I'll be transparent right from the start! I am AWFUL at building a business!
Yep! There you have it! And I'm not being easy with my wording...I said AWFUL and I mean absolutely AWFUL.
I'm not too fond of routine (I love spontaneity)
I don't follow "trends and fads" (I've always trailed my own path)
And I LOVE being there for everyone (something that has caused me to lose THOUSANDS of dollars and friends)
I don't like having to focus on "one thing" (Shucks! I'm a multi-passionate - so go figure)
So, in complete transparency - I will tell you that I struggled in business for nearly 5 years, before I realized that I was never going to build anything profitable if I tried doing it the way everyone did.
First of all, I'm a Jesus Girl - so I thought a lot differently than those in the "business support groups", I was a part of.
The latest business "trend". Most recent "social media" tool. And all the conflicting marketing 'strategies" - simply did not work for me.
There was a LOT of trial and error on my part, in those days. Even worse, I lost LOTS of MONEY! Starting and stopping! Supplies for this, tools for that - only to see it end up in a pile next to my previous "exciting" venture!
I figured if I was gonna make it as a real business owner and entrepreneur - would have to build my business just like everyone else.
So! I started by only creating what I thought everyone wanted.
I did what everyone else was doing in business.
Building what they built - like they built it - for the same people they served!
I researched for hours on end - the latest, greatest, best businesses emerging on the scene.
I just knew they would work, because I had the right data (or so I thought).
I've always known that I wanted to own "my own thing". Create something that I could call "mine". Something that allowed me to be my true, authentic, self!
And after several failed businesses (I won't tell you the actual number of those I started and stopped and started again and eventually just ended) #shameful
Although they were all very viable and great ideas - they just didn't work, for me! Why? because I wasn't the one meant to build them.
That alone is the #1 money making tip - when on the journey towards your 1st 6-figures: BUILD WHAT YOU ARE MEANT TO BUILD!
If you don't - you won't prosper! You may make money - BUT making money and prospering aren't the same!
I spent a lot of time with God - asking Him to show me what I should be doing and honestly, he never answered with a CLEAR, DIRECT RESPONSE - but He was always leading me to "do whatever I do from within - and in love."
I could always sense God repeatedly reminding me that some things were a good idea, but not all things were His -or- should I say, a GOD idea!
I figured out why I struggled in the earlier years - it was because I wasn't building a business from the GIFTS inside of me. I was trying to build from the outside.
What was the outside? it was from what was seen as "The Top 10 Businesses To Start Now", it was from what everyone else was doing or from the opinions of those around me.
To build a successful, profitable 6-figure business - you have to start INSIDE!
It's truly an inside job!
So on the journey to my 1st 6-figures - I had to start by doing this:
1. BUILD FROM WITHIN: I had to discover my natural and spiritual gifts and make sure that whatever business I was creating, both were involved.
It will be your GIFTS that make room for you! Psalm 18:16
It will be your GIFTS that get you through the tough times (and they will come)
It will be your GIFTS that sustain you - when the money isn't there to
It will be your GIFTS that solidify your "why" in the business building process.
Your GIFTS will remain even when your FEELINGS leave. Your GIFTS won't let you throw in the towel.
After I realized that it was my natural and spiritual gifts that would build the base and the foundation for whatever I put my hands to do, I understood why God never gave me a SPECIFIC BUSINESS IDEA. He gave me GIFTS!
God never spoke to my heart and said, "Open a handmade soap company" or "Start a Travel Agency" or even "Start training others how to do what I showed you in business" - but he did remind me to "use what I gave you".
Building a profitable business isn't as tedious, when you have your gifts and all of heaven - backing you up!
But it didn't stop there. I certainly didn't get to earning my 1st 6+figures - using my gifts alone. They simply opened to door to the opportunity.
I had to learn to be CONSISTENT in how I showed up in the industry.
