THE PODCAST FOR ONLINE COURSE CREATORS GOING BIG!
Join business strategist Tina Tower as she explores how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.
Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mama and world traveller.
She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.
Learn how to organize your online business and where to start.
Know what to expect when you're just starting.
To run a successful business is not easy.
Building an online course is about consistency.
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[00:00] Hello, and welcome to episode 183 of Her Empire Builder podcast. Okay, so the first thing I'll say about this episode is language warning, I will drop a couple of F bombs. So probably best not to listen to this one. If you've got kids in the car, or I know I've had messages from people saying they play it while they're cooking dinner, I will be swearing a couple of times, just just FYI.
[00:29] So this episode, some of my episodes like the one that I did on lead magnet creation, a super practical and implementable this episode is probably a little less coherent, and structured than a lot of the episodes that I do, because it's a lot of thought things and a lot of things that I have been going through in the last 12 months that I know will be super helpful to you as you go about building your online course company. So today, I'm sharing what million dollar course creators don't talk about. And I know a lot of million dollar cost creators, and I am always surprised at what happens publicly. And then what happens privately, the things that people complain about and the issues that people have. And look, I will say having a million dollar online course business is the dream. So you don't really hear much about the downside. And this is for two reasons.
One, there's no complaining on the yacht. Meaning that you know, as a million dollar cost creator that you're privileged as fuck. So complaining about anything can feel plain mean, insensitive and a little ridiculous. Secondly, usually, to get an online business to that level, you need to maintain the facade that everything is perfect all the time, and that you're always under control, or you feel like you'll lose credibility. Neither of those are helpful to you on your growth journey, though. So I want to tell you about the growing pains of the next level. Now I fully and upfront acknowledge that these are fabulous and privileged problems to have. And I work hard every day to do good with the massive advantages in life that I have been given. And second, I am constantly learning in this experiment that we call life and reserve the right to change my mind as I learn and grow and have my mind continuously totally blown. My naivety shattered, and I strive to do better.
So there are a couple of caveats for you, is your I do know how lucky I am and I am not complaining in the way of going like I pick my problems, right, I really do think that no matter what life we're living, everyone has problems. But I get to pick a really beautiful set of those problems. However, I do want to share those growing pains. So I can mitigate that for you. So you're well aware. And you can go into this with eyes wide open, and knowing the different things that you should be making allowances for as you grow throughout the time.
[3:26] So now that we have that out of the way, on today's podcast episode, I'm sharing with you what happens after you start to kick over around those consistent 20k months. So like 100,000, a year 200,000 A year. So that you can be prepared and so that you can consciously decide a little more easily how far you actually want to go. Because I do think that success comes at a cost. And when we say yes to something, we're unconsciously saying no to something else, and we want to make that conscious, we want to be able to go, Alright, I know cause and effect is a thing. I know that if I want to build a business of this level, it's going to take these elements, it's going to take this effort, it's going to take this it's going to take that and I want you to be able to look at that and go, alright, this level is where I want to get to, this is what it's going to take. Am I willing to do that? No? Okay, well, maybe I'll do this. And that's something that I do all the time. You know, there's people that I look at that have really fabulous businesses that look like they're living the dream on the outside. And I know it's like my nightmare. I will look at it and go, I don't want a team of 20 I don't want that level of responsibility. As you know, I love to travel. I like to have a little bit of freedom and flexibility in there.
And I know at a certain point in your business in the middle ground so there's like the messy middle, right, this small business which is bloody beautiful. Aside from the fact that it's so funny in trying to get clients and trying to learn everything, but it's fun, it's dynamic, it's fast moving, you're experimenting, you're creating, you're going is this gonna work is that going to work. And then you kind of get to this level where you're like somewhere between 100,000 to a quarter of a million dollars a year. And that is a sweet spot, it means you've got proof of concept, you've got your systems kind of made, you're really kind of getting there. And you just need to figure out the dials to turn up to scale to the next level. And then as you're scaling to that next level, so somewhere between, like the half a million to one and a half million, is like this messy middle, where you don't have the freedom that you had, when you had a smaller business, in, you're starting to get stuff, you've got people at you every day, you've got a larger customer base, like it's fast moving, you can't just disappear if you want to for a day, like this sort of thing.
And then you get to that next stage where you hire your team. And they take some of that decision making off you and it's a little bit easier, and you kind of enjoy that ride for a little bit. Until then you've kind of got all of this responsibility for all of these people. And the people that I know that are kind of in that two to 567 million a year. It's hard. It's like their whole job is managing people and expectations and projects and making sure everyone's doing the things that they're supposed to be doing. And then freedom seems to happen after that. So everyone that I know that has like the 10 million and over massive freedom, because then they can kind of be the face of the business, but outsource all of the rest. So I want you to be aware of that. So that's what I'm going to be talking about today. If that's of interest to you, I'll probably be bouncing around everywhere because I have notes for this episode, like a couple of things written down. But also, I'm thinking out loud to you as well.
So if you want to get into that, let's do this episode and Her Empire Builder. My membership opens in two weeks. So all of the things that I'm talking to you today is all the growing pains and all the things that you need to get ready if you want to go to that next level in business. So in terms of team in terms of systems, everything that you need to do behind the scenes to build the business behind the online course. So that's what her Empire Builder is all about. If you do want to have the education, the inspiration, the toolkit to enable you to do that, I got you covered. So I do think that, you know, it does take a massive effort for that massive reward. And what I find is the people that are willing to put in the massive effort, you've got such a finite, like well of energy that I want to make sure the effort that you are putting in is the effort that's going to bring you that best return and that's what I go through in Her Empire Builder. So I will see you in that herempirebuilder.com Let's get to it.
