Color Full Lives Season 5 | Ep. 6: Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Business | State Farm®

Color Full Lives Season 5 | Ep. 6: Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Business | State Farm®

November 7, 2019 0 By Jose Scott


(gentle music) (ominous music) – Welcome to an all-new
episode of Color Full Lives presented by State Farm. This season we’ve been
focusing on all the things that we wish we knew before
our major life events. So far we’ve covered everything from getting into debt, to having a baby. – Oh!
– Hey! – That’s you. – It’s you!
(Tonya laughs) – And this week’s episode,
we’re going to dig into the things that you should know before starting and managing a business – And all three of us are business owners, and some of us even own
more than one business. – Hey!
– Mm-hmm (chuckles). – Huh, man, Well listen, I will say yes, I have a couple of businesses now. Since we did the last season, I have launched a new business
called Drink Fresh Juice. – You did, yes, yes you did.
– Yes. – That’s right, it’s
only been a few months, and we’ve definitely early
on had some growing pains, ’cause I think what we envisioned for that particular business isn’t where it is right now, and it’s only been a few months. So when we first launched, we were like, “This is gonna be heavy online,
heavily subscription based. “People can order these
juices, six pack at a time, “and get it delivered.” What we didn’t anticipate was, the high delivery costs, and then– – Oh!
– Oh, my god. – The margin of error for
the distribution place, when they send it out, and the shipping. Just anything that can go wrong, when somebody’s not home and
they don’t get the delivery. And then it get send back–
– Oh my god, and your juice is sitting out the, yeah.
– Yes. – And you know how customers are– – On the steps.
– Right. – As a customer myself (all laughing). – You’ll be like, “My juice
was on the porch, all day.” Oh man, dag. – So how are you rolling
with those punches? I feel like being a business owner. It’s like, you’re always
rolling with the punches. – So what you have to
do and what we did was, we really had to sit down and regroup, and we did bring in an outside
person to help us figure out, what is it that we need to do differently? So we moved away from what we thought would be the core of our business ’cause it is what was
making us the most money, which was the
person-to-person distribution, where it was just online,
get your subscription, get your juices delivered that way. And we actually shut down that
part of the business for now, which is definitely not
what we anticipated doing. So what he told us we should do, is concentrate on doing festivals, and getting into actual
stores and restaurants because it is a larger
payout for less work. Because we don’t have
the manpower right now, to have a person dealing
with each complaint, each, “This didn’t go right,” or, “I wasn’t home and then
the delivery didn’t get there, “and then it got sent back.” So it’s just a lot of different variables when you deal with each person. And it’s very little cost that you, you don’t make enough to deal with one person at a time.
– Yeah, that margin. – So now we’ve been working
on getting our products into different festivals
where you can make enough in one day that you
would make it one month. And that’s not something that
I even thought would happen– – ‘Cause you guys were at
Afropunk last year, right? – So what we did last year,
we hadn’t launched yet, but we made some samplings for Afropunk for one particular client. – Got you. – So it was just at their booth, they were giving it away for free. So what I’ve been doing now,
is just doing like events, and we’re in some restaurants,
and we’re in some stores where you can go and buy it, but it’s more like a mass purchase than getting it one by one. And then of course I have the
juice bar, Juices For Life. And it’s three years since
that juice bar, and so it’s three years since–
– That seems like just you opened that.
– I know. – Yeah, and I will say,
that business has been running pretty smoothly.
– Good. – That’s great.
– We worked out a lot of the kinks
fortunately like you know, I hooked up with Styles P who already has three other juice bars,
so it’s pretty smooth. He knew how to deal with
whatever might come our way, so that’s been a lot
easier, a lot smoother. The only thing about that is having a brick-and-mortar location. – Yeah. – It’s always something like– I’ll be in the middle of
doing something and get a text that a pipe burst in the
basement, and there was water gushing everywhere.
– Oh my gosh. – So now I’m in the middle of working, and then I have to get a
plumber, and and get that done. And then of course, dealing
with employees, and making sure, that it’s a lot of turnover
when it comes to that. People are leaving and going to school, people are getting other jobs, people are coming in late
and having to get let go, having to deal with personalities. But that’s an ongoing thing, but I will say as far as the business, as long as you have good management and a good team of people
helping you, that’s been easier. – That’s really good, that’s really good. I mean, I think having a
baby has really forced me to look at my business differently. So we launched our Membership Club, which is in a recurring
subscription for our audience because it was, you
really want to make sure that you have that planned residual income coming in each and every month. Like, this is what I know we’re making, this is what we can do with the business, because I have a team that I pay. And so just because we have an off month, they still have to get
paid, they still have bills. And so that was really good
to know that I pay them out the income coming in
from the Membership Club, so I’m really happy about that. And I’ve been looking into
anther business venture guys, – Oh-oh. So I’m thinking about getting
into government contracting. – What!
