How To Be Profitable From Day One

I want to talk about something that’s a little taboo in the business world, a mistake that many new business owners make. And a mistake I made when I first opened my consulting agency.


The mistake is building your business and expecting that, someday in the future, you are going to be profitable. Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. Instead, you should be focusing on being profitable from day one!


Many entrepreneurs start a business so that they can have freedom. So they can set their own schedules. So they can spend more time with their families. So they can finally be rewarded for their hard work in the way that they should be rewarded.


Before you know it, you are “investing” 12 to 18 hours per day in your business so that one day you can finally make money from your business. If you calculate out how much you are actually making, you realize that you make less than minimum wage. You could make more working at a fast food place!


In 2006, when we first started our marketing consulting agency, we had an offer called “Services for Stompers”. Our target audience included fellow members of the membership group “Stompernet.” The idea was that I would find people who could execute the tactics and strategies that were being taught in the membership program and create a system around it. I created operating procedures and videos so that basically anyone that we hired could come in and start doing the strategies immediately. I then made those people available to the members of the Stompernet community to help them to grow their businesses, as well.


Back then I thought, “Well, if I’m paying these people

$5 an hour and I charge $10 an hour, that’s huge! I’d be making 100% profit.” But what I didn’t count on was the long list of operating expenses that comes with growing and scaling a business.


As our consultancy agency grew, I learned about how you should have different departments in your organization, even if you are just a one person show! That way, you can allocate a percentage of your revenue to each of the departments and then designate each of your expenses to one of those departments.


There are six main departments:


1. Administration. Administration includes anything for the CEO, such as ongoing training, professional dues and fees. If you are a small business with less than five employees, you could put your salary in this category as well.


2. Marketing. Marketing includes anything that is done to acquire a lead or prospect, including things like paid ads and building an email list.


3. Sales. Sales includes anything that is done to close a sale.


4. HR & Finance. HR & Finance includes any bank fees, bookkeeping, CPA or anything that is human resource related.


5. Operations. Operations includes anything that is related to the cost of keeping the doors open, including internet and phone services.


6. COGS. COGS stands for the “Cost of Goods Sold”. If you have a team, then this would include all of the salaries of W-2 or 1099 team members.


An example of how you might allocate your revenue could be:


Administration 20%

Marketing 10%

Sales 20%

HR & Finance 5% Operations 20%

COGS 25%


When I first started my consulting agency, I had no idea about any of this. I was oversimplifying things. All I thought was that if you pay somebody $5, sell for $10, then you make 100% profit — and that’s huge. But you know as well as I do that there’s a lot more that goes into a business than that!


Some of what goes into a business is very nuanced. For example, how do you handle quality control in your business?


If you assign your employee a client project and pay them $5.00 an hour to complete it, and then pass it back to your client without checking their work first, there’s a very high possibility that there will be some important details that were missed. Spelling mistakes, broken links, broken funnels, etc. — all of this makes for unhappy clients. There’s a lot of middle management operating costs that are often overlooked and unaccounted for when you first price out your product or service.


I hope now you understand what I meant when I first said that a big mistake business owners make is expecting their business to be profitable over time – but not from day one. If you focus on profit from the very beginning, you can be one of those businesses that starts generating revenue well ahead of the competition. It’s actually a lot easier than you think to start generating six figures of revenue.


But now, as a business owner, you find yourself working twelve hour days, working 60 or 70 hours a week. You can’t go see a movie, much less take a vacation. You can’t escape from your business because everything is dependent on you. You have clients that need help, team members you need to train and work to review. You’re the link between your clients and your team and that takes up a lot of time and energy. And at the end of the year, your company may have generated six figures, but because of all of the expenses we outlined above, you’re not seeing a lot of that money.


You might be lucky if you’re able to take home a

$20,000 salary. (That number is pretty standard for service based businesses — the profit margins are about 20%.)


So let’s lay it all out on the table. You’ve just earned

$20,000 working 60 – 70 hours a week, every week, for an entire year. You thought all of those hours would be worth it…was it?

You say to yourself, “It’s going to work. It’s going to scale. I’m going to get better clients. My team’s going to get better.”


But your team is probably made up of contractors, and as you train them and their skill level increases, they’ll start taking on other clients and get busier. They might increase their rates. They might not be available to work the amount of hours you need them to. The bottom line is: their goal isn’t to help you grow your company.


Or maybe you’re doing the actual client work, but because you’re trying to balance it all, sometimes your work isn’t the best you could be producing, especially if you had more time and energy to put into it. So your clients are frustrated and they don’t want to keep paying you for subpar work. There’s been too many bumps in the road and they don’t want to keep working with you.


It’s a never ending cycle of losing team members and clients, and hustling to get new clients and train new team members.



We need to stop this cycle TODAY. We do not want to have a creative business where we’re working ourselves to the bone only to take home a couple thousand dollars in revenue. It doesn’t make sense because, statistically, your year two in business isn’t going to be any different. Neither is year three.


It’s time to figure out how to make your business profitable right now, immediately, or at the very least within the next 90 days. I personally don’t even start new projects unless I know they can be profitable from day one.


So, figure out what you need to do to make your business profitable within these next 90 days. You might need to take a step back to look at how you would structure your company if you had departments.


If you had to pay someone to do the job that you’re doing, what would that look like? Your job as the business owner is to work yourself out of a job. What I mean by that is that your business should be generating enough revenue so that if it was necessary, you would be able to hire someone to replace yourself in your own business.


In other words, your business should be able to pay you the same amount of money that it would cost to pay someone else to do the job that you are doing in your business today. Now that’s probably not the amount of money that you’d ideally like to be making as the business owner, but, at a minimum, figure out the amount of money that you would need to pay someone else to do your job.


