Find Out The Biggest Lie Guroobs are Telling You About Podcasting

Find Out The Biggest Lie Guroobs are Telling You About Podcasting

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For most designers, making a $100,000 salary is what it will take for you to quit your job or achieve your goals.

I hear it all the time. “Tracy, I want to make $100,000 a year. What does it really take?” The truth is, it’s… complicated.

Someone who is bringing $1 million in revenue still might not be able to take home $100,000 if their business isn't run like a well-oiled machine. At the same time, a smart business owner bringing in $250,000 could still take home that $100K if they do it right.

People like you and I, we’re idea generators. Seeing our visions come to life is what really drives us. Finances, profitability, break-even points, margins… Those aren’t the things that come naturally to us.

But it can be learned!

You don’t have to sacrifice your creative passion to be a smart business owner. When you really hone your visionary and leadership skills, you will be blown away by what you can accomplish.

When I started my first company, Tracy Matthews Design Inc., I was NOT approaching my business like a visionary.

That’s totally changed. Instead of CEO, I call myself the Chief Visionary Officer.

That has a better ring to it, don’t you think?

So how did I go from being a hopeful hobbyist with no business experience to the CVO of Flourish and Thrive Academy? It started with a simple goal to transform my jewelry business so I could take home $100,000 a year. Let’s talk about it…

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"If you think that just working harder in your business is the thing that's going to make the change, then you're doing the wrong things. And this is why I think it's really powerful to kind of call this out and to be a little absurd in what I'm going to say right here."

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.

Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive By Design podcast, Episode 213. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews, Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, and I have jewelry brands, product brands, businesses of all types who are selling a physical product ask me all the time, like what does it really take, Tracy? I want to make $100,000 in salary. That's what I want to bring home. What does it really take in order to do that, and if we're looking at a business, you know, I think most people think of like their revenue as what their take home is, and that really has very little to do with what you actually take home when you're running a business. That might seem obvious but when I was talking last year, we had this really popular episode that I did. It was basically called the same thing, but a different number - What It Really Takes to Make $50,000 In Salary As A Jewelry Designer, and that number came to me because I was interviewing a lot of designers who wanted help growing their business online and getting more sales and they said, "You know, I don’t really want to have a big business. I just want to replace my income from my regular job." All these people had, that I was talking to, pretty much for the most part, had side hustles with their jewelry company and they really wanted to take it full-time and they just wanted to replace what they were making at their regular job. And most of them said, like - I'm like, so what is your salary at your regular job? And most of them said, "About 50,000." And so that episode came about. And it would be awesome, like I would love it if I could live my life on 50,000 but the fact of the matter is, I live in a very expensive city and unless I wanted to have like four roommates, which as a 48-year-old woman, I definitely do not want to have that many roommates, it's pretty much impossible to live on that kind of salary in an expensive city like New York. And so, you know, I have designers who we worked with for years and many that are coming into our community who are either working a full-time job and trying to build their side hustle so that they can eventually leave their full-time job or to really build a side hustle business that is bringing in significant income. And a lot of these people live in expensive areas, maybe not New York City, but they live in other areas, and they don’t want , really want to, you know, be doing a ton of things. They want to just focus on one thing and grow their business, and so for them, making $100,000, six-figure salary is the thing that is going to allow them to either quit their, you know, more than likely, quit their full-time job and work full time in their business or I mean, have a really awesome side hustle if you're making 100K as a side hustle, pretty good.

