#327 What It Really Takes to Grow From $100K to $500K
12:21AM Nov 29, 2021
chief visionary officer
And that's why it's really important to get as much documented as you can out of your head, either in a video or on paper or something, whatever works for you, so that you can get things off your plate down the road. Welcome to Thrive By Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show, I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business. So you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make money. You ready? Alright, let's do this.
Welcome to the Thrive By Design podcast. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, the host of the Thrive By Design podcast and the author of the newly released Desired Brand Effect, standout in a saturated market with a timeless jewelry, and I'm going to use in porins, or product brand. And I'm just beyond thrilled. And I want to thank all of you who went out and bought the Desired Brand Effect in November, oh my gosh, we hit seven bestseller lists on Amazon within the first couple of days. And I get a little bit teary thinking about this. And we hit our goal of selling 1000 books within two weeks. So I want to thank you for your support, the initial reviews have been coming in, and it's been off the hook. And I'm just beyond thrilled because people are loving the book, we're already starting to get reviews on Amazon, they have all been five stars so far. So that is beyond, like exciting for me because that means that all the work that we put in as a team, all the work that I put in writing this book really paid off, because at the end of the day, you know, it's funny because I self published this book, and a lot of people were like, Oh, well, it's probably not going to be that great of a book, if it's self published. It's just like a lead magnet, they're trying to get it out there. And you know, I really treated the process of writing this book, like I was, like I was writing it for a publishing company, and that this was being published on the mainstream market. So when people got the book, who were either friends of mine or peers in my industry, because they wanted to support but also read the book, because there's always something to learn outside of your other industries. The common response was I got oh my gosh, you're not kidding, this book is no joke. Like, I can't believe that this is a self published book. And a lot of people ask me why I self published it. And there was a very specific reason for that. And that was because I wanted to be able to have complete control over the content. And what we put out and you know, just be able to be flexible with pricing and all the things that we do over here, Flourish and Thrive. So it's an amazing book. If you haven't picked it up yet, please do just head on over to Desiredbrandeffect.com. It's available right now on Amazon. We will have it available on our website soon. So if you are listening to this later, desiredbrandeffect.com We'll have all of the buying options as we update them. And pick up the book. If you have other jewelry friends or people who own product based businesses that you want to buy Christmas or holiday gift for. I would be honored if you picked up this book for them. It will add so much value. So far, I've had people who are making candles and soap and have macaroni lines or other product baselines, fashion lines, like all the things are reaching out to me and saying thank you because they've heard they heard about the book when I was doing my podcast interview sprint on other product based business podcast. So I am grateful for you that you're enjoying it. I would love to know your key takeaway. And if you haven't done so yet, please give us a review on Amazon or even here on the podcast, you can tell us what you think about the book on the pod, a podcast review or something like that. I just really want to hear from you. Because I want to know what you think. And I really want to hear what your big takeaways are. So if you're interested in learning more, or you haven't done so yet, head on over to desiredbrandeffect.com. And check out what all the buzz is about. So today I wanted to talk I've been getting a lot of people reaching out to me asking about just like picking my brain in my programs like what does it really take to go from $100,000 in revenue to build a $500,000 business. And I'm going to extend this conversation next week because I'm going to be talking about what it takes to grow a seven figure jewelry brand. So it's fun because we're talking about scale, which is the third pillar of the Desired Brand Effect here today and next week. And I'm preferencing this in this podcast today because we're doing like an intake right now into our momentum program for people who are really ambitious, who already have maybe a high five figure or low Six Figure low multiple six figure business who are interested in growing and scaling with a systems that will support