I'm the founder + lead strategist here at Brand Good Time, where we craft custom, sustainable marketing strategies and kick some ass with marketing development. Click here to learn more.
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In today’s episode of She’s Busy AF, I’m very excited to share my journey with you from working in corporate to an agency owner, and now a marketing mentor for entrepreneurs. It’s been a crazy a fulfilling journey. I’m also gonna share my top 4 sustainability tips that helped me reached 6 figures in my business.
Connect with me on Instagram!
Data-Driven Money Moves Program: https://bit.ly/data-driven-money-moves
Building a business is not easy. Hitting six figures is something that you just hear left and right. Is it attainable?
But what is required? What goes into that?
That’s what I really love to educate you guys on is the fact that I don’t hold back. It’s like this person I follow on Instagram, someone who’s pregnant. She just gave birth – and she’s been sharing the raw, the nitty-gritty, the gross stuff that no one talks about when you have a baby.
That is what I’m like in business. I talk about the stuff that can get ugly – that isn’t fun because it’s realistic, and not everyone’s cut out to be an entrepreneur. Everyone’s cut out to do certain things, to make their business their level of success.
And that is okay! But I feel like a lot of people go into entrepreneurship thinking that all of these things are attainable for them, and they think it’s really easy when it’s just not. So I’m here to be that person that’s going to tell you, it’s not just easy and you do have to work hard.
But, I’m hoping that I can shed some light by explaining my journey, and how I’ve gotten to where I am today and where I am today.
I pay for my own insurance, I contribute to my own benefits. Everything I do is me, and I don’t have another company funding that. I work from home and I live my life and I get to hang out with my dogs all day – so where I am now is great.
The journey to get here was hard – but I’m really excited to dive into that with you.
Four of the 6 years I’ve had my LLC I had a corporate job. So year number one, I worked in an ad agency. I was fresh out of college. I had just gotten this job. I was super excited to learn everything.
The story is a fun time – I lied my way into this job. I did not have the right experience that they were looking for, but I knew I really wanted it. I knew it was a good “in” for me at this agency to learn as much as I could because I wanted to run a successful business. And I wanted to know the do’s and don’ts, and learn from a corporate agency how they structured their business, so I could learn how I was going to structure my boutique marketing agency.
That first year I worked full-time at this agency. I signed my biggest client that I actually still have today, when I was at this agency. And it was hard. I mean, when I first started, I was actually doing pretty good at balancing everything. I wasn’t working a whole bunch, but the hustle culture kind of started with me, because I was working so much at my nine to five that I started thinking, I need to work that hard at my business.
I started to become spread really thin. I was definitely kind of an angry person, and this was also the first year I started dating my fiance (soon-to-be husband) and baby daddy. So bravo to him for sticking with me through all of that! So that was year one. And it was just chaotic – I’m saying that word a lot lately – but it was chaos.
Year number two, I worked client-side.
I left my agency job in the second year of having my business for the sole purpose of scaling back – that year that nine to five agency job was more like a nine to nine. I wanted something that was a little more client-side, and it was so funny because I got to do that job. And I was so used to working really fast in agency culture that I would be done with all my work by 10:00 AM.
So, you know what I would do? I would sit there at my desk – and I do not condone this, I do not think ethically it’s the right thing to do – and ask if there was anything else I could do and they never put more on my plate. So like, I just want to say that from 10:00 AM to like 5:00 PM, I was working on my business.
That is not the luxury that most people have. I understand that at that time, my thoughts were to go into work nine to five, and have mornings and evenings to build my business. And I just ended up having more than that because I was so slow at work. And again, it’s not ethical, but that’s just how it worked for me.
After about eight months there, I got hired by an online agency based out of London. And they were like, “hey, you know, we needed a data and insights analyst.”
Which, I love data and insights, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of marketing, and part of my experience. What’s really helped me to build a successful business today, however, is knowing data insights and knowing what to do with those numbers and insights based on sales, marketing, finance, etc. All of this being data you can pull into your business, which is amazing.
This company needed somebody on their team on insights to help with client reporting. So same thing there, I worked nine to five, and then I was working on my business outside of that.