So I wanted to talk a little bit about this because everyone's got different goals and if you don’t want to make $100,000 in salary, please listen to this episode anyway because I think that you're going to really get some insight into what it takes to grow your business and the things that people don’t think about a lot. And so, I mean, there's no way, in like a 30 or 40-minute episode that I'm able to cover everything because building a business that's profitable and successful has a lot to do with so many things. Everything that we teach here at Flourish and Thrive Academy from our laying the foundation course to what we teach in our Diamond Insiders, to what we taught for many, many years in our Multiply Your Profits course and also everything we're doing to help our designers scale in our SOS Coaching program and in our intermediate intensive Train Your Customers To Buy From You Online. So there's so many, so many ways that you can approach this, but there are some certain principles and you know, in the beginning it starts with first and foremost, having a scalable product that is beautifully designed that people want to buy. You know, that's the first step of it and the second step of it is really about you stepping into your role as the chief visionary officer of your company or CEO or leader - whatever you want to call yourself. I like to call myself a chief visionary officer because visionaries are creative. They are idea generators, and they also like to reach goals and see their vision come to life. That's one thing that is really powerful for them. And so to most people who start a little side hustle hobby business, that's not something that necessarily comes naturally unless you like really hone in on your leadership and visionary skills. And so, in this episode today, I'm going to walk you through some of the key things, not everything, that I think is really important that will help you get to a place where you can pay yourself 100,000 in salary. And I've got a lot to get into, so let me just start by saying this: When I started my first business, Tracy Matthews Designs, Inc., to be honest, I have to be honest with you, like I wasn’t really approaching my business like a rock star designer, as I like to call them, or even a visionary. I wasn’t really the best with the numbers in my business. I was really focused on sales, but I wasn’t really focused on profitability and breakeven points and margins and dealing with the finances. I financed my business, quite frankly, on credit cards and we were doing a lot in revenue. You know, I grew my business fast. I think my first year in business where kind of the first six months, I didn't sell much. I did 50,000 in sales and this is back in the 90s. The second year, I did 150. Third year, I did 300, and so my business was growing pretty quickly. My primary source of revenue was coming through wholesale accounts, so that meant my margins were small, and I didn't really understand what it was going to take, and so instead of like thinking, "Okay, here's what I want to make," I just kept putting money back into the business and taking money out when I could to pay my bills. And so, I think, I want to remind you that is that you know, we all start somewhere and we're not, like, you might look at me as someone who has been an entrepreneur for 25 years or many other people who are like total dollars in our community, and think like, you're looking at, you know, they're like 10 steps in or 20 steps in in their business, not like where they started from. It's like you're not seeing the middle piece. And this is why I want to bring this to the forefront because when I was living in San Francisco, right after the dot com bomb, rents went down significantly. I actually moved in with my brother and my sister-in-law; they weren’t married at the time, but I moved in with them. My rent was really cheap and I put most of money back into the business and it wasn’t until I lived in New York City that I really needed to start making more money. And at that point, I was doing upwards of like $700,00 in revenue and yeah, I think the next year we were close to 1,000,000 when I first moved here, but even then, I wasn’t paying my, like it was hard for me to even pay myself $100,000 on that because of the way I ran my business. And that doesn’t mean, I think that someone doing $200,000 if they were running their business properly could take home 100 if the price point was right, the margins were right, and all those things. But someone who is even doing 1,000,000 might not be able to take home 100,000 if their business isn't run like a well-oiled machine. And so, I'm telling you all this is because it's about as you know, lots of mentors out there, including my mentor, Marie Forleo, say, it's about progress not perfection. And so, there's no reason that you should judge yourself based on where you are, but if you aren’t making the income that you want to make, there's a couple of things in this episode that I think you should look at, and this is a much bigger conversation. The things that I'm going to talk about today are not inclusive of everything that you need to be looking at, but it has a lot to do with your numbers, your margins, your breakeven points, and all those things. And so, we are just wrapping up right now, our first ever Train Your Customers To Buy From You Online Intensive because we have a lot of students in our community who struggle, like their businesses, they're getting sales from certain ways. Like they're doing in-person shows. They are selling to their friends and family. They might have some sales on Etsy or a few trickles of sales here and there from their website, or maybe they're even selling wholesale, but they have really struggled to train their customers to buy from them online, and they don’t know how to do it. However, there are certain people that we have mentored for years who are crushing it, you know, training their customers to buy from them online. And it's not hard for them. And so, this conversation, you know, that started at the beginning of this year and I'm like, how can I help my students succeed with their online business. Now we have an amazing coaching program called SOS. It's a three-year program with a one-year commitment that we work, like at a high level, with our designers. It's a one-on-one coaching, so