What does that mean? I teach about this all the time, but the second thing that shifted my earnings, was when I began to focus on building a BRAND and not just a business.
2. CREATE A BRAND: It sounds simple enough, but a Brand is far more than your logo - it's also your business' mission, its values and its personality.
Your brand is how you show up - both online and in your specific area of expertise.
Your brand is not only how you look - but the emotions that are evoked from doing business with you and the key characteristics of your company.
Your brand reveals your company's position in the marketplace and it has a "vibe" that your target audience should be drawn to and easily relate to.
Your brand speaks about your business - without you saying a word, and especially when you can't.
To create a stellar and reputable brand - takes time, it takes focus, but more than that - it takes CONSISTENCY!
That one word alone, has caused amazing businesses to suffer, to fail and ultimately to end!
If you're going to ONLY build a business - your only goal needs to be to make money!
But If you're going to build a brand - your goal has to be to make money AND make an impact!
I had to consistently think about my target audience! Posting what would interest them. Emailing things of value to thing. Creating offers and products that would help them solve a problem or heal a pain point! When you do that, you'll discover that your "tribe" is waiting to put money in your hands, all because you remained focused and consistent to your brand's mission : which leads them to know, like and trust you!
Which leads me the third thing:
3. GET TO KNOW WHO YOU SERVE - If you don't know your target audience, you won't know how to SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM (more on that later)
If you don't know how to solve their problem, your target audience, your ideal customer, your focused buyer - won't find value in your business or your brand! That alone can be a recipe for financial ruin and business failure.
If you aren't making money - you don't have a business , you have a hobby!
The path to 6-figures is paved with a consistent focus on solving the problems of your target audience.
It's your job to get to know who that is. What they struggle with. What pain points are in their life. What would offer them convenience. What would make their life better. What concerns them. What excites them. What do they need and want.
The moment I allowed myself to only focus on serving those I was called to serve (my target audience) - my life, my business and yes! my income changed DRASTICALLY....and it was all good!
No longer did I struggle with pricing. My target audience knew my brand offered value and was willing to pay my price.
No longer did I struggle with posting content. I spoke their language and posted what was of interest (and concern) to them.
No longer did I struggle with making money. I was serving them by solving their problem and they began to trust my company and my unique brand position.
I solved a problem and guess what? I continued to solve even more - with each new product launch!
The process repeated itself. Launch after launch. Growth and more growth. Increase. Increase. Duplication and Multiplication.
Focusing on your ideal customer and their needs will lead you to the income YOU need to not only build your business, but build your LIFE!
People want to connect with a brand that "gets them"! A Brand that makes them feel seen and heard and SERVED.
Which ties into this:
4. SOLVE A PROBLEM - No one needed my soap - until I told them that they did! (read that again)
When I just sold handmade soap - I was among thousands of other soap makers who did the same. But when I sold handmade soaps with benefits and natural remedies, at an affordable price - I began to stand out among the other soap makers world wide!
And the thousands of other soap makers weren't featured in a global magazine. (Check out one of my products featured here in Southern Living Magazine.)
The thousands of other soap makers weren't on local talk shows or winning awards for "Best In Show" at regional events. Our brand was. And that's not at all to brag - but what it reveals is that - no matter how many people do what you do and no matter how many businesses are similar to yours...when you solve a problem - when you offer healing to a pain point - when you add value and convenience to your ideal customer or client's life, YOU STAND OUT FROM THE REST!
Remember I said no one needed my soap - but what they did need was a natural soap company that highlighted the benefits of it's ingredients and offered fresh, natural, handmade soap for the entire family that was simple and affordable.
I solved my target audience's problem by creating a product that gave them skincare benefits, without being overly priced!
When you SOLVE A PROBLEM for your target audience - making money will no longer be an issue!
If you know WHO you serve and WHAT their needs are - you'll never go broke!
How do you solve their problem? Get to know them and get to know their struggles - then make sure your business is in position to offer them the remedy!
