Happy 2017 bossbabes! It’s been a hot minute since I updated my blog ….but life happens when you are super busy running and building an empire with 2 business babies (You! Lingerie & Preggo Leggings), adding 2 new ones (more to come on this), mommy’ing 2 real life littles and being wifey to my biggest chairleader. So what can I say? But I plan to do better this year by posting new content twice a month. So stay locked and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss a beat.
Last month, I was interviewed by Sabina Hitchen for the first ever “Behind The Seams” series feature on Fashion Riot, a fab online fashion magazine. Definitely a great way to kick off 2017 as I shared some good nuggets about my startups, the journey, what inspires me, challenges I faced, work life balance and how I keep it all together.
This interview was originally posted on The Fashion Riot. Sabina is one of my favs, a PR manager, the coolest media expert, owner of Sabina Knows and Press for Success. You should look her up, she’s pretty dope!
Enjoy the read!
An Introduction to the Behind the Seams Interview Series…
The fashion industry is no doubt glamorous – from the catwalks to the apparel that graces the glossy pages of magazines to the well-dressed bodies of Hollywood’s finest – but in my opinion, the stories about what must happen in order to get to those moments is much more interesting, and we’re going to tell it! Often, just as beautiful and inspiring as the apparel they create, are the stories of the businesses and entrepreneurs behind then, and in this interview series, we’ll share them with you. You’ll get to know designers, hear what inspires them, empowers them, and even scares and challenges them. It’s my hope that the insight into their passion, perseverance and dedication they share in these interviews ignites the same feelings in you.
Let’s face it: Social media doesn’t tell the whole story. Sure, it’s glamorous, but when we talk about the real story – as designers in this series will – you’ll learn more about what’s happening behind-the-scenes and seams with some of the fashion industries best and brightest.
Remember when you were young and you had to face off the school bully by pretending to be brave? That did the trick, didn’t it? It got the bully to back down and earned you the respect of your playground mates. Yessss, it works. (Well, most of the time). The funny thing is, when you fast forward 20 years, the same concept applies in the business world. Touche, right?
Making your business look big when you’re actually a struggling up-comer will provide you with increased credibility in the eyes of consumers and therefore give you the opening you need to grow your business. The only problem, however, is how to go about making your business look big without running the risk of consumers getting wind of your bluff. Ha!
There are heaps of “fake it until you make it” charlatans around, but this post isn’t about becoming a conman, LOL. It’s basically a roundup of 10 safe and successful tactics you can use to make your business appear bigger than it really is when you already have the proper processes and products in place. I applied several of these tactics when I was a budding entrepreneur which helped me grow the You! Lingerie brand to where it is today, one of the leading brands of nursing and maternity intimates world wide.
So last month, I had the pleasure of chatting with Lisa Nicole Bell – badass babe, Serial Entrepreneur, Producer & Creator of Behind The Brilliance, an amazing weekly podcast that brings you some seriously bomb interviews with major movers and shakers and the world’s most inspiring treps and innovators. Let me tell you, if you are a woman, entrepreneur (or even a wantrepreneur) & millennial, her podcast is one you should definitely subscribe to. She is my type of bossbabe as she keeps it real, tells it like it is, she asks the hard questions you want answers to (business + personal + everything in between) and not to mention, she’ll have you rolling and busting out loud laughing too.
And as per usual, I dropped major gems during my interview with Lisa. We chatted about a range of topics including my lifestyle design, time management, finding bliss, starting a business with next to nothing, leaving a six figure income job at Kraft, my fav books and why Burlington Coat Factory is not the go to destination for luxury lingerie. Ahhhhhh…Just press play and listen below, don’t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Following a badass second season with viewer ratings going up by 115%, the hit TV series “The Profit” returned to CNBC for a third season. If you are like me and a sucker for business related TV shows like Shark Tank or Kitchen Nightmares, then you might have seen this program. And if not, it’s certainly worth taking a weekend to catch up on the series. This reality-based series follows multi-billionaire Marcus Lemonis as he offers struggling but promising small businesses his expertise and capital investment in exchange for ownership stake in their company.
Marcus Lemonis is the chair and CEO of Camping World/Good Sam Enterprises, a national retail chain that controls 25% of the recreational vehicles market in the US. His company generates up to $3 billion per year in sales and provides employment to more than 6000 people. With such accomplishments, it comes as no surprise for a key business figure like Lemonis to be the one dispensing real world business advice. He loves to call things exactly as they are. I absolutely love his “I’m 100% in charge, PERIOD” badass approach whenever he makes an investment in a struggling company.
Lemonis’ passion for business has been a major factor in helping him become a successful and influential entrepreneur. And his role as an angel investor on CNBC’s “The Profit” gives us a glimpse of the man in action. And real talk, he’s the truth. The cameras capture everything from actual negotiations to deals made with business owners and outcomes.
