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Marie: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love, and this is our call-in show, and this is Greg Patterson.
Greg: Whoa, whoa. Howdy, y’all.
Marie: He’s my dear friend. He is always responsible for the beauty of this coif. We just like to hang out, and answer your questions, and do our best to give you advice and coaching that can help you move forward in your life. So, let’s get started.
Marie: Hi, is this Mariana?
Mariana: Hi, Marie. How are you?
Marie: Oh, I’m so good. How are you, darling?
Mariana: I’m great. Oh my god, I’m so happy. You’re so amazing.
Marie: Oh, well I want to tell you, you are on MarieTV. Gregory is here. All of Team Forleo is here, and we are really excited to see if we can help you move forward. So, let me know your question today.
Mariana: Hi, Gregory. How are you?
Greg: Hi, how you doing?
Mariana: I’m great, thank you. I wanted to ask you, I’m looking into creating a clothing line for maybe like suiting women. Right now I’m in the learning process. I’m doing pretty much anything that has to do with… I’ve been doing an internship in a bespoke place. I’m also working at a e-commerce place, that does suiting for men, and I want to be able to do if for women and men.
My question is, there are so many brands out there that do it, even for the queer community or for women who want to dress more androgynous. My question is, how can I differentiate myself from them? If, for example, would it be pricing? Because I believe that a lot of brands do high prices, maybe like 12,000, 1,500 for a suit. I’m sorry, 1,200 to 1,500. And if I lower my price, would that be bad for my branding, like lower its quality in eyes of the people?
Marie: Yeah. Well, this is such a great question. First of all, I’m so excited about what you’re excited about creating. I am someone who actually really loves to find suiting and to find clothing that can be either for men or for women. So, I’m personally excited to see more of what you create. A couple things that I want to cover right now. First, since you are in the learning phase, I think that this is awesome that you’re asking these questions, and I would advise this to any business owner. When it comes to pricing in particular, what’s good is to take a step back and really think about how you want your business to live and breathe and behave in the marketplace.
For example, as you know, there are high-end brands. Right? I like to call them expensivebutworthit.com. They make a decision that they want to have very high margins, that they want to serve a particular community, and that can be a very wise business move. Of course, there are other businesses who say, you know what… And I’m going to use some examples here that aren’t necessarily related to fashion, but just to give us concrete examples so we can have them clear in our minds.
If you think about a company like a Target or a Walmart, for example, one of their strategies as a brand is, to give the lowest pricing possible. But that requires a certain amount of volume and structure, and that is their strategy in the marketplace. One isn’t inherently better than the other, but it is about making a decision that you feel is true for your heart. So, in our business, for example, because this is a business, the only way I can make free content like this is because we run a for-profit business and we have healthy profit margins.
So, I like to lean into, for me, and again, this is a personal choice, the more expensive but worth it category. I’m either going to charge a fair and good amount of money for something that is paid, so that way I have the margins to then do other things that are free for communities that I want to serve, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to invest. So, I can give scholarships. We can do philanthropic initiatives, and we can produce some of the best free content on the planet, because we can afford to do so. So, how does this relate to you?
I want you to really step back and think for yourself, Mariana, think about how you want your brand to feel and behave in the world. Who do you want your folks to be who you serve? You don’t have to answer this right now, but that’s how I want you to start thinking. The other thing I want you to do is, to start paying attention to the numbers. Since you’re doing an internship, you’re working in some e-commerce, you’re getting exposed to these types of businesses, start to gather some intelligence and research about what it costs to make and produce the type of clothing that you may want to. Because, if it is going to be a business, the numbers have to make sense.
And one of the things that I’ve noticed that happens particularly with women… This is not, certainly, across the board; I’m going to make a broad generalization. But from my experience with working with almost 40,000 business owners at this point, the vast majority of women, we tend to undercharge. We tend to undervalue ourselves, and we tend to squeeze ourselves so tight, and there’s many reasons for this that won’t get into.
But I’m always encouraging my female business owners or anyone who tends to have these tendencies, to create larger than they’re comfortable with profit margins, because they’re probably not even large enough. I challenge people to get to a place where, it’s actually more healthy, not exorbitant. Those are a few things that I want you to really think about.
