Many people stumble into entrepreneurship never intending to become business owners, and Business Coach & Strategist Lianne Kim is no different. Lianne’s story is one that a lot of women will relate to going from a successful...
Many people stumble into entrepreneurship never intending to become business owners, and Business Coach & Strategist Lianne Kim is no different. Lianne’s story is one that a lot of women will relate to going from a successful corporate career to shifting her priorities after becoming a mom, which ultimately led her to starting a business.
In this episode, Lianne shares how she went from 15 years working in sales, to her first foray into business selling her own product, and how reaching out to her local community of moms led her to what she does today as a Business Coach & Strategist helping women build profitable businesses at Mamas & Co.
Lianne describes how she discovered she loved serving women business owners, how she started her business as a side gig outside of a full-time job, the tipping point when she decided to bet on herself and turn her side business into a full-time career, and her advice for anyone contemplating leaving steady work for full-time entrepreneurship.
Lianne speaks candidly about some of the roadblocks she faced building her business, how she navigated tough conversations with her husband who was not 100% onboard with her going full-time in her business, and how an unexpected family hardship taught her the importance of building a resilient business to withstand unexpected events.
Lastly, Lianne shares how she was able to grow and monetize a thriving community, her biggest piece of advice for how to grow your business faster, the lessons she learned about building a membership, the invaluable advice she has for other coaches, and the biggest myth she sees between what we hear in the business world and and what is real.
Lianne dropped so many golden nuggets in this episode that you’ll want to take notes so that you don’t miss any of them!
Find Lianne at:
Podcast: “The Business of Thinking Big” at https://www.liannekim.com/blog
Visit Stephanie at: https://stephaniehayes.biz/
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I'd love to get to know you better!
Book a free call with Stephanie to chat about your strategy and what's next for you in your business.
Learn more about Stephanie here.
Welcome to the Real People Real Business Show. My name is Stephanie Hayes, and I'm a business strategist and coach who loves to speak to like-minded entrepreneurs to share their real stories and the gritty details on building their businesses. On this show, you won't hear about the glamorized entrepreneurship journeys that you see online. You won't be told how to make six figures in six weeks. Instead, you can expect to hear real vulnerable and inspiring stories that you can relate to that have helped create the foundation for each of our guests businesses. Goodbye, Boss Babes. Hello, real life entrepreneurs today. I'm so excited to welcome Lianne Kim. Lianne is a business coach and strategist dedicated to helping Mamapreneurs printers build profitable and passion powered businesses from her renowned. Podcast, The Business of Thinking Big to her Amazon bestselling book, not to mention her online community, Mamas and Co. It's clear Lianne Thrives to support mom bosses. So welcome to the show, Lianne, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. Thank you so much for having me. So let's dive right in. Tell us how you got to where you are. What's the, Oh my gosh. Yeah. Well, do you have a minute, ? I have. I have like 60 minutes , so I never intended to be an entrepreneur. I'm sure that's not the first time you've heard that. I hear that a lot. . Yeah. I had a career in sales. Sales and marketing, but primarily sales in the travel and leisure space. And, uh, after having kids, my life changed and all of a sudden I realized that I didn't really wanna spend my working hours slaving away for somebody else's dream. And that's exactly what I had done up until that point. In fact, ironically enough, I had worked for. Three different male entrepreneurs as like my primary jobs out of, uh, post-secondary school. I learned a ton, but I also realized that I was making somebody else millions of dollars a year, and I was seeing so little of that. And so when I had my babies, like I had them very close together. and I had this little side hustle at the time. I had an art business, uh, making custom growth charts for children. I paint acrylics and I was having fun one day and I realized, Oh, I could create this cool product that's a three foot long canvas that people would hang on their wall and that way they could write their kids heights on. A beautiful piece of art instead of on a door frame, which is where most of us moms write their kids' heights, and that way if they move, they could take the piece of art with them. I thought this was a brilliant idea, and sure enough it caught on and as a result, I became a business owner and I knew nothing about running a business, so I posted in a local mom's Facebook group, Hey, do any of you mamas have a business and wanna get together for a glass of wine? Well, they sure did . And so we went to the pub up the street, uh, and it was one of those nights here in Toronto. We had a snowstorm, a freak snowstorm in November, which pretty early for us. And I remember thinking, Oh my God, no one's gonna come. And so I messaged the group, I said, Hey, I'm still gonna go. So if you still wanna join me for a glass of wine, talk about business, I'll see you there. And seven women came out in a snowstorm, and that's how I knew I had landed on my. And so quickly I realized what I wanted to do, uh, which was coach these women on how to be better at sales. I had spent 15 at that moment, 15 years in sales. I knew how to sell. A lot of these women were great at what they did, but they didn't know how to sell. And so over the next couple of months, couple of years, I dabbled with coaching, consulting, different models, and I realized, this is what I love. I wanna help. Women business owners build profitable businesses that light them up to no end. And that's what I'm still doing. Okay, but we skipped a whole bunch of parts there because you've now gone from , from growth charts. By the way, my son is 12 years old and he's six feet tall. So I hope your growth chart would expand . Yeah, so they hang on the wall and I how tall you think your child is gonna be? Or can