them on the back end, that will help them become more profitable. And also help them really operate in their zone of creative genius and their business so that they're focusing on what their skill set and talent is in, the things that they enjoy doing, instead of trying to improve the things that they don't enjoy. Because we know if you've been in business for a while, like I have, the more you spend time doing things that drain your energy, the harder it is to keep going for your business, you start to lose the passion, you start to lose your creativity. And it's a vicious cycle if you don't protect that creativity that you have. In fact, that's the whole mission of my other brand creatives for the world. So if you haven't heard me talk about creativity, this is the exact reason why what we're talking about right here. And if you're interested in getting support from me and my team, I would be I would love to support you in the new year, we're starting a new cohort on January 1. Technically, it's probably gonna be a couple days after that, because I think January 1 is, well, obviously it's a holiday, let me check what day of the week is it? Oh, it's a Saturday. So we're technically starting early January, the date, the start date is a little bit flexible. But we'll begin the cohort with the initiation and everything on that first week in January. So we would love to invite you into the program. It's amazing program for ambitious jewelry artists and product makers who want to get support from people who've already done what you're trying to do in your business. We've made some really important improvements to the program this year. And it's really centered around auditing your business and helping you walk away with strategic plans and focus change that you can do. So in your one of Momentum, our main focus is automating everything in your business and giving you the roadmap to improve upon what you're already doing, or change what needs to be changed in order to get the result that you desire. So if you would like to learn more about that head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com, forward slash momentum, and fill in your application and set up a time to chat with my girl, Natasha. She's amazing. Okay, so let's dive into what it really takes to grow from 100,000 to 500,000 in revenue. So I was chatting at an event about two years ago, I was in Hawaii with a bunch of badass women entrepreneurs, and a woman was there. Her name is Lee Richter, she's a friend of mine. And Lee is someone that I completely admire. In fact, when we were on that retreat, I said, Lee, I want you to mentor me and she is all over the place. Like if you follow her on Instagram, or on Facebook, you're gonna see her, like snapping pictures with celebrities left and right. She just knows everyone and she's been in the industry for a long time, or just in business for a long time. She's actually in the pet space, and has several companies that totaled together over 100 million in revenue. And I was talking with her and I told her I was telling her just a little bit about what was going on for me. And she's like, you know, the two biggest hurdles in business until you reach 10 million are going from 100,000 to 300,000 in revenue and surpassing that 300,000 to get to a million and then the next hurdle is 1 million to 3 million. And then after 3 million, it's basically the same until you hit 10 million. So I get it like when you're in a space when you're growing. And you're kind of doing almost everything alone, like you can build a six figure business on your own without having a lot of team or people supporting you. But then you hit this point where you can't just do everything anymore, you're going to need more support, right. And that usually happens depending on the type of business you have. Like for instance, and I say that because if you're selling fine jewelry, you know that that number might be a little bit different, it might be more like 250,000, or 300,000. Depending on the types of pieces you're doing. If you're selling more handmade jewelry, you know that might that number might be somewhere between 100 and 150,000 in revenue where things really start to shift, and it's hard to do everything yourself. And if you're someone like me, you might have already been like earlier on being like I already need help. Like I know it's time to invest and get support on my team. And so what I really want to walk you through some of the key shifts that need to happen. And a lot of these are like internal shifts, because part of it is like changing the way that you think about yourself and your business. And Chapter One in the Desired Brand Effect. We talk a lot about this. And I call it the difference between operating out of maker mindset. And I say operating out of it because there's no point in the fingers and operating out of a place of stepping into your role as the chief visionary officer or being a visionary leader.