– Right, that’s a great idea. Great idea. – My husband is a videographer, and so looking at getting him set up for contracting services
for the government, as far as providing videography. So hopefully, maybe he
shoots a army commercial, or something like that– That’s great.
– That’s so great. – People get like really rich off of that. – I Know, I was talking to a women, and she said, especially for
black women, or minority women, there are so many set asides and so forth, and under a certain amount,
it’s easier to qualify for. So like, $150,000, she’s like, “That’s a drop in the
bucket for the government.” But it’s like, $150,000
or $300,000 contract, we’re doing pretty good, I’m helping a few people out.
– I’ve been checking into that too, that’s great, ’cause
I got my WMB as you know. – You did, yes.
– You know I did (chuckles). – Yes, it’s important to
get those certifications because they help you when you’re going up for competitive projects and so forth. – I love that you were thinking about it in such a flexible way, also, because I think that a lot of
people who do creative work, a lot of times don’t think
really broadly about, where are my services needed.
– Yeah. – And so something like
government contracting, it doesn’t sound very sexy–
– It’s not. – And it’s like, you’re not
gonna win an Oscar off of that. But also, that’s hard work, it’s good work and your work is seen by
literal millions of people. – Yes, it is.
– And it’s money. – I saw that with my friend.
– The government is the best employer, probably.
– It is. – Everything’s transparent.
– They’re the biggest buyer. – This year has been
really interesting for me because I spent most
of it finishing a book that will be out in 2020.
– I’m so excited. – That’s so exciting to
me, you don’t understand. – We’ve been talking about
this book for three seasons. – I know, but I’m so excited.
(Aminatou laughing) – Well, it’s a process.
– And it’s still not out. – It is, it’s a really long
process, and I think that as somebody who works
really online digitally, it’s taught me so much about putting your head down to do work. Because everything that
we do is always like, you do something and then people see it, and you get rewarded for it immediately or it fails immediately. And I just forgot what
that was like, to be like, okay, this is a three-year
process no matter what, you put your head down, you do the work, and then you pass it on to someone, and they’re doing the
editing and the marketing and all that stuff. And it’s not even gonna
be out for another year. And so it really challenged
me a lot in the beginning because I’m just not used to working on long-term projects like
that, but I’ve really decided that I wanna focus more on
things like that, actually. – [Tonya] I like that. – Also being an author is not, people don’t get into writing
books for making money, nobody is getting rich off
of writing books, let me– – A few people. – We had a year to write it,
and when we turned it in, I was like, “I could have
taken another year to do this.” Because it’s a lot of work, and sometimes it’s very emotional work. Working on a deadline on
a project that’s personal, usually that’s not how
you’re dealing with it. But I think that the thing that it’s made me think about the most is how, oh, yeah, the thing that’s
good about this is that I can always have one project
that’s in the background, and then I can add on whatever
else I want to be doing because I run the, basically, the LLC, that hosts my podcast with my two friends, Anne Friedman and Gina Delvac. and that business does really
well, I was like, “Oh, yeah.” We now have four or five
people that work for us. – That’s amazing. – When we set out to do
that podcast five years ago I never thought that would be possible. And I’m like, “We’re out
here like running payroll.” I was like, we’re paying taxes
for people to work for us. And it’s really exciting,
but it also, as you know there’s just that pressure of “Oh, we should make enough
money to pay everyone now.” – Yeah! – I’m just not responsible for myself now, other people’s dreams, and their rents, and their whatever, they
depend on us for that– – I’ve definitely had jobs
and my checks would bounce, or we would get paid late in the past, and I never wanna be that type of — – You don’t wanna be that person. – Employer – Yeah, I never wanna be that employer. So it’s a good kinda
fire to light under you. But I also think that for me, I’m a reluctant business owner, I was doing what I wanted to do and then next thing you know, there’s checks you need to cash, there’s accountants you need to hire. It happened accidentally for me, so I think that I’m learning as I’m going. But I am also balancing
that with the fact that I am also a business, and
I have my own personal LLC that’s what I run all
of my business through. It’s really challenging for
me because my brain is so, I’m such a creative person, the logistics of what it takes to do
this sometimes are hard. But I’m really excited
about the team that I have, I like my agents, I like my
lawyers, I love my accountant. There are so many people
who are part of the team now to make me, to keep the trains running. But I think that it’s so, even if you’re not someone who
has a brick-and-mortar store, or there’s not a thing that you do, you still do need to think
of yourself as a business. – Yeah, everybody should.