[8:01] Hi, friend. I'm Tina Tower, a business strategist and digital online Empire Builder. I've been in business since I was 20 years old. And I've since built and sold for businesses. I started in the world of online courses in 2017 and grew to a seven figure annual turnover in just under two years. To say I love the game of business is an understatement. I'm a world traveler, a mama, a wife, a best selling author, and I love the freedom that we have to create the business and life that we want to live. It takes courage to break the rules and shake things up and do it your way. Through Her Empire Builder. I share my experience and bring you lessons from some of the world's best to help you dream big plan well and take massive action. It is absolutely possible to run a thriving, growing business positively impacts the world and have a beautiful personal life without hustling and working yourself into exhaustion. I want that for you. Let's enjoy the journey my friend.
[09:07] A lot of things that I read say you can't really get past two to $300,000 a year without hiring team. For me, I got to about 700 before hiring team. And the reason that is is because I have really good systems. Really the only reason is I can do a lot more than most people in a shorter amount of time because I like love a spreadsheet, a checklist project management software, a lot of people don't get project management software until they have a team. I used it with my team have one with me, myself and I because we've got limited amount of brain space every day. And so I really enjoyed that and I really enjoyed being solo. I've talked about being an introvert before. I look like a really friendly chatty person.
Since I like to think I am a really lovely chatty person, I am super friendly. However, I don't want to sit there just chatting with people all day. So for me, I wanted to, you know, avoid team for as long as possible, because I would rather get in, do my work and go off into my life and live in my own little beautiful bubble, then, like actually spend an hour or two a day managing people. So I tried to put that off for as long as possible. And then you're faced with the question of going, alright, how big do you want to go? So I know for you, like, if you're just getting started in your online business, then this can seem really like a ridiculous problem to have. And it is like, I'm well aware of it. But if you are up to that stage, if you're starting to do six figures a year, and you're all you're doing six figure launches, I know you're feeling the pain, I know you're there going, what do I do now, like it's a new level new devil. And that's part of the fun of life. And it's part of the fun of the journey of going, alright, like we master a level, and then that floor becomes our new ceiling, which is a quote that my coach Amber, that I had, earlier this year, uses all the time is going, like our purpose in business is to see that ceiling and make it our new floor. And I love that because I love that kind of visual that that gives us but every level that you go up to, when you make that floor, your new ceiling, when you make that ceiling, your new floor, sorry.
Every level you go into is going to have a whole different set of problems to master. And really, we are paid as business people to solve problems. That's that's really it. I do think that a lot of the success in business is solving people's problems, like people are paying us for a transformation, people are paying us to solve their problem. I know for me, a whole lot of people are coming into Her Empire Builder because they're like, look, I'm really good at what I do. I know my expertise, I need to reach more people, I need to make more money, I need to make a bigger impact. How do I do that? I don't know, I look on Instagram, I'm flooded with all of these frickin people. I don't know if they know what they're talking about or not. But they're telling me to do this, they're telling me to do that. Her Empire Builder, the whole point is to provide like one trusted source to go, alright, you can follow these things, here are your options. They're gonna work kind of thing. So people are paying you to solve those problems. But it's looking when you're on those levels and going alright, if each level, you know that there's going to be a new set of problems, do you really want to level up? And I say that because a lot of people will say, Yes, I want a six figure business or Yes, I want a seven figure business. But do you really want to and this is where I have been in the last 12 months is going do I really want to level up where we are now where one and a half million a year kind of bouncing around one and a half to 1.8. And going alright, like I know, there are so many opportunities available. I could definitely take that next level up. But I understand the ramifications of leveling up. I've done it before in previous businesses that I've sold, and I have lost my naivety
[13:24] I know, okay, if I pull this lever, this is gonna come flooding down. So do I really want that? And for you, like I always think that next level, it's unlimited. Like I look at people in the world, and I see them doing big, huge, massive things. And I know it's possible, it's possible for a lot of people, like I say this as a very privileged person. So you know, I'm a white woman from Australia. So I know for me, using the privilege that I was just given at birth, that my opportunities are unlimited. Unfair, is that maybe all we can do, I think is to use our privilege and use this luck that we were given to try and take away some of that unfairness in the world. But for you, I want I want you to really be thinking about and what I've been thinking about is, if we've got that limited, limitless opportunity.
What is the thing like what is that next level? Is it revenue level? Is it Team? Is it your thinking? Like what are all the things that come with that next revenue level? And every time we do that it's increasing team, of course, because more revenue equals more team. It's changing your thinking. So dealing with a $20,000 a month business is very different to dealing with a $200,000 a month business. Like I see the expenses flying out of our business account and who are we? Sometimes I'm like, Whew, that's a lot of money. So you've got to really change your thinking on a lot of these different things. So normal growth in a traditional business I come from a traditional business background is 15 to 20%. If you're like killing it, like, if you are kicking some serious ass in traditional business, you've got 15% to 20% year on year growth that is like, bonkers, good.
[15:23] So in online business, we are very different. It's one of the main reasons I fell in love with online business, it is so much more like. Like, it makes sense. Like I can imagine, like, I wish you could see my hands right now, like I'm drawing it in the sky, going make words to you know, make words out of your visualization. But there's like a whole, like, imagine like a board with all the different levers and you've got, you know, courses, memberships, events, podcasting, like all of these different levers that you can pull down, and if you pull down on them, it's going to open up its little like shutter thing at the bottom, and all the customers are going to come flooding through. And you have so much more access to growth than you do in a traditional business. Because online business is so fast moving, and it's so accessible. I mean, traditional business, it's really hard to compete with people that are at the like that have been around for a long time. Whereas online business, you can change in this industry really quickly. So in mine, I've been trying for 50 to 100% year on year growth, since we started, like double, let's go double every lunch, let's go double every year. Let's go double. And that doesn't sound like it's that hard on paper. But it is so much growth. It's difficult, and it's messy. And it is not easy.