And this really comes down to how you're approaching different parts of your business. And so like from a creative perspective, like a maker, someone operating out of maker mindset tends to be a little bit More like less plan, they're patching things together, they're more reactive. They're just doing things in real time, because that's all that they can handle in the moment. And I'm telling you like at different stages in business, you might fall back into this space. And if I'm honest with myself, there was a time this year when I've been in that Maker Mindset space, where we're kind of piecing things together, because we were a little bit short staffed on my team. Visionary Leadership, though, if you're stepping into that role means you're kind of in a place where you're being a lot more strategic things are planned out, you have a runway and you're knowing, you know, in advance what you're doing. And this allows you the space to be more creative. When you're operating out of maker mindset, when you're making decisions in your business, you often are a lot more emotional and your decision making process. And this means you can be, I'm going to use the word reactive again. But you don't think you're not thinking in terms of what's best for the business, you're thinking more in terms of like, what feels good to you. And while there's nothing wrong with that, it kind of lays the groundwork for you making decisions that aren't necessarily good for the business. They're just something that makes you feel good. And the best example that I can use, and from my own experience is in hiring like a lot of times I would hire people because I like them, and not really evaluating if they were the right person for the role. And even though I think I've gotten so much better, it still sneaks in sometimes we just had to let someone go on my team a couple of weeks ago, as I'm recording this, who I loved when I hired her. And she was doing great for a couple of months, and then all of a sudden, something shifted. And I don't know if it was something in her personal life, but she was messing things up and actually making our customers really mad. And a couple people reached out to me and I had to you know, and this has happened. I don't want to say this has happened before. But you know, I want to give my team the benefit of the doubt. But when it continued happening, I was like, Oh, we got to look into this. And when I found out what was happening, I was just like this is not right. And we had to let her go. And that here's the thing, too, is that sometimes people can be working with you for a very long time. And then their situation changes and they become checked out. And so it's it's having this ability to be a little bit more objective with your decision making as you step into your role as visionary leader, even if it sucks, because personally you don't want to, you know, hurt anyone's feelings and you like the person and all those things, right? So the next step with is with finances, right? You know, someone who operates out of maker mindset, they probably barely look at their bank account, they don't really know what their sales numbers are, they have no idea if they're reaching their goals or not. They're afraid to look at the numbers in case they're not what they think a visionary leader though steps into this place where they're being proactive. They're looking at the numbers, they check their banks every day. They're making projections, they use cash flow statements to understand like how much money's coming into the business. They're looking at long term goals and, and where their growth and where they want to go. And so they have that typically planned out in advance. They're not just like, ending the or saying, Oh, well, great, like my business grew this year. They're like thinking about it throughout the year. And way beyond that. From an operational perspective, someone operating out of maker mindset typically would be very disorganized. And I would put myself into this systems are not my thing, I'm going to be honest, I know that they are necessary for a business. And we have them and we develop them. And it's hard for me because it is not my thing. I don't enjoy it. They call me a systems breaker because of the way my mind operates. I personally don't need to have a lot of structure in order to thrive. But I am very unusual, and very different than most people and most people who end up working for others and becoming a part of another team require a structure to thrive. And I will tell you that the more structure you can create for yourself, even if you think you don't need it, the more you will thrive as a human and the more the people on your team will thrive as a human. And that's why from an operational standpoint, even if you're a solopreneur right now, and you're not thinking necessarily about hiring people, or you're kind of at that place where you feel super overwhelmed, and you're not sure what to do. It is important to start developing
operational structure, get organized inside your business, create systems, automate whatever you can, and create a create processes for how you do the things in your business. Even if it's just you for now. And here's the reason why. And I'm going to talk about this a little bit later in the episode more in depth. When you don't, it becomes really hard to hire people and the first thing someone will say, when they want to hire someone, they bring someone on and then they're like trying to train them. They're like, Oh my gosh, it's so much easier for me to just do this myself and then they end up firing the person and being stuck in the same spot. It's not that it's easier doing it yourself and doing it your way. It's that you don't have the proper things in place or aspects in place systems, tools, templates, onboarding, all the things in place to actually efficiently train someone to get the stuff off your plate. And that's why it's really important to get as much documented as you can out of your head, either in a video or on paper or something, whatever works for you, and so that you can get things off your plate down the road. And from a strategy standpoint, or strategic standpoint, typically someone operating out of maker mindset is very vague, they're oblivious, non committal, and kind of in that hopeful state, they're just like, Oh, I feel really good about this, I'm just hoping for the best kind of thing. Strategic people who are operating in a visionary leadership role, are a lot more specific, they see growth potential, and their future focus, and they take action on their longer term dreams. So there's once again, structure around that, and a lot of clarity on what needs to happen. And then finally, from a product perspective, makers have a really hard time getting out of the making. And that's why we call this maker mindset. They feel like they're the only ones who can do things. And if it's not them, then it doesn't mean that it's their piece of art. Someone who's operating out of a visionary leadership standpoint, realizes the power in training people in their methodology, so that they can be more creative and think about growing the business from an innovative perspective where they have more time to spend on innovating their products, which is key. Now, I mentioned this, because this is super, super important. I just really want to mention this. Because years and years ago, I was talking with a friend of mine, her name's Melissa, Joy Manning. And we both started our businesses around the same time, she was one of the first people I interviewed for Flourish and Thrive Academy. And she told this story that she was a total control freak, and she couldn't hurt, she broke her wrist and she couldn't make the jewelry anymore. And she had to hire people if she wanted to keep her business open to actually make her jewelry. And it was the hardest thing for her to get her plate. And she didn't realize how much she was holding herself back from growth. Once she started doing that the amount of jewelry that they could produce was like tenfold and her business took off. And so I want to remind you, that you might be shutting yourself off to some brilliant gifts. If you're always holding the reins, so tight on being the maker in your business. Once again, shift one is really about creating that mindset shift in the way that you look at yourself and how you're showing up in your business. So step two of this is to lean into your strengths and hire all your weaknesses. Now, I referenced this before.