– Absolutely. – Pressure. – And for me it’s changed
my career trajectory, it’s changed my motivation
for a lot of things. And it’s also made me a
little bit more ambitious. One of the goals that
I gave myself for 2020, is I want to make something, and I’m like, “I wanna make something
and I wanna sell that.” And I think that it’s probably going to be in the skincare realm. – That be great. – [Tonya] I’ll buy it. – It’s good to challenge ourselves. – That we will.
– Yeah, we’ll buy it. – Thank you, I’ll give it to you. But yeah, I know you will also support. But I think that for
me, I’m trying to find, what’s something that I care
about that I want to try? And what’s the skill set
that I’m trying to learn? And I think that manufacturing is something I’m curious about. Skincare is something I’m curious about. But also selling something is something, that I’ve eternally been curious about. So I think you ladies motivate
me a lot to try new things. – Oh, I think motivate each other, You guys motivate me so much.
– Absolutely, listen. I got get my book done. – Listen, you’re like,
“Let’s talk about it.” (all laughing)
– Yeah, let’s get it done. – Well, then also, in
thinking about business, you have to have business insurance, and it’s really important, but it actually might be more affordable than most people realize. And so the right insurance for your needs helps protect the
business, it’s employees, your customers, and your
assets, because like you said, it’s not just you now
that needs protection, it’s everyone who comes in
contact with your business. But there are also a
number of different types of policies available, most people– – Talk to us.
– Don’t realize that. Yep, so you wanna find out
which policy fits the size and the scope of your business, because it’s not one size fits all, with any type of insurance, but business insurance,
especially, we all have different businesses.
– So you’re saying that if somebody is just like, you’re just like, you’re
a one woman business, and you’re working from home, that there is still some sort of insurance that can work for you? – Yeah, absolutely.
– All different kinds. – Yeah, and you have to think about it, I know going into maternity
leave and everything, and adding to my family, I had to think about what that looks like, and what would happen if we experienced a
significant loss of income because I didn’t bounce back from having the baby as soon as I planned. And I actually did extend my
maternity leave three months. So yeah, you have to think about that. You have to think about what happens if my spouse is injured? What happens if someone who
works for me is injured? Just all those different
things are really important, and you have general liability insurance. You have business owner policies, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance. I know this all sounds fun.
– Girl! I know it does.
(Aminatou laughs) – I don’t even know what
errors and omissions is. – This is where my yes start glazing over and I just get stressed out. – But its really important.
– It is. But then there’s cyber
liability insurance. I think that’s a millennium
thing, that’s like a Y2K– – So if I lie on the
internet, you could sue me? – Somebody might. Especially you, Angela,
– Is that what that is. especially you, yeah. – I mean, you work the
radio, so let’s get into it. – My job better have that.
– There are angry people – Okay, it is not on me.
(all laugh) – And then if you have employees, you definitely wanna look
into workers compensation- – Oh, yeah, we have workers comp. All you need is for somebody to say, “I slipped and fell at work, and now I’m gonna sue you guys.” You have to make sure that
you’re covered for that. – And then it’s on you, yeah. – Or if somebody really
does get injured somehow, I mean, we have blenders–
– Things happen. – Juicers, knives anything could happen. – But injuries happen, and I think also, people always think of insurance,
especially young people, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t need that.” And t’s like, well,
guess what life happens. Life will happen to–
– Life. – You could lose your
whole business, from not having the right insurance.
– Life will happen to you. And that’s the whole point
of insurance is that, they’re like, fingers
crossed, nothing happens you, but if something does happen,
– But if something does. You’re covered. – Then you’re already protected because you’ve been paying into it. – Absolutely. – Yeah, so I know the,
yeah (all laughing). – You’re like, “Yeah, I know that.” – Well, I’m just gonna
keep that story to myself. – Oh-oh, you’re like, “I
don’t wanna get sued.” (laughs) Well, one thing
I’ve noticed is how becoming a small business
owner actually gives you a new perspective on work,
as you’ve said, Amina. Do you think it’s important
for the relationship between employer and employee
to be mutually beneficial? There’s a lot of things
that you offer employees beyond compensation that
will make them feel valued. And I definitely try to
do that at the juice bar, we had this employee of the month thing, so whoever, and they get to vote. So whoever gets the most votes– – Oh, that’s interesting. – And you can’t vote
for yourself, clearly. So they send me their votes, and so I’ve done things
like, took the two people, there was a tie one month and they got to go to the Nets game, and be in the suite with me. – Oh, nice.
yeah, well that’s nice. – Yeah the Nets game,
or I might do something, like there’s a store
in Brooklyn, Woodstock where I’ll give you a gift card and you get to go and buy some sneakers, and it’s just things like
that, so every month, somebody gets something like that. And then also once a year, I like to have a dinner at my house. So everybody gets to come
over, relax, listen to music, eat, drink, have a good time, and relax. But I think it’s important for employees to see that they are valued sometimes. We get mad when people aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. But when do we say, “Hey, great job.” – Hey, yeah, I’m coming
to work for Angela, so I can go to the Nets
game (Angela laughs). – Well, that’s only if you’ll get employee of the month.
