240 MINISODE Bonnie Bruderer: The Comfort of Discomfort
Bonnie Bruderer says entrepreneurs have to be willing to get uncomfortable in order to get comfortable, that growth comes when we get out of our comfort zones. Bonnie is the founder and CEO of the fast-growing Binge Networks, which now reaches hundreds of millions globally via smart TVs and connected devices as a distribution channel for videos and podcasts like Wings Of…Inspired Business. She shares her advice for women in business.
Melinda Wittstock: Bonnie, welcome to Wings.
Bonnie Bruderer: Good, thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I'm happy to have you on Wings and excited to know what's inspiring you right now.
Bonnie Bruderer: Oh my goodness, so much. I actually just got back from Greece. You know, what truly inspired me is beauty, architecture, art, outdoors. It was such a nice trip because I got to take myself out of the office and the daily grind and we were able to see kind of the beauty in life. Yeah, I found that very, very inspiring and now I'm back and ready to put that into action.
Melinda Wittstock: Isn't it interesting that when we go away sometimes and change the scene we have our best ideas and inspiration. We really need to do that.
Bonnie Bruderer: Yes, it's so true. It was funny, one night at dinner someone was asking me about that same question, what inspires you and where are you, you know, what podcasts are you listening to and where are you getting your fuel from. I really paused and I said, “You know, of course the usual places like Gary V's, The Ted Talks,” but really, I do think when you pause and you take in all the beauty that's around you that's when you really can come back strong and create even more.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh, that's so true. You're back and work and I know working really hard at everything you're doing with Binge Networks, which is awesome, by the way, I'm so excited to have Wings of Inspired Business on your platform. Of course, though, there are always challenges along the way for all women in business and women entrepreneurs. What are some of yours right now?
Bonnie Bruderer: Oh my goodness, it feels like always the same thing. We've grown leaps and bounds over the last four years since our company has started. The challenges always feel the same as they did on day one, and it's always staring at the level that you can support and then financially. You know, making sure that somebody is bringing in the revenue, whether it's yourself or as you grow and sell that it's the salespeople so that you can continue on that path and on that vision for the ultimate end goal.
Yeah, that's really what we face right now. I am pulled in so many different directions and so how do we continue to bring in revenue when I'm out on speaking tours and on shows and on the circuit. Yeah, those, I would say, are our biggest challenges.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that's one of the biggest challenges for women, really to get to scale, there's only 3% of female business owners make it to a million dollars or more. Who you're being in the five figures, six figures is very, very different from who you have to be once you're getting up into the seven figures and hopefully eight and even nine, right?
Bonnie Bruderer: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Because it's so hard sometimes to get out of our own way and ask for help.
Bonnie Bruderer: Right. It's so true, it's so true. Yeah, and sometimes the bigger you get you think the easier it's going to get or the more you're bringing in. It actually gets harder, I feel, you know, it's like ah, okay great, we made it to that level but now there's three additional challenges. Yeah, it's learning how to manage that and learning, like I said, to how to continually grow in scale as you need to and then also manage the day-to-day.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh, this is so true. What a great segue, then, into your top three go-to pieces of advice for female founders and women in business. What have you learned along the way that you wish, perhaps, you knew when you were starting out?
Bonnie Bruderer: Yeah, so it's really funny, the female founder thing. One thing, someone criticized me a little while back because I didn't use my platform for political reasons. I think it was during the Hillary elections. I found it really funny and I think that there's so much around women, and being paid less, and hashtag me, too, and all those things are valid and so forth. My response was, “I'm sorry, but I can't join in or march or do those things because I'm busy running a female lead, majority female media company.” You know?
To me, my advice is don't see yourself as female. I didn't know those things. I didn't know that we were paid so much less so I'm making the same as, I'm one of the few companies that is monetizing in our space whether it is male or female. That's really my first piece of advice is really seeing your goals versus anything that might be [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:05:02"] to you.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, no this is so, so true. What are some other pieces of advice?
Bonnie Bruderer: Really, always have the end goal in mind. I think my team would tell you I'm a stressed out maniac and the reason for that is because … Danielle is trying not to giggle over there. The reason for that is I am so visionary and I am so clear on where we're headed, but yet still need to manage all the day-to-day. I see ourselves as an eight figure company. I see ourselves with an acquisition to a bigger media company and I operate under that pressure as if that is what's happening in the current moment.
Right now we're miles from that, but we're on that path. I think it's really important to be able to have that super strategic vision and then no matter what's happening in the present day in the current moment you have to always manage toward that. Act as if you're there and act as if that's actually happening.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh, that's so true. I mean, that's very much about setting intentions. Sometimes, when we're very clear about where we're going or the end result, it's so helpful because sweating the how is simply stressful and sometimes we can get so busy as human doings, we can spin our wheels and look up a year later or two years later and not be any closer to where we're going. I find that the more I can get out of my own way, because I don't know the how. Right?
Bonnie Bruderer: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: It's about figuring out how to embrace that uncertainty while still being certain.
Bonnie Bruderer: Yeah, and then the last piece of advice, and this has been so important for us, is to be comfortable being super uncomfortable. Push yourself to grow at a level that's a little unreasonable and a little [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:06:55"]. When I look back at the trajectory of our business and the amazing growth that we've had, the decisions I made that were non [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:07:02"], meaning do we jump and we get a bigger office space which would allow for more team. At the time, the numbers didn't add up but I made myself do it so that I would be forced to grow into that very quickly. The same with bringing on a salesperson. It was like well, but if we wait six months, you know, but I made myself so it was so ridiculously uncomfortable that we had to fill that space. We had to develop into a company that could afford those things.
That's what I would really like to tell people because I feel like, again, logically it doesn't make the most sense but I think from a results standpoint it's the biggest thing that we did that's created success.
Melinda Wittstock: Ah, that's wonderful. Oh my goodness, well, how can people find you and work with you? I know you have a special offer for our listeners today with your network. Just tell us a little bit more about what that offer is and the advantages to signing up for Binge.
Bonnie Bruderer: Yeah, so we're a media syndication platform. What we do is we take podcasts and video content and we distribute them on 50 different media outlets. What we want to do for your listeners today is we want to offer them $500 off a package on Binge. They can go to bingechannels.com and use the code BINGE, we like to make it simple, so bingechannels.com, use the code BINGE and you can get $500 off any of our distribution packages. Then we also have a program called the exposure package which is nine interviews with different celebrities and CMO's and media companies that we've had on the show previously, but we've edited into a course, so you can use the Binge $500 off there, as well.
Yeah, we love helping people get in front of new eyeballs and new “earballs”, as we call it, and that's really what we specialize in here at Binge.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's wonderful. Thank you so much for your generous offer. Again, I'm so excited that Wings of Inspired Business can be found there and now heard and seen all over the world. That's very exciting because my whole mission is to help millions of women really take flight and step into their authentic feminine power and create amazing businesses that they love.
Thank you so much, Bonnie, for putting on your Wings and flying today.
Bonnie Bruderer: Thank you.