Reflecting on 2022
Michele Hansen 0:00
Colleen Schnettler 0:02
Hey, Michelle. Good morning.
Michele Hansen 0:03
How are you?
Colleen Schnettler 0:05
I'm doing well. December is always this month of fun and joy and stress. There's a lot to do. So I am trying valiantly to balance all of the Christmas joy and responsibilities and stuff,
Michele Hansen 0:26
you will have fun and you will like it.
Colleen Schnettler 0:29
So it's just so funny because like last night, so it's a week night. So there's this place out in San Diego called Candy Cane Lane, where all the houses on the call to sec do this amazing light display. And so I was like, yes, like, we're gonna do it on a weeknight because we are going to beat the traffic. Right. Okay. Let me tell you how we did normally American
Michele Hansen 0:50
law right now like, an entire street using like, probably six months worth of electricity. And then everyone driving there. And then you driving there early to the suburban cul de sac. Okay? Yes. Pausing. Okay,
Colleen Schnettler 1:04
exactly. So in my effort to spread holiday cheer and joy. So you know, I make every one hot cocoa. And we get in the car, and it was a blast. But you know, we left at five o'clock. So it was rush hour. So it took 45 minutes to get there. And then we had to be home at bedtime, because the kids still have school. So you know, stuff like that. It was it was still a net a net win. But it was definitely like, you envision something being one way and then you do it and you're like, oh, yeah, traffic, and someone's going to spill their hot cocoa and like, you know,
Michele Hansen 1:34
it's reality reality.
Colleen Schnettler 1:39
December here, how's December in Denmark?
Michele Hansen 1:42
Oh, it's cold. Um, you know, I was thinking kind of like, I feel like we should do kind of like, a recap of the year, which I recognize might be a little bit difficult because I feel like my sense of time is still more really messed up and blurry. And so I thought the one that was difficult as it might be, that it also might be kind of helpful, like, if we each sort of just, just try to like recap, the year that was the year that was for each of us. And then maybe, you know, we should do like a follow on afterwards. That's kind of what we're planning for 2023. But like, maybe just today, we just talk about 2022.
Colleen Schnettler 2:31
Okay, I am on board. Let me pull up my weekly agenda, which is a notion template. I grabbed from Marie, like years ago to see how you actually have notes for this. Yeah, girl. I got me some notes starting Wait, wait for it. I didn't prep starting January 5 2022. Right. That's a year ago.
Michele Hansen 2:53
I have no notes and you have been taking, like, Oh, this is gonna be fun every week. Okay. All right. Because I'm not going to remember what happened. So they kind of need your help. Okay, so why don't we start with you since you actually have your stuff together?
Colleen Schnettler 3:07
Well, I mean, I'm not gonna sit here and open 52 weeks of notes, but I do have like pretty good notes. I should have gone through it before we this episode. Okay. In January 2022. I was working on the tech side of Hammerstone. We had not raised any money, we had our Enterprise Client, and we had not yet launched to other clients. This is so funny. Oh my gosh, it's so funny. Michelle, like, January 10. Get the kids COVID shots. Oh my gosh, this is so weird. shouldn't be doing this live. I showed us Dalvik so nostalgic. Okay, I'm not gonna make everyone sit here while I read my notes. But it really is interesting. Looking back at what we were,
Michele Hansen 3:55
I guess what were the like, inflection points for you in 2022? Or like, kind of? Okay, I have a couple questions. But let's start with what Sorry, I'm the inflection points for you.
Colleen Schnettler 4:09
So I think this is so interesting. Or you can
Michele Hansen 4:13
just just rattle off that you find that also works.
Colleen Schnettler 4:17
Okay, no, no, no, this is this is going to be super boring Radio. I'm not going to do this. Okay. In 2022. Okay, it looks like the inflection point for me, was mostly getting up to speed and joining and being part of the Hammerstone team. And that I think when I started doing that, I put simple file upload on the back seat. And I'm seeing early in 2022. I was tossing around the idea of doing freemium for simple file upload and it was still very much on my brain like it was still very much like taking up mental energy. So I would say inflection points for me. We're probably launching Hammerstone refine our outside of just our Enterprise Client that happened over the summer, speaking at real SAS, which was in the fall, deciding that simple file upload is not going to take equal brain space is Hammerstone, which was relatively recently. I think those were probably the big ones for me, oh my gosh, and raising money. Casually, casually, casually joining tiny seed, if I had to pick one thing that is going to be my business inflection point, it's going to be joining tiny seed in November.
