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In Episode #22 I am joined by Stephanie Desaulnier as she shares her double-pivot career to creating a business that supports you how to make your creative business more profitable. Formally a Geologist, Stephanie started a sewing business, scaled it and then created a course to help other creatives do the same. All while increasing their self-confidence to charge their worth! Driven by her passion to spend more time with her family and to help others feel less guilty to sell their crafts.
Some of the key takeaways from this episode include:
Anyone in any industry with any past career and start a business in anything and at any point in their life!
If you have a hobby business, you can scale that business to 50k and still have time to spend with your family.
That sometimes we all experience imposter syndrome and not feeling worthy to share our knowledge and wisdom with people that could actually benefit from it the most.
The power of business support programmes and co-working spaces to help your business to grow.
Trust yourself and don't second guess your choices and decisions you have made get you to this point.
More from Stephanie
Mentioned in the Show
Gratitude Journey – COMING SOON
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Hey, everybody all welcome to episode 22 of the Visualise you show. How are you doing? How is January going for you so far? Have you been able to tick off those things on your to-do list, your goals that you set for yourself at the start of the new year? I don't know about you, but my January is going incredibly fast.
I do remember last January going really slowly like it really dragged, but this year it seems to be going so fast. And I don't know if it's because I've been really busy, but yeah, it's going super quick. And some of the things that I've been working on that have been keeping me busy has been putting together a kind of unique coaching package.
And if you're on my email list, if you're in the community, you've probably spotted this already, but I have a number of coaching packages, but this is specifically the chance to have a one-on-one 90-minute session with myself to really help you gain some clarity around some of those goals that you're trying to achieve in 2021.
Coupled with the ability to reach out to me via the Voxerapp [00:01:00] Monday through Friday and unlimited number of times. So if you need to reach out to me, if you need accountability, if you need to ask a quick question, if you want to bounce an idea off me, if you need some quick coaching to get you through or over an obstacle.
This might be the package for you. So the Voxer app, it literally, it turns your phone into a walkie-talkie. So it’s literally like getting audio coaching, however often I'm in the app. So if you have some big goals that you need to make some progress on, then this might just be what you need. You'll get unlimited access via the Voxer app, plus the 90-minute coaching call and all for just £297. So go check that out. And if you're not sure if coaching is quite right for you, if you've never had a coach before, then do check out my clarity call, you can get a free complimentary 30-minute session and I'll leave all the links on where to find out more in today's show notes. Now the other thing that I'm excited about right now is that I'm going [00:02:00] to be starting to do live coaching calls on the podcast. And when I say live, they'll actually be recorded, but these are coaching calls that you will be able to hear on the podcast. It's something I've never done before. It's a little bit scary. And Win Charles, who is a member of my community, has kindly put herself forward to be the first person to tap into one of those sessions. Win is the host of the ask win podcast.
So listen out for that special coaching episode, in a few weeks’ time. The other thing that I decided to do is the return of the gratitude journey. So for those of you who have listened to my podcast in the past, or who are in my community, you would have seen me talk about the gratitude journey before and during December we had about 160 people join me in the community. It was incredibly positive. There was a lot of real benefit. And I still believe that gratitude is the basis for how we can transform our lives on a day-to-day [00:03:00] basis. And I certainly saw so many amazing things happen for so many people during December, especially in terms of mindset.
So I’m going to be re-introducing the gratitude journey, but not every month, because I'm sure you can imagine that doing a free. Gratitude journey takes a lot of time and effort. So the next, the gratitude journey is actually going to start. In March on March 1st, and then they will take place in June, September, and December. Again. Now, like I said, these gratitude journeys take a lot of time and effort. And last time I did the whole gratitude journey, the full 28 days throughout the whole of December for absolutely free, which I loved doing.
And it was a great way to get some new people into the community, but here's the thing. I can't do that in the longer term. So this is what I have decided to do. I'm going to be charging a small amount, £27 pounds to take part in future gratitude journeys.
But this 27 [00:04:00] pounds would allow you to access all four gratitude journeys for the rest of the year in 2021. So that 27 pounds literally translates into I did the math. I think it's less than 90 P a day. To essentially transform your mindset, your outlook on life. And if you take all four gratitude journeys into consideration for the whole year, that's actually 22 P so I don't know what else you can get transformation on such an amazing scale, and to build such an amazing habit in such a positive environment for just 22 pence a day.
