This week, I’m joined by Caitlin Copple Masingill and her “work wife” Holly Conti of Full Swing Public Relations. Like the boss she is, Caitlin decided she was quitting her job on a Thursday, and by the following Monday, she had an LLC, a website, three clients, and everything she needed. Now she has her friend Holly on board as co-owner, and they haven’t looked back.
Hello Seven Masterminders, Caitlin and Holly, and Full Swing Public Relations, focus on being the anti-mean girls of the PR world, acting as gate-openers for underrepresented leaders who’ve never been invited to the table. They’ve built a business around responsibility for their values and helping people of marginalized identities be seen, they’ve made a ton of money doing it, and they’re here to share all their secrets with you.
Tune in this week to hear from two mission-driven entrepreneurs making serious money. Caitlin and Holly know that money is power, and they’re sharing everything they’ve worked on in my mastermind, turning Full Swing Public Relations into a seven-figure, recession-proof business.
ROI: The Millionaire Summit is our first big, annual conference where over 1000 diverse entrepreneurs head to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s happening January 24th through 26th 2023 and it’s three days of amazing speakers teaching you how they made their first million, and how to make your next million. So, if you want to learn from the best while also seeing yourself and your identity reflected on the stage, click here to get your ticket now!
Join us every Tuesday at 7pm ET for our Premier Watch Party over on YouTube!
Miss the LIVE Watch Party? Check out Rachel's interview with Caitlin and Holly below!
What You'll Learn from this Episode:
- Why, if you have a marketable skill, you don’t need a bunch of set-up time for your business.
- How Full Swing PR is holding high values that are deeply important to them while also making money.
- The value of asking for help and calling in all your favors.
- Holly’s story of abandoning her career with all the benefits to be in a partnership with Caitlin.
- How Full Swing PR changed dramatically when Holly joined Caitlin in running and building the business.
- Why both Caitlin and Holly believe deeply in the power of investing in yourself as an entrepreneur.
- How Holly and Caitlin developed their trust muscle and they navigated the pandemic with a growing business.
- How Holly and Caitlin developed and refined a framework, so they can scale and keep saying YES to their customers without burning out.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Check out our game-changing program, We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club, and learn how to make that cash today!
- Follow me on Instagram – and ask me your million-dollar questions!
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers
- Learn how to make money faster, more efficiently, and on-demand … no matter what is happening in the economy. Click here to join the Make Money Moves challenge waitlist.
- Click here to learn more about The Hello Seven Mastermind.
- Full Swing PR: Website | TikTok | Instagram | LinkedIn
- Caitlin Copple Masingill: Instagram | LinkedIn
- Holly Conti: Instagram | LinkedIn
- 102. The “Lazy Genius” Way to Becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author with Kendra Adachi
*** Some of the links shared here are affiliate links – we only serve as affiliates for products we believe in.
Caitlin: I'm Caitlin Copple Masingill.
Holly: And I'm Holly Conti.
Caitlin: We're the Co-owners of Full Swing PR.
Holly: We're going to be on the Hello Seven podcast with Rachael Rodgers.
Caitlin: We're pretty excited.
You want to make more money? You are in the right place. Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast, that’s seven as in seven figures. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers. On this show, it’s all about you and your money. We talk about how to maximize your earning potential, how to make better financial decisions, and how to find your million-dollar idea, that genius business idea that’s going to make you a whole lot more money. I’m here to show you how to expand your income and expand your confidence, power, and joy.
If you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, if you’re a person living with a disability, or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a millionaire is “supposed” to look like, this show is for you. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you could be earning a lot more than you currently do. Your journey to wealth starts right here.
Caitlin: I think something happens to women like when you have your first baby and you're about 35, and you're just, you're sick of the bullshit, you know?
Caitlin: And I was just like, I can totally do this better than people I've worked for. And so why wouldn't I, you know? And I was like, even if I can only make $3,000 a month, like that was kind of my number just to support myself and my family and have more time for my then-two-year-old son.
Rachel: Yes. Yeah. So you were like, we're going to make it happen. So tell us what you did in that weekend. Break that down for us, because I think people are probably there where they're like, I want to quit my job, or I want to launch this thing. How could I do it?
Caitlin: Well, I had a marketable skill. It wasn't like I was trying to make an app or sell like a widget that I built, you know?