And this is something that if you've listened to past episodes, gets Margulies because there are a lot of people saying that it's easy. And one, a lot of the people that I see talking about it being easy, don't have children. One of the biggest things, you know, they're not not women looking after a family. But if you're saying easy, or if you hear someone that saying it's easy, this is my thing, you go and do it. And then let's talk. So what I want is that person to go do the thing, go create the seven figure business and sustain that year on year for at least a few years. And then come tell me the truth. And I talk to a lot of people. I have the most wonderful business owners in my network that excuse me, that have been running really successful businesses for a really long time. And it's not easy. If someone's telling you it is let me tell you, they are emitting a lot of the information. They are like when people say well, I work 10 hours a week, what they often mean is they work face to face like they're running sessions, or they're doing things for 10 hours a week, but they're not counting the time that they're on their phone Voxer in clients marketing, like just sheer Max, there's just too much, too much to do.
So that's what I want you to know that it is difficult, and it is messy. And that's the game that you sign up for. And you've got to find the joy in that game. Personally, I love it. I love having the creativity. I love solving problems I love I love New Level new devil because I'm like, Alright, Branch. Let's go. On the weekend, I read the book, because I felt like I needed like a good rev up before. So I'm recording this just before I go away before we get into launch season. So I like to get really like hyped like, masculine energy is coming in and like, let's go, Tina, let's do this. So I read the book called Winning by. Is it Tim Grover, or Tom Grover? Tim Grover, I think the book is called winning. And you're right, that is it really gets into that grit of going. If you want the thing, you've got to put in the work, and the work is effort. But it's so much fun. And if you're not finding it fine. If it's more stressful than fun, then you need to change the game. And so growing too fast, usually needs to be scaled back a bit because it's too shaky and you don't know what you're doing. So this is this is kind of the thing of deliberate growth, which is why I wanted to do this episode for you was because not a lot of people. I don't see anyone really talking about it and telling the truth. So what happens a lot of the time is you know, people will come out of the gates and one of the beautiful things about online courses is consistency wins. So you are truly rewarded if you keep showing up for your customers and you keep delivering on your transformation promise
[20:00] And you keep adding massive value and people in your programs are getting great results, you will grow very fast because it's the compounding of that, and the word of mouth that spreads really quickly. And so you may have, like your first couple of launches are relatively slow, like, that's how it normally goes, you'll come out of the gates, you'll have new first launch, you'll have like 10 people come in, then the next one, you might have 15 to 20 people, then the next one, you might have 20 to 40 people kind of come in. So it's like going up on like this steady thing. But it's still again, going back to it's not 15 to 20% growth, it's usually 50 to 100% growth, like it's pockets, focus, anyway, it's going up, and then all of a sudden, you'll do this launch, and you'll just be like, boom, boom, and adjust, like you skipped those few levels like that ceiling that you wanted to make your new floor, you've gone from like level three to level eight.
But a lot of people think how awesome, it must be. But for most people, it needs to be scaled back after that, because you haven't built the foundation as you go on. And that's understandable. Like it's not a poor reflection on you. It's just that it was unpredictable growth. And so usually when people are inside her empire builder, and they're making these goals, people are often going like, I want this, but they're not believing in their heart of hearts, like it's going to happen. And so they're not setting up the systems to welcome all those people in and to have that all like perfection in terms of the customer experience. And whilst I try and go against perfection, your customer experience needs to be perfect, like, it just does, is too much competition, there's too many different things. Even with it being so incredible, and so perfect and so amazing, you're still gonna have some people that are impossible to please. So you need to make sure it's as good as it can possibly be.
[22:58] So when you're going into a launch, you've got to make those goals and go, Well what happened, what would happen if all of my dreams came true? What would happen if I didn't want to do this launch? And I wanted 1000 people on the webinar and they all showed up? And what asking questions. Can I deal with that? What would happen if I had 200 new people join my program? Can I handle that? Have I got the things for the welcome boxes? Have I got the onboarding process worked out? Are they getting personal calls, that's going to be a lot of them. Like all of those touch points. You need to make sure that you can cater sustainably for that. And that's what I've been going through is because we've grown so fast is kind of pulling the handbrake on some things like people are always very, very shocked when I say I haven't spent money on Facebook ads. And that is because of this. It is because I knew that I wanted sustainable growth, I wanted the foundation of Her Empire Builder to be laid so that when we do experience that really fast growth that I know I can get if I want to that it's all worked out the systems are all there the onboarding so that the support is all there. Because otherwise what would happen is if I get this fire hydrant influx of people, and it's not a good experience, boom, it's going to fall down like a house of cards so quickly. And so for this launch that we've got coming in, when we opened doors in a couple of weeks, it's the first time we've done Facebook advertising. And that is because usually I will add 30 to 50 new people in each launch.
