Today’s Guest Chris Ivers
Chris has been a Director of her own advertising and brand strategy agency for over 15 years, and understands what it takes to build a successful business. Getting the right people and giving them an inspiring vision, creating teams that know where they are heading, and feeling passionate about what they are achieving is what she strives to deliver. If you get this right, growth follows.
Chris is an unusual combination of left and right-brain thinking with a career that is truly a creative background: one where new ideas, complex problem solving, and critical thinking were a daily occurrence.
She was born and bred in New Zealand and loves the country. She believes businesses can deliver not only economic success, but social success and works hard to help New Zealand and the Kiwis succeed.
- Chris talks about her experience transitioning from a big agency to running her own small business. She says that when you run your own business, you suddenly have an appreciation for all the different facets involved in keeping it afloat.
- One of the keys to success for creatives is learning how to walk away from their work and take breaks in order to avoid burnout.
- The global financial meltdown of 2008 impacted Chris's advertising agency and it was difficult to keep the business running during that time. But she is proud of her team and herself for making it through.
- Getting the right people around you, particularly around finance, to help set up and run your business from a financial standpoint is Chris' advice to business owners.
- Chris enjoys being outside and spending time on her farm in New Zealand. She likes to stay active, and enjoys diving, fishing, swimming, and walking. She is a creative person who appreciates art galleries and live theater.
Links for Chris
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Sponsor for this episode
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Matt Edmundson: Welcome to Push To Be More 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 am chatting with the Ivers, as we affectionately call her, Chris Ivers from Pharmaco about where she has had to push through, what she does to recharge her batteries, uh, and to be as well.
Well, what she's doing to be more. Now the show notes and transcript from our conversation will be available on our website pushtobemore.com. And whilst you are there, if you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletter and each week we will email you the links along with the notes from the show straight to your inbox automagically.
It's totally amazing. It's totally free. So make sure you sign up for that. Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast. Chris you know what? I have found running my own podcast to be well, it's just amazing, really.
Mainly, cause I like to talk, uh, it opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I've seen. I've built networks, made friends, had a platform to champion my customers, my team, my suppliers, and I think just about any entrepreneur or business leader should have a podcast because it's had such a huge impact on my own business, which of course sounds wonderful in theory, but in reality there's a whole problem.
Set up, technical, distribution, strategy. I mean, the list goes on and as I said, I just love to talk to people, but I don't really enjoy that other stuff. So Aurion Media takes it all off my plate. I do what I'm good at, and they brilliantly take care of the rest. So if you're wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at aurionmedia.com.
That's aurionmedia.com. And of course, they will be linked in the show notes, uh, as well as on our website to pushtobemore.com. So yes, big shout out to Aurion Media. Now Chris the Ivers. Chris the Ivers. I wonder if Chris's middle name is the, uh, it should be. She's been a director of her own advertising and brand strategy for over 15 years and understands what it takes to build a successful business.
Get the people right, give them an inspiring vision and create teams that know where they are heading and feel passionate about what they are achieving Is everything that Chris strives to deliver. If you get this right, according to Chris, growth follows, which we all know to be true. Now, what you don't know to be true unless you do know Chris, is that she is an unusual, uh, combination of left and right brain thinking with a career that is wow.
One that can only be described as creative, uh, one where new ideas, complex problem solving and critical thinking are a daily occurrence. She is born and bred in New Zealand, loves her country. And believes that business can deliver not only economic success, but social success too. And she works super hard to help achieve success for New Zealand and her fellow Kiwis.
Chris, it's great to have you on the podcast. Thank you for being here. How are we doing?
Chris Ivers: Oh, I'm very well, thank you. Thank you for having me, Matt. Always lovely to chat to you.
Matt Edmundson: I do enjoy our conversations, Chris. I'm not gonna lie. So do I. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Uh, for those, if it's not completely obvious, Chris and I do know each other.
Uh, and we've known each other. I was trying to think the other day. We've known each other for a good old while now. Four or five years, I would've thought.
Chris Ivers: Oh. At least. At least. It's been a while.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah. And we're still talk, well, you're still talking to me, so that's always a bonus.
Chris Ivers: I know. Absolutely.
Matt Edmundson: Absolutely. Now we met through the, uh, fantastic Simon O'Shaughnessy, um, who has been on the podcast. You work with Chandra, uh, Salvador, who is also in pharmaco. And you are currently working with Chandra in Pharmaco and you work with Simon, so it is all a bit, well, it's all a bit incestuous, isn't it?
This, this, this little community, uh, and um, it's, it is great actually. I honestly, Chris, I've been looking forward to this. So, uh, thank you for being here, uh, all the way from New Zealand, being from your, your office with a very dull background.
Chris Ivers: It is really dull and I'm concerned that I've got a photocopying machine there, which can I just say never gets used. I've just kept it there as a shrine.
Matt Edmundson: As a relic. To what? As a relic. Does it do faxes too? Does it? Does it fax?
Chris Ivers: No. No. But do you know what? We still have fax machine in the building. Wow. Because in the health sector, they still fax. I find it unbelievable, but it's true.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it's crazy, isn't it? It's crazy.
Chris Ivers: It's lowest moving sort of sector of the market, I think.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Okay. Well for those that don't know and why would they actually, those listening to the show, but, uh, just explain your day-to-day, what pharmaco is, uh, and why you would have a fax machine for the healthcare industry.
Chris Ivers: so pharmaco is a healthcare company.
Uh, predominantly sales and marketing and, um, we have a number of products, right from pharmaceuticals through the medical devices. We operate in diabetes, uh, fertility, um, helping women through menopause. Very important. Um, we also have, uh, we have, uh, emergency care products. I mean, we've got quite a vast range of products.
Yeah. And we supply those into New Zealand and Australia.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. No, you guys do a great job, actually. Do a great job. It's, uh, it's a great company, but it's fair to say, Chris, um, as the bio says, you, you've not always worked with Pharmaco. You've had your own agency, um, sort of creative agency. What was that? What was that all about?
Chris Ivers: Um, well I came through, um, the big global advertising agencies and um, that was amazing. Absolutely loved it, you know, worked overseas, um, in the UK as it turns out. And, um, I was an art director and a creative director and it was, it was fun. It was so much fun. I got to the point where I really wanted, I felt like I could do things a bit differently, and so I set up my own business and I was really lucky to have some amazing clients.