I’m sure you’ll all agree. That is good value for money. So I really hope you will join me on that. If you are already in the community, if you did the gratitude journey back in December, then you are all set to go. You will not need to pay that 27 pounds. I am grandfathering you into the gratitude journey just for being part of that beta group.
And part of my community already, but anyone who is [00:05:00] new to the concept who is going to be joining us in March, there will be that small charge of 27 pounds. Okay. I have talked an awful lot already and I haven't even introduced what we're going to be talking about today on today's episode.
So on today's episode, I am joined by Stephanie Stephanie was a formerly a geologist, but she now runs a successful business and helps creatives break through some of their own mindset blocks, helping them to see the path and to scale a successful creative business.
Stephanie wanted to know what it would be like to run a business. But as a geologist, there's no really easy way of doing that apart from just starting your own company. So she started her own sewing business. She soon scaled that business to a point where she was able to outsource to a manufacturer and she then worked in an entrepreneur center and started to take, or the small businesses in the craft industry through that whole [00:06:00] process. And now like many other people she's able to homeschool her two small kids and grow her coaching and micro business while supporting other creative businesses to create a consistent income, but most importantly, spend more time with their families. Now, this episode was recorded quite a while ago and Stephanie's dog Kira, who is a yellow Labrador, decided she would join us on the podcast. Now I think I've done a pretty good job of editing Kira out of the podcast.
However, there are some moments where Stephanie is clicking her fingers to try to calm the dog down. And I just couldn't manage to get these out. So I've got rid of Kira, but I haven't been able to get rid of the clicking so if you're wondering why Stephanie is just clicking her fingers for no reason, that is why.
Now Stephanie mentioned in this episode, her new course called confident creators, which is available for you to access right away. If you are a hobby or craft day or creative [00:07:00] type entrepreneur, I'll leave the links in the show notes, but you can simply have to visualiseyou.com/confident creatives.
okay. Let's get on with the show. Welcome everybody to [00:08:00] this episode of visualize you I'm joined today by Stephanie. And she is, going to tell us about her journey, a double pivot journey of moving from a geologist into a sewing business. And now what she does today as a business consultant and course creator.
Beth: [00:08:15] Welcome Stephanie to the show.
Stephanie: [00:08:17] Thank you so much for having me, Beth.
Beth: [00:08:19] You're welcome. So let's jump right in. So one of the first things I'd like to do is just find out a little bit more about you on a personal professional level, what you were doing previously, and then how you came to be doing what you do today.
Stephanie: [00:08:30] Yeah., I started my professional career as a geologist. I went to college for degree in geology. I actually went to college for a degree in architecture and I lasted six weeks. That was miserable. But I got a degree in geology because I enjoyed being outside and it was very hands-on. It was very exciting, and it wasn't like most other college courses where you're sitting in a classroom all the time.
And I went into working in environmental consulting for eight years. I actually ended up with a master's degree in environmental pollution [00:09:00] control. Which I loved and it was fantastic. But I don't know if you know anything about the field of environmental work, but it's a lot of travel and it's a lot of outside.
I worked as a geologist for eight years. But it's a lot of travel, and it takes time away from family. And once I got married and we started thinking about having kids that, that became, an issue and a struggle for us. yeah, so then I was just trying to find something else and, my dad actually was like a supply chain professor, at a university. and So I'd always been surrounded by discussions about business and business process. And I was like, I really want to know what it's like to actually run a business.
This sounds really cool, but nobody's going to take on geologist, but Hey, you want to try and come running my business here? So I looked around for something I could do, and I knew how to sew. And I knit and, knitters love project bags, like cotton fabric bags to store their projects in.
And so I was like I could probably make these and sell these and just learn a little bit. So I started up that business and it was weird [00:10:00] because I started it up because I was like, I really want to learn what bookkeeping is like. And I really want to learn what like marketing is like. And how do you do sales and how do you plan?
It was more about the operations behind the business than the actual business.
Beth: [00:10:12] That's interesting.