you tell me how tall you and your husband are? So if they were six feet tall, I would measure it so that it would sit at the six foot tall mark and they would hang it on. So essentially it, it's, uh, it's kind of a neat thing because you can take it with you and if they move it around the room, they can, you know, move it around. But yeah, it's, it was, it was a neat product at the time. Nobody had created something like this that I know of, that actually. Hangs on the wall. Um, and they had to do a little bit of math too, to figure it out. They had to measure it and all that stuff before they hung out. But I gave them instructions. Um, yeah, it was, thinking back, it was a really, uh, really kinda outta the box idea that I hadn't seen anyone doing. And I loved it. But to be honest with you, the, the minute that I changed my mind on what I had, what I wanted to do with my life, cuz I thought, Oh, I could do this. I could make money at this. I was making money. I started to get shoulder pain. From painting these massive long canvases like this. And so I realized, Oh, this is not scalable. It's fun, it's creative. I love that I'm filling this need for parents, but it's not scalable. And so in the interim, what I had been doing was kind of doing some speaking on sales and marketing inside my own little Facebook group that kind of blossomed from zero. 300 women in a very quick time, because at that time I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know that I wanted to be a business coach. I didn't know that there was such a need. But I started to identify these little gaps and so I said, Okay, if these women need to know about sales, um, I'm willing to teach them. Yeah, let's figure out how we can do this. So that, so that's kinda a little bit how the transition happened. I love that you're bringing this up because there's a, there's a real. Feeling out there in the business world that you know, in order to scale you have to create products. And my whole business is about helping you build assets within a service based business. And so you're kind of going in the opposite direction. You look going, you know, actually this product company is not gonna scale and. I have a, you know, a stronger passion, a stronger drive to create something else. So you had a product, business and, um, your, you know, what you learned was that actually wasn't gonna scale and you realized that your passion was to serve. These, these women, these moms who are in business already and sort of fill a gap there. And now look where you are. You have this blossoming community full of mompreneurs. So what was that journey like? How did you get from the idea to the growth to where you are right now and how did that evolve? Oh yeah, that's a great story. It was super messy . Cause I didn't really have a plan, as I say, like I kind of stumbled upon this great thing. And so that first night coming back from the pub after the seven of us met and we talked about business, talked about kids, talked about trying to integrate all of this. I could not sleep. I was just on fire with all these ideas and a lot of it was ways to connect these women with other great women. Um, it was ideas of ways to bring them together. It was events that I wanted to throw. It was all of the, sort of, the creative muscles were firing on full force. And I just knew in my gut that I stumbled upon something great, but at the time, so I'd just gone back to. Full time. I had two kids, uh, in daycare. I was working from home for the first time ever, and I had this side hustle that I wasn't quite ready to give up. I had this community that had started, you know, the women kept joining the Facebook group, joining the Facebook group. We were trying to meet up monthly as much as we can, and I will tell you, it was so fun. And, and while looking back, but it was exhausting. Like I, I just, I was so driven and so lit up that I was pushing myself to burnout. You know? I was already working full-time hours and then when I wasn't working on my day job, I was working on my business, my community. And then eventually what happened is, um, I was coaching a few women in their businesses, but very minimally because I just wanted to get proof of concept. So I was literally saying, you know, why don't you pay me for a couple of hours and I'll gladly help you out? A lot of these women didn't have. Clear sales processes. They didn't understand their sales cycle, the customer journey. And so I had a lot of knowledge in this area that I wanted to pass on, but I didn't know how to put together a coaching package or anything like that. I didn't even know that was exactly what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to help people and I knew that eventually if I was gonna take this journey and, and become, you know, a coach or consultant, I would. Proof of concept. So I was coaching these women. I'll never forget, some of them were local to me and I was coaching them at my kitchen table. On my 90 minute lunch hour, whatever I could, whenever I could fit them in, in between this and that, and I, I, I just had this feeling like I could make a go of it. You know? I can't quite explain it because I'd only ever been a day job gal. You know, at this point I was 40 and I'd worked for a really long time. I loved what I did. I just didn't love it as much as I used to. I loved this new thing way more. And so there just came a point where I. I wanna see if I can do. I don't, I don't know that I can, I'm not certain, but I think I have what it takes to be a full-time entrepreneur. I think I have what it takes to be self-employed and I could probably, if I really work at it, I could probably make what I was making in the day job, which is what everybody tells themselves, of course. And uh, and. So that was like, you know, even just getting to that point where I had enough confidence in myself to leave a day job, to leave a, like a pretty reliable salary plus commission, that was a big, um, journey for me, I'd say. And it took a while, you know, from, from starting the community. To being ready to leave. My day job was two whole years, and as I say, like I was coaching people here and there, wherever I could, that was two whole years until I felt confident enough to make the leap. So I will say, if there's anyone listening to this who hasn't made the leap yet, or they are, you know, they still have contract work, they still have freelance work and it's paying the bills, I see you and I feel that pressure