it's really different. But there are people who aren’t really positioned for that because they're not at that rock star designer phase where they can invest in that. And in fact, that's part of the reason why we started this Train Your Customers Intensive because it was like a really short period of time, an intense amount of like focus on the business to help you start moving the needle so you can start seeing results. So eventually, you know, you could, you would be getting sales and revenue to your website. And so it's been an interesting experiment because we have so many designers in this intensive that have come up against their own stuff, thinking like, because I think that there is this idea that if you build it, they will come. Do you remember that movie Field of Dreams? Kevin Costner said something or like there's a voice from the heavens that says something - I should watch the movie again, it's been many years - that says something like if you build it, they will come. And so they build a baseball stadium and the field of dreams, all the things. Well, I think a lot of people feel like, and you can raise your hand, no shame in saying this, that if you put a website, that people will come. But the problem is, a lot of times there are serious issues. Number one - there is no consistent traffic-driving strategy or way to get people to the website. Number two - people have crappy websites. They are just terrible, and they're not set up for conversions and people don’t even know. They just, you know, we are huge fans of Shopify over here at Flourish and Thrive Academy. In fact, you can head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/shopify if you haven’t moved your site over to Shopify and get a free trial. Really great idea, if you're thinking about it. But I'm saying, I'm telling you this because people just think they can pick some Shopify theme and plug in images that are poorly shot, that aren't graphically compelling, that aren’t that are like the margin, because they haven’t resized the images the right way, the margins are all wonky. There's nothing about the fold except for like literally like their logo, and people aren’t buying your logo. And they just, they really don’t understand what it takes. Or you know, there is, I have to be honest, like, because this is my job here, is like they haven’t fully fleshed out their product design and people expect - I think that there's the thing, like they haven’t fully fleshed out their product design and really created a strong, cohesive collection that is something that is actually going to be scalable outside of like a crafty market. And I'm saying that with all due respect to all types of artists here, but there has to be like a high level of design. Anyone can do it. Trust me. If I became a successful, well-known designer that was selling in 350 stores around the world, had tons of press, reinventing myself, now I get inquires and referrals all the time with zero marketing for my business - anyone can do this. Because if you saw what I was doing in the beginning, you would be like, oh, my god - it looks nothing like you do today. But this is all an evolution and a like process of discovery and me really exploring my creativity and having evolved as a designer. And with that being said, you know, I think a lot of people don’t really think about what it takes to get their website converting. So we launched this intensive. We're closing enrollment in a couple of days and I just want to make sure that you have an opportunity to apply, if this is something that's interesting to you, if you're interested in getting off Etsy altogether, if you're interested in knowing how to really convert friends and families into friends and families and previous customers, I should say, into your biggest referral partners and traffic drivers and you are willing to step outside your comfort zone, to do something that might seem silly but actually works to get sales. And here is what I mean by that. Wendy, who is participating in the Train Your Customers Intensive, she's also in our SOS Coaching Program - she was like, I want to give a shout out - she posted this in our group the other day - I want to give a shout out to coach Chelsea Farmer because Chelsea did an entire training about creating community around your brand and part of that, this is a really great strategy for businesses with a lower price point product, jewelry businesses with a lower price point product - probably won't work as well for super fine jewelry because it's a different kind of demographic, but Wendy took Chelsea's strategy for creating community around a Facebook group. Within a week or so, people were asking to buy the stuff that she was posting in the group. And if you want to train your customers to buy from you online, there are so many different ways to do it based on your business model. You just, you're just not, you're not aware of all the things that you could be doing, and so, you're not doing it, and that's why people aren’t buying. And so, if you'd like to join us, it starts August 13 with my grass roots training and it's ending at the end of October, just in time for holiday sales, so that you'll be totally prepared. You'll have your website ready to go and be competent. And if you apply before July 30th and you're accepted and you put your payment in, then you have an opportunity to get a free website review, which is a huge part of this process, by Erin Alexander or Jessica Bauer, our conversion coaches, and they are masters in user experience and in kind of knowing how to move the customer to the sale. So you can head on over to, if this sounds interesting to you, head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/trainmycustomers and apply today. I'll also have a link in the show notes, so make sure that you grab that. And we'll also explain, like everything, all the workshops that we're doing during the Intensive, and it's really designed to be able to help you give consistent feedback throughout the Intensive. So we, we basically do a training. There's a feedback loop the next, later on in the week, so that you can get literally direct feedback on everything that you're doing, and it's an awesome way to keep your business moving forward and get your website working for you for the holiday season because that's what I'm talking about.

