thing.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:49:52] No. Exactly. And one of the biggest things is it will evolve and that's something I've had to. I now have the confidence to be like Yeah. And what happened was I've got these colours but I was just getting drawn to the brighter colours and the fun colours but in my anxious before head, my Person A head, my little black dog that slowly losing its hair and it's slowly dying that dog, I need it to radiate me and my purpose and that passion because I want to turn anxiety to be like the sad s**t thing into something that's like let's use it as a tool and you know kick its arse. Soft colours don't do that for me and I don't sing for the audience and what I want to portray because I do want to create this new view on anxiety because it's changed my you know, it's about creating a new relationship with it. And so this bright pink pop I just kept and I'm not really like a pink girly girl but this is just like it just made me feel so like fun and excited and I feel like it'll help with drawing those people in. The people that are at a stage where you know I'm probably a bit full on and oh like hard you know she's just she says it how it is too much. You know that's great because it naturally you know it probably puts those people off and it's good because I can't help them and I don't want to offend them and I don't want to you know and I respect that. So yeah these bright like the yellow that I had before was softer and the pink that I had was like super soft. And I loved the beach super easy. [inaudible] Anyway I'm going way off track now. Trust your gut I guess. Like take what you need from that professional space. But add your gut. Add your passion, add your personality. Add that because again it comes back to that people connecting people. And it's so important. [Flori agrees] You got to love it. You got to feel it.
Flori Pyke: [00:52:04] The passion, girlfriend. I'm so feeling it. So in terms of… what about for our audience if they want to find more about you and the challenge and what's going down and the launch. Like where can we do that?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:52:22] I would say probably Instagram and I'm more focused on Instagram. It's just where I want to share my message.
Flori Pyke: [00:52:30] So what's your Instagram handle just for everyone?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:52:32] So it's @the.anxietyproject.
Flori Pyke: [00:52:36] OK cool. So that's where we should go connected to? [Lou raises both hands and opens mouth describing her profile picture] I've seen some very like emotive like captivating facial expressions from you. And I was like oh yeah she's cool and I can see where they're coming from now. Like if you're just listening to this by you know your podcast app you should definitely tune in to the YouTube video to catch all of Lou's facial expressions because they're golden. [both laughing]
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:53:04] Yeah I use my hands a lot.
Flori Pyke: [00:53:08] I love it. I'm a bit of a hand user myself. You get into it. You feel it. [Lou says the energy]. Exactly.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:53:18] Yes. And the Facebook it's the same. So @the.anxietyproject. I've also created a group called the Real Raw Movement. So starting to create that space of so that you can come and share in it. And it's not about doom and gloom anxiety. It's about the wins or hey guys like this is what I like. This is what I'm going through you know what's your advice? But it's real. It's raw. And it's you know, it's not, I don't deal with the fluffy stuff.
Flori Pyke: [00:53:48] You just let it all hang out. I'm so into that. Totally talking my language.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:53:55] Yeah. And again it's not for everyone. And if it is, you can come over and join in you know and share it. It's about sharing those solutions and the wins and just kicking the anxiety to the curb like not letting it control your life.
Flori Pyke: [00:54:14] And Lou is that where you're going to be doing the challenge?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:54:18] No not in that. So it'll be a separate group which will be a part of the challenge package and I guess so I'm doing a beta test the first one and so it's a heavily discounted price for the beta test and starting the first of January. So it is it is very soon so the doors will be open to around the end of December and it then it will start the first of January and a few people have said oh but you know the first of January, everyone will be, you know, hungover or kind of can't be bothered. It's like oh that’s fine. And again I'm doing it for people that want to get rid of anxiety and I think I know that you get to a point where...
Flori Pyke: [00:55:03] It does not matter what day of the year it is, right?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:55:05] That's right. Yeah I think after becoming a mum it's like doesn't even matter. That's right. But yes so I'm wanting to do this because obviously I've got also got a bub that's due in two and a half month. [Flori congratulates Lou] Well thank you. Yes. I really wanted to do this first beta test challenge and share and get feedback and see if it does add value and start creating that community. So yeah I just I'm really excited and I just started. It's just going to be great.
Flori Pyke: [00:55:40] That's awesome. And so on that note with the beta test like to find out more about that I mean does one just kind of contact you via Instagram or what's the best way to?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:55:49] Yeah I think you know socials that's where we're all at. Let's be honest. Yeah socials and I should be launching all the information and the web page for the challenge, I'm aiming for Monday 12th of December. Just contact me on the socials and you know DM me and it's just me. I love connecting and I'm here to, I just yeah. I just know what it's like, how s**t it is to have anxiety and then what it's like not to. I really do. And if I can help other people achieve this, it’ll just make my life you know.
Flori Pyke: [00:56:36] Oh your energy is beautiful. It's contagious. All right. Well thank you so much for your time today, Lou. It's been a real pleasure to connect with you. I really enjoyed learning about your journey and learning about how you've turned something that's inhibited you and hindered you for most of your life into something that is now empowering you to create change not only for yourself but for others around you and I think it's very brave what you're doing and hats off to you. I'm really impressed and I'm excited to see. I mean you've only just started the journey now it's onwards and upwards and I'm really excited to partake with you on that journey in Small Business Pro as well. So thanks for your time.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:57:22] Thank you it's been awesome fun.
Flori Pyke: [00:57:24] Yeah it has been really fun. It's been really fun. Now, for our listeners for the show notes don't forget to pop over to our site at businessschoolformums.com/podcast. And if you love this episode definitely let us know. Drop us a review. We'd absolutely love to hear from you. And you know in classic BSFM form here on the podcast, parting thought, I'm going to hand the reins to you Lou. What's a bit of a parting thought for our listeners today based on what we've chatted about?
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:57:54] Yes I guess my little motto that I've been saying a lot lately. It's umm “it is what it is”. That's just when I go through, when something doesn't happen because you know, I’m a perfectionist and you know I just say it is what it is, you know. And that's that.
Flori Pyke: [00:58:17] Don't get hung up on it. Move on.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:58:21] Yeah. And I used to always get hung up like next level hung up.
Flori Pyke: [00:58:25] Yeah well I'm sure you're you know I don't think you're alone. I think to varying degrees at all like these are innate behaviours. I feel that so like everyone has. It's just how much you allow yourself to listen to that little black dog to lean into those negative behaviours and we all have that you know a little negative voice in our heads but it's how much you choose to listen to it and acknowledge it.
Lou Fitzpatrick: [00:58:49] Learn from it and just end it.
Flori Pyke: [00:58:55] Correct. Absolutely. Well thank you so much again. And for our listeners remember, be brave in your business.
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