big time. I know what that's like to. Not quite be ready to go all in on the dream. Um, but, you know, that is what I, that's the decision that I had to make because there just weren't enough hours of the day. I was gonna say like two hours or two hours, Two years is, it Sounds pretty good to me actually. It sounds, sounds, Well, you know, it does, it, it, I think a lot of people are sold this dream that, you know, six months and six figures and we should be, you know, hitting these ridiculous milestones. But what I, what I know and what I've seen with most, most entrepreneurs is that it takes a while and, and the biggest break we can give ourselves is to just accept that and stop putting the pressure on ourselves that it has to be something other than what's natural. Right. Especially if you're working and you're, you know, you've got kids and everything, all the other demands of life. It's okay for things to take what I think is an average amount of. Yeah, you're a hundred percent right. I think I was just impatient because for my whole life I have felt like I was this bundle of potential and I kept stumbling upon these jobs where I felt like, um, people weren't appreciating my gifts and my talents. And I, I, I often felt like I was being not overlooked, but, um, Undervalued in the traditional workspace. So when the time came that I finally found my thing and I was like, Oh, this is it. I just wanted to go full tilt. But there were all these roadblocks in the way for one. You know, I had two small kids and I wanted to spend time with them. I was very clear, you know, cuz you, and I know the celebrity business coaches that have these empires and may, you know, maybe they're okay with it, but I wanna spend time with my kids. When they were little. I wanted to have those hours in the evening, on the weekends. I did not wanna be tethered to my phone or my laptop. It, I was very intentional about that and, Because of that, I probably didn't grow as fast as a lot of other people who either don't have kids or, um, you know, some, a lot of big name coaches and consultants maybe don't have kids full time. They're stepmom's, but it's not, you know, they're not in it all day, every day. The way I was, and again, my kids were, when I started the community, there were one. And three. So super little. And, uh, I just couldn't, I, I couldn't see a clear path to creating more hours in the day. And then the other roadblock, um, was my partner who is amazing in every way, but he's very conservative. Um, he's very, he's not a risk taker. Uh, and to be clear, neither was I up until this point. I had always been very careful with money, very play it safe. , but the day came where I was about six months away from leaving my job. And I made the decision in my mind and my heart, and I said, I'm gonna, I'm gonna do this. I, I don't know that I can make it work, but I think I can. And I, I want you to support me. And he said he did. But for a long time there was this weird energy between us and I was. Okay, I just gotta ask, what's the deal? Because this is happening, like I'm about to give my notice now the days are creeping up closer and closer and you don't seem all that supportive. So what's going on? And he said, We just got to a place in our lives where you're making good money and we're doing okay financially, and I'm scared that we're gonna lose all that. And so I give him credit to, you know, having the courage to be honest with me about what was going on in his mind. Um, my, my husband is, uh, Korean. He's the son of two immigrants, and, you know, he just was fearful. He was fearful that we would lose our livelihoods over this risk. And so I had a choice to make. I had to decide whether I believed in me enough to go forward or whether I would kind of listen to this fear and, and let it stop me and, and keep playing safe. And this is what I said to him. I said, I love you so much and I believe that I can do this, and I need you to give me two years. We have enough savings, we're gonna be okay, but I need you to give two years. And if in two years I can't make a go of this business, I will go and get a sales job again. I make you that promise. And I, you know, that didn't happen thankfully. And it took a lot less than two years to, to get where I needed to get. But again, I'd done a lot of the groundwork before I was audience building. I, I was, you know, learning how to be good at content. If you can be good at content, I don't know, Some days I'm just, It's kind of just what the algorithm's doing, isn't it? But yeah, that was a tough, that was a tough moment to overcome and move through as a, As a family. Yeah. I mean, I've been on my own for a very long time, so we never had to really sort of make that that decision. But I under, I would imagine that, Someone else's fears and someone else's concerns have to be yours as well when you're so tightly coupled. Right? And, um, you know, I think it's amazing that you were able to communicate clearly enough and, you know, get to that place where it worked out. And so here's, here you are, and the community has been grow. Correct. Yep. And what, what has made it grow? Like what has been the engine behind that growth? So, yeah, the community evolved and changed over time. Um, you know, it used to be this sort of fun free Facebook group, and very quickly I realized, you know, I'm, I'm putting way too much work in to keep everything free. Um, and so we rejig things after probably, you know, the second or first or second year we kind of. Restructured things a little bit. Um, one of the things that made it grow was actually, you know, becoming a full on membership, which I didn't even know what that was. Um, but charging appropriately for the kind of guidance and support we were giving in the community, um, that was a big game changer because what happened was we lost all of. All of these people that were kind of in it for not the right reasons. Um, the, you know, the more we asked them to commit, um, it just became very clear who our right audience was. It was these, you know, they were hungry, they were loving the content, they were loving the coaching, they were bringing their friends and they had no problem with the fees. And then there was this other group of people who were like, Can you believe she wants to charge for this? I was like, Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? That you're getting coaching and support and guidance in community and building relationships and