Today’s Guest Caroline Polson
Meet Caroline Polson, a marketer-turned-purpose-driven-entrepreneur. She worked at WingNut Films for Peter Jackson on King Kong before moving to several advertising agencies and then client-side at the University of Canterbury. In 2022, she launched TwoScoops, a purpose-driven advertising agency that helps clients move beyond selling products/services and embrace their role in shaping a better future. When she's not running the business, she's a mom of two young boys who loves outdoor adventures like skiing, boating, and swimming around beautiful coast of her native New Zealand.
- Caroline left her job at the University of Canterbury and started TwoScoops with a friend who proposed a positive approach to marketing and advertising. They believe that promoting positivity and telling good stories about brands will naturally engage audiences. They have been successful so far and have received positive responses from clients.
- When starting a business, it's important to plan everything, including your company's purpose and brand positioning, financial needs, and support systems such as lawyers and accountants. Timing should also be considered, but being brave and willing to put in the work can lead to great rewards such as work-life balance and personal fulfillment.
- Caroline discusses how she has balanced running her business with family life post-COVID, explaining that her kids are resilient and supportive, and that running her own business has given her more flexibility to be present for her family. She highlights the benefits of being able to work from home and using new systems to be productive while also being able to switch off.
- Caroline manages her work life balance by planning and prioritizing her time. She utilizes the time she has as best as she can and makes it happen. She recognizes that there are busy seasons and takes time to recharge her batteries through exercise and family activities.
- TwoScoops helps businesses discover their unique positive stories and elevate them through workshops and exercises, even if it means identifying hidden stories that may have been overlooked. They work to find authentic ways to showcase diversity and inclusivity, ultimately helping businesses attract talent and grow.
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Caroline: a friend of mine who is a creative director approached me and said, Hey, look, I think we should do this, but I think we should do this a different way. And I think we need to do this based around positivity, like finding the good in everything that everybody did and suddenly there was this ah, kind of moment of, um, do you know what that is exciting.
That is, um, That's not just, can I sell more units of a, fizzy drink or, sell stuff that people don't need. But what can we do that makes people feel good? And it, and it kind of brings out the positivity in every brand.
Matt: welcome to the Push to Be More podcast with me, your host, Matt Edmundson. This is a show that talks about the stuff that makes life work and to help us do just that. Today I'm chatting with Caroline Polson from twoscoops over on the sunny Island of New Zealand, about where she has had to push through what she does to recharge her batteries and to be as well as well what they're doing to be more. Now.
The show notes and transcript from our conversation will be available on our website, which is pushtobemore.com. And if you are visiting the site whilst you're there, why not sign up for our newsletter? Because each week we'll email you the links and notes from the show Auto. Automagically they go direct your inbox, totally free, which is amazing. Oh yes.
Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders like yourself set up and host and run their own podcast. Why would they do that? Why would you want to do that? Well, you know what I have found running my own podcast to be insanely rewarding, opens doors to amazing people.
Like nothing else I have ever seen. I have built networks, made friends, had a platform to champion my customers, my team, my suppliers, and I think just about any entrepreneur and business leader should have their own podcast because it's had such a huge impact on my own business, which of course sounds great in theory, but in reality, well, there's a few things to think about, isn't there?
Like, how do we set it up? How do we do distribution? How do we get the tech right? How do I even know what the right podcast strategy is, Matt? I mean, the list goes on. You see, I love talking to people, but not. Not necessarily all of that other stuff, if I'm honest with you. So our fab team at Aurion Media takes it all off my plate.
I get to do what I love and enjoy and I'm hopefully good at, and they brilliantly take care of the rest. So if you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for you and your business, why not connect with them at aurionmedia.com? That's Aurion A U R I O N media dot com. And of course, we will link to them on the podcast website as well.
So that's the show sponsor. Let's meet today's show guest, Caroline Polson. A marketeer turned person-driven a person, purpose-driven. Let me get my own note right. Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur. She worked. Check this out at Wingnut Films for Peter Jackson on King Kong before moving to several advertising agents.
And then client side at the University of Canterbury in 2022, she launched twoscoops, a purpose-driven advertising agency that helps clients move beyond selling products and services and embrace their role in shaping a better future, which sounds amazing if I'm honest with you. And when she's not running the business, she is a fab mom of two young boys who love outdoor adventures.
Like skiing, boating, and swimming around the beautiful coast of her native New Zealand sounds idyllic. So I mean, who wouldn't want to do that? Uh, Caroline, welcome to the show. Great to have you. How are we doing today?
Caroline: Thank you Matt. Um, really good. Really good. Um, really excited to be here and thank you for having me.
Matt: Oh no, it's great. It's always good to talk to, uh, friends in New Zealand, which is just fab. Uh, you know, it's funny, isn't it? With technology, you're on the other side of the world. It's the other half of the day and the conversation is instant. It just blows my mind every time it happens.
Caroline: I know it's amazing, isn't it? And and we're always, you know, New Zealand always feels like the, the little poor cousin at the bottom of the world always like, don't forget about me, we're down here too. So,
Matt: Yeah, I never feel that way about New Zealand. I get to travel to New Zealand usually about once a year, um, although I've not been since covid funny enough. But, um, I try and I try and make it over once a year and I, I usually try and come over my little secret. I usually try and head to New Zealand about sort of Jan Feb time because in England by this point, I am done with the cold weather.
I am done with the gray skies. And you have the most gorgeous, beautiful summers, and I'm catching the tail end of your summer, which is good for my skin. Cause I'm, I'm a little bit pale. Um, and so, uh, yeah, I just, I just love my little trips to you, uh, to, to the land of New Zealand though.
Caroline: Oh good. Oh yes, that's definitely the time to come. That's, um, where now all the leaves are turning and it's, it's very beautiful, but it's kind of got that feeling of, oh no, here we go. We're going into winter,
but that's okay. We have skiing in winter and all that kind of stuff, so we like to still get out and do stuff.
Matt: I bet you do. I bet you do. Are you close to the mountains?
Caroline: We are, I mean, we are lucky. I'm in, um, Ulta Tahi, Christchurch, and um, you know, we, what we say is you can go for a surf in the morning and go for a ski in the afternoon. It's, um, hour and a half to the top of Mountain. So, um, yeah, very lucky.
Matt: So the best of both worlds really.
