Find Your Influence

When Your Passion Doesn't Equal Profit

We have heard this phrase many times before "Follow your passion and the profit will follow". I think many people embraced this concept but somewhere along the path, they began to feel frustration. If that is you then this blog is for you or someone you know. 

I have found a few issues with the phrase stated above:

1.) Sometimes what you are passionate about does not work in a "system". What people focus on is the passion creation and not the system creation. Those that find profit in their passions have figured out a way to create a "system" around their passions. It is not your passion that generates income it's the systems around your passion that you put in place in your business that run like a well-oiled machine. What I mean by systems is the process from acquiring a customers (marketing), them purchasing from you (internal operations #1), the customer receiving the service or product (internal operations #2), and the after purchase process (follow-up).  Knowing each part individually and inside and out and the data connected to them will help you create systems that work. 

2.) Passionate people want to do the "work". It's not work to them so they do what they love but the business will only ever grow beyond how much that one person can do. Which is why again, you must create a system. I think it is totally okay to start off with just yourself doing all the work. Find out the good and bad parts, tweak and then when you ready to scale you have the foundation in place. The second step is to create a document or video that will help your employees do what you do without giving away your "secret" sauce. Also leave a competitive edge by giving them what they need without giving away everything. That leads me to my next point. 

3.) Have something unique about your passion that sets you apart and makes it uniquely you. If your growing a brand, I always tell people to share the story behind the brand. No one can recreate your story because it is unique to you and your life. That is your fingerprint. If you have a product that you want to sell take your time, as much time as you need to figure out how to set your product apart from all the others out there. You may even want to look into getting it patented before you launch out. It will be your signature piece! 

4.) Don't be surprise if profiting takes a little bit of time. It DOES take time. This is not an overnight success type of thing. Your work will pay off if you keep on going. Tweak what doesn't work, remove the bad part, try something new but keep on going. Never allow your lack of profit to hinder you from learning the vital lessons about what is not working. Even when you are "failing" you are progressing as long as you see it as an opportunity to learn and not a set back. 

5.) As you know my blog is about faith, family and business. One of the TOP things I do in my own life and business when it comes to profit is ALWAYS tithe off of your gross sales. Tithing is when you give 10% back to God (local church). God doesn't need your money, He wants your heart and our money is often times connected to deep places in our hearts. He can do so much more with your 90% than you can with your 100%. I am a living witness! Tithing has been the single most powerful thing in my own life. I tithe monthly off of all my business sales. I make it a habit to do it when I am reconciling the month. I like to see the profit, expenses, and then how much I owe God. I take care of God first then everyone else comes second. Also, don't forget an offering. Tithing and offering go hand in hand. Ask your Pastor to learn more. 

I share with you all things that I personally have gone through. The reason I am able to share these 5 tips is because I was that entrepreneur going after her passion but was seeing very little profit. I was the person doing all the work and never realizing their was no systems in place. I was the person that didn't see the power in tithing and offering. I was also the person that failed enough to learn and make the correct changes. This is what I want for you. Until next time lovely.....let's go higher! 

Where Am I? Am I Distracted?

Focus: (v) (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly (Webster dictionary)

Truth is, at times I get distracted. My most recent distraction has come in the form of routine. In order to have any type of sanity with my home life / mom life / wife life, I have to establish some sort of routine. For me, routines can be boring. I try to intentionally schedule in moments of spontaneity in order to stir my creativity but honestly, sometimes that is not possible. Other times, my distractions come from what I called the “Shiny Object Syndrome”.  I get it. Trust me I do and it took me a long time to even admit this is something I ever struggled with. I have done MANY things and been involved with a ton of opportunities, but as great as that has been for me, it has not helped me stay focus. When I get distracted I tend to question my journey. I ask if I’m doing the right things. I seek God for answers He has already given me. What I have learned is how to bounce back from being distracted. This time around I tried something different and I want to encourage anyone that may, like me, feel distracted at times.

1.)    I admitted to myself that I am distracted. This self-confession is so good for the soul. It increases your self-awareness and helps you give yourself grace.

