What’s possible when you make a sharp right turn in your business?
Have you ever felt “stuck” in your business? Becoming an “expert” can be both a blessing and a curse for any entrepreneur. On one hand, you establish yourself as a trusted company, but on the other, it can derail you from trying something new.
So, should you accept that you will forever be known as the brand you created years ago, or do you take a chance at disrupting the waters with the intent to become an expert in something else?
Ali Brown, a friend and mentor, has already achieved great success and conquered the fear of switching lanes in business as a “Category of 1” entrepreneur. In this episode, she shares the difficulties during that transition and what warning signs to be aware of when you find yourself beginning to resent the enterprise you created.
Are you ready for a change? It’s time to break down the barriers of expectation that we have conformed to, discover what your passion truly is, and create a game plan to get you from “here” to “there” on a timeline created just for you.
Grab your demolition hammer and let’s break into another exciting discussion!
What’s in This Episode
- Recognizing when you’ve fallen into “Contentment Purgatory”
- “Golden Handcuffs” in business
- Building yourself into a “Category of 1” entrepreneur
- The difference between thought leaders and influencers
- The layers of fear business owners experience
- Behind-the-scenes of a Secret Millionaire
What To Do Next
- Join The Strategy Lab, Lisa’s insider entrepreneurial community that is learning, tackling, and coming together to support and challenge each other on all things business. Click here to get on the waitlist.
- Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.
- Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
- Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.
Where to Find Ali Brown
Next week for episode 59, Stacy Bahrenfuss discusses the internal struggles entrepreneurs can experience despite the success they’ve obtained. There’s also a fun blooper at the end you won’t want to miss!
CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to, She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.
Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul chances are you want to learn more about marketing, mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you will learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I am an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.
Lisa Larter (00:23):
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to this episode of She Talks Business. We have a very special guest in store for you today. I am super excited to have Ali Brown on the show. I remember when I first started planning for this podcast, someone suggested that I make a list of the names of all the people that I would like to have on show, and Ali was one of the first names that I wrote down. The reason that I wrote Ali’s name down is because I have followed Ali’s work for a number of years now. I think I started following her work in 2008 and it really is so nice to be her client, to be her colleague and I consider her a friend. I have a lot of respect for the way that she has run her business. We had a really great conversation today about how to make a sharp right turn and to trust yourself enough to make a sharp right turn, and to overcome the fears that come up with making a big right turn in your business. We talked a lot about the catalyst around why she made that turn and why knowing is so important for all of us. If you’re not familiar with Ali, let me tell you a little bit about her.
Lisa Larter (01:43):
Ali Brown is the world’s most recognized coach for women entrepreneurs. She is the host of the acclaimed Glambition Radio podcast and founder of The Trust, the new private premier network for seven and eight figure women leaders, which I am a founding member of. Ali’s coaching and consulting enterprise has ranked within the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. She has been named one of Forbes’ women to watch, is one of EY’s Women Entrepreneurs and was featured on the ABC hit primetime show, Secret Millionaire. In addition to leading The Trust network, Ali specializes in helping female leaders who are making or on track for seven-eight figures, strategize and realize their next level of leadership and revenues. Her coaching and mentorship have been featured on CNN and many other media outlets. Ali and her Australian husband Brett are based in Scottsdale Arizona and travel often with their eight-year-old boy and girl twins. Ali is going to be a real delight for you to listen to. I felt like I had my own private coaching session with Ali, maybe not a coaching session but a picking brain session. She has so much awesome stuff to offerso enjoy this special episode of She Talks Business.
Lisa Larter (03:11):
Hello everyone and welcome to She Talks Business. I am here today with my colleague and mentor Ali Brown and I am super excited to have her on the show. It is a little bit surreal for me in some ways how back in 2008 I took one of Ali’s online…she was the very first program I ever bought online, I researched every testimonial on her website and then I binge watched every single DVD because you got them in the mail back then. That was actually the inspiration for my first business and so fast forward to having done strategy work with you, to have attended events with Alan Weiss with you, to be a member of your Trust and to have gotten to know you is a real privilege, Ali. Thank you for saying yes to being here.
Ali Brown (04:05):
It is so fun to be here, and I always enjoy our conversations. In fact you kind of summed up something in the introduction that I haven’t had the wording for so thank you already for something you did not even realize you did. I will tell you later.