Caroline: Yes, yes. Not that I surf, but you know, the option's there if I wanted it, but yeah.
Matt: I don't blame you. I, I tried that one. It's nearly killed myself. Never doing it again. Sorry, Caroline. Let's jump into the questions, right, and one of the favorite questions I have to ask guests. Uh, and I've tried asking this question at different points in this show, so I'm still slightly experimenting.
So we're gonna dive straight into the deep questions. Um, If you, this show is sponsored by Aurion Media, right? Which is all about helping, uh, entrepreneurs set up and host their own podcast. So if you had your own podcast, right, and you could have anybody as a guest on your show, someone from the past, someone from the present, could be anyone that's had an impact on your life, whether a historical figure, family member, author, I don't know.
I'm curious who would be on your show and why.
Caroline: Such a good question. Such a good question. And it's a hard one, you know, where do you start? Um,
Matt: How many thousand people can I have on? Yeah.
Caroline: Totally Left field here. Um, it's gonna set, the whole tone. Um, do you know who my icon who, um, I think has done so much for feminism, for the lgbtq a, uh, rainbow community, um, Dolly Parton. I know that's so random, but I just think she is an absolute legend. Um, people don't think of her as a feminist, but oh my gosh.
She is, she does, she has played the world for the last, you know,
Caroline: whatever years. Um, She's a philanthropist. She's the most incredible singer songwriter. Um, and I would just love to sit down with Dolly Parton and try and just pick that brain and hear her stories. Um, and, you know, I just think she's a total trailblazer and she's awesome.
And I don't think she gets, you know, she's not a joke. People used to think that, you know, she's a, the, that she was the part of the joke, but actually she's the one making the millions and, and, um, Writing her her story. Um, so I know that's probably quite random, but Dolly Parton would be my dream podcast guest.
Matt: I'm, I'm not gonna lie, uh, Caroline, are you, I always try and sort of think, who are they gonna say? And I've never got it. I've never got it right. So yet, you know, I mean, I can say the obvious things like, uh, quite a few men when they come on the show will say, I'd love to talk to my dad, especially if their dad passed away when they were young.
Um, or my granddad Do, you know, what I mean is sort of the male role model figures in their life. Um, what does tend to happen is ladies choose ladies and men choose men, which is, you know, I dunno if, I don't wanna read anything into that. I'm just stating a fact.
But I did not have on my list anywhere, Dolly Parton, I'm not gonna lie. Um, and so it's intrigued me that you've chosen Dolly Parton because Dolly Parton, um, Dolly Parton is of a certain era. And I, I, I'm, I hope I'm not being rude. I didn't put you in that era. Uh, I thought you were younger, uh, if I'm honest with you, but she's, she's an extraordinary lady, isn't she? And I, I dunno if you've ever been to Dollywood, uh, in the States
Caroline: No, no, it's on the bucket list.
Matt: Oh, is it on the, so I had, um, the pleasure of going to Dollywood. Pretty, pretty close. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty close to when it opened. Um, I was staying with some friends in North Carolina, uh, which is, I used to live in North Carolina for a few years and I was, I'd gone back to the States were staying with some friends, and they're like, Matt, we're going to the mountains.
Do you wanna come? I was like, sure I could wanna come to the mountains. Why would I not want to go? And they were like, uh, and we're gonna go to Dollywood. And I was like, Hmm, Dollywood. Okay. And the thing that I remember, uh, about Dollywood was the ice cream was phenomenal.
Matt: So yeah, it's on your bucket list.
Caroline: Oh, I mean, yeah, woodt, it's so random and when people say that Dollywood exists, they just think it's, it's a, it's a, something that somebody's made up. But, um, she's just hilarious. She's
amazing. And, um, what else, other than the ice cream, what else did you do? You just wandered around and
Matt: Yeah, I mean, it was a, it was a nice theme park and they had, they had some live music on and, um, obviously a lot of country music going on, and it was just, it was a great day. I was, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Now this is going back. X amount of years. I genuinely couldn't say what, 25, maybe 30 years.
I can't remember. Um, so I, it's not like I've been with my kids, but, um, but yeah, Dollywood, it's a real place. Who knew? And I, good honor, it's still going and, um, you know, she's still got a voice and, um, I still love the movie Nine to Five and, you know, it's just, it is what it is.
Caroline: Yeah. Yeah. Well she's still relevant even though I'm a little bit younger than, than when she was at her probably singing heyday.
Um, you know, she's still relevant and she's on TikTok, so.
Matt: Oh, is she? She's on tiktok. Okay. Fair enough. I did not know that. What I can tell you is a friend of mine, a a beautiful lady friend of mine who, um, I just adore. She's just fantastic. She used to live with us years ago. Um, she had breast cancer, um, and had to have a, a whole bunch of surgery. Went through a whole bunch of stuff.
Uh, and so, Um, in Facebook and the, the groups and stuff, uh, what does she call herself? The Adventures of Dolly or something. Anyway, she connected herself with Dolly part and everything she posted on, on social media became about Dolly Parton, which was great, you know, and she was using Dolly Parton to get through the, the breast cancer, which was, this is lovely.
Um, so yes, uh, I, I, I like Dolly. I'm, I'm, I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a Dolly fan, so
Matt: that's awesome, Dolly Parton. Anybody else? Who else would you have on your show?
Caroline: Um, if I really wanted to kind of be within the industry of where I am in marketing and advertising, the person who has kind of made me understand marketing, um, I. And delivers it in a way that I is entertaining, um, as a man called Mark Ritson. I don't, have you heard of Mark Ritson? he's an, he's a British guy, but he's an Australian academic.
Oh my God. You must listen to some of his podcasts. I mean, if it's probably quite boring for you. But he's, he's like an anti academic, like he's, I mean, and I've worked in a university for 10 years. I know what they like, but he just delivers marketing theory in a brutal sweary. Um, You know, matter of fact, um, hilarious way.
And I've learned more, I reckon in the last, kind of five to 10 years than I ever did when I was sitting at university and, and, you know, in the game often. Um, and he just kind of helps me keep on top of things and keep things relevant. Um, and he offers the mini mba, um, over and like at the University of Tasmania, which I haven't done, but I should do it.
Um, But he's just a really good person to kind of like, you know, I listen to his podcast. Podcasts are just amazing. I, I love and I've come to them
Matt: Yeah, it's great. Yeah.