Caitlin: So to me it feels easier because the product is like my brain, or was then.
Caitlin: And so it was really just about getting the marketing materials together to take the skill that I'd spent 15 years building to the marketplace. And I had a good list of clients, one was coming with me from my old job. So I at least had that. And then by the end of two weeks, I think I had two more.
Holly: I think you had been unknowingly building your pipeline for two years, if not way longer than that. Because Caitlin, in every business that she worked for previously, she was a natural entrepreneur, so she was always trying to grow and build that business.
Holly: So she had just moved back to Boise within a couple of years there and had this goal to take one woman out to lunch every week or one leader out to lunch every week.
Rachel: I love it.
Holly: And she had been doing that for two years before she decided to start Full Swing.
Caitlin: I just wanted to have friends. It’s like I’ve been gone for 11 years.
Holly: She wasn't doing it because she thought she was going to start a business. She was doing it because she wanted to be connected, be in the community, cared – wanted to be around people who were doing cool things. And because you were just passionate about that and, you know, me looking at you doing that I was like, look at this girl.
And then everyone was surprised that she did that in three days. And it was because she had been building that pipeline, she just didn't realize that she was.
Caitlin: Well, and I had a lot of great friends. And I do believe in paying it forward and I think I've done a lot of favors for people in my life.
Caitlin: And I called in all my favors. You know, somebody built my website, somebody took my photos, they were gorgeous. I could write my copy for my website because I’m a writer on some level.
Caitlin: And so it just kind of all worked out. And then Holly was like wonderful to me and would look at everything, even though she was not then my business partner, and tell me if my logo looked like crap or whatever.
Rachel: I love that. And, first of all, I love the strategy of taking somebody out to lunch once a week, right, to build your network, to build your community. Everything doesn't have to have a direct and immediate ROI, right? Like the ROI can be something that grows over time. I think sometimes we want to, I think it's important to measure, right? To measure the things that you're doing to know whether they're working or not in a business.
But I also think it is valuable to do things because you have an inkling that they're going to lead somewhere. It's okay to go down those paths sometimes, it doesn't have to always be so obvious. I think, because when we are trying to get to a result too quick, right? It feels very wham, bam, thank you ma'am, right? And then people feel used, right?
But when you say let's just go to lunch because I need friends, maybe there's something we could do together in the future. Who knows? But like, let's just support each other. I think there are a lot of lonely people out there who want more friends.
Caitlin: Yeah. Well and I think too, when you have a small child like that and you're in a place like Boise, Idaho where there are plenty of folks who have a stay at home wife, which I did not have.
Caitlin: Like all of the other women that either had kids and have PTSD from like the experience they had in the workplace of trying to like find childcare or deal with those children as they were building their career, like there were tons of people who wanted to have that conversation and tell me what they learned from going through what I was going through.
Rachel: Yes, exactly. And just being intentional and taking action, right? Like sometimes we say, well I'm lonely, or I don't have friends, or not enough people know me, or my network isn't very strong. Well, okay, well what are you going to do about that?
Caitlin: Yeah, go build it.
Rachel: Yes, exactly.
Holly: Yeah, and also I encourage people to look at what works for them. Because me taking someone out to lunch every week would not work for me. But before I had a business I was taking courses about entrepreneurship. I was taking Facebook ads courses, like listening to all the podcasts even though I didn't know that I was going to start a business. But that's what I cared about and I was building my skills.
I would be exhausted taking someone to lunch every week.
Holly: But so it's interesting, like what worked for Caitlin might not work for you. But what will work for you? If you're stuck in a space and you want something more, there are little things that you can be doing every week.
Rachel: Yeah, and like what's your version of that to build your community and just get yourself out there more? I love that so much.
Okay, so you called in all your favorites, which I also love, pro tip. Because I think we don't ask for help enough. And so we just, we have all these smart people around us, we have all these talented friends. But we never ask for help with whatever we have going on. So I think that's really smart that you called in favors, asked for help.
Caitlin: Thanks. Yes.
Rachel: You're like, I'm somebody you can call, so you need to be somebody I can call too.
Caitlin: Yeah, absolutely.
Rachel: So good. Okay, so you launched it in a weekend, you had a couple of clients immediately. One was a client that was coming from your previous work, the others were just like referrals. Or did you announce the business to everybody?
Caitlin: Yeah, I mean I put it in like our local business journal and had a Facebook following as a human individual.