Lisa Larter (4:18):
Okay sounds good, sounds good. It is great to have you here and I was telling you pre-recording that this season of She Talks Business really came about because of The Trust. When we were in Miami and we were out for lunch, the group of women at The Trust saw one of the signs that you have for the premier network for seven and eight-figure women in business and this young woman came over to where we were sitting outside having lunch because she wanted to see who were the women that were doing this and it was a real “aha” for me because I am someone who has never really done all of that income marketing stuff I have never flown the flag to say “I’ve generated seven…” whatever figures in my business or I have seven figures in the bank account.” I just haven’t done that stuff and that moment really made me realize that we need to talk about this stuff more because it inspires other women, especially young women to what’s possible. Shout out to The Trust, I love being a member.
Ali Brown (05:16):
Thank you and we love having you. It is a fine line, isn’t it? There is nothing wrong with quietly making a lot of money. For women it is so powerful when we share that because for so long you think it is impossible. Then when you do it though you realize it may not be as hard as you thought; some of you listening right now, it may not be as hard as you’re thinking it is.
Lisa Larter (05:49):
No there is definitely a lot of mindset work. I hate the word mindset work; I think you have to have the right mindset in order to charge and get your business to that level. Once you realize that the only thing getting in the way of you getting there is you, all of a sudden you see what is possible. Speaking of things that can get in the way of being you, I would really love to start by having you share a little bit with us on the decision that you made to take a sharp right turn in your business a few years back, because I have followed your work online for a number of years. You had built almost an eight-figure business yourself and then, all of a sudden Ali Brown kind of disappeared. She started to do things differently, you were really, really quiet. You kind of spoke out about some of the stuff that was going on in the online space and I look at that single act as one of the most courageous things I have ever seen a woman do online, because not only did you walk away from a very healthy business; your identity was tied up in that business and how people perceive you was tied up in that. How did you find the courage to do that?
Ali Brown (07:16):
That is the thing you shared in the pre-talk by the way. I wrote down how you described it because when I explained that shift to people they say, was it hard? and I am like “You know some of the decisions were not hard, the hardest part was my identity was so linked with that business and being Ali Brown.” And here you are, surrounded by all these blessings and everything’s wonderful; like who are you to want to change that? With all those blessings that I felt like I had been given and opportunities, here I am changing lives and people are getting results; how selfish of me to start to want something different. That was absolutely agonizing internally and externally, like you said. When you have been doing the same thing for a long time, even when some people expect you to make a change there is a lot of people who won’t. We were getting people upset, that I was starting to talk about leadership and not marketing and I am like “Guy’s I have been selling stuff online since 2002.” During this time which took several years to make the shift, I had gone through a lot of changes myself.
Ali Brown (08:34):
The short version just a few highlights, I was on the show Secret Millionaire which you can still watch it. I think it is on Amazon, it is on Hulu and the gist of that show was that someone is taken out of their current uber successful life being this and all that. You’re put into some hard situations living on welfare, you know working with some people in emotional situations. You are just kind of back to that raw part of humanity, that you may have been shut off with all the stuff going on around you. You will see me transform on that show. It just cracked me open, and I knew it was a problem during the show. I realized this later, people say was that show hard? you know you’re living on welfare and doing all this stuff. I said, “You know some parts of it were hard of course.” But I said, “It was a wake-up call where It was about midway through the week, and I did not want to come back.” I was happier living on welfare working with the homeless than the life I had been In. The wake-up call is that my life every five minutes was scheduled; we had launches upon launches, we had endless team calls. We had to top every launch we did with the next launch. We were in this mode of being, that was kind of exciting but the same time. I am like, alright well how much longer do we do this? Do we just keep trying to do, double and better? And what if I want something different? So that show kind of just shook me up like, if you think of the GPS on your phone so it could be a whole conversation itself; but I like giving people a little glimpse of what happened to me during that week. It really was about the space and no tech nothing I had nothing to remind me who I was or the identity that I was locked into.
Lisa Larter (10:24):
And they didn’t know who you were.
Ali Brown (10:25):
They did not know who I was. It was so nice to be anonymous, it was nice to just have conversations with people about life and who they were. I am grossly simplifying the process that happened during that week on that show. I came back thinking totally differently, I knew I was like all right, I may not know what I want, but I could start disassembling some things. I have clients do this by the way as well, the first thing we do when they come in the door for VIP days is we are putting everything they are doing up on the wall. And for many women, especially if they have gotten into that online type of model and they are doing information or they are an expert on something, or they are teaching, or coaching there is a lot of stuff and we get it all up on the wall.
Lisa Larter (11:13):
More, more, more, more right?