Stephanie: [00:10:13] yeah. And it was a lot of fun and it eventually got to the point where I couldn't produce enough on my own to keep up. I, at that point I had my son, and he was 18 months old.
And then I had my daughter, so I had a toddler and a newborn and I can't. Keep up. So I actually ended up outsourcing it to a local manufacturer who started producing all of my products, which allowed me to, quadruple my business, which was fantastic.
Beth: [00:10:39] So at that point then, so there must have been a market for it at that point. So you'd got people that were wanting these orders fulfilled. Was that a quick journey then from going from the inception and starting that business to the moving into the manufacturing,
Stephanie: [00:10:54] It was a little bit of a slower process. Just because I was still working full time as geologists for the first few [00:11:00] years. And. So I wasn't dedicating a whole lot of time to it, but then once my son was born, I stopped working and I had a lot more time to focus on it. And that's when it really started scaling.
That's when I really started taking advantage of connecting with podcasters and like video bloggers for knitting and going to more events and festivals and really promoting it hard because now, I didn't have another source of income for myself.
Beth: [00:11:23] So can you identify that moment when you decided to pivot away from geology.
Stephanie: [00:11:28] Yeah,
The pivot really came when my husband got a job, and we were going to be moving and my son was five months old and we're moving to the middle of nowhere. And the nearest town for environmental job was 45 minutes away.
And I was just not ready to spend an hour and a half every day away from my son. That's, that was just too much for me and so I was like, I can't go back to doing that work. I can't go back to traveling all the time and being exhausted. And so that, pivot really happened because, my family's [00:12:00] life. Was changing by this move and it gave me a good opportunity to leave the environmental field and start focusing on this.
Beth: [00:12:07] I think that’s, that's so interesting to hear. I think sometimes we; we wait for the opportunity to present itself. I'll do this when this is in place. And I think actually being able to take hold of a situation and go actually how my life's changing any way, can this part of my life also change and fit into that new part of my life.
So you started that business. You scaled that business. When did you start to move into supporting small businesses doing the same kind of thing or going on a similar journey?
Stephanie: [00:12:36] We had moved to a new town. I'm working on growing my bag business, and it's starting to go really well. And I'm walking into these independently owned businesses and this was rural. Area that I'm living in and I'm seeing these people struggling. It's an area that had been economically depressed.
All the jobs relied on one single manufacturing facility there. And so like the coffee shops and the quilting shop and the few restaurants that even existed [00:13:00] there were really having a hard time and I could see that they were struggling, and I felt that I had. I had answers for them.
I'd spent all these years building my business and researching my business. Like I said, my dad as an academic in business. And so I talk about this all the time, but there was, I was a woman who owned a sewing business who had been a geologist. And again, I still felt inferior.
Like I can't go to these businesses and be like, Hey, I have something to offer you. Like I could help you, like you could, if we work together, you could do really well. That just felt that still felt very, like overstepping, I don't think that's the right word, but it, I was still very insecure in my own knowledge, I think.
And I, I didn't believe that I was the right person to go in and help them, but I wanted to be.
Beth: [00:13:41] What changed? What made you mindset flip say, actually I can do this. I have got some things to offer.
Stephanie: [00:13:46] So we had another life change. We had moved to this town. We lived there for 18 months. I thought we were going to be there for, a decade and my husband gets another job back home by my parents. So we move again. Because why not at this point. [00:14:00] And we're moving. And my father, whom I had mentioned he actually had, received an unexpected opportunity to open a coworking space.
And his big vision was to use the coworking space to work with small businesses. And if there's anyone, who's going to take a chance on a geologist who has a selling business to help other small businesses. I hope it's your dad, right? yeah, so I actually convinced him to let me come in alongside him.
And it started out just backend stuff, growing the coworking community and all that, but it actually grew into leading and facilitating and creating educational programs for the small businesses in our area.
[00:15:00] Beth: [00:15:41] That's a great, transition, a great opportunity. And so this coworking space, was it also about attracting businesses into the coworking space and then supporting them once they're in there?
What kind of educational programs would be delivered to them?
Stephanie: [00:15:55] we had, a pretty big run of educational programs. So we would do free lunch and [00:16:00] learns. Wed partner with banks, on like financial management for small businesses or we'd partner with financial planners on the unique needs of a small business owner, because you don't get a 401k from your company and you don't have the typical retirement avenues.