I was making client meetings happen, and this is where things started to get really serious. This was actually when I realized I wanted to be more than just a “do boy” at an agency. I think the vision was there, but I didn’t know how to take the leap.
Finding that balance and knowing when is the right time to take that leap. I wasn’t comfortable leaving yet, I’ll be completely honest. I liked having health insurance. When I turned 26, I worked at that agency and I was like, oh my God, I have to be on my own for health insurance and not on my parents’ plan anymore. So this was where I had to make some decisions.
I started tracking numbers more at this time within my own business. And I started outsourcing and hiring a team. This was the right move for me, I am not saying it’s the right move for you. If you are working nine to five at an agency, I’ve actually seen and worked with clients now who asked to go part-time and scale back. That way they’re able to do half and half with their business, which is phenomenal.
I kind of wish I went that route instead of quitting cold turkey, which isn’t always realistic with your living situation.
I started tracking numbers and budgeting within my business. I started outsourcing and I started hiring a team. I had a part-time employee and a bunch of contractors.
This allowed me to focus on very specific strategic things within my business, with the little time I had because of my corporate job. So I focused more on executing client work and working with clients on client strategy, and my employee focused on sales and marketing.
I had a coordinator also helping with marketing, and then I had other contractors helping me work on client work. So I was focused on strategy, contractors would come in and they would do the execution of social media of the other things, and I was able to build this little agency.
But last year I actually did less than that.
And I’ll get there in a second of where I’m at now with my business and what’s important to me. I don’t always think that growing year over year, monetarily, is the right thing, but again, I will get there. So it was insane. This was like a huge moment for my business. I was like, holy crap – I can do this, now how can I scale back?
I was able to scale back and quit that job. And within a matter of a few weeks, I was able to scale back within my business and I released some contractors. I stepped up, took on more work, and we cut way back on certain software and things that were automating things for me so that I could come in and fulfill my salary.
And then a client that we had signed wanted to buy my business and have me join them.
What? It was kind of perfect timing. I was like, you know what?
What success looked like to me at the time was spending more time with friends and family. I didn’t want this hustle culture anymore. I had put myself through so much by being at an agency. I wanted to take a step back. I had this vision of having a family and just lots happening. I still go after my dreams!
I also had this vision of having a family and traveling and just like having a little bit more mental freedom, and not being so tied up with clients. So the idea of allowing my agency to be acquired by this company and joining them and helping them build their company, while I never thought I’d leave entrepreneurship, felt right. Kind of.
I made sure I had a contract that was padded and allowed me to pull clients back if anything were to ever happen with that company. And sure enough, four weeks into me joining this company and closing the doors to my old company, that company fell through. I let myself be sad about it for like two weeks. I was like, “oh my gosh, I made this huge life-altering decision.”
I had quit the corporate job completely. So I didn’t really have that to fall back on anymore. And this thing didn’t work out, so money’s going to run out here very soon in terms of what I was getting paid by somebody else.
So I was like, all right, I have some big decisions to make.
I’ve never felt more aligned with a type of business I have or what I’m even doing until Brand Good Time.
And I restructured and redesigned what success looked like to me, and what that looked like to me was not managing a huge team anymore. So in my previous agency that I owned, I had a lot of people I was paying on a monthly basis, a lot of expenses. What success looks like to me now was not being tied to contractors who constantly needed me, because that’s how it was.
I felt like I couldn’t take a vacation without someone needing help. That could be a problem of how I structured the business, sure, but at the time that’s how it was.
At the same time, there are still things that need approval. There are still clients that work – it just was really hard for me to unplug, ever. So what was important to me here was to move into a space where my to-do list wasn’t never-ending, like it is when you have an agency structure, and move more into a consultant role.
You’ve probably heard me talk about being multi-passionate- there’s a lot of things within this industry I like doing. So as of recently, I’m a Showit Web designer. I got approved to join their, Showit web design team a couple of months ago, which was insane. And I’m like, why not lean into that? I absolutely love building websites – catch – I only take on a few a year.
I don’t like this agency structure of implementing work for clients, but I have a couple of clients who look to me as a consultant, as their remote CMO to lean in and help with these amazing strategies and to push their business forward and help them stand out from other people. So I really am like, okay, consulting, this is it.
