The Transcript Is Auto-Generated and May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
Julia Taylor 0:00
The way that we are getting closer to that vision is me being on camera and that is totally fine. Do I love being on camera and being you know the charismatic day get out here I am. No, but it achieves the purpose of my personal why? Our business vision and that gets me up in the morning.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:24
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts have today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgenson has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself, Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz ninja, entrepreneur radio
are Hi welcome out to business entrepreneur radio, I am your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And for over 10 years now, I have been interviewing entrepreneurs to talk to them about their journey, their story and their experiences. And I’m excited to have our guest today, Julia Taylor, also known as Giulia, the geek and founder of geek pack, because she has an amazing story about how she used to be an intelligence agent and all kinds of crazy things to me, that seemed crazy, at least. And now she helps helps women to embrace their inner geek and become coders and like be business owners, and she has an amazing business. So welcome out to the show. Julia,
Julia Taylor 1:43
thank you very much. I’m honoured to be here. Let’s start with the at the end, and then we’re gonna or the current place, and then we’re gonna go backwards. Right. So what is geek back? Sure. So geek pack is a company we empower women primarily to learn tech skills, like at the heart of it, that is what we do. Give them the confidence to learn quote, unquote, hard skills in order to charge more, get a promotion, get a job, raise their rates work from anywhere, start their own business, whatever that looks like for them. It’s just giving them that that confidence and empowerment that they can learn tech skills. Awesome. And like how do you do that you have everyone fly in and get behind a bunch of computers or is everything remote. Everything is remote. The the thought of everyone flying in and getting the introvert in me is like freaking out on the inside. So it’s all completely remote. We have a number of different online programmes, online courses. Free paid, we have more stuff coming soon. So yeah, it’s all completely remote.
Tyler Jorgenson 2:49
Alright, so there is a big jump from being a in the United States Department of Defence being an intelligence officer. And then now I teach women coding online. Right. So how did that happen? Ah, gosh, do you want me to go back to the beginning? Yeah. When did you first like, when did you first realise that you were going to be an entrepreneur and do this?
Julia Taylor 3:13
I think I’m still coming to grips with it. To be honest, it’s um, I’m not. I like to call myself an accidental entrepreneur. And I am still a little bit like, if when I hear someone call me an entrepreneur, I’m like, Who are they talking about? Is Is that me? It’s not a role that I’m super comfortable in because it was never something I wanted to do. I am not the the entrepreneur that you know, it doesn’t run through my veins. I didn’t I wasn’t selling stuff. When I was a kid. I don’t know anyone who was an entrepreneur growing up. Right. So let’s say as you as you mentioned, I used to work for the US intelligence community. I was I was working for the Department of Defence. And back in 2008. I deployed to Afghanistan. That was my first deployment. And while I was there, I met my now husband. He is British. He was in the military. He’s since retired. And we met in Afghanistan. We fell in love we dated somehow in in in Kabul, which was crazy and cool and weird all at once. And we did long distance for a long time. For multiple years, I deployed again, I was in Africa, the Middle East in a lot of different places. For years, he was deploying a lot. And I finally decided I need to leave this line of work and move to the UK. So I did and found myself a military wife, which I’m immensely proud of, but it also meant we moved a lot. So here I am, kind of I’ve left this great career that I had with the government, my career was progressing. And I had upward career trip trajectory, and then I move and I’m just bouncing from nine to five to nine to five and my career progression really nosedived and there wasn’t really remote working then I mean, this was This was way before COVID, right? I was in one of these nine to five jobs. And I have no tech background, I have a degree in Russian, I could do basic stuff on computers and online, but nothing, no coding, no nothing techie. And I was in a nine to five, and my boss tells me to make something, work on our website, the company website, I’ve absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. But I Google it. And I was amazed that I within five minutes, I found this line of code, and I put it in and it worked. And, and it was just that spark, of if I’ve just figured this out in five minutes, what could I do with that knowledge? And could this be my answer to remote working, and that’s really kind of where it all got started. So in summary, you met on a exotic spy mission, fell in love, then got a job where a boss asked you to work outside of your scope. And that led you to finding your passion. So what I mean, but how amazing so you you that one little task, right? That probably was an outside of your actual job task led you to really this journey now that we’re how many people do you help you have worked with a lot of people through your through your group, right? So how many people have you guys helped kind of take this step? Yeah, 1000s, we have, we have a number of different products. So I’d say you know, less than 10,000, more than five, somewhere in that range is where we’re where we are now. And incredibly, incredibly fortunate to not only to get to do this, but I sent a message to my team this morning, like this is what we get to do for our job is is, is show other women that they can be techie if they want to be and they might really love it. And they can, they can take those skills and turn it into something that makes money that they can do from anywhere like that. That’s what we get to do. So it’s Yeah, talk about a coming full circle. Never in a million years, but I thought I’d be doing this.