So, for example, if your business is not able to generate $60,000 of profit, which is about $5,000 a month, the average salary that a business owner takes home, then something is wrong with the structure of your business.

Don’t let your business take over your life, especially if you’re not generating a living salary back from your efforts.


Don’t base your decisions in the belief that, one day, maybe in the future, your business will be profitable. Structure your business correctly today so that it is profitable from Day One.

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

I’d like to ask you a question, “As a business owner, have you ever felt like your to do list is never ending? That you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to get things done to grow your business?” I know that I have.


The other day one of my kids was asking me if I had a time machine. The reason she was asking me is because it’s Christmastime and she couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to happen so that she could open up her presents. And I said, “Yeah, of course I do.” And, of course, she knew I was joking. But I said, “But if I did have it, if I did have a time machine, what I would do is I wouldn’t actually make time get faster. I would make time go slower because I have so much to do right now.”


There never (ever) seems to be enough hours in the day.

Does your business sometimes make you feel stressed and overwhelmed because you’re trying to figure out how in the world you are going to get everything done that you need to get done? It’s a never-ending cycle. Sometimes you are really stressed because you’re trying to get new clients for your business or new sales for your business. And then, all of a sudden, you have new clients or you have new sales, and now you have to fill all of the orders.

And so you’re stressed, either because you need more sales or you’re stressed because you’re trying to fulfill all of those new products or services that you’re trying to deliver. Maybe in your business you feel sometimes that you’re stuck on how to figure something out, that you know that you want to launch a new product or service online, but you’re not exactly sure how to do it.

Or maybe you’re trying to build your website for the very first time and you’re eager to launch it. Or maybe you want to set up an automated webinar or send out automated emails? You want to automate tasks. I had one client and we went round and round. She was getting all of this conflicting advice about how to set up her merchant account correctly so that she could connect it with Infusionsoft (Keap), which was her marketing automation platform. She had gotten a merchant account, but it was a “card present” account and not a “card not present”, which is the type of merchant account you need to get when you’re doing business online.

She had called up her merchant account, because she called up her bank and tried to explain, and nobody believed her when she said, “What I really need is a ‘card not present’ account”. I finally convinced her to just go into the bank, sit down, talk to the manager and make them fix this.

Maybe you are getting stuck with something in your business, and you’re not even sure how to figure it out. And people are giving you conflicting advice and you don’t know what the next steps are. Maybe you are telling yourself: “I just need to figure out this one thing and then I can get my business to move forward.”

Well, I want to ask you a question: How much is your time worth?

The reason I’m asking this question is because way back when we first launched our consulting agency, one of the things that I learned early on was that if I could pay someone $5 an hour to do something and I chose to do that one thing, then I was literally making or saving $5 an hour. When I learned that principle, it kind of blew my mind. At the time I was still doing everything myself.

Here I was trying to figure out how to update this page of my website using HTML, learning Dreamweaver… and I wasn’t really good at it. I was good at other things, but that was not my area of expertise. And it is taking me literally hours to figure out how to do this. And I could literally go at that time and maybe even today to or other freelancing websites and find someone very easily and pay someone just $5, and they would have it done for me in probably 15 minutes. They wouldn’t even take them an hour to do those kinds of things.

And then it hit me. I realized, “Wow, I’m trying to save $5 by doing this thing myself!”If I hired

someone and gave them that job and assigned it to someone else, I could pay them $5 to do it — and they’re going to get it done faster than I ever could. They’re going to do a better job than me, and then I’m going to be able to free up my time to focus on where I should be focusing on. As a business owner, you have two jobs and only two jobs.


And those two jobs are to increase sales and to implement systems. If you don’t have systems in your business, you’re not going to be able to scale. You’re going to create this big thing where you are the bottleneck of your business and without sales, your company is going to die and you cannot delegate getting sales for your own company.


So, for example, when you’re first getting started, you may have zero revenue. That’s how we were when we first started our e-commerce business. And when we first started building that website, I did everything I could and then and pulled in my husband to help me with whatever I could not figure out. We didn’t have older kids at the time. They were all babies. So, there’s the two of us doing everything ourselves. We did not have any money at all to delegate to and even

$5 an hour was way too much to hire someone else at that time.


About eighteen months after we started the business, our sales skyrocketed to $30,000 a month! I finally realized that it did not make sense for me to do all the work myself anymore.


At the time I was still making all the edits to my website myself, creating all the graphics myself, writing all of the product descriptions myself…. on top of processing orders, taking customer service calls, and more! And it made sense when we were getting started. But once the revenues were at 30K per month, it did not make sense anymore. My time was better spent doing profit generating activities.


For example, let’s just take editing a video. I don’t know how to edit a video. I’ve never even tried to learn how to edit a video. But, let’s say I decided that I wanted to be the one to edit the videos for my business. Well, I’m going to have to first off, take a course or watch some videos about how to do editing. I’m going to probably have to buy some type of software tool to figure out how to edit the videos. I’m going to have questions. I may have to hire a consultant to teach me just so I can learn how to do it myself.


It’s going to take me hours and hours and hours to learn that new skill! Unless video editing is my core business, I literally have no business trying to learn how to do it! The time that I would take to learn that skill is not time invested. It is time that is wasted because it is not time that I can use to leverage that skill to increase the profitability of my company. My time needs me to be focused on two things which are increasing revenue and implementing systems in my business, so that the business can scale.


It’s time to buy your time back.


If you are a consultant and you charge $200 an hour and you choose to do something that you could easily pay someone $50 an hour to do, then at that moment in time, you are making $50 an hour. If we drill that down a step further, you are actually losing $150/hour because of the lost opportunities you are letting slip by.


This does not mean you have to go out there and hire a full time employee! You can hire a virtual assistant or a marketing consultant for only five hours per week and you’ll be amazed at how much they’re able to get done! You’ll be amazed at how different your own life will be by just giving yourself five extra hours!

