- (3:55) My story, and how I became an accidental entrepreneur.
- (5:53) What took me to Africa.
- (7:31) Lessons from Kenya.
- (10:40) Are there lessons from that sports experience that apply to your business today?
- (14:58) What I did mentally to get out of the situation we were in with -$400 in my bank account.
- (19:10) What advice would I give people in order to build personal discipline so that they can show up consistently, and they can do the things that start moving their business forward?
- (22:55) The power of niching down.
- (25:11) Ideas for creating content for Pinterest.
- (29:30) Is Pinterest for everyone?
- (30:29) Mistakes to avoid in your business.
- (31:48) What my business looks like today: my team, my offers, my day to day.
- (35:42) How to give up control.
- (37:02) Creating systems in your business!
- (41:05) Tips for somebody who’s thinking about doing a course where they should start, and how to maximize their first effort?
- (42:55) My schedule- how I schedule my days, weeks, months.
- (45:21) My advice for copywriters who want to become location independent.
- (50:10) Investments that my family makes from the income from She’s Making An Impact to get us to be able to retire by 40.
- (52:10) How to know when an idea is worth pursuing.
- (55:01) My whitewater rafting down the Nile story.
- (56:01) What’s next for me?
- I like to call myself an accidental entrepreneur. So I lived in Africa for a while, moved back and got my master’s in social work. And when I graduated, I went to the top program in the country and I couldn’t find a job even with my master’s. And my husband was starting a brand-new business, we had a brand-new baby. We ended up broke on food stamps, negative $400 in our checking account. And I was like, “All right. So what are we going to do? Got to figure something out.” And I was a part of a network marketing company at the time, and I saw other people having success. And I was like, “If they can do it, I can do it, I got to figure it out.”
- So I played volleyball in college at the University of Illinois. I was on a full-ride scholarship. And it was there that I became a Christian. And I was at this… We had all campus worship, and I was at worship. And it was like this Holy Spirit moment of God being like, “You need to go to Africa.” I met my professor who intimidated the crap out of me. And I never would have gone to talk to her if my grandfather hadn’t passed away. And she thought I was a dumb athlete that was lying to get out of taking the midterm. I told her I wanted to join the Peace Corps, and she was like, “I can get you an internship in Africa.” And so I was able to take six months and live in Kenya, and it completely transformed my life. I came back, I finished college, and then I wanted to go back to Africa and work on my French. And I chose Senegal, and that’s where I met my husband. Took him back to America with me, and we’ve been all over the world since we’ve been married for 11 years now. I think we’ve moved 10 times in the past 11 years. It’s been wild. And yeah, so that’s what took me to Africa in the first place.
- The number one lesson I learned from living in Kenya:
- Put yourself in uncomfortable situations, because that’s where the growth happens. I was so uncomfortable every single second of every day.
- Lessons I learned from being an athlete:
- One big one is to visualize your success, and to visualize it happening.
- Discipline, obviously. The club I played at it was like boot camp military style of, you were very, very disciplined.
- The number one thing I did mentally to get out of our situation when we were struggling was that I made the decision that I refuse to stay where we are. I remember pushing my son in the stroller, and we were going from a pawn shop to pawn shop selling stuff to get our bank account out of the negative. And so, a lot of times people might feel, again, deflated. And instead of telling myself the story of like, “Well, this is the best it’s going to get.” I just looked around, and I was like, “What can I create out of this?” And I saw a program that came out that was teaching social media, which I knew I really needed to grow my business. And it was $450 a month for six months. And that was like a million dollars a month at the time. It was so expensive. But I had that feeling in my gut of, “I have to do this.” And I’m a big believer, you got to follow that gut feeling.
- I would say the discipline of having a routine is what motivates me to move my business forward. So I’m thinking about the routine of getting ready for practice, the routine of showing up to practice every day, and how I have that in my life now. Don’t have it be all or nothing. Don’t tell yourself you have to be perfect, because there are days… I would say I do my morning routine 90% of the… I always go for a walk. That’s non-negotiable. But waking up before Gabrielle and getting my prayer, meditation, all that stuff in, I would say it happens 90% of the time. The other percentage, maybe I just needed more sleep. So give yourself grace.
- So, think of it like a visual search engine, like a visual Google. Okay. That’s the easiest way to describe it. And so you got to treat it like a search engine. It’s not a social media platform. And if you get niched down enough, that’s when you have the ability to show up and to dominate long term. That fitness blog that I created still has thousands of people coming to it every single month, and I haven’t touched it in four years. Imagine being able to get traffic, and make sales, and build your email list four years after you actually did the work. That just blows my mind. One of the biggest things you need to understand, it’s a search engine, and you got to niche down.
- I’ve never seen a business that I would say, “No, you shouldn’t be on Pinterest.” I’ve even spoken at real estate conferences teaching realtors how they can use Pinterest. One of the things too to remember is that Pins show up on Google images. And so even if you think your person isn’t on Pinterest, they are. I’ve seen my husband. My husband, a man from West Africa that did not grow up with the internet was on Pinterest searching for stuff. So if he’s on Pinterest, everyone is. But they’re on Google, for sure. So yeah, I haven’t seen a niche or an industry that I would say they shouldn’t use Pinterest.
- Mistakes I’ve seen people make in their business:
- Being too broad.
- Don’t be afraid with your content to add value.
- Going for the sale too soon.
- You can’t dabble and expect to see results in anything that you do. You got to go all in.
