Building an Email List and Always Pushing Forward With Shanda Sumpter
Our guest on today’s show is the wonderful Shanda Sumpter. Shanda is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and lifestyle specialist and the founder of Heartcore Business, a multimillion dollar enterprise.
During our talk, we discuss the tactics Shanda uses to overcome a negative mindset and the importance of mentorship for building a business.
Shanda presents a step by step guide to take participants out of the daily grind and into a life that they actually love.
Shanda shares what she believes to be the most overlooked area that beginners miss when starting their own company.
If you are just starting out, or looking to grow an already established business, Shanda’s contribution is something you have to hear!
Key Points From This Episode:
Shanda’s redefinition of failure and how its ties into excitement.
The journey of this relationship with failure and learning from experiences.
Breaking through fear and getting to grips with your own power.
Shanda’s lowest point and the stress that characterized that period.
Learning how to dream bigger and bigger.
Just how selfish is growing your own company?
Problem solving as a means to developing yourself and your business.
The experience of others believing in and taking a chance on you.
Building an email list as the most vital first step to starting a business.
Coaches and the help they provide at all points of a journey.
How to start building a email list through network and research.
“SS: I would spend and hour and a half in the parking lot of our real estate firm and I would be coaching people for $50 an hour while $50 for 90 minutes because I couldn’t stop helping them, I just loved it. Then I had that moment of making a decision to jump and I jumped.”
[0:00:25.1] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields, through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result.
Now please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:43.4] RN: Hey there and welcome to the show that knows publicly sharing your failures is not only the fastest way to learn but is also the fastest way to grow your business and live a life of absolute freedom in a world that only likes to share successes, we dissect the struggle by talking to honest and real entrepreneurs, not the overnight success stories and this is simply a platform for their stories. If you get already, my voice is just completely wrecked after a week at Tony Robbin’s Date with Destiny at Palm Beach Florida.
It was an amazing event but the after effect is that I can’t talk very well. Regardless, today’s story is a beautiful one, it is of Shanda Sumpter, Shanda’s a bestselling author, entrepreneur and lifestyle specialist and the founder of Heartcore Business, a multimillion dollar enterprise, through her business coaching book and tailored series of online marketing courses, Shanda presents a step by step system to take participants out of the daily grind and into a life that they actually love.
We discuss the tactics and methods Shanda uses to overcome a negative mindset and the importance of mentorship for building a business.
She goes into the most overlooked area that beginners miss when starting their own company and Shanda outlines in full detail, her actionable strategy for building a new business if she had lost everything today and started over completely.
But first, luckily, all I travel with is a backpack for one reason only it’s clothing from an innovative Toronto apparel company called Unbound Merino, they have clothes made out of Merino wool that you can wear for months on end without ever needing to have it washed. This means I can travel with less clothes since they clean themselves. Checkout the show notes page for an exclusive Fail On discount that you won’t be able to get anywhere
If you’d like to stay up to date on all the Fail On podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest, simply go to failon.com and signup for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. That’s failon.com.
[0:02:42.9] RN: All right, welcome to the fail on podcast, I am sitting down with Shanda Sumpter, we have probably the best backdrop of a podcast in podcast history right now.
[0:02:52.6] SS: I agree.
[0:02:53.6] RN: We’re sitting, you’ll probably hear it in the background and I think there’s a lawnmower going but we are sitting on a bluff in La Hoya which is nice for me because it’s about 200 feet from my house so thanks for coming to me today, I appreciate that.
Just to get into it, usually I like to ask this later on but just in context, what does failure actually mean to you?
[0:03:17.0] SS: Success, I literally just finished leading a call with a few hundred people and now it’s talking about how your connection with stretching, like your connection with working needs to be one of – I wouldn’t say excitement but obsession in the essence, for instance, right now, I’m building out a new product funnel and the back end of all of everything in my company works really well.
We’re working on the front end. Long story short is we got the front end working, the back end stop working. The back end hasn’t stopped working for years. It was like this moment of obsession of, “Wow, when I solve this piece, what’s going to happen?”
The ripple effect of what that means for not only, inside my company but the millions of people that we get to serve. I was saying, you know, you talk about routine or comfort zone, comfort zone is just another version for another language for routine.
People often don’t realize that they’re in a routine of being frustrated as they’re failing at things but failure is, I mean I’m sure, a lot of people on your podcast have talked about this in the essence of, it’s just a part of it. There’s nothing that we ever do that just works, I mean, it just doesn’t happen like that.
That’s how masters get created, right? I get excited when I’m failing on something because I’ve actually done something new and now I actually know what I need to focus on now to fix something, to get to the other side of that thing.
[0:04:52.4] RN: Exactly, it’s a good point. On that note, you said, the back end broke first time, it’s happened in forever. That was for you, that was like, it’s almost like – and I could tell just by talking to you, it was a moment of excitement because you get to solve something and you get to figure out and dig in why it was a challenge and what happened. To prevent it from happening again.
Has that always been kind of your mindset of looking at challenges and getting excited by them or has it been something you’ve developed?
[0:05:20.1] SS: No, I’ve developed. Tony Robbins movie, I thought was, he said something that I thought was brilliant in it and that was that he built himself. I think entrepreneurs have to understand that you build yourself and that’s the cool thing about your podcast is you’re helping people build themselves, right?
No, not at all, I mean, I used to fail and think I was a loser, I would fail and wonder, if this is ever going to happen. You know, not just in being an entrepreneur but being in corporate America. I mean, I had such low self-esteem, I mean, now getting up on stages, it’s crazy that I do what I do because I was, I mean, I’m asking for one of my first raises and I cried.