2.)     Now that I realize where I am, I ask myself, what do I need to refocus? Inspirational books, conferences, speakers, or artistic expression are ways I get my focus back. My favorite places to find inspiration are:

a.       Podcast (there are tons out there that are really good. Try to listen to at least one per week, most likely on a Sunday/Monday; begin the week off right)

b.      Magazines: I like magazines because they aren’t books. They don’t require the long-term commitment of a book. I try to get a variety of magazines in the industries that appeal to me.

c.       Music: LIKE YES! Music has an amazing abilityto get me back on track. It’s the right track, with the right words conveying the whispers of my heart.

d.      Museums: I have no agenda. I just want to go and look and be inspired. The questions I often ask what was the artist thinking when they created this piece?

e.      Other people: I thoroughly enjoy deep conversation. Not all people do, but when I find someone that does, it is VERY inspirational for me

f. The word of God. I personally enjoy reading The Message version of the bible because it feels like I am reading a letter from a distant friend. Such an easy read and understand. 

3.)    Make a plan. If you are anything like myself, plans get me REALLY focused. I find when my plans change or I do not re-visit my plans it is hard to keep focus. I use Lara Casey’s PowerSheets to keep and set my goals. Feel free to find them here.

4.)    Stretch Yourself: Nothing great is found within your comfort zone right? So do something that you know will make you uncomfortable.  For me, it is meeting new people and allowing them in my inner circle. That is HARD for me. My trust levels with people are still kind sketchy, but over time I’m learning that not everyone is bad, mean or have ulterior motives. 

5.)    Find joy in the simple things. My daughters smile. I can’t explain the joy she gives me and inspires me at the same time.

6.)    Write your thoughts out on paper. Get a Journal or start blog.

If you are distracted, try one of those things. Whatever it takes, stay focused on what really matters. Let go of anything that is taking up too much of your time. The worst thing is a whole year going by or even half a year, and you realized you didn’t accomplish half the things you set out to accomplish. It's not about getting it done perfect, it's about moving along (progress). As Lara says, "Progress not Perfection".  Time goes by so fast and it is important that we maximize our days. Until next time lovelies……

The Power Of One: Weight Loss & Business Success

 

The larger your numbers the better right? Not always. In a world of “having more is better”, I want to introduce to you how the power of one has transformed my life.

Let’s start with weight loss. While I was pregnant with my daughter I gained exactly 41 pounds. The doctors want you to gain between 30-40 pounds so I wasn’t too concerned until AFTER she was born. I was expecting the weight to just fall off. For the first few weeks, the weight did fall off….then it stopped. I was thinking okay what now. I have never been “overweight” and this new weight was making me feel horrible! I hated it.  But even though I hated it, I could not lose it. My frustration was capped when I was in Mexico on our annual anniversary trip and we took a ton of photos. I then said to myself “Yea, this is out of control”. I’ll never forget feeling like I could not recognize the person in the mirror and it felt horrible.  When we arrived back home, I was on mission lose this fat. That was last year and since then I have dropped 20 pounds. Here is what I believe did it for me:

1.)    I made changes in my everyday diet. Less fast food and if I had to go to the fast food place, I decided to get something healthy. One choice.

2.)    I removed soda and sweets from my diet. I still had some but only occasionally at family dinners.

3.)    I did the vegan reset. Just Google it to find out more. Great way to jump start your process.

4.)    MOST IMPORTANTLY: I changed how I viewed this huge mountain. I remember telling myself “Bridgette, the reason it seems overwhelming is because you are looking at the big picture. Just look at the next step and decision. Take it one choice and decision at at time. So whatever is your next choice, make it a healthy one. Then the next choice. ONE decision at time.” 

I cannot express how powerful it was for me not to look at the big mountain but just in my next step. That has transformed me and now I am here 20 pounds lighter and I feel great! I still want to lose 30 more pounds to reach my goal weight but it feels SO good to know I am headed in the right direction.

The second area that this applies to is in business success.  It is true, business is a numbers game. The more people you can get your business in front of the more reach you have and the better probability that you will have sales. That’s why most people are trying to be “Insta-Famous” or get a million followers. But I want to share with you the power of ONE.