– I’m trying to work at the juice bar.
– I don’t know if employee of the month. – I will get employee of the month, cause I’ll so hard.
– I’ll vote for you. – Ain’t nobody will vote for you guys. – I’ll be like Amina–
– I’ll vote for you. – Amina, dial me in. – I have a really hard time
thinking of myself as a boss because even the people who, the staff that we have
on Call You Girlfriend, I always say they work with us– than for us.
– I use the word with too. – [Tonya] Yeah they do. – Because for me, a lot
of that is just semantics. Nothing makes me angrier than when you’re at some sort
of networking event, and somebody’s like, “Oh, here’s
someone who works for me.” I’m like, “What are you
trying to flex, right?” If the point is that we’re all a team, then people work with each other. And managing people also is very delicate, it’s actually a skill
set, and it’s a skill set that a lot of people are not trained for. – Absolutely.
– Whoa! People go to school for managing, and I know that for me, when
I worked at a tech startup, I really struggled with managing people because I was like, “This is
not my calling in life, one. “Two, I like to manage projects, “I don’t like to manage people.” And also when you’re managing people, you have to do your job
on top of it, right? It’s like you’re everybody’s coach, you’re holding their hand. But you also have your own stuff to do. And the thing that works
really well for me is that I like to really over communicate with people that I work with
about what their goals are, because I don’t assume that
whatever it is that we’re doing, that’s what they wanna do in my life. – That’s what you’re life, this might be just how
you’re getting a paycheck. – And so I think a lot about
anybody who works with me, I was like, “This is a stepping stone “for the next thing that you’re gonna.” “So how do I empower you enough “that when you’re ready to go, “one, you can feel free to do that. “But also two, how do we
help you do that, right? “Every job should be an
opportunity to learn.” And so, for me it’s really important to, I will always introduce
people that work with me to other people that they want
to know, in other industries. I’m like, if it’s within my power to make introductions to you, and set you up on coffee
dates, and intro meetings, I will always do that. In my check ins, I always ask them like, “What do you wanna do? “I know that your goal
is not to forever be “the second producer on a podcast. “Clearly there are other
things that wanna do, “what are we gonna learn about that?” And also, I think that being generous is really really, really important. I love what you were saying about having people over to
your house for dinner, taking people to games
because I think that, especially for millennials,
part of our damage with work is that we don’t feel that
we’re valued at work, right? And I know that a lot of
people wanna make fun of that, they’re just like, “Oh,
why do you care so much?” I’m like, “We care because
that’s what they told us “the workplace would be like.” But also if you’re gonna spend
– They seem not to care. – All of your time somewhere, I’m like, “It doesn’t matter what you do. “People want to feel
that they bring something “because it allows you to
be your full self at work.” And I think that–
– I agree. – People harder and
better when they feel like they’re part of this.
– When they’re valued. – Valued. – I love my assistant, and I hear you on helping people move to the next level, but you’re stuck with me if
you’re watching this show– – (all laughing) You’re
not going anywhere. – I love my assistant, and it took me five other assistance to find her. But what’s great about her is like, she calls herself a
sanity support specialist, – I love that.