Um, You know, some really big clients in a really diverse sector, sort of, you know, construction for some bizarre reason. I ended up working with a lot of construction companies. I really don't know how that happened.
Matt Edmundson: Because it's Right up your street, right?
Chris Ivers: I know you'd think that wouldn't you? And I used to turn up to these meetings with these big, burly sort of construction guys, and I'd sort of rock on, and uh, they'd be like, who is this person?
So that was kind of cool. I, I did a lot in tourism. I've worked on cars, I mean just every sector. Um, and a tiny little portion of that was in the health sector, um, a little bit as well. So it was just, it was a great time. Um, I ended up being a lot more involved in brand strategy cuz the minute you kind of get into businesses and you are communicating.
Out to the market, you've gotta really understand that business. Then you end up doing a deep dive into that business. And so I ended up doing a lot of sort of structural work around brands that actually fed through into how they actually businesses were structured. Mm-hmm . So it got me very, very interested in how businesses were run and better ways to run businesses.
And I guess that's sort of why I ended up in a business out of the agency world. Cause I suppose it was just a natural place to go.
Matt Edmundson: It was sort of natural progression, wasn't it, for you to Yeah. To sort of go and do that. Yeah. And so you had your own advertising agency, right? You had your own creative agency.
Yep. What, what was, what was it like going from these big agencies into running your own sort of, I guess, smaller agency?
Chris Ivers: Yeah. Well, you get really, I mean, you are a lot more hands on with stuff I found. So as a creative person in a big agency, you're almost in like a bubble. So it's a, it's a very happy bubble, but it's a very, you're just not touched by anything else.
You don't understand the wider context of what's going on. I think the minute that you run your own business, you suddenly have an appreciation that it's not just about doing the work. There's also that running the business and, you know, having to manage staff and go and get new business and who you are as a business and, and how you market yourself.
And so it just, it's, it's very satisfying, but its a lot more than I think most people and in New Zealand we are classics for kind of going, well, I'm quite good at this. Lots of people in New Zealand start small businesses and um, but I think a lot of people don't realize what's involved in running a business.
And I have to this day the greatest respect for anybody that runs their own business. Cuz I know how hard it is.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah, I can, I can, I can totally agree. Yeah. It's uh, it's a funny one, isn't it, when you run your own business because you, you do have to do everything. And I can, I'm just smiling to myself cause I'm, I'm imagining actually the one company that most creatives enjoy being is probably the advertising agency because, or the advertising world, because that you get to be super creative there.
Right? That's the whole purpose of, of being there.
Chris Ivers: You, you do. And I, but I think the thing, there's a bit of a misconception with agencies. So they think they're just these wildly creative out of control businesses, but they're actually the most structured, well run businesses of anything I've ever come across.
And I think their customer service is incredible. And the reason for that is because, , you know, at the end of the day, they have to deliver to a deadline. Mm-hmm. the worst thing you can do in an agency is miss a deadline because it's a missed, uh, radio ad or a TV ad or, you know, it's, so, it's just like the worst crime.
And I think as creatives you are actually kind of very structured in the way you think. It's not like, , you know, you're a fine artist where you can just decide what you're going to do and whatever news takes you, you are actually given a brief, you've got very tight constraints. You have to deliver something, a message, and you've gotta be creative and you've gotta do it within a timeframe.
So you've gotta know how to walk in the door. Yeah. And kind of turn it on. And, um, and that is, that is just a real skill to learn. And I think the other thing is you've gotta learn to walk out the door and turn it off. Because otherwise that's when you end up with a huge burnout that a lot of creative people get.
I think that was one of my greatest successes, being able to walk out the door and leave it behind, right. And then go, go away and do stuff that kind of refreshed me and was important and, and then come back in the next day. And you know, we always used to talk about the overnight test. We would come up with heaps of ideas and we'd have them pasted all over our walls and scribbles all over the walls.
you'd finish a day going, I have no idea where this is going. I don't know if any of this is any good and nothing fits together as a campaign. Mm-hmm. And then you leave, you walk away, you come back in the next morning and literally you just look on the wall and go, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. That's the campaign.
Move that over there, change that, and suddenly it just came together like that. Right. It was quite a, it was really, so that walking away was a huge part of that creative process, but it was very structured. Mm-hmm. Yeah. You know, so it's creativity, but in a very structured way.
Matt Edmundson: You have to have both, don't you?
Chris Ivers: How amazing that is within an agency.
Matt Edmundson: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it is. You do have to have both, uh, as you say. And I think if you can get the structure. And if you miss one, you've got a problem. If you miss creativity, you're all structure. You've got a problem for your creativity, and you don't have the structure, you've got a problem.
Chris Ivers: Yeah. So you, you do. And that's why, you know, I sort of jokingly say I'm very left and right brain because there's a part of you that's just gotta turn on that creativity and be out there and, and think in a really different way.
But then there's this other side of you that's got to, you know, be processed and deliver on timeframe and on budget as well. It's not like we just, you know, give us unlimited budgets. So,
Matt Edmundson: which is always a shame. It's always a shame,
Chris Ivers: which is a shame and always very disappointing and you are always pushing the boundaries.
Yeah. But, um, yeah, it's just a really different, so I guess that's how you develop that, that two sized view, which is helpful in business, I think to have both of those sort of skills.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it is. And I, I, I like your overnight test theory as well where you, uh, you leave the office, you do something different. . Um, yeah.
And then you come back the next day and, and, and look at the whole thing again with fresh eyes. Yeah. And, and, um, and just that ability to walk away for 12 hours, do something completely different. What was, what sort of things would you do just outta curiosity?
Chris Ivers: Uh, I was, I've always been into my sport and exercise, so I go for a run or I go for a walk or I play some sport, but that for me was always the big release. Mm-hmm. I think particularly in those days. Um, just hanging out with friends, going for a nice glass of wine somewhere. But for me, I just, I just didn't think about it. And I, I know a lot of creative people had a real problem with that, and they used to have little notepads beside their bed and they'd wake up in the middle of night write down, and I never did that.