Grow By Giving Back

It was about 2007 and I had been a member of a high end mastermind coaching program for about a year when I finally decided that I just might then be able to have a little bit of information to be able to give back to the community. Back in those days, we did not have Facebook groups to post questions and get interactions. We had online forums. (Those of you who have been around for a while, you know what a forum is.)


People would post questions in the forums and others would answer those questions. I would be reading all of those answers that people would be giving and I’d go, “Well, I knew that. I could have answered that. I could have given that advice. That advice is wrong.”

Even though I already had huge success building my own e-commerce business from scratch with just the help from a course… even though I had been a member of the community for a year, attending four live events… I still felt kind of intimidated. I felt that I wasn’t able to contribute and give back.

After about a year, the membership program had another launch with new people coming in. I began to think that I could probably help these new people. I could probably answer a few of the new people’s questions. I knew that while I’m definitely not where these gurus are, I could definitely help the new people.


So, I began to contribute to the community. No one asked me to. I wasn’t a paid moderator or on the faculty. I began to contribute by answering questions. As I began to participate, people began to interact with me. I began to build credibility and authority. Then, people actually began to ask me specific questions. After a while, the people in charge of the membership group asked if I would teach a webinar about the things that I was doing in my business.


That was when things really began to change for me. I started to put together this material to simply give back to the community, wanting to help other people. I basically taught everything that I was doing. I didn’t hold back anything, not even secrets for myself. I didn’t try to sell a program. I just put together simple information explaining from A to Z how they could do what I had done in their own business.


Then a funny thing happened. Once I shared this information, my phone started to ring and there would be someone on the other end of the line asking, “Is this Nicole? Are you really Nicole? I just called your business number and you’re answering! I was just watching your webinar and everything that you were teaching is so valuable. But it’s just way too much work and I don’t want to do all that work. Can I just hire you to do that for me?” I was like, “Absolutely!”


One of the other things they taught us in the high end coaching program is that you shouldn’t leave money on the table. I don’t believe that today but back then the thought was, whatever opportunities you have, you should take them. Don’t leave money on the table! Take up these opportunities and say, “Yes.” You’ll get the sale and you’ll figure out how to do it later.


So, that’s what I did. I said, “Absolutely! We’ll help you do that!” Really, however, I had no way of knowing how I was going to do it all on my own. But, that’s what I decided to do. We went forward and that’s basically how Start Ranking Now launched. It started with me first giving back to the community.


And that’s my challenge for you today. You may think that you don’t have enough knowledge or that you don’t have enough information to teach the way the gurus teach or to teach a course, but you’re at least one step further than the person right behind you. Look for those people.

You can help those people and bring them along so that you not only help them but, in turn, you will be viewed as the expert you are. This is how you grow your business.

Be Ready To Pivot In Your Business

It’s important to always be ready to pivot in your business.


I shared a little bit of our story, about how we started our business in 2002 with an online camping gear store, how we used dropshippers, how we went from doing $0 to $3,000 a month, and how we went from $3,000 to $30,000 a month. But I haven’t shared the story about how that all came crashing down…


As it usually happens in business, you have ups and downs.

I joined a coaching program called “Stompernet”, which cost about $9,600 a year, and we joined for three years. We started to hire people, train them, and build our team. About that time, something changed in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry. What changed was that the big brands, specifically Coleman (and we were selling a lot of their products), figured out SEO.


Back in the day, SEO was a lot easier than what it is today. All you basically had to do was get links. “He who had the most links won” was the name of the game. Those were the good old days to easily get high rankings and sales.


Coleman and the other brands started to figure this out. And because they have big budgets and deep pockets, what they started to do was purchase large amounts of advertising online and they made sure that their advertising all included links back to their website.


In the past, I could get a top rank just by getting a bunch of links to the site for very cheap. But now that big players like Coleman were in on it, I was simply getting outspent. They were spending probably hundreds of thousands of dollars on PR campaigns just for branding — and that was something I couldn’t match.



That branding also helped them with SEO. As a result of that, it was no longer profitable for me to continue to invest money into SEO because they could just outrank me with their huge budget.


What we found is that as we begin to drop in the search engines, we shifted our business model and put all our products into Amazon. We set up an Amazon Storefront and also utilized their fulfillment center to ship our products as well!

At the same time, we also figured out that there were a lot of other businesses that we could help with their SEO and rankings because, for them, they weren’t being outbid by $100,000 budgets to get top rankings for their products and services.


That’s where we did a pivot from the e-commerce business into marketing as a service for other people who were members of the same communities we were a part of. This pivot led us to the formation of our first agency, “Start Ranking Now.” It started as a SEO company, but we don’t really do that anymore today. The last couple of years, we pivoted again to a new brand called, “Nicole Munoz Consulting,” where we focus on coaching and training.


The bottom line is that you always have to be ready to pivot in your business. One of the mistakes I made was that I waited too long to pivot. The camping gear store was our first “baby.” It was online, exciting, fun, and successful. We waited almost two years too long before making that change, always thinking we were going to figure out how to do it and how to beat the others. Of course, the reality was that we did not have the budget to do that. The other thing with pivoting is that when you do make a pivot, it allows you to open up yourself to bigger opportunities and for other opportunities, as well.


I thought we were being very successful in e-commerce but I found out that, while I was good at that, I was really good at helping other people to grow and scale their businesses. When someone wanted to work with me, we built up a system where we were able to get the rankings on demand because we had already created such a robust content and link generation system.

My question for you is, “Is it time for you to make a pivot in your business? How can you open yourself up to other opportunities and not just focus on one thing?”

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring Contractors

Have you ever asked yourself, “Is it finally the right time to hire someone to help me in my business?”