Last launch, we stepped that up a little bit, and we got 70 this launch my goal, my gosh, I can't believe I'm gonna publicly tell you my goal. But hey, this episode is all about truth telling. This launch, my goal is 200. So like three times the amount that we got last time. And while that doesn't sound like you could say 7200 You know, they're all numbers. The reality of that a three axing the biggest launch that you've done is big. It's huge. There's a lot of ramifications. And so it means, you know, with every tiny little detail, like we give welcome calls to people when they come on board. I've got my one community manager Mel she can't call 200 people. So I've recruited in some of our fabulous members and everyone will get allocated like 10 to 20 people as they join to give them their welcome call to welcome them to to the community. This is what we recommend starting with here's how to find your way around. Here's how to ask questions like all of that sort of stuff. So I have looked at it as in going look, I may not get 200 I'll be stoked with 100. Truth be told, but 200 is my actual goal. And I have made everything around that are welcome boxes, there's 200 of them are welcome quotes. There's 200 Things allocated in the calendar to be able to do like everything is planned for that from an ongoing basis as well as the onboarding because I know that you need to be prepared for best case scenario as well as worst case scenario. Because otherwise, I don't want to go, you know, I'll see how we go, maybe we'll get 100. And then 200 People come in and I'm left flailing going, sorry, no one's contacted you in two weeks, like What a shitty introduction. So we want to make sure for that.
[25:15] So then, when you're starting to grow, and you're adding new people, one of the hardest things is team and expenses. More money in also equals more money out in a lot of cases. So this, again, depends on the strategy. So my business is a little different to some online courses in that it's not all digital Income, we give gifts. If I little part of me wants to say like, if one of my best friends, Clint is listening to this episode, which he sometimes does right now, he'd be giggling at what I just said, because he's always saying to rein in the gifting punches. But to me gifting, it's a massive thing. And it's things that we do have conversations over. And I do love it. And I do think it changes the experience of welcoming anyway, this isn't like land.
So we look at the expenses we look at with team who reports to who like when you start adding team at the moment, we have four people in our team. And because I don't have like management structure yet, because we're not big enough for that. I am overseeing all of the team, which means every time someone has a question, every time someone needs approval for something, all of the recurring weekly tasks that need to be done all of that I'm the one overseeing that, which you know, it's a lot of work. So it's going well who's reporting to who, and now I'm getting in an ops manager, just literally to look after the people management side of things. So you look at who reports to who what are the roles that you need in your business. So when I first started hiring, the first person I hired was a general admin. I wanted someone that was local to me, because I wanted someone that I could like, could understand my nuances, and the customer service and different things. And I added a VA, VA is so freakin good on like all of the recurring systems in your business. So things like podcast production, scheduling, social media, like air is such a big list of things that I will do an episode just on virtual assistants in a couple months for you.
But what are all those roles, and then after that, I started adding in community manager because we needed someone to just look after our members. Now I'm adding in a marketing manager because I do all of the marketing for our business still myself. So every Canva tile that you see, is made by me. So I'll be getting someone to help me with like reel strategy and TikTok, we're going into that, like all of the different expansion opportunities our marketing manager will do. And then the ops manager, so you know, looking at what are the roles? And what roles do you need every time you get to that new level, because otherwise, you'll get to the stage where I talk to business owners every week. And without fail. There's always someone that's like, I just have this prevailing feeling of just leave me alone, give me a break. I can't, I'm just trying to do all the things and I can't do it. That's when you've got to start going.
Okay, how can you split the roles? So how can you get the things that you're doing and split them off. And one of the hardest parts of the growth with that is usually it takes about four people to do what you as the business owner can do, because you're all over it. And it's your business. And it's your level of expertise. And I know that that was one of the hardest parts for me is going alright, so I can do this job in about six to eight hours in the week. And I need to employ someone like 30 hours a week to be able to do that. And so I hung on to things for way too long, because I couldn't quite get my head around that. But there's only so many hours in the week. So if you want to grow, you've got to also get some help with that as well.
[29:00] So then you need systems or the systems. I mean, I love systems. Like I just Oh my gosh, I love them so hard, because they allow you to do so much more with so much less and they allow things to be like just as close as you want them as often as possible. So it how systems are being refined all the time, we use a couple of different things for systems we use monday.com for all our project management tasks, software, all of that sort of thing. Then we use Teamwork Spaces internally to be able to have all of our static systems there as well. So we need to get comfortable with that you need to get comfortable also with six figure salaries. Your if you're starting to pay people seeing all of that money go out every week in payroll and then in taxes and then in superannuation, and then in workers compensation insurance like all of it is a lot of.
So it's, it's helpful to keep in mind what your safety net is. So for me, I always operate on 25% 25% of revenue is my safety net for what I pay team. So for me, when I do my quarterly reviews, I look at it and I go, right, how am I feeling right now my teetering on the edge of burnout? Or am I feeling good? Like, I've got some whitespace? I've got some time. Everything's manageable. Everyone feels good. I talked to the team a lot. So is everyone getting their work done? Are they feeling under pressure? Are they feeling stressed? Do I need to take some stuff off them, and I'll look at it and go, if we're below 25%, then I know I need to hire more people. Sometimes we go above it, like we're about to go above it, because I'm going to hire the ops manager and the marketing manager. But I know that with those two people will then be able to kind of leapfrog up and handle until about 2.5 million with them and a couple of extra days. So it will kind of be overweighted. And then it will level out again after that. So it's consciously knowing the numbers in your business so that you can do this managed growth going through. It's things like like even stripe fees.
[31:14] Stripe fees are a natural part, like merchant fees are a natural part of doing business. I see them and I go ha, like, that's just all gone money, all the taxes, all the expenses rolling out the door. Like even events, I do live events, which is kind of, you know, why spend so much money, most of it goes on event budgets. Even with little things like I was booking our palm springs, we're going to Palm Springs. So if you're going into Her Empire Builder, you'll get dibs to go to Palm Springs in March. It's members only so you've got to be a member. So this is the last chance if you join, in this round, you'll get an invite to go to Palm Springs. But so with Palm Springs, I was looking at one of the dinners that we're having, like off site out of the hotel that we're running the retreat at. And it's gorgeous, like absolutely gorgeous. And it's 175 US dollars a head plus 22%, like gratuity and two and a half 1000 to rent like this rooftop space, which I'm going like an isolation seems okay.