Ali Brown (11:14):
Oh my gosh just everything they are like, and people wanted this things so I am doing this course, and then they wanted a mastermind for their dog like you Just start adding on stuff; because in the beginning it is fun you’re saying yes to everything, you’re helping people it’s fantastic. Then I just kind of watch their faces are they are mapping it out and I am like what about that one? And they are like these people drive me nuts, you know we really make no money with this but they like this. We just start crossing stuff out like we are not going to know how yet, let’s just cross it out and this is what I did. I started looking at what is the 80/20 rule applied to my business. If I looked at what is that 20% – the Pareto’s principle, the 20% of my business that is likely bringing me 80% of my happiness 80% of the income, the real net income. The word called net – ladies, okay which means after the launch, clean up, after you are paying affiliates, after you had the event with all the balloons and the guest speaker really, I mean you get down to it like where’s that net, net.
Lisa Later (12:17):
Oh yeah, shine events were not cheap.
Ali Brown (12:19):
Oh, yeah those were not. They were fun, they caused a stir, they got people excited, but you know that I knew that wasn’t the long game, right. I do not have acrobats at my events now and the big disassembling of it which was very, very hard and I want to be clear this took several years for me to start determining what I wanted. Internally, was that internal struggle like is it okay if I change, like how will I be viewed? Will people understand? and finally I just said I have to be okay with some people never understanding. And there are still some people in my life that were in my life, and we don’t speak anymore because of the changes I made. My changing plans was not the plan that they had in mind or part of being the company that I had founded. Most people I was able to really help them through this process, find what they should be doing. I had to deal with my internal stuff and then externally; I think I waited too long Lisa because I really felt at that point, we weren’t looking ahead enough at what was coming up the pipe there was social media everywhere. Suddenly, there were people teaching the same things that I was teaching, but they were doing cooler videos. They danced and they made it really fun, suddenly things got really slick and I kind of saw where everything was going. I was like I don’t know if I want to play this game, you know? We are teaching great stuff; I was an Inc. 500 company. I had proven my worth, I had proven what I was doing. But we could never be as cool as the other people coming up. There was just so many things I wondered if now it was time to get out, I wondered if right now is the time to make the exit.
Lisa Larter (14:12):
What were you most afraid of when you were considering all of that?
Interesting the most afraid…
Lisa Larter (14:19):
Because what goes through my mind, I think about disassembling my business I can immediately think what would I tell clients? What would I tell my team? What would I do if our revenues drop? I can feel the different layers of fear so I am curious as to what were some of the things that scared you or brought fear up?
It is interesting because I had to go there, I have to go back to that point because at this point, I feel like gosh I could not have done it like I was ready, and so burnt out, and so creatively starved. To do something new, I feel I did not question that decision but defiantly put it off. I think it was feeling like I was abandoning the people who kind of helped make me. You know, like the kind of “we made you.” I don’t know If I expected for someone to stand up and say, “We made you, we made you Ali Brown because we followed you for years and you’re going to change what you do; now you are going to go only work with seven and eight figure women entrepreneurs who are you?” Oh, she’s a leadist I think that was going through my mind. You know luckily not to the point that said, “Oh I want to stay working with these people” some wonderful people but by then there are hundreds of other coaches that could help them.
Lisa Larter (15:39):
Ali Brown (15:40):
I had a special lane; I had a special gift. Where do I spend time that I love these clients, where do I spend time, I love the conversations. Who are the clients that can’t find this anywhere else? I know that this is special to them and that was where I decided to go to that portion. I am going to give you some warning signs to look for that I experienced and other clients have shared the same thing. When you start feeling the slightest bit resentful for something you have created, and you see the calls come up on the calendar or your list of content. People are in content purgatory; they sell this big program and then they get into like oh my gosh I am stuck in this thing. You know just be honest with yourself just make some notes, because you are going to come back to it later when you when you redesign things next time. Have courage to design things around who you are and not what you see works, or what a coach says “well, this is what’s working now, so this is what you should do right, you should be dancing and reels.” I am not dancing in reels, you should be doing things this way, you should have a 14-step funnel. Anytime that I have tried to do something by the book like that exactly it typically doesn’t work for me anyway. I realized that, why am I not just designing this in a way that aligns with my energy and who I am? I encourage clients start there first then we will find models to plug into right do that later but start with who you are. I had this one client come in; this was years ago but she just burst into tears. She was like I hate webinars; I hate them! And I am like “you can decide not to do webinars it’s okay.” She was like everyone say this is what works, and I am like oh my gosh these poor people. These poor people were just following along we start our own business to break all the rules, and then we get locked right back into the set of rules.
Lisa Later (17.32):
yeah and it is so hard. You start to feel like in the corporate world, they would call the golden handcuffs. You get stock options, and you stay because those stock options are going to mature someday. I think that in our own businesses we have our own set of golden handcuffs you know it is the responsibility it is the commitments that we make, it is the I cannot not do this now because this is the way everybody does it or this is what people expect. We literally go from being entrepreneurs that are creative to an employee of our own company and behave like we do not have choice. I wanted to ask about that because I think that a lot of people don’t know how to make that pivot or make that sharp right turn. There is not only the financial aspect that people need to consider, we talked about net. If you have a skinny net and you want to make sharp right turn your business it can be a risky thing to do, if your livelihood and your mortgage payment and feeding your kids is dependent on the net right. I think it’s important for people to hear stories about people who have had the courage to do that.