I was never that person. And I think actually that, that was my strength is. that ability to come in and look at something from a completely different viewpoint the next day was huge. Mm-hmm. because you, it's very rare. There's on a, rare occasions that you get given a brief and something just pops immediately.
Yeah. Yeah. Um, it's normally a real process. It takes a lot of time.
Matt Edmundson: Mm-hmm. I think it's the same. I'm running a business though, to be fair. You know, you've gotta wrestle with a whole bunch of different things, don't you? And, and sometimes you get that in intuition, which says, now this is the right answer, straight away.
But it is definitely not all the time. Right. And I think it's one of the things for me that's come out of the pandemic is actually in the morning. At some point during that morning, I will take a walk for like 30, 40 minutes around the local park and I'll come back home and I'm, I'm convinced it's probably the most productive 40 minutes of the day.
Chris Ivers: Oh, I, I, I would totally agree with that. And I still do that. In fact, I have walking meetings with some of my team members because just to actually get out of the office and stretch your legs, and I did used to, if I was working during the day. Um, I would, when I was, I got kind of that stuck feeling. Mm-hmm. I would go for a walk, I'd take my phone with me.
I wouldn't go with the intention of coming up with any ideas. I'd just go with the intention to kind of let my brain go. Yeah. And wander off wherever it felt was a good place to wander off. But invariably, suddenly ideas would start popping and then I just record them on my phone. Yeah. And I Best idea recorded on my phone.
Yeah. Yeah. Wandering around the streets of various places because. you know, I say it's you, you don't go with the intention. Mm-hmm. , you just go to free your mind and just, you know, just let it go. And, uh, always found some, and I think in business, I really wish, and I think the pandemic has been terrible for that blurring of that lot, those lines mm-hmm.
Yeah. To, um, you know, shutting down and walking away and knowing that actually that time away is probably the most valuable thing you can do for your business. Yeah. It's not working, you know, 16 or 18 hours a day, that is not gonna help. Mm-hmm. it's the ability of being able to walk away and come back in and look at things differently.
Yeah, very true. I found even during the pandemic, I had real process around, I'd get up in the morning, I'd get dressed for work. You know, I did the make up my hair the whole thing really. I would go to work. Mm-hmm. And when I finished, I would shut down, close the door, go and put my track pants on and finish.
Mm-hmm.. And I tried to put some real boundaries in there cuz I think it's really important.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it is. And like you say, I think it has blurred a lot, hasn't it, with the, the pandemic. So everyone's got used to working at home now. And especially, I mean, I, you know, I, I'm, I, I appreciate I'm, one of the privileged few.
I have a, my office is at the bottom of the garden, uh. Where in fact, where I'm, where I'm recording right now from my little home, home office, which is just, you know, a workshop down the bottom of the garden, which is great. So when you close the door and you go into the house, yeah. You can separate the, the two things.
Yeah. Uh, but I appreciate, I was very, you know, fortunate in that sense, cuz not everybody can do that. You know, they've, people have got desks in their dining room. Yeah. And that for me would just be very problematic because I, I need that, that physical shut or that physical distance between Yeah. Work and, and yeah and home.
Chris Ivers: I, yeah. And I think, you know, like I said, I don't think people realize that, that refreshing, that giving your brain other things to think about that are not work, are as valuable for your business or what you do as sitting at your desk and plowing through, you know? It's, and I just, I worry that that blurring of the lines has become just so common.
Yeah. I mean, I, I don't, when I shut down, I mean, I'm happy to work a long day, but when I shut down, I don't check emails. Yeah. Um, My team know if there's something urgent, they've actually gotta text me cuz I won't be looking at my emails. Yeah. I don't look at my emails during the weekend.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. And to be fair, I don't look at my emails anytime.
The team really criticized me for the Do you check your emails? No, not really. I just, yeah, just,
Chris Ivers: I love how people are so surprised. Like, run into your office and go. Did you get the email I sent? No but you could just tell me.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, let's have a conversation. I'm, I'm, I'm better with that. Yeah.
Yeah. Now we use Slack internally and if people, because, and people use that, uh, whereas, uh, email, I just, I, I struggle with email. I'm not gonna lie.
Chris Ivers: I, I hate, I, all my team know I hate, and I even sit up a. If you CC me, I will delete that email without reading it.
Matt Edmundson: So, so top tip, never CC Chris into an email.
Chris Ivers: Don't cc me on an email cause I'm just not gonna read it, because if, what are you sending it to me for? You can come and tell me about that in our, our weekly meetings. Yeah. Need to know now.
Matt Edmundson: No, I don't, I don't. I've got better things to do. It's just, yeah. Fair play.
So you've. So you've got this sort of left right brain thinking. You've got your advertising agency, you've left the bigger partners, I assume your advertising agency, you've moved back to New Zealand at this point. You weren't living in the UK right?
Chris Ivers: Oh, yep. Back in New Zealand, yep.
Matt Edmundson: So you've, you've come back home, you've, you've run your business.
How did it go? Were there any major issues that you had to sort of face during that? During that time?
Chris Ivers: I think, uh, we went through, um, the global financial meltdown. Mm-hmm. while I was running my business, 2008. Oh my goodness. And of course what happened is everyone pulled their budgets mm-hmm, um, for their marketing and the advertising, which.
You know, it is proven to be the worst thing that you can do. And the people that sustain those budgets actually come out the other side a long way here. That's just traditionally what people do. They just type everything up. So that was really, really challenging for us. And um, probably one of the hardest periods I think I've even been in business.
Wow. Just knowing that you are responsible for, um, paying the salaries of your staff. , um, and that they've got families and that they've got mortgages, and then you are responsible for, you know, paying all the other bills that go with it. I think when you know that just things are tightening up and you can't, because it's a time that we weren't really sure what was gonna happen, how bad would it get, how long would it take, would we bounce out of it?
Um, that was, that was really challenging. And for us it was, we ran really close to the itch. Mm-hmm. really close to the itch. And then, and it's also the time that I was most proud of because we made calls, you know, we brought our, you know, costs down. We just kept pitching. Um, you know, we used every network and everything that we had, and we just kept going out there and we slowly.
