In this Where Are They Now? session, I’m chatting with Cassidy Tuttle. She’s been a student of mine for a long time, and I actually had her on the SPI podcast way back on session 283.
Cassidy runs a thriving business teaching others about raising succulents. That's right, especially with people spending more time at home and getting into gardening-related hobbies, Succulents and Sunshine is booming right now.
Often when we first start delegating tasks to free up time, we end up giving ourselves a new job as a micromanager. Today we get into a lot of the mental aspects of growing a business. Cassidy wants to become more comfortable letting others run with her ideas and things not turning out exactly how she envisioned them. She also understands that she can’t always be the face of her brand but doesn’t want to disappoint her audience.
As our businesses grow and change, we sometimes just need to get out of our own way. This is something that I’ve struggled with, and I know that talks like these can help many entrepreneurs. So listen in, get inspired, and take your business to the next level!
AP 1236: Where Are They Now? Cassidy Tuttle
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 1236 of AskPat 2.0. You're actually about to listen to a Where Are They Now? episode. And this is actually somebody who was once a student of mine. She's actually been on the Smart Passive Income podcast before her name is Cassidy Tuttle, and she has a brand called Succulents and Sunshine.
And we get a little bit into her story here today. In case you don't know who she. But she's got a very successful business, helping people with succulents. Like not just gardening or planting, but a very specific plant. We're gonna hear how the pandemic affected her business and how she's even getting into a little bit of eCommerce now and creating physical products for her company.
And we're just gonna get an update and sort of see where she's at. And we're also going to help her out a little bit as well. So I hope you enjoy this episode with Cassidy Tuttle. You can again find her at Succulents and Sunshine pretty much everywhere, especially on YouTube. So here she.
Pat Flynn: Cassidy, welcome to AskPat, thanks so much for joining me here today.
How are you?
Cassidy Tuttle: Good doing well. Thanks for having me.
Pat Flynn: It's exciting to chat again as I, I haven't recorded it yet, but I probably will say in the intro that everybody already heard that you and I have worked with each other for a very long time now, and you have this amazing YouTube channel and you're getting to, into a lot of cool things.
So I'm very curious, like I know things are going pretty well on your end. Where do we want to go today before that though can you just tell everybody or remind people since you've been on SPI before and, and such what's your business and what do you do?
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah, so I teach people how to grow succulents in less than ideal climates.
So if you don't live in San Diego, I'm your go-to girl for succulents. And really specifically, generally we talk about growing succulents indoors. So I've been teaching how to grow succulents for almost 10 years now online. And I got into it a little bit by accident and then turned it into a very intentional business.
I found I really liked succulents. I liked learning about blogging. And so I just started implementing what I learned from SPI and built out a website to now where it's become our full-time income. And it's been our full-time income, I think for almost, maybe a little over six years now, which has been really fun.
Pat Flynn: That's so incredible. Two questions. Number one. How did the pandemic impact your business? Because I know that at least the people who I know who are also in plants and gardening, like everything took off. Did the same thing happen for you too?
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. And it was really interesting. So like the very first week that everything kind of shut down, one of our affiliates reached out to me.
He was like, Hey, have you seen like this massive drop? I'm like, yeah, it's gonna be interesting to see what happens. Literally just like three or four weeks later, he's like, Hey, stop promoting us. We have more than we can handle. Oh, wow. Don't do any additional promotion. It was a really quick turnaround, but we also had started getting into Facebook ads, like at the very beginning of everything.
And so the combination of more people being interested in plants because of the pandemic ad cost being cheaper and just adding that as an element of our business, it just totally exploded. It was far and away the biggest year we've ever had. And now we're looking to get back to that kind of year, but it was definitely a blessing for us, a very unfortunate event, but it was also really cool to see how succulents and, you know, plants in general cause I know you experienced this just made a huge impact on people and really gave them joy and happiness in a really challenging time.
