Brandy Lawson is the Founder and CEO of FieryFX, a company helping female-led businesses grow, serve, and profit using websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. She and her team provide clients the expertise paired with data, systems, and perspective (a.k.a. mindset) that can build business assets and assist with creating systems. Lawson also hosts the weekly podcast Leverage Your Spark where she share easy-to-digest tips around The 4 Simple Machines of Business.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
My great-grandparents on both sides of my family were homesteaders in the dryland prairies of Eastern Montana. I come from farmers, innovators, and risk-takers. My parents moved to the “big city” of Billings and the year I was born opened a restaurant. My dad used his engineering background to write his own computer programs in the ’80s to track sales and run payroll. And that’s where I started to really see how technology and systems can amplify the capabilities and impact of one person.
In 1989 my parents lost the restaurant, our house, and my dad had to start over again. He created a plan, went to his friends and family, and asked them to invest in purchasing a Dairy Queen. They did, he ran it, grew it, moved it, opened a second one, formed a team, and eventually was able to purchase the land and buildings that the businesses run out of. My parents are now retiring, having been able to groom a team of partners that are purchasing the business.
I share that whole story as it really informs who I am and what I believe is possible. I went to college and got a marketing degree and took a C++ class. I love the intersection of business and technology and have used that to navigate a career in corporate before I accidentally started my own business.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Growth doesn’t come from being comfortable. And you absolutely need other people to help you get where you want to go (no matter how smart you think you are).
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Just use [insert software that does a lot of things] and it will do everything you need.”
This is a bad recommendation because the value of every tool in your business, software included, is in HOW you use it.
“We’ll build you beautiful websites you’ll love.”
This doesn’t sound like a bad recommendation, but the issue is the value of a website isn’t that it is pretty or that the client loves it. Websites aren’t supposed to be prom queens. They are business assets. The evaluation of their value should be about them serving their business purpose and being attractive to their customers.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Ability to be uncomfortable to scale and grow no matter what else is happening.
What is your morning routine?
I think everyone’s life looked very different before 2020. My morning routine has shifted dramatically and now the time I wake up varies depending on if it is a school day for our son. I do my debriefing of the day and planning along with reading before bed. Currently, my morning looks like this:
- Wake up at 7 am
- Get ready & do 20 minutes of yoga
- Help our son with breakfast
- 15 minutes of meditation
- Make my Bullet-proof coffee & head to work (upstairs to my office)
- Do 10 minutes of journaling
- Start in on my day (planned in my planner on my iPad from the day before)
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
- Daily debriefing & planning
- Systematizing everything possible
- Leveraging small changes
- Delegating by default
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I love using tools and processes to help me use my time efficiently while doing the things I want to be doing. The daily debrief helps my feeble human brain recognize what I’m doing that is working so I keep doing it. I work to plug energy and time leaks with tiny tech hacks that make my daily activities productive and rewarding.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown – it was instrumental in shifting my view of vulnerability and the power we have when we are willing to just show up and get in the water, even if we know we aren’t going to win the race
The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle – a key influence in how I think about the culture of my company and of the communities I choose to belong to.
Traction by Gino Wickman – we use frameworks from this book for our planning process. It was critical in helping me overcome my “planning hangover” I had from being incorporate that kept me from doing any planning in my business for the first 4 years.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz – business finance always seemed so complex until I read this book. We’ve incorporated this system into our business and it makes informed decisions about finances so much easier.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein
Figure it out and get shit done. – Brandy Lawson