Ali Brown (18:49):
It is so important, but you know what made it easier when you do realize that you’re actually making from some of these business models. It is shocking when I have had clients do this over the years. If I hear the least bit of complaint, they are having that big event they are saying, it is just such a pain in the ass, and I have to pay the coaches and pay this and then we have entertainment. I said, you know what I want to see all of this, I want you to do a whole analysis of this program not everything else, but this program in particular and what the net, net, net is. I mean after everything right paying for the zoom, I mean everything.
Lisa Larter (19:26):
Ali Brown (19:27):
And sometimes they will come back in and they just look like a ghost and they will say my God, I could probably have a few handful of clients right now just working with at a high end that net more than this.
Lisa Larter (19:40):
Lisa Larter (19:42):
That’s why I hate the whole seven figure marketing BS because I worked with people who have seven figure businesses that cannot afford to pay themselves.
Ali Brown (19:49):
Lisa Larter (19:50):
The net on that is net nothing. I agree with you when you start to strip it apart, I think it is a really good point. If all of a sudden, your net take home what you pay yourself and your profits is really a small fraction of the revenue that you are bringing in maybe it is time to re-evaluate how to do things.
Ali Brown (20:12):
And here is the thing too, I want to sink this in Lisa. Let’s also remember there is no one right way to do this, some women love running these big companies, you could tell they are born to be CEO they are running this thing it is awesome. Some prefer to work deeper with clients one on one which I do now, because I feel like at the seven figure, eight figure levels that’s what is needed. Then on the side we have the network which is what we did with the Trust. This is going to line up with who you are, and I just want everyone to really honor that. The million-dollar mark can be a bit of a false God, in some ways. It is also a huge milestone though for so many women so I still tell them, you want to hit it go for it get it you will know you did it, right. Do it in a way that’s aligned with who you are that is the bigger message.
Lisa Larter (21:07):
Yes, absolutely money is not going to always bring you happiness. It helps when you want to buy new shoes and go to the SPA and things like that. If you are working like a dog to generate more sales and you are not happy doing what you are doing it is time to re-evaluate.
Ali Brown (21:28):
Lisa Larter (21:29):
You started the Trust and I remember you texting me and saying, hey I have something that I want to do every little talk to you about it. That was Fall of 2019 and I think our very first Trust meeting in person in Miami in 2020 was literally 24 hours before Covid restrictions blanketed out the world.
Ali Brown (22:02):
I remember sitting at lunch with Ellen Blake and I am like, “what do you think of this Covid thing?” We were like it is probably going to disappear by next week right and then little did we know.
Lisa Larter (22:10):
All of a sudden, we were in lockdown’s here you have made this sharp right turn. You have got this new thing you have really been nurturing and you’re ready to start and then Covid hit. How did you weather that storm and not lose steam? Because obviously the Trust was intended to be an in-person networking organization for seven, and eight figure women. People were just not getting on planes and flying places and doing this. What I have seen, and I am sure you have seen this in your career too; is that a lot of people the first sign that something goes wrong, it is like somebody popped the balloon of their idea and took all the air out. Then they cannot pick themselves up off the ground and keep going, and so how did you deal with that challenge, when it came forward?
Ali Brown (23:03):
I remember going through periods of it. I was first of all just really irritated at this whole Covid thing, It derailed my plan. We would plan, we would plan for the plan. I finally had a plan after a few years of not having a plan and then Covid hits. I realized very quickly, so my original idea for the Trust was that it would only be in person. It would feel so exclusive and private like we would not even be really connected online that was kind of vision. I was thinking what would be the antithesis of all this junk online. Maybe even a secret location, we were playing with all these ideas just brainstorming like you don’t know where you are going until you get your ticket. We were just having fun but we said definitely in person meetings. People were craving that already even before the last few years. People were craving real connection, closed door without recording and knowing that you’re going to be on screen, or you know just having these conversations. I tell people very honestly, some people say 2020 was my best year ever and I turned it around, that is great. 2020 was very challenging for me personally. I felt like I knew intuitively this was the time, but why was this happening? and why was this timing at this right time. I pulled back maybe a little more than I could have, or should have. I think mentally and emotionally also dealing with some things going on here at the home, the kids. I also take care of my mom who lives with us. I gave myself permission Lisa to say, you know what this may not be the gangbusters launch plan I had in mind but let me step back and let me think about things.
