Co-owners of KITESTRING, a Hamilton-based advertising agency, Chris Farias and Jenn Hudder share what they’ve learned in their past nine years of partnership, entrepreneurship and agency showmanship.

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My Better Business Half

Episode 46

The Bitch is Back (Part 3)

Jenn is out sick this week so Chris has invited a special guest to play the role of his better business half – Brandon St. Amand! You’ve heard Kitestring’s third partner as a guest on the podcast before, but now he’s jumping into the co-host spot for another round of rapid-fire questions. 

What does it mean to have a small town work ethic? What were Chris and Brandon’s first impressions of each other? And are daily donuts really Brandon’s least favourite part of working at Kitestring? Brandon tells all in this week’s episode!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • Favourite food? (1:24)
  • If he wasn’t at Kitestring, what would he do? (2:30)
  • Frustrating things about Chris and Jenn? (4:23)
  • Favourite and least favourite things about his job? (5:50)
  • Project he’s most proud of? (6:24)
  • Favourite music genre? (7:35)
  • Parenthood, family, growing up (8:40)
  • What does he do on his commute? (12:43)
  • First impression of Chris? (13:35)
  • How would he spend lottery winnings? (15:29)
  • Technology he couldn’t live without? (17:30)
  • Biggest lesson over the last year? (20:47)
  • At the end of his life, what does he look back on? (22:06)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 46

It Takes Two

When Jenn read Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, she couldn’t wait to recommend it to Chris. The book is about the relationship between visionaries and integrators – a framework that fits our two hosts perfectly.

It’s a relationship that requires an intimate knowledge of how each person works and what the other is trying to say (even when you’re only communicating through GIFs). Learn what Jenn says is the “gift” of her partnership with Chris and why a business should have both a visionary and integrator.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • About Rocket Fuel (2:04)
  • Visionary & Integrator (6:18)
  • Communication (10:11)
  • Responsibility of role (14:30)
  • Can you find them? (17:22)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 45

The Bitch is Back (Part 2)

“The Bitch is Back”…is back! Chris is up for Round 2 and it’s Jenn’s turn to ask the questions. What are Chris’s biggest motivations? What bothers him most about being a business owner? Which celebrity would he choose as a mentor?

And because Jenn loves Chris’s epic childhood stories (she says they’re her best party trick), she wants to know whether he would go back in time to change any of them. Like Chris says, this episode is a lot like therapy. So tune in and enjoy being a fly on the wall!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • Motivations? (1:07)
  • Most looking forward to in marriage? (2:36)
  • Marriage fears? (4:33)
  • Business owner bothers? (6:00)
  • Why is his resolution to be a better leader? (7:52)
  • Which childhood memory would he change? (11:20)
  • Celebrity mentor? (13:40)
  • What is the one thing about Jenn that frustrates Chris the most? (17:15)
  • At the end of his life, what does she look back on? (20:00)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 44

The Bitch is Back (Part 1)

Time for the lightning round! In this two-part podcast event, Jenn and Chris are taking turns asking each other a series of rapid-fire questions.

Jenn’s up first in Part 1. What is she most proud of? What’s her biggest fear? What’s the one thing about Chris that frustrates her the most?

Stay tuned until the end for a final question and answer that left both of our hosts feeling a little misty-eyed. Hey, we told you this season was going to be all about feelings! Don’t miss next week’s episode when it’s Chris’s turn in the hot seat.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • What is Jenn most proud of? (1:40)
  • Biggest regret? (3:21)
  • If she wasn’t a business owner, what would she do? (4:34)
  • Favourite colour? (5:18)
  • What would she do if she won the lottery? (5:37)
  • Biggest fear? (7:16)
  • What is the one thing about Chris that frustrates Jenn the most? (8:44)
  • How would she change the business? (11:23)
  • At the end of her life, what does she look back on? (12:36)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 43

We Don't Need Another Hero

A great mentor can change your life, but as Jenn and Chris have learned, not all mentors are created equal. When you’ve been stung by a lousy mentor or coach, it can be hard to trust someone new. However, the benefit of having a supportive mentor makes the search for finding the perfect person worthwhile. Our hosts tell you what you need to know before you make the investment.