Caroline: Yeah, too late. But I would now we just champion to all our clients. And I, you know, if you want to start building. You know, influence, opinions, all that kind of stuff, you gotta get on there.
Um, but yeah, mark Ritson he, he is hilarious. And of course my, you know, my, my mother when she was younger, baby, or you know, some stories. Um, but you know, we, oh, you could just keep going and going. Couldn't you
Matt: Oh, you can, you can. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just, uh, it's, it's really, it's, it's a fascinat and some people really struggle to answer this question. Um, which is why we now tell people ahead of time we're gonna ask it to give time to think, because it's like, oh, who, who do I pick? I don't know. It's like we break out into a cold sweat.
It's is quite interesting. So,
Caroline: Do I need to sound intelligent you know.
Matt: Yeah, no, you don't have to sound intelligent on this podcast cuz I host it. Uh, so it's, it's totally fine. So what was, um, so you listened to the Mark Ritson then. So you obviously you're into marketing. TwoScoops is, uh, is, uh, your agency. So what was the, tell us about the moment then when you realized that you wanted to leave behind traditional advertising, start TwoScoops.
What was the driving bef uh, driving force sort of behind that decision. Um, and, and how have you gone to bring that vision to passing in your life?
Caroline: Yes. Um, essentially, I mean, you may have noticed that the world is looking pretty grim out there, and we're, you know, we're a recession, we're post, we're covid, you know, we're kind of post covid. We, but it's, we're still kind of living it. Um, and, and the fallout from it, um, global warming. Even, even, you know, turn on the news.
It's just so grim. It's so grim. The world is so grim and, um, I kind of, I, I was looking for a change, you know. Um, I had been working client side at the University of Canterbury for 10 years, which was, um, Amazing. And you know, it was, we had a, in 2011 there was a, a, um, major earthquake in Christchurch, um, with kind of a loss of life, which was quite a lot for a small country like us, you know, whole city rebuilt and Yeah.
And so, you know, we, I kind of came into the university after that and we, Had to kind of tell students come to this university and um, you know, we don't have a city. There's, you know, no part-time jobs cuz you know, everyone's just trying to get back on their feet. So that was a very challenging but incredibly rewarding 10 years at the university.
Um, and, you know, we've recovered to higher than, you know, pre-earthquake numbers, things like that. Um, and it was time I needed to move on. I needed to kind of. Let someone else come in and, and take the reins there. Um, but I just, nothing got me excited. Um,
and I thought, you know, I'd like to go back to agency world, and I just thought, I don't want to, you know, I, if I'm honest, you know, going through all this process of changing and I, and I'm, I'm not even sure I want it.
So, um, a friend of mine who is a creative director approached me and said, Hey, look, I think we should do this, but I think we should do this a different way. And I think we need to do this based around positivity, like finding the good in everything that everybody did and suddenly there was this ah, kind of moment of, um, do you know what that is exciting.
That is, um, That's not just, can I sell more units of a, fizzy drink or, sell stuff that people don't need. But what can we do that makes people feel good? And it, and it kind of brings out the positivity in every brand. And, you know, brands are on a different journey for this. And, um, some are very obvious, um, where their positivity lies and some we really have to, um, dig deep to see what, what, what good they're doing.
Um, but we just kind of think that if you ell good stories and, and, and talk about the. Good of what, what's happening, then your engagement with your audience is just naturally gonna be, it's gonna come, it's gonna come. Um, and it just feels like the right thing to do. And nobody was doing it. Nobody was kind of basing their agency or their, their work on positivity.
There are sustainability, um, uh, agencies in New Zealand. It's probably, this is New Zealand, so I'm sure in the world definitely there's people doing it. But um, yeah, we just thought. Let's just do it. It was just one of those, okay, let's do, let's do this. Let's see if we can make this work. Um, yeah. And, um, and then so we, we kind of set up a business plan, um, kind of gave ourselves a time, you know, to resign from our other jobs.
Um, and then on the 1st of April last, oh, sorry, 1st of July last year, we, we were, I mean, we'd been kind of building it up for nearly six months before that, but, um, We, we started full-time at twoscoops, um, with no clients, which was very scary.
Matt: Okay. Yep.
Caroline: Um, but I think we were both just at the, let's, you know, do it. Um, and we, I have a, we have, there's three of us. Um, so I also have, we have a, a digital director as well. Um, so we've kind of, you know, got creativity, um, client services and, um, the digital side. So it's kind of a nice little trilogy of the offering that we have, which kind of means we can kind of do anything and everything and then we tap into a network of, um, Of different, um, people that we know who can deliver the projects that we need to deliver.
Um, So, yeah, that was kind of in a nutshell how twoscoops came about. Um, and we've, you know, we've just had such a positive response from all of our clients who, some come to us because of that positive angle, and some come to us because of a relationship we've had, and then we have to bring them on board of that kind of positive journey.
What, you know, what are we doing? Let's. Let's go for this angle. Um, and it's just so rewarding. It's amazing. It's great, and engagement is there, but it's kind, the, the proof is that people do want to see good news stories and things like that.
Matt: Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? I, you know, um, I'm listening to you talking, you're talking about finding the pos, uh, the positivity and how there was excitement in that, and then I, my brain instantly creates a connection because I. As you are talking, I, I'm seeing Dolly Parton again in my head because, you know, she is, she, I've never, I've never seen her not positive.
I think whenever I've seen her, she's like Mrs. Positive and is always, you know, really kind and, and gracious with people. Um, and so twoscoops in effect is modeled off Dolly Parton, uh, is, uh, a subconscious sort of, uh, connection there. Um, so it is interesting that. Yeah, this sort of, this positivity side of things then.
So let's talk about that a little bit if we can, because I'm curious to know what was it about that, you know, you said that there was this kind of moment, this ah, moment, I think you called it. I, I can't repeat the, the musical tone. But, um, um, what was it about that that drew you in? Was it, was it something that was immediately obvious to you that was missing from the roles that you'd had previously working in that agents, uh, in that industry?
Caroline: Um, not so much. Do you know? I think. It's potentially because it was coming from us and that we could drive the ship, um, you know, like we could build it to how we thought was the right thing to do, instead of kind of jumping on board, like it felt we authentically wanted to do this. It wasn't just a here's a gap in the market, let's try and jump on that.