Tyler Jorgenson 7:06
And so in now running a business and an education business. And that’s a lot different than having a nine to five. Right? So what was one of the biggest challenges that you first hit? Like, what was that first big wall, and how’d you overcome it,
Julia Taylor 7:21
I would say work life balance. And I think that’s, I wouldn’t even I wouldn’t say it’s something I overcome. It’s something that I’m consistently working on being getting better at, and getting my team to be to be to be good at. So we we work really hard to to have a good work life balance, but we’re not always perfect. And we make mistakes, and we work too much. And you know, we’re feeling our way into it. But when I when I first started Deepak kind of the the, the education part of the business that I do full time now for a while I was doing, I was running my own business, working on websites with clients and being the service provider. And I’ve shifted into teaching other women how to learn these tech skills to be a service provider. And when I it was, we were travelling full time in an RV. So my husband retired from the military, we sold everything moved into an RV. And it was while I was travelling, that people said I want to learn the skills that you have learned to be able to do what you do. And that’s kind of where that shift happened. And I was working nonstop. And I know you have to work really hard to build a business of My Word, like we’re not choosing the easy route. That’s for sure. But as I have, as the business has progressed, and as we’ve kind of gotten into what we’re doing now, I am I have an amazing team. And we’re we’re we all work hard. But we try to play hard as well, we take time off, we have monthly Fridays off where, you know, it’s a self care day for everyone. And we’re trying to instil that in our community and with our students as well, that importance of don’t trade your nine to five for 24/7. And that’s something that we’re constantly working on to try and get better at.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:12
Yeah, and I think this, this comes up a lot when we’re talking about the difference between being self employed and being a business owner. Right? Because self employed, you end up being trapped like exactly, you said, You traded the nine to five for a 24/7. But you have to be thinking about even if you’re an employee of one or team of one, what does this business look like right one of the business hours How should it work? On this show work life balance probably comes up as probably in the top 10 subjects with entrepreneurs. And oftentimes what we we kind of settled down into is the idea of work life harmony, where it’s it’s impossible to truly have a balance because there are seasons where one needs to take over and take priority. And so the the concept of like kind of allowing the to to work have a good healthy blend, right a good healthy harmony, symbiosis, if you will. So what What are some tips that you have found for you? Maybe not your whole community and everyone else, but what helps keep you in harmony?
Julia Taylor 10:08
Getting away from technology getting away from my phone going places where there is no connection? Because the temptation? Exactly, exactly. And that that’s really, that’s my happy place not in the sense that all of this doesn’t make me happy. I mean, I absolutely I love my business, I love my team, I love my community. But if if it’s, if it’s constant, I just want to serve and I just want to help and I want to grow and I want to do all the things, but they’re there leaves no room for me to just stop and kind of pause and think and reflect. And it’s only in the last probably year that I’ve given myself the permission to do that. And I regularly go off my husband and I we go camping in the middle of nowhere. And and when I don’t have the potential for distraction, that’s when I get my best ideas. My My biggest aha was of this is how we take things to the next level. And I it’s hard as a doer, because I get my value and my worth getting things done. And you’re taking things off the to do list. And it’s been a real shift in mindset of an identity, for me to go to my value, and my worth needs to come in strategizing. And what are the next big things? Who do I need to talk to what rooms? Do I need to be in virtual rooms? As an introvert? Who do I need to build relationships with? Where do I need to go outside my comfort zone to take the business to the next level and trust that that’s where my real value will come in? And kind of see that growth of the business? Yeah, that is that is a big transition to realise your worth has, like you can have worth in your company in a lot of other things and just output now you with your career coming from, you know, you said you have a degree in Russian and you spent time as an intelligence officer. Do any of those skills help you today? Like are there lessons from your former life that you get to still apply into your business? I think the a lot of what I did, when I was in the job with the government was I did a lot of briefing very high level people. And collecting information from a lot of different sources and avenues, bringing it all together consolidating it, and then presenting it in a very short concise way. And the types of people especially when I was in Afghanistan, you know, it was it was four star generals that I would speak to regularly and that was terrifying. But I it was it was that confidence that I had in myself that I knew the information? They did not. So how did I take that information that I knew give it to them so they could make big, very important life changing decisions. And I think it’s now in the position that I’m in which I am fully stepping in as a CEO as the the visionary of the business. That’s when I’m tapping back into what I used to do. Now more than ever.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:16
Is there a little bit of a difference where now when you do your briefing, you also have you need to have persuasion where like maybe in the past, you had to like maintain a neutral perspective. But now you have to you still have to brief and summarise points. But you also want people to make a specific decision, like as a salesperson, right?