Michele Hansen 5:32
But then there was there's a, like a lot of like, smaller things in there too. But I think that's worth I think it's worth noting for I feel like you're not like career arc. I don't know what I'm trying to say here. But like, your journey, really both kicked into speed, but also kind of, I don't know, like, finished. It's, it's kind of like, early growth. Stage, right. Like, like, I feel like, like if your career and like business life is like, The Karate Kid movie. Like this is like the montage scene like that we're in right now. Like you're you're you're learning all of the moves. And like there's exciting music playing in the background, and you've got your, you know, your mentors and you're like your full steam ahead. Like you've gone through the, like, difficult, like Journey part of this. I mean, just thinking about the last. I mean, when was it that you taught yourself to code like, like, if like, when was that? i You taught yourself to code at night?
Colleen Schnettler 6:37
2017 2018. Okay,
Michele Hansen 6:39
so 545 years. You went from day job? You didn't really like that much. And actually being a stay at home mom at that point, right? Yeah. So
Colleen Schnettler 6:50
I was I was staying home with the kids. Yeah, was not working. So
Michele Hansen 6:54
you went from stay at home mom, learning to code at night to having two SAS businesses, one of which is funded in four to five years.
Colleen Schnettler 7:05
Sounds so impressive when you say that because it is
Michele Hansen 7:08
like, sounds like
Colleen Schnettler 7:11
holy cow. I did that. It's amazing. It is amazing. Okay, this is funny. So there's this thing. Okay, so this is a little bit of a tangent, but not really. Have you ever seen that show? American Ninja Warrior? Yes. Okay. So I don't know. Like we used to watch it years ago. And one of the one of the performers, one of the athletes. Her name is Jessie Graff. And she was the first woman to complete the course. And she's a total badass, and she completes the course. And all of the men when they complete the course are like, yeah, like, they shouldn't be, they should be excited. They completed the course. But they're very like self congratulatory. And when she completes the course, she does this thing where she's like, Oh, how did that happen? Like, I have no idea how that happened. So I'm just sharing this example to tell you like, your you say that. And my response is like, how did I do that? That's amazing that I did that. Whereas probably my response should be like, hell, yeah, I did that. I worked my ass off for that. And these are the fruits of my labor. Absolutely. Yeah. You did it. Yeah, still, it's so funny. Like, I know, I say this. I've said this before on this podcast, but oh, my gosh, it is just I just remember those nights learning to code. I had three little kids at home, I was so freakin tired. And what I would do is I would do the dishes, and listen to the code newbie podcast to get myself like awake and pumped up to go spend two hours, three hours, however long I could stay awake, trying to learn to code. And at that point in time in my life, which again was only five years ago, it seemed like this impossible dream. Like it seemed like like, this whole concept. Remember, this was before COVID I, military spouse, none of the women I know. No one I knew at the time had a remote flexible job like literally no one. So it just seemed like this like impossible dream. This thing that it felt so far away and it's just cool to have come so far is where I'm going with that.