- Our Team: We have Ariana, who is our part time OBM, business manager. Lizzie is our social media manager, Michelle does customer service, Helen is our head coach within Activate. Activate is our group coaching program that we have scaled. So instead of me trading time for money, we have a program that actually has other coaches that are former students that are crushing it in their business that are supporting our students. So we have, I think, four or five coaches within Activate that are being led by our head coach Helen. We have a sales team as well. And someone doing our Facebook ads, and someone else doing Pinterest management as well. So that’s the team. Oh, and we have Julie doing a lot of the tech behind the scenes stuff as well. As far as our offers, digital courses.
- Our Programs: so Pin with Purpose is our signature program. We have smaller offers that are anywhere from $47 to $97. And then Activate is our flagship program, it’s around $12,000 for that one, and it’s yearlong program. And then we also do Pinterest management as well.
- You can either have growth, or you can have control, but you can’t have both.” And that always stuck with me. I’m like, “Okay. I got to let go the control little bit if I want to see growth. And if someone can do something 80% as good as I can, I can let go of it.” And then John Maxwell has been another big piece of just me learning and growing as a leader of teaching duplication. So first I do it, you watch, then we do it together, then you do it, I watch, then you do it and you teach someone else.
- Systems and time management: you got to manage your time. So manage your calendar, Google Calendar, huge. I started off using Trello to manage myself. But as we grew the team, we moved over to Asana. That way you can tag people in those projects.
- Course tips: Do not create the course until you have sold it, would be thing number one. I think I see so many entrepreneurs, they spend months creating and perfecting a course, and then they launch it to crickets, and it’s really sad. So what I would do is pre sell it. That’s what I did with every program that I’ve created. I’ve launched it, sold it, and created it with my students. That way I know I’m not teaching over their head. That’s one of the biggest things. And just listen to your audience.
- A look inside my schedule: So Mondays, I typically don’t have a ton on my calendar, usually. It’s more of meeting with our sales team, and planning out the week, and getting creative stuff done. So it might be creating content, recording podcast episodes, that kind of thing. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, is when I batch any podcast interviews, coaching calls, webinars, anything like that. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Fridays are free days. So tomorrow I’m doing the posture therapy and getting a couples massage. I have repeating things on my calendar. So every morning from 9:00 to 10:00, I have that blocked off as my workout time. I don’t schedule anything typically before 11:00 AM.
- Becoming location independent: create a business that’s generating income where you don’t have to trade time for money, and you don’t have to have your butt in one spot. So think about, “All right. What can I create? Is it a program? Is it a coaching offer, whatever that is, so I can be anywhere.” Have that vision of what you want to do.
- Investments we make to set ourselves up for early retirement: So, we invest in the stock market, and index funds, and different things there, but we’re also taking a big part of our money and investing in Africa. We have two different plots of land that we have purchased. We bought four cars in America that we have shipped over to do car rentals. So we bought cars at auctions in America for pretty cheap. Ones that have been in wrecks or had minor damages, and the parts to fix them up, and then we ship them over to Senegal. Got them fixed up, and then putting them up for car rental. We are doing rental arbitrage, where we’re renting an apartment or a house, and then re renting it on Airbnb. And then the land that we bought, my husband is building a chicken coop there, so we’re actually planning on being able to sell 75,000 eggs per month with that.
- How do you know when an idea is worth pursuing? I guess you don’t always know. But you have to go for things. You’re never going to always have a home run.” And I was actually thinking about the Kardashians. Have you seen all the different businesses and things that they have tried in the past, and a lot of them did not work out? So, we looked at a lot of different things, and we’ve been patient. We’ve been sitting on a lot of cash for a couple of years now just waiting for the right opportunity. And my husband has done so much research, we’ve talked to a lot of people. We’ve hired mentors. He found someone that was doing the chicken coop business, and done a lot of research there. So it wasn’t like, “We found this thing. All right, let’s go all in and do it.” It’s, we’ve waited, we’ve been patient, we’ve talked to people to see what would be the wisest use of the money that we’re sitting on right now, so we can invest it and then multiply it.
- My whitewater rafting story: It was hard. It was a full two-day trip. I was the leader and I had the most experience. So it was me, and my boyfriend at the time that were in the front leading the entire thing, because we had the most experience which I did not expect to be so sore by day two of being at the front of the boat. I don’t think we flipped over once, and I’m shocked by that with how crazy some of the rapids were. It was crazy when we got there… So we were camping out in Uganda, and we had a tent. And the rain in Uganda during rainy season is insane. So it was a downpour, and we’re taking buckets trying to get the rain out of the tent, and then we’re taking, they have motorcycles as taxis. So we were taking the motorcycles in the rain. Two my friends completely wiped out on the motorcycle into the mud. I think just like, be open to adventure, of you never know what’s going to happen, and just embrace the journey and have fun along the way.
- What’s next for me? I have a vision of us retiring by 40, being able to be incredibly generous. We have a nonprofit in Senegal that we’re really working on helping kids get educated there. And my husband’s huge passion is riding horses. And so being able to purchase an equestrian property so he can have his business there. The nice ones are like a million dollars, and so we’re just, again, being wise with our money. And I want him to be able to ride and have that freedom, so that will be amazing and such a good feeling.
“That’s the life of an entrepreneur. You got to pivot and figure something out because nothing is going to last or work forever.”
“Put yourself in uncomfortable situations, because that’s where the growth happens.”
“When it came to business, I always think about, “What’s the thing that scares me, and how can I lean into that, and how can I pursue that?”
“When you invest, you’re invested.”
“If you get niched down enough, that’s when you have the ability to show up and to dominate long term.”
“Pins show up on google images.”
“You can’t dabble and expect to see results in anything that you do. You got to go all in.”
“You can either have growth, or you can have control. But you can’t have both.”
“You’re not always going to have a home run.”
“Embrace the journey and have fun along the way.”