We also did a lot of the more basic stuff, I find in the handmade business world, especially, it's very challenging for people to price their products accurately. They tend to underprice rather than over pricing. And the mindset behind that is, is really interesting. So we would do a lot of work on, where your pricing falls or we would work on understanding who your customers actually are.
Everyone talks about the ideal customer avatar and things like that. We would work through that with them, we would help them understand what their profit and loss statement is. Small business owners? It blows my mind. So many of them don't understand what their profit and loss statement and balance statement are telling them. So we would, give them a kind of a bird's eye view of here's what this is telling you about the health of your business., we'd run workshops on the whole gambit, everything from marketing and [00:17:00] operations and production and finances, and even into ethics.
Beth: [00:17:03] Those businesses within that coworking space, where many of them in the handmade industries?
Stephanie: [00:17:09] It was a real mix.
Beth: [00:17:10] and yeah.
Stephanie: [00:17:11] Yeah. Most of the people who use the space on a regular basis were software developers. That seems to be who is attracted to coworking, who really understands it. But the classes. It was interesting that the classes attracted almost no one who was a coworking member. And it was all from around the community, people who were working in their shops or in their businesses all day, who were then coming to get that additional education.
Beth: [00:17:34] And that's a great way to get people interested in the coworking space as well.
Stephanie: [00:17:37] Yes. Yeah.
Beth: [00:17:38] So if you have to identify one of the main lessons throughout that transition period. So you've worked in the coworking space, you've got your business up and running.
You then moved into the business consultancy. Has there been some lessons that have stood out for you during that period?
Stephanie: [00:17:55] I think the biggest one is to really just, trust in yourself [00:18:00] and that, what you want to do. I could have second guessed every single decision along that way. I could have second guessed staying home and building my sewing business instead of going back to work and doubling our household income, overnight, instead of having to build something I could have not second guessed myself and actually tried to help the businesses in that town we were living in at the time.
I didn't even put myself out there and sometimes I wonder what could have happened if I did. And going to work for family in this new concept is always overwhelming. And I could second guess whether that was the right choice, for me, and it's just really being confident in who you are and what you know, and that you're making the right decisions for you.
Cause if you overthink it, you're going to spend so much time analyzing. You're never going to do it.
Beth: [00:18:45] Yeah. analysis paralysis, you just, you don't do. Anything at all because we're over thinking it. So let's talk about your course. And so you've got this course now for creatives., tell us about that course and what can people get out of doing that course?
Stephanie: [00:18:58] Yeah, this course is [00:19:00] focused on, handmade businesses artisans who are looking to have their first $50,000 a year. So it's not, I'm not guaranteeing you're going to make six figures or seven figures because for a lot of these handmade businesses, thinking about six figures is really overwhelming.
They just want to be able to pay their bills and support their family and earn a modest income. So this is really geared to those people who are getting started struggling to hit that 50,000 a year in revenue. And It's more of a mindset course for the first half. So it, it focuses a lot on the mindset behind feeling guilty for asking for money for your products and feeling guilty for charging what your products are actually worth and what that means and how.
To break past that guilt and understand the value that your customer sees in what you're doing. And then it works through how to actually plan what you're making so many handmade businesses. They just make, because they love to make, and they don't take the time to identify what they need to be making, to [00:20:00] meet the customer demands.
So worked through that and then just, learning how to sell, sell is such a. Like gross word in the handmade business, artisans, and creatives. Like I don't like selling that just feels gross. And so working through what selling actually means in a really non like car salesman way.
Beth: [00:20:16] What do you think it's about creatives that have this guilt? These ideas about their worth or the product's worth. What do you think it is that holds people back? Is it because it's a labor of love? It's so crazy. It's a creative, it's a self-expression and then it, and it means so much to that person that it couldn't possibly be a value to somebody else.
Do you think that's part of?
Stephanie: [00:20:36] yeah, that's a big part of it. I constantly hear people saying, Oh, I'm not charging much. because I just do it in my free time. I just do it because I enjoy it. I do it because I find it relaxing. But the people who are actually wanting to really scale it and make money with it, even then I hear well.