We charged $3,000 for the retreat for four days. So by the time you put those in, and speakers and AV and photography, and team flights and accommodation, and like all the 50 bazillion other expenses in there, it can get out of control. And so having those budgets and needing to operate on those and really stay strict to those is one of the most challenging parts in there as well. So it's always looking at, well, I want more revenue, because I want more impact. But do I want the byproduct of that. So for me, I want to one of my highest values is I want to produce in abundance, and I want to be of service to the world. That is that is like my highest thing is my contribution value. Like I just want to create really great stuff that people love. And that's helpful and be of service to the world not only to my clients, but just to the world as, as a whole, like just be a good human. So, you know, it's it's this process in going, how can we leverage what we know and what we need to be able to create something that's in line with our values with taking the easiest route as possible. So like I said before, it's not easy, it's messy, and it's difficult. But we can leverage.
So like a practical example of that is I grow a lot of our own food, I love growing food, it's something in the gardening just I get so many business lessons. And it kind of gets me into the earth and gets me out of out of my head. So like tomato plants, I used to buy the tomato plants, I'd go to the hardware store the nursery and I would buy the tomato plant that was kind of already sprouted out and in the pot and it's like $7 for the thing you planted in there and then up the vines grow and then out come the beautiful cherry tomatoes. And I was like great. And then if they rotted out. So you know, we've had a lot of rain in Australia lately. So I had a lot of root rot? I had to pull them all out. So I went and I bought more. And I kept buying more things. And then I was talking to the lady at the nursery who's lovely. And she's like, why are you doing it like this? And I'm like, Well, if I want more don't I have to like buy the tomato plant planted in there wait for it to grow, do all of that. She's like, well if you are impatient, yes, but why don't you just use a tomato and then you'll supply never runs out and you never have to pay another cent to do this. It's all leveraged off the one thing that you've got, I was like what? And so you can get the tomato. You probably know this. I didn't know this. You can get the tomato and You can like squeeze the tomato into the ground and use the seeds and they pop out. You don't have to buy the tomato plant, you can just use the seeds.
And I was like, This is amazing. I mean, it's the exact same as business, once you have the fruit, you can produce so much more more easily. And this is where I think like the hardest thing for you is to get to that six figure business. Once you've got to a six figure business, it's really just using those seeds and squeezing the juice out of that tomato, and planting in there, as many as you want. But knowing that the more seeds you put in, the more things are going to sprout out, the more maintenance they're going to need. And then you don't want to have an oversupply and know where to put all your tomatoes. Did I take the analogy too far? So that's something that I want you to think about.
[35:49] So then it's going like, what is your goal for life? And this was a question that I really, when I needed to percolate on when I was deciding well, how big do I actually want to go with this business? Because for me, it's financial and lifestyle, security, freedom and flexibility. That is, like my goal for this life that I want. I really, you know, my son volunteers in a nursing home twice a week, he takes our dog in and goes in there and makes people happy and doing that. And I'm always so happy. But I'm always so sad when I go in there to go gosh, like at the end of our lives, like we spend the last decade or two really just like sitting around, you know, we deteriorate like it's it doesn't look great. And for me, I don't want to be poor when I'm old because you know, they say money doesn't buy happiness, but oh my gosh, can it buy good health care? Can it buy comfort, it can buy so many different things that I know I want in my old age. So for me, a lot of what I do is trying to make bank to invest that for later in life. So being able to feel like I have that security there.
I also love freedom and flexibility. So where I've been lately in my business is losing flexibility because I've hired team, but I'm at that messy middle kind of area where I have the team and they're doing all the things and they're doing a fabulous job, but I'm managing them as well. So if they need the questions answered, or if they need to be like I have to be the one to answer that. So I need to have that decision maker in my business. That's not me that I can share that load with so that I can get a bit of that freedom and flexibility back in there. So then I looked at that I looked at what does it cost to live my life you know, so there's there's a song that I should have looked it up before I record it's it's called out. It's called The Life by Hang on. I'm gonna Google it while I'm actually recording this. Kenny. Kenny so are there it is the life by Kenny Chesney? Has that just Googling things while we're on the podcast interview? So the life by Kenny Chesney has so many different things in it that are thought provoking, in terms of let's just go listen to the song, cuz I was gonna sing it and I'm like, no one wants me to sing my throat still weird from COVID, which you can probably tell for longtime listeners, like it's just real scratchy.
But it's it's like, you know, should I just leave like Jose, like, he's working so hard. And then in retirement, just wants to finish plays guitar loud laugh at the bar with his friends, like just live this simple life. And so it's looking at for a lot of people, they kind of work and do all this work to then live the life. That's pretty simple. So it's looking at what does it cost to live your life? And what do you want your life to cost later? Like, what do you actually need to have that retirement to have that financial security? And for me, I don't want to live like Jose. I don't want to live a simple life. I mean, I want a simple life in terms of like friends and family and that sort of thing. But you can ask anyone that knows me. I like nice things like I like traveling a lot, which is not simple. I go overseas lots of times a year and I want to do it for as long as humanly possible. I will always find something to create something to do at the moment. I'm starting a new company with a friend. I am starting a charity entity for the scholarships that we pay for in Kenya. We're building Her Empire Builder.
Nothing about my life is simple. I just bought a couple goats. You know so and I liked that that's the life I want to lead a big, full, beautiful life. And so I know that I need more costs. And I know I could go well, you don't need that I could live more simply, but I don't want to, I don't want to, I want to live a big life. So for me, I go, alright, well, if I want that, then girl, you better do the thing that you need to do in order to get that result. And so like I said, at the start, there's no complaining on the yacht. You got complain about it and not want the byproduct of the success if you want the success. So I look at that. And I know that, you know, scaling business doesn't just mean more money, like there is always unforeseen growth areas. And it doesn't like yes, I want the financial freedom and security and I want to be able to do good things with my money.