In 2006, I joined a high-end mastermind coaching program. It was an investment of almost $10,000 a year and I was a member for almost three years! One of the first things I learned in this program was that if I can pay someone $5 an hour to do something, and I choose to do that task instead, I’m literally making $5 an hour.

When I first heard that, it blew my mind. It’s true what they say, “You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.” And time was what I really needed more of in my business. At the time, I had five kids ages five and under, a thriving business selling camping gear, and I was doing full time missionary work with my husband in Puebla, Mexico. I really needed more hours in a day if I was going to continue managing it all.


So, I immediately took action and hired someone. That person actually ended up being with the company for over a decade. I began to outsource and delegate some of the tasks that I had on my plate that were taking up a lot of my time. But I also had a list of things that I wanted to get to someday…if only I had the time! So by delegating the more mundane, everyday operational tasks, I was able to grow my business even more with the help of my contractor.


I want to share with you three things I see people do wrong when they try to hire someone.

The number one mistake is hiring somebody for strategy. You should be delegating tasks, not strategy! What I mean by that is when you first hire someone, for example for social media for your business, you look for someone to completely take over your social media. You’d want them to plan the content calendar, create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and to grow your list.


In other words, you’re trying to hire an A-player, someone who is going to help you on a very high level, but your budget only allows you to pay them $10 to $15 an hour. And, let me tell you something, you’re not going to find an A-player willing to work for that. The problem, however, isn’t that you don’t have enough money. The problem is that you’re trying to outsource strategy rather than the tasks.


Strategy is saying, “I’d like you to grow my social media presence from 1,000 to 10,000 in the next 90 days.” That’s a strategic goal, but you’re not setting up a plan or a system to reach that goal.


Outsourcing a task, however, is when you say, “I’d like you to post four times a day, on certain hours, with these specific types of content.” Now you’ve created the strategy and you are giving that strategy to someone else to actually implement it for you.


That is how you do it. You’re hiring someone so that you can delegate your tasks.


You might be wondering, “How do you decide which tasks to delegate?”


It’s your job as the business owner to evaluate what tasks are taking up too much of your valuable time. Time that you should be spending strategizing ways to grow your business. Or, if you don’t have time, you can hire someone who can look at your business on a strategic level and help you decide which direction to move in. You could hire someone who is more at a level of a Director of Marketing, a high level consultant with years of experience, someone who can help you figure out what that strategic plan is. After you have that strategy in place, you can then delegate that to the people you’ve hired.


The second thing that people do wrong when they hire a contractor is paying too little and still expecting to get amazing results.


I was guilty of this in the beginning. It’s funny to look back and see how we’ve transitioned from an e-commerce business to a consulting business. When we first got started hiring people to do the SEO for our e-commerce business, I had all of the tasks down to a science. We had templates and checklists.


When we built these systems and strategies, I initially tried to hire people locally in Mexico, as well as in the

Philippines. I paid them a very low amount compared to the US but on par with the economy where they lived. The problem was that even though I was paying the rates that everyone said were “fair wages” for the respective countries, I was actually only paying what would be considered “entry level” wages.


That meant that the only people who would apply to work with me were beginners. People I had to train from zero to be at the skill level where I needed them to be. Yes, I could pull someone off the street and teach them my systems and procedures and they eventually would be an asset to the company. That’s the ideal situation. That was the goal.


However, most of the time that didn’t happen. Most of the time, the people who were willing to come in at the very bottom as beginners with very little or no experience took a very long time to perform at the level I needed them to. Remember, training inexperienced workers takes a long time, and in all that time you’d have spent hand holding your entry level employees, your business has not been moving forward.


I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have entry level people on your team as you’re growing, but that shouldn’t be the only type of person you’re hiring. After you have a team of 8 to 10 people, maybe you can have an intern come in, maybe a fresh graduate, or your son or daughter. You can bring them up from zero to 10. That would be okay.


The third mistake I see a lot of business owners make is that they expect their team to perform at their level. And, yes, I’ve made this same mistake


In the membership program I was a part of back in 2006, they taught me that no one will be able to do the job at your level. But, regardless of that knowledge, I was still under the impression that if I gave someone enough time, at some point they would be able to perform at my level.


The reality is that it’s a huge jump for a person who you hired to complete tasks to become a strategic player in your business. When you’re expecting people to perform at your level, that’s something you have to take very seriously, which means you need to mentor and train people so that they can develop real leadership skills. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen quickly, and you shouldn’t expect that it will. It could take 10 or 20 years, or it could never happen.


So what does this really look like in your business? For example, if I give a task to someone to build a marketing funnel and, once they finish it, I ask them to go test it and they come back and say they tested it, I ask them to test it again. Then if they come back a third time and say they tested it again, I ask them to check it again. I’ll ask them to make sure they send themselves all emails, click on all of the links, check the grammar and spelling. I give them a list and ask them to check all these things. I can even show them how I do it through my complicated, detailed excel file, documenting the whole process… and they follow it.


I guarantee you that even if you have someone doing that for you, you’re going to come in as a business owner and say, “Oh you missed this. And you forgot about this, too. The headline’s wrong.”


And it’s not that they didn’t try or that they didn’t give 100%. It’s not that they didn’t follow your procedures. They absolutely did and they are doing their very best. But, as a business owner, you see things that no one else sees because you know your business like no one else.


You have to take a step back and, instead of coming in and criticizing, you need to focus on the 99% of things that they did get right. Praise those things and say, “We missed this. Here’s an area of opportunity. Maybe we can tweak this.” Then take ownership that maybe you were the one that didn’t explain it correctly or that you didn’t provide the correct documentation and don’t blame them that they didn’t catch it.


That’s actually what leadership is—helping people to grow and taking responsibility for their growth.