Julia Taylor 13:33
Absolutely. Unfortunately, I’ve been doing a lot of things like this in the last probably six months or so. And fortunately, because I love what I do so much. And I feel so passionate about it. It’s easy for me to have that extra bit of persuasion. And because I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in my team, my students by community, our vision, I believe in all of it, and I know we can achieve it. And that comes across in my energy and my my charisma and I’m exhausted at the end of it. And I need to go and be in the middle of nowhere to kind of recharge. But yes, absolutely. That that persuasion level is very important, especially with with the next level that we’re taking the business. Yeah, so you’ve helped 1000s of people. Trent make this transition make these, you know, start learning, coding, gaining new skills, as people learn what is a common obstacle that they face in moving from learning mode into application mode? Oh, gosh, finding clients and putting themselves out there easily. I would say the majority of my students are introverts just like me. And we hear that all the time. We just we had an event last week called Geek fest. And the thing that constantly comes up is confidence is fear of putting themselves out there and the stories that we tell ourselves in our head that are not based on facts or evidence, but it’s just stories that we tell ourselves and constantly kind of running in our head. And that putting yourself out there to find clients. Because learning is easy. We all, especially all of us, in our community, we love, we love to learn, we want to learn more. But we we rely on that as a crutch. I gotta learn more before I can do I gotta learn more before I can do. And that’s one of the biggest things that we do in our programme and in our community is Yeah, learning is great. But you’re always going to be learning things are always going to change in tech. So I challenge them to do small things. And I have heard called the introverts pre launch marketing blueprint. So it’s just little things, it’s, it’s just a little, a little step here and a little bit here. So it’s not a massive, whoa, that’s way outside my comfort zone. It’s just a tiny bit, and just trying a few things to see what feels right, and what sticks and what works and what doesn’t work and, and then kind of feel a feeling into it rather than that huge. Oh, throw yourself out there and start telling everyone and that sort of thing.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:03
Yeah, try to get loud when you’re you don’t even like speaking up, right? It’s a bit of a challenge. And so I mean, you have a Facebook community, you have a coding challenge. And like you said, you have geek fest geek, compulsive, all these different things, what’s come you’ve got some big things coming up to what are some big things coming up in the in the geek PAC world.
Julia Taylor 16:24
So the big thing that we’ve got coming up is I have somehow this kind of goes into that persuasion and the influence and putting myself in rooms with people who who have the power to make big decisions, building relationships way outside my comfort zone, I I’ve recently been negotiating and discussing with a number of publicly traded education, technology companies, all big names that people would know. And I have decided to partner with Udemy, which is the biggest kind of online learning platform. And, and we are going to work together and I will be able to combine their content, all that, you know, that is excellent, that’s been around for years that that takes people and gives them enough knowledge to be able to charge more, get a promotion, get a raise, get a job, whatever that tech skill, that kind of vocational skill is that they need. We’re going to combine that you know, marry it with all the magic that comes from Geek pack. The the community the there’s no such thing as a stupid question, live cohort facilitation, my team, you know, supporting them, encouraging them, helping them learn these skills to be able to, you know, take the next step and whatever that that is towards their why so, so I’m really, really excited about the the collaboration and partnership that Deepak will have with with Udemy. Because it’s just such a nice combination of community support. Actually retention, actually getting through tech content with excellent content that exists from a platform that’s been around for years.