So I want to talk about what it really takes to make $100,000. And some of the things that I'm going to - make $100,000 in salary - let me be clear. Because I give you, we do a ton of episodes on how to make in your business, but this is really about what it's going to take to make $100,000 in personal salary. So something really interesting to me when I closed my first company and started my second business, TM Jewelry Group, Inc., or just Tracy Matthews.com if you want to check it out, the interesting part to me was that I launched a fine jewelry company where it was direct to consumer. My margins were really high. My overhead was really low. And all I needed to make $100,000 a year in personal salary was about five clients a month. And that, literally, blew my mind. And I remember at the beginning, I mean my goal was a little bit higher. I really wanted to make $150,000 a year, and so I went for that. My goal in the beginning was to make, to literally make 15,000 in profits in month from my business. And so if I had anywhere between 5 and 10 customers, I could do that, and if I had five engagement ring customers or people doing higher price point items, that was very easy. And thinking back to my first company with lower price point product, you know, were shipping like over 1000 units a month, you know, and I would be having months that were, you know, anywhere from, you know, in the height of it, $30 to $150 to $200,000 months. The interesting part about that was that because we were selling at wholesale price points and lower price points, we had to sell so much more product in order to make money. So pricing or price point of your product in your business model can be something that you might want to take a look at if this is really important to you. Because if you are someone who wants to design at a fine jewelry price point, it will be a lot easier if you have the customers to make that kind of money in a very short period of time, if you have the right customers and the right product and it's aligned and you're really doing this train your customers philosophy that we teach in SOS. So, that's one ah ha moment that I had. And you know, I remember when first launched Multiple Your Profits, we're calling, you know, the leader of the company a CEO, and I realized, you know, a lot of people don’t resonate with that term because it's not a very creative thing. They're like, I don’t even want to own a corporation. That's not what I'm in business for. And so the first time we did a refresh on the program, I changed the language to talk about mindset because really, your mindset and your approach to business is going to be the key to making this change or growing your business and reaching your financial goals. And so, I changed the term to chief visionary officer. I adopted that as my role - chief visionary officer - and I called basically people who weren’t operating at a chief visionary officer mindset, I call, I told them, like I basically called it out as a maker mindset. But you know, how I would call it now is really like someone who is kind of a hopeful hobbyist. They're thinking about like working in the business instead of working on the business, and this is a huge distinction between these people. So this is really polarizing and this episode is going to be polarizing so I'm warning you in the beginning. It's hard for me to say this out loud and like to our thousands of listeners every single week, but I think it's an important conversation to have because if you think that just working harder in your business is the thing that's going to make the change, then you're doing the wrong things. And this is why I think it's really powerful to kind of call this out and to be a little absurd in what I'm going to say right here. And so, that's what it's all about.