I feel bad charging for my product because it helps people and I want to help them, and I feel bad taking their money for it. And [00:21:00] it's almost like they, I feel guilty because they have such a service mind, that it overrides the fact that, as a community or as a. Society. We translate value into dollars essentially.
I hate saying that, but that's how most of the world operates. And so it's working through people are wanting to give you their money for you to help them with whatever problem you're solving and reconciling that.
Beth: [00:21:24] So did you always have a calling, do you think there was like almost breadcrumbs throughout your career that have led you to this point now or dots that you can join up kind of thing,
Stephanie: [00:21:33] In retrospect, I would like to think so. Yeah. One thing we didn't talk about is I actually teach an online, I teach, I taught. An earth science course at a community college for a while. And so I'm working as a geologist and then that lets me work as an adjunct professor, which gives me experience in educating and working with people to, to break through their problems.
And. Then, my small business, which led [00:22:00] me to understanding the backend and how to work a handmade business. And so it feels like everything ultimately led to me creating this course and focusing on this audience that I really feel called to serve. But I think in the moment, over the past decade, I never would have said Oh yeah, this is all building up to one thing.
It felt so disjointed. But in retrospect, every single piece led to this.
Beth: [00:22:22] Yeah, I agree with that. One of the things that I really want the listeners to kind of to get out of these conversations is that we all have these kinds of skills and experiences that we amass over the career in our journeys, and that we should really be able to shout about them.
So do you have, I like to call them superpowers, but do you have things that you would like to share with our listeners that you think really are your strengths?
Stephanie: [00:22:42] I really think by my biggest strength has learned how to help people understand their own business. This feels so braggy, but I can walk in and sit down with a handmade business and then I can spend half an hour with them. And I can instantly have a map of here are the steps you need to [00:23:00] take to get to where you need to go.
Beth: [00:23:01] Yeah.
Stephanie: [00:23:02] But that the biggest challenge is getting that business owner. To see those steps. And so I really think that's my superpower is I can sit there and help them come to these ideas on their own and realize that they already have the knowledge that they need to get their business, where they need to go.
They just need to be confident in it.
Beth: [00:23:22] Yeah, that's a great superpower and a massive help I'm sure to the businesses that you're working with. So as an entrepreneur then we all have different platforms and ways that we get our messages, our work out into the world. Is there a particular marketing method or platform or something that's really working for you right now that you'd like to share with the listeners?
Stephanie: [00:23:41] I’m now on Instagram and you can find me at business by design with a Z, not an S, I'm on there
sharing tidbits that I find connecting with artists and that's. Basically where I live these days. If anyone wants to hit me up on Instagram, that is great.
Beth: [00:23:56] And. Is that where you're predominantly promoting your [00:24:00] courses? Are you doing lives? emailing people, what kind of, how are you getting the word out there?
Stephanie: [00:24:05] So right now people can actually join my mailing list through my Instagram account. And there'll be one of the first to know when I go live with launching this course, but it's primarily all going to be marketed on Instagram.
Beth: [00:24:15] fabulous. And is it a set number of weeks or is it, is the kind of group coaching or is it self-paced? What's the kind of structure of the course itself?
Stephanie: [00:24:25] It's primarily self-paced. So when you sign up for the course, you get lifetime access. My goal is that the course is completed in eight weeks. However, I understand that people have stuff going on. So it's you pay once to get lifetime access and I do monthly group coaching calls.
And then I will do a once a month. What I call breakthrough sessions with individual business owners who are looking to dive a little deeper, one-on-one for their businesses. So yeah, it's self-paced, but there's a once-a-month group calls and once a month, one on one calls.
Beth: [00:24:55] and I love the self, pace model, because I think especially as creatives. Yeah, you're right. There's so many other [00:25:00] things going on. And it just allows you to do that at your own speed but have that safety net of those group coaching calls as well. And I think. With the group dynamic as well, obviously creatives feed off one another as well.
So that, that sounds great. Okay., this is all, obviously the show all about visualizing you. What, where do you see yourself going with this? What, where does your journey end or tell us a little bit about what's coming up next for you.