Pulled ourself out, and I guess it's probably the thing I'm most proud of. And knowing that you've gone that close, anyone that's had a business, um, I think you just, you think, well, I, I could probably cope with most things now, you know? Mm-hmm. Um, because you are, you are facing, and, and that's why I've felt so much for people during the pandemic who were in that situation, through no fault of their own.
um, where their businesses went to the wall. I just really felt for those people because I knew what it was like, and I know the stress that was involved in feeling something that's completely outside your control. And it's, it's not because you run your business badly, it's because of circumstances and choices made by governments, et cetera.
So I, I just felt, and I knew personally a lot of people going through that. So challenging time. Glad that I faced it, but very glad that I got out of it as well.
Matt Edmundson: That's really interesting, isn't it? It's a common theme. I, I find Chris amongst, uh, certainly amongst leaders that have been around and gone through a few things, right?
Mm-hmm. , um, whereby the challenges that we go through are both hard and rewarding all at the same time. It's a, it's a really odd thing, isn't it? You don't, you don't want to go through them necessarily, but when you come out of them, you're like, man, we did. That's awesome. Uh, what happened there? But you, I don't know if you choose to go through them again, but then you're grateful for the lessons you learn the other side, right?
Chris Ivers: Oh, completely. And I think, look, I say to my team all the time, you know, you don't tend to learn from things that go well. You learn from the mistakes, and you learn that things that are hard. Mm-hmm. , that's if you take the time to sit back afterwards and just go back through, you know?
again, separate yourself from it and have a really good look at it. That's where you learn stuff. And, um, yeah, I learned a lot, um, learned about, you know, making sure that your business was really resilient for whatever gets thrown at it, but yeah, wouldn't choose to do it again. prefer not to.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Prefer not to.
But what I mean, if you, I mean, you've got the beautiful thing called hindsight now, right? Mm-hmm. , so you can sit there. In your, uh, office with a dull background, um, and you can sort of think about that time. And I guess if you were gonna go back, uh, a few years, so let's say you're gonna go back to 2005, 2006, somewhere around there, would you, would you give yourself any, any tips or strategies or would you just sort of say, no, actually you need to go through this.
You need to learn?
Chris Ivers: I would say get the right people around you, particularly, um, around finance. Get really, really robust advisors around you in that space so that you are set up to understand how to really run a business from a financial standpoint, cuz we, like many people that set up small businesses, we were concentrating on doing great work, getting the clients and the door, um, but just weren't experienced in that other side of running a business.
And so you've gotta make sure you've got those right advisors. So a good accountant and a good lawyer. Dare I say it, uh, are probably the most critical things you can have, get those things in place from day one. Yes, you might be a great creative person and the best ideas and you know, wonderful communications, but if your business is not robust and it's not built on those really strong foundations, you at some point will have a problem.
Yeah. Gonna run, wear a shoe. Yeah. So that would be to anyone starting a business. Mm-hmm. Just get that in first. And if you don't know stuff, go and learn it. Go and do a course. Um, and, and get that under your belt and then go.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. And that's a beautiful thing. Now actually, everything you wanna learn, you can learn on YouTube.
Uh, you know, it's, it's so easy. It wasn't so easy in 2008, but. Now I think the access to information is, I mean, it, I think the pendulum swung too far the other day. There's, there's too much information. It's knowing which information to consume is now the problem, right?
Chris Ivers: I think that's, that's the danger is that sources now, you know, quite difficult to discern what's right, what's wrong.
But look, there, there's heap of great courses online and you know, minor tutors. If you see the same thing being repeated in multiple places, it's probably right. Um, but you need to, you know, check a lot of sources to get that, or you just go to somewhere that, you know, has got a good reputation.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, no, absolutely.
Absolutely. I did at uni, my degree was accounting and law and I still, still mean that. Did you never? No, no. Not many people know that. No, no, no. There's two things people don't know about me, or two things that people are always surprised about, and that's one of them. Um, So I still maintain that. That is one of the reasons why I think I've been in business so long.
Now, I'm not a qualified accountant at all. I didn't go on to get my accounting qualifications, neither did I pass the bar exam, but that foundation was mm-hmm. . So, so good and so, so helpful. Um, just to give me that sort of understanding as I've, as I've gone through life really. So it's interesting listening to you talk, saying you need a good lawyer and a good accountant, and there's like ripples of cheer all around the world from all the accountant law and lawyers go, somebody recognizes it.
Chris Ivers: And I'm not sure that's a great thing, but, but that's really important.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's um, it's fascinating isn't it? How it, how it all works. And I think, I think it's really interesting. And so, I mean, you, your, your business almost goes under then because of the financial crisis. So, um, you, you cut costs, you, you, you sort of hustled, you contacted everybody you, you knew.
What else happened during that time. What sort of out-of-the-box thinking did you, did you guys have to do to make it through?
Chris Ivers: Think you've gotta be really clear where you're positioning yourself and what value you're bringing to a client and also understand it from their perspective, which I think sometimes agencies are not particularly good at.
Mm-hmm. , uh, it's all very well racing and going, we are the most creative, but that's actually not, you know, um, what a client is looking for. So I think you've gotta stand in their shoes and, and look back and go, what are they actually looking for? So I think we did that really well. I think we thought about who we were and what we brought to the market that was different, but also what the market wanted from us.
Um, because I say it's all very well to take a product to market if nobody wants, it's a complete waste. It's the same with any service. You've got to be filling a gap or a need in the market. So I think we did that really well. Um, That meant that when we went in and pitched for business, we knew who we were, we knew what we could offer, and we knew that it was something that clients wanted.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, no, fair enough. And how did it affect you personally, because my experience is when the companies get, when, when the, what's that old phrase? You know, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well, I think when the going gets tough, the, the, the guy that owns a business is the last person to get paid.
Right. So, yeah. Um, I, I'm, I'm kind of curious, how did, how did you deal with that?
Chris Ivers: Well, you're right, that's right. You, you cut your, um, your income so that you can pay everyone else. So that's exactly what I did. And, you know, I was a single parent at the time, so I had my son and, um, you know, house and a mortgage and I'm thinking, oh my goodness, how do I keep paying that?