Because I felt so unworthy, isn’t that strange?
[0:06:01.3] RN: That’s amazing. What was the mindset shift that allowed you to go from then to now?
[0:06:07.6] SS: A combination of studying a lot, you know, John Assaraf was just sitting with my new husband and they were just having dinner together and Ash is a seven or eight time iron man and he was sharing with John, how when he cuts videos because he now owns this hydration company called high burst.
When he cuts videos, how it takes him so many takes. John said, “Well, how long does it take to do an iron man? How much practice do you really put in,” and it was an aha moment hearing Ash share that conversation with me because I was like, you know, imagine if we actually stopped and realized that if we got obsessed with our thing and we were okay with studying which means there’s going to be – as the helicopter goes by.
If you were okay with that, you’d recognize that you just keep getting better. Life doesn’t get easier, business doesn’t get easier, it just doesn’t. You do get better. If you could walk through those stressful moments without getting stressed. I remember when I had nothing, I was losing my house, I was losing my car, it was a really down moment for me and I hadn’t started my business yet but I was in corporate America. Sales commissioned. I had nothing and I remember what got me out of it was not writing what I was grateful for because as grateful for nothing at that moment.
I have never been good at pretending you know? Because if you don’t really believe it, the pretend – it just doesn’t have the same strength. I remember just saying, what’s the worst that could happen right now? It was moving back to Canada and move in with my mom.
Everything in me didn’t want to do that but I still was okay.
[0:07:48.6] RN: You’d have shelter, you’d have food, you weren’t going to die.
[0:07:51.5] SS: Exactly. But we act as if somehow, keeping up with the Joneses, if we don’t make it, we’re somehow less than. If you could get out from that thought process then you can win this game.
[0:08:05.2] RN: How are you able to do that? Because I know – I hear you, Knows the challenge for me as well. But for somebody listening that’s maybe at that point where they’re at a crossroads, on one hand they know they have more in them, another hand, they’re comfortable in a job. How do you break through that shift of asking yourself that question? What’s the worse that can happen and being okay with downgrading your lifestyle or whatever it may be.
[0:08:31.4] SS: Yeah, not everybody’s okay with that but you have to get okay with that. You know, there’s a couple of key thing that I’ve done. First of all, I did get okay with that, I was like – I actually didn’t think I was going to make it anyway so I was like, “What’s the worse that can happen, I’ll move in with my mom, okay, I’m fine then,” it somehow takes the pressure off, if you can get the pressure off you, you stop retracting and you can actually expand.
From that moment, I was actually able to start writing down what I was proud of myself for and why. It’s funny because I read the bible every day now, I’m very spiritual but I just started reading the bible about a year and a half ago. In the bible, it tells you, pride is a horrible thing.
The truth is that back in that time, I had to get connected with my self-worth. I wrote what I was proud of myself for and why. I would write it for 10 minutes twice a day. I’m not kidding you, on day two, all of a sudden I felt invincible. I felt so powerful and so strong, I started asking people for help which is the same equivalent of asking for a sale at that point in time, right?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you are in corporate America, I started asking for help or I started asking for the sale. Then somebody ended up lending me money, I was like $5,000, it was enough to pay my mortgage and then just kind of feel the confidence and go after it, there’s things I’ve done in the meanwhile.
I’ve started endurance sports, there’s nothing like training for a half marathon. Who you are in the process of training for that shows you who you actually are inside your business or inside your life. When you’re close to let’s say, your money - It’s really easy to work really hard but working hard doesn’t mean that you actually create an end result that you want because most people work hard for a certain amount of time and then they stop. Train for an endurance race and see your pattern.
Because you might train while feel good and then not train when you don’t feel good or you get a sprained ankle, you’re like, I can’t run anymore because I have a sprained ankle, I can’t train. Well, a pro would just hit the pool. “But I don’t know how to swim,” it doesn’t matter, just go download something online and just do a workout.
Go to a bar class, go lift weights, go jump on a trainer to ride a bike, they’ll keep going, they won’t stop at the thing that gets in their way, they’ll get around it and when you start to learn how to train your brain to be like that, it’s just the same everywhere.
[0:10:59.5] RN: I want to go back to what actually got you – when you’re in corporate America, what actually got you down to that lowest point, what was the catalyst that was like, I can’t do this anymore, was that the situation?
[0:11:12.0] SS: No, I never let go. I just let go of the stress, right? If you can let go of the stress, you can access ideas and you’re just one idea away from success. I mean, you just are. The only thing that guarantees failure is you stopping. If you just create a habit, so I was a great starter, I was a shitty finisher.
You’ve got to become a good finisher to be able to create anything in life. I had this – my only dream was I just want to make $5,000 a month, I thought I’d be rich at that if I could make $5,000 a month and I could own my time, I felt like I was satisfied. What I’ve realized is that that was my biggest dream because that’s all I could dream.
Today, it’s a lot bigger dream, right? Now, I’m actually just said to my friends last night, let’s get together and have a dream party, because I still think I’m dreaming too small and I think that’s the problem. I think that all of us are still dreaming a lot into what we think is possible or maybe a little bit outside that.
What if you surrounded yourself around people who really dreamed big and then you worked one plan to get there?
[0:12:21.3] RN: I like that. I think for me, I know for a lot of people I talked to, it’s – I’m right there with you. It’s a progression in terms of like my only dream about four years ago was to support myself without a job.
[0:12:33.1] SS: Yeah.