Tyler Jorgenson 18:23
Yeah, and what a what a great way to now have a bunch of content that you don’t have to worry about creating right things that maybe aren’t your area of genius, you don’t have to go figure that out. Now. You got to make all of us this course or take their learning this lesson. And that’s amazing. So you again, you help so many people get started. But there’s gotta be there’s a lot of stumbling blocks and a lot of challenges. What is one thing that you wished you had learned when you were at the beginning of your journey? Like what do you find like you’re you’re telling everyone I wish I had known this or I wish I would have learned this sooner, or I wish you would have, you know, been brave. And because you’re also you’re an introvert, but you’re you’ve got a pretty good sized social media following on both Instagram Tik Tok and right so you do non introverted things? What do you find, you know, the common advice that you keep giving others?
Julia Taylor 19:10
Yeah, and people ask me that all the time, like, because because I am very comfortable off camera. How is it that I do so much on camera? And this is probably something that I wish I’d I’d known at the time that I do now. Is this is something that we get our students to do almost immediately when they when they kind of come into our world is to figure out what your why is. If you can really understand and it’s kind of kind of your mission. What is it? Why is it that you’re doing this hard thing because you’re giving up a nine to five and you’re choosing something that is harder, because you want an end result? What is that end result? And to really figure that out and drill down and fully understand you’re putting yourself through hard times in order for this positive result. What is that? And keep that in mind. Because when you have hard times know that you’re doing it for a reason. So we want our students to identify that we actually send out I literally just did it, we send out postcards, to all of our new students. And on the back of it is a place for them to write down their why it to put it somewhere to constantly remind themselves, and we give them permission to change it. So I didn’t, I was just, you know, doing things as and when they came up for me, I didn’t really have that why. And it all comes back to right now my company mission is very, very clear. And the only way not the only way. But right now in this current season of business, the way that we are getting closer to that vision is me being on camera, and that is totally fine. Do I love being on camera and being you know, the charismatic day get out? Here I am? No, but it achieves the purpose of my personal why? Our business vision. And that gets me up in the morning. And that gets me on camera. And that gets me doing interviews and talking to people and going outside my comfort zone. Because the more people the more women we can reach the more women we can impact the more women we can empower to learn tech skills. That’s that’s it that’s why that’s what I why I do what I do and that’s why I am on tick tock
Tyler Jorgenson 21:34
Yeah, no, I love that. Some people struggle with this. We already talked about work life harmony a little bit. And so I’m I don’t think you’re going to struggle with this question. But some entrepreneurs do. And to me, it’s very telling to me business isn’t about just that 24/7 Grind. It’s about creating a lifestyle that you actually love and want to have and having things that you do that are not part of the business. What’s one item on your personal bucket list you’re going to do or accomplish in the next 12 months?
Julia Taylor 22:00
I would know if you said more than 12 months but in the next 12 months personal bucket list is is significantly more camping in the middle of nowhere
Tyler Jorgenson 22:13
Are there any any new spots you’re hoping to hit? More middle of nowhere.
Julia Taylor 22:19
More middle of nowhere it’s an active actively trying to find more middle of nowhere is where there is no service. within driving distance we’ve got a new a new camper coming that means we can get out further for longer. Now trip down to Baja more in in the mountains more in the desert. Maybe up to Alaska, but more middle of nowhere time.
Tyler Jorgenson 22:48
But now you have me my curiosity piqued what’s more than 12 months?
Julia Taylor 22:54
A significantly a significant length trip through South America.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:03
Cool. So awesome. So it’s not coming in the next year, but it’s happening. It’s gonna it’s gonna be done. I love that. Any. So where should people go if they want to learn more about geek pack?
Julia Taylor 23:14
Geek pack.com or just Google pack?
Tyler Jorgenson 23:17
Sure. All right. I love it. I think everyone I hope you go find Julia on Instagram and Tiktok and give her all the hearts and likes and follows. But what she’s doing with Geek pack is really really cool. There’s a lot that you can learn literally from her by taking her courses and her challenges but also just from what she’s doing to empower a community I think it’s really really great. And so to all my businesses wherever you’re watching, listening, streaming or whatever you may be doing it’s your turn to go out and do something.
Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared. Go to visit ninja.com/vip and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favour. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something