I want to get to the teaching points first, but then I'm going to talk a little bit about the differences in these mindsets, between what I call a hopeful hobbyist and what I call a rock star designer. And they are very different and obviously, there is a middle ground in all of these things, and like, some people might be just aspiring rock star designers and they're on their way and they're not quite there yet. But they see where they're going. But some people operate in a hopeful hobbyist mode and they just don’t realize that they are acting like a hobbyist. In fact, it was a huge, like stab in the guts to me when Andrew Carnesi, my accountant many years ago - we worked with him for a very brief time. You have an expensive hobby. You need to read this book. So that was like soul crushing, but after I like took the bitter pill and started reading this book called The E-Myth, I realized - you know what I was? A hopeful hobbyist. Even with the business generating 700, 800, nearly, and even nearly $1,000,000 in revenue at a certain point a year, that I was operating like someone who was a hobbyist. Even though I was making a lot of money, I wasn’t running my business efficiently and I wasn’t working on my business and so, the key points of this are being about, about being really strategic.

So the first part about this that you really need to understand, and if this is not something that - you can Google how to find out a breakeven point. We had a whole training in our Multiply Your Profits Program, so if you almost multiply your profits, you can certainly look up this model that Mary did about breakeven point in business. You can also Google around and find out what a breakeven point is, but it's basically the amount of money, based on your particular business margins, and it will vary if you're a wholesale company or if you are a someone selling direct to consumer, and or if you have a hybrid model where you're selling in multiple ways and you have different price points for the same product - it's the amount of money that you need to bring in to break even. And so, if you want to make $100,000 in salary, you need to find out what your breakeven point with your $100,000 salary is in sales, in revenue, and go for that. The problem is, is that most people aren’t even aware of what it will take based on their business model to actually break even, and so, they just like keep cranking away, making money, and then spending money on supplies or silly things and don’t get that like this is all affecting like the symbiotic relationship with the cash flow and the profits in your business. And so, that's the first and foremost, most important thing that you need to understand clearly - is like what does it take to break even every single month in your business. In fact, I'm in this process we're doing, we're making a lot of changes to the internal structure of Flourish and Thrive Academy and we're also making a lot of changes to the external programs that we offer over here and effort to really be able to support the serious students a little bit more. We will still have some courses, but we're really leaning towards more intensive style programs and coaching because we know that we want to work with rock star designers, people, or aspiring rock star designers - the people who are really committed to their growth in business and that's why we're bringing more intensive style programs to Flourish and Thrive, like the Train Your Customers Intensive and other things that will hopefully be rolling out in the new year because we are really committed to helping teach you, but also to helping you implement because implementation is the only way that you're going to get results. Not thinking about your business, not just learning - it's about making stuff happen.

So let's talk a little bit about business modeling because I think the first thing that you need to think about if you are growing your sales, and you want to make $100,000, are you selling at retail margins or are you selling at wholesale margins? Because at wholesale margins, because they're low, you have to think about it this way and think about how this affects your overall profitability - how much do you really need to sell in jewelry if you had very low inventory to make $100,000? Like if I had to guess, for most people, it would be somewhere between $250 and $300,000. There's a very good chance that you would have to make a lot more in sales if you're only selling wholesale in order to make 100,000 in revenue. Because there is a lot that goes into producing volume orders. There is more expense to your business when you're selling wholesale because you're doing more units volume. The great thing is that you get bigger orders. That's like the biggest benefit to it. But think about it - like if you're supplying inventory and you're doing consignment, like you have like a wholesale style business model and you're doing consignment, that inventory is on your books, not on the other customers' books, and so, you're floating that. So it doesn’t mean like just putting jewelry in a store is really going to be the thing that is going to get you there. It's actually the money coming in the door and if you are doing consignment, that's like money out the door for as long as it's there. And I know that's the model that a lot of retailers are doing. This is why I have really, really pushed people to consider learning how to market directly to consumers and build their thousand true fans base. Because if they don’t, if you don't, you've heard me talk about this potentially on other episodes and on our Instagram account and if you're not following us, make sure that you head on over to @Flourish_Thrive on Instagram and Twitter. We don’t Tweet that much, we do Instagram all the time, but the thing that I talk about in stories all the time is like how is this potential Barney's bankruptcy, by the time this episode airs, Barney's may have filed for bankruptcy, an indicator of what is to happen to the nature of brick and mortar. I mean, for years, we have heard about stores going out of business because of the trend for shopping is online, and there was a statistic that Elle Hill, who is also another jeweler, she does really fine, high end jewelry consulting for big brands like Blue Nile. She was saying that 25% of all luxury products will be purchased online in like two years. And so, if you think about that, for even bridge jewelry, demi fine jewelry and like costume jewelry like bridge jewelry, demi fine, like it's easy to sell that online. But even fine jewelry is I mean, I've proved that like almost 10 years ago when I started my company. I just got like three more inquiries this week of people who were referred to me who just saw my website, they got a referral from a happy customer and I literally can't take on any more jewelry customers just because I'm so busy with everything else that I'm doing. And it's a high class problem to have, but it's a serious problem because I don’t only want to be able to deliver the best service, and so you got to think about that. Like how hard to want to work? Do you want to be cranking out that much money? And there have been so many designers who I have seen that have successful businesses, low price point, low margins - they cannot get out of this wholesale rat race or this in-person rat race because they won't take the time to step back and take a look at their business and work on their business. They're making a lot of money. I mean, they're bringing in like over six figures, sometimes multiple six figures but they don’t, won't take the time, or they refuse to give themselves space or step back enough to look inside the business and really work on like the solutions to the problems that they're having. And so, this is interesting because if we go back to the hopeful hobbyist and the rock star designer, even those these designers who are like this that are making money, unless they decide to change themselves, they will never change. They're always going to be stuck reacting in their business, and it's a struggle. If you are selling direct to consumer or at retail margins, you know, there's two ways you can do this - like obviously, like concierge service where people meet you in person in your office or in your home - you could do shows where you invest money into and you show up and then you have to stand there all day or hire someone to stand there, which is different, or you can focus on your website, and the expenses there might be advertising some day or it's just like your time, figuring out the marketing, getting it all going. So there's different expenses attached to each of those and they're not all the same. But the thing that is cool about selling retail is that you are selling at a much higher profit margin. And if you can create things in limited quantities and if you listen to the podcast that I did with Austin Brawner a couple of months ago, I'll also link it in the show notes, all about customer lifetime value, what his declaration was like if you're not developing new product regularly, you're shooting yourself in the foot in your ability to grow. And so, I just want you to think about that. Like if you - we have a couple of designers in our community who drop, launch and release collections all the time and they do really well but they're struggling to sell their ready-to-wear collections and my feeling is that it doesn’t look fresh to their consumers, and so the reason why the one of a kind pieces sell so quickly is because they're new and they're different and there's a psychology behind that. And so, part of training them is to mix things up - maybe pull things away for a while and then open and release those, you know, ongoing collections. Anyway, back to this. If you have really strong retail margins and let's say at the end of the day, your profit margins are about 50%, a minimum, more than likely, you would be doing about 150 at a minimum to be able, I mean, actually that would be like someone who is super baller and like with no expenses. And I honestly think that's almost impossible, but that means someone that's like, has a really good margins, more than like 4x cost of expense and labor - minimum 150 but more than likely, they would have to be making 200 to 250 in order to bring home $100,000 in salary. And that's with a very small team and very little inventory on hand, that they're buying stuff like as they need it and that they're really tight with their expenses and their overhead. And so, that's something to think about too.