And, um, you know, leverage off, off, you know, people feeling crap, let's go, you know? Um, So, I mean, I think it, it was something that we could own. That was the really exciting thing about it.
Matt: Well, it's, it's something you can own and it's a good thing to own. It's better than doing it than in the negatives. So I guess if Donald Trump came to you and said, I need some help, it's like, yes. We, we just, I, I dunno if we're the,
Caroline: We've had these discussions too about, you know, what do we do if we have a, a, a tricky client, you know, like a big oil, coal or something like that. I mean, we haven't had that, they haven't approached us yet. Um, but it is, it's a really, you know, we have to, we have a moral compass that we need
to direct to and, and, you know, straight stay true to the brand. Um, but you know, it's a tricky one because you kind of have to make sure, well, you know, we do work with construction companies, things like that, and. Um, you know, they may, they're on a journey. They're not
there, but we, there are good things that they're doing, whether in sustainability, diversity, bringing on more female, um, people in their teams. You know, there, there are things that you can do. But yeah, I would definitely draw the line at Donald Trump, um, that there's no,
Matt: Yeah. sorry. Donald, we're not interested. Oh, well, no loss there then. Really. Um, so, so I, when did twoscoops start?
Caroline: Uh, last June. So we are a very young company.
A very young company. So with that comes, you know, I can't ring up the finance department to ask something cuz that's me now. And, you know, learning to run a business and we are just sitting in a room, we're like, my goodness, what? What do we do or, um, you know, the, one of the biggest lessons for us so far, I'm sure we've got any more lessons to come.
Um, you know, like we, we are crazy. We've, we've launched a business post Covid world and, um, everybody's going into a recession. You know, we're in a recession, you know, recessions at an all time high and all this exciting thing. But, um, you know, we, what we've learned is, Cashflow is just king and it's really difficult.
And I mean it's probably for the UK and, and Northern hemisphere, you know, I'm sure you guys probably shut down over, is it July and August? Well, you know, New Zealand shuts down over December, January, well not December was busy. Um, but January, February it was dead and we were like, wow, we need to plan for this next year.
So there's all sorts of kind of. Running a business is so different from your core. Every, you know, and, and every, every company is like this, but, you know, running a business and your core offer of what you deliver, and making sure you get the balance right. is a learning process. Um, and it's hard, but it's, it's good.
It's good. Um, we are all. We all play a part in that, you know, with it, you know, cause you're a creative director doesn't mean that you, you, you aren't part of those finance talks either. So, um, yeah. It's a, it's a good team.
Matt: Yeah. That's interesting. So you're fairly new business, you're, you're figuring out that cash flow is king. Uh, some, it is an important lesson to learn. I feel, uh, you know, cash is, is, is is really important. Yeah. I mean, you know, for us here in the uk we are, I'm always aware that August is a month when nothing really happens.
Matt: and you just, you have to mitigate for that. You have to plan for that.
Um, so I imagine that's your January time, isn't it really? And you're just kind like, wow, whatever. It's just, everything's on shutdown, so I might as well just close the doors and go light the barbecue, you know? Um, this is one of those, isn't it?
So what are, what is, um, I mean, running a bus, going from working for someone to running a business is a pretty big leap, right? And, um, I guess if people are listening to the show that maybe are thinking about doing that, um, what would you, what are some of the challenges that you faced or what, I guess another way to think about this is if you could go back in time, a couple of years and have a conversation with yourself that's getting excited about a positive, uh, ads agency, what advice would you, would you give yourself?
Caroline: Um, plan, plan, plan, plan, plan, everything. So you need to know what you need to be bringing into the company. Um, you know, and you need to have a real, you know, start from the beginning and think about what is your purpose as a company and kind of. And, and cuz we market as we kind of do that. So we, we were okay around that.
You know, we had this idea of a positivity, but, you know, it was only about two months ago, we sat and did a workshop internally, which we do with our clients all the time. And we hadn't done it for ourself. It's like a share. Food goes home, it doesn't cook right.
Um, and we sat down and we wrote our brand positioning and, um, I actually think it would've been so different if we'd actually done it at the start, but it, it, it's so good to do that and keep evolving.
Um, so you have this kind of north star that you are all working towards. Um, and then you need to work out, you know, how much money do I need to survive? What is my time? You know, what is the cutoff point that this isn't gonna work anymore? You know, we, those kind of horrible, scary questions that you kind of, um, You need to plan for, um, get the right support.
So I know it's horrible and it's to have to spend money when, you know you've got no money coming in, but, you know, speak to the lawyer first. Make sure you get everything, um, drawn up, you know, agreements with the stakeholders. You know, we, we've got even stakeholders, um, uh, shareholders, sorry. And um, you know, I've got an accountant who is incredible and I just am such a pain cuz I'm just.
Uh, you know, oh no, I've broken something on, you know, the software that we use and it just goes in and fixes it all. Or what is, what is this tax? You know, and they explain it. It's, it's all, you know,very new. So get the support you need because that will actually, in the long term, make things so much easier.
Um, and just be brave. Just make sure it's the right timing for you. You know, I actually, I couldn't have launched twoscoops. Three years ago, that wasn't the right time for me. My children were too young.
Um, you know, I, I just didn't have the security that, you know, if this fails, then what's my ne you know, what, what's the backup from that?
So, um, yeah, I think timing timing is really important. But, um, but, you know, be, be also brave. Be brave, and, um, You know, it's so hard to run your own business, but it's so rewarding and you know, you don't mind doing the late nights. Um, because it means I pick up my kids from school. Now I, you know, we used to have a after school nanny and she would take them to all their sports practices and, and all that kind of stuff.And just cuz I had to, there was, there was no other options.
And, um, now I'm involved in their life and then I come home and then I'll jump on the computer and keep going and, you know, you can kind of. You don't mind doing it because it's, it's what you want to do. So, um, hat's a really rewarding part of it. It's scary, but the rewards kind of outweigh that.
Matt: Yeah. That's fascinating. So the, I was gonna, I was gonna ask how you found it now, running a business with two, how old are your kids?
Caroline: Uh, so, well, they're 10 and eight now,
Matt: Okay. so pretty good age. Yeah. Yeah. Not so young, but they're a pretty good age and they can take care of themselves fairly, fairly well, I would've thought. Um, so how, how, how's the family found it with you starting and running a business sort of during recession time, post covid mom's excited about this project.