you want it all for free. So there, there was a couple moments where we had to take hard stances. We had to let people leave, you know, let exit people out of the community. Um, so, you know, I would say this is probably my, my. Maybe biggest tip of the day have high standards of who you let in your business. That doesn't mean, you know, charging amounts that you don't feel comfortable with or that no one will pay. Like you have to be sensible about it, of course. But, um, keep those standards high and, and don't settle for anything less than true dream clients. And if you do that, the business will actually grow faster. But we all think if I, if I don't say yes to everyone, Who wants to work with me, I'll be closing a door and they, and, and my business will be, you know, it'll go down, but it's the other way around, right? You hold your standards high. The right ones come running and bring their friends, and the wrong ones fall away. The right ones get you and they stay longer and they invest in themselves and the business goes up. So, you know, that was one of the biggies for me for sure. I am so glad I'm sitting here going, Yes, I am so glad that you said this. Um, a couple of things. So I have a, a bunch of clients who, uh, are building memberships and, you know, like there's this, there's this sort of dream out there. that we build a membership and it's gonna be scalable and it's gonna be kind of like passive income. And what I know is that it's like memberships can be almost more work than other business models there. There are a lot to maintain. You cannot launch a membership without a large audience. I mean, you can, but the, the chances of that growing or or being successful are, are like, it's hard, right? It requires a lot of care and feeding. So yes, I mean, eventually you can get to a point where it's a scalable business model, but it is. Very, very labor intensive. So that was like the one thing I wanted you to comment on. And then the other thing is, is I just love to hear you say this because there is a real tendency out there to be pulled back into this idea that everything should be free or cheap. And that if I'm, if I price things, Cheaply, I'm gonna get more people in. But actually, you know, depending on what services you're offering in your brand, you're actually gonna confuse people, right? And the right people who will come in. I find that the people who get something at a discount or, or at a very low price. Actually have higher expectations and higher needs than those who are showing up and and investing in something that sort of matches what they're expecting to do for themselves. A hundred percent. I could not agree more. And it's those people that are gonna. Suck your energy dry and you'll be, you'll end up having to spend so much time and energy trying to serve people that if you're real, really honest, you don't even wanna be serving these people. But you've built this thing that you're now sort of, kind of, kind of a victim of your own, you know, beast that you built. And I think we have to be really careful. Um, you know, I always had big numbers in the community, and maybe that's because it started as free, but you know, and, and then, and then it went to $20 a year. That was the first increase we made, and half the people left because they couldn't handle paying $20 for a year. Again, you like to be clear, I did not know what a membership was, . I did not know that's what I had. And then, you know, we increased it to $50 and then a hundred. Looking back, I wish I had. Completely started over and built the thing differently, but you don't know what you don't know. And so every, with every iteration of this, we also operated on a calendar year model. So everyone started in January, everyone completed in December and they had to renew. Um, and that was awful. because every year, January 1st, we had to go in and kick out a bunch of people in the community that didn't decided not to renew. I mean, what a terrible way to start your year. It was just energy sucking is really the best way to describe it. And so now that's not how we operate at all. You know, people join the community throughout the year. Most of the people who join our community come in through our affiliates. Our affiliates are paid very well. They're all our own members who are recommending us to their. People. And so we have found these really light and joyful ways of, um, growing the membership over time, bringing in more of the right people. We do a couple of virtual launches a year, and then we have one large event in October called Mama Con here in Toronto. It's our annual conference for Mama Entrepreneurs, and that's another entry point for people to join the community. But again, it took us a few rounds of of this to figure. What worked, what didn't. I mean, we had launches that failed where we wanted 50 new members, we got seven. You know, like that. That's the reality of, of digital launches, and it's the stuff that nobody's talking about, and that's what really. Eats me alive. And it's also one of the reasons why I don't advise. Most coaches have an entirely digital business because it doesn't work for most people unless you have a massive audience. Yeah. And again, that that's how people consume. You know, I have people who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. They don't wanna be in a membership. They wanna work with me one on one. So we have space for that. Very few, one-on-ones. We have space for, you know, in our, our Six-Figure Mastermind, we bring women together who are already past the six-figure hurdle, but we're not taking hundreds a year. We have a dozen in there, 13 actually by Baker's dozen. This right now as we speak . And so, you know, we're really, we're really selective about who we want to join, what we know, what, which one of our program. This is another thing, like as coaches and consultants, you have to know what is the best way to get your people results. And for some people it is just join the community. At the basic, you know, right now as the time of recording this, we charge 5 97 for the year, or $59 a month. That is the best price you'll get for business coaching pretty much anywhere. I think, um, if you're a mom entrepreneur, um, cuz that's who our community is, is geared toward. But you know, they're not, everyone's gonna be a fit for your high ticket. And it's not a, doesn't mean there's something wrong with them. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with the offer. It just means that, you know, we have to be careful who we're enrolling in what, And I'm always really clear. Sometimes I'll say like, Oh, this group would really benefit from your knowledge. But you're too advanced for the group. You're not gonna get anything out of it. So I can't in good faith enroll you in that program, even though it might be what attracted you to me, you know? So this is one of the things that I think we miss with a strictly online business, is we miss these conversations. We, and we miss really understanding what our people need to succeed. Yeah, I mean, I often encourage my clients to start with one on one because it helps them very, very quickly get to know this, this ideal client that they're working with and, you know, build out from there and grow from there. A lot of people do start, you know, kind in the way that you did, where they build an audience first, right? And they build a kind of a, a free resource, a blog or a group or, you know, that kind of thing. But I think it's true that. It's a little bit more difficult to become intimately familiar with your client when you're not having conversations. Like when I work with my clients, we are talking every day. You know, I, I run, I develop very deep relationships with my clients. I, all my offers are higher ticket. They, you know, that's the kind of. Relationship and I can tell you everything about them, right? So if down the road I wanted to build some, you know, larger scale offering, I feel like I would have a really good sense of who those people are. Now, can you get that when you start there? For sure, but it depends how intimately involved you are with the community and with who's in it. So I think that there's a little bit of, there's a little bit of a, of miscommunication in the industry around where to start, and I don't think membership is the place that you start. Yeah, I would completely agree with you. We, we did it completely backwards and, and not intentionally. Um, but funnily enough, one on one is how I hit six figures. It's what I focused on when that time came. Um, and I would agree with you completely. Um, there are great benefits of being able to, um, sell one-on-one coaching and serve people in that capacity. It's highly portable. You could take it anywhere. Um, I'm, I'm a fan of, of coaching virtually. Like I know some people really like coaching in person, but that just wouldn't have worked for me and my family. Um, and there's just, you know, you get to dial it up. If you want more clients, you have more capacity. If you don't, you can dial it down. And that was, you know, one of the things we haven't talked about yet, but I'd, I'd love to kind of go here if you're okay with it, is, um, you know, what happens when there's a loss or what happens when you get derailed? And so, um, I, my father passed away about a year ago now, and when that happened, , uh, my business was extremely resilient and it was in a great place to be able to step away and go and be with my family. But only because four years before that, he got very sick, very unexpectedly, and I was not prepared and the business was a mess. And I remember feeling so terrified that I was gonna lose my. , but also so guilty that I was thinking about my business when I should have been thinking about my dad. And so, you know, the first time it was very sudden I thought he was gonna die. We, we had, we had no notice. Uh, and, and then luckily he lived another four years and got well, and had great memories with my kids and I'm so grateful. But, you know, one of the things that we, especially if you identify as a solo entrepreneur or a small business, we need to be, you know, I guess crisis proofing our business. We need to build things that we can scale back if we need to or we can step away from, which is one of the reasons why I have a team now. Yeah, right. Back in the day when you, I was first getting started, you, you tell yourself, I can't afford a team now. I, I couldn't afford to run this business without a team. So, you know, things like that, things that we have to consider that we don't wanna think about, um, you know, the unpleasant stuff, but we, we need to think. Yeah, I mean that's a whole other podcast episode in itself, isn't it? Like how to, how to make this business resilient. And I think, you know, there's a lot of conversation right now about recession and recession proofing and you know, so far so good, right? We we're kind of drifting through. But there is, you know, we, Covid was a great example of how something hit us all of a sudden. And, and I, you know, weirdly enough, my. Had one of its best years in 2020. And I thought for sure that was gonna be the end of things for me. Right. You know, all these business owners who are like, Oh my God, my business is going under. And actually, um, you know, I built a whole program around resilience and what we need to do right now, when we're facing a potential crisis is actually level up. Right. And is, is, you know, find the ways that we are not riding the crust of the wave down. just because we got scared. Oh, I'm so glad you brought this up. And yeah, there is a lot of talk here as well about recession. I think there's a lot of fear right now, actually. Funnily enough, as we're coming out of the pandemic, I think there's a lot of fear, and I would agree with you. I mean, our business. It's funny that it has been, you know, pandemic plus recession, you know, economic crisis. We've grown 20 to 30% year over year since our inception. And I think that's partly because of some of the strategies that we put into place. We're very in tune with the landscape. Um, but I also think that's just because I expected it to, like I come from the sales world, and so if a business isn't growing, it's dying. And I, I'm happy to talk more about how we made that growth happen, if you'd like. But, um, in my mind, I just, I always expected the numbers to go up and not down. And every year, um, that happens. And so, you know, it's something that I think when we're expecting the worst, that's what we experience, right? When we're living in fear, when we're living from this place. Oh my god. You know, hanging on for a dear life. Um, it's not gonna be joyful. So, you know, you can make millions of dollars, but none of that really matters if you're not actually enjoying the experience of being your own boss, right? If it's super stressful, if it's keeping you up every night, maybe it's not for you or maybe