But I think a lot of times we've been taught, oh, like, you're not good at that thing. Or you need to improve your grades in this particular subject. Like from childhood. We're taught that like we need to achieve and be good at everything. Well, I have to tell you be honest with you and tell you that no one's good at everything. That's why certain people maybe thrive in math and other people thrive in, like creative writing or English or something like that things with words. Some people are excellent at art others aren't. It's really about understanding and getting clear on what your zone of genius is when it comes to creativity and the strengths that you that you own as a person. And also being really honest with yourself with what you're not good at. It's easy to push off things like sales, which I feel like is a very beginner conversation, like people who don't want to do their own sales a lot of times in the beginning, or is because more of a fear of rejection over the fact that they really just don't want to do sales. And I do think that there's value in outsourcing sales and hiring out sales at a certain point. But in the beginning, you were always going to be your best salesperson. So that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about the parts of your business that you're not good at. And typically, visionaries, creatives, people who start a product based business, depending on your personality profiles, aren't necessarily going to be the people that are excellent at managing people that are going to be the people who are really good at the detail oriented stuff that are going to necessarily be the people who are crunching the numbers and amazing at finance. While there's always exceptions to the rule. These are things that need to eventually be hired out, for instance, like hiring a bookkeeper to do your accounting, your monthly accounting, because that's like time consuming and a lot of administrative work and it's pretty easy to find people who will do that kind of work for you. Or it might be bringing in trusted advisors who advise your business and give you insights on directions that they think you could go into. Might be hiring a coach to help you get unstuck and help you see the things that you can't see in your business. Working in a coaching program like we have over at momentum. It might be bringing on a virtual assistant, right, someone who can like, you know, deal with some of the administrative tasks in your business. For instance, I a few years ago hired an executive assistant, my business would necessarily be a lot more profitable if I didn't have an executive assistant. But I know that by having an executive assistant beside me, I'm able to get so much of the busy work off my plate because they can do things like research book plans, handle errands, deal with some of all the little stuff that needs to happen in my life. And in my business, that takes a lot of time, but it's not necessary for me to do. And so recently, I heard a brand new assistant and adore her name's Lisa, she happens to be a jewelry designer too, which is very exciting. And she's based here in Arizona, and I moved my executive assistant who was Sarah before from she was part time, now I have a full time executive assistant. And it's like literally changing my life, I love it so much. So think about different things that you could do, maybe it's a some sort of assistant that you could bring in. And then eventually, over time, as your business starts growing to the multiple, six figures, you're definitely going to want to think about bringing in employees or contracting out things to independent contractors who can run or do parts of your business for you. Now, I want to talk about those last two for a minute. And we can kind of rope in virtual assistant employees and contractors all together. Because here's the thing, I you know, as much as possible, I would advise smaller businesses as much as you can to hire people on a contract basis. And just what this means is that they're not technically employees of your company, obviously, you want to do this legally. So this is not people who are coming into your office every day, where you set hours, and stuff like that. These are people who work on their own time, they're typically working remote, and you work together to set the schedule that works collaboratively or whatever, between you two, they technically have their own tools. And I would always advise to check the laws in your state or wherever you live to make sure that this is whatever I'm saying here is legal where you are. But the brilliance about independent contractors is it allows, first of all independent contractors typically enjoy working that way. They're not necessarily employee minded people, they like the flexibility of being able to have several freelance clients or gigs. And or just working for one company on a long term freelance arrangement, because