She's nervous about this project, she's excited about this project. She's nervous about how, how, how have you balanced that whole family thing? Uh, whilst growing twoscoops.
Caroline: Yeah. I mean, it's, it's hard. It's hard, but it's hard working full time for anybody. Right. So, you know, um, Uh, you know, they just, kids are so resilient. They just, they just accept what he was going on half the time. You know, they, um, I mean, I think they like that I'm around more after school and I'm dropping them off at, well actually they, they used to, we've just moved house and they used to walk to school themselves and bring themselves home, which is fantastic. And now that doesn't happen. I dunno why we've moved further away. But, um,
Matt: Well, cuz this house has got a basketball ring, uh, which you can see on the video. Yeah. Behind. So to be clear on this, behind Caroline is a basketball ring on the wall, which is why I mentioned that. Sorry.
Caroline: Um, but you know, they've been so supportive, um, and they're just happy to have, you know, I'm turning up. The other day one of them had cross country. I would've never have been able to sneak away. I mean, I should've, but, you know, life, you, you know, when you're working at, you know, the year nine to five and, and you're like, no, I've got meetings that day.
There's no way I can make it, but. You probably could, but I didn't. And now I'm always there, you know, I'll pop down, watch him run head back home or back to the office and, um, and keep working. So I think they like that. And my husband's really supportive. I mean, um, it's because of him that I was able to kind of make the leap.
We kind of worked out. Did, did we have enough that, that, if you know, I can't pay myself this week, you know, is that, what does that mean? Um, or, or anything like that. So, um, I think it's just been a, and they've, I think they've seen that I'm happier, you know, like I've, I've got more, you know, talking about being a purpose-driven agency, but I'm a purpose-driven person.
You had said at the beginning people driven as well, but um, you know, you just kind of feel happier within yourself.
Matt: That's really fascinating, isn't it? And I, I like how you've, because quite often people think I'm gonna start a new business and it's gonna be all consuming. But what it sounds like is actually you started a business and it, and yes, it was consuming, but it freed you up in the hours where you needed to be free with the, for the kids, right?
You could be, you could dictate that a little bit more. Whereas, um, for whatever reason when you're doing full-time work, that's not always that straightforward. Right.
Caroline: Hmm, exactly right. Exactly right. And you may have, you know, as I mentioned, you know, late nights and like, I've just gotta get this out. But it's, you know, the quietest, you know, everyone's in bed and actually I'm smashing out a proposal for a client or whatever's going on. Um, so yeah, that flexibility is, is everything.
And I think in a, you know, even. Po. You know, COVID actually meant that we can work from home and we can work, you know, on, you know, we've got teams on our phones all the time. You know, I'm out go for a walk at lunchtime and I never ever could do that. I was like, oh, I have not done any exercise for that today.
I feel just, ugh. Um, and I'll be like, right, I've got half an hour, I reckon I can walk around the block. And I'm sitting there and this is terrible as well, but you know, you can switch off, but it's better. I'm moving than sitting here and I'm on teams still working. Going around the block and you know, COVID has given us all these systems, you know, whether they were there or not before, I don't know.
But we've all kind of adopted them now, um, that we can kind of be anywhere and everywhere and get stuff done. Um, but also knowing when to switch off is always a hard one. And, and it's, you can't really do that a lot when you're trying to get a business going. Um, again, I, I, it's okay, you know, I don't feel I, I want to do it, you know, which is, which is amazing.
Matt: So how do you manage then that sort of work life balance? Because, um, I, I mean, I've run my own businesses, right? So I, I, I know how all consuming it can be if you let it. Um, and, and here you are, you're, you're sort of a year into the journey. You've, you've got the family, you've got the kids, you've, you know, um, How do you, how do you manage your work life balance?
Caroline: Um. I'm a bit of a planner, you know, like I have lists everywhere.
Matt: plan plan plan yep.
Caroline: um, you know, like I kind of know how the week's gonna go. There's, if I'm not picking up the boys or, or, or whatever's happening, um, there's somebody else who's gonna be there. Um, you know, I just, I work when I can and, um, yeah, it just. Just make it happen.
You just have to make it happen. And, and you do switch off like when you need to go to the cross country and you walk away and you go over there and it only, it actually takes 50. I mean, we're very lucky in New Zealand, especially Christchurch, it's not hard to get around and it's a small place, but I can just go up to the school, watch it and come back.
Um, but you just, you just make it happen and, prioritize what the most important things are for you and, um, Yeah, you just, I've just kind of at the moment, it, it's okay. And it, uh, I mean a hundred percent there are, there'll be a time when it's like, wow, I've got deadlines and I've got, um, we're talking to three different clients, uh, this morning, and where am I gonna get this done?
Um, but then there's times that aren't like that as well. So, um, it just, it just kind of, you, you, just have to utilize the time you have as well as you can and, and, um, yeah, just it seems to be working and, and there seems to be a balance at the moment. Yeah.
Matt: So what, um, what sort of things then do you do to sort of fill your tanks? So you, you, you're pretty good at managing the work life balance and I agree. I I it is interesting you listening to you talk. Cause I, I always say to people, there are seasons. Um, there are gonna be seasons when life is busy, there's gonna be seasons where life isn't so busy and as long as you understand it's a season, i.e.
Has a start date and an end date, right. Uh, and, um, and everyone's aware of that. So for me, my wife, my, my kids are aware that we're just in a bit of a busy season at the moment, but I think it will be over in approximately two or three weeks time. And then everyone's like, okay, cool. We can, I mean, everyone knows where they are on the plane and I think.
Having that conversation on a regular basis with your family saves your marriage, uh, if I'm honest with you, when you run a business. Um, and so I, I, I like the fact you're talking about seasons and, uh, recognizing that, which is great. So what do you do when it's busy or when it's not so busy to sort of recharge your batteries to, to make sure that actually you are sharp, that you are positive.
Caroline: Hmm. Yeah, that's a really good question. Um, I mean, for me, I need to, when I say exercise, but you know, I'm not going, I'm too, my bones have given up for running and things like that now, but,
Matt: Yeah, mine too. I'm ouch.