Instead of just being “the really rich dude with the checkbook,” Lemonis takes a more hands-on approach in rescuing failing or struggling businesses. He gives advice, works with co-founders on running operations for a week, enforces changes, puts up factories, revamps retail stores, and does more than what we can safely assume most angel investors would.
When working with other businesses, Lemonis puts a three-part evaluation process to work. He breaks down the backbone of any business into three critical elements coined as the 3P’s. Let’s take a closer look at these components and how you can leverage them to give your own business a competitive edge so you can kick major ass. (Haha, I just realized this is my third use of the word ‘ass’ and we are just getting started, LOL).
Gone are the days when the only path to success includes going to college, getting a degree, landing a job at a prestigious multinational company, and climbing up the corporate ladder. In these current times, the uncertainty around job security is driving more people to try their hands at starting their own business in hopes of achieving financial freedom. But while everyone is after success entrepreneurship, only a few actually earn it.
There’s a huge difference between an entrepreneur and wantrepreneur, which basically refers to a person who ventures into entrepreneurship but fall short of their goals. Someone who “is going” start a business. Someone who is waiting for the “perfect time” to start. Someone who “will find the right idea some day!” Someone who wants to “act” like an entrepreneur, a “wannabe”. Someone who “thinks about starting a business” all the time. Ha!
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the wannabes and real entrepreneurs. Which one describes you?
1: Wishful Thinking vs. Getting Started
When it comes down to it, you can only bring a business idea to life by taking action. Let’s face it, progress is only made if you roll up your sleeves and actually do something because there’s no getting around hard work. There’s a fine line between wishful thinking, dreaming and having an achievable goal, and that’s what separates real entrepreneurs and the wannabes.
Wantrepreneurs read a lot of books, talk and plan all day, but they never really get started on anything worth noting. On the other hand, real entrepreneurs set clear-cut and attainable goals and then do what they say they’re going to do. So, whether you have to save money to raise capital, research a target market, compile a business plan, lease office space, or ship supplies, entrepreneurs just do it.
You know how people say hindsight is 20/20, well it definitely is. I wish I knew some of the things I know now, I am damn sure I would have spared myself some of the mistakes I made over the course of my trep journey. As an entrepreneur, we can all agree that bootstrapping your business is hard as hell, so who wouldn’t want a few top secret tips whispered into their ear from someone who has lived and experienced it? Why play at all if you are not playing to win.
So read on about some of my entrepreneurial pivotal lessons, some say “aha moments”, well I like to call them “Entrepreneurial Commandments” to be dramatic (I tend to have a flare for the dramatics, haha) that has helped me win in my businesses. These are the 8 things I know for sure!
1. Great strategy alone won’t win the battle, flawless execution will
I talk about this a lot. It doesn’t matter if your business idea is unique, the first of its kind or just another T-shirt company. Chances are, no matter how much of a genius you are, someone else probably has the same exact grand idea as you.
Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. It always boils down to EXECUTION. A great strategy or idea alone won’t win the battle. Success comes from the combination of the idea, great strategy and a bomb a$$ execution. If there is one thing you can take away from this is, let it be this:
Success is 1% idea & 99% execution.
You’ve got to admit, these babes look pretty badass, don’t they?!? Like they are ready to kick some major a$$… fearing nothing… ready to get down and dirty… ready to win. If you know anything about me, then you will understand why I am drooling all over this, but I digress, let’s get to straight to business. So what is bootstrapping anyways?
I don’t know about you, but many of us were not born with silver spoons in our mouths with trust funds or super rich parental units that are ready to dole out some serious moola (aka $$$) to help launch our potential million dollar business ideas.
I would venture out to say that funding is the #1 deterrent for why most entrepreneurs are unable to get their start up off the ground. Where is the money? SHOW ME THE MONEY (insert my best Jerry Maguire rendition here). So, needless to say, this is one of the first critical decisions you’d have to make, whether to seek outside funding through venture capital investors or to self fund (aka rely on your personal savings, beg and borrow money from friends and family, max out your credit cards and sometimes, extreme yes.. you may have to go live at home with your parents).
Hello world. Sooooo, for my very first blog post, I figured this was a great topic to start with. It’s kinda like…what you need to know before the beginning.
How do you know if you got what it takes to be an entrepreneur? I read somewhere that it’s when you love and live for the tides, thrill and torture of your life being pretty damn amazing and pretty f–ked up at the same time. Not knowing whether you will sink or swim in the ocean when you can’t see the shore but you still jump in anyways, pressing forward. Kinda psychotic, I know. But guess what? I agree 1000%, because that’s exactly what it takes. It takes real risk, but you get to write the end of that story. That’s my definition of badassery!
When you think about it, the pursuit of an entrepreneurial venture is a lot like becoming a parent. If you have a kid or kids, then this will hit home with you. Besides preparing emotionally and financially, you have to be committed to your startup until it is mature enough to run on its own, much like your kid learning to walk or potty training. And even after reaching that point, a business will always need you in some capacity (just like a child), no matter how old it gets. Haha, the irony of it all, right?