Pat Flynn: For sure. And, and, and speaking of joy and happiness, I'm curious because as somebody who got into this initially just loving succulents and you know, more of a hobby, but then turning into a business.
I often hear people who like end hating it now, because they've turned their hobby into a business. How have you kept like this exciting and joyful for you?
Cassidy Tuttle: I feel like I'm driven by curiosity. And the great thing about online business is there's so many different elements of it, which is part of where we'll probably go today that I can do something different every day.
And for the most part, it has all been really themed around succulents, but there's just different ways of interacting with it. And. I think also just seeing the, the impact that it's had on my life and my family's life and other people, it's, it's a really fun way to interact with people and I'd be lying if I said that, you know, I've never thought about like giving up or throwing in the towel or I've, I've been really frustrated with succulents at various points of time, ready to be done.
But I think I keep coming back to it. They're just second are just really cool. And it's something I'm familiar with and I just have started looking for other ways to keep it interesting and not let myself get too much in a rut
Pat Flynn: with it.
I love that answer. Thank you. So where do you wanna go today? What's on your mind.
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. Well, all of those different things that, you know, you can do as an online business owner is kind of where. I feel a little bit stuck. So I've loved that this business has allowed me to have so much flexibility, stay at home with my family, try new things with very little risk.
But now I have so many things that I am interested in and that I like doing and different projects we're working on that I'm running into a challenge with managing it all and setting realistic expectations. I have one full-time employee and one part-time employee and they're phenomenal. Our business would not run without them.
So a little bit of figuring out how to outsource things when I'm the one with the vision, and also how to actually do multiple projects that I do wanna be involved in. That's where I'm at.
Pat Flynn: I think this is gonna be a great conversation cuz you know me, I have multiple passions. I want to do all the things and I, the management of, of that time and the expectations are, are key right in the prioritization.
So I'm curious in terms of like, here's a loaded question that I wanna start with, what would it take for the business to be managed without you?
Cassidy Tuttle: The very first thought that came to mind was for, I don't wanna say settle, but for me to be okay with it not being exactly how I visioned it. So I think that's my challenge with passing things on to other people is knowing how to explain what I'm looking for in a way that they can implement it. And it meets my expectations.
I will throw in a caveat of I'm really picky about some things. And then I couldn't care less about some things too. And so I'm trying to find where, what those different aspects are, where I don't care. And it's totally easy to pass off and other things where I'm like, this is what it looks like in my head, and this is how it needs to be.
So if someone could just catch my vision and implement, I think I'd be thrilled to sit back and let someone else take the reins and run with it.
Pat Flynn: I mean, that's the role of a good integrator, right? Somebody who comes in and can understand your vision, and that's a two way conversation, right? It's you being able to best portray what's in your mind, which is not always easy for me to do sometimes, but at the same time, if the person on the other end, the integrator is not quite understanding everything it's up to them to ask for clarification. So in an ideal state, we have a person who could understand exactly what you are envisioning and then can go and implement it and then reports back to you and goes, it's done, right? Like that would be. Ideal. Right? Like how would that feel if that were to actually happen?
Cassidy Tuttle: It'd be awesome. It's funny cuz as you say that, I do feel like my super assistant is what I call her. I feel like she's really good at a lot of that. And so I think I've had that taste and now there's just a few more things that are coming up, like, okay, does she have this skill or do we know people who she can kind of manage to get things done?
Pat Flynn: There's also. The opportunity that comes around when you offer something like that is they might create something even better than what our vision is. Right? And you're not allowing for that opportunity to happen either. Not a bad thing. I'm just saying that that opportunity doesn't doesn't exist on the conversation earlier where you were talking about, you know, what are the things that you're picky about and what are the things that you're not picky about?
It is so important to define what those things are, right? So the things that you're not picky about, you have a list and those are easy to hand off, and you've probably handed off a lot of those things already, but then the things that you are picky about, if you are not exactly sure what those things are, you just know you're picky about some things and maybe not about others.