that allows them a little bit more control over their schedule. So if they wanted to take a vacation, you know, they could just take the vacation, it doesn't necessarily have to be approved or something like that. And there's a whole bunch of benefits to that. The difference is, is that you don't have as much control. But I would say in the beginning, hiring part time, freelancers or independent contractors to help you with things can be a great way to start getting help without the added expense of hiring a full time employee. Now employees are awesome for a different reason. And I love having employees. Now as a business owner who's running seven plus figure business, multi seven figure business. And he and several companies I should say, like group together as well. And the reason for that is because you end up having a lot more control over the outcomes, right. And so, for instance, like, if I have someone working for me full time, you know, I can dictate their hours I get, they have to be required to be on meetings, they have to show up on certain dates, they I can approve time off or not, you know, all those things so that, you know, my business is supported during the times that I need it to be. Now as, as an employer, I have a tendency to be fairly flexible, it's bitten me in the bootay several times, because you know, I have a huge value of flexibility and free freedom in my life. And I realize over the years that structure, and creating a regular schedule is invaluable to people who are just starting out because it creates stability for you and your company. And so that's something to think about. Step number two, lean into your strengths and hire out your weaknesses, this is very, very important. Now, step number three of growing from 100,000, to about 500,000 in revenue is to push down low leverage tasks. And here is what I mean by that. We have a lot of stuff on our plates. And these things are all related. It's related to the weaknesses, but there's a lot of things that you might enjoy doing, but they don't really require you to do it. For instance, like some people actually really love administrative mind numbing work, because it allows them to zone out, right. So they might enjoy like, they might be task people and they're like checking things off the list. And so what ends up happening is they end up focusing on the easiest stuff to do first and procrastinate on the things that are a little bit more challenging. And so what ends up happening is important functions of the business never get addressed. Right. So for instance, I've had we've been a little bit short staffed this year, so I've had to take on a lot of extra roles. I'm kind of doing like three roles right now. I'm pretty efficient and fast worker so it's been okay I'm kind of I was getting to a point burnout. And we're finally bringing on some people to fill in the copywriting roles and some of the things that I've been doing.
However, like, I know that when I'm overwhelmed, and I see like 20 things that I have to do, what I end up doing are the things that are the easiest to do first, because if I feel satisfied if if I make a little checkbox and check those things off the list, right, so it feels good, and it feels like you're getting a lot done. But what ends up happening is a lot of times the things that are actually going to move the needle forward in your business, like maybe making the sales calls or creating the strategic partnerships, or, you know, dealing with, you know, failed payments or whatever it might be in your business or collections and stuff like that, which are important functions of the business that you need to do. Those things get pushed on the backburner because they they are emotionally more taxing, but they're super important for the function of the business. And so when you push down lower leverage tasks, what that just means is you get them off your plate, and you push them down to someone who could do them for less money than you're willing to make an hour. Or they're just lower leverage. And what I tend to have people do, and there's exercises that we offer for this in our programs, is to make a list of all the stuff that they're doing. Put $1 value to them anywhere from five to $1,000 an hour, like if you were to focus on these things like how much what's the return on investment? Or what could you pay someone to actually do those things in your business. And a lot of that administrative work that's less than $100 An hour should be delegated to someone else on your team. And this could be a virtual assistant, an executive assistant, an administrative assistant, or any sort of team player that's on your team. So you want to always be pushing down tasks that you don't need to do, especially the lower level things. I had this written like three times times, get it off your plate, get it off your plate, get it off your plate, that's really, really important.