Michele Hansen 9:09
And I think for you like you know ever since I've known you you've also had this he really being really driven by the idea that stay at home moms especially military spouses are capable of so much more than just selling leggings Amen because that life does make it difficult to to have like a quote unquote like regular job because you have to move and there are so many demands on you so many you know deployments and everything else. And and you've done a lot of you know, mentoring of other women in that space, but I don't know You know, you know, hearing you react to me saying that as you being like, oh my gosh, I guess I guess I did that. Like I think you not only could do more, to inspire other people to do the same. But you also kind of you You have to, like you have a responsibility to at this point. And I think you have a strong enough story as well, that, you know, I mean, you know, granted, you know, you're you know, you're still like busy karate gang and focusing how to, you know, earn the black belt, right? It's been a really long time since I've seen Karate Kid. So just don't take any of these metaphors like just that they're all bad. I mean, and this is the burden that we carry, right, as people who are a typical founders and sort of anyone carries who's atypical in any space is to be the example for the other atypical people. And like, that's puts additional work on us. Right, but I don't know. Yeah, I feel like you need to do a little more talking about that to show other people that they can achieve that as well. Yeah,
Colleen Schnettler 10:48
I think that that is something in my future. But that is not something for me right now. Yeah, I think there will be there will be ample time. But yeah, that that is not what I want to do right now. But I agree with you, like I do have a compelling story. And sometimes when you're in your own story, you forget, like, if you don't take a step back, you're like, oh, wait, hold on. I, I changed my life. And you can do like, there. There are other ways. And honestly, I think I have may have said this to you privately or publicly. But I feel like that's going to be might. So I'm in the middle of a great adventure right now with Hammerstone in this business, and I'm going to complete this story arc. And I don't know how long that'll take five years, 10 years, 15 years. But I feel like this, what you just talked about, that's going to be my my, my swan song, like my final story arc is going to be professionally is going to be something whether it's speaking more at military events or traveling, you know, it's going to be something in that space to be like you can you can change your life like you can, it's really freaking hard. And it's definitely a delayed gratification thing, but it is entirely possible. Yeah,
Michele Hansen 11:57
I mean, you know, I'm not saying that you should do it right now. But it's I'm saying I guess it's something you could do you know what I mean? Yeah, you like you are qualified to, in case you needed to hear somebody say that,
Colleen Schnettler 12:08
like, it is a little funny. We were asked to fill out just some like basic facts for like a tiny seat interview. And the last question was like, Is there any human interest story here? And I was like, Oh, I have a human interest. I'm on the phone with Aaron. I'm like, I got this. Aaron. I have human interest story. I got you, boo. So yeah, and I appreciate you saying that, Michelle, because I think sometimes we move the goalposts on ourselves, right? Like we all do all people who are successful, like constantly move the goalposts. That's how we are successful. And so I think it's really valuable to look back and see where you have how far you have come and, and that's how you gain confidence, right? Like little wins over compounding over time, is how you gain confidence.
Michele Hansen 12:56
Yeah. Is there anything else you want to add for? What happened in 2022?
Colleen Schnettler 13:02
Anything else? No, I feel like is a great year for me. So yeah, no, I don't I have nothing else.
Michele Hansen 13:12
All right. So my 2022 which I which you don't
Colleen Schnettler 13:15
have copious notes on, why don't you have a weekly notion?
Michele Hansen 13:22
Um, so I feel I you know, I guess I did have some big things happen this year. I mean, the most, you know, the most recent one was I finally finished with Danish language school,
Colleen Schnettler 13:36
which patients a huge,
Michele Hansen 13:38
like, time stress on me, because, you know, that's been two days a week, you know, 15 hours a week of doing that for the past year and a half. And it's just, I mean, it's, it's, I'm lucky to have had a good teacher and nice classmates. But I actually I realized I was I was starting to get the Sunday scaries like, and I had never, you know, experienced those, you know, like people like office jobs, like dreading them on Sundays, like me, Ben, I really realized I was having that on Sunday. And I didn't even have to go on Monday. Like that I was done. I was like, Why do we feel this like sense of like impending doom and dread right now and that I haven't done enough this weekend, and that I'm like, I'm like, dreading how exhausted I'm gonna be tomorrow. But it's not even going to happen. It's like, Oh, my God. My body is just conditioned to, like, dread the stress at this point. And I mean, so that was that was a major, major, major stressor on me. And I have finally, quote, unquote, like, graduated, pass my final So that's done. Because that's that's, I realized, that's basically been like having a part time job the past year and a half. Yeah. So that has been that has been just that has been tough. Actually, I just sort of a sidetrack, like so I was I started in business school in January of 2017. Okay, which is before I went full time, it's actually it's actually kind of funny. So I had for, you know, for a long time I had wanted to get an MBA just because I find the I knew I would find the education itself just edifying and interesting and like, just genuinely really enjoy doing cases and whatnot. And I was also like, you know, I love my job. But if something ever happens, you know, you never know if there's like layoffs or whatever, if I need to go get a job at a namebrand tech company. And MBA is basically required. As