Ali Brown (24:41):
Giving myself permission to do that when in the past I would have said, how’s is this going to look if I take a breath? If I take time to think about this and we change some things is that okay? and it was so great. I was in such a different mindset, and I am so glad I did not try to do this a few years ago. I would have done this so differently and not aligned with, what the Trust really stands for is such high integrity that it is not about the speed of things, it is not about how fast we accelerate. It is about doing this for the long game, this is my legacy play. I want women in here who ideally, will be with us for a lifetime. We are all going to get old together Lisa. We will be doing the golden girls meeting in Florida one day. We will all be in our 80s in moo moo’s or something. Some basic things I had changed with the model. Obviously, we started connecting on zoom to help each other because immediately some of our members, especially those with physical locations had to figure out some things that we always figured out online. We can help them and they had ideas for us, people were sharing about PPE loans and grants and all kinds of great stuff and the information share was so valuable, we kept doing it. Finally, we got back into that model. The challenge for me I think there is always a temptation to like, oh should I be doing something else? If the Trust is not going to be growing this first year the way I thought it would, should I launch a course? should I do another program? It was probably the first time in my whole career that we had revenue goals, but I am like you know what that is not the most important thing right now. I am staying so focused on this, and we are going to build this slowly and carefully and with these incredible women and that’s how this is going to roll.
Lisa Larter (26:32):
Can we talked a little bit about, we had revenue goals but that wasn’t going to be the main focus, how do you do that?
Ali Brown (26:39):
For me that was, I am in this new zone where I just know that it is all going to work out. The old Ali has the metrics saying, this is my goal and shifting to being pulled by a vision and trusting that process and knowing that I will attract the clients. It is kind of the way I used to be before we became so mechanical. It is a shift that is hard to describe as some of you who are just so tapped into flow and intuition. You probably know where this place is, where you hold the vision. You know that you are going to be brought the right members at the right time, the right person will tell each other, and of course you are always still talking about things in marketing. I don’t go sit in a cave, but I let myself go into this flow. Let’s understand too that I have already built these companies. I am obviously not living paycheck to paycheck, and I am okay, I can take a breath and give myself permission to do that, which I think some of us don’t sometimes. We are so worried that we are going to lose our place in line or that women especially, we have these mindsets around money that we feel like we should be always earning. Getting out of that earning mindset and shifting into this whole different place. We have goals but the vision really is what pulls, and I just gave myself permission during that time to really think about the long term of what we were creating; and knowing that this year may not meet the goals that I had in mind but that we were absolutely being pulled towards the vision. Some miracles happen that year like magical people coming in. People talking about the group and we were not expecting it, and people inquiring and these little things to let me know, okay I am on the right track this is where we are supposed to be
Lisa Larter (28:47):
What advice would you give our listeners who maybe do not have the business experience that you have, the confidence that you have and or the financial cushion in terms of how they should handle something when they have a big vision, but all of a sudden they feel like they’re not making the progress that they need to make on their on their goals. How do they stop themselves from getting completely de-railed?
Ali Brown (29:20):
Yes, first thing we got to pay the bills, right? We got to deal with that so go look through your numbers. Half of this is logical, linear, Lisa larter left brain. The other half is the intuition and trusting, and energy, and attraction. It is very balanced and you have got to have both if you are living just the attraction land you are not going to pay your bills, right. Let’s get this clear part of it is look at not, I can’t do this but how could I do this. Which programs could you turn up the dial on, or which clients could you turn up the dial on, or create something new that is high net and low stress that would help support you during that transition to the new thing. If I have clients who I know and this often happens; they will come in the door, and they have this business and then towards after lunch usually start loosening up. They will start saying, there is this other thing I really want to do, there is actually this mission or gosh I really wish I could do this part of the business full time. I said well let’s play with that, you want to play with that feeling? Yeah let’s do that and so we start literally just sitting and figuring out how could that happen and it sounds so simple Lisa but people don’t often give themselves permission to see this and say, well if we got rid of these programs and maybe trim the team over here. See it usually involves decisions that are hard that we do not want to make, maybe making some changes and that is where everyone stops. I encourage everyone, give yourself permission just play with that put it on paper, put it up on the wall, sit with it with a glass of wine, just start playing. If I wanted to go in this direction, how could I and you do not have to do it like I did. The third change that happened that time was having twins I did not mentioned that which kind of throws you for a loop. You get ruthless about your time and things get a lot clearer, but you don’t have to do it that way, and say you know here is my end date I am stopping this I am starting this. This could be a gradual shift but do something in that direction because momentum breathes momentum and something will happen, I promise. If you make a move in the direction you want to go it may lead you to a decision that you have to make. That is the warning, it comes faster than you think.