Then, when it comes to the last piece, how do you differentiate yourself? Well, when you understand how you want your brand to behave in the world and that’s connected to your heart, when you understand the numbers, so it being sets where you could be profitable, then, when it comes to differentiating your brand, that becomes the fun, creative part.
Then it’s about telling a great story. Then it’s about talking about why you’re starting this company. It’s about finding partners and perhaps influencers in the marketplace, who could wear some of your clothing, or who embody the values and the identity of how you want your business to behave, the values, you want it to stand for, the kind of people you want to align with. That’s how you differentiate yourself.
It all is very organic. It’s all from your heart and your soul, and what you believe. Because, I think one of the most important things about business, especially now, and moving forward in the future, it’s not just about what you sell. It’s about what you stand for. And I can hear in your question and who you are, you stand for so many good things that we need more of in this world. So, you’re going to want to put that story to the forefront.
I’m going to pause for a minute, because I hear Greg. And I know you can’t see him, because you can only hear us right now. But Greg, I can see him nodding his head up and down. Did you want to add anything?
Greg: I just love this question, period. Even in your delivering of info, Marie, I’m having so many aha moments. I don’t have a fashion brand. I have a product of hair, and I get sometimes like, should I charge this, can I charge that? But you’re right, because I go and speak at other events, and I don’t charge for it. It almost gives you that breath of, okay, I’m worth it, so that you can go serve your community the way you want to serve your community.
Greg: Girl, good question on that one. Thank you for asking this one.
Marie: Does this resonate for you, darling?
Mariana: Yeah, this answers my question so much. I wanted to ask you, of course, I’m a B-Schooler and it’s been so great. I’m learning everything, and I’m getting the clear idea of what my customer would be. So now, for example, I’m going to see that my product is worth a higher price. Maybe I will not target a younger professional base of people, because maybe they will not be able to afford it, but maybe more of the more mature women in the workforce.
Marie: That’s right.
Mariana: Maybe from 30 to 50.
Marie: That’s right. And you know what you can also do? Here’s the thing that I love about business these days, and I love that you’re a B-Schooler, and I love that we’ll be able to work with you on this as you keep moving forward. Because, as you know, you’re a B-Schooler for life. This makes me so thrilled. Anyway, what I want to say is this, for people who are like, “but wait, I want to serve people that don’t have the money to afford what I want,” you can always still do that.
So, Mariana, for you, you can have, perhaps, certain times of the year, or certain special codes, or go into particular local communities, where you know that younger women, who may also resonate, who may want a great look, you can go and do that in a myriad of ways. There’s a special discount. For example, I belong to a particular place here. It’s in New York City, it’s all around the world. It’s a place called the Soho House. It’s almost like a co-working space or a club.
And I was on the membership committee for a little bit. And one of the things they would do is, they would have a special rate for young people, for people just starting out. And they would have these certain times of the year, where people can come in. But if someone’s just out of college, if someone’s scraping to get by, again, for you there might be certain communities that you want to partner with at certain times of year.
So, it’s never about saying, “oh, just because people can’t afford it, that I’m not going to serve them.” Very much like how we do. There’s people who will never buy anything from us. Yet, I’m not leaving them out. We’re delivering the best free content we can every week. Does that make sense, Mariana?
Mariana: Yeah, absolutely, from your videos and everything, and your e-letters. I do get it. I can do both then. I’m happy, actually, that I can get to do both.
Marie: That’s right, and you can find all kinds of creative ways. You don’t have to make that decision in advance. You can try a pilot program, see if it works. Then, later in the year, try something else. And through that process of experimentation, through creativity, through talking with other people, you will find a way to have both a profitable business that really actually works and is sustainable, and meaningful in a way that makes sense to you. Thank you so much for this question. Great job, my love.
Mariana: Thank you both, Marie and Gregory. I hope one day to dress you in a beautiful, feminine suit.
Marie: Me, too! Me, too. Love you, darling. Bye.
Mariana: Take care, bye bye. Love you guys, bye.
Greg: Holy cow. Okay.