While growing my stationery company, I had a young lady that loved our products so much she posted our company on her blog page. All of a suddenly I had literally hundreds of sales coming in and I had no idea why. After researching it, I found her blog post. She has a blog that attracts 2 million readers a month. ONE person…..I never asked her to do it, she just did it on her own. Not only did she do it once, she did it TWO times within a six month period. I sent her some free items and a HUGE thank you. She didn’t have to do that, and I so appreciate her. So while everyone is going after a million followers which may or may not get a return on their investment, there may be ONE person that you need to connect with that will transform your business and life.

What can you gather from this? Don’t chase the crowds. Cultivate one relationship at a time. You never know if that person is your ONE.

The last area that the power of ONE can transform your life in is in your relationship with God. I think if we aren't careful, our busy lives can get in the way of quality time with God.  Days can go by before we sit down for long enough time to soak in what God is saying to us in this season. But even with this, don't think about how far you have gone without Him, think about your next choice. Even if you have strayed away from God, you are one decision away from reconnecting. I have heard people say "I've done too many bad things, I'm just not good enough".  Guess what? You are MORE than enough and with ONE choice....God can set you on a new path towards TOTAL FREEDOM! If you need someone to pray with you, let me know....we can do this. 

Have a great week! Let’s go higher!

Why My First Business Failed

I was a 22 year old ambitious college graduate ready to take on the world. I wanted to build an empire but honestly, my first business failed. I mean horribly failed. It was a Corporate Relocation Service. Working in corporate America I saw how people would relocate or have to move for a position. I wanted to be that third party organization that helped with that relocation for the person or the family that had to relocate due to work. What made me interested in this? I went on interview for a position at a company like this. I did tons of research on the industry and the company and just KNEW I would get the position. I didn’t get the position. But I learned about the industry and looking back, I think I was just mad at them and thought, “I’ll show you”. LOL! Don’t judge! It was an honest thought!  I have a background in Finance & Accounting and I know how business works. And being that my step-dad owned 23 investment homes and my mother started a few businesses herself, I saw entrepreneurship work in my home. Even with all my knowledge, I still felt the need to take a Small Business Development Certification Course through my local small business association. I went through the course, graduated and thought "With all this I’m ready!" So what went wrong?

1.)    At the time, I did not foresee how “passion” or even “interest” in a business had a TON to do with the success.  I had a great idea, but I had NO interest in it. I just saw how it could make me a ton of money. It was all about the money. Let’s be real. I had student loans to pay off, and that was the motivation behind my love for money. The time came for me to push past the MANY barriers in entrepreneurship and I kept on thinking “I could care less!”.  I did not even like the topic! LOL! Oh…young Bridgette, so many things I would share with you.

2.)    I had no strong “WHY”. Again, when the hard times came, which in business, hard times WILL come, your WHY will carry you through and give you the motivation to push past the issues!

3.)    My personal life was in shambles and I was totally distracted. I had just gotten out of a horrible break-up and relationship that left me emotionally withdrawn and completely distract. The lesson I learned here is your personal life plays a MAJOR role in staying focused. You need to try your best to be balanced and live a healthy lifestyle both physically and emotionally so no distractions will keep you from focusing. Building a business takes a ton of hard work and focus. But you can do it, if you focus.

4.)    Mental Barriers. I did not realize I had them until I completed my first Triathlon.  That is when I realized my mind had the power to physically keep me from achieving things that my body was able to complete. I’ll share more on this later, but the question you have to ask yourself is, what mental barriers exist in my mind causing me to not achieve my desired results.

5.) Lastly, probably the most important of them all. I did not consult God. I loved God and was active in my church, but for some reason I tried to do it without Him! I laugh now looking back thinking, oh you thought you could something without God. Truth is, I am NOTHING without Him. The faster I realized that on any thing I do.....the better things got. Needless to say, that business failed for my good. 

There is more…but I’ll stop there. I want you to know that I have failed….MANY times. I have also succeeded. Let’s go higher together! You ready?