– (laughs) I love it. And she specializes in
helping business owners maintain their sanity. But I do make sure that
I take care of them, we did a business retreat, we
do a team retreat every year. So we went to Atlanta,
and we all got a house, and we just holed up
in the house and just, it was self-care, also
business planning and so forth. So we do that every year. But it is just doing nice thing just like, “Hey, I saw that you
moved into a new place, “here goes a gift cards “to furnish something in your place.” Or like, “Here’s something
to do or take this off.” I know that a lot of times with my team, they don’t have paid vacation. So it’s like, if I can give you a bonus for you go on vacation–
– That helps. – That way you can use
the money and so forth. And now we have Karris’ nanny who also I wanna make sure she’s happy ’cause she’s watching our child (laughs). – You don’t want her to be upset. – She should be the
happiest, and so making sure that she’s happy and comfortable. And just make sure that I
extend opportunities to her, and introduce her to other people. And bring her along, she’s
here with us in New York, and this is her first
time coming to New York. So just always listening, I think listening is
one of those big things that I’ve learned as a business owner, listening to your team. They don’t just listen to
you, you listen to them. – Yeah, and you have to give credit. I think that if you are a good leader, you know that you can only
do the work that you do because there are so many
people who support you. I always noticed that people who just, they take credit and they
never credit their teams. I’m like, “Actually, the
people who work with you “are instrumental to anybody standing.” If you have an opportunity to
be an outward facing leader, it’s because there’s so
many people behind you, to do that for you. – That’s right, because
I am a mess on my own, I will tell you (Tonya
and Aminatou laughing). I am definitely a mess on
my own, some days I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m
doing, I need some help.” Even my makeup artist,
she’s here with me today, and she does my makeup at work for Revolt. We’re on in Revolt every morning, and I always make sure,
whenever there’s an opportunity for her to do something
else or somebody like’s, “I need to make up artist.” I always a refer her
because she does great work, I know she’s professional,
’cause as an employee, you also have a responsibility too, right? To make sure that you’re
professional, you’re on time, so that people will want to say– – Very true. – “And I can co-sign that person, “that person is great at what they do.” And so I think that’s important
too, to make sure that, you can’t just expect somebody to do things for you and rewards you when you’re not really going and doing your responsibilities. And sometimes beyond that.
– That is so true. That is so true, be the
person they talk about. (gentle music) – We’re talking a lot
about starting and managing a business in this week’s episode, and we hope that sharing
our perspective does help. But this podcast of course,
is not the only resource. There’s nearly 19,000 State Farm agents all over the United States, and they’re waiting to help
protect what’s important to you and guide you through
major life milestones. For this week’s “Ask an agent Segment”, we reached out to get
some practical advice that you’ll wanna consider
before going into business. – Ladies, I’m sad that our
season is coming to a close, but I am excited that we’re talking about starting a business this week. I have definitely learned a lot as a business owner over the years. Here are some of the things
I wish I figured out sooner. Manage your cash flow. Most small businesses fail
for a number of reasons, but the most common is
running out of money. You should know where every
dollar is coming from and going. So establish a budget, stick to it, and review it on a regular basis. With the new business, you’re going to be hit with
expenses from every direction. Accounting software can
help you remain organized, track your spending, making it easier when tax season comes around. As your business grow, the accounting will become more difficult. When that happens, you
might wanna consider working with a full-time accountant. In the early stages, limit fixed expenses, allocating most of your capital to growth is critical to your business longevity. Keep money reserves in a savings account as an emergency fund. Pay yourself, don’t
overcompensate in the beginning, but make sure you pay
yourself enough money to live comfortably, eliminating that personal financial
stress that will allow you to stay focused on building your business. Create financial goals, make sure they are reachable, measurable. Monthly, weekly, and daily revenue goals will help you stay on track. This will help you identify when adjustments need to be
made for reaching your goals. For more financial tips on operating and sustaining
a small business, talk to your local State Farm agent or visit us at statefarm.com. (gentle music) – Okay, guys, so for the
second half of the show, we have Amina Daniels, joining us. – Hey!
– Hi! – Great name. – Thank you all.
– Amina is a visionary behind the Live Cycle Delight,
and LCD Hot in Detroit. Thanks for joining us, Amina. – Yes, thank you Amina. – Thank you for having me. – I love your name, Amina. – You too, faithful.
(all laughing) – When people look at
you now, they see a mogul who’s really putting
it on for her hometown. But every business that’s big
or small starts with a dream. Can you tell us about your own journey from dreaming to being a doer, and how you found your passion? – Yeah, well, it started
from leaving New York, which was very hard, it’s
still hard to come back and not live in the city.
– Oh! – So it’s really about trade-offs, which is really entrepreneurship, and really entrepreneurship
from the startup is, what can you let go of, or what sacrifices are you willing to make for
the name of your business? So I packed up my car, I left
a whole bunch of clothes. I’m like, “What happened to
that dress (all laughing)? So yes, left it when I moved away. And I knew that Detroit had an
opportunity to be healthier, especially being a black city, and within the black community, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, those are all the leading
three causes of death, and they’re all preventable
with diet and exercise. So I wanted to move back home
and be a catalyst of change. And I also had lived in Atlanta
and in New York, obviously, and you see when gentrification happens, with the disconnect within the community. So I really wanted to be
that catalyst of change and almost like a partner,
uniting both sides, the neighborhood that has been there and obviously the
neighborhood that is coming. So I moved home in 2013, I was started working at a gym, just to kinda get a better understanding which was even taking a complete step back after having a career,
and a job, and a salary and doing all these things in New York, and then coming back home
and working at a gym. But I really wanted to
understand the marketplace, and I wanted to know what Detroit needed, and also what they wanted. Two months into moving back
home, I got hit by a car – Wow!