A true leader would praise the team when they do something right. But if their team messes up, they’re going to take responsibility. That’s what true leadership looks like


As you develop as a business owner and as someone who hires other people, investing in your own leadership skills is what’s going to help you to be more successful in your company — and to take your company to the next level.


Success Is Right Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever been faced with making decisions for your business and you just weren’t sure about what the right decision was?

Or, maybe, you weren’t sure about the risk that was involved?

Or you couldn’t tell if it was going to pan out or not?

We’ve all been there. But, when this happens, it paralyzes you from making a decision. And when you don’t make a decision, then it’s the same as saying no, the same as not going forward.

Have you ever been in a place in your business where you were in a low place and you found yourself wondering if you could even make payroll for the six or seven people on staff?

Have you had that feeling in your stomach where you wonder if you’re really going to be able to make this work?

Have you ever tried to launch your own product or course, putting something out there and, after the work, you get no responses?

You’ve spent hours and hours creating an offer, building templates, and recording a video series, and you’re convinced it’s going to be amazing. It’s really going to help people! But, then, you put it out there and nobody wants it. Nobody opts in.

If you do… then this is for you! 

Maybe you spent six months building this amazing funnel because everyone tells you that you need to have this amazing automation funnel to get people to buy your stuff. 

And if you only have a perfect funnel, then you’re going to be able to be successful. So, you spend six months building it and when you launch it…crickets.

There’s nothing. No one buys. Now you’re feeling like a failure. You wonder…

“Will this ever work out for me? Am I ever going to figure this out?”

You get scared and you begin to doubt if you’re ever going to be successful.

There’s a saying that goes, “Success is right outside of your comfort zone.”

A few years ago, I was focused on scaling my business. So I did what most business owners do. I started to look around at what everyone else was doing so I could copy… oh, wait, I mean emulate them….

As I looked at the things they were doing in their business, I’d think to myself…

“But, I really don’t want to shoot videos. I really don’t think I want to do a podcast. I don’t think I could write a book. I don’t think I can do what they’re doing. So, I’m going to try to find the 98 other ways of doing it without doing those things because those things are outside of my comfort zone. Those things seem a little bit hard and not something I want to do.”

I decided that it might be time to start listening to my mentors. After all, I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. I tried to figure out what I could do to try to push myself to live outside of my comfort zone. So, I found this little trick that helps me, and I’d like to share it with you. 

I recently had a feeling, again, working on something with one of my coaches. They challenged me to make a decision in my business. They could see that I was sort of resistant. So, they asked how I was feeling. I said, “Well, it’s kind of like the time I jumped off a cliff.” It felt kind of scary… but it feels good. It feels like this is outside of my comfort zone and this is the direction I want to go to. So, just because I don’t feel safe and secure, that doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision. It doesn’t mean I can’t go forward with it because success is always just outside of my comfort zone. 

I remember when we first started getting involved with online marketing in 2002. I showed my husband a program for $50 about how to start a Yahoo Store, an e-commerce business. Back then, $50 for us felt like the world. It felt like a huge investment because we did not have extra money for anything. We barely had enough money to eat. When we first went to Mexico, I actually taught English classes for fifty cents. I had five students and from those five students, I earned $2.50. We took that money and bought eggs and tortillas. It was basically the money we used to buy food with that day. So, spending $50 in 2002 was huge.

One of the objections we had to investing the $50 course is that we did not know if it was going to work or not. We decided that even if it never made any money, it could be a hobby – something to do to pass the time to learn something new. And it worked out really well. As I was running the e-commerce business, the person from the program sent me an email selling me another program for $297.

 Making the decision to invest $297 was easier. First, we had money from the business to invest and we were no longer just surviving. We had put into action the things we learned in the $50 program and we were making $3,000 a month. They said that somebody else who bought the same course as I did, at about the same time that I did are now doing $10,000 – $50,000 a month. But they had a strategic advantage. They knew how to do something called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And the two of them got together and created a course on how he did it and, for $297, they would teach me everything I needed to know about how to get to the top of the search engines.

And so I had a discussion with my husband and my dad, going over whether we should invest $297 in this new course. The consensus that came back was that since it worked out the first time with the $50 book and now you make $3,000 a month, why not go ahead and buy this for $297 and we’ll see how that goes. If it worked out the first time, it’s going to work out the second time, as well.

So, I did that. We invested $297 and we took it very seriously. That was a lot of money for us. It still is today.

I started putting everything into practice. I learned Search Engine Optimization and we were able to grow our business from $3,000 a month to $30,000 a month. But, since this is an e-commerce business, most of the money goes into paying for the products. The profit margin is actually quite thin, but we’re still making money.

In 2006, I got another email from the same people from the course saying that they’ve now put together this membership site to get training from top people and access to four live events a year. It sounded great!

The $50 investment turned out great, the $297 investment turned out great, so I had a feeling this next step would be the right decision, too. Then, I looked at the price of this one. It jumped from a one time payment of $297 to $9,600 each year. At the time, that was more than two years of my college education. And, to make the decision even more difficult, the launch date for this program was the exact same date as when my twins were due. As these thoughts crossed my mind, I started to feel heavy with all of the reasons why this program wouldn’t work. My husband and I had three kids with twins on the way — this is not something I would have time for!

So, the product launched and I chose to not buy it. Three months later in January, I had five kids ages five years old and under. I got an email from someone that I had purchased a software tool from for SEO, who was an affiliate of this membership site—someone who promotes the products and services, and when you make a purchase from them, they get a commission as a referral fee. 

He said that he was going to be an affiliate for the membership site and they’ve offered to invite people to come in through him since it was already closed. I thought I had things down with my kids, so I had another talk with my husband and my dad and asked them what they thought about it. It’s a big decision. Again, the consensus that came back was that since it worked out the first time and the second time, why not buy it for just one month and see how it goes.