Caroline: more. Um, you know, I bike into work every morning. Um, we know when I'm in the office. Um, and that sets me up already, you know, I've got a clear head to just get into the day.
Um, and you, instead of arriving at, you know, Monday morning, walk into the office just like, Ugh, what have I got to do? I'm like, you know, it's it's just, The, the blood's flowing already.
So that's, I mean, we, again, we are very lucky that we can kind of do that with the cycle paths here that we can use. But, um, that, that's a really good everyday thing that I can kind of just keep, keep, um, going. Um, we, you know, we out, um, With the boys down at the rugby field kicking the ball. You know they're at a holiday program at the moment cause it's school holidays here, take a ball to go pick them up and we just kick the ball for 10 minutes between coming home again.
Cuz I'm like, once I'm home, I need to be on my computer now. So I'm not, mum's not gonna be I you just free range, you know, you're looking after yourselves, but let's kick the ball for 10 minutes and. You do that and then, and then, you know, you get that out. So you just, I, I guess we, I let these kind of little opportunities where they, when they present themselves, um, to do some active, active Yeah. Activity is, is kind of, um, it's an important part of our life.
Matt: So, uh, the, the, the cycling to work thing, um, have you always done that?
Caroline: No, I haven't, I haven't. That has been something I. I started doing when I was at the university, um, gosh, we, we decided, I think the boys, the, the youngest one was five and we were, we went to do something called the rail trail. I don't know if you've done the rail trail in any of your times being in New Zealand.
No. So it's an old trail, uh, rail trail, find that in central Otago, which is at the bottom of the, the, the south island. And it's stunning, you know, and, um, because it's, A rail trail, it's quite gradual. So, you know, five, you know, it's a, it's a, it was a four day bike ride.
Um, and you, you stop off at little towns on the way and have lunch and, and stay at like, Airbnbs or, or little kind of, um, yeah, mainly that live with some motels.
Um, and I thought, oh my goodness, I haven't sat on a bike for a long time. Um, I had one that was gathering dust in the garage and, um, So I thought, you know what? I don't, I mean, I'm not, we'll go out on the weekends and do a bike ride, but I need to get bike ready. You know, I need my bum to be bike ready.
I'm gonna be sitting on a bike for three ays. So I started biking to work, you know, and it was only 15 minutes each way. But, you know, I just was like, oh my gosh, I'm off. I'm a, I'm a car off the road, you know, I'm not emitting carbon. Um, I feel good when I'm doing this. Um, Like, why have I not been doing this before?
And, and there's also re, you know, the kids were younger and I had to drop one at daycare and there, there was reasons why it was gonna be harder to to, to, um, to bike. But since then, I just, I haven't looked back. And I just think it's so easy and it even, you know, I'll be like, oh, we're outta milk. Jump on my bike.
Got to the dairy or news agent, like what you guys say. Um, and I'm like, that's again, there's a car off the road. It, it just, it's. Why aren't we all doing this? You know, um, where we can, and I know some countries are excellent at doing it and, and, um, and New Zealand's not bad, but, um, it, it's kind of a bit of a a real cha it was a real shift in my brain, sort of just jumping in the car to go get milk.
It's like, I don't need a car. So, and we, we dropped down to a one car family. Um, so, um, which is, again, it's probably quite normal in the uk, I don't know, but in New Zealand, like everyone gets around in cars and it's, and, and they don't need to. So, um, some, sometimes logistically on Saturday morning sports, that's, that's, that's a challenge, but, you know, it's embedded to just once in a while getting an Uber, um, then have a car sitting out the front there that, that you're not using.
So, um, yeah, I, I, yeah. It, it, it was, it was, it's cool. I love being in a bike.
Matt: No, I, I, I'm totally, I'm smiling because I'm totally with you in the sense that one of the best things I've ever spent my money on was a few years ago I bought an electric bike. Now you see the problem I have, uh, Caroline, is that, um, I. I'm a typical bloke, right? And I, I, I appreciate, I'm stereotyping when I say this, but basically it means that when I go from A to B I want to get from A to B as fast as is humanly possible.
So when I cycled to work, I, I had a road bike, it was carbon fiber. I had, you know, I had the, the shoes and the. The, you know, the clever pedals. I was like, cuz I wanted to get there quick man, cuz that's just my nature.
And then I would turn up to the office just absolutely soaked. So then we had to go, well can I build a shower at the office?
Because no one wants to sit next to this for the rest of the day, let me say. And so we started to, I started to create problems. I solved problems, but I created problems. And I tried to cycle in a way that didn't. You know, that didn't raise my heart rate massively, which meant cycling at a sort of average speed and I just couldn't do it.
And so, and of course, um, every other day it pees it down with rain here, doesn't it, in England. And so, And so I bought this electric bike and it meant I could get to work just as fast, but I didn't turn up in a full state of sweat. I was actually quite alright. And it, it, it worked out remarkably well. And I just, I just love getting on that bike, taking my life into my own hands because that's often what you do on the roads of Liverpool.
Um, and you avoid the potholes and you avoid the rain and the crazy drivers and you get to work. Uh, and it's just, I tend to find if I cycle to work, the day feels better. And I don't know why that is. I'm sure some scientists can tell me, but that's just my observation.
Caroline: Yes. Oh, hundred percent. Yeah. You get it. Yeah. The blood's flowing. You are already, you're already ready to go. Right.
Matt: Yeah, totally. And you've got a million ideas. I mean, to be fair, if I'm driving, I'm listening to podcasts and so I've gotta, you know, I, I. Yeah, I, I, I, the other thing that I purchased, because I was like, well, I wanna listen to podcasts while I'm cycling, but of course I don't want something in my ears because that would be a little bit stupid.
Um, and so then I got those, uh, those, I dunno if you've seen them, the aftershocks or open shocks, not aftershocks, open shocks. They're headphones which sit on the bones, uh, just in front of your ears. And they're, it's just remarkable. It's, I don't quite understand how it works, but I can hear the music brilliantly, or the podcast, and I can also hear everything to do with the traffic.
And so, uh, yeah, really clever.
Matt: clever. Yeah. Open Shocks, I think they're called. Um, and yeah, shocks is a bizarre name to give to headphones cuz I'm like, that's not, that's not the kind of headphones I want. but they need help with, uh, with their marketing. You should give 'em a ring. Um, So you've got this positive agency and I'm, I'm kind of curious in the sense how it actually works, right?