[0:12:34.4] RN: Same kind of thing. I didn’t care how much it was.
[0:12:36.3] SS: It’s the entry level drug.
[0:12:37.6] RN: Yeah, exactly, it wasn’t a financial thing really, it was – it turned into one but initially it was just the time freedom, like you said, to own your time and that was my only dream. I achieved that, right? And then it turned into, “Okay, well, let’s scale this and let’s focus on the money and just keep going because I found a formula that works,” and then it was just you know, kind of a more recent transition as okay, financially fulfilled but actually fulfilled, not really.
Right? Because it was a very transactional business and like a cash flow type thing. Now my shift’s like, “Okay, how do I make an impact? I think there’s always progression of it’s hard to dream massively if your only goal is to have – to support yourself with your own job.
[0:13:26.4] SS: It is, but growing a company Rob, at some point, it becomes really unselfish, I think at first it does start selfish because you have to, I mean, every formula you see, you have to put the mask over your face, the plane’s going down, you got to put the mask over.
You have to put the mask over your face first. I think it starts selfish, I mean, I don’t know too many people that it doesn’t and when somebody doesn’t have a business and they tell me that they’re going to save the world, I’m like, you have to get selfish, right? Because it’s probably not going to happen. I get that.
But then, then there’s that point where you’re financially okay and you’re comfortable again, you’re back in that comfort zone, you’re in a routine and then you get that client that’s a pain or you get like you know, something that’s happening inside your business and it becomes like, too much, you just don’t want to deal with it.
Then that’s a point where you – it’s another, you know, crossing the road, “Am I going to go left and stay comfortable and not deal with any of that?” And honestly, I can’t tell you how many people I know that are huge authors and have been running the stages for a long time that they disappear for three or four years because they’re dealing with something in their life.
It takes a lot of unselfishness to deal with those things in your life and still stay focused on making a difference. I think that’s where the road splits. I think there’s a lot of very talented people that go left into I’m not going to do what it takes right now because I’ve got too much of my own stuff on my plate and I don’t want to give, you know what I mean?
Or then, there’s turn to the right which is now, that’s another problem I’m going to solve even though it’s a pain in my you know what. I’m going to solve that, it’s a system that I’m going to create and those are the people that grow 40, 50, 100 million dollar, billion. You know, I’m talking to a billionaire right now.
Those are the people who solve those things and really grow sustainable companies. I don’t think sustainable, most people get caught at 1.5, two million, they get stuck there and then they find a new level of generosity and get past that.
Then it really does become, I’m at the five million right now and it’s like about a year and a half ago, I was like, “Okay, do I really” – even last year, I woke up in the middle of the night and I still took four and a half months off last year Rob but I work the time that I worked, I worked from 2:30 in the morning until like my son got up and then I would have breakfast with him and then the nanny would come and I go back to work.
Then I would stop to have dinner with them and then I go back to work and then sleep for a few hours and I did that for 10 months last year. I remember sitting up in the middle of the night and I looked at Ash. He calls it my one in the morning moments.
I looked at him, I was like, “Why am I doing this? We’re fine financially you know? He was like, “Well, I’ll support you on whatever you want to do,” and I was like now. I got out of bed and I went to the living room and I did what I do and I prayed and then I got back to work, right? Created a system to solve the reason why I was working like that. Does that make sense?
[0:16:31.0] RN: It does. I actually want to take I t back because I’m really curious on something you said earlier. Somebody gave you $5,000 loan, go back to the first time or take us back to the first time that somebody actually gave you money in exchange for something that you created? Because I think that’s a big mind shift for a lot of people when somebody gives you money. Outside of a corporate job.
[0:16:53.2] SS: Yeah. Okay, a friend of mine, Robert. Was the only person that I knew in this world when I made the leap and he mailed to his database which is why I say.
[0:17:03.7] RN: What is that?
[0:17:05.9] SS: This is the joys of having this – being entrepreneurs and being able to do this right on the bluff, right? But Robert emailed his database and we did a teleconference call. In that teleconference call, I made an offer to work with me for, I think it was like 1997. Basically two grand and I think I had three people say yes and I was still in corporate America and I literally.
I was in my car, it was night time, I was in my car doing the conference call off my cellphone and I hung up that phone and went, I figured out the secret to life. I was like, I cannot believe that people, I just made that much money off a teleconference call. “What am I doing?” Yeah, it was an amazing moment.
[0:17:59.1] RN: What was the actual product or service that you’re providing?
[0:18:02.1] SS: It was basically, how do you spot opportunities and make them happen. I had become a GM of a nightclub in Las Vegas, I had no experience, never tended bar, any of that and became a GM, right? Then had a three and a half year run on that. Then, I was in real estate, I learned how to do real estate by going to a real estate seminar and I sold over 100 million dollars in real estate.
[0:18:27.7] RN: No way, that’s amazing.
[0:18:29.5] SS: Totally unqualified, I mean, I still can tell you I don’t know how to write a contract. You know, I was just really good at painting visions for people and I could just see a vision for someone, it’s probably what makes me a good coach now, I can just see where you should go and I can paint that.
[0:18:46.1] RN: Okay, you’re selling 100 million dollars in real estate, no idea how to write contracts.
[0:18:51.5] SS: Yeah, totally unqualified. Basically what I sold was how do you spot an opportunity, how do you create a vision and speak into that vision so that people will follow you, right? You’ve got to become a great leader to be an entrepreneur.
What I started to do is teach people who wanted to make more money, how to paint visions for people, how to create opportunities and how to step into them to maximize them in your life. That was my first program and product. I still give it with one of my programs because I think it’s some of my best work.