But I also love growth, I love leverage, like I talked about with the tomato plant, like the more you have, the more you can create, the more freedom and flexibility you have in creating really awesome things that the world needs, you get more time back, you get more impact. And that is a big thing for me is going well, I could just serve a few people. But one of the main reasons I got into running a membership in the first place was to be able to make more impact and make the journey a little easier for a whole lot of people that wanted the result and needed some help along the way. So it's, you know, looking at what is important with that in there as well. So for a lot of people in the growth stage, you got a list a mile long, like I know, on my task list, I have, what do I have, like, it tells me the number, it's about 160 Something things that I want to do. And I have wasted in my career. So I've been in business for 18 years, and I have wasted a lot of time and money on things that don't move the needle a lot.
[41:55] But now, I'm pretty discerning about okay, this is something that I want to do that I know like no one will know whether I do it or not like it won't actually have an impact. And some of these things I still do because they bring me joy. And I think sometimes the little things that the big things, but I don't waste time, I don't waste any time and I don't waste money on things that I know, don't feed into those values that I want.
So my thing is, which I'm sure you can resonate with, is we have all the ideas, like we have the ideas, I'm sure right now you're going I want to do this, I want to do that, like you have all the ideas, and I want to birth, all of the new things, but I don't have the time and energy to do all of it. So I'm really efficient. And I do the 20% that works. And I don't worry about the rest. But that's a very leveraged way to do it. So while it looks a lot of the time, like I'm doing a lot, and I do do a lot. But I do the things that count, I do the things that make a difference, I don't procrastinate. I don't worry about the things that I know aren't going to be worthwhile. So the more productive you get, and this is the thing with productivity, right? Is the more productive you get, the more opportunities that you actually get. And then even more productive you need to be because growing produces more growth. So when you get really productive at something, and you're like, Well, I'm really good at this, then more opportunities will come and you're like, wow, I can do this too.
[43:32] And so while we're in pursuit of creating a more like streamlined and efficient business to grow, we get so good at it. And then it produces more beautiful opportunities that we can follow. And then you got to figure out when do you start saying no. And this has been probably one of the hardest parts for me in the last year is when do you say no? Because back to that every time you say yes to something, you're you're saying no to something else. And every time you say no to something, you're creating the space for the things that you want to do. And for a lot of people that have struggled at the start of business, which Hello, who didn't?
It can seem batshit crazy to say no to opportunities that like past you would have been like what you're saying no to that? No. And getting over like for me the mindset thing to get over is if I start saying no, everything will disappear. Everything will dry out. People think I'm a spoiled shit. People will be like Who does she think she has to say no to that? Like that's just no. So I've had to work on that mentally quite a lot and get over the people pleasing and you know, being able to have my boundaries in place. And you know, I've ran a business when I first started like we hit 10k A month pretty quickly, then 20k Then 50k Then 100k that 120k And it's just It's the most mind blowing thing to look at, like I, I still look at my stripe dashboard or my Kajabi dashboard every day when I log in, and I'm still like, what in the actual like, this is just, gosh, it's crazy. It's crazy.
[45:15] But more revenue doesn't just mean more money, like I said before it opens a Pandora's box of a whole host of other like business systems and strategies that need to be mastered to sustain that growth, and the team that goes along with it. And this is where your strategy comes in. So this is where I actually think it's different for everybody, because you can run a beautiful business on 50k a month, really like quite simply. And for a lot of people that's like, that's perfect. Like, I think a lot of people, you know, bigger isn't always better. And there's some sort of thing weird thing in our society and in our like industry that we're in where, you know, people will talk about numbers, or team numbers and different things. And it's somehow shameful if you don't want the big things.
And it's working out what is your strategy, like, what is what is great for you, and not worrying about the perception of that, you know, I was really in my business career, like raised on the philosophy of it's green and growing, or it's ripe and rotting. And so I had to constantly be growing and thriving, and reinventing and like, hustling the whole time, because I believed that if I stopped, it would die, it would start rotting. And this is just not true. There's tons of business examples of people that kind of get to a level that they like, I'm very happy right here. And they can kick on continuously, day after day, week, after week, month after month, year after year. Bigger is not always better. For some it is it's worth it. But for others, it's like well, why your why needs to be big enough, because of the things that I'm talking about. It's not easy, and it's not all a walk in the park.
[47:09] So your systems and processes. So I obviously love systems, but they're changing so quickly. So I could create a set of systems that work. And then I bring in another team member and go oh, okay, so this person before I handed this off to this person, and this off to this person, now, that's all changed. So now this person is responsible for this and this, but like, they're constantly changing and evolving. And so I'm, I'm very much a sprinter, not a marathon runner in the way that I like to work. And to grow a business, you need to run a marathon, like you can't slow down or stop, like, you're responsible for a lot of different things. So for me, one of my biggest reluctance points to growing a larger business was, I know that there's so many customers relying on me, I mean, I've gone live, like over 400 weeks in a row, like there's, I don't take a break from that. So there's a lot of people relying on me, and now there's a lot of team relying on me with their livelihood as well. And so I can't really go, You know what, I'm going to just just stop for a few months, like I'm out. So I have that responsibility. But I know at this level that I'm at now, and this is why we're getting a new team, if you know anyone, by the way, send them my way. Is that like I don't have to be the one doing everything. So it's at this level that I now need to switch that. But also, I am acutely aware that it doesn't matter how good my team is, my team is exceptional, but it's still my team. It still needs resources, it still needs communication, still need nurturing, it still needs, management still needs leadership. And I see a lot of people wanting the byproduct and they don't want all of that, to allocate the resources to communicate with people to nurture to do the time management to be the leader that your team needs you to be.