We have to define what those things are because when you define what those things are, or actually when you see them in front of you on a note or on paper, you begin to question. Why am I so picky about that? Or what is it about that that I'm worried about? And you begin to start to make decisions based on that?
Oh, I don't, I guess I don't need to be like, what was I worried about here to begin with? I can totally see myself handing that off or this. I would never let anybody else touch ever. Like this has to remain me no matter what. Right? And for me, one of those things is. Slides and presentations, right? Like I will never, even though I could hand it off to somebody else, even though I could potentially cast a vision to somebody else on what slides should look like, no, like I've defined for me, that is something I will never, ever hand off to somebody else because of the way I approach performing in stage work and stuff.
That's good because then I don't have to worry about trying to hand that off to somebody. But I also know that the things that I'm okay, handing off, I can now more comfortably do that yet. Still have that vision be, be portrayed. What's your response to that? Cuz there are some tactics and strategies forecasting, a vision so that somebody else can see it, that would potentially help too.
But what, what are your thoughts on the sort of definitions of picky versus not picky and such?
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. And I think you're exactly right. I need to figure out what exactly those things are. Like the first thing that came to mind as, we've talked about adding new blog posts to the website. Cause we really haven't done that in a while.
And that is something that I feel like I want to do that. That's something that I want to be my job. On the other hand, we have another section of the site where we highlight individual succulents and that's something that my assistant has done pretty much the whole time we've had them. And so that's something that's clear to me, but I think I need to look at the different things that are adding stress, or I feel pressure from and see, is it because I feel like I have to do it, but I can really give it away or is it because it's actually something I want to, so I definitely think getting clearer would help with that.
Pat Flynn: I think so. And then all those things that might be a little bit anxiety driven to hand off, but you know that you should hand them off.
You can start small, right? And I think this is the, the beauty of this. You can experiment, you can test, you can have your super assistant, you know, see if she can capture what it is that's going on in your head about a, a certain thing and implement it on a, in a small scale. Maybe not even public to begin with, but at least to give you some sense of relief, Right?
Or you might find that it's just not working in many cases. A person's never gonna be able to discover what's going on in there. And it's one of those more ethereal things that you kind of have to do for yourself. But again, you won't know until you try and. It has been so like on my end, it's been so nice to just define that I will always take the slides. It's just like, for my team's sake, for my sake, even though I know I could hand it off it's for me. Right? And you get to build this business in a way that you wanna do it. And I love the words you used earlier. You're like, I need to do that for me. I need to write the blog post for me.
This is your business. You can do it in any which way you want. So why would you continue to do things you shouldn't do when you can do whatever literally you, you wanna do. In most cases, we don't know the answer to that because we haven't really defined anything because we haven't laid it out. And I think that would be the first step for sure.
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. No, that makes a ton of sense.
Pat Flynn: Cool. Where else might you have some, maybe anxiety in the business or wonder about what decision to make?
Cassidy Tuttle: I think short of like knowing who to pass it off to. I feel like timeline is always the big challenge for me, cuz I've recognized. I'm like, oh, this is a cool idea.
I'm excited about let's get it done now. And I know this is something you've talked about with your team where you do things in sprints and if it doesn't work in the sprint and I know that I have a lot of resistance to that, I'm like, but, but I'm excited we should work on it while I'm excited about it.
And so finding that balance of we have like, I would say probably four active projects, things that just need constant maintenance. and figuring out how to prioritize those, like where to give the focus or how much effort to put on something. That's not the primary focus.
Pat Flynn: Right? Well, there are certain things that are gonna need to be maintained, Right?
That, you know, is gonna require time, just ongoing. Right? But then you have this extra bucket of time that you can do sort of whatever with, and that's cool. But it's really important that in that bucket of time, at least in my experience working on one thing at a time, maybe two, if somebody else is also being able to make progress on that thing, it's simultaneously, you know, I call this and I think you've, you're familiar with this language, right?