Lisa Larter (31:44):
You and I were talking a little bit about, how do you become a category one, and we were referencing Alan Weiss, and how people don’t Google his content they Google his name.
Ali Brown (31:57):
Lisa Larter (31:01):
They are not looking for the consultant to consultants they are looking for Alan Weiss and I think that you to have built a category of one. People are looking for Ali Brown, they know you. If someone is listening to the show right now, knowing what we know about online marketing and how it has changed over the last decade and even social media, and this whole capitalist voyeur economy online; what advice would you give people for establishing their own category of one and preserving their attention.
Ali Brown (32:43):
Preserving their own attention or their clients?
Lisa Larter (32:46):
No, their own attention because I feel like so many people go down the rabbit hole of vanity metrics on social media. They miss interpret the number of followers and likes and hearts and taps and all of that stuff as being evidence that they’re doing good, and then their attention gets fragmented away from what’s most important to what’s happening online. They think that they are building a brand for themselves, they think they are building a category one, but they are really lost. What advice would you give people knowing what you know now? What would you tell people to do if they want to be in that category of one?
Ali Brown (33:33):
Yes, I want to walk through a few steps I shared at Iconic for those of you who were there, which is my event. If you will remember there is a session there on who are your false Gods and for so many of us social media is a false God, likes and like you said hearts. Hearts and hearts and how many do you have like what is happening, this is a clown town. We don’t even realize it when we get sucked into this stuff. Number one what metrics are you measuring your success by, and you may be surprised when you really admit what you’re writing down and what those metrics are. Think about what your metrics should be for most women, not all but most it is impact they are having, it is freedom and flexibility in their business, it is doing the work that they love the most; and not the work that they don’t enjoy. Look at that and then maintaining your attention that is brilliant, and it is so true because people say they want this but then they go back and there like, I want likes on social. This is not going to be easy and over the years I have seen this. I got sucked into it at some point, this is a giant cy-op on the things we are placing value on and getting back to what you value in your work. What is your great work in the world and being that category of one will happen very naturally when you link into what are you really here to do, What are you really here to say, truly being a thought leader. People call themselves a thought leader, but you know maybe they are more of an influencer I really distinguish those. Are you saying things that no one else is saying and leading people to have in place? And for some people it is getting very clear on their niche market. I made a very strategic decision to work with women only above the million dollar mark. For me it was about a different conversations it is different problems at that level, different conversations, different opportunities. We can go a little deeper and for some of you it may be a niche market, but you have not given yourself permission because you may be thinking well that will not look as big online.
Lisa Larter (35:57):
Those markets typically race to the bottom, typically. There are people who have hit it out of the park generally. If they are marketing to beginners but you are typically going to get sucked into a battle for vanity, a battle for lowest prices. It is just a race down a hill and for most people you are not going to want to be there. Look for where you can be specialized, look for where you can be in that category of one where you feel unstoppable, untouchable. These are the people I love helping or, this is the product that no one can touch, and this is where we are.
Lisa Larter (36:35):
Yes, it is interesting I had a little bit of a taste of that yesterday, because I did a full day strategy session with a husband and wife couple that own businesses together. I have done a few of these now where I have had women clients who all of a sudden want to bring their husbands in to do the work together. I always feel a little ambivalent at first because I think, oh what is this guy going to think? Is he going to be on board, Is he going to be resistant, Is he going to be willing to play right? And we were sitting at dinner last night, and this woman’s husband said to me, you truly are exceptional at what you do. It was the greatest compliment to hear that, because in my head I have been kind of noodling on this idea of creating a specialized way to work with couples that are building businesses together to. It is interesting that you say that because the first thing that comes to mind is, oh there’s not enough of those people. I think it is really interesting to pay attention to your own dismissal of what the opportunities might be.
Ali Brown (37:53):
Yes, yes, it is true we talk ourselves out of it before we even think through it, it is interesting.
Lisa Larter (38:00):
Let’s talk a little bit about the Trust, I found it fascinating when Dana Jacoby was talking to us, and she said that pre Covid 4% of businesses owned by women were seven figures and above. Post Covid only 2% of women owned businesses are seven figures and above. Here you are during Covid trying to build this premier networking organization for women that are seven figures and above, and you are dealing with a very small pool of people. Can you talk to us a little bit about why you felt the market needed something special for those women? And what your vision was. I am going to guess you have had to say no to some people that are really close and how hard that has been.
Ali Brown (38:51):
Especially when they are friends to, and they are like … I am like, but I know you are not at a million yet.
Lisa Larter (38:58):
Right, I mean, how do you manage that? How do you draw the line in the sand and not make exceptions for some of those people? I would love to hear your ideas about why this is needed because it is a small painful.