for a product manager job, and I was like, This just feels like good professional insurance to get one and I would enjoy it anyway. And so I started that in January of 2017. And then I ended up leaving my job in October of 2017, which I had not previously foreseen. And so then I finished business school in May of 2020. So, so then I wasn't in school, May of 2020, through I started Danish language school, August of 21. So basically, for the majority of the past five years, I have been in school. Except for this, like little basically one year period where I wasn't which, you know, I don't know, if you remember 2020 to 2021, it was this really calm, uneventful period, where, you know, amongst, you know, the height of the pandemic, and lock downs, and I like, I also moved to another country, like, it was a very cold I, and I was just thinking about this, like, I have not had my full brain capacity to work on geocoder to like, except for, like, you know, a month or two of like, summer breaks or whatnot. Like, since I've been full time on it. Like, I have never been, like, like, um, you know, if I feel like, I can't really count that, like, that 2020 21 period, like, doesn't really feel like it counts. Like, yeah, because there was just so much chaos, like at that point. And I mean, I actually thought that was when I wrote the book, I'm to think of it was spring of 2020. Because there's no way I would have gotten I would have had the, like, just think about the amount of creative energy that I put into that. I did not I've not had any of that, like, the reason why I launched the book on product time, at the end of August and 2021. Was because I know, I knew I was starting language school that following Monday, and I was like, Okay, this is the last day. So like, I have to do it today. Otherwise, I'm not gonna have time and like, you know, NARRATOR she would not have had time. And so, so I have that done. So and that just happened last week. And that's good. So I'm excited to have, yeah, some some creative time back. And I mean, I think a big highlight was that I got to go speak at conferences, and I was paid to speak at some of those. And that had been like, you know, something I had thought about for a long time. It's like, wow, it'd be like super cool to like, get paid to go talk about things I love talking about with people who are interested in those things. Like, that sounds amazing. And so I got to do that this year, like, I spoke at several conferences and met a lot of awesome people and went to some really cool places. And so that was great. But I'm still I'm exhausted, honestly, like, I look back. And like, even though I'm, you know, I think, you know, to what you said about successful people always moving the goalposts on themselves. Right. And I wonder if a certain amount of that is like, you know, you'll feel successful when you get to a certain point or like, people haven't talked about the sense of like, oh, I will feel happy when like this happens. Right? I think I have been telling myself for so long that I won't feel stressed anymore when language goes over. Yes. And then that didn't happen. And then I like, continue to feel exhausted. Now granted, we have all of this holiday Joy going on right now. So I don't know how much it was that or it's just like, I feel like after the height of the pandemic and stuff, like the fact that we could go back to working normally. I don't know if you feel this way that like, it created so much pressure on that. It was like I feel even more pressure to be like, Oh my God make the most of the time because you don't know what schools are gonna close you out. Like, you know, and I think I'm just, I'm just like, tired and I'm tired of being stressed out. And I just want my life to be as boring as it wasn't 2019 deep, deeply Yeah, so I mean, there was a lot like, I don't know Yeah, it's like I just quit my part time job that was a you know, Energy Vampire.
Colleen Schnettler 19:44
But you don't feel the relief from that yet?
Michele Hansen 19:47
A little bit, but not really, but maybe that's just because it's the holidays, right? I don't know. I think I felt so mentally under stress for a long time. So the thing is, like, you know, in order to stay on track for immigration reasons, like I'm required to be working for time when I remember. Yeah. You know, so I mean, in Denmark, that's 37 hours. And like, as an entrepreneur, it's like, you want me to only work 37 hours a week, that's cute. You know, like, but like it meant that like it was, you know, I mean, Tuesday through Thursday had so much pressure on them. And I was basically working like eight to six most days. And then also working at night, and then finding hours where I could on Mondays and Fridays and weekends, technically, I could have, you know, hired someone to like, take over a bunch of stuff like, I could have decided I'm not doing anything administrative. Like I'm just hiring somebody to do all of that. And like, I could have decided, okay, if I've only got, you know, full days, Tuesday through Thursday, I'm only going to work Tuesdays through Thursdays and like, I'm only going to work, you know, I don't know, 2025 hours a week. Yeah, but I legally couldn't, even though I could have paid for it. And I think that just created this like level of like stress and feeling trapped in the stress that I had no way out of it. That like, just made it all so much worse. So I think I need some time to like, yeah, realize that I'm not under that anymore. Yeah, for your body to cut. It's like adrenaline, right. It's like, you gotta let all that I don't know. It's like, my body doesn't think it's over yet. Yeah. So that was kind of 2022. For me. Wow, there was there was great stuff in that, right. Like, I got to go to all those conferences, and it was so much fun. I mean, just just yeah, getting to be in a room with people who are excited about the things you're excited about. I mean, to me, there's just nothing better than that. Right. Like, and getting to meet all these people that I talked to on the internet all the time. That was super awesome, too. It was it was it was a good year, but definitely I think I don't know. Stressful. Yeah, somewhere in between kind of. Yeah, kind of kind of underwater the whole time. Yeah. Yeah. That seems this is a downer.