I also want to say, think about sustainability. Think of opportunities to, okay, she has this business. It’s rocking, it’s rolling. She’s charging her premium prices for two years. What if she was able to offer different fabrications? Same cut, different fabrications, lower price point. What if she was able to do like, you know what, you have an event. You have a wedding to go to, you have something. You could rent it from me, just go.
Marie: Amazing, because we’ve seen that also with some high-end designers. They’ll have a sustainable brand. They get known, and then they do a capsule line with Target or something like that. I think this is really my point for anyone that’s afraid to charge what they know that they’re worth. You need your business to be sustainable sometimes in order to make the difference that you really want to make ultimately. So, never think in terms of black and white. It’s either one of the other. But again, coming from a pure business lens, the numbers have to make sense. So, don’t undercharge, go for it, and you can always find ways, as you continue to grow, to serve everyone that you want to serve.
Greg: After all…
Marie: Everything is figureoutable.
Kevin: Hello, Kevin speaking.
Marie: Hey Kevin, it’s Marie Forleo. How are you?
Kevin: I’m good. Thank you. Thanks so much for calling me.
Marie: I am so excited to have you on. You are on with Gregory and Team Forleo, and we are really thrilled to have you here today. So, tell us your question and we will do our best to give you an insightful answer.
Kevin: Okay. Well, I’m running a handyman business in Barrie, Ontario, and it’s called Hubbies for Hire. Like the name says, I go out and I do odd jobs for clients on a weekly business. I really love to connect with the older generation. Love helping them out with their to-do lists. I guess I’m really just having a problem with the language in marketing that, because I’m not your general handyman or contractor that goes out and does a full basement renovation or kitchen renovation. But I like to do four-hour stints with my clients, like a cleaning company would. But I’m actually fixing things and helping them out around their property, or anything that they need.
Marie: Kevin, I adore you and I adore this business. I know you can’t see us, but Gregory and I… All of us, we’re just dying over here.
Greg: Ready to hire a hubby.
Marie: Yes, we are ready to hire a hubby. So, congratulations on what’s, not only a brilliant business, but such a needed business. My grandmother, she’s about to turn 91. And so I know many of us have grandparents, parents, folks who are getting older, who it’s not possible for them to do everything by themselves. And we love them so much… I just love what you’re doing. Curious, how long have you been doing this?
Kevin: Actually, I started this business about five years ago. I was just cutting lawns. I dealt with a stint of anxiety and depression. Well, I’ve dealt with it my whole life. But I was working nights at a company for about 14 years, and things took a turn for the worse. They kind of fell apart for me. After going through different treatments and whatnot I realized that I couldn’t work in an environment where there was so many people, and it was causing me a lot of anxiety trying new jobs like that.
So, I thought, okay, I’ve got to do something where I can be more independent. And so I just started cutting lawns and working up from there. My loving wife dragged me to a business training program and it all kind of started from there, putting the idea together where I can get out into environments where I’m either work independently, or I’m working with an older generation that I guess I feel more comfortable with. Yeah, that’s where it began and it’s just developed into services from that point.
Marie: I love it. Thank you for sharing that and congratulations to you for taking care of yourself, for having the courage to recognize things weren’t working. And also, having the courage to turn the page in your life to a next chapter. I will tell you, there’s one thing that I just wanted to underscore, because I’ve read studies about this, especially as it relates to depression and anxiety, which millions of us suffer from. One of the challenges can be when you work late nights and those late night shifts, because of our circadian rhythms, and your whole body and health starts to go in a different direction.
So, I just want to congratulate you on, first, sharing with that with all of us, because it makes everyone feel less alone. But second of all, from doing something about it. So, on to your business. I have some ideas for you. I think, first of all, if you don’t have them already, or even if you do, it might be worth it to take a fresh look at them with a new perspective after this call, in terms of testimonials.
If you can get written testimonials, video testimonials can sometimes be even more powerful, because they can be turned into beautiful ads that can show up on Instagram or show up on Facebook, that can help you attract even more of your ideal customers. That’s one place I would definitely go. And if people don’t necessarily want their face on camera, you can just use their first name and their words. You can still turn words with music into a video that is very, very effective. So, take a look at that.