Before you get influenced anywhere, it’s just pure giving on what I did and it worked and it worked really well.
[0:19:28.5] RN: Just so I have the kind of the timeline in order. You sold that after you had the real estate?
[0:19:34.1] SS: I was still in real estate.
[0:19:34.9] RN: Okay, so it was kind of simultaneous?
[0:19:36.6] SS: Yeah, this was never supposed to be anything. I mean, it was a Shamanic experience in Sedona that I just literally just got this vision to do this and that’s a whole another story, but it’s crazy.
[0:19:50.6] RN: Yeah, I know, I kind of want to go that way but let’s keep the timeline rolling. After you had that moment and you’re like “Wow, I figured out the keys to life.”
[0:20:01.9] SS: Yeah.
[0:20:02.3] RN: How did your business evolve from there, like that first year moving forward?
[0:20:07.2] SS: It was hard because I didn’t hire a coach and I don’t say that because I’m a coach. It’s just easier to make the investment especially even if you don’t have the money to make the investment because you’ll actually hold yourself accountable.
How many people have the desire to write a book and four years later they still haven’t written the book, right? You know, when I wanted to write a book, I hired a coach to write a book and I wrote the book. You know, it was done. We just don’t do things we’re afraid of very often especially if we haven’t developed that muscle and so hiring a good coach which is not a cheap coach, a good coach, they’ll get you there faster. You know, a good coach, they’ll get you there faster.
You k now, a good coach in the marketplace that we’re speaking right now is usually charging anywhere from 1,500 to $5,000 a month for support.
[0:20:56.0] RN: Okay, hiring a coach and yeah, 1,500 to 5k a month which is you know, for most people, not very cheap. But, is that what was able to get you out of kind of where you’re stuck and really catapult you forward?
[0:21:09.7] SS: Yeah. When I started my company again, remember, it was a kind of a fluke. You know, I just started to establish it and so then I had to make the decision, do I leave corporate America that I just sold all of this real estate, built this division and do I leave it all, you know, it was working, you know, do I leave it all and go do this thing but I was spending like I would spend an hour and a half in the parking lot of our real estate firm.
I would be coaching people for $50 an hour. Well, $50 for 90 minutes because I couldn’t stop helping them. I just loved it. Then I had that moment of making a decision to jump but I jumped and I used my friend Robert, he really supported me a lot where he would mail his database and I would get a few clients.
Eventually, I stared making $5,000 a month, eventually, I’m fast forwarding but I really did start making $5,000 a month. That wasn’t until I gotten the realization that I needed a database, I needed an email list. I think this is the most overlooked thing that new beginners miss.
They spend time on like, “What am I going to sell, what does my website look like?” Websites don’t make money, they just don’t, Sara Blakely on Spanx, she went on Oprah and she didn’t have a website before she went on Oprah, they just don’t make money, she hustled and found sales, you know?
My point in sharing that with you is that even though I say this, people will still hear this and they think that they still have to figure out what they’re going to sell first but really, if you build a database first and you ask your email list what they want around a topic, they will tell you what will make you rich because the whole game of making money is how generous can you be.
People totally missed that, they think it’s a getting game and it’s not. Creating a product, then going and finding the audience is very hard. Well, the way they want it might be different. You might be teaching something or giving something that people really want but if you’re not delivering it, like you’re not speaking into it the way that they want to receive it, right?
Let’s just take doing blogging, your audience might think blogging is a way that they can sell other JV products, other people’s companies and can take affiliate for these. Or, you might be marketing it as make money with your blog and learn how to get engagement and they don’t even make that connection, right?
It’s something so small, so I hope I didn’t lose anybody there but –
[0:23:47.0] RN: No, I totally agree, it’s a huge point that people overlook completely because if you have an audience, I don’t want to make it sound too easy but everything else takes care of itself.
[0:23:57.7] SS: It does.
[0:23:58.5] RN: Because you have the feedback, if you don’t have the feedback, how do you know what to build?
[0:24:03.6] SS: Yeah, you can grow with that email list. I grew with the email list from 5,000 to multiple seven figures, right? That wouldn’t have been possible. I’m working with cold traffic right now, facebook internet traffic and I know my messaging. I know my ideal client, I know my avatar, I’ve been doing this, I have –
I mean, I put 700 people through one of my programs a year, you know? We know what we’re doing and we know all of our statistics. Yet, cold traffic is hard.
[0:24:33.7] RN: It’s a different ballgame.
[0:24:34.9] SS: All these people are out there trying to market on social media, it’s like, don’t market on social media yet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, build an email list. When you can sell out to your email list, now you can take care of your cash flow and big on bootstrapping your way to the top.
Now you could take care of your cash flow, now you can hire the good teams, the ones that cost six, seven or $10,000 a month that know what they’re doing to be able to drive traffic.
[0:25:01.2] RN: Totally agree. I know we talked about how your backend broke. Outside of that, what are some of your biggest struggles in your business today?
[0:25:09.5] SS: It was team but it’s not team anymore. Mainly because I hold them accountable. It’s not team anymore.
[0:25:16.7] RN: Are they all local? Just out of curiosity.
[0:25:18.2] SS: they’re all local except for two. We have eight employees and we have about 14 contractors. The goal is that everybody becomes an employee inside the company. Anyway, that’s a whole other story.
[0:25:34.0] RN: Contract to hire type deal, prove yourself and okay, sure.
[0:25:37.5] SS: Exactly, we’re doing a 90 day, see if this is a good fit for you and I, and then we make a hire. I learned something from when the owners of Infusion Soft and that is to hire people for your company that have already scaled through the process that you’re actually scaling through.