Colleen Schnettler 21:57
No, this isn't a downer. You know what I am feeling. Okay. So this is interesting. You bring this up, because I would maybe characterize your year the same. And I understand there was only so much you could do about language school, right? You can't just wave off a wave off as a Navy term. Sorry, that means you can't just say no, I won't do it. You can't just wave off language school because you have to do it to get your citizenship. Side note. Okay, so I saw you at a Twitter thread about why does everyone in America think that when you marry someone from a foreign country, you just automatically get citizenship?
Michele Hansen 22:32
Oh, this was related to Laura wrote her thing, because she was on Brian castles podcast talking about this. So
Colleen Schnettler 22:38
I have and then someone else was like, I don't know why people think that. I totally thought that. So I just Yeah, cuz think about why you okay, if you're born would be
Michele Hansen 22:46
amazing. That would totally make sense. But it seems
Colleen Schnettler 22:50
logical because if you're born in another country, you automatically get citizenship in that country. So I
Michele Hansen 22:56
don't that's only the US. That's only like the US, Canada, Australia, like maybe the UK. Oh, no, that's an unusual thing of birthright citizenship based on where you're born? Oh, okay. Well, I feel like it's actually a huge problem in other a lot of a lot of other countries that there's people born in countries and they're not citizens of them. And it's like a whole See, I didn't I didn't know any of this problem for those people who speak another language and then like, yeah, yeah, no, but even for Mateus in the US like, I mean, it was there was still definitely a process to go through. It was more it was faster to get to permanent residence. Yeah, for him as being married to an American. Yeah, still a lot of hoops to jump through. Still really expensive. I'm still living under a lot of rules. I would argue that the Danish rules are stricter. Yeah. And it seems like the European courts agree with me on that one as well. But there's no it's absolutely not automatic. I mean, it might be in some countries that would be amazing. But But no, we have to go through immigration systems just to be able to like live together. Like
Colleen Schnettler 24:02
the I didn't hear that episode with Laura rota on she was on which which pod bootstrap web Brian castles. I didn't hear it. But yeah, it was just funny because all these people were like jumping into the mentions like are the replies like why would anyone think that and I was like, Oh, I totally thought that like, people think that like I mean based on TV and what we know about birthright citizenship in the US and not knowing I went to public schools we didn't have like cool international people. We also went to public school I'm just saying it's not like I was like I just as as a younger person, I wasn't exposed to like people from other countries. So it just not something I ever I just assumed anyway, so sidenote, now I know all about it.
Michele Hansen 24:41
Colleen Schnettler 24:42
it gets Yeah. But I think that going back to like you, I think it's good for people who listen to this podcast and our friends to know that from I mean, Michelle from the outside like you you have succeeded in all measures that one measure success against. So I think it's always good to, for people to hear and realize that everyone struggles and stress is a thing that impacts everyone. You can't just, you can't like four hour workweek your way out of it. You know what I mean?
Michele Hansen 25:20
Yeah, I think, you know, I think I've seen other people talk about this, which is basically the whole, like, money doesn't buy you happiness thing, which is that, you know, sure, it buys things that can reduce things that make you unhappy, right, like, you know, sure. Health care, or like, right, you know, like, like it therapy, right? Like, it helps a house cleaner. But like, it doesn't, it doesn't solve it. And I was, I was talking to some folks a couple of months ago, and they were like, wow, like, you know, you've got this company is amazing, you know, you have your book, like, like, are you happy? And I was like, No. Like, are you kidding me? Like, let me tell you about my life. And, you know, it's not to say that I, you know, there, it's hard to talk about, right? Because I have a lot to be grateful for I have a lot that I am grateful for. But I really bristle at the perception that like, you know, my life or quite frankly, anyone else that somebody would look up to or like, like that their life is somehow perfect or stress free or worryfree. Or, like, I think there's I just, I just, I just push back on that. And I think it's also important to be like, hey, like, you know, the people, you think have it all sorted out, like they often don't like they're just human beings just like you. Right? Some of them will pretend they're not. Right. I very much try not to be one of those people.