And I would gather testimonials that match the exact kind of customers that you’re looking for. It’s almost like you create these little profiles. If you were a B-schooler, I would tell you to do the ideal customer avatar exercise and go in, because we have lots of tools around this. But you’ll be able to figure out this out, I’m sure of it. So, that’s one place.
Second, I think that you need to take a fresh look at the benefits that you offer and make sure that you’re sharing them enough. I don’t know what you’re doing right now, in terms of your marketing or your advertising efforts. But when I hear about your business and hear about the money that’s saved, the peace of mind, allowing people to stay in their homes, especially when they’re at that beautiful chapter in their life to not have to necessarily leave, because they can’t keep up with the maintenance, these benefits are huge and they’re selling points in and of themselves. And I don’t know if you are really trumpeting them enough right now.
Next thing I want you to think about is, consider marketing to the children of the parents in this generation. So, myself, anyone in their 30s, their 40s, or 50s who is lucky enough to still have their parents or their grandparents alive. I know I am constantly worried about my family who’s older, and whenever I can find some type of service, and especially for you, in terms of reaching these people, you can do it so well with the tools available to us. Hyper geo-locating targeting, that’s possible in terms of Facebook and Instagram, and many other platforms.
But you can create ads and marketing specifically towards the children to be like, if you’re worried about your mom, if you’re worried about your dad, if they can never get who they need in and it’s not affordable, call, what is it, Hubbies for Hire. Call Kevin and Hubbies for Hire. It’s like, this is the best thing ever.
Then the final thing that I wanted to share with you, if you haven’t already, consider getting press on this. Local press would love to write about you. They would love to write a story about what you’re doing and what your business is and what it stands for. Most local press organizations, whether this is newspapers, online, television, or radio, they’re hungry for content, and nothing at times is more powerful than a human interest story.
And while, yes, yours is a for-profit business, there is a human interest component to this, that I think is really compelling, both your own story, if you’re willing to share that, about what you experienced, why you started this business, that you battled the anxiety and depression, and you find yourself so loving and connected towards the older generation, and all of the services that you supply to them, and the love and the care that you bring into their homes. I think this is a home run. I know I just shared a lot with you. Re-listen to this. Hopefully you take notes. But does this resonate?
Kevin: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, what I’ve been told is to try and market myself as being cheaper than… Like, stay in your home is cheaper than you moving and paying a condo fee. It works out less than that per month, way less than that per month. And you have someone at your property doing all the things that you need to get done that either, you don’t have time to do, or you don’t have the ability to do.
Marie: Yes. I do think that, that’s one component, and it is really important, especially because we know, generally speaking, as we get older, looking at income inequality and looking at people on fixed incomes, it becomes harder and harder to do the things that we once were able to do, especially when we’re on that fixed income. But I don’t want you, and I think this is a big mistake, for you to just focus on that.
We all buy for emotional reasons. It’s always about emotion. Any of us. We can also just time travel into the future. We can lean in. I can do it right now, and imagine how I might feel, how scary it might be, how frustrating, how alone, just the panic that may set in, in being in an apartment or a home that I’ve Loved for 20 or 30 years, and watching things start to fall apart, and not knowing who to call. Not knowing who I can trust, because there are so many scams out there, particularly aimed at the older generation.
So, Kevin, while yes, that financial component is really huge, I don’t want you to overlook, nor do I want you to underestimate, the power of emotional. Right? That’s why those testimonials matter. That’s why you need to lean on the safety, the security, and the trust element. Because, I think that is just as, if not more compelling to grow your business, than the finances.
Kevin: Okay. Thank you. That’s amazing advice. I really appreciate that.
Marie: Thank you so much, Kevin.
Greg: Bye, Kevin.
Greg: Okay, that emotional piece.
Greg: Right? Like this business is insane. Because, imagine those little things that you’re like, I’m in New York, my mom’s in Arizona. She doesn’t know how to fix the sink if it just sprung a leak. What if she just needed help moving boxes from this room to that room? Just those little tasks that you’re like…
Marie: The little cracks in the wall, the little electrical thing.