Wondering what makes a good mentor? Or how a mentor is different than a coach? Don’t sweat it. Jenn and Chris have got your back.

Know someone in search of a mentor? Share this episode with them!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • Being the mentee (2:01)
  • Jenn as a mentor (6:58)
  • Coaches (9:50)
  • Finding the right person (14:45)
  • Advice

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 42

What's Up

Is your employee in a rut? Is work no longer feeding their soul like it used to? What can you do as a small business owner? Jenn and Chris say it’s time to ask your team member a simple question: “What’s Up?”

These conversations of “right person, wrong seat,” are never easy (especially when your employees are like family), but that’s why fostering a culture of honesty and truthfulness can make difficult discussions a whole lot easier. Jenn and Chris talk about that and the huge responsibility of being a “mood shifter” in this week’s episode.

Know someone who might enjoy this episode? Share it!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • “Right person, right seat” (0:58)
  • Culture of truthfulness (6:20)
  • “Mood shifters” (12:05)
  • Takeaways (18:35)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 41

R - E - S - P - E - C - T

“That time we fired a client.” The process of breaking up with a client is never easy, but it may be necessary for the health of your business. Drawing on their own experiences, Jenn shares why she believes these moments come into our lives to make us grow and Chris explains the importance of understanding the impact that a disrespectful client can have on your business. Together, our hosts also talk about the traits that respectful client relationships have in common.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • "That time we fired a client." (2:13)
  • The process (8:25)
  • Firing a long-term client (13:39)
  • Takeaways (23:05)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 40

She Works Hard for the Money

It’s something that every business owner deals with. So why aren’t more people talking about it? Jenn and Chris are tackling the tough topic of business financials. They get candid about their own financial challenges and why money conversations are uncomfortable until you decide that they’re not. Stay tuned ‘til the end when our hosts share the lessons they’ve learned and how you can apply them to your own business. Money sucks. But this episode doesn’t!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • “Let’s talk about money” (1:04)
  • Shame and burden (7:54)
  • Uncomfortable conversations (11:42)
  • Transparency with team (15:11)
  • Changing your mindset (16:53)
  • Culture and financials (18:50)
  • Lessons learned (21:46)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 39

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

‘Tis the season to sparkle! At Kitestring, that sparkle is shared everyday and comes from the team’s collective values. On this holiday edition of the podcast, Jenn and Chris are talking about their team values and the role they play in their business. Listen in as they read from “The Little Book of Sparkle” and make a case for why every business (no matter the size) should define their values. They also let you in on one of the team’s most cherished rituals: the weekly “Laroche” award that’s given to the Kitestringer that goes above and beyond the call of duty.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • Kitestring Values (3:18)
  • Value Defining Exercise (6:50)
  • Sharing Common Joy (10:40)
  • “The Little Book of Sparkle” (15:54)
  • The Origin of “Laroche” (17:15)
  • Do you need to define your values? (21:47)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 38

Knock Three Times

There are two (or in this case, three) sides to every story. This week, Jenn and Chris are talking about their better business third, Brandon St. Amand. Following up on last season’s interview with their third partner, our hosts reflect on how their relationship as Kitestring’s big three has grown over the last ten years. They also chat about the importance of allowing everyone to play to their strengths, get serious about what to do when your partner doesn’t feel like a partner, and why anyone can benefit from a good helping of humble pie.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • “The Third Wheel” (2:43)
  • How are you growing as an entrepreneur? (11:58)
  • Be humble (14:59)
  • Where do we go from here? (18:38)
  • Finding the good (22:58)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 37

Come Together

Jenn and Chris are proud to have assembled a force that knows how to pull together through the hard times.

Our hosts share what they learned from a recent staff feedback survey and how the results changed the way they communicate more transparently with their team. They also talk about how an exercise in defining the Kitestring values was directly inspired by their team members and why entrepreneurship is a lot like being a parent.

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

 

Topics

  • Transparency (2:00)
  • Defining Values (7:28)
  • Entrepreneurship and parenting (9:53)
  • Team building (11:50)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 36

Lean On Me

This week, Jenn and Chris are breaking the stigmas surrounding mental health and business. For so many people, dark periods can sneak up gradually and are barely detectable until the situation becomes serious and intervention is needed.