Now step four is really about operational organization. So this is not fun for creative people. For the most part. Most of us are not necessarily enjoy years of like managing people creating protocols having onboarding processes, having off boarding processes, creating systems documenting things. If you're anything like me, it seems boring if you're more of a Virgo type, and I say Virgo type because most of the Virgos I know are super organized and a little bit OCD and all retentive, sorry, no offense, any Virgos out there. I love you. My mother had a lot of Virgo in her chart. Two of my best friends are Virgos and they are super organized. And everything's in its place, I have a sister who's a Virgo, you will never see her towels unfolded. Everything is like perfectly aligned in the cupboards. And there is value in that I I kind of wish that I had that trait, but I don't. And but what I'm saying about this really is the organization inside your business is extremely important if you ever want to be able to grow because the tighter your ship is running from a place of having as many things that aren't manually done as possible, meaning automate, automate, automate. When we talk about automation over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy, you're probably thinking the first thing that's coming to your head is like marketing automation are things that you can get off your plate, but there's so many things that you can do over time that if you use tools like Zapier or tech, other technology that can, you know, like say you're processing an order, you hit a button if you have it automated in the right way. And then that moves everything through the next step. And it's just a series of hitting buttons instead of manually moving paper around, or trying to find things in a filing cabinet and stuff like that. Or it really it also requires you maybe to document systems or your way of doing things. The first place I always recommend people to start is with the way that they produce their jewelry. So document your process of how you make things, because this is one of the easiest functions of your business to get off your plate. You can hire jewelers or metalsmith or train people to actually make jewelry for you if you document how you make those things. And the reason why I say this is because unless you're one of a kind artists, the repetition and the reproduction of the making process of your jewelry is not something that you need to do. It might be something you enjoy doing, but it's not something you need to be doing. Because when did you rather just be creating new things instead of doing the same thing over and over? I think most people would answer yes to that. So the more you can document that and then other functions of your business. So you want to document how your your you know how you ship orders all the administrative tasks in your business. You want to document all of these sales functions in your business. You want to document all the marketing functions of your business. You want to document all the way all the operational functions in your business. You want to document how your manager team stuff like that. So there's a lot more to that I'm not going to go into all the steps right now. But these are important things to look at, the more that you can document these things, the easier it is to bring in people that will help you grow. And then here's the final piece is like once you kind of have those ducks in a row, and you start bringing people and this allows you to focus on revenue and actually sell more and increase your profit margins. And it this might sound obvious, but the last piece of this is really just getting the sales coming into your business for growth. So what will happen, and you might have already experienced this, or you might be experiencing this now or maybe at the precipice of on the verge of experiencing this is it as you try to grow if these things aren't in order, and you're not really stepping into your role as a Visionary Leader or Chief Visionary Officer of your business, you feel like you're there's a lot of heavy drag, or you're like pulling like sacks of flour, sacks of rocks up the hill, because there it's not, it's not moving quickly, you're not you don't have that ability to kind of fly. And so, you know, you might have heard the same before, like What Got You Here Won't Get You There, what got you to 100,000 in revenue, or the or low six figures is not going to get you to mid six figures. And it's not going to get you to a million dollars in revenue either. So those are some of the things that I think that you should look at right now. If you are someone who is wanting to grow your business, you do want to have a multi six figure business, maybe you want to scale to seven figures someday, super important.
So this is the first part of my two part conversation on what it really takes to grow from 100,000 to 500k. Next week, we are taking it to the next level and talking about an inside look at a seven figure jewelry company. And when I also want to mention I have a very special training coming up called an inside look at a seven figure company. So if you're interested in learning more about that, this is a bonus that I developed for our launch team and for people who purchase the Desired Brand Effect book, but I'm going to be doing a special version for them. And then a public version. If you're interested in learning more about that head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/sevenfigure , flourishthriveacademy.com/seven figures. And you can also check out the show notes, there will be a link there. And you can register for this masterclass and check out what it's all about. I'm going to go in more detail. I'm going to show you some of the frameworks that we use my company and a lot more. I think you're gonna really enjoy it. So if you're interested in really seeing what it takes to grow, then I'd love to support you in that. So let's do this. Alright, this is Tracy Matthews signing off. If you haven't grabbed the Desired Brand Effect book, please click the link in the show notes and join me there. Pick up the book, tell me what you think. And I am so grateful every single week for your ratings and reviews of this podcast for your ratings and reviews of the book. And for everything else in between. It is an honor to come into your earbuds every week. Thank you so much and have an awesome holiday season and rest of the year. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help 1000s of creative businesses inside and outside the jewelry space use their creativity to make money. Make sure that you're subscribed to Thrive by Design on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are played. And we'd love to hear what you think. Please rate and review the show and if you're inspired please share this with your friends. Cheers to seeing you flourish and thrive.