So I come knock on your door, I'm a client. How do you help me kind of discover the good and elevate my story? What's your, I don't know. I don't, I'm not asking what your secret sauce is, but I guess how, how, if I'm thinking, if I'm sat here listening to you talk and, um, talk about the, the agency and stuff, I'm like, well, Caroline, how do I do that? How do I, how do I get her to be a bit more positive? Right?
Caroline: Yeah, and it's, it's not super, I mean, you know, sometimes it's super easy and we, it's immediately like, um, Uh, you know, some of our clients you walk in and you just, it's, it's a, a outdoor company and they have on the side a repairs business, so they don't really talk about it that much. But my gosh, the stuff that they're keeping outta landfill, because they've, they sew up sleeping bags and they, that little rip in your tent.
It's like, Why are you not telling this story? This is amazing. Um, and so, you know, we, we, we find that out when we, we sit down and we really dig deep and we have workshops with our clients and kind of, um, go through all sorts of strange and wonderful kind of exercises that they're looking at us going, why are you, why are you asking me to draw something?
And, and it's, it's often, it's the conversation that they're having with the other, you know, Um, you know, people, people that they work with, um, that we are getting the real insights of what's going on, um, rather than the actual drawing of what you think is your ideal client or anything, ideal customer. Um, and so we just, you know, we.
We dig and dig and we try and find that angle and that that's, it's, it's, it's a challenge, but that's what we are here to do. And, um, we, you know, we, we love to find those really tricky ones. You know, we have an engineer, you know, structural, geotechnical engineering firm, and man, that's dry and that's difficult.
And we, we are in that process and we haven't, we haven't found a secret sauce of that one yet. So, but we, we are figuring it out with them. Um, you know, they're not, you know, So you say the word sustainability and they kind of glaze over and um, it's like, okay, well that's not where we are gonna go with that.
But guess what? Actually, you look around in your room and you've got a really diverse group of people here, which I don't think is normal. Uh, that's not, you know, engineering students coming out of universities here are probably 80% males and a lot of them are white
males. And so, yep. Um, so, um,
Matt: Because that's not usually the, the, the, that ratio of, of white males coming outta university. Is that a, is that a Kiwi thing? Cuz that, that, that statistic surprises me if I'm honest with you, that
Caroline: Yeah, well, just because of ovid, we've had the, the border shut, so international students haven't been coming in. Um, so and so not 80% white men, but 80% males. Um, and it's, you know, it's changing and it's a difficult one because it actually starts at the schools telling girls that they can do these stem, um, subjects and that they can these things.
So it's, there's a bit, there's a real flow on effect going on here, but, um, you know, so that, that is reflected when you walk into an engineering. Um, Agency, so, uh, engineering firm. Sorry. So, um, you know, it's, you know, we walked in and we had the session with them, and I looked around and then it was like, gosh, you actually have a, a, it was heavily male skewed, but there was, um, Filipino, there was Indian, there was, there was a, a bigger range of.
Caroline: People, well tell these stories, put put profiles on your social media and tell these stories about that you're, you know, you're an open and, and, and, um, inclusive environment. I mean, we've gotta make sure you're authentic doing it. But, um, you know, stuff that they've just been like, oh, this is what it is, you know, doesn't, I don't know.
Um, uh, so you're kind of having to kind of teach them to, to, to kind of find these stories, um, and. and. Tell them, um, and these are the channels that you need to tell them on. Um, if you want to kind of grow your business and, and attract talent, you know, one of the other hard things was for engineering firms to attract talent.
So this is a win-win you can get, um, track the talent and then get the big job. So, you know, it, it, it's really kind of getting in there and, and finding those good stories. Um, and yeah, so some are obvious and some are
Caroline: more challenging.
Matt: It's interesting, isn't it? Cause I'm listening to you talk about the guys say what is what it is, you know? Cause it's, it's, I dunno what it is about the human condition, which finds it very tricky to, unless, and again, I'm stereotyping you happen to live in the US I don't think they suffer with this that much over there, but the ability to, Uh, expand on your good qualities so you know what's good about you.
What do you like about yourself? What, how do you positively think about yourself? It's a very tricky question to answer, but if you turn around to someone and say, well, what do you not like about yourself? What would like to sit down? And let me tell you, I've got an encyclopedia of these kind of things that we can go through, right?
And it's, it's funny how the human condition is, is happy to talk about what's wrong with us. Um, and happy to accept the negatives and find it hard to talk about the positives, right?
Caroline: Hmm, absolutely a hundred percent. So we are here to kind of help people with that. Um, but I mean, in New Zealand it's literally called tall poppy syndrome. Like you don't stick your head above the parapet and. You know, just stay down. Don't make a noise, just get on with it, you know? Um, so it's a real mind shift for some of our clients.
Some of them are not so bad. But, um, you know, there, that's such a good example. There's that really famous dove campaign. I can't remember when it came out, but, um, you know, it had these women and they said, Explain yourself or draw yourself. And, um, and you know, so they did and they're like, oh, this is my hair that's really fuzzy and this is where I don't like my chin, and all this kind of stuff.
And then they got somebody else in there and said, can you draw this person? And they said, look at her beautiful eyes. And you know, like you just, yeah. That, That, change of what you see in yourself versus what you externally is seen is, is it's, so, yeah. It's fascinating.
Matt: it is. It is. It's a whole of the podcast is what that is,
Matt: It's uh, it's, um, it's something, but for now, because time is against us, uh, I'm gonna turn to the question box. The bit everybody loves to dread, uh, on the, on the push to be More podcast. So we've got the question box. Dun dun, dun. I open it slowly.
I remove the questions. If you're wondering, listener, uh, what is happening because you're listening rather than watching on the, on the old YouTube, I have a deck of cards in my hand. They are random question cards, which I've not created. Uh, I've purchased at some point in my checkered past. I'm gonna flick through.
Uh, Caroline, you're gonna say stop. And where have we stopped? That's the question you're gonna get.
Matt: Oh, we're getting close to the end. I, I'm like, whew. Okay, I want you to know this question. Especially you were the one that told me to stop when I stopped.
Caroline: Oh no. Gosh. Okay.
Matt: So this is quite a fascinating question for you. What would be a good death? Sounds a bit morbid, but it's also quite an interesting question.