Caitlin: And was like, “Hey, this human did this business, so y'all check it out.”
Caitlin: And definitely send out emails to the 50 people that I know love me and want to support whatever I'm doing and was like, “Who do you know and how can I help?” That sort of thing.
Rachel: Yes. Again, that sort of thing. Reaching out to your network, using the people that you already know. You don't need an email list on day one or a massive social media following, you already got people who you're walking through your life, they know who you are.
Caitlin: Yeah. And I think one tip that might be helpful is that even growing from nothing to a million dollars in four years is no small thing.
Caitlin: And people know I do this PR thing, but they have no idea what it really means.
Caitlin: And so you kind of have to keep reminding those 50 people that’s on your journey, you know, as you're growing, and you're not just some freelancer anymore.
Holly: Yeah, because what happened then was people a year later would think that Caitlin was just still a solopreneur on her own and would send her little things. And she's like, “Wait, wait, wait. Now we have a team, now we have this, now we’re doing these bigger things.”
Caitlin: Now we charge this.
Rachel: Exactly. Yeah, I'm not trying to make my first $3,000 anymore, we passed that.
Rachel: So when did you come into the business, Holly?
Holly: Yeah, so we were good friends when she built the business over the weekend. And so I always felt like I was in the background, kind of helping. And Caitlin also is really good at investing in herself and in her business.
Holly: So even a couple of months in you had asked me to come on and just do your social media. And I still had another job, but I was then on the side doing her social media and doing things here and there, and just kind of helping as you got busier and busier. And she was begging me to come over.
Caitlin: I was. She played hard to get.
Rachel: Some of them do. The good ones always do, right?
Caitlin: It’s like you don't want to join this? It's so much fun. We have no benefits. It’s great, I can't buy you a computer.
Rachel: Right, you don’t want to give up your health insurance?
Holly: Yeah. So you were courting me for a couple months, and I took another job because I wasn't ready to take the risk.
Holly: And then I realized how much it hurt to take another job, and it wasn't the change I wanted it to be. I had taken a step forward and increased my pay and really done that. And I realized like wait, that wasn't all I wanted to do. Like I didn't just need to make more money, I also needed to work for someone that I was really passionate about, that I really cared for, that I was values aligned with. That was a partnership.
Holly: I really wanted to work as a team and with a team. And so it was February 2020 that I decided to leave the job I had just started.
Rachel: It's a great time to transition, February 2020.
Caitlin: Yeah, who knew.
Rachel: That was like the perfect time. I was about to buy a ranch, so that was brilliant.
Caitlin: Super smart, it worked out.
Rachel: Make big moves.
Caitlin: It’s much better to quarantine on a ranch.
Rachel: It's true.
Caitlin: Yeah, so she was the first full-time hire.
Caitlin: We all got together in March 2020 at this conference in Palm Springs.
Caitlin: And as we were like landing back –
Holly: We had both of our kids in tow.
Caitlin: We had our kids and my mom was there. And then it was like the shutdown order came through.
Caitlin: It was just so transformative, really fast. And thankfully we got PPP twice.
Caitlin: Which I wasn't sure we would because we'd always made more money, you know? So we had to demonstrate the hardship, but that was huge in terms of just helping our trust muscle continue to lean into growing this business.
Caitlin: And then as Holly and I were talking over the next year, she really wanted to be a part owner, she didn't care about making more money necessarily. And I was like, well, let's just do this.
Caitlin: I don't necessarily feel the need to be the only owner.
Holly: We knew that we worked really well together. We had, when I came on in February of 2020 we had made back what she had made the previous year by three times.
Holly: Yeah, by June of that year, and just the two of us. And then we brought on more people and then we're like, we can really do this. We have complementary skills and we play off of each other really well. And we just are also fast friends. And so it just worked. And we thought it's really fun to be in business together. I think I always did want to be an entrepreneur, even though I didn't realize it at the time.
Holly: And yeah, so we went with it and made it official January 2020, or 2021.
Caitlin: And it’s so much more fun, I think, to do it with someone that you love and trust and get along with than do it by yourself. Because there are times that it's really hard and really lonely.
Rachel: Oh, for sure. I completely agree. I completely agree. Did anyone try to discourage you from being partners or tell you don’t do that?