That was the next big shift that lead me to my 1st 6-figure year! But ultimately, the area that tied it all together was this:
Putting automated systems in place will help you scale your business faster than ever!
Automation is your business bestie!
Without automation in your business - you will exhaust yourself! And No! you don't have to be techy! You just have to be diligent.
What good would it be to create an amazing brand for an amazing group of customers, waiting to do business with you - only to find out they have no way to connect with you? I'll answer that: no good at all. It wouldn't be good at all and it certainly wouldn't get you to the consistent 6 figure mark.
You can't make 6-figures - if you have no way for customers to connect with you and pay you!
You can't make 6-figures, if you have to "run around to pick up your payments" (trust me, I've seen it done)
You can't make 6-figures - asking people to cash app you forever.
You can't make 6-figures - always meeting customers at the grocery store to give them their order.
This might work for a small percentage of your closest customers, but this can't be the norm!
If you're going to earn big - you have to think big - and all of the above will burn you out, if you allow it to be a regular and routine business operating practice.
Get professional, real business systems in place. Why? because once you reach the 6-figure mark in your business, 7-figures becomes much easier to obtain and you will DEFINITELY need automated systems in place to run a 7+ figure business.
If you avoid automation, you avoid scaling to the next level - in followers, in brand awareness and most certainly in sales.
I remember the year I hit my first 6-figures. I had no idea! I remember closing up shop to prepare for our Christmas break - and as I prepared, I kept feeling a strong urge to run my income report (something I had never done) - using the AUTOMATED SYSTEM I had in place.
Let me just say this! I lost it! I cried! I screamed! I danced! I shouted! I had surpassed my wildest dreams in sales! But how did I not know? I hadn't used the systems!
If it hadn't been for the systems I had in place, I could have spent another entire year - trying to reach a goal, I had no idea was already achieved.
I mean - I felt like I had achieved that first financial goal, but the numbers don't lie - and the automated system proved it!
I could see what got us to 6-figures! I could determine what worked. I could easily see what didn't.
This is VITAL information in a business. Automated systems show you what you need to see - to help you do business smarter and more efficiently!
NOW! My new goal was to triple it! And because of Automation - it didn't take us the entire year to do that - we did it in only 3 months!
Your business has to be able to make money - while you're asleep or off for the day or even away on vacation.
Let me just say this: That night (after learning that I had made my 1st 6-figures) - I left for a 10 day vacation - and made $$$ while I was away on a cruise-out of the country! We gained new followers - while I laid on a beach in the Caribbean sipping something fruity! We automatically responded to emails, while asleep at 2:30am (because some people live in other time zones.)
How could I get it all done? Automated systems!
Your business can work for you, while you are away - but not without AUTOMATION!!!
I had to train myself to think bigger, plan larger and prepare for greater.
There were so many "automated systems" available, that I didn't implement for years - and my business suffered.
But now! My business, my mindset and my income has increased for the better.
What used to be 30 online orders in 4 weeks has increased to over 300 online orders in 2 weeks. And that's not even our SUPER BUSY Holiday season!
We can completely sell online, transact orders, ship orders, post on social media, transfer money, send emails, handle customer communication, manage our team, answer calls and serve wholesale clients....seamlessly!
All because of automation.
So! To review it all - I made my 1st 6 figures BUILDING MY BUSINESS FROM WITHIN, CREATING A CONSISTENT BRAND, KNOWING WHO I SERVE, SOLVING THEIR PROBLEM(S) and implementing AUTOMATION to help get it all done!
If you've read this far, I applaud you! It means you really want to know how to move your business to the next level and guess what? I'm not the exception. There's nothing special about me! I'm no business specialist or have something that you don't
This can work for you, too!
You can apply this to your business and avoid some of the mistakes I made in my first few years.
Learn how to use your time and your days to generate more income in your business! Grab this Free Training on how to be more productive and more profitable - in less time!