Greg: Yeah, it’s not the kitchen renovation. It’s, “I need help. Can you help me?” You know what I mean? I think that emotional piece to that, I’m like, yes, because, it’s an emotionally serving business. And I think it’s super cool that he turned his anxiety and depression into serving others. How cool is that?
Marie: Yeah, and he was brave enough to try different things. And I love, too, to hear how he started mowing lawns. And then, out of an emotional connection he felt with older generations he was doing it for, he started to do more of that work.
Greg: It gives me the good feels.
Marie: I think this is a great example of how, we can hear from Kevin’s telling of the story, you don’t necessarily have to have the whole thing figured out in advance. He certainly doesn’t sound like he was like, “I’m going to start Hubbies for Hire and serve an older generation.” He just got moving. He started taking action, and then paying attention to, not only what was working, but what helped him come alive, and let it evolve from there. That, in my opinion, is one of the best ways, when you find yourself feeling stuck, when you find yourself not knowing what the next move is to make. You know I say this all the time, start before you’re ready. Start before you’re ready. Get out there and take action, and let your actions inform what the next step may be.
Karina: Oh my god, is this Marie?
Marie: Yes, it’s Marie, and it’s Team Forleo! And you’re on the live call-in show, darling. Thank you so much for being here today. What’s your question and how can we help you?
Karina: Sure. I’m so glad that you’re able to make the time to talk to me today. My question is, is that, we at Ponderlily, we make eco-friendly planners for mindful living. We’re not trying to tell people how to plan their days. We all know that people can multi-task all too well. So, in our industry, we make our eco-friendly planners. Our customers are particularly concerned about whether or not our products are eco-friendly. Quite honestly, I really don’t want to compromise on this aspect of our business. We’ll always want to source ethical products, and to make our planners in sustainable materials. So, how do we market our products being eco-friendly when our buyers aren’t necessarily concerned about that.
Marie: Well, Karina. First of all, I just want to congratulate you on your business. I clicked through to your website to ponderlily.com, and your stuff is beautiful.
Marie: So, I just want to congratulate you. It’s awesome. I know how much it takes, many people watching know how much it takes to bring anything to life. So, kudos to you for that. But I’m going to dive in with some tough questions. So, we’re just going to hit it. You ready?
Karina: Yeah, I’m ready.
Marie: I want to know what your goal is, because when I hear that you’re like, hmm, how do I market my eco-friendly planners when my customers don’t really care? It’s not really one of the top priorities on their list. My question to you is, okay, so what’s the problem? Is your goal, my love, to sell more planners and to grow your business and just stay aligned with your values, or is there something I’m missing, where you’re like, I want to be the dominant journal maker in the eco market? Tell me what your goal is.
Karina: My goal is to be able to grow our business and let our customers know that we don’t necessarily need to compromise on those materials to give them a quality product. We want to be eco-friendly from cover to cover. We’re willing to offer quality products and beautiful design, even if that may means that we make a smaller margin. Because it can be done, Marie. I just want to put a better product in people’s hands.
Marie: Let me ask you this question. What do your customers care about? Because I know that you shared, you’re like, hey, that’s not really their big goal. What is their concerns? What do they want from you?
Karina: Okay, so they want a planner that is elegant and sophisticated, that they can bring, that goes from work to weekend, that they can bring to the board room and to a kid’s play date, to write notes and to let them draw and stuff like that. That’s what they want and that’s easily… That they can carry easily in their bag.
Marie: Great. I heard two things. One, first of all, I commend you, and I love you for staying true to your values and to saying, we are going to produce the most eco-friendly and sustainable products we can. That’s what we need more in this world. That being said, if what your customers care about are things that are elegant, things that can really work from the workday to the weekend, that can fit in their bags, what I’m hearing from you, and from what I’ve seen on your website, you actually have a higher end customer then I think you’re giving yourself credit for.
I will tell you this, as someone who also cares about where things come from, tries to pay attention as much as I can to what a company does, in order to bring their product to market, I am always happy to pay extra for those things. So, I would encourage you to re-look at your pricing and making sure that your margins are high enough. Because, the type of consumer that you’re targeting, she won’t mind paying, because she understands what it takes to produce it. It’ll make her feel good.