The next step of this is that you need to be responsible with spending versus investing, and they are two different things. And this goes back to that hopeful hobbyist and chief visionary officer conversation because if you are responsible for how much money you're spending in your business versus investing in your business, obviously there is a need to reorder supplies, and you'll need tools and you'll to invest in things in your business that way. But a lot of people will go like, oh a gem show - and this is how I used to operate. I would say like, okay, here's my budget for the gem show - sometimes I wouldn’t even think about the budget, I would just look at how much was in my bank account or how much room I had on my credit cards and I would go, buy a bunch of stuff, no plans for how I was going to design with them, no thought about like was this right for the season, these are just like new gemstones, like what am I going to do with this. I'd buy a ton of stuff and then I'd be like, you know, walking around. I'm like, oh this pliers looks cool and I buy that, and you know, Rio Grande, and keep buying more stuff or you know, wherever I was buying materials at the time. And I'm saying this because like, obviously, you do need to spend money on that kind of stuff, but are you spending responsibly and are these things that you are going to use. Because what I found out many years later is I was stuck with $150,000 in unused inventory and some of that, I still have in a box. I got rid of most of it, but I still have leftover beads from like 15 years ago and gemstones that I never use because I was just like, oh, this is pretty - it was like bright, shiny object syndrome - and I was just buying it. And there is a difference to investing because I think investing, the investing approach into your business is like, I need to invest in these gemstones or investing in these new tools because we need them for x, y, and z, and here's the plan on how we're going to pay it off. Or, you know that you don’t know anything and you value investing in consultants and coaches and people who are going to help you grow your business, and so, you look at that as an investment instead of an expense. Because a lot of times, we can't see what we can't see. In fact, I was listening to my girl, Amy Porterfield's podcast, just today as I was lounging on a little deck because I'm recording this actually on a Saturday, so I had some peace and quiet. And she was talking about how she was in the podcast, this particular podcast, about how she went to entre leadership and how she had maybe like dropped the ball a little bit on training herself on how to be a better leader. And I have to tell you that like, I really respect her for admitting that, because I feel like we all need help at different stages in business, and quite frankly, that girl is probably going to do $10,000,000 in revenue in her business. It doesn't stop. You always need to be investing in yourself, your education, in your leadership skills and in your ability to grow as an entrepreneur. And that is an investment that is so different than an expense. You can't think of it that way. And then this kind of brings me into like some of the core principles of acting like a rock star designer versus a hopeful hobbyist because it really starts about with mindset, about how you view yourself and your role in your business, responsibility because it, you are, you are the only person who is responsible for your success. So you can blame it on everything else, but if you are not taking full responsibility for your success, then lordy help you, because I have a feeling that you'll have, you will really struggle growing in business ever if you don’t because it's your responsibility to grow your business. And also acting like the chief visionary officer of your business, and that means working on your business, coming up with ideas, building out strategies, inspiring your team if you have one, and continuing to grow. So, you know, whether you want to build a small and mighty company or you want to do something, be selling millions of dollars worth of jewelry someday, it doesn’t really matter. But you can be a chief visionary officer in either of those. And I say this because multiple six figure and seven figure designers really think and act differently.