Like my 20% itch rule where 80% of my time is for the stuff that you know you're supposed to do and it's maintenance and it's like, you're required and that's cool. And that that'll always be there, but the 20% of time is play time. But if I were to, in that play time, try four different things. Nothing would have a chance to get to a point where it could see success or not.
I don't want the failure to be as a result of not even giving something a chance, if that makes sense. Right? Versus I would rather fail knowing I gave it everything I got in the time that I had, and then could make a decision to pull back on that or in the case. Switch Pod, which was my 20% of time back in 2018-2019.
That was my focus project that allowed me to play. And I was excited about it, knowing that I had to give it a chance in order to not be a waste, essentially. Right? Cuz how many times have we started things then pull back and it's like, well, I didn't even finish. I might as well, not even have started. You gotta give yourself that bucket of time, but also a a deadline.
If you will, to reach a certain point. And make that a rule for yourself. If I don't reach this certain point in this project by this date, then. We'll make a decision on, on what to do there, but we can't just keep doing it. But we have to make a decision at some point at that at, at that point. And then lately it's been my Pokemon channel, right?
That's been my extra 20% of time. I usually spend Fridays in creation mode. So Monday to Thursday, 80% Fridays, the remaining 20% of my work time. And thankfully those projects have worked out, but other ones haven't that I've let go of, but at least I gave those things a shot. Are you in the camp of more trying to always try to do simultaneous new projects or, or, or how do you feel about, you know, picking one.
And, and of course at that point it's like, well, how do I know which one to pick and then, and then it's just a matter of, well, where's your energy? Where, what are you most excited about right now? And you can use the other things to kind of be a reward to then unlock once this thing is sort of to a point where somebody else is handling it or it's automated or it's it's out there and done.
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. I think it's probably a combination of those two. I feel like on a daily basis, I, I kind have like squirrel syndrome during the day, like, oh, , but if I should go work on or like, I'll get an email related to something. So when I'm in my inbox working, I'm like, oh yeah, I was gonna do that thing with snappy pots, but I haven't done that yet.
Okay. Just finish email. And so a little bit of like switching up too much during the day, but then also trying to figure out what the big focus should be. But I it's interesting as you're talking about that. Cause I, in thinking about it, I think I spend a lot of mental energy in the figuring out and when you're just saying like, you know, the 80, 20, I'm like, oh, what if we just assigned one thing to be that 20%?
And even it was so simple. You mentioned Fridays are Pokemon days. Like, oh, what if, you know, Fridays are pots day? Or what if they're the app day or, you know, whatever it is and just assign. One thing one day a week and follow it that way. That seems really obvious. But for whatever reason, that one definitely clicked.
Pat Flynn: I mean, it's obvious when we hear it, but when we're in the middle of it, it's not. And, and that's okay. I've needed that structure. I think you're like me. We have we're multi passionate. We, we wanna go where our energy is. But we also need to contain it. We have so much energy to try new things that if we don't contain it, it's that graph where 20% of your energy is going in five different directions.
And then you're basically staying still at that point. Versus what if that additional energy you had was all pointed toward one thing. And what I love about this is it allows for Fridays to be like my reward day for a good hard work week. And then it also allows me to we've actually built the company in a way that allows us to do this.
So we have a four day work week now in our company. So Fridays are actually off and I just choose to work on my side project during Friday, which is really neat. And then using the goal of that project is the ability to then unlock the next new thing. It's what makes it fun. It gives, it allows me to, again, scratch that itch that, that I have to, to try something new, but contain that energy.
Right? And, and trust me, like I want to do way more, but I also know that if I were to do all those things, the other things I've already said yes to are going to suffer as a result. So I have to contain that energy. And this is a nice balance between doing everything all the time, but also just like, you know, the book, The One Thing like that book was great, but at the same time, I can't just do one thing I have to do at least more than one thing.
And I need to contain that energy. So you think you might give that a shot?