The other thing about your type of company, there’s different product product lines. So, I would imagine that you can bump the prices up on, perhaps, more of your high-end planners, and have things that are maybe a little easier to produce, like if they’re notepads or things like that, be a little bit on the lower end. Still good margins, but you don’t have to feel like you’re pricing out some of your customer base.
And the third thing is this, when I was peeking around at your site, I noticed that it doesn’t really talk that much about your eco-friendly sustainability-ness, if that’s a word. So, if that’s really important for you to communicate, you need to do a better job at putting that front and center. I understand you’re like, they don’t really care, but it feels like there’s this conflict with you, because you want to be known as this kind of brand. So, if that is important to you, then shout it out a little bit more.
Then, I have one more thing that you might want to consider. I don’t know if you’re going to want to do this. It might be a totally crappy idea. But sometimes crappy ideas, when you start noodling around with them, can actually lead to brilliant ideas. So, I’m going to share it in that spirit. There is a company called the Last Straw. Have you heard of them? Hey guys, just made a mistake. It’s called the Final Straw.
Karina: No, I haven’t.
Marie: Okay, there’s a Kickstarter campaign. Essentially, it’s around the need for all of us to stop using plastic straws. What their Kickstarter campaign video does really well, and they use a lot of humor, again, it might not be the type of tone or an alignment with your kind of branding, but it may spark ideas. It illustrates, in a very clear, concise, and beautiful way, why having no more plastic straws is essential. I don’t know if you know enough stats, or maybe you’re just not communicating them, or have done enough creative brainstorming around how to inspire people to give a shit about what you care about. Does that make sense?
Karina: Oh, totally I’m with you there.
Marie: Awesome. I think those are some ideas for you. But coming back to where we started, the most important thing, Carina, is for you to get clear on your goal. If you’re like, you know what, as a business owner, our revenue is here this year, and I want to take either our revenue, our profits, amount of journals sold, whatever metrics that matter to you, you set a growth goal for yourself.
I think you need to stay focused there. And in terms of the eco-friendliness, you know you’re going to stay true to your values, right? You know you’re going to just do that, because that’s embedded in your business’ and your soul’s DNA. But as a business owner, stay focused on a metric that matters.
And if, for you, it’s like, you know what, one of my goals is just basically to do a better job telling this eco-sustainable story, that’s easy to do through a simple campaign, changing your web copy, or setting up in your social sharing, maybe once every two weeks sharing a stat about paper, trees, any of the actual components that you feel other journals aren’t paying attention to, and that you want to highlight about how your company is different, and inspire people to get on your bandwagon. Does that make sense?
Karina: Yeah, it totally does. Thank you so much.
Marie: You’re welcome. Thank you so much, and continue making these incredibly beautiful journals. You’re doing such a good job, and please keep us posted on how it goes.
Karina: I will. Thank you so much, Marie.
Marie: Thank you. Bye, darling.
Marie: Hi, Ruth. How you doing?
Ruth: Very well. Thank you. You?
Marie: Oh, we’re doing great. We’re so excited to talk to you today. You’re on with Team Forleo. I have Greg next to me. We would love to hear your question, and I will do my very best to help give you some insight and an answer.
Ruth: Thank you ever so much. The situation is, I’m running a business teaching Spanish to about 100 children a week in different classes. I crunched some numbers last week, and it turns out, with all the hours that I spend out of the house, and the hours teaching, and all the prep and the admin that goes with running a business, I’m ending up with about 10 pounds an hour in my pocket at the end of the day. I did the numbers, and I’ve been seriously considering call it quits.
I think that, if I were to take a year out and go and get myself an office job, even a very basic admin job, I’m convinced I would make more money. I think I would have more head space to myself at the end of the day, and I could maybe pick myself up in a year and try something else. I don’t know if this is me sabotaging myself, or whether it’s time to draw a line under it, really.