We ended up getting the program for $9,600 a year and we actually stayed in that program for three years as a paid member. And, let me tell you, that was one of the single best business decisions I have made in my life because it is responsible for most of the things that have helped me in my career today. The things that I learned in those three years in the membership program are the things that I still use in my business today.

For example, one of the very first things that I learned in that program was that if I can pay someone else $5 an hour to do something and I choose to do it instead, then I’m the one making $5 an hour. It rang true to me! Why would I do $5 an hour work if I can hire someone? So, I did. That person ended up being with me for over 10 years helping me in my business. Just little things like that which you don’t see as an entrepreneur.

They sold the program with the idea that they would teach me how to get better rankings in the search engines… but they didn’t give me just that. They gave me the confidence that I needed and the mindset required to succeed. They connected me to a community of entrepreneurs. In one phone call, they helped me to grow my business five times over. Five times! This is all from one phone call and from one person who I met in that group. And that phone call didn’t cost me anything.

You never know where things are going to lead, which is why it’s so important to be willing to take a risk. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, to go forward in your business. Make that investment in yourself so that you can grow your business to have an amazing next year!

There Is Always A Way To Figure It Out

There’s always a way to figure out anything you want to do. Once you know what you want to achieve, you just have to work backwards to figure out the HOW.

Have you ever attended a marketing conference? I’ve been to so many I’ve lost count! My husband and I started going to marketing conferences back in 2006. 

If you have ever attended a live event, you know that it takes a lot of work to get there. You have to buy plane tickets, take time off work, figure out babysitting arrangements… there are a lot of logistics to juggle. 

But, when you finally get to the live event, you’re pumped. And when you finally get into that seat, you’re beyond excited. 

Take a time to watch this video…

It’s time to learn how to grow your business!

Have you ever been sitting there, listening to the speakers, to all the people you’ve invested so much time and money to hear speak, and thought to yourself, “Well, that’s great… but I don’t think that applies to me.”

If not, let me tell you, it’s not a great feeling. After going to so much work and paying so much money, the last thing you want to do is walk away from a conference feeling like the lessons didn’t apply to you. 

I went to a conference once with my mom, a very successful realtor in Southern California. (I always like to travel with somebody.) We were sitting in the second row, right in the middle, which meant that the speaker was right in front of us.

He was speaking about a very important topic for business owners:

#1. How To Build An Email List

#2. Why It’s Important To Have A List

#3. The Different Ways You Can Use An Email List

#4. How You Can Capture Your Leads

#5. How You Can Send Out An Offer And Have People Opt- in

#6. How To Build A Funnel, And On And On

While the speaker was talking, my mom started searching around for something in her purse. Maybe she was looking for a pen to take notes? 

Nope! She pulled out a Better Homes and Garden Magazine. She opened it up and started flipping through it while the speaker – my mentor! – was right there on stage.

I quietly told my mom to put the magazine away and she asked me why. I told her she needed to pay attention to the speaker. She responded, “No, I don’t. This doesn’t apply to me. I sell houses.” 

But, it did apply to her! She just didn’t realize how it could. 

And this is a situation that so many of us find ourselves in at one time or another. We can be listening to something, a topic that could be a perfect fit for our business, something that could help us tremendously, but we don’t see how it applies — at least, not yet.

In order to be successful:  

  •  You need to retrain your mind. 
  • Instead of jumping to the conclusion that something doesn’t apply to your business, try switching your mindset. 
  • Instead, ask yourself how you can make it work for you and your business. 
  • How can you take some of the steps and principles and apply them to your business, even if you have to alter them just a little bit?

In our e-commerce store, we used a drop shipper, a company that buys products from different types of companies and holds them in their warehouse. When you work with them, they give you an excel file of all the different products they offer with wholesale prices. You’re then able to take those products, list them on your website, and sell them at retail prices.

When you get a sale, you tell the drop shipper to send the product to your customer and ship it with your name on it, as if it came directly from you. It’s a fantastic way for you to build an e-commerce store without actually having to invest in inventory. 

Within the first month of opening our e-commerce business, we started selling about $3,000 per month. As we grew, I started to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A few months later, we were #1 on Google for every single one of the keywords we were targeting. Our sales went up to $30,000 a month! 

I remember staying up way into the middle of the night trying to process orders because the drop shipper didn’t have all of the products. I was sending emails to customers to tell them their orders were out of stock and would offer an alternative. I manually emailed every single person because I didn’t want to lose a single order that we had received.

One day we got an order for 500 cooler hinges. That may not seem like a big deal, but back then the hinges cost me about a dollar and I sold them for $12. That was a lot of money for that one order. But I had a problem. My drop shipper only had 12 in stock, and I needed 500! I didn’t know what I was going to do. Maybe I can just buy direct from the manufacturer? But, where am I going to ship it to? Most manufacturers won’t ship directly to a consumer. Remember, this was all pre-Amazon fulfillment centers!

Desperate for a solution, I called up the manufacturer and asked if I could set up a wholesale account and what the minimum order requirement was. They said the minimum was $500 and they connected me with Ray in the sales department. I told him I needed 500 hinges. He sent me a few forms to fill out and asked me where I would like the hinges to be shipped to. That was the easy part. I then called my dad, who at the time was a VP of a credit union, and asked him if he’d be able to help me ship out a few items, 500 cooler hinges to be exact. Thankfully, he said yes! 

The manufacturer shipped the order to my dad’s house and he re-shipped them to the customer. We made a huge profit! We were so excited. And after seeing how well this worked out, I asked my dad if he would like to help me a little bit more. So, we started to order more items directly from the manufacturer and had them sent to my dad’s house in California.

At one point, it wasn’t just a couple of boxes showing up on my dad’s front porch. There were pallets — pallets and pallets of stuff!