Both Jenn and Chris share their own personal experiences and how it’s been in these dark times that they’re most grateful for the support of their partnership. They also discuss the difficulty of being leaders while struggling with mental health and why, in their experience, it’s best to be honest with your staff about how you’re feeling.

And for those that don’t have business partners, Jenn and Chris share advice for solopreneurs that are looking for ways to relight their sparkle while still running a business.

It’s a heavy episode, but we hope you find comfort knowing that no one needs to suffer alone. Remember, it’s going to get better!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

Topics

  • Dark days and mental health (1:30)
  • Work as a contributing factor (4:05)
  • Jenn’s story (4:38)
  • Supportive partners (9:30)
  • Leadership and mental health (11:10)
  • Chris’s story (16:00)
  • Creativity and depression (20:40)
  • Advice for solopreneurs (24:04)

Links

mybetterbusinesshalf.com/

facebook.com/kitestring

@KITESTRING

kitestring.ca

My Better Business Half

Episode 35

Hooked on a Feeling

Welcome to season three: The Mixtape! To kick things off, Jenn and Chris are getting real. This episode is all about being honest with their feelings on partnership, entrepreneurship, and whether Chris should sing every episode’s title (you can probably guess the answer to that one).

Over the hiatus, Kitestring celebrated its tenth anniversary (!) so naturally our hosts are feeling nostalgic. Jenn and Chris reflect on how they’ve grown as business owners and how their benchmarks for success look different ten years on. You’ll also learn hear Jenn talk about “happy ears syndrome” and why Chris compares being hooked on business to drinking when you’re young.

Season three is just getting started. We hope the premiere was worth the wait and that you’re just as excited as we are to keep going!

If you have topic suggestions for future episodes, leave us a note on Facebook and don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes.

Topics

  • Looking back on 10 years of business (2:17)
  • “Happy ears” (4:47)
  • Creating something bigger (6:50)
  • Hooked on the business (11:00)
  • Growing a thick skin (12:42)
  • Firing a client (16:13)
Chris Farias

Facts

  • Sassy
  • Up ‘til 2
  • Loud and proud
  • Fabulous
  • Bonnie
  • Thelma
  • 2 Diet Cokes
  • Right Brain
Chris Farias

Chris Farias

Chris is a dreamer of dreams and a builder of brands. A designer, columnist, and award-winning entrepreneur who's not afraid to wear pink pants after Labour Day.

That being said, he is his own brand. His own superhero. And even his own super villain. He’s over the top and everywhere in between. Some might call him a little vain, but seeing as he probably thinks this podcast is about him, he’d be ok with that.

To quote one of his idols, RuPaul: “If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can he get an Amen?

Follow Chris on Twitter - @ChrisPaulFarias

Facts

  • Sassy
  • Up ‘til 2
  • Loud and proud
  • Fabulous
  • Bonnie
  • Thelma
  • 2 Diet Cokes
  • Right Brain
Jenn Hudder

Jenn Hudder

Jenn is a former Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 Company, recipient of The Top 40 Under 40 Achievement Award, CEO of an advertising agency and most importantly, the mother of two crazy kids.

She’s steadfast and true, and looks smokin’ hot in that black and white dress. Her best days start with a client presentation and end curled up on the couch with a good eBook and a spicy Caesar. Though the epitome of class in everything she does, test her and you’ll quickly learn just how feisty this firecracker can be.

Follow Jenn on Twitter - @JennHudder

Facts

  • Classy
  • Up at 5
  • Reserved and refined
  • Factual
  • Clyde
  • Louise
  • 2 kids
  • Left Brain
Jenn Hudder

Facts

  • Classy
  • Up at 5
  • Reserved and refined
  • Factual
  • Clyde
  • Louise
  • 2 kids
  • Left Brain

My Better Business Half is a collaboration with Hive Studios, Dave Disher and Marta Hewson Photography.

Unlike Cheers, My Better Business Half was not filmed in front of a live studio audience.

Instead, it was recorded by our friends at

Hive Studios

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