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. I say I feel the same way about The One Thing and. I think I've had a lot of resistance in the past to scheduling because I feel very limited by it or like, well, I built this business so I can do whatever I want whenever I want, but that also means I can choose to give it a space the same way.
I'm not gonna just have everything out, like all over the place in my house. Although kind of do that too. But you know, all the kitchen stuff is in the kitchen, all the reading stuff in the living room, that type of thing. And seeing it more as this is a space where that's all you have to do in time and kind of shifting, I guess the, the way I'm looking at it.
Like, no, I'm choosing to do these on this, this time so that it doesn't interfere with anything else and gets further ahead.
Pat Flynn: You are choosing this. This is your schedule that you are putting into place. It's not. Like when we were working nine to five or whatever, it's like, you're on somebody else's schedule.
Yes, we could do whatever we want whenever we want. Therefore, we are choosing to create the schedule for us, for the optimal projects and energy that we wanna do. We are opting into it. Right? And that's the difference. This we are opting into. We're making this choice, creating that boundary for our crazy selves because we, you, you and I at least need, need that.
And then of course, Holding yourself accountable to that is important because you can create the schedule, but still do different things. So having a, an accountability group can help or at least, you know, if you're more disciplined than I am, then you might be able to do it on your own. But I, I definitely need some other players involved to, to keep me on track.
It's that bad sometimes.
Cassidy Tuttle: That makes perfect sense. I have found that I do tend to have mostly that like inner, okay, this is what I need. If I wanna do. These things, but even simple things. Like I was just thinking if I block out time, either turning off like slack notifications or just saying to my team, like, Hey, don't message me at this time.
Cause that's one of the only things I think that like, I don't get email notifications or anything on my phone. It's only slack. Cause I'm like, okay, I'll be there if you need me, but yeah. Blocking out some time to not have that.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. You know, on, on. Likely the business is never gonna get to a point where if you don't answer within two hours, everything is gonna die, right?
Like if there's maybe an emergency and emergency, you can give like a text number or force a, a notification in some regard, but that's something I've had to learn because part of what helped me. Get myself on the map was my quick responsiveness and answering every single question all the time, but we can't do that anymore.
We're, we're at a different level of business and what, what got us here, isn't gonna get us there. And I think we need to protect our time more than anything. But the biggest thing was when Jess taught me, like, the business is not gonna blow up in 24 hours. You don't have to answer every email as soon as it comes in.
And that was a big relief for me. So hopefully that, that helps you too.
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah, definitely.
Pat Flynn: Well, Cassidy, anything else on your mind?
Cassidy Tuttle: One thing kind of related, I feel like a lot of this has been more like internal backend things, but I feel like some of this is changing how I show on the front end with my audience.
And I know you've kind of gone through this a little bit where I'm definitely still the face of Succulents and Sunshine, and I don't think that will ever like totally go away. But I have had people say like, oh, you're not doing as many videos as you used to, or, you know, it's really like kind of the old timers, I guess the people who've been around a while that are like, Hey, are you still there?
Even though like we're emailing all the time, it seems to mostly be the YouTube, but just, I think I'm showing up a little bit differently and people are noticing.
Pat Flynn: Is that a bad thing?
Cassidy Tuttle: I don't know. It makes me worry that like, well, I guess here's the worry that everyone's gonna go away because I'm doing something slightly different than I did a long time ago.
Pat Flynn: Do you think that's actually true?
Cassidy Tuttle: No.
Pat Flynn: I mean, you've seen it with SPI. It's not just me anymore. And I've actually pulled myself out of the face of it a lot, even go to the homepage and it's, it's about the community now it's about the team and like all of us being able to help, not just me.
And actually the service to the audience has grown as a result of that. Yes. I'm not as not accessible cuz I am an SBA Pro specifically. Yeah. And maybe that's had a lot to do with it cuz I show up there more than like anywhere else. But yeah, I, I think you just have to give yourself the grace that, you know, you are growing into a person who is different than when you first started blogging.