Colleen Schnettler 26:54
I think that's good. And I think it's, it can be inspiring, like to just for everyone, to just be a little more honest. Right. And I think that's, you know, something we try to do well, but like, just be ice life, right? We're all just doing the best we can and and trying to pursue our dreams.
Michele Hansen 27:13
Yeah, I think that's I mean, pursuing the dream is kind of something that I was sort of thinking about as we were going into recording this is like, I actually like if I look back on if I look, you know, we look back in the last five years for you, right? The started out as a 2022 reflection, but we're going to, we're going all in all of it. You know, like I mean, you went in five years, you went from stay at home, mom taught herself how to code now runs to SAS businesses, one of which is funded amazing. In five years, like I, for a long time, had a dream of graduating from business school. I did that. Yeah, I basically my whole life, I knew that there was a book in me somewhere, which kind of makes it sound like it was like this pair of shoes, I really liked that I lost somewhere in the closet, and then something. But I didn't know where if that note, like, it'll make a little more nebulous than that. But like, I knew, I knew I would write a book, or I had the potential to write a book at some point in my life, but I had no idea what it would was about or anything. Yeah. And then that ended up kind of spontaneously happening. And, yeah, I mean, and I'm getting closer to, you know, the I don't know, if it's a dream to per se, but you know, being the I do hold back the family being the only one with one passport. So, you know, I'm making progress on that. Right. And so, I mean, there's, there's, of course, you know, the, like the company sustains us full time, right? Like, I couldn't say that in like, beginning of 2019. Like that was like it was a side project. Like granted, it was a really successful one. Like it was I don't know, I think we were at. I don't actually know, we're probably somewhere between like 2030 Mr. At that point. Yeah, maybe. Maybe No, me is probably Yeah, probably about that point. But it was still a side project. Yeah. I think I still had student loans at that point. So running company full time. It's the same as the both of us. Like, actually, we have an employee now, too. So. I mean, so that's like, that's kind of that's kind of awesome. Like, looking back on that. Yeah,
Colleen Schnettler 29:23
certainly. Awesome. Exceptionally awesome.
Michele Hansen 29:27
Oh, and I give talks and like people want to hear them. Yeah, I actually get invited rather than all of my proposals getting rejected, which is what happened. You know, like, some, occasionally they were accepted, but pretty much like there's a big pile of like, rejected proposals. So yeah,
Colleen Schnettler 29:45
I feel like that's a very honest, accurate reflection, and I'm so happy you're done with language school. It's gonna be good.
Michele Hansen 29:52
Yeah, I need to I think I think it'll sink in like after the holidays. Because I'm, I'm now at this point where I'm used to being Unbreak at this point in the year, you know, from from school and so there'll be like January and like I don't really like, I think once the end of January passes, and I haven't had to buy notebooks that I'm going to be like, Wait a minute.
Colleen Schnettler 30:13
So Oh, yeah, right. Right. Right. Because that's when it's like, that'll be the moment.
Michele Hansen 30:17
sure it'll end of September,
Colleen Schnettler 30:19
I think for you. And I know, this isn't the what are we going to do next year episode, but I think you're gonna have to really struggle not to sign up for something else. Like, I feel like you're gonna
Michele Hansen 30:29
be No, I am so done. Like, I am just so done with education like I am. I feel like done when I graduated from business school. Like, I'm just finishing it on Zoom was miserable. Yeah, I was very done. And then I was, had to go back into school again. And I like I have been not burned out in general, but extremely burned out on the concept of school for months and months and months now. Yeah. And I think it just takes time to like, get over that. Yeah, I think it has to. But no, I am. I am done with the concept of education at this point. Okay. I don't need a PhD. And if I if I ever say to you, I'm like, can you just fine. Just slap me in the face and then get back on the plane. Oh, yeah. No, no more than I like it slipped. Well, that was 2022 and then also the last five years.
Colleen Schnettler 31:42
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