Where I think a mistake that a lot of us make is we hire for what we need right now because that feels more comfortable. Right? Even though it doesn’t feel comfortable, it still feels more comfortable. You know, if you can make those decisions outside your comfort zone and say, “Okay, where am I going?” I know this vision is big, I know it feels like who knows if I’m going to hit it, you have a lot better chance of hitting it if you hire somebody who has already been there.
That’s what we do. That makes a big difference in my stress level.
[0:26:21.7] RN: Sure, in terms of the coaches that you kind of look for and seek guidance from, in business, is it just – in business and personal life, is it just one person, fitness is separate. What do you look for when you’re looking for a coach?
[0:26:33.3] SS: Yeah, I studied with the same coach for a really long time and I think that really helped me. I actually stopped going to events for a while until I hit seven figures. The reason for that is because every time I went to an event, I would hear somebody great on the stage and then I think I needed to do that thing, right?
I love podcasting but it’s not my thing, do you know what I mean?
[0:26:55.1] RN: Yeah, actually, on this point, I know Reed Perez introduced us back maybe February or March and you said, “No I’ve got a cold traffic goal I am trying to hit. I’m not doing anything until then. So it sounds like you’ve really developed a muscle of being able to –
[0:27:10.3] SS: Focus.
[0:27:10.6] RN: Yeah, filter out everything that’s not important and really laser in on what you want.
[0:27:14.7] SS: It’s so important. This morning I let my clients listen in on our staff call and we did a virtual staff call through Zoom and I asked all of my employees what their focus was for the week and two of them had way too many focuses and the coaching was around them, narrowing it down to two things that you are accomplishing this week. Even though I’d love all of those things they said down, it just makes the timelines go longer.
[0:27:37.9] RN: It is such a common problem too with people especially with entrepreneurs because the ideas never turn off right and everywhere you look there’s opportunity. So I know one of the things that help me break through was like you said, just laser focus. So for somebody that is just getting started maybe for a potential client that has a bunch of ideas but at the same time no ideas because they are not started on everything, I guess what would you tell them in terms of how to come up with a business idea, how to stay focussed and moving forward?
[0:28:10.9] SS: Yeah, whether you’re the best at, like for instance, remember mine, I was the best at so when I started out, I was debating do I teach business or do I teach spirituality because I was totally into A Course in Miracles and all that stuff then right? And so I was torn like a lot of entrepreneurs but at the end of the day, you just have to pick one. You know what’s funny? It all ends up colliding together anyway like now I don’t feel like I have to pick between my spirituality and business.
I’m just me so I think that the process of building a really successful business, you do start to merge the parts of you and you stop pretending to be something else.
[0:28:51.6] RN: Your business starts to become an extension of you.
[0:28:55.1] SS: Yeah, it becomes your personality. Yeah it totally does that’s why America’s worst airline, America’s West, needs to do some work.
[0:29:03.6] RN: Oh you’re telling me. That guy walked off with a nice little sum of money I’m sure. So yeah it worked out for him, didn’t work out with United but okay, so moving forward where is your business at now in terms of revenue streams, products you offer, all of that because obviously revenue sounds healthy.
[0:29:24.0] SS: It’s good, it sounds healthy and we could double it this year. There’s a really good chance we could double it but we will definitely you know –
[0:29:34.0] RN: Is cold traffic the key there?
[0:29:35.1] SS: Yeah for sure.
[0:29:36.6] RN: Because your list is kind of tapped out or?
[0:29:39.1] SS: No, not tapped out.
[0:29:40.1] RN: Not tapped out but it’s?
[0:29:41.3] SS: We just had another 25,000 people in the last couple of months yeah, no.
[0:29:44.8] RN: How are you growing?
[0:29:46.1] SS: Cold traffic right now.
[0:29:47.2] RN: Okay, so are you just collecting leads at this point like build your list or is it just?
[0:29:51.0] SS: They’re in a funnel. So we’re monetizing the build at the same time but I love the question because we don’t offer a lot of things. I could teach a lot of things but in the marketplace when you look at Shanda Sumpter out there in the world, you are going to see audience building and selling. Build the audience, sell to it. Build the audience, sell to it because I just spoke to another 1100 brick and mortar businesses the other day and asked how many of them have a list of 5000.
There was 10 people in 1100. I was like, “Don’t listen to anything else just go build an email list,” so I just decided when I saw that whole in the market that I could solve that problem and so that’s all I talked about. However when people send up through our mentorship programs and they get to the base level programs of building good email list and I am showing them how to monetize them, then you move into a program that I have, marketing mastery where I do all my fun work.
That’s to show them how to do events, I just show them how to build teams. Show them how to do webinars, show them how to land stages you know all of that cool stuff but I just don’t believe that you should be focusing in on any of that until you’re set in your cash flow like even speaking on stages a lot of my peers started that way and they do really great but if you are anyone like me, I mean it’s a big test to get up on a stage and I don’t know, I just don’t think you need to do that to yourself.
[0:31:24.1] RN: No especially when you have other stuff you need to worry about like you said like sales. That’s all that matters when you start a business. Yeah, exactly literary nothing else matters because you won’t be around long enough to do any of the other cool stuff you want to do.
[0:31:38.4] SS: That’s right and why get up on a stage and impact people and use the power of the platform when you don’t know what you’re doing yet and again, I know people would be really angry at me for saying that but if they build their email list first then when they take our stages or sponsor our stages, they’re going to be much better off the stage because they’ve practiced with their email list. They’ll be happier, the audience will be happier and the people who host the events will be happier.