My dad did this for us for a few months. He worked his full time job Monday to Friday and then spent his nights and weekends printing out orders, packing goods, and shipping products. He created a system that made it all work. But, after a while of pulling 60+ hour weeks between his day job and his volunteer work for my company, we decided to hire a family member to stock and ship the inventory full time. They worked with us for several years until we outgrew their garage and had to get a warehouse! 

Finally, when Amazon Fulfillment came around, we started moving our inventory to an Amazon Fulfillment Center, which made our lives so much easier. If you don’t know how Amazon Fulfillment Centers work, you basically can order products from anywhere in the world, have them shipped directly to an Amazon Fulfillment Center (which works like a drop shipping company), and have the orders sent out from there. You don’t ever have to touch them!

Whatever your situation is today, you have more going for you today than I had back when we started our business with dial up from Mexico. But, even with so many obstacles in our way, we were able to build a six figure business in a very short amount of time. How? We kept our mindsets focused on answering the question, “How can I make this work for me?”

Despite your situation and circumstances, you can always solve any problem. 

  • Sometimes you’ll have to think outside of the box,
  •  Leaning into a little bit of creativity. 
  • But this is how you become successful: You know there’s always a way to figure it out.

If They Can Do It, You Can Too!

Most people don’t understand how I got started in online marketing. As a missionary in Mexico, people seem to think that the two don’t go together. In reality…

  • I never planned on becoming an internet marketer. 
  • I did not study marketing in college 
  • I never planned to do anything else but be a missionary wife.

But in 2002, while I was on bed rest with our second child (we have 7 kids now)…

I stumbled across an ebook called, “How to Start a Yahoo Store.”  The book was about how anyone could start an ecommerce business online without actually having to invest thousands of dollars in products. The e-book cost $50 and, at that time, that was a huge amount of money for us, especially for a book. But then I thought to myself…

“If I could just make an extra $200 a month that would be amazing.

I would be able to go to Starbucks whenever I wanted.

I would be able to buy a dress every now and then.

I’d be able to give to our church when needs came up.

Plus, I’d have a little something to do right now to pass the time while I’m stuck in bed!” 

So, I bought this seemingly expensive e-book, “How to Start a Yahoo Store” by Andy Jenkins. While reading, I kept focusing on one thing in particular, and it kept showing up again and again. By the end of the book, my major takeaway was…

“Wow! This guy really doesn’t know how to spell.” 

The entire book, from front to back, was filled with spelling errors. Of course, I managed to overlook the misspellings, focusing on the author’s explanation of how to get started with an online store. 

One of the things he said to do was to create an excel file with all of the information about your products, making it easier to upload the products to your website in bulk. At the time, I didn’t even know what an excel file was! I went to Bible College in a pre-digital world! Only one young man in our entire school even had a laptop back then! 

He went on to say that you get the products you sell from people or companies called “dropshippers.” These dropshippers buy products in bulk and then store them in their warehouse, but they don’t directly sell them to consumers. Instead, they allow their resellers to put the products on their websites, making money on the large orders and the small margin of markup. This is how, it turns out, you can sell other people’s products without investing in any inventory, which means no monetary investment up front.

As I was learning all of these things from this e-book, I was definitely a little intimidated. The e-book was very long, detailing everything you needed to know about how to run a successful online business. It also included the author’s story about how he successfully built his own business.

Of course, as I read about his 8 successes, all I could think was, “Man, if this guy, who doesn’t even know how to spell, can launch a successful e-commerce store, well then I definitely can. It’s not rocket science.” 

I was so inspired by him that my husband and I launched our first e-commerce site in 2002. Almost immediately, we started generating about $3,000 a month in sales, which was a huge amount to me at the time. Needless to say, I very quickly reached my initial goal of earning an extra $200 per month. 

At a conference a few years later, I was able to finally meet the author of that e-book, Andy Jenkins. Who, despite the spelling errors in that e-book, is brilliant. I told him the story about how he inspired me. He shared with me that the reason the document had a lot of spelling errors was because he had uploaded the wrong file, not the one he had edited, on the day he launched that course. 

What a great example of that saying,

 “You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.”

In 2002, I was living in a third world country, living in Mexico with dial up Internet. But I kept saying to myself, “If Andy can do it, I can definitely do it, too.” That’s the message I have for you today: “If he can do it, you can, too.” 

My question for you is: What’s stopping you today from growing your business or from starting a business?

Nobody Can Take Your Place

Do you often wonder where somebody would take your place in something that is important to you? Let me share to you a life-changing event I encountered that would make you say…

“Nobody Can Take My Place.”

Take a look at this video we had on our trip to Costa Rica: 

After landing in Costa Rica, my husband and I were going through customs when we saw a sign that said, “Nadie Puede Tomar Tu Lugar.” In Spanish, that means, “Nobody Can Take Your Place.”

While the sign really was there just to remind you that “nobody can take your place” because they don’t oversell seats on the airplane, it had a different underlying meaning for me. 

When I read that simple sign, I heard, “Nobody Can Take YOUR Place.”

Nobody Can Take Your Place blog post graphics
  • Nobody can take your place as a mother. 

 No one will ever love your own children like you love them. A motherly love is genuine and truly unique in every Mom out there.  

  • Nobody can take your place as a dad. 

No one would ever care like your father does! He will protect you no matter what the circumstances are. He will prioritize everything for his Children! 

  • Nobody can take your place as a son or a daughter 

No one can ever appreciate and see a day to day effort your parents gave you! No one could ever feel the love they give as much as every child does with their parents! Nobody could understand how much you aim to have success in order to give back to your dear parents and understand the shortcomings, because for every child, their mom and dad are perfect for them!

  • Nobody can take your place as a business leader. 

No one could ever appreciate the value of being a business leader, as you do! You put effort into your business and make everything work out as they should be! 