So I, you know, I brought flatmates on, which is not something that you think you're gonna do as, you know, a single parent. but I thought, I still have to pay the bills. So I got flatmates in and while it wasn't the, you know, it's not something that I particularly wanted to do, it worked really well. You know, suddenly you're sharing the bills, you've got another income stream coming in.
Um, yeah. And so that's, that's what I did. I mean, I guess it's the side hustle, isn't it? It's like, well, business is not giving me enough. You know, I can cut my costs, you know, personally as I would be doing with my business, but where else, what is, what is another income stream? And so that's what I did. And look, it, it got me through that time mm-hmm.
and, um, just meant that I could carry on that I didn't lose my house. Mm-hmm. . Um, and I could still look after my son because, you know, at the end of the day, that was my, my primary goal is that, you know, he needed to be okay. and we needed a place to live. So did what you needed to do, I guess.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, no, you do.
It's interesting. And again, I mean the world's in a bit of a financial crisis. It's a bit of financial meltdown, isn't it? There's, and the cost of living crisis, certainly here in the UK and what it's like, uh, in New Zealand, but it's crazy over here. Yeah, we're in recession more than likely interest rates are going.
So I think it's a really, it's the toughest winter that I've known for, for a long time, including covid. Right. I, I, I, yeah, it, there's a lot going on, so I think, um, it's good to hear how you cope with it back then, because I wonder if that will help people now, like I, you know,
Chris Ivers: yeah, I think, I think the worst thing that you can do is not face facts.
And I think a lot of people do that. I'm looking at New Zealand where, you know, our mortgage rates are going through the roof. There's a lot of, you know, our, our houses as, as you know, Matt, very expensive in New Zealand. Not cheap buy. Unbelievable. Especially Oakland. And that was fine. Oh, it's crazy. And that was fine.
Why the interest rates were really low, but now they're going through the roof and so people. particularly next year when all those one and two year mortgages are gonna come off, they, they're going to just have a massive financial shock. But you know what? People are still out there spending crazily mm-hmm.
So, and I think it's because they just put their head in the sand and go, I just don't wanna face facts. Whereas as scary as that situation or any situations are, if you face it and come up with a plan and you take control back of the situation, you will feel much better. It's when you don't feel in control, you don't have a plan and you're getting buffeted by all those wins.
Yeah. I think that's when the stress really kicks in, but sit back and go, we are gonna have a problem. I'm gonna face it and I'm gonna deal with it. Mm-hmm. , um, and I'm gonna have a plan then I think you feel so much more empowered. Yeah. Um, and that's kind of what we did and that's what I did in that situation, and that's what I'd be saying to people now, is to stop ignoring what is going to happen and actually sit down and work out how you're gonna deal with it.
Matt Edmundson: No. Very good. I think it was, um, Jim Collins in his book, good To Great. He said one of the things in there was confront the brutal facts, right? And the, the ability to, and he actually used the example of, um, Victor Frankl who wrote Man's Search For Meaning, talking about his time in the concentration camps during the Second World War.
Um, and just the ability to survive horrors in life actually comes down to not pretending like something's not real or doesn't exist, but actually just confront. Um, confronting the brutal facts and like you say, making a plan. I remember when our business nearly went under, we did the same thing. You know, I've got young kids, we went and got extra people to come live in our house.
You, you do stuff to, to sort of, you, you go, well this is what we're facing, so we're now gonna have to do something to resolve the situation. And I think, um, I think if you're entrepreneur, you usually, I say usually, cause I don't think it's all the time at all. Usually. Um, you have the ability to face those facts well, because there's this sort of belief that actually there's gotta be a way through, right?
Chris Ivers: Yeah. And I think actually, uh, you know, don't underestimate the side hustle. There is a lot of ways to make extra cash, if you think about it. Mm-hmm. , and it's funny, all through my life, I've had part-time jobs. You know, I've run little Airbnb type things.
I've, you know, I've, even, when I was working at Pharmaco, it's still running, you know, a bit of an agency on the side, you know, so often. I've had other stuff going on. Mm-hmm. . Um, and I think that's, you know, the ability to go, okay, well what else is there? What else can I do? Yeah. Um, you actually have quite a lot of time in your day.
Yeah. If you think about it and if you kind of deploy it well, um, so yeah, the, the old side hustle is, is is well worth it.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it is. And actually, I mean, again, one of the things that you find when there's financial chaos and meltdown, there's lots of opportunities. To, to sort of take advantage of it. The world doesn't close in it.
They just become different to maybe what they were. Yeah, and, and so very good, very top advice there, Chris. Now what do you, you've, you've talked a little bit about sport going for walks, but what sort of things do you do for your being then to be this whole idea of sort of resting relaxation, recharging your batteries, what floats your boat?
Chris Ivers: Uh, I, I guess being outside, you know, when you're stuck in an office all day. I, I love being outside. You know, we're very lucky. We've got a beautiful property in the farmlands of New Zealand. Uh, you know, two dogs, two parrots, four hens, quite a big cow scattered around. Uh, so I love that whole outdoors. You know, I'm a diver.
I go fishing, we go boating. Yeah, I go swimming. So I'm into that, that space for me, that physical environment actually really matters, you know? Yeah. I love being, I do a lot of tramping and stuff like that, so I guess there's that,
Matt Edmundson: sorry. Sorry. Explain what you mean by tramping because. Oh, I really need that to translate.
Chris Ivers: Well,
Matt Edmundson: it could be. It could be interpreted in the wrong light. Chris, as I'm giving you an opportunity to clarify,
Chris Ivers: lovely. Walking in the great outdoors. Okay. That's tramping here in New Zealand, you know?
Matt Edmundson: Okay. That's good to know. Yeah, no, that's fair play. That's fair play
Chris Ivers: So, so yeah, if I do that, and what else would do, um, like for me, uh, art galleries, because I'm a creative person, I find going to exhibitions and stuff. I absolutely love that. I'm also a big supporter of the theater. Mm-hmm.. So live theater. Uh, and we are really lucky in Auckland. We've got some, you know, quite small, intimate theaters that you can go and they're not expensive and they're absolutely amazing.
So I guess those are the things that really help me. Um, yeah. .