[0:32:02.9] RN: And the quality will be way higher.
[0:32:04.7] SS: Yeah, totally.
[0:32:06.2] RN: So let’s say you’re going back, you have no business, you’re at that corporate job again and you have to start over, how are you getting started in terms of the actual, tactical and strategic ways of getting started? What is your first step in terms of starting a business?
[0:32:24.7] SS: I would just build an email list.
[0:32:25.8] RN: How?
[0:32:26.2] SS: We like the interview series, so we called it the reporter model. I wrote about it in Core Calling. There is a lot of people who teach tele-summits, video summits, things like that. I have never studied anybody’s summit, so to speak. We created a totally different version of how you do an interview series and you became Oprah or Larry King live and you get the power of the credibility instantly and we show them how.
We show people how to actually get influencers to promote them. So for instance, to find a great influencer you go to Amazon.com and on Amazon look for a book in a topic or a field that you really love that you think you have mastered. So parenting, parenting is a great interview series. Health is an incredible interview series and you go to Amazon and you find people who have built books around a topic in health or a topic in parenting and they have 40 or 50 or more reviews written about them.
Those are people who typically have an email list. You want to interview a series of people who have an email list and then basically when they do the interview with you, they mail their databases. Everybody mails the same email to their database, a promo email and it comes back through a simple opt in page. A registration, you collect names and emails and respond and what is it called? Reciprocal to be able to give them the interview access.
So I think that what we do a little bit different is we make them research based. So for instance when I had my son, I had a really hard time balancing being a mom, being a business woman and being a fiancé at that time and so what was suffering was Ash. He wasn’t getting any of me, I was too tired. He was not a priority and so I did a research project where I interviewed a bunch of millionaire women and how were they managing their relationships and their children and the extracurricular stuff.
And how do they keep that spice alive with their partner and so we do research packets and when people do it like that, not only do you learn but you have a better interview that way but then you build an incredible list because it is super valuable it’s not –
[0:34:35.9] RN: Super targeted too.
[0:34:36.9] SS: It’s super targeted, yeah.
[0:34:37.9] RN: Love that. I love that answer that’s super in depth and to continue from there, once you have a good baseline of emails, when do you start providing them?
[0:34:50.2] SS: Survey them. So we do a seven question survey that’s all multiple choice and we’re trying to find out their problems and their desires and specific problems. So for me one of the questions I always ask on a survey because I know that I am going to sell some sort of an audience build but what you don’t know is okay. You just want to say, “What am I strong at and what would be some of the question that I could ask these people to see if they are having a problem in these areas?”
So I always ask like, “What is your email list size?” In multiple choices and a different series of answers but for instance, if you are, let’s just take the parenting person. Here is a great one, I have a woman who helps women get pregnant and it is totally spiritual and she was like, “I can never sell this. I know what I do. I’ve had five children” she had five children, all-natural, no drugs and she’s has an incredible family. Insanely good family. I’m like, “You’ve got to teach this stuff” and she’s like, “No, I want to teach sole purpose stuff”.
And I’m like, “You’ll never going to sell out on that because it is not your thing. You are good at it but it’s not your thing” and so now, she teaches fertility. She sold out in 25 days. She just messaged me on my way here, she got 41 new clients in two weeks. It’s insane. It’s just her she doesn’t even have a team except for a virtual assistant but for someone like her when she would build an email list around the sole purpose stuff, I would throw in a couple of questions like, “Well ask them if they’re a mom” you know what I mean?
[0:36:26.7] RN: Like leaving here with that one and dodging.
[0:36:27.9] SS: And it took me a couple of years to get her to say “Yes,” to this because she was afraid and often we think the thing we do so well nobody would pay us for because we take it for granted like I took for granted that I could enroll people in their visions. I took that for granted, I never stopped and just dived down intimately and how could this be useful for someone.
[0:36:50.8] RN: So the value placed on was just low when in reality it’s super valuable.
[0:36:54.3] SS: Yeah, it’s leadership.
[0:36:56.5] RN: So let’s say with that client, do you recommend info products to start or what do you recommend?
[0:37:03.2] SS: No, I actually recommend – well it depends. If you need cash flow I recommend selling your time and this is –
[0:37:09.5] RN: Totally that is a great way to start.
[0:37:10.5] SS: Unfortunately so much of the market place especially network marketers, they’re sold this bag of goods about don’t sell your time and to broke people right? People that don’t have the amount of money that they want. Sell your time, it is the most valuable. I mean if I opened up my time right now I would sell out, right? So sell your time whether you first start or you’ve been doing it for a while, if you sell your time that is the highest ticket price. A big believer in that then look for leverage.
[0:37:37.4] RN: So don’t scale out of the gate. Don’t create a course that you don’t know somebody needs and talking to people at first like doing coaching calls.
[0:37:45.2] SS: A course is just as hard to sell. The person who is going to buy the course is often going to buy the higher level coaching program or if you have 10 of them they’ll going to buy the course. There is probably four or five of them that would buy the high level advice, you know? And you could charge much more.
[0:38:01.6] RN: Exactly, I totally get it because most people here especially when they are starting to – when they are just getting into business, “Don’t trade your time for money.” You hear that all the time.
[0:38:11.1] SS: You hear all the time.
[0:38:12.0] RN: And I like that because you are saying the best way to actually get started is to trade your time for money because one, it’s the highest yield and two, you get feedback on how to scale later and create leverage.
