Lauryn and Michael Bosstick

254: Refusing to Settle – Personally and Professionally

This week’s conversation is unique – it’s with Lauryn Evarts Bosstick and Michael Bosstick, our first husband and wife duo on Finding Mastery and it definitely doesn’t disappoint!

Lauryn and Michael host a top podcast called The Skinny Confidential: HIM & HER

Michael is also the CEO and Co-Founder of the Dear Media Podcast Network, the first and leading podcast network focused on female voices, audiences, and narratives.

Before they had the podcast, Lauryn simply had a passion for beauty, wellness and no-censor advice.

It all started as a small blog and today their podcast, The Skinny Confidential: HIM & HER, has over 75 million downloads.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest on their podcast twice – you can check out my latest episode here.

So this time, we decided to turn the mic’s on them and in my opinion the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Lauryn just had a baby, Michael is running a rapidly growing business and they’re stuck at home just like the rest of us.

We talk about how to maintain a healthy relationship with a significant other – especially during times like this and how to turn your passion into something that can actually be a revenue generator.

“If you spend enough time giving yourself reasons about why something won’t work, I guarantee you’ll find 1,000 reasons about why you shouldn’t do something.”

In This Episode:

How did they meet?

We definitely have a strong foundation. I would say that both of us feel like we didn’t settle.  I think that that was one of our things. We really like each other and we really like to be married and we’re really good friends. And we like each other’s presence we met when we were 12 years old, which is so wild. We have not been together that whole time. We immediately liked each other when we were 12 to like 16 years old, broke up, dated a bunch of different people and then ended up getting back together at the end of college. So the foundation was definitely built off the fact that we’ve known each other for so long and we have so much history.

How did the Skinny Confidential come to be?

I launched the Skinny Confidential as a side hustle. I’ve had the Skinny Confidential for about 11 years just to give context of that. And so six years into blogging, we launched the podcast and we just really became practitioners of the medium. We just became immersed in it. We started interviewing every single week. We put out quality content, made sure it was valuable to the audience and it grew and grew. And then Michael saw a white space and decided to launch his own network. We actually don’t work together on a day-to-day basis. We work together when we podcast, a lot of people think that we’re dealing with each other all day. That’s really not the case.

What helped them form a strong foundation to their relationship?

We met so young, we did this childish dating thing till middle school. And then we separated and went different ways but always had this back and forth. And then we dated for a long time. We really developed the friendship first and the relationship. Even when we got engaged, we stayed engaged for four years before we got married. We’d really learned what it was like to live with each other and see what each other liked and see how we supported each other. And then we got married and waited a little while before we had kids. While we’ve always been pursuing each other, we never rushed the stages of life. And I think that’s enabled us to build a strong foundation.

How did childhood shape the woman Lauryn is today?

I had a great childhood when I was very little. And when I was five, my sister came, so I had a sister grew up, my parents got divorced. It was very chaotic the way they divorced and it was a lot of chaos. So I actually feel like I thrive in chaos. And then my mom committed suicide when I was 18 years old and my sister just developed this horrible horrific six year drug addiction to heroin. And it was just so chaotic as you know, dealing with someone on heroin it’s no logic out the door. So I was dealing with a lot of things at home, but my parents both did a very good job of raising me in a very non-judgemental environment.

What did she appreciate about her parents?

They never told me I couldn’t do something. They always would say, “Oh, you want that? Go figure it out. You want that car? Go get it. You want this? Go get it.” So I was very crafty at finding angles, and I also feel like there was never any judgment around my career or my college. I now talk to a lot of friends and like their parents put so much pressure on them to be someone that they aren’t. And my parents very much were like, “Whatever it is you do, do it the best. And you can do anything you want.” I look back and I think that that was a really nice foundation and I hope I can teach my daughter that.

How does Michael think Lauryn’s hardships have impacted her?

what I always try to point out to people about my wife or other people that have experienced extreme hardships or tragedies like she’s faced is that what other people may think are big deals in perspective, compared to what someone like her has gone through losing a mother at such a young age, in such a violent way. You lose a job and you lose a little bit of income that doesn’t seem such a big deal to someone like Lauryn in comparison to the other things she’s experienced or even this year with the pandemic people have wanted Lauryn to maybe be a little bit more upset about what’s going on. If you actually understand my wife and what she’s been through and look at her life, like, okay, we’re quarantined we’re at home maybe income is not as strong, least things. But she’s experienced one of the most painful, horrific things a human can experience and so in comparison, it’s not going to rile her as much as it would maybe rile other people.  And I think that’s, we all have different experiences at different levels, but it’s just all different perspectives.

How has this year been challenging for Michael’s business?

It’s been challenging because my team has almost tripled in size and I haven’t met two thirds of them. Working from home has its perks. If you’re doing your own individual tasks, you can maybe stay more focused. You’re not as distracted. You have your own area. When you’re managing people and those people need your attention constantly and the only way to get to them is either on a phone call or a Zoom, it is a bit of a challenge. On top of that obviously I work with my wife which is like, we’re at home in the place that’s supposed to not be about work. And now all of a sudden it’s turned into a place that is about work, because we’re all working here. And there’s a child here and there’s a nanny helping us because we both work all day and there’s people in and out and we’re in this condo. It’s trying to, for me, interface with 30 plus people every single day out of an isolated place. And I think everybody’s going through those challenges, but for somebody that’s managing so many people remotely, it’s a unique challenge because I’m constantly on these Zooms, which I know is probably not the healthiest thing to just be staring at a computer screen all day.