– While on my bike, just biking through Midtown, I biked in New York all the time. But that was my, you are no
longer in New York wake up call. – Yeah. – So I spent the next 2 1/2
years in and out of surgery, physical therapy–
– Oh wow. – But it was really great
because I could cycle. That was the one thing that I could do, I could always cycle, and
then I was able to connect with general population
who did not exercise, who were not active since the age of 18. In 2014 I enrolled in
TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp, and then the following year I entered the Hatch Detroit competition, I won $50,000 to help open
my brick-and-mortar location. I thought, “Wow, it’s
going to be so easy now.” I could finance a place,
(all laughing) I can get a loan, this would be great. It was actually the complete opposite, I looked at 92 properties. – Oh my gosh, and nobody’s
counting, nobody, 92? – 92 properties
– 92 girl. – That was 91 nos, a lot of different nos, one landlord told me that I needed to pay the entire rent for the year upfront. When somebody says no, it just means not with
you, or not right now. There was one woman,
she was a black woman, she wanted me to invest
$200,000 into her property, and then make it a revolving space for other pop-up businesses. – Why would you do that? – [Aminatou] Yeah, that’s
not how that works. – [Amina] Because it was for her (laughs). – That sounds crazy. – Wow, that’s bold. – For that term, you could
have bought your own space. – Right, I love this because your passion
is what is fueling you, you’re turn your passion into action. – And during this time I
was trying to figure out what I could do, so I was
popping up around the city, I was leaving bike rides
outdoors, and just still looking and not becoming discouraged. And finally I was Motor
City matched in 2016, which was great, it was
another grant process, and I found a lower-level space, which in Detroit was unheard of, people are like, “You can’t be successful, “nobody lives there,
what are you gonna do?” It’s been great, we revitalized
a neighborhood corridor, we hire teams from the community. – Oh that’s great.
– Love to see it. – So that’s great, I like to say they’re the backbone of our business, And we expanded to a second
location last year in 2018. – Look at you
– That’s amazing. – That’s so good. – [Amina] Good, it’s a labor of love. – I always loved the idea of not expanding too fast sometimes too, because sometimes people
get something, it’s working. And then they’re like, “Okay, we’re gonna open
five more locations.” And I’m very into like,
okay, let’s get the growth, but let’s do it in a timely manner. – But do you feel like people
are always asking that, like, “What’s next?” And I think we have a responsibility not to do that to business owners. ’cause sometimes people will be at their first grand opening, and they’re like, “Okay, so what’s next?” – I just ask them, I’m
like, “What’s next for you? – Remaining here?
– What are you doing? – Yeah, but it is important
to let people just grow at their pace sometimes. – And it’s also important to
understand what your vision is, and not the vision of the developer. So it’s like I’m
attractive to a developer, but it’s like, you’re not
paying me to open up a business, I’m paying you to make it more
desirable for your customers. But that doesn’t work for my bottom line. So I think it’s important to learn what does growth look like for you? I mean, we absolutely want to grow. But do we really need to grow in Detroit? Or do we need to grow to
other emerging markets? And then it’s like before
you grow to emerging markets, I wanna connect with more women of color, because that continues
to be the disconnect. Unfortunately, that’s
not my primary customer, so it’s like, how can I reach
African-American women sooner? So we can have more opportunities
and access to fitness, so it’s not such of a bad relationship when we’re in our 30s and
40s because it’s hard. – Have you guys ever done a spin class? – Yes.
– Oh my god. – I have.
– It’s painful, it hurst. – The next day.
– I’m still good. – But what I like about it, is
you can go at your own pace. – The next day though, I couldn’t sit down
– The nest day. for two days.
– I believe even days. – But I run and everything,
so doing a spin class, it’s a different type of workout for me. But I also appreciate that
people aren’t staring at you watching what you’re doing, everybody’s minding their business. – True.
– Everybody’s doing their own. – And you can go at your own pace, so you don’t have to go as
hard as everybody else does. You’re just beginning, you
go at whatever you can do. – I mean, we just have to go to Detroit to do the class together.