it's not for you the way you've designed it. We grew up, and I'm sure you know, you can relate to this too. Maybe you can, maybe you can't, but, you know, I expect we're about the same age and we grew up in a, in an era where our parents encouraged us to find stability, right? Get a, get a good job. I remember I consulted into, um, public. And I'm, remember my dad saying to me once, Oh, isn't that great that you're, you're consulting into the government because now you can get a good government job. I'm like, I would slip my wrists in like , you know? Cause, cuz to me, The satisfaction and the impact and the like. The closeness to change that I get from the work I do now is so incredibly important to me because I can't spend 10 hours a day. Doing something that I just can't relate to or is not joyful or is not in, you know, innovative or challenging me in some way on an educational level. So I, you know, I love to hear that from you because it's so, it resonates a lot, but that's why we're doing what we do. And so the, the flip side to that, you know, that a lot of people will worry about is like, well, what about the risk? Right. What about the risk and what about the, you know, the, the position you're putting yourself in. So we have to find this way to like, you know, fill those, those little gaps. And I think that the, I think part of that is that I would rather have all the control over my own growth. Mm-hmm. and, you know, understand enough about how to get there. Then leave that in the hands of someone else. Yeah, I agree. And here's the thing about risk. There's risk around us every single day. I mean, I have clients that I've coached whose partners have steady jobs and then they go in one day only to find out they don't have that job anymore. And I remember that I worked in travel right before, um, nine 11. It's funny, I actually quit my, my first travel job. I quit right before nine 11, literally weeks before. Um, I, I gave them my notice and I went traveling myself, . But shortly after that, um, all of my friends, the best sales people, all lost their jobs. People who had been there for years, people who had built the company. Um, and so, you know, we just don't know what's coming around the corner. But I can tell you that, um, this is gonna sound corny, but a belief in yourself and your abilities will carry you a long way. I'm, I'm with you. I could not see myself doing anything else. This isn't just a passion for me. This is a way of life. I literally, I, I wake up in the morning thinking about my mama's. I go to bed at night thinking about my mama's, thinking about how we could do things better, how we can be more supportive, offer more guidance. One of the things that we implemented in the last couple of years, I was just like, you know, some of these women that can't afford our upper level coaching programs, they still need the accountability. So what can we do for them? And so we brought in these mentors in our community, our, our women that are, we're doing really well in business. And we said, You know, we'd really love for you to host accountability groups you're not coaching, right? Cuz that's a whole other skillset, but, Let's bring people together in small groups. Let's let them share what they're working on and let's help facilitate accountability so that more of our women are reaching more of their goals. I didn't know that's what we needed in the early days, so I couldn't have. You know, implemented something like that. But through trial and error and time and growth, you start to see the areas that you could be doing better. Now we don't charge for that, so I can't draw a direct line between that and revenue, but what I can tell you is when people hear where we charge for the community, they don't question it at all because of all of these supports that we've built in to know, Oh, I get to meet with. My own little group every month that's organized for me and I just show up and they hold me accountable. Like, that's pretty amazing. I don't know a lot of communities that are doing things that way. So, you know, staying, staying, growing through recession means staying innovative and resourceful and really, um, like tapping into what your people need in this moment. Because what they need today is very different than what they needed. Two years ago, let's. Totally agree. And I think a lot of people go into, um, you know, building a membership and they're like, I just need to keep creating more and more content and more and more content, and it actually works against them. Because what ends up happening is your members start to feel like they're behind and it, and, you know, the association with your program starts to feel. Negative where they're constantly looking at it and going, Oh, I wanted to catch up on this thing and I wanted to catch up on that thing. And, and I just like, I feel crowdy about myself so that what makes a membership stick, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too, is, is truly the relationships. It's, you know, that's what keep will, keep them coming back. The content will keep them back, coming back until they're done or until they just get too overwhelmed by it that they never feel like they're making any progress. And then, you know, that's it. But it's the relationships, it's the, it's the ongoing opportunities to feel seen, known, heard, et cetera, cetera. So when I see a lot of people building memberships that are just like, Oh, great, this will be a great hands off business model for me, and I'll just dump more and more content into the membership. And that's not what people want. It's definitely not what people want and it doesn't set them up for success. In fact, we did better when we cleaned out our content library and we reorganized it for them and gave them a more clear path to, you know, what to learn, what to focus on. So I would agree with you a hundred percent. It's the relationships, but it's not just what people think, you know? It's not just like, Oh, you're gonna find your business bestie. It is truly like the women in my community, they hire each other. They promote each other's webinars. They're sending each other referrals constantly. Not just because they know each other from a community, but because they truly believe in that other person's. Program or product. And so that's the kind of stuff you can't buy that, you know, you can't buy raving fans of your brand. You can't buy testimonials. You have to earn it. And so one of, and I think