Marie: Well, Ruth, first of all, you are so clear. I don’t think that you’re giving yourself enough credit. I can hear it and feel it in your voice. Let me ask you this question. This’ll just be a little bit of fun. We can play for a bit. When you imagine, and take a deep breath right now. Close your eyes. Really sit up or stand up, whatever is most comfortable for you, and when you imagine taking the next year, and having an office job, some job that is not your business, what’s the immediate physical reaction that happens in your body? Does it feel more heavy or more light?
Ruth: Honestly, it feels a little more heavy. It feels like a little bit of tension around my heart. You know?
Marie: Okay, very good. When you imagine staying with this business over the next year, perhaps two years, tell me what happens inside of your body. Do you feel something that, even if it’s a little scary, does it feel a little bit more light, or does it also feel heavy?
Ruth: Honestly, it also feels heavy. It feels… Yeah, it gives me tension. It makes me almost a little bit tearful. Not because I don’t love it, because I do. But, because it just feels like the trade-off is taking from me more than it’s giving to me. You know? I nearly had a bit of a burn-out in April, because I was trying to do things to automate the business, so to make my load a little bit lighter. I tried to take on a couple of people to help me. But again, of course that all takes the time, and the headspace, and the energy, as well. And it the meantime, all my kids still need teaching, and my business still needs running. You know?
Ruth: So, honestly, that feels heavy, too. I feel like I’m at a crossroads.
Marie: Is one heavier than the other, just out of curiosity?
Ruth: I think continuing to teach is heavier, because it’s that weight of responsibility. If I got an office job, it honestly would feel like, maybe it would be quite nice to just have a boss for a year, and rock up, do my work for eight hours, and go home again.
Marie: Okay. I’m going to give you my feedback and my perspective. As I always like to emphasize during these calls, you are your wisest advisor. I am just here to reflect and to mirror back what I’m hearing, drawing upon my almost two decades of working with now hundreds of thousands of people. So, I say all that to say that, what I’m about to share with you, you sleep on. You’re going to know what’s best for you.
But from the way that you asked your question, and even as I heard you respond to this, I can feel in you that this idea of taking a year off, getting some type of job, it feels to me like it might be the reset you need for your next chapter. It feels to me, especially when we look at that $10 an hour, and I can hear from you that the idea of making some more money, perhaps banking some more money, saving some more money, getting a fresh perspective, as I’m tapping into your energy, it feels like all of that is a big yes. That, it’s scary, that the thing that may be holding you back is a notion that if you quit, you’re a quitter.
Ruth: Yeah, and I think there is a certain amount of prestige attached to running your own business, I think. I’m certainly proud of what I’ve done. I’ve been self-employed for six years, and I’ve made it a success of it. But I almost feel like I’ve hit some sort of ceiling with it, and maybe I just need to kind of go back to the drawing board. I don’t feel like a failure. If I were to draw a line, I don’t think I would wake up on the first day of my office job and go, well, self-employment didn’t work for me, because I think it can and does work for me. But perhaps, I just need a little bit of breathing space. You know?
Marie: I love this. You can’t see what’s happening over here, but I’m giving you Jersey fist pumps.
Greg: I’m giving you glitter.
Marie: And we’re giving you confetti throwing parties. Yes. I am with you 100% I just want to underscore something that you said, that I think is really important for people to hear. Being an entrepreneur, running a business, is no better than not. I agree with you. I think there is that certain prestige, at least in society in this particular time right now. It’s like, oh, entrepreneurs are so great. It’s like, you know what, humans are fucking great. And whether you go back to an office, if you work five side jobs, if you happen to run a successful business, it’s like, yay, you’re making a living.
We respect all of that. So, I think you pushing against some of those societal norms and expectations, and kind of like, oh, we’re going to hold these people up, but we’re not going to hold these others up. I think that’s bullshit, and I love you pushing against that and going like, you know, waking up and going to an office, and being done with a job between 5:00 and 6:00 every day, may actually give me the headspace, the heart space, the change in perspective necessary to create whatever your next chapter is going to be.
Ruth: Yeah, I think so. Thank you for saying that. I almost kind of feel the tingles, because that’s real truthful information.