And so what I see a lot of people doing is spending all of their money on outsourcing to avoid all the mucky, messy things, but they're not making any money. And this is the part like one of the big parts that I know million dollar course creators are not sharing publicly because why would you know, for a lot of people, you know, they could be spending 60 70% of revenue on team on outsource tasks to buy back that time and maybe it works for some people but that's a whole lot of pressure responsibility and a big train to be on to not you know, get the benefits out of that. And this is the thing like on the on the train analogy. Once you get that momentum going, that that bullet train that we love
[50:00] I want to jump on at the start of our business. So when everything was so hard, and you're like, you know, once I get on this train, it's gonna fly. Like that's here. You're on it, like you're there. So, at the beginning, you're doing a live and there's no one there, you're running a webinar for a few people. No one is reading your blog posts. And you're wonder if it's all worthwhile. And then all of it compounds and the bullet train pulls into your station and you jump on and it's like, yes, it's a total yay, moment. And for everyone, that yay, moment is different. And what I find is that you kind of have one, and then it's diminished up to that. So one of the questions that I asked a lot in my podcast interviews was like, what is that moment that you felt like, this is it I'm, I'm on my way, like, I have just hit a success like this is good. And for some people, it's like the first 100k launch or the first time, they did a full time team member higher, or the podcast reaches the top chart. So you hit a million dollars in revenue, like whatever it is, it's significant to you, and your feedback that you need that you're under a winner. It's like you've reached that tipping point. And you've proven concept and proven to yourself that this is working, and then the bullet train picks up speed. Then it's like, whoa, okay, what am I going to do next. And this is where I think your vision has to be aligned with the reality and the practicalities of the situation and the vision that you want to bring to life. So the ride is really exciting, if you're prepared for it.
[51:42] And that's why I wanted to do this podcast episode today is because if you're prepared for it, oh, I love it. Like I love it, it is so much fun. There is no other thing that I think people can do in the world with their lives. And with their time that has so much like personal development, you get to use your skills, with your mind, with your creativity, with your imagination, with your problem solving skills, like with everything, you get to impact so many people, both customers and team members, like it's amazing. So the ride is very exciting. And you can buy your time back as you build that infrastructure if it's managed properly. So if you get annoyed by managing people, or you don't want to work more than a few hours a week, then bigger isn't always better. Because you need to work more than a few hours a week to be able to build this, like you can grow to half a million even inching towards a million dollar business, like, as I said before, totally, completely solo. And I mean, that's freaking fabulous. Like, there's nothing wrong with that at all. It's totally great. So if that's your like, stick with it, don't go bigger if you don't want to manage people, if you don't want to continually learn and solve a whole new set of problems.
So think of life and the simple life and the people work and then work out what's going to be right for you. So for a lot of business owners, you can do that, you know, you can do a really good business for a couple of years, and then retire first simple life forever. But that's not what most people actually want. I'd say if you're listening to this episode, that is probably not what you want. So for the same reason that people were really surprised when I didn't retire after I sold my last company in 2016. I have big, huge goals in life. And I want to live a very big, full life and contribute positively to the world at large. And it's not it's not all about the pursuit of the dollar. It's like the dollars are great. But the dollars are an indication that you're doing something right they’re like the scoreboard. So for me, it's it's going like what sort of life do I want to lead? And this is a conversation I was having with my son the other day because he was he was asking like about our situation and why am I my husband became a stay at home dad in 2013. So it's been a while and he was like, why did you decide to do that? And I was explaining to him that I was their full time parent until they went to school. Because I loved it. I loved having little people like though it was the best the best years of my life. Like the cute little pudgy hands, like just so many fun things but they needed me like from the second they woke up it was like you know they'd crawl into bed Alright, we're on like this is happening like it was big and it was full. We'd go to the park we'd make food together we'd do cooking with garden, we'd go to the beach like we play with the animals like there was always so much to do and so many questions and so many things. And then they went to school
[55:00] And it wasn't enough for me anymore. I long for stimulation, I actually really like the feeling of being alive and being challenged and like being active with my brain. And so when they went to school and you know, they're gone at 8:30, and they back at 3:30, like, what do I do for seven hours a day? Oh, you do the washing, we do the cleaning and the cooking. And then what do we do tomorrow, the same fucking thing. I was just like, this is not the life for me, hey, this is not gonna work out well.
And I was like, super obsessive. As a parent, I had spreadsheets. I had like a two week rotating roster of meals that I was cooking. I had like stock levels in our pantry, we had cleaning Ross, like we I ran our house like a business, I was very intense, very annoying. Probably would have been okay, if I had six kids. But with two, it's kind of like my, my hyperactivity was a bit too much for that. And for my husband, he doesn't get the joy out of work that I do. He's very, very, very content in leaving that life in going for a surf in the morning in sitting in the sun in the day and reading his book, and then cleaning for a bit and then cooking the meals and doing that life day after day. And so that was my like, response was, I want to do big things. I want to see just how far I can go. I want to see just what I'm capable of. And I really enjoy. Like, of course, there are days where I am just like hand me the gin, this sucks. But those days are like few and far in between mtheir more intense pre launch, they are at any other time. But for those ones, it's kind of like
[56:58] When I look at the alternative, and I'm like, Okay, well we could do nothing and retire, then what? Like what is the purpose of your life? What are you here for not to get like too, too deep into it. But this is the thing, this is what you have to decide that you are picking the path that is going to work best for you. And there are so many opportunities. So for me where I got to like late last year, was I felt really lost with what I want. I was going I've got like the full sweet spot, I've got enough money, I've got enough stimulation. And I know I could kind of like pause here. And we could maintain that. And it would be like a really good lifestyle business. Like I can travel a lot still I can do that. And I felt like this. Like, you know, when you've got those two people, I mean, you have that too, right? It's just not me, that's the crazy person, when you've got like the two people, one person sitting on either side of your shoulder and one's like, Do this, do this do this. Like if I had one that's like, going huge. Like we can go $10 million, we can help so many people that we can have 1000s and 1000s of people in our empire builder. Let's go. And then the other one that's going, Yeah, but let's just put our gumboots on and go and grow some tomatoes. Like, why do we need all of that? And the super psyched, ambitious part of me is judging the part of me that still wants the simple. And the simple part of me is judging the ambitious part of me going well, why do you need all that? Like, what are you trying to prove who you're trying to prove it to calm your farm girl? And so like I have this internal battle in going do I want the lifestyle business? Or do I want to run a company? And for me a lifestyle business is kind of around that?