Ali Brown (39:17):
You are making it sound like more of a challenge by the end of this interview Lisa. Lisa is going to lay out all the reasons why it should not have worked in the first place, thanks. You brought up that good point to, the markets are essentially halved. Here is where I got the idea and here is where I stay true, and here’s where the metrics don’t even matter to me. This all started with the circle of my colleagues and my clients, and I could see it because I was included in this. When I hit the million-dollar mark in 2006 the first thing I did was think, great where do I go now? I love these people, but I can have these conversations anymore. I am excited I want to get in the big girl rooms, right. I wanted to go to these places I would be
surrounded by other people like this and I found kind of the bro down networking groups you know, some great advice, nice. Conversations with women for me are always a little deeper and more interesting and that’s what I wanted. I found there are a few networks around there and I am not talking about coaching masterminds or any of that jazz. I am talking about networks that are not there to learn a model together or be coached, but to connect. I found some, there are some organizations out there and they provide some good services, and I met some good people. It just did it have the kind flavor of this whole new breed of entrepreneurs like us. We are just a different animal than someone building a corporate style company, even if they are an entrepreneur, it is kind of a different thing. My clients even when they hit seven figures, eight figures they are like, where should I go? I gave them names of the few these organizations and they came back, and they are like no … Could you start something, and I kept thinking, oh gosh I don’t know, no. I kept thinking about it, kept thinking about it, and then they would say again, I would love to get together with even a lot of your past clients like just for a day to put something together. I am thinking, maybe there’s something in this because in our industry when I see industry I mean this whole, especially the world, I came from the online coaching consulting world.
Ali Brown (41:25)
Typically, you have these high-end masterminds that people stay in for two years and then they will move on. They join someone else’s because, maybe the purpose has been filled or they are so damn expensive. To be honest some of these… it is not sustainable, I wanted to design, something that was an accessible membership fee but still a good buy in, so you know you are getting people in there to add value they are not just there to sell people. And really designed this for lifetime and that’s where the Trust came from. That is where the idea came from and I know the stats out there, if you looked at this from a numbers point of view, or if I had an accountant looking at what is the viability of this business idea, they think I was nuts. It was really about the heart of it and who we are going to attract and these women who then invite in other women to be a part of this and you’ve been to the meetings you know it really has this family feel. We were not even supposed to have a May meeting and now suddenly we are having the annual meetings added in because no one wanted to wait between the spring and the fall, because everyone loves being with each other. They love seeing each other and there is a lifelong friendship being formed in this group, there are business ideas. One business owner at one of our meetings got an idea that saved then instantly six figures on a tax bill, with some new information from someone else. Two of them have started businesses together. There is a sisterhood there that I have not seen elsewhere. The best compliment I got from a new member who has been part of many things said, I have never seen a room like that of women at this level, who are just so generous, no posturing in there no one’s coming in, like I am miss all that. I am sure there will be as we grow, there is going to be one in every room. We are almost over 50 Members now. They come with the spirit of generosity and being happy to open the vest and talk about their business and what they do. It is nothing like they have experienced before and that is the most rewarding thing and as this grows, that is what I want to see grow and these women helping each other. It is about the business but it is also not, we talk a lot about business but there is so much heart to this and helping each other as humans, going through this journey together.
Lisa Larter (43.47):
Yes, I think it is so important for our listeners to recognize that it does not matter what stage you are at in your business, it is important to surround yourself With like-minded people. If you are constantly behind a computer screen trying to figure things out by yourself it is going to take you a lot longer and it’s going to feel a lot lonelier to do. One of the things that I really like about the Trust is your retention rate is ridiculously high. I have renewed three times now, and every year I come back, and I see so many of the same people, because I have been in this for three years now I am really starting to build stronger relationships with people and I love that. It really does feel like a trusted network of people that you know you can count on. I think everyone needs that, regardless of where they’re at within their business.
Ali Brown (44:48):
Yes, Yes and the name the Trust I got the idea after my very first Iconic. It was a small one, did you come to that one in LA; the very first one I did? It was a bit smaller it, was it at the Ritz DelRay?
Lisa Larter (45:01):
Oh Wait yes, I think I did.
Ali Brown (45:02):
Maybe you did yes. The day after I was just kind of ramping down, walking around Malibu a bit and I walked by sign. It was for a financial company, but it was in gold. It was this beautiful gold sign and it said another name with it but it said – The Trust. Something was like “buzz”… I got this little buzz, and I took a picture of it. It kind of sat with me, and sat with me, and sat with me. I was like that word means so many things to us. It is trusting especially as women, there are so many layers to trust we have to trust ourselves; we have to learn to trust other women again in business and having this incredible group of women that we realized that we can trust each other. It is kind of a brain trust right; we are in that room sharing things with each other that we don’t share elsewhere. We may have these resources, be happy to share them but this is the forum to do. We are sharing really, really great stuff.