You know, you could also take it as a oh, that's really nice that you like noticed. Right? That's how I feel about it and it's never. Although at first it was similar. It was like, Oh, does that mean I'm not showing up enough, but what that means to me is, oh, great. My energy is being put into other places that I'm also needed, because if you were showing up on YouTube all the time, I mean, the other parts of the business may suffer or you wouldn't have the time for a lot of these other fun projects that you're working on too.
So, you know, I think as long as you are there every once in a while, , you know, I think that's cool. I think if you were to disappear off the face of the, the brand overall, then it could potentially have an effect, but I think your brand's strong enough that it, it can run on, on its own now, even without you there, I mean, it would be a struggle at first, but it is at that point now where it's not a hundred percent reliant on you and if you were to stop the whole business would crash. And that's a very, very big milestone to like, I don't know if you've celebrated that, but you've gotten to that point, I think. And I think that's really important because now you have more options, you have more freedom, but it doesn't mean you're disappearing. And, and I think that we can you know, spin those kinds of comments to, to being good that people, you know, They still want you there.
And that's, that's great, but you don't have to show up all the time.
Cassidy Tuttle: I think what you said, like it's, it's taken a long time to get here. And I think that might be a little bit of the hesitation, like, oh wait, I'm not needed in that same sense, which is after a lot of therapy for the last few years, I'm like, oh, that's one of those ways that's showing up.
But yeah, you're totally Right? It's that like it's awesome. I can do that. And then I can choose to be where I want to be, where that energy is. So I like that direction.
Pat Flynn: It's a lot of mental game. This entrepreneurship is a mental game, more than anything, like to be honest. So, yeah. Great, great job though. I mean, I'm just following your journey for so many years now.
And remember the first time we met at the WeWork in San Diego was like, You had something special going on and I, and I'm really excited to see the success continue to happen and to see your growth as an entrepreneur and, and as a, as a person, I mean, it's, it's just incredible. I'm, I'm inspired. So thank you, Cassidy.
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah. Thank you for all. Your help. Definitely would not have happened without all of your help and insights.
Pat Flynn: Oh my pleasure. For everybody listening, where can they go to follow your work?
Cassidy Tuttle: Yeah, so the main place is SucculentsAndSunshine.com. And then I think we're Succulents and Sunshine everywhere else too, on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Well, thanks so much. Take care and best of luck.
Cassidy Tuttle: Thank you.
Pat Flynn: All right, I hope you enjoy that episode of AskPat with Cassidy Tuttle again, if you wanna check her out Succulents and Sunshine. She's just such a joy and to talk shop with her today. Just brings me back to when we were doing some coaching together with the SPI Accelerator Group.
Super cool. And I'm just so grateful Cassidy for you for coming on for all of you listening for, for sticking around and also just for taking action. Like all of you, when you take action, things happen, right? And even if it's not the result that you want, it's still a lesson to be learned, right? You either get the result you wanted or the lesson you needed.
So keep going and I look forward to serving you in the upcoming episodes here on AskPat. So make sure you subscribe so you don't miss out on that because we got a lot of great stuff coming your way and I don't want you to miss out on it. So thank you again for your time. I appreciate you and I'll see you in the next episode, by the way, if you haven't yet applied.
Head on over to SPIpro.com. We'd love to invite you in there and you can apply, see if it's the right fit for you. And if you're a right fit for us. And if, if not, we'll have some other options for you as well. But this way you can join a community of on other entrepreneurs to help you out. And community and conversation is everything today. It's what we need and, and what we need more of. So happy to host and facilitate that with my awesome team over at SPIpro.com. So thank you so much peace out and I'll see you in the next one.
Thanks for listening to ask pat, ask pat.com. I'm your host, pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski and our executive producer is Matt Garland sound editing by Duncan brown. Ask pat is a production of S P media. We'll catch you in the next session.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media.
We'll catch you in the next session.