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. It's interesting you've used this phrase a lot. I'm a creative person, um mm-hmm.. And I'm curious, how long, did, did you know this all the time or is this something, is this a sort of a revelation later in life? Um,
Chris Ivers: I think it, I think interesting.
It was a revelation, I wouldn't say later in life, but I didn't actually consider myself at all creative. Um, I didn't really come from a creative family. Um, I remember I was at high school and um, I was quite good at English, I have to say. Um, our English teacher, I think I would've been 13 or 14 set us a project where it was, you know, I think you had 20 pages to fill and it could be anything.
You could write poetry, stories. And he said, or you could draw pictures. And I thought, God, that's an easy way to. That seems like a no brain, like you sketches. How easy is that? It's way in writing something. So, um, I, I did some, I did some sketches and some drawings and, um, he came to me afterwards and he said.
are you taking art? And I went, no, I'm, I'm rubbish at art. And he said, no, I don't think you are. I just don't think you've ever applied yourself or thought about it. And it was a bit challenging for me because at the time we were, I dunno how it works in the uk, but here you kind of, the first couple of years you kind of do everything and then you start to specialize.
Yeah, I'd already selected and because I was a a, a relatively bright kid. I was supposed to be picking, you know, English, Latin, French, wow. You know, all that kind of stuff. I know. And that's where I'd sort of gone and he said, I think you should be taking art. And that was completely contrary. Like none of my other teachers wanted me to do that.
So, you know, you talk about one person in your life making a massive difference. So he personally went into bat, you know, with the, with the head mistress and said, you've gotta let this person, you know, move. and go and take art because this person is really, really talented. And it was really interesting when I, I actually kept all my drawing books of that time and I mean, I was kind of doing art, but it was like a secondary thing that I was gonna draw.
And the minute he said to me, you are really good at this. Yeah. And kind of made me believe in myself. My literally in these books where I've got things handed in and marked, I went from getting. You know, two out of 10 and you know, three out of 22, you know, 19 out of 20, 18, out 20. Wow. We've come going, where has this talent been?
What have you been doing? Mm-hmm. . So, you know, it's really interesting, isn't it? That, um, belief in yourself and having somebody identify that in me and then so powerfully advocating for me at that was incredible that literally I was going to be a lawyer, I tell you. Yeah. I was off down that track and suddenly I completely U-turned and ended up doing an arts degree and Wow.
You know, training as a designer and stuff like that, which, you know, nobody saw coming. Mm-hmm. . So I, you know, I, it's a really interesting, I try and keep that in the back of my mind when I sort of look at people that are, you know, particularly young people coming through our business. It's like, you know, what are their skills and can you give them that belief?
Yeah. Because it's just so powerful.
Matt Edmundson: It really is, isn't it? So was that a teacher that told you that?
Chris Ivers: It was a teacher. Yeah, teacher, teachers. My English teacher.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. The role of teachers is I still think is one of the most powerful, you know, things in a kid's life, you know? And that influence. We've all got stories.
We've all got memories of teachers, both good and bad, I think. Yeah. Um, that have impacted Yeah. Real influences. So you're right. And, and I think that looking at how you can influence other people, um, certainly young people. , uh, it's a responsibility, right? So when my kids were growing up, my kids are, you know, they've sort of, I could probably say they've grown up.
Uh, I, I wouldn't be far off. Um, but when they were growing up, the boys before they, you know, buggered off to university, i'd, it was great. Their friends would all come around the house, cuz that's what I wanted. If they were gonna hang out, I'd want them to come around the house. And one of the things you do, you just talk to 'em like a normal human being and you tell them stuff that's possible for them.
You, you sort of feed them courage, don't you? That's why encouragement is, I'm just gonna feed you a little bit of courage. And it's amazing how you can see their sort of, they sit up a little bit straighter and they mm-hmm. , they sort of feel a little bit taller and you just don't know how many of those conversations are gonna have a positive impact on people's lives.
Chris Ivers: Oh yeah. Really fascinating. I, I, I completely agree. I think, um, that support that you can give to young people and that belief is really critical. And I, I know with my own son, you know, who, who's dyslexic and faced his own challenges at school and Yeah. You know, we always talked about, you know, being his superpower.
and, you know, gave him a different way of thinking. And, you know, when he got to high school and he was allowed, uh, reader, writer to do exams, you know, he did one exam with reader writer, and he was, he just, you know, the, the, the marks were amazing. And I said, look, look at the difference. I said, are you, you know, you could use the reader writer now for your exams?
He said, no, no, I don't wanna do that. And I went, well, why not? He said, because that's not who I am. Yeah, I'm gonna do this myself. And I was so proud of him because he kinda acknowledged who he was and he said, this is my path. I will succeed. Yeah. On my own terms. Yeah. And you know, I just felt immensely proud that he knew enough about who he was to be able to do that.
You know, so
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. That's really interesting. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, the thing that I've, I I, I've known about you, Chris, is you, I think you've used a phrase before, you are comfortable being uncomfortable. Um, yeah. And you, you do deliberately go out of your comfort zone. So this is probably something that you've instilled in your son, right?
Um, yeah. You actually wear clothes that make you feel uncomfortable, right?
Chris Ivers: Yes. I know, which seems a really odd thing to do. I mean, I love clothes. I love fashion. I love, I've always dressed for meetings. You know, I've always thought, what am I doing tomorrow? Do I need just something a bit more that's gonna kind of make me feel?
But yes, I do. I purposely sometimes choose things. I, I always choose things that I think I, I will look good in, but I often will go, oh geez, that's a, it's quite bright. Or, you know, it's quite out there. Or, you know, and I, and I do choose 'em because I think. you know, being uncomfortable is a good thing to be.
And look, there's never once that I've put on something that I've gone, I don't know, is this too much, um, that I've regretted, you know, I did, I did attend all meeting, I have to admit here. And, you know, everyone, uh, all the senior leaders when they go to the, you know, all the guys got their suits on with their ties and all that sort stuff, and I thought, what am I gonna.
What are I gonna wear? Because I just want turn up in something boring. I mean, what's the point I'm supposed to be presenting on the marketing. So I did end up wearing this phenomenal pair of floral trousers, silk floral trousers, okay. But I did pair it with a very sensible black jacket, which I thought was, you know, I, but I just thought, nah.