Then my favorite part, and what I want – what I wanted a year ago Brand Good Time to be and what I want now, is being a mentor.
But the problem with being “just” a mentor is that I’m really only guiding and supporting, not helping you implement or really create strategies.
My mentorship style is very blended. I like to work with entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, & small business owners in a way where we are developing strategies for your business, but based on what I know. Plus, some innovative ideas I have that, you know, just come up because I’m at a place now where that just happens. It’s kind of weird if you are in that spot too. I mean, obviously, if you’re a service-based business, you are strategically coming up with ideas for your clients, and it’s just funny how ideas will fall into your lap when someone tells you a struggle they have. And you’re just like, where did that come from?
But anyway, that’s where I’m at with my business now and I’ve found the structure, and guess what?
Now I don’t work 60 hours a week. I work 20 hours a week, and I am still hitting six figures in my business. I hit six figures last year. I’ve already hit six figures for this year. And I’m not saying that hitting six figures or money is important.
But six figures is what gives me success in my business. It’s what allows me to pay a lot of money every single month for my dogs, pay for my own medical insurance, pay for my car and my car insurance. It allows me to be able to provide for my future family, which is like nuts. I’ll be paying for my wedding, completely myself, my photographer, everything.
But that is what it gives me and nothing more. And I could talk about this another time, in a very long drawn-out way about tax strategy and stuff.
But I don’t believe in frivolous earning. I just don’t believe that I need to be making seven figures and stressing myself out if I don’t hit that. I have a goal to hit a certain amount each month, if I make anything over that, it’s amazing. I can put more into my retirement fund. I can go treat myself to something- like I bought a pair of air pods like two months ago because I had a really good month. It was like a month that I hit 5k over my goal. So yea, I did have a little treat myself moment there.
Maybe one day in the future, I will want an agency again. Maybe one day in the future, I’ll want to go back to a corporate job where I feel I like stability, which I don’t always think corporate jobs over entrepreneurship are more stable, but in some instances, it can be. Maybe I want that team structure again. I just don’t want to be responsible for all of the team structures. Who knows! But right now this is what works for me.
And so with that being said, I am a hundred percent on my own for the last year. And it is so amazing – I absolutely love it. I sure get stressed sometimes, but it’s just really cool to have something I’ve built up that’s mine. No one can really take it away from me. And it’s fun, I have fun. I enjoy what I’m doing and you should, you should absolutely enjoy what you’re doing.
So I want to kind of give you some tips. So you’re not just sitting here with like, well, what do I do? But these are the things that I’ve implemented in my business to make sure I’m hitting consistent cash months.
I told you, I set that goal for myself. I’m not going to tell you what that number is, it’s not relevant. But to make sure I’m hitting the dollar amount every month, I need to support the lifestyle I have. Maybe just a little bit more, right, for the times where I need to spend a little bit more, or I want to put more into my IRA, or maybe treat myself again, whatever it may be.
I update my books on a weekly basis. Yes, I do my own bookkeeping, it’s very important to me. I’ve always been this way, especially I think in a lot of areas of my life. There’s certain things I like to have control over or know what’s going on, to understand how to make other moves in my business. For me, that means bookkeeping. You could pay someone to do your bookkeeping and being up to date on your books on a monthly basis and then look them that way. But this literally really helps me make every other financial decision in my business is updating my books weekly.
It tells me trends and expenses, and spending and where I can cut back or spend more in my personal life and business. It really has really helped me a lot.
Another thing I do is look at my marketing data on a monthly basis.
So marketing sales and marketing data tells me where most of my traffic is coming from. If, let’s just say, one of my LinkedIn posts reached 2000 people and I had an influx in sales that month, I’ll start to dig deeper into that and ask myself, okay, is that correlated to LinkedIn? Or is that something else? But over time, you being to see the correlations between money and data. So this is really important for us to look at monthly, and also so that I can make decisions on how I’m going to market moving forward, because here’s the thing.
The way people buy changes over time, and you need to be able to predict when that’s going to happen or when that is happening.
And a great way to do that is by looking at your marketing data, because that is how you are selling to people. There are many facets of marketing – traditional marketing, digital marketing, your website. There’s a ton of different ways to marketing. And so you need to be tracking each one diligently.