Caitlin: I feel like my accountant and attorney at times were like, “Really?” I’m like, “It’s fine.”
Holly: And they're like it's like a marriage and a divorce.
Rachel: It's fine, don't worry about it.
Caitlin: Yeah, we committed to going to therapy before we ever did a business course, so there’s that.
Rachel: I love that.
Holly: We got rings.
Rachel: Awe, that’s so cute, I love that.
Rachel: Well, it's a big commitment.
Caitlin: It is.
Holly: And I think we don't take it lightly. I think that the reason why, hopefully, you felt like it was the right decision was because we both, I care about Full Swing. I cared about Full Swing before I was a part owner of it, as if I was an owner. And we both really deeply trust one another and have seen each other in really hard times, hard business times, hard personal times, and yeah.
Caitlin: I trust you with my mortgage.
Rachel: I love it. Okay, so what kind of clients does Full Swing work with?
Caitlin: So we love to work with under-recognized leaders. We started out focusing on women leaders. But obviously gender is not binary, and there's a vast number of folks who are white women who tend to get a lot more media than folks who are from other backgrounds, folks of color.
Caitlin: And so we really want to make sure that we are diversifying our news media landscape, because only 24% of expert sources quoted in the media are women.
Caitlin: And you know that those are mostly white women. And that's just like not okay. And we're all missing out when we don't hear those stories.
Caitlin: It doesn't reflect our community, it's not good for our democracy, clearly. Like we need to have different people in charge.
Caitlin: And that starts with making sure other people have the platform that they can really use to make change.
Rachel: 24% are women, wow. And I wonder what percent are people of color or women of color, right?
Caitlin: And they don’t even track queer, you know?
Rachel: Yeah, exactly. It just gets smaller and smaller and smaller.
Holly: And when those stories aren't told and represented, you know, we all know what happens. And we've seen that and we're done with that.
Rachel: Yes. I love it because I think there's – one of the things that I try to model at Hello Seven I feel that y'all are doing the same – is that you can make money and hold high values at the same time. They're not mutually exclusive. You can be in business and for profit, and still do good work in the world.
Holly: But you're the only one, like you're the only one saying that, right?
Caitlin: You’re the only one.
Holly: More people need to be saying that. More people need to be saying that and telling those stories. And then when we meet the people that are in The Club and who are Schmillies and we see all of the cool things that everyone is doing, it’s like these are the stories that need to be in the media.
Holly: This is who needs to be on the cover of magazines and get quoted in the newspapers, because the voices that are the loudest are not the ones that we need to hear anymore.
Rachel: Yeah, and it's just like always going to like whoever is already on their list, right? Rather than going to new voices.
Rachel: Same thing with publishing, it's hard to break in as a new author.
Rachel: Particularly when you're a person of color, right? Or any other type of marginalized, you come from any other type of marginalized community, right, it's harder. And it's easy just to like let another affluent blonde white woman write another book about money, right?
Holly: With her husband on the side.
Caitlin: That’s why I love that your face is on your book. And I love how you have talked about that, because it is so important. You can't be what you can't see.
Caitlin: And I had no desire to scale this business until I knew that you were out there in the world, because I was like she gets it. Like the only reason I want to scale is to prove that I can do it.
Caitlin: It’s my new feminist challenge, to grow a seven figure business. Because before that I was like, I don't really, and I never took a business class in college. Like I kind of looked down on people that were working for the man or whatever. But it's so fun and I love it.
Caitlin: I'm so glad that I did it. And it's nice to be able to hopefully inspire other people to do it too.
Holly: Yeah, I think we're fed the story that trying to get more money is greedy, or why do you need to do that? Why is more what you go after? And, it's like, well, money is power, as you always talk about.
Holly: Women aren't told that like men are told that.
Rachel: Exactly. And so that was the whole point of the book. And I put myself on the cover for that same reason. And I know for me, seeing examples, right, you have to see those examples. And that's why you're like, “Oh, can I do that?” Right? So I love the work that you do. I think it's so awesome.
Holly: Thank you.
Rachel: So you have had a banner year. So tell us about where you were at like before you joined the mastermind last year, or at the beginning of this year. Where were you at like December 2021? What were you thinking? What challenges were you having in the business? And like what were your main things that you wanted to work on?
Holly: I mean, we knew that we wanted to become a seven figure business this year.
Holly: We didn't necessarily know how.