Caroline: that is an interesting question. Um, do you know, and, and it's, it's kind of stuff that we've, in New Zealand, we've just had the euthanasia bill passed as well, you know, and, and,
Matt: Oh, really?
Um, which has been quite controversial and, um, It's, it's really kind of, um, you start to kind of question these things and all these stories have come up, you know, the, the, the pros and cons, you know, the people fought and against this and, you know, something like heartbreaking stories, right? So, I mean, I think a good death is one that's obviously you are, you are surrounded by people you love.
It's, it's, I'd like to not know it's coming. Um, you know, I know. I mean, you know. Yeah. You, you are, you are with people you love, you, you've, um, you're of sound mind and you've kind of felt like you've, you know, nobody's got a perfect life, but you've kind of settled into who you are and, and you are satisfied with, um, That you've, you know, if you've had children that you've brought up good little human beings and you, you yourself, have been a good little, good little human being too.
Um, and just, you know, one night go to sleep and then that's it. I think that would be very morbid, isn't it? But, you know, I think wouldn't that just be the dream of, of everybody?
Matt: I dunno if it's morbid. I think it's a, it's an interesting question to ponder because obviously it's, it's coming, we can't escape it. It's death and taxes are two things we can't escape. And the two things that we hate talking about death and taxes. Right.
Um, And so for what would be a good death? I just think it's a great question.
I think for me it's a life well lived. Uh, would, I dunno if that's a, it sounds like it's a saying somewhere. Life well lived is a good, a good death. But I, I think you're right. You don't want to be a burden on anybody. Your, your wife or your kids. Um, so you want to be of sound mind. You want to be of sound body, but you want to, I think you want to be able to stand there at the end of your life, look back on it and go, that was a life well lived. Um,
Matt: There was opportunities that I missed, but I, I, I, I took some of the ones that were in front of me and I, I, I felt like we gave it a good bash. Right. Um, yeah. Fascinating one. And so, uh, for you, if I can maybe further this question very slightly in the, in the last few minutes. What, what happens when you die? What's your, uh, belief there?
Caroline: My belief is that's it, I think, I think, I don't think there's anything more after that. Um, yeah. I. I just think that's, that's the end. Um, and I know that's quite confronting for some people, um, and not comforting. And, and I think, you know, people can believe what they, they, they need to believe or want to believe or, or truly believe in.
Um, yeah, for me, I think, I think it's the end where we've popped on this earth. We've, we've evolved as these kind of single celled babies that have suddenly become, you know, ruining the poor earth. And, um, I think, yeah, I think, you know, we, that we close our eyes and, and That's the end. What about you?
Matt: Uh, I'm probably more in line with Dolly Parton's thinking, uh, on life after Death. Yeah.
Matt: So, uh, yeah, I, I, I, I, I'm, I'm probably more in tune with, with, uh, with what Dolly would say. Um, but yeah, it's a fascinating one, isn't it? Death, death, death, death, uh, bizarre way to end the podcast. I feel.
Caroline: Interesting. I think you summed it up really beautifully. That was, um, exactly right. Yeah.
Matt: Yeah, it's, um, it's, it is, it is one of these things that makes you think actually, uh, and for me, actually thinking about, I don't, how can I say it? I don't find thinking about death morbid because I'm not afraid of it. Um, but I do find it, it's sobering and I do find it focuses you, um, on the present Do you know, what I mean, and I, I, I, and I actually find.
I find it comforting, I suppose, in a lot of ways. Um, Yeah, maybe I'm slightly nuts in that way. I d I dunno. Um, I dunno. It's, um, maybe it's a question of faith. I, I'm not a philosopher. I genuinely couldn't tell you, but, um, yeah, Fanta fascinating, fascinating. Caroline, listen, apart from the bizarre ending, um, it's been a I'm, I actually quite like the bizarre ending.
I quite like the, the weirdness of the questions that get come, that come out of the question box. Um, if people wanna reach out, if people wanna find out more about TwoScoops, what's the best way to you reach you?
Caroline: Best way. Yes. So best way to get hold of us if you just go, uh, twoscoops.co.nz, um, you can on, on the, the people's page, there's. Um, my e uh, emails there, my, um, uh, LinkedIn profiles there. So reach out and have it, you know, talk to us about how you can kind of, um, find the positivity in what you are doing.
Um, even just have a chat, you know, um, we'd love to talk about it. This is our world, so we'd love to talk. Or if you're doing similar work, um, or want to get into this kind of work where you just love to talk about good things. Um, So, yeah, website, um, is best or find Caroline Polson on LinkedIn. Um, it's another probably quick, easy way to find me.
Matt: Fantastic. Fantastic. Now we will of course, link to Caroline's information on the show notes as well, which you can get along for free, along with the transcript at pushtobemore.com. Well, they're coming to your inbox if you are on the newsletter email list. Uh, Caroline, thank you so much for joining me.
Really enjoyed the conversation. Uh, I have so many more questions. Um, uh, as I'm sure the listeners do, like how do you stay positive and all those kind of things, but time is against us a little bit. Um, but thank you for coming on all the way from New Zealand. Loved, loved, loved the conversation.
Caroline: Thank you, Matt. It was an absolute pleasure.
Matt: Fantastic. So there you have it. What a great conversation. Huge thanks again, Caroline, for joining me today, and also a big shout out to today's show sponsor Aurion Media. If you're wondering whether hosting a podcast is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at aurionmedia.com that's a u r i o n media dot com.
They will help answer your questions and they've got one or two services that I think are gonna help you. Uh, and of course they will be linked on the Push To be more website as well. But that's aurionmedia.com. Now be sure to follow the Push To be more podcast wherever you get your podcast from because we've got yet more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them.
And in case no one has told you yet today you are awesome. Yes, you are just awesome. Uh, it's a burden you have to bear. You're created awesome. True for Caroline. It's true for me. It's true for you. Just gonna have to bear it. Now, Push to Be More is produced by Aurion Media. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app.
The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Estella Robin, Tanya Hutsuliak, and our theme music was written by Josh Edmundson. As I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or the show notes head over to the website, pushtobemore.com. Uh, well if you haven't done this already, sign up to the newsletter cuz you know, why would you not?
Now that's it from me. That's it from Caroline. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. I will see you next time. Bye for now.