Marie: It really is. Here’s the thing, just as it’s so courageous when we do go off on her own. You’ve been self-employed for six years. You’ve done several different things. I know that you shared with us, the first time you did it, it was so hard and you cried. I will tell you, when I first became self-employed, the start of my business, I cried so many tears. I’ve also had so many evolutions in my own career. We have to challenge ourselves to evolve, and I think personally, Ruth, that this choice is the most courageous, because it’s so unexpected.
My sense of you, even as I’m listening to you is, your intuition speaks pretty loudly. You’re very, very clear, and I want you to trust that clarity, trust that heart. Whenever your brain or your mind starts to go but but but but, am I self-sabotaging it? It’s like, no. There were times, early on in my business, where I recognized I, too, was burning out. Things were not working as I wanted them to. It was getting to a level where I’m like, oh my goodness. I’m spread so thin, I could just crumble right here.
What I decided to do was, kill a couple of revenue streams that totaled about a million dollars in revenue. I remember friends saying, “You’re nuts!” Different business owners and people are going, “What are you doing? This is so stupid.” I was like, you know what? It’s not stupid, because this is what my intuition is telling me that I need. I needed to clear some space emotionally, mentally, all different ways, in order to kind of pull back in, regroup, and get even bigger.
And I’ll tell you this, my love, after I killed those revenue streams and I took a little bit of time and space, everything else in my life, including my business, exploded. Again, this is a different situation. But my point is, your intuition is speaking to you and it’s recommending that you do something that is a little bit outside the norm, that is a little bit unexpected. And I feel, when we listen to those intuitive hunches, which is really our higher wisdom coming through and trying to direct us, we always move in the right direction.
Ruth: Okay, thank you. I’m going to give it some thought. I certainly don’t want to make any rash decisions.
Marie: Of course.
Ruth: I’ve got a couple ideas of what to do, in terms of keeping my hand in with the Spanish. I could take on some private tutor clients, that kind of thing, and have an office job. That would be a way to give myself some headspace. But, yeah.
Ruth: I think almost what I wanted was to have someone say, yes, it is okay to do this. Just because you start, just because a path is right for me six years ago, or three years ago, or 10 minutes ago, doesn’t necessarily mean it remains the case now. You know?
Marie: That’s right. It takes so much courage to begin something but sometimes it takes even more courage to end it.
Ruth: Oh my God. Yes.
Greg: Hey, you got this!
Marie: You got this, mama. We are so behind you. Again, it’s following those steps. It is listening to our intuition and seeing where it’s going to lead. We don’t know how this is going to turn out. I even loved all of the ideas it started to bubble in for you, even in this last bit of you talking, like, oh, maybe I can keep some private clients and had some space. Those are the types of innovative solutions that start to come in and I just got chills.
Greg: Same, same, same.
Marie: Right? We just got the goosies.
Greg: Same, yup.
Marie: As J-Lo would say.
Marie: Where, when you give yourself permission to move in that unexpected direction, all of a sudden, you begin to get all of these new ideas that you couldn’t have ever got if you stayed grinding, banging your head against the wall, when some part of you knows that’s not the way for you right now.
Ruth: Yeah, yeah. Okay.
Marie: Awesome. Ruth, thank you so much for a brilliant question.
Ruth: Thank you so much.
Marie: Please keep us posted.
Ruth: Will do.
Marie: We are so excited for this exciting adventure you’re about to go on.
Greg: Yeah, totally.
Ruth: I will absolutely let you know how I get on. Thank you ever so much. Have a great day.
Marie: You, too, darling.
Ruth: Take care then, bye.
Greg: It’s that clarity you get when you step outside of it. You know?
Marie: Yeah, yeah. I think, for each of us, I know every time in my life I make a decision that feels kind of against the grain, or that’s unexpected, or feels as though I could upset a lot of people, or even upset some ideal in my own head, the floodgates open, and the amount of energy and new ideas that come pouring in are the affirmation that I need. They’re like, yes. Do that, girl.
Greg: Absolutely, absolutely.
Marie: That wraps it up for this episode of the MarieTV Call-In Show. Now, I would love to hear from you. Which of today’s call-in people, or any aspect of the question and answer, resonated most with you, and why? Leave a comment below, and let us know. As always, the best conversations happen in the magical land of marieforleo.com.
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