You have a message that people need to hear. You have something special that you can contribute something that has the potential to change people’s lives.

Just before we left for our trip to Costa Rica, I was having a conversation with a woman, Adriana, at the church, where my husband pastors. The mom of five adorable children, Adriana had been in our church for only six months. While we were speaking, she told me that  there’s been a huge change in her life since we’d first met. 

At first, I didn’t actually realize just how much of a change she had meant. But, as she went on, it became clear that she was talking about a major life shift.

Adriana told me that before she started coming to church…

She would stay inside all day long.

She slept from morning to night, unable to get up.

She struggled to take care of her kids.

She was extremely depressed. 

She told me that everything started changing when she began coming to church. Our church, it turns out, has made her so happy. 

Now she is always smiling.

She’s so grateful that her kids got their mom back.

But then she shared with me that she felt guilty about not being able to give to the church. While she wanted to give back, she didn’t have any money. 

She also told me how she had just bought bed frames for her kids, but, because she still didn’t have any mattresses, she was just putting the same cardboard she used when her kids slept on the floor on top of the new frames. (I had seen this for myself when I visited her home earlier.) She kept reiterating that she was fine, that at least now the kids would be off the floor! 

Here is a woman who doesn’t even have mattresses for her kids to sleep on, and she feels bad about not having money to give to the church! 

Even though Adriana isn’t able to contribute to the church financially, she certainly does contribute. She does give!  She’s the one who is in the kitchen, cleaning and helping with a smile on her face, whenever she can…

This is what you need to know...

#1. Every single one of us has a place in this world.

#2. We have a unique role

#3. We have specific people we’re meant to reach out to, people that no one else can reach

So, my challenge for you today is to reach out to someone. Help just one person today because the world is waiting for you to step up. No one else can take your place! 

I want to help people with their venture to success! I have great news for everyone who wants to be successful in making their businesses great and have a lifestyle business that works for them! 

A business, no one could take their place in doing great things that would work for them! I will share with you the most amazing events and ways on building your lifestyle business! 

Witness How a Missionary Wife and Mother of 7 Successfully Built Three 6-Figure Businesses!

Where to START

Are you a sole owner / operator? Have your website, Facebook page, and blog. You love your work and want to reach more people… but don’t know where to start?

An ebook? A workshop? Free consultations? 

Are you unsure what direction your first step should be? Are you worried about the complete picture? What you are building? How to sell it? How to find time to work on it? Do you feel like you lack guidance? You know that you are capable and prepared – but you lack confidence on the next few steps to take?

Do you feel like building your business is just… so… slow? Do you struggle with finding the right steps and feel like you’ve wasted so much time trying to figure it out? 

You’ve got something called…

You just don’t know where to start!

Guess what! There is a 4-step CURE to STARTERITIS! 

Only thing is, it’s a 4-letter word. 

I’ts called….

What’s grit?

Well, first off it is not grits. It is not something you eat in the south. 

Grit is “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”

The cure for STARTERITIS is Grit!

#1 Set a Goal. 

If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time. What’s your goal? What is your why? Why do you do what you do? 

I’m a member of many groups and I see it all the time. If you are an entrepreneur, you have a deep desire to make a difference. You want your life to matter. You don’t just want to live. You want to leave a legacy. 

So figure out your why. Usually the “why” is not about the money. Money is a fleeting goal. It will never be enough. It will never satisfy you. Your goal could be to give back. To help others. 

One of my clients has a mission statement. Their goal is to end worldwide divorce.

I love that goal. That is a goal I can stand behind. That is a project that impacts lives. It is not about building a 7-figure business. But the lives that can be impacted through that business. 

What’s your goal? What’s your why?

#2 Resilient. 

A rubber band is resilient. You can pull on it and stretch it… and it will go right back to its original shape and be ready for more. 

Resiliency is about bouncing back

The test of character is what it takes to stop you.

If someone tells you that your idea is a bad idea and you’ll never make money from it… what do you do? Do you listen to them? Usually someone who has worked a 9-5 their whole life and can’t fathom making over $50/hr? Or do you carefully consider their objections to your biz plan… and then work through them? 

When someone asks you for a refund – do you sit there for hours thinking that your program is useless and no one will want to buy it? Or do you refund them… and go on to the next customer? 

When you are about 80% done with your program, do you start to look around at all of the competitors … do you stop recording your videos and shelve your project because you tell yourself – what do I have to offer that is ANY different than all those other people?   

Bounce back. 

#3 – Intense Focus

The problem most people get wrong is they try to do too much at the same time. 

Multi-tasking is a myth. 

If something takes you 3 weeks to get done and you work on 3 things at the same time…you won’t finish with your first project until Week 7! It will take you longer to get stuff done.  

Many, many times we work with clients that serve multiple audiences and therefore want to build multiple funnels at the same time. This does not work.

Success comes when you intensely focus on ONE project at a time. Pick one audience. One offer. One funnel. And go for it. 

#4 – Tenacity 

Never give up. Failure is part of success. The only way you can truly fail is if you quit. When we first came to Puebla, Mexico as missionaries, it was a whole year before we began to see results from our work. We rented a small building for services. Each week we’d go out and invite people. And every single Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, we’d sit in an empty auditorium waiting for someone to show up. For a year. 

But we had a goal. Our goal was to reach the city with the gospel. We had resiliency. We knew that no matter how many times doors were closed on our faces, we had a purpose. We had intense focus. We did not get distracted with doing anything else but the ONE thing we were there for. And we did not give up. 

We believed (and still do) that there is always a way to figure it out. 

After one year, we did not quit. We moved.

We rented a building in a different neighborhood. We gave out 10,000 flyers on the side of the street. We launched a new “grand opening”. And 32 people showed up.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬. 𝐈𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐭, 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐭. 𝐏𝐢𝐯𝐨𝐭.

Never give up.