They don’t act like, most of them, don’t act like hopeful hobbyists and the successful ones that are really making money and have leveraged businesses and what I mean by leveraged is that they're not working 24/7, that they have tools to hire people when they need help, that they're not reactive in their business, that they're not still doing all the production because that usually in a six, the low six to like sixish figures designers that I see who are really struggling to get out of their own way, they're still doing production. And it's fine if you want to design, but if you are still doing hundreds of units of production, and you don’t have a production solution and you haven’t stopped long enough to figure out how to make the, figure out a production solution, you are going to be limited by your own two hands forever and you won't be able to continue to grow. And so, here's the thing - I want to mention this because there are certain designers that are doing five figures that are definitely rock star designers or aspiring rock star designers because of the way they approach their business and there are a lot of six and probably seven figure designers and brands who are actually acting like hopeful hobbyists, and quite frankly, they probably don’t even know the difference or the mistakes that they're doing. But as I mentioned, it really comes down to mindset, responsibility, and acting like the chief visionary officer because though you are working on your business instead of in your business. I just made a judgment call right now, instead of trying to cram this all in one episode, because I'm seeing that we're already at close to 40 minutes, as I'm recording this with everything that's involved in this, I'm going to save this for another episode and I'm going to talk about the difference between a hopeful hobbyist and a rock star designer so that you can identify which one you are. And I'm excited because it'll be a super fun episode and once again, there's no shame in either. It's just about acknowledging yourself, and I want you to think about like what are your goals in business. If you're somebody who wants to make $100,000 in salary or more, and you really want to grow a sustainable brand to support your family, to build the lifestyle that you want, to be able to go on these vacations, like are you thinking about what it will take to build that out? Are you just reacting because you like making jewelry? It's two different things. And if all it is is that you like making jewelry, there is zero shame in that. It's really about you deciding one way or the other. Like, is this something that I really want to make money on? Is this something I'm willing to put the energy in? Is this something that I am willing to go through the pain because it is hard of building a business? Because no one said it would be easy. Or is this something I just want to do for fun? They're two different things. And so you have to decide. And when you see people who make it look easy, it's because they have learned how to find, really lean in to their sweet spot of what they're doing, what they're good at, and understand how important it is to be working in your creative zone of genius. And in fact, over at my new company, Creatives Rule The World, I mean, I'm developing a quiz called The Creative Brilliance Factor. We have a jewelry brand brilliance factor here. It's a different angle, but it's really about the type, like what type of jewelry designer you are and it has nothing really to do with hopeful hobbyists and the chief visionary officer or rock star designer. However, it is interesting because we have been able to identify six or seven different avatars in our community of different types of designers, makers, and jewelers and identify like where their strengths are and also where their opportunities are to be better business leaders. So if you haven’t taken the jewelry brand brilliance factor quiz, definitely pop into it. And you can look forward to that creative brilliance factor quiz too. So it's going to be super fun. And if you haven't visited me over at Creatives Rule The World, definitely Google that and check me out.

So, I'm going to end here. I also want to remind you that our Train Your Customers To Buy From You Online Intensive is starting on August 13. It is a 12-week workshop designed to help you ramp up your holiday sales and get you ready to be selling direct to consumer on your website using your website as a tool. We go through everything from traffic-driving opportunities, from grass root strategies, from email marketing and massive community engagement opportunities that are all designed when you use like, when you are able to kind of get to a place where you're building your email list, emailing regularly, and also creating community around your brand, you are going to crush it and get so many more sales, and I want to see you all have the best holiday season ever. So are you ready? Let's do this. Head on over to FlourishThriveAcademy.com/trainmycustomers or you can check it out over at the show notes - FlourishThriveAcademy.com/episode213.
Alright. Tracy Matthews, signing off. Peace out until next time. Let's do this.

Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. It's my mission to help thousands 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. We would love to hear what you think, please rate and review the show. If you're inspired, please share this with your friends. Here's to seeing you flourish and thrive.

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