[0:38:25.8] SS: You actually really learn who you want to work with and they do, they give you feedback instantly on, “Oh my god that made such a big difference for me” note taken. You know what I mean? I should build it like I just had that other call today with my clients. They’re like, “Oh my god she should totally teach that thing on team” and I’m like, “Really?” My marketing manager was like, “Will you do a Facebook live on that?” You just don’t know unless you’re working with people.
[0:38:50.7] RN: I love that so thanks for breaking that down. I think it is super actionable for somebody that’s listening that doesn’t necessarily know how to get started. So it’s just picking a topic around what you’re good at, ask other people what you’re good at because like you said, sometimes we value it very low when it is actually a very high value skill and then –
[0:39:09.7] SS: You might need a little bit of help of figuring out how do I make this useful for someone else but go to a great business coach that’s crushing it and tell them this is your idea. This is what you’re good at, how do I make this useful for someone else. Get responsible with your questions versus how do I make money. I mean stop asking how do I make money, come up with something which is, “This is what I’m good, I’m good at gardening”.
I had somebody come to me and say, “I’m really good at cooking healthy meals for my family” that’s valuable. You know she built a seven figured company off of that in a couple of years. That’s valuable. She had no idea she could monetize what she knows about making a healthy meal.
[0:39:52.3] RN: That’s cool. So obviously the Fail On Podcast, we push each other to get outside our comfort zones. What is the last thing that you did to stretch your comfort zone and get uncomfortable?
[0:40:04.2] SS: There is so many Rob, there’s so many that I constantly catch myself when I say that I can’t do that yet, I do it. So just recently we are building a house in Cardiff and we thought that it was going to come in about $400,000 less than it is coming in at and so, even though we make incredible money, my new husband, it is so funny calling him my husband. He’s like, “You know maybe we should scale back on some of the trips this year”.
And I was like, “No, we should scale up on the trips,” I was like, “Do you want me to perform or do you want me to get comfortable?” Because getting comfortable, you are not neutral. You’re either going backwards or going forward. You are never neutral. So I was like, “Book the Grand Prix,” I was like, “Come on, let’s book an insane trip to the Grand Prix and then let’s book the American Cup” we are still booking the American Cup.
You know we started messaging people about getting more groups together to do our travel stuff. So I think you have to look where you are pulling back and don’t allow yourself to pull back. Push forward. So that was a recent one, also we just got married. So we just got married, we are playing with cold traffic, our house is coming in 400,000 higher than, it’s all of it. I can’t tell you where I am comfortable in my life but I have actually gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It sounds funny but because I have built the email list and because I know how to sell to it, I know if worst came to worst, I could open up to 30 private clients at $40,000 a person or something and I could do it, you know? I could just do it.
[0:41:44.7] RN: Yep and I think it is a little easier to get uncomfortable when you have something steady right? Because then the failure of getting outside of your comfort zone or if you do fail, it won’t crush you because –
[0:41:57.0] SS: Well, no. I think it does crush you. I think you have a further way to fall right? But I just have a deep faith that first of all, I am not alone and that everything that I’ve created it’s all been a miracle. I mean it really is, it’s been hard work but it’s all been a miracle. I would say just make sure you actually take time off because if you are working too much it actually causes a major backwards slip if you have noticed, you don’t move as quick ahead.
So you’ve got to take time off but when you think you can’t do something, you absolutely must do it. I don’t care if you go full out or just partly out but move in that direction because that’s got you in a limit and –
[0:42:45.7] RN: I think everybody deep down knows like what they should be doing that they are holding back on. I talk to a lot of people about this and people know they should be starting this or they should be pursuing this but they’re not, you know?
[0:42:59.1] SS: Yeah, Larry Winget says it great, “Your success is your own downfall” I mean it really is. When you know that and you settle for, “But I can’t right now because of money” you just sealed your death there, I mean you did. Instead of being the person that figures it out right? I haven’t searched my team like this, my marketing manager today had three things on his plate and I said, “Do one. Do a clickbait today and make sure that it’s complete”.
Not that you’re going to in a week and a half from now that product we are still working on backend emails or something, I was like, “You already have all the backend emails tested and looked at, get intimate with your projects like problem solve,” look for what’s going to go wrong, problem solved. Complete things, become a finisher.
[0:43:53.7] RN: I like that. So being on the Fail On Podcast what’s a challenge you can lay out for myself as well as the listeners that would push us outside our comfort zone to grow that a little bit more?
[0:44:04.3] SS: You said actually so I was going to give to a different one. So what’s something right now that you are afraid of that you are not doing?
[0:44:11.7] RN: So I talked to Andy Drish who is the co-founder of the foundation which helps people build software businesses, he asked me the same thing and it was like you mentioned earlier, talking in front of people. So I did the same thing with them, by June 1st I have to talk to a group. It is very small first step in front of 15 people that’s it and that is going to be the challenge he laid out.
[0:44:36.2] SS: Have you – so my challenge for you would be to figure out some way of doing that in the next week.
[0:44:41.2] RN: Okay.
[0:44:42.4] SS: No, seriously. So have you ever read, “A Perfect Day Formula” the book?
[0:44:46.5] RN: I haven’t, no.
[0:44:47.4] SS: Okay, so Craig is a friend of mine and he became a friend after I read his book and it’s an incredible book and there is a piece in the book, first of all it is great for vision like getting your vision but it is also great for how do you get wildly productive right? And he basically said if you stretch out your time that space, you will fill in that space. So actually he recommends pick your goals for the year and cut them in half and do them in six months, right?