here's where I'll speak to, you know, um, not only growth, but how we've been able to sustain and keep this membership so strong, you know, in the hundred. For eight years. We've had members in the hundreds for over, uh, coming up to eight years this fall. And a big part of it is our values. Um, they're on our website. We live by them every day. We remind our members of them. We actually do a lot to reinforce them in the community. And, um, one of our greatest values is give first, take second, right? You are here to learn. Yes. But what do you have to offer? All of these women have amazing, uh, life experiences and business experiences and skill sets that are allowing them to thrive and we want them to share, which is funny. Most business coaches would say like, Aren't you worried? What if there's other business coaches in your community? I'm like, I welcome that I welcome women who have all kinds of different backgrounds and skills because yeah, you know, nobody, nobody does it the way I do it. Um, but that's what they love. They, they, they are actually there to pay it forward and. You know, soak up some of that goodness for themselves. But the minute we can spot and we can see it a mile away, unfortunately, it's, it's very easy to spot someone who joins the community to take Yes. Um, we're keenly aware of that. Keep an eye on them, and usually they do something that goes against our values or, you know, goes against our guidelines. They have to be removed. Um, you know, let's just say it. Takers never win. They're, they're, they're gonna get found out eventually. And so, We're very, we're very aware of what keeps a community healthy, and we foster that. We reinforce that, and every year, at the end of the year, we give away cash and coaching to our members in the form of what we call the Mamapreneur Entrepreneur Fund. So it's an annual grant program. Everyone's eligible to apply except for the person who won the year before. And every year we give away tens of thousands of dollars back into the hands of our members. Who are gonna take that grant and do amazing things with it. You know, that's, that's what we believe in is, is how can we create more opportunities to pay it forward? And that's why our people stay. Cuz they're not finding that in other people's programs or communities. No, a hundred percent. And I, you know, I. We get so sidetracked by like the lure of content marketing and just make content and that's easy and that's gonna, Oh my God, do you know how hard it is to to build an audience and get visibility through just creating content? And I'm like, Look, this is easy you guys. I. You if you want to build your business, if you want to get new clients, just be helpful. Right. Just be helpful. Just go and show up and connect with people and, and like find communities where you're actually interested in participating as a member and be helpful. That's it. Yeah. They're like, Well, so true. And I'm, I'm like, that's, You have to find the people to drag in. To your sphere before your content makes any, any sense, like is even worthwhile because most of the time it's there to help people who have found, you know, you better, but they still have to find you. And so it seems too easy for them to, But I, I'll tell you, I built the first year of this business. Just being of service in one group and, and not even intentionally. So it was just a group that I, that I liked being part of, and they were kind of like my peers. And there were people that I really enjoyed, and they were, and it, you know, the, the woman who ran the group had the same values as me, and I knew her personally. And, and so I just, yeah, hung out there. And to this day, seven years later, That community still sends me referrals. It's, it doesn't exist anymore. It hasn't existed for years, but the people that I met there, I knew there still have this respect for me and send me referrals and I was, I didn't even know what I was doing. I was just like showing up and being helpful. Right. I'm like, it's that easy. Right? It is that easy. It is. And you don't even have to use it as an intentional strategy. You just have to be yourself. Yeah, a hundred percent. You know. The minute that I realized that the more I cared for other people, the more my business would grow. That was a game changing moment for me. And it, and it sounds cliche and it sounds cheesy, we're all told to care, but truly, like there was a point where I, I went from, you know, enrolling customers and serving them as a coach to loving these women and, and genuinely treating them like I would. You know, my closest friends, always having them top of mind and, and coming from that place of creating value in someone else's life, well before you're being paid to do so. Like I, if somebody says, Hey, you know, I've got a business, I, I'm curious to know what you think about it. I will still to this day, even though, you know, technically I'm a lot bigger than I was, what I started, I'll offer people my time. I'm not above that and I don't think any of us should be because. Things can change quickly in what, in our business, in, in the landscape and what we do. And so it is never gonna be a wrong move to offer your value to other people and doing so without expectation, right? I think that's key. The minute you let your, your ego drive, you know, I'm, I'm above. This is the minute your, your business starts to be affected. Okay. I prob I could probably talk to you for another two hours, but we are coming up on time. I have a question that I ask everybody. You know this real people, real business, so I would like to know, um, what's the difference between what we hear out there in the business world and what's real? Yeah, I saw this question on your list, , and I was like, Oh, this is a great question, and okay, what is the biggest example you might have to edit this out. The biggest example that comes to mind for me is there is no such thing as an overnight success story. Success comes from consistency and focus. Period. So I always say to my women like, if all you can do is get outta bed and put one foot in front of the other, just do that. Right? You don't have to overhaul the whole thing in one go, Just focus on that next, right? Action. A lot of my people are really, you know, overly fixated on things like, Well, what do I post on social media and what's the messaging? What do I say to get them in? And I keep. It's not an exact science, just show up for them. Truly. Just show up