And you know what? They didn't need to flinch, but I, I'm sure they. What the heck. But anyway, it was, I felt amazing and I got up and I thought I did a good presentation, but you know, it was brilliant. Sort like, well, you know, I'm just not gonna go in and be what you think I should be. I'm gonna go in and be who I am.
And those floral trousers were very me.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Well this ties in nicely with something that I found out recently about you, Chris. Um. Uh, tell the good ladies and gents yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell the good, uh, folks listening about the, uh, the tattoo.
Chris Ivers: Oh, yes. Yeah. That's funny. Yes. Not many people know that I have a tattoo and, um, I got, it's on my back and, um,
Even my mother doesn't know that I have a tattoo.
Matt Edmundson: Wow. Let's hope she's not listening.
Chris Ivers: Hope she never watches the podcast. Be a massive shock to her. But yeah, I went and I was actually Cook Island's Tourism was one of my clients and I spent a lot of time up in the Cook Islands at a time that my life was going through quite a few trenches.
And um, I met this amazing tattoo artist up there who doesn't tattoo everyone? He only does it for people that he feels like know what they want and want something with meaning. Mm-hmm. . And so I, when I went to him and I decided that I was going to have a tattoo, um, I went to him and asked him to tattoo the values that I, I believed in, which was around.
You know, creativity was one of my values and strength. You know, being able strong enough to look after my family and friends and family and friends and being true to myself and really interesting. When he did the tattoo, I just said to him, that's what I kind of want. And then he kind of drew the design and then he said, you gotta remember this guy had, you know, didn't really know me.
Mm-hmm. . And he said, right, I'm gonna do it as a circle. And all the parts of your values are in that circle, but he said, I'm going to create this circle as a flower and there's going to be vines extending out because I have a very strong feeling that you're in the point of your life that you are searching. And I, he said, the vines are searching.
And he said the values are in a flower which will blossom. And I was like, that's just crazy. You know? So, um, not only was it my values, but it was kind of at a point in time that actually he really acknowledged what was going on. When you have tattoos, it's, you know, particularly in the Cook Islands and a lot of our Pacific Islands, they do it as a rite of passage and because it is quite painful, you know?
Mm-hmm. , it's, it's painful, but the pain is when you're going through a tattoo, which might take a few hours to be done, and you are in that pain, you deal with it by going almost inside yourself and it becomes almost like a stage. And they use that as that transition often from, you know, childhood to manhood or womanhood.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And it is quite an amazing experience to go through when you, you know, particularly with someone like this who was a. , he was a tribal leader and you know, he was very well respected. And like I said, he didn't tattoo everyone, he just did it. He did it around meaning and values and who you were.
So for me it was a really interesting experience to go through having that tattoo done. And um, you know, you come out the other side and you just reevaluate stuff, which I thought was a really interesting experience to go through. So, yes. Had the tattoo mother still doesn't know. Um,
Matt Edmundson: but what a great story behind the tattoo.
It's better than some of the stories I hear. I got drunk one night and ended up with this.
Chris Ivers: Yeah, it was quite considered and yeah. Really interesting. It was a really interesting experience too, to have it done by somebody like that in that environment. Cause it was done in the Cook Islands. Mm-hmm. .
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. True to myself. That's awesome. So, um, So, Chris, I, I, it's, I could go on cuz we, when we get talking, we get talking. Right?
Chris Ivers: I know, I know. People keep looking in my window wondering what on earth I'm doing.
Matt Edmundson: That was gonna, she's talking to Matt again, obviously. Um, so I think we've got to the time of the show where we're gonna do, uh, the random card, uh, question.
So, uh, you the rules are you just tell me when to stop, stop there. Okay.
So here's the question. You chose this, Chris. I just wanna point that out, right? You said stop. Uh, if you knew you only had one year to live from today, how would you spend the next 12 months?
Chris Ivers: How would I spend the next 12 months? Okay. I would, I probably would stop work. I wouldn't necessarily go and travel, but I would make sure I spend a lot of time with the people that matter to me.
Mm-hmm. and I would make sure that I had, did all the things that were on my bucket list. Um, but most importantly, I think I'd spend the time with the people that really mattered. Yeah. Um, cause at the end of the day, that's really all you have. You know, you like to think that you get to the end of your days and that your bed is surrounded by those people.
I mean, I think that's a really special thing. So, 12 months, I just made sure that all my time was invested in those people.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah. And I think you, you'd train yourself with the people that mattered to you, and you would probably spend the next 12 months telling them how they mattered to you. Yeah. And creating those memories, wouldn't you?
Um, that's an interesting one.
Chris Ivers: Yeah. You talk about putting, you know, sort of money in the bank, don't you? It's like you're putting money in that bank of memories for them. Mm-hmm. , you know, that they've got something to remember you by. Gosh, that was a serious one. I thought it was gonna be.
Matt Edmundson: I know. Sorry, I, some of the questions are a bit deep.
Some of them are a bit playful. Um, but I, it's, it's, I just think it's interesting cuz they're just random. They're not from my head. Yeah. And so it's kinda like, oh, that's an interesting question. Uh, so spend time with people that you care about. And, um, what's on your bucket list then that you've not, not a, not accomplished yet?
Chris Ivers: Um. I have done quite a lot of things, um, but I guess there's a few places left to travel. Mm-hmm. . Um, I, I am, um, I am a diver and so there's a few places that I'd like to dive, um, still that I think would be really nice. So I guess that's, that's a big part of what I'm doing. Um, . I don't know. You know, I'm very, I feel like I've been really lucky in my life.
You know, I have traveled, um, I've been in a position to do the things that I wanted to do. You know, like I said, you know, we, we dive, we boat, we fish. Um, you know, we do all of those things. So I guess I don't have masses of things that I feel like I've missed out on. Yeah. Um, I look back on my life and it's been very varied.
You know, I've done lots in my personal life and my work life. Um, I guess that's quite nice to be, you know, sitting at a point thinking, well there's, I'm sure there will be other things that come to me as you go through. Like, you suddenly go, well that looks really interesting. I'd like to do that. I guess maybe if there was one thing that I'd like to try it is I'd probably like to, um, exhibit some art.