And it’s totally real. It’s like that vacation energy when you are going on vacation you get so much done that week, it’s that type of energy. So are you showing up like you are going on a vacation next week and this is something that is going to move your whole business forward.
[0:45:29.5] RN: Love it.
[0:45:30.4] SS: So that’s what I’d recommend. So anybody who answered that question, “What is scaring you right now or what do you know you should be doing that you are not doing?” Then I recommend over the next week, the next seven days, put yourself on a challenge to make it happen and then here’s what’s crazy, every single person listening to this can do that. What’s insane to me is that most won’t.
[0:45:53.3] RN: So true.
[0:45:55.0] SS: They won’t because they’re going to be more comfortable letting it ease in versus being like a person on purpose with your hair on fire, you have no idea why or how you need to do this, you know what I mean?
[0:46:08.7] RN: You can’t really motivate somebody right? You have to feel like where do you get that fire from? Because I am sure some people like you said, most people won’t but how do you develop that fire? Are you just born with it?
[0:46:19.9] SS: You have to be okay with okay with failure because the only reason why you haven’t done it yet because there is a part of you that believes that somehow it won’t work out. There is either rejection in there or it’s going to let you down somehow. You don’t actually get that that thing is going to quantum leap you. When I started doing events, I mean my business went from seven figures to multiple seven figures like that, you know what I mean?
We did 1.4 off the stage at the end of last year, right in just a couple of days. So my point in sharing that with you is not to boast at all because I have a lot of room to grow but it is the fact that we don’t believe. If you really believe that that funnel was going to transform your company, you do nothing else but that funnel until it worked, right? If you really believe these things, if you really believe that webinar was really going to be able to convert you X amount of dollars of passive income that would allow you to do something like pay for your kids college or take you and your wife on a ridiculous vacation because she deserves it.
[0:47:29.9] RN: So it sounds like connecting with why you actually want it.
[0:47:32.9] SS: Yeah but we still don’t believe that that thing is going to work because we have been let down so many times in our connection with failure is that it is wrong, it’s bad, it means we are less than. If we just get to the other side of that recognized Branson then fails, you know what I mean?
[0:47:48.2] RN: Exactly, there is nobody that doesn’t.
[0:47:49.4] SS: It’s just part of it. It’s just fail quicker, just fail quicker.
[0:47:53.2] RN: What are you most excited about with everything you have going on?
[0:47:55.4] SS: I am most excited about the fact that we are trying to have a baby again, baby number two and I am really excited about cracking this whole entire cold funnel. I’m excited about that because what that means is that I can serve so many more people and like I said I am on the other side of that selfish part. I am good with where we are at in our retirement and all of that type of stuff, I am good there and so but what I am really about is –
A friend of mine, Jessie Itzler who wrote Living With a Navy Seal for 30 Days, he’s just recently calculating how long we live and so men I think who are 72 and women are 78 average of course if you are healthy, you are going to live past that hopefully but if you were to take that that’s the average and you don’t know if that is going to be you or not, then you only have so many years left and I just want to make a big impact.
[0:48:45.7] RN: Love it.
[0:48:46.2] SS: Yeah, I don’t have any time to waste. At some point in that field, my energy is going to be different, you know?
[0:48:53.0] RN: Thanks for sharing and thanks for joining me on a beautiful day in La Hoya.
[0:48:59.1] SS: Yay!
[0:49:01.2] RN: All right, thanks Shanda.
[0:49:02.2] SS: Thanks.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:49:05.8] RN: You could find Shanda at Shanda Sumpter on Twitter, that’s @shandasumpter and of course, that spelling along with all the links and resources Shanda and I discussed including more information on her coaching programs can all be found on the page we created especially for this episode. That will be found on failon.com/041 and next week, we are sitting down with my buddy, Roddy Chong. Roddy is an incredible story, he is an accomplished Asian-American, violinist.
And a speaker, known for an incredibly high energy performances, using the violin and also incredibly inspiring stories that he tells and he’s worked with some of the music industry’s most recognized icons. Roddy has toured with Shania Twain, he has toured with Celine Dion, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He has performed for audiences around the world including the President of the US, the Queen of England, the Pope, Oprah and countless other notable figures.
In this episode, Roddy talks about the family pressure he had to play the violin while growing up which almost drove him to stopping completely and what a shame that would have been. He discusses the importance of following their passion and networking in order to find amazing opportunity and Roddy also shares his steps and processes he used to land an audition and play with Shania Twain and Celine Dion, don’t miss. It is coming up next week.
If the podcast is providing value to your life or your business right now, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at email@example.com and as Fail On approaches the end of season one which is happening at the end of 2017, we are going to be shifting gears a bit going into the New Year. We will move away from all interview episodes and start exploring some new formats. We’ll be sharing my journey and process as I build up my Fail to Freedom coaching program.
And I guess now is a good time to actually mention it, if you want more freedom in your life and you know you are destined for more than your current path, the program might be a great fit for you. The only requirement is that you can’t be an asshole and you must have an expertise that provides a life or business transformation for another person and if you are not sure if you quite qualify, well if you are an asshole definitely don’t email me.
But if you are not sure if you qualify or if you have an expertise that can provide that transformation for somebody, I love to chat with you about it and discuss and see if it can be a fit just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can grab a few minutes just to see if it could be a good fit for you but that is it for now, I will catch you next week.
[0:51:34.4] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of The Fail On Podcast. For more resources, show notes and action items to help you find success in your failures, sign up for our mailing list at failon.com.
For more actionable inspiration, we’ll catch you next time right here on The Fail On Podcast.