Lisa Larter (45:56):
The last meeting when we were talking about what to do with your money, that was priceless.
Ali Brown (46:01):
That was wild, all you ladies listen guys to. There is stuff you don’t even know you could be doing with your money and it’s all legal, I think.
Lisa Larter (46:13):
Yes, yes, totally.
Ali Brown (46:14):
Interesting investment strategies some of our members are getting into crypto, we are going to be learning about that. Really, really cool stuff and women doing these things, and doing amazing things with their families that no one else does. Many of us are homeschooling or alternative schooling our kids now. We are a new breed, we are creating the new systems, we are creating the new models. When you want to give yourself permission, going back to your original topic to when you have that urge. When you have that urge to break out of what you have been doing and do something different it is for a reason. It is because you are here to help create something new. Do not forget that, so important. Join the trust.org if you would like to learn more about joining us for our next event.
Lisa Larter (47:04):
It comes to mind when I think about all of these women gathered together is you don’t know what you don’t know until you know. If you want to know, being around women like this is where you go to know. You are going to quickly learn things that you did not know that you need to know on that journey, which speaks to why being in the right room, with the right people really matters.
Ali Brown (47:27):
Lisa Larter (47:29):
So I want to ask you one more question as we wrap up and it is something that I have asked everyone on this season of the podcast, and that is what is your entrepreneurial superpower?
Ali Brown (47:44):
Lisa Larter (47:45):
Knowing, how did you cultivate that sense of knowing and learn to trust it?
Ali Brown (47:55):
Are you allowed to ask a follow up question? I thought it was supposed to be one profound word and then we close.
Lisa Larter (47:59):
No because that was such a good answer, I need to know more.
Ali Brown (48:07):
Now I have got to backtrack what does that mean, I don’t know. It kind of just came to me, let me think. Part of it is age, you know I am 50. You know some stuff, right. As we get older, when you have been doing this so long. Ladies and guys… you know you know so much, we know so much that we do not give ourselves permission to know and make decisions from that place; from that place of knowing and trusting. I did this at a workshop once, I was trying to get that group to really feel confident and have the courage to make some changes in their lives. I had them go through their lives, just write down five major positive experiences you have had in your life. Stuff that maybe did not just happen to you, but was definitely a milestone in some way. For example, it could have been anything from maybe having the courage to leave your last job and start the business in the first place. The courage to decide to start a family. It could be anything, it is different for everyone. Healing from a traumatic injury, deciding they want to walk again. These amazing things came out and then I said, how many of these involve some risk? And they all did, they all did. They did not know there is no guarantee, there is never a payoff. We drive on the highway every day like we could get hit by a car, we forget. To put this into perspective, no one is going to care more about your success then you. So, you have to know it is there, you have to know it is there and trust the process. When you are guided listen, when you are tested be aware of that, there is a difference that is another show, right. Sometimes you are tested a bit, but sometimes you are being guided in a different direction. Tune into that conversation and then you just start knowing, and when you do it is absolutely magical.
Lisa Larter (50:03):
Yes, I appreciate you sharing that, and I can see your sense of knowing in you. In everything that you are doing, and it is inspiring to see because I think that it is probably something I want to know more of for myself and trust more in. I am sure there is lots of people listening that feel the same way.
Ali Brown (50:25):
Yes, thank you.
Lisa Larter (50:26):
Thank you, thank you so much Ali for sharing everything that you did with our listeners today. I feel like I could have you on the show for half a day.
Ali Brown (50:41):
Yes, we got into some heavy stuff. I feel like we could have done the buffet, you know.
Lisa Larter (50:42):
Yes, yes there is so many things I could ask you about. I think the stuff we talked about was really valuable and good. I just want to say on behalf of all the women who you have positively impacted and inspired, Thank you. I appreciate you walking this journey, and I appreciate learning from you.
Ali Brown (51:02):
Thank you, thanks Lisa.
Lisa Larter (51:04):
Thanks everyone, thanks you for listening. If you want to learn more about Ali you can go to Alibrown.com. If you want to learn more about the Trust you can go to join the trust.org and I will share Ali’s social media links in the show notes. Thanks for listening everyone and we will see you next time.
Lisa Larter (51:20):
Thank you for joining me for this episode of she talks business. If you enjoyed the show, you know the drill leave us a review, tell someone about it, and join the conversation on social media. Thanks for listening and until next time remember done is always better than perfect.