– I think so, I think so. – I think we do. – [Tonya] And it’s such a good workout. – Well, here’s what I wanna ask you. I think that this conversation about growth and all that stuff, sometimes it’s so easy to just Daydream. If you sit and you’re like, “Tell me what it is that you want? I’m like, “I can vision-board that “for days and days and days.” But nobody really talks about the accountability piece, right? And so I’m just wondering
how you stay motivated to be accountable, and
how do you make goals, and how do you keep to those goals? – Well, I always want to learn more. So whether it’s more
fitness certifications, I have all the TRX certification, I have four cycles certifications, I have my 200 Yoga hours. I want my 300, but it just becomes time, I should be going to Dartmouth this fall – Yeah.
– What? – On a building a high performance
business, so I’m always– – Congrats.
– Thank you. Looking for more opportunities
because I don’t have a boss. But I do have a network of bosses, so we kind of connect with others. But when I’m pouring into young people, I always tell them, “You
need to max out at your job, “because you want to
be a boss for yourself, “but you’re never going to
be able to work for yourself “if you don’t know that
you have to improve, “and there’s always more to give.” So I always push myself to more– – Do you journal or
write any of that down? – I do journal, I don’t
journal as much as I used to. It’s more note taking, it’s
just copious amounts of notes. I was listening to you
guys talk about your team. And I’m building a team, and then again, I’ll have good team players and
then they go off to college. – Oh, yeah cause you work with teams. – That’s tough.
– Oh my god, or even– – You’re jus making
amazing college students, you’re building the
next generation, though, people who are gonna be– – And maybe they’ll graduate
and they’ll come back, or they help you open
up your next location in another emerging market. – I get the other ones in a
gap year and they’ll be great, they’re like, “Okay, I mean,
I’m going to grad school.” So I tried to identify
the other ambitious people and lean on the ambitious people, but I’m just really driven and
there’s so many black women. I mean, I’m sitting at
a table with black women that are killing it, so
there’s always more to give. And then, in this society
where Instagram is right there, and Instagram looks perfect, and everybody has these curated lives. I always tell people that I’m
not the glamorous founder, it’s very rare that
you’ll see me in makeup, I’m always running from a class
to a class, it is very real. But it’s good to look at those people, not at what they’re doing, but the hard work that is behind that. – I mean, nobody puts their business plan on Instagram, right? You just see, you see the mirage, but you don’t see the
work that goes into it, you don’t see that, even hearing you talk about your business, I’m sure that it is meticulously planned, and nothing as a
coincidence or an accident. And so how do you convey
that to other people, right? That you’re out here,
you’re grinding hard, so you don’t have time to be
taking makeup selfies all day? – Sometimes it’s just
nos, I always say no. So again, when you’re
going back to just choices, or the overall, how do you
stay focused and on track, it’s like what are you trying to do? So when I go back to, I’m trying
to make communities better, and I’m trying to create more pathways for African-American women to be healthy, regardless of the roadblocks. So it’s like, what else can I do? What else can I do, what
else can I do, so yeah. – You know what, I do appreciate you talking about how you worked at a gym. Because sometimes people
wanna start a business, but they haven’t built up the foundation of knowledge that they need
to know to build the business. – No credibility, yeah.
– And that does take patience and sometimes taking a step back. Of what you were doing, prior to that. – Humbling yourself. – Humbling yourself to go work someplace, so that you can learn the
ins and outs of something, so that when you’re
ready to start your own, you have that basic foundation because some people don’t do that. – I worked at a gym, I
worked at a yoga studio, I worked at Pilati studio, I
worked at a bar studio and– – Hala, yes (laughs).
– At 30. And listening to people and
really learning the systems. And even traveling, everywhere I travel, I like to go to the studios that are supposed to have
the best instructors. I wanna see the communities, and I wanna see the instructors. So some classes are really great branded experiences in New York,
but there’s no connection with the instructor in the community. So it’s good, where you can travel and see what you can take. – What’s your pitch strategy though? When you’re talking about you’re, I’m thinking about the
people who are at home, who are like, “Okay, I’ve never
pitched to someone before. “I don’t know how to
talk about my business.” How do you do that in a way where you are conveying your ideas, but also you are speaking about a business that money is about to exchange hands. – Say it with conviction. I was telling people for three years that I was opening a cycle studio. People are like, “Girl, you crazy,” or whatever (all laughing). I’m like, “No, I’m
opening a cycle studio.” And a lot of people get really defensive when people are like,
“Girl, you can’t do that.” (mumbles) I would listen to
the nos, and so I would use, how can I make this more digestible? So by the time I’m ready to pitch, everybody had already
told me, I can’t do this, so I had already created more pathways. And what was really hard for
people to understand is that how are you gonna get
people to unite and sweat? They were like, “People are
just gonna ride on a bike “in a dark room listening to music.” And I’m like, “Absolutely.” – Yes.