Stephanie: [00:25:24] Oh man. Honestly, my journey ends with having helped, a thousand handmade business owners. Get to that 50,000 Mark for them., it grows to the point where, I'm leading this course and enjoying the people I'm engaging with and have the freedom to homeschool my children without stressing out about fitting everything into the schedule.
My, my visualization is to really build a business that works around my family. That brings in the income I desire, but that's [00:26:00] helping these creatives work around their families and build the income they desire.
Beth: [00:26:06] I love that. That's a great, that's a great vision for the future and just helping so many creatives do that as well. So thank you very much for sharing your story with us today. Tell us where we can find out more about you.
Stephanie: [00:26:19] Yeah. Like I said, you can find me on Instagram at business by design that's D E Z IGN, or you can, check out my website it's programs. Business by design.com. That's where the registration page for my course is going to be. So feel free to check that out. And my DM box is always open.
Okay. I hope you really enjoyed today's show. It was a little bit shorter than usual, but there was a good amount of good stuff in there. So one of the things I took away from today's episode was the idea of it doesn't really matter what you're doing right now. It doesn't matter what you've done previously in your career.
You can literally start a [00:27:00] business at any point in your life. With no prior experience, you can change your career at any point and just utilize the skills and experience that you've already amassed and use them in a way to give yourself a self-belief that you can do anything you put your mind to. If you ask somebody who has a crafty hobby type interest, and you're wondering how on earth you're going to be able to scale to 50,000 plus a year as a business owner. know, that is possible. know that people like Stephanie can help you get there and that you don't have to sell yourself short.
You don't have to put a lower. Price tag on your work, just because maybe you do it for fun or it's just a hobby. If it's something that you're really good at. And if it's something that other people can use and it's a solution for them, then absolutely you should be charging what you are worth. The other thing that Stephanie, really got across is the idea that you can be an entrepreneur.
You can grow and scale your business, even when you [00:28:00] have a small family or a large family, or when you have a young family, and it is completely doable.
I really resonated when Stephanie was talking about how at some points in her life, she didn't feel like she was good enough to share her skills and experiences. She didn't feel like she was the one that should be able to tell people how to do something better, that they could learn something from her.
I think a lot of us feel this imposter syndrome. We all have these talents and skills. We have different perspectives.
and I think sometimes being completely different and so completely removed from the industry that you now seem to be in and having a backstory that is miles away from the thing that you know, doing. But you are now really passionate about is actually a really great way of actually empowering people.
And is actually the thing that people want to hear. When people hear that used to be a geologist or work in banking or a policeman or was a cleaner [00:29:00] or something else.
Something that they would never associate with the thing that you're doing right now. I think that's even more impressive to people because it shows that big leap and stride that you made at a certain point.
And that yeah, you're showing people that there could also achieve this thing as well.
So I dove into the idea dove is that word, you dive into something, but do you do. I've made up a word. So I dove into the idea of co-working spaces and business support programs because that is my background. I have spent many years managing business support programs. I've spent many years developing and building and managing programs.
And I've worked with many coworking spaces and built those relationships with people who have businesses within them.
And that's why I really dug into this idea. I really wanted to understand, is it different in different countries? I've worked here in the UK, but actually are people in America doing very similar business models. So if you're a startup. A pre-start business, if you're a creative business, then check out [00:30:00] your local government organizations, check out your local enterprise partnerships, check out your growth hubs, because whatever these organizations are called in your part of the world, many of these business support programs are absolutely free and there can be such a not just a free tools and knowledge and experience and expertise, but they're also linked to like coworking spaces at universities, incubators. Business hubs. And so they have this networking or web attached to them as well, which is also a really great way to increase your business and to support you to grow in those early years.
Stephanie talks about not second guessing yourself, but you should trust yourself and what it is that you want to do. Don't overthink it too much. And don't second. Guess the decisions and choices that you've made to this point, if you are a creative and you want the freedom to build your business around your family, definitely check out Stephanie's course, confident creators.
You can do that right away by going to visualiseyou.com/confident creatives. Okay. If you [00:31:00] have enjoyed today's show, please do leave me a review on iTunes. Every single review really helps the business to grow. It gives me more confidence and it allows me to reach more countries and to get in more people's ears.
And to bring you more amazing entrepreneur interviews. Okay. Have a great rest of your day. And I shall speak to you next week.