for them. Show up when you feel great about your business and show up when you feel shit. Cuz guess what? They have those days too. And if you can do that, if you can just try to stay consistent. No one expects you to do it every day either. As I say, I've had times where I've had to step away from the business or I've had, I've had whole seasons where I just don't feel like being visible. But I remember that there are people out there who need. They don't need me to be perfect. So if I can just stay consistent, stay focused on the company goals right now, that's my job, right? As ceo, I have a team relying on me. I have hundreds of members, dear clients, all relying on my ability to show up. Say related to that, take care of yourself first. Stop telling yourself you can't afford it. Stop telling yourself self care is a luxury. It's not. I've seen far too many women have to close their doors temporarily or permanently because they were not able to care for themselves first. They hit burnout or, you know, physical illness, and it's just, it's just not worth it. Life is too short if you want, if you wanna hit your business goals, then this thing here, this machine's gotta be working so you know. And the whole, like the whole underlying conversation there is about worthiness and our interpretation of our worthiness because we often see ourselves, as, you know, again, our generation grew up under a generation that absolutely shunned. Paying any attention to yourself, and it was selfish. It was greedy. It was, you know, unbecoming to spend money on yourself, to prioritize your time. We were valuable people if we served others and put them first, and that was admirable. That's changed. We can't run businesses when we are on fumes. So I'm so glad. I think it, I think it still needs to change even more. And, and maybe that's because I mostly serve moms. A lot of them have young kids, and I see two camps. I see the ones that get it early and are actively trying, even if we're not getting, you know, self care. Perfect. We're trying, we're we're scheduling it in. You know, I say to, I say to them, Nobody's too busy for a 20 minute walk, ev every single day you can always find 20 minutes. Yeah, you might have to ask for help or yeah, you might have to take the kids with you. But guess what? Everybody has the same hours in the day. If you make a choice, it will happen. If you prioritize, it will happen. So I, I see people making the choice, and then I see people, um, you know, kind. Going by default, which is to not prioritize themselves. And unfortunately, those are the ones whose businesses don't last. Those are the ones who eventually it just be, it just feels too heavy and too hard. And yeah, so I'm a big believer that success is really about thriving in all areas of life, not just in one area. And it's, it's one of the reasons why I prioritize my own health. Prioritize, you know, family time, as I mentioned. That's what I'm doing this. I have two teenagers and I barely see them anymore. So our family time has become like, when are you gonna be home and can we maybe have dinner together? ? So yeah, it's a new phase of life for sure. And you know, I've recently shifted my own business to working with, with women who are like mid forties and later because we have really different needs now and like the prioritization of rest. Of mental breaks and, and we're starting to look towards the end as opposed to like being hyperfocused on the beginning where everyone likes to, like, it's sexy to talk about starting up. Well what are we doing with this business? What's the legacy we're creating? So like, I also think, you know, where you are in your life is a very important consideration to what you're doing to take care of yourself too. So yeah. Great conversation. Um, we're coming up on time, so can you tell our. Where they can find you. Sure. So if you love podcasts, then I highly recommend you listen to mine. It's called The Business of Thinking Big, and you can find me on Instagram at Lean Kim, Coach. And would it be okay, Stephanie, if I shared a little freebie with your listeners? I think they would love that. Awesome. So we touched on, uh, you know, keeping your standards high, building a business full of dream clients. I have a free master class that teaches you exactly how to do that. This especially geared to mom entrepreneurs, people who tend to not value themselves as much as they should. Um, so if you're interested in learning from me there, you can go to mama inco.com/dream. And if you're okay with it, we can link to it in the show notes as well. Absolutely. We'll put all of your, all of the links in the show notes. I think everybody needs to be able to find you. Um, I'm about to sign up for the membership myself after looking at , the sales page earlier today. Oh yeah. I'm excited to, um, to learn more about the community and to get in there. But thank you so much. This has been such an amazing conversation. You know, when I listen to the, to our interviews, I'm always thinking about these, you know, where's the great sound bite? Where's the quote that we're gonna use? And I'm like, Oh my God, there's too many this time, . Oh, you are so sweet. Thank you so much. I really, I really appreciate you having me on your show. And I just, I think the work that you're doing is amazing as well. It sounds like we're. We're really aligned in our mission. So yeah, just appreciate you so much, but this is how we make those relationships and we continue on that great work and, and really what we are is a big, a big network of wonderful people doing wonderful work that need to know about each other. And this is how we do it. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. Okay, well that's a wrap and I'm so happy we had the opportunity to chat with Lianne today to hear more about how her business came to be, her experiences along the way and what the future of her business entails. And thank you for tuning into this episode of The Real People Real Business Show, where we get the real entrepreneurial stories and journeys that you can relate to. The show notes, resources, and links from this episode are available on my website and also on my social media platforms. Thank you again for joining us today. If you've enjoyed today's content, I would love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on to help us share these genuine stories with an even bigger audience. Until next time, keep building. Keep dreaming and keep being real.