You know, yeah, you can probably go about 100k months, and then you need you need a ton of team after that you need help. And then you go into the messy middle. So you're not like big enough to handle massive scale and superstar employees that are going to cost a fortune. But you're also too big to have that freedom. And so like I was at the thing of going alright, do I want to like stay here and get comfy? Or do I want to sprint and get to that next level? And I think you know, my answer to that was I miss fritton very, because what I want is I do want a company that employs people and provides great working conditions and a great lifestyle for me. I want a company that inspires people to reach their dreams. I want a company that gives practical business education for actual real results. And it's helpful because oh my gosh, does it piss me off with the amount of fluffy shit that's out there selling hopium to people that people buy because they think well I just need to do this one thing and then I'm going to get the business of my dreams and lo and behold, you do the one thing and then you think that what is wrong with me? Why didn't I get that result? But it's because you were hoping a dream like it's not real. And so without going on my rant,
[1:00:06] I want a company that gives practical business education for actual real results and is helpful. I want a company that gives obscene amounts of money away to contribute to the inequities of the world. Like, that's it. That's the four things that I want. And yeah, I have friends with five to $10 million businesses that have their whole days basically dealing with the growth of team. And they still fire off ideas, but they need to implement them much more slowly. And so one of my biggest concerns was that I can't move as fast. And I have to be okay with that. I have to be okay with the slow and steady and this is why I'm keeping my main business now like steady on the growth. And I've got to have a couple of offshoots of things that will still give me that creativity of still give me that flex of, Can I do this, what's possible kind of thing. So what I want you to keep in top of your mind is when you look at other people's businesses, you're just seeing the outside. And sometimes you're seeing the revenue in our industry, it's pretty normal to be threat sharing your revenue numbers. But you don't see the back end, and frustratingly, a lot of people lie. And, you know, it's sheer maths, like what it actually costs to run a business both in time, money and people power.
[1:01:27] There's logistics with serving customers and managing team like if you've got customers, those customers deserve to be served. And that takes resources to do. Sorry, there's Julie Stone is she runs a beautiful company, and also a podcast that I love living the laptop life. And I listened to one of her podcast episodes, and she said this quote in there going, what's your sweet spot, you find your sweet spot by determining maximum amount of revenue that you can still earn while maintaining your ideal of what your personal lifestyle and business looks like. And I loved that I wrote it down so I could actually get it right. For this episode. So let me say it again, in questioning what is your sweet spot is the maximum amount of revenue you can earn while still maintaining your ideal of what your personal lifestyle and business looks like? How good is that? Like? It's really that simple. But it's not as simple as thinking you get all upside and no downside.
So my affirmation that I've been adopting lately, because I was really hung up on this, like, I want to be safe thing, because I don't know if you know my backstory, but my childhood was not a safe one. And so one of the things that I tried to create in my business was that safety and security was something I could rely on was something that I could control was something that gave me that feeling of safety. But sometimes I feel like safety doesn't work for me, in that I actually don't want the feeling of just complacency. And to me, security is different to safety. So I do want security and I've got that locked away. But the safety means kind of like sitting back and not taking the risks. And I want to be courageous with my life. I want to be brave, I want to do the things that I dream of, without holding on to the safety of my comfort zone. That's what the interpretation is to me. And so, for me, I've been saying this affirmation of be brave, ridiculously courageous, and just fucking do it. And that's my intention with our company going forward. So
I have, excuse me, I have great capacity and generosity, and I am here for it. All of it. The journey, the growth, the experiments to be proven right, to be proven wrong, to be surprised to be wowed by others and myself. To one day, reach my final day and know beyond all else. Oh my gosh. Did I give life a good crack. I loved hard, played with reckless abandon live too big, gave generously and tried my best to be great and do good in the world. And if I can get to my final day and say that I am one happy lady. I hope this episode was insightful for you. I'd love to hear your feedback on it. If you want to join us inside Her Empire Builder go to herempirebuilder.com jump on the waitlist now. We'll be opening in a couple of weeks and I'll see you in there and help you to be able to have all of the knowledge all of the inspiration, all of the tools. To get your business to whatever level you desire, I'll see you in there.
[1:05:05] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Her Empire Builder. If you loved it, please share it on Instagram for your friends and be sure to tag me @tina_tower so I can say thank you. And if you really want to deliver me smiles, you can pop in review on Apple podcasts. I would love to hear from you. So if you have any questions at all, email me at [email protected]. And if you would like to work with me further, all of the free resources and my courses can be found at tinatower.com. Now I truly hope this podcast gives me so much value, and you can use it to dream big plan well and take massive action in building your very own empire. That's just for you. Have the greatest day