That’s been very, very helpful for me. I also update my lead tracker weekly, and yes, I have a lead tracker. This tells me where my sales are coming from. Again, data. I’m able to break this out and see most of my new business this month came from referrals, or most of my new business this month came from networking events or most of my new business this month in this pillar of my business came from Instagram. All of these things are so important to know exactly where to put more time and effort based on the services that you offer as a business based on your products.
Weekly. This ensures a phenomenal client experience. It ensures that they feel important, and cared for, and important. Which is kind of the point of them hiring you, right? You are here to provide them with support structure, guidance, strategy, whatever it may be. And checking in with them can look different, right?
If you’re a product-based business that can look like sending them a weekly email, like a newsletter, that could look like following up with your social media clients every Friday with the status report of what’s going on. This has been so crucial for me in my previous business.
Now honestly, in corporate jobs, you have to be communicating with your clients. Not only is it going to help their client experience, but it may also help you develop further programs, business products in your business. They are going to be the ones who are going to tell you what’s working, what’s not working, and how you can further help their business. So it’s really important to be in touch with them. And that’s what I do.
So, with that being said, that was today’s episode! I really hope you were able to take away some tidbits from that. And I kind of want to pause for a second, and talk a little bit more about data and why it’s so important, and how I created a program exclusively around this. Because I feel like it’s not talked about enough.
People talk about manifesting and feelings and running your business based on alignment. And honestly, that’s a surefire way to failure. You really need to be in tune with your numbers, in tune with investments that you’re making, in tune with sales and marketing data.
There’s no gray area with data, and that’s the truth. It’s very black and white. It tells you everything you need to know about the next moves you are going to make in your business. Most importantly, knowing and understanding data and insights puts confidence back in your hands to make those decisions on your own.
It blows my mind that most people’s first investment in business is a coach, mainly, just a coach like a “life coach” or a “business coach”, or maybe even a high-level strategist, when there’s other things that you need to look at within your business. You can give yourself the tools, data, and really a better understanding with those in order to make those decisions. This is so important for when you’re on your own AND working for someone else that you can think for yourself as well. That’s what’s really important.
I feel like a lot of people get lost in coaches or strategists when they tell them to do things. They think it’s the only way, when really you should be challenging that as well! You should be challenging what they say as expert opinion, advice, guidance, but also challenging it to make sure it’s the right fit for your business.
So I created a program called Data-Driven Money Moves.
I’m really excited about it because I created this program to empower you to make those big decisions in your business without constantly needing an outside perspective, to really give you the confidence to know long-term, what the right moves are going to be in. This is something that you’re going to take and run with you for the rest of the duration of you owning a business. So hopefully forever. What we’re really going to do in this program is dive deep into sales and marketing data and numbers.
And don’t worry, I’m going to make this fun (when have I not?) I’m gonna make this exciting for you. I’m gonna make this so that you look forward to doing this every single time you go to look at numbers and data, you’re going to walk away with all the tools you’ll need for a kick ass end of 2021, and a really bad-ass start to 2022.
So there’s two parts to this. It’s going to be a three-part masterclass and a four-week live group consulting program. That’s right. Consulting Program, not coaching. Because I believe wholeheartedly in individualized support.
And that’s exactly what you’re going to get. No matter what stage you are in your business. So I’ll be sure to link in my show notes, if you’re listening on the podcast and I’ll put it in the description on YouTube for more info, we kick off on September 20th for the live part of the program. And I’m just so excited.
I’m really excited to bring this kind of accessible way of thinking to you and to be able to also dive into the trenches with you and help you with data and numbers and your business to draw valuable insights, and be able to make big decisions.
Check out Data Driven Money Moves here: https://bit.ly/data-driven-money-moves
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what if we told you: data tells you everything you need to know
As a marketing consultant and business mentor, I help brands grow, scale and expand passion-driven & impact-led businesses that stand the test of time.
If you enjoy reading this blog, you might also enjoy the She's Busy AF podcast - where I dish tips JUST LIKE THESE, for free, in a listenable format. Head on over to your fave podcast platform and tune in today!
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