I did that when I was studying. I right at the end of our, um, degree. , we had an exhibition, which is terrifying. If you've ever done anything like that, it's like you are just putting your heart and soul out.
Matt Edmundson: It's very vulnerable, isn't it? Very, very vulnerable.
Chris Ivers: Very personal. I'd really like to have some time to be able to go back and paint and create some art.
Um, knowing that that's probably very different than the art that I used to create and then exhibit that cuz I'd like that challenge. I'd like to be in that uncomfortable place again. One more time. I think, and that would probably be the most uncomfortable. I mean, when you work in agencies, you are always putting ideas forward.
You are always putting yourself out there. Every idea feels very personal. I think art is even more deeply personal. Yes. Because you're not writing to a brief. You are, you are. You are creating something very much from your emotions and very internally to put out there for people to look at. So I think that would be my last. Let's be really uncomfortable before we go
Matt Edmundson: exhibit some art. Well, I, I, I Maybe Then what you should do over the Christmas break is get the, uh, get the old oil paintings out, set up the old easel, start painting something and then send it to your old mate in Liverpool, England.
I have a beautiful space in my home wall where I need to hang some art. yeah. Yeah. Just, just putting that out there. Just, you know?
Chris Ivers: You get from the auntie and you go, oh my God, if they ever come to visit, I'm gonna have to hang that out.
Matt Edmundson: do you know what it is this Christmas? Uh, cuz we are recording this pre-Christmas. Uh, if you are listening to. , uh, it's probably coming out post Christmas. Hence the reason if you're watching this, you see my Christmas jumper.
Chris Ivers: I was gonna say, do you think that the jumpers a bit of a deep giveaway?
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it probably is if you're watching it.
Yeah. Yeah. And so, uh, every year my daughter and I, we create a Christmas, something. Like a decoration. Um, and uh, this year we decided to create an advent calendar. And so we, I so far have done most of the work, I have to be honest. Uh, I've made this advent calendar out of wood and there's 24 little drawers that has the sweets and there's like four shelves and the wise man go along the shelves and they get to the nativity top.
And so Zoe now has to paint all kinds of weird, wonderful scenes and stuff on this, which she can do next weekend because her mocks have finished. The trouble is this Advent calendar well, is quite big. Uh, Chris. So I had to drill two holes in the wall yesterday to put screws in to hold it up. So I need a piece of art.
To cover those big holes in my wall when the advent calendar is no longer up. So, uh, that's what needs to happen, uh, . Right. Uh, Chris, as you know Right, this show is sponsored by Aurion media, which specializes in helping folks like you good self set up and run their own podcast. So I'm curious, right? Imagine you've got the Ivers show. Mm-hmm. , uh, . And out of the people that have impacted your life, uh, you know, past, present, future, who would be on your guest list to interview and why?
Chris Ivers: Ooh. Okay. Um, I, you know, like 10 years ago, I wouldn't have said this, but I would say I'd like to interview my mother. The reason for that is as I've got older, I've had more appreciation for who she is.
Mm-hmm. and the fact that actually she's an extremely independent woman and not of her generation. Mm-hmm. Um, and I think if she'd lived in these times, she would've been a very, very different person. Yeah. And I'd be really interesting to talk to her about that because as I've got older, I've just gained that massive appreciation for who she was and she followed that traditional path. But actually I think that could have been really different for her.
Matt Edmundson: Ah, that's fascinating. So was it, uh, was it, you said up until 10 years ago you wouldn't have said that. Can I ask why?
Chris Ivers: I just, I think it's an age thing. I think as you, you know, you grow up and have your own kids and you realize, but I just think, um, you know, she's now living by herself.
You know, she, she lost my stepfather a number of years ago, and yet she's fiercely independent and she's determined to run her own life and do her own things. And as I've seen her do that, I've just gone, that's so crazy. Because she's probably more independent now than she ever was. Um, and I think that's remarkable when you're in your eighties.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, it is. It is. Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, Chris, it's been fabulous talking to you as always. Uh, I feel like we're just getting warmed up, if I'm honest with you, but I appreciate you've got a day of work in front of you and I've got an evening of drinking Christmas port in front of me. Uh, so yeah, well, you know, watch some Christmas movies, put the fire on and all that.
Um, it's minus four for me today. What was the temperature for you?
Chris Ivers: Uh, about 24, I think.
Matt Edmundson: It's just ridiculous. Ah, love it. Love it. Um, if people wanna reach out, if people wanna connect with you, if people want to ask you the question, which is probably on everyone's mind, why are you called the Ivers? Uh, what's the best way to do that?
Chris Ivers: Uh, through LinkedIn. Just search Chris Ivers on LinkedIn.
Matt Edmundson: Yeah, fantastic. And we will of course link to, uh, Chris's linkedin profile in the show notes, so if you subscribe to them, that will be coming straight to your inbox. Chris, listen, you're a legend, an absolute legend, and I, I love our conversations and, uh, you make me laugh and smile and you inspire me all at the same time. So thank you for coming onto the show. It's been well, it's been brilliant.
Chris Ivers: Thank you. Lovely to talk to you. As always.
Matt Edmundson: As always, as always, as always, indeed. So there you have it. A great conversation. Huge thanks again, Chris, for joining me today. Also, a big shout out to you today's show sponsor Aurion Media.
If you are wondering if podcasting is a great marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at aurionmedia.com. That's A U R I O N Media dot com. And as of as I've said, we will link to them, uh, in the show notes just as we will link to, uh, Chris's notes, uh, and links to LinkedIn. That's not easy to say.
Uh, be sure to follow push to be more wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got some more great conversations lined up. And I don't want you to miss a single one of them. And in case no one has told you yet today, you are awesome. Yes you are. It's just a burden you have to bear. Chris has to bear it.
I definitely have to bear it and you've gotta bear it as well. We are awesome. 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, Josh Catchpole, Estella Robin and Tim Johnson. Our theme song was written by Josh Edmundson, and as I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes, head over to the website, pushtobemore.com, where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter and get all of this good stuff direct your inbox totally free.
That's it from me. That's it from Chris. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.