Gillian Tietz – Smart Passive Income

Gillian Tietz


What was your dream career as a kid?

FBI agent.

Describe the moment you decided to become an entrepreneur.

I was about to get passed over for a promotion again at work and a former boss had been making hurtful comments about me for over a year. I’m sober, and each time this happened it created a very strong urge to drink. I thought, “staying here is not safe for me” and I decided to quit. I had been trying to make myself fit into the biotech world for almost six years and I was tired of it.

I was only making $500/month at the time in my business, but I had worked hard for two years building up my brand and I knew with more time and better mental health, that I would be able to figure it out. I spoke at a podcasting conference that weekend and told everyone that when I got back home the first thing I was going to do was quit my job.

What drives the work that you do?

Drinking made my life miserable and I realized that I had a lot of toxic thought patterns and a lack of coping skills that created the perfect situation for me to become addicted to alcohol. I created a lot of my own misery. Now that I’m free, my life has improved in every way and I feel stable and calm. I enjoy my life and I feel happy for the first time.

I use my education in biochemistry and my personal experience with sobriety to educate the public on alcohol addiction. Learning the science helped me let go of the shame I felt about not being able to control my drinking. When I was eight months sober I woke up one day and thought, “everyone needs to know this” and I launched my podcast that same day with no clue what I was doing.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on in your business right now?

I’m working very hard to grow my monthly podcast downloads so I can get more income from sponsorships. I have a number in mind that I’d like to hit by the end of the year so I’m doing a big push right now. It’s not exciting now, but it will definitely be exciting when I start getting momentum and hitting my goal.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?Entrepreneurship means I get to impact the world and take the best care of myself mentally and physically. I never felt valued or involved in biotech and the toxic promotion culture was awful for my health. Now, even though I work about double the hours, I am calm, happy, and fulfilled. I never have the Sunday Scaries anymore or feel hopeless about my work. I feel like I finally found where I fit.

Recently, our cat became ill unexpectedly, and did not have much time left. Entrepreneurship allowed me to take the week off to spend every second with Luna before her time. I am so grateful that I could put everything on pause or have my community members host meetings in my absence. That was a very special five days that I had with Luna and I didn’t have to worry about my boss being mad, checking emails, or maintaining lab responsibilities.

“I never have the Sunday Scaries anymore or feel hopeless about my work. I feel like I finally found where I fit.”

What led you to SPI Pro?I’m a Pat Flynn superfan and had been thinking about SPI Pro for a long time. Pat happened to send an email that the cart was opening on the same weekend I made the decision to quit my job, so I took it as a sign and joined.

What’s the most powerful interaction or learning moment you’ve had in the community?

I’ve had a few very helpful interactions with other SPI members about mindset blocks and some great chats with team SPI about strategy. I’ve realized that over the past year that my mindset is a major issue and the more I work on it the better my business becomes, so I always go to Pro when I need to talk through mindset issues.

“… mindset is a major issue and the more I work on it the better my business becomes, so I always go to Pro when I need to talk through mindset issues.”

What role has SPI Pro had in your business?

I see Pat as my unofficial mentor. I really enjoy the monthly Ask Pat zoom calls and Pat has helped me a lot with my network over the past year as I’ve grown and developed it. It’s also been nice to get to know Team SPI more and they have all had great suggestions whenever I need opinions on something. I appreciate that Team SPI takes the time to comment on everyone’s posts.

What do you love most about SPI Pro, and what sets SPI’s communities apart from other entrepreneurial communities?I haven’t been exposed to a ton of communities, but from what I’ve seen some are very cliquey and SPI Pro is not that way at all. I’m turned off by the “cool kid” groups that I see in different industries and it just excludes others who aren’t part of the group. Everyone in SPI Pro is very kind and welcoming.

What would you say to encourage entrepreneurs who aren’t involved in a community to join one?It’s good to get exposed to different perspectives. Most of your customers aren’t going to think exactly like you do, so getting different opinions from other entrepreneurs is helpful. It’s also great to strategize and network.

If you had to start a brand-new online business from scratch today, what would it be?I’d help people with podcasting. I know a lot about podcasting and do currently work with clients, but I don’t have the time to devote to growing and marketing this side of my business.

If you had to start your current business over again from scratch today, what one thing would you do differently?I made a lot of mistakes, but most were great learning experiences. I think one mistake that sucked up a lot of time was creating a course too early. People tell you it doesn’t matter how small your audience is, but it does. If you don’t have marketing skills and your audience is small, then it’s best to focus on learning what people like from you before spending all the time, energy, and money required to make a course. Marketing skills and being comfortable promoting/selling is important. The smaller your audience, the more important those skills are.

If you were given $1 million dollars today, no strings attached, what would you do with it?

Lots of things! I would hire my mom so she could retire and just work for me part-time. I’d hire a marketing expert to handle marketing for all the shows in my network and an assistant to work for all of the hosts. I’d get some more software to automate my business. I would invest some of it, and donate some of it to charity.

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