– It’s amazing (laughs). – Yeah, and I said, “And people “from all different backgrounds
are going to realize “that they are more alike
than they are different.” – Yeah, they’re supportive.
– And in the current times, everybody in my studio
really kind of leans in, girls that have landed
in Detroit have friends, they have clients, they have sitters, there’s just so many things. So going back, staying concise,
not being in your nerves– – And practicing a lot,
it sounds to me that you were pitching people
before you had a pitch to make. For at the money.
– I was pitching to my banker friends that
are all about facts. – That’s great yeah (Aminatou laughs). – And they’re, “Not enough facts.” And I’m like– – That is the most important
– That’s really good. thing to have your research together. – That’s really good.
– Practice, practice. – Lots of people care the most about when you’re making
a pitch than numbers, like what does it come down to? How is this gonna make some money? – And I would say listening to yourself. I recorded myself
– Oh, this is good advice. – And I was like, “Oh my
god, that sounds terrible.” (all laughing) I also do that with teaching
because you’re like, “Oh, I said that five times.” I need more–
– Yeah, need to be more mindful next time, yeah. – Less jargon, more concise,
and then whatever it is, if it’s five minutes, be five minutes. Don’t try to be the 10-minute, keep it concise with the facts. – Amina, I just really appreciate so many things that you said because the subtext of all of this is that sometimes people say no to us, and doors close, and opportunities close. But it doesn’t mean that that’s the end of the idea that you have. And so I’m really gonna take that with me about channeling passion, but also matching it
with action all the time, and staying true to your own convictions. And so this is actually a perfect segue into today’s Money Meditation. It’s that time again, y’all. And today, we just really
wanna think about all the ways that saying no, can
actually be a good thing. And I am making space
to really receive this, so I want all of us to be not mindset. So let’s think about this, have you ever had a door close
in your professional life, a job that didn’t work out that led to something
amazing down the road? The truth is, some of the opportunities that look the best on paper aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and hindsight is always 20, 20. Looking back, what’s something that didn’t work out the way you thought, but wound up leading to
something even better. I would love to hear from all of you. – I’ll start, I guess we know this way? – Yeah.
– Yeah. – It was a job, I wanted a job, I was down to the third
interview to get hired. And I didn’t end up
getting hired for that job. But if I would have gotten hired, I probably would not have gone
as hard with my Fab Finance, and probably wouldn’t be
working for myself today. – [Aminatou] Wow! – So it was not getting a
job that I thought I wanted. – For myself, it was being at a job that they didn’t treat me very well there, and they didn’t understand
my value at the time. And so I was there for six
years, and at one point, I was just like, “I’ve hit a plateau. “This isn’t working out for me.” I went to them and had conversations, didn’t go the way that I anticipated. So I ended up quitting
to go somewhere else. And it actually ended up
being a scary thing for me, but actually being an incredible way for me to advance my career. – Wow, for me, it was, I really
wanted to go to law school after I graduated college, and
it was during the recession, and I just couldn’t afford it. I had to go to work, and I
had to support my family. And I remember just being
really upset at the time because I was like, “This
is going to derail my life “in every way, shape, or form.” And it was such a lesson
that, life just happens, sometimes there’s no
money, it’s nobody’s fault. And that was a huge
fork in the road for me, but now I’m like, “Oh,
yeah, I worked for myself, “and I’m a resilient
person in the workplace. “Because I didn’t let
that be a defining thing “that I couldn’t do.” – [Tonya] Yeah. – Well, I think I touched
on this a little bit, but I would say Downtown Detroit, or Opportunity Detroit not
giving me an opportunity, was a much better opportunity. I landed up in a neighborhood
and I have the best community. And I’m able to do more
with teens, so it’s good. – I love that.
– All right. – We do wanna hear what you came up with, so let us know your response to this week’s Money Meditation
by posting on social media. You know what our hashtag is, Hashtag LiveColorFull, with two L’s at the end of Color Full, that’s the words Live Color Full, with a double L at the end. – Yo, it was really end? – No, yes. – No, yes (laughs). – No, every time we get together, it just feels like time
just flew by (chuckles). It’s so amazing to see all
of the likes, the retweets, the five star ratings, thank you– – Yes, that’s why we came back again. – Even the SoundCloud comments, the Apple Podcast reviews all season long, that has really carried
us, so thank you so much to everyone at home who’s listening. And we just want to thank
you for all of the support because we feel it. So whether you’re a day one listener, or you’re just tuning in, we really, really, really,
really appreciate you. – Yes. – And we hope that you think
back to some of the advice that you’ve heard from the season next time you’re getting ready for your next major milestone in life. And, above all, don’t
forget to Live Color Full. (air whooshing) (gentle music)