How to turn your passion into a revenue generator

I always try to remind people that the podcast is our side hustle. Yes, it’s grown and it’s a large channel now, but it started, I had a company, she had a company. We started it together out of our living room at home in 2015, not in an office, no resources. Amazon shipped us some things very cost-effectively. And we just started talking into a mic and little by little sharing with people. And that little tiny side hustle turned into a large show that then stemmed a 50 plus show network that just closed a series A. And I don’t say that to brag. I say that for people that are sitting at home and being like, “What can I do to make money? What are things that …” You may have your day-to-day job. You may be looking for work, but you have the internet, you have digital channels. One day you can start, you can writing blog posts, you can start creating social content, you can start a podcast, you can start a newsletter. There’s so many things that are available to us that if we would be going through this global pandemic, 30 years ago, people would be in so much more trouble. There are ways now to start bringing in income, if you’re willing to maybe go outside the comfort box and start trying something new.

Is the market too crowded to start something?

I once had 200 people on social media and I once thought I had nothing to say. That’s part of putting yourself out there. I think that if you’re not a person that wants to be on video, don’t do video, do audio. If you don’t feel like you have something to say, but you want to show off your beautiful closet, do pictures on Instagram. If you are more of a writer, go start a blog. Like Michael said, there’s so many things that you can do to get creative. And if you have a unique perspective on anything, people want to hear it. I always use this example, if you like sea monkeys and you’re passionate about sea monkeys, there is a community out there in the world that you can connect with on sea monkeys. Find something that’s unique about yourself and talk about it and talk about it whatever medium you think fits you the best.

What if you’re lacking the courage to get going?

If you are a mom and you’re out there and you think you have an idea, but you’re not quite sure what, and you need clarity, I would say to go into massive action. And so, I always say that what I did is I went to Rite Aid. I bought a huge fucking white poster board with highlighters and glitter and all the different pens. And I started writing down on this poster board ideas. And every day I would walk by it and I did this for six weeks and I would just write down my ideas. And I started drawing out the website I wanted and the logo and all the stuff, I would go to Home Depot and get paint swabs. In the fabric store and get textiles. And I would just start working like what my ideas were on this poster board. So, that’s what I would tell you to do, get a huge poster board. And that’s that way when you look at it at the end of the six weeks, you will have more clarity than you did six weeks ago. I would also say that you don’t want to think too hard about how you can’t do it. I would just put it out there. Michael always says, “Launch fast and adjust.” Just launch something, put yourself out there and do something. If you have a sewing business, put it on Etsy. There’s so many ways now with digital to get creative. I just feel like people that are saying it’s too traded are using that as an excuse.

Launch fast and adjust

If you spend enough time giving yourself reasons about why something won’t work, I guarantee you’ll find 1,000 reasons about why you shouldn’t do something. And what I try not to do in my personal life is give myself any of those reasons to entertain them. I just say like, “Get out there.” Instead of thinking step A to Z, step A to B, what’s the very first thing could do.

Where does confidence come from?

I think confidence comes from within. I know that’s so cliche, but confidence comes from being the promises that you make to yourself. If you say that you’re going to work out every single day at 6:00 AM and you miss three days that week, that’s not building your confidence. For me, I would set these goals and then create systems to get to the goals and I would meet the goals. And even if it was a little goal, it doesn’t have to be a big goal, one day could be host a giveaway for my five followers, whatever it is, keep those promises that you make yourself and keep doing it day after day, after day. That’s what’s going to build your confidence muscle. I think a lot of people are looking for outside validation for confidence. It really does come from within

What’s does Lauryn think the most important component to getting a relationship right is?

Don’t settle. Stop settling because society tells you that you have to have a baby at this age and a husband at this age, or a boyfriend or girlfriend at this age stop. I think that you can create your own blueprint. Whoever said that you have to do this by a certain age, just do what works for you. Everyone’s different. I would rather personally be single for the rest of my life than be in a relationship where I’m settling. That’s my number one.

What’s does Michael think the most important component to getting a relationship right is?

Extreme trust for each other I know without a doubt that she has my back, I have hers. We don’t step out on each other. We know that if we’re ever not with each other, we’re always protecting and honoring each other and making sure that we’re sharing each other. One thing that drives me nuts that I know we all have friends in relationships that do this where the couples not together. And one of the partners is just doing nothing but talking bad about the partner. I think that’s so detrimental to a relationship. If you don’t have the competence to go and say that to your partner, but you’re going to say it to everybody else, it undermines the relationship.

Committing to the same vision

We really spend a lot of time talking about where we want to go in our future. No two people are alike, but if you’re in a relationship and you’re building a life together, it’s important to discuss where you ultimately see that life. I see this happen so many times when people get into business as a couple. And if we could talk about working together, maybe one person’s idea of getting into business together, is they want to build this small business, that’s going to support their lives so that they can travel together and make a little bit of extra income and relax a little bit. And maybe another person’s idea is they want to build an empire and go to the office every single day and acquire 50 other businesses. Maybe that conversation starts like, “Hey, let’s get into business together,” but it doesn’t talk about, what does that business actually want to turn into and where do you want that to take you.  And so I think people don’t get aligned on where they actually want to go in life. And so we spend a lot of time talking to each other about like, “Okay, we have these opportunities. We have these businesses. Are we both on the same page about where they’re taking us?”

What about intimacy?

It’s super important. It’s another thing you got to work at it. I think with sex on a micro level, you have to be constantly doing new things, bring toys into the bedroom. We have a favorite coconut oil lube that we love, watching porn, being very open-minded to a nonjudgmental. I think it needs to be a very open-minded space. I will tell you that it’s not sexy to be quarantined after having a baby. There’s definitely peaks and valleys of sex. It’s not always the same and consistent

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