Rachel: That’s usually how it begins.
Caitlin: Sheer willpower.
Rachel: Sheer willpower. Manifesting.
Holly: And I don't even know, I don't even remember what challenges we were going after in December 2021 because there's always challenges.
Caitlin: I do.
Holly: What were they?
Caitlin: Well, I don't know about December exactly, but by the time we got to the first retreat of the mastermind, we didn't even have a fully baked framework.
Holly: Yeah. Well no, we had two separate frameworks.
Caitlin: We had two separate frameworks for different products, which makes no sense. And so we were able to really nail down like this is the result that our people want, and this is how we deliver those services to get them there.
Caitlin: And it just made everything click into place so much more. And I think especially after spending like all of 2020 and some of 2021 saying yes to everything because we were freaked out about the pandemic, but not having that framework to fall back on or to systematize our offers, like now we actually can say yes to a lot more stuff because we have this amazing tool to fall back on and guide how we deliver services.
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Holly: That's so interesting. And, you know, you talk about the framework all the time and building your framework and that's how you're going to deliver. And we burnt ourselves out by saying that we customized our products based on what people needed. And now we're starting to do that, but within our framework, and it's almost still plug and play.
It's like, yeah, we have this big framework. Oh, you just need this little piece? Yeah, we can do that because we can do it in our sleep now.
Rachel: Yes. But it's like the foundation of your systems in your business, right? And that's one of the key things that you need in order to scale, is you to be able to have a message and positioning that you can repeat to other people, like your team and potential clients, right, and they get it.
So being able to say, “Okay, all this gobbledygook in my head, all of this professional experience, what am I actually doing when I work with a client? What are the steps that I'm taking them through? How am I thinking about it?” And getting that down on paper so people can understand, oh, I get it now. Now I know why I want to work with you.
And then that becomes a training tool, right? It's just, it’s the beginning of starting to systematize the entire business and yourself because that’s really what you're doing as founders, right? You're trying to say, okay, how can I take the way my brain works and put it into a process or a step-by-step that somebody else can do? Because you have to work yourself out of a job as a CEO so the business can run without you.
Caitlin: That was the next challenge. We're like, we came back from that first retreat for Hello Seven and we were like, “Okay, we're not doing retainer work anymore.
Holly: We’re not doing hard work anymore.
Caitlin: Because we had to work on the business and not so in it.
Caitlin: And so that was a huge lesson, too, I think. And, you know, at one point we were even like, “We're not going to take any more retainer clients, we're just going to build scalable offers.” However, the retainer clients are, I mean, they're a lot of fun. They're awesome and we get results.
Holly: We actually love them.
Caitlin: We love them and they are our bread and butter.
Caitlin: And so one of the coaches was like, “Please don't burn it down, like just also keep doing that but hire someone to run it and then you guys go over here and build the other thing that will help stabilize the revenue stream.”
Rachel: Yes. If you have a team, there's more you can do, right?
Rachel: Like you can accomplish more together, versus trying to do it all by yourself.
Rachel: But yes, services are scalable offers, right? And the way that you scale it is by creating process, systematizing. You can automate some pieces and build the team, right? So like all of those things are part of it. You can absolutely have a $100 million service-based business, there are many that exist. There are businesses that exist that are making more than that that are service-based businesses. So it's not that you can only scale a course, right? Like that's it.
Caitlin: Right. Yeah, it's true.
Rachel: Create a course, otherwise, you can’t be scaling a business. And I’m like, uh-huh, this is not true, friends.
Caitlin: I think the other really game changing thing was we have a totally amazing operations manager now, who started out as an assistant, and then coordinator, and now manager. And she has built up so much of the things that make us an adult business and not a baby business.
Rachel: I know I still say like Hello seven is a teenager, right? Like we've graduated from being a toddler to like a teenager.
Caitlin: Maybe you’re a tween then.
Rachel: Yeah, exactly. Actually, Hello Seven might be a tween too, when I think about it.
Holly: We’re the tween awkward year. My braces are somewhere.
Rachel: It’s so true. Okay, so tell me like, all right, so you came in, you worked on some stuff, had some insights, right? What have been the results of that? What have been the things that you had to implement in order to scale from where you were to where you are now?
Caitlin: So we needed to make our first senior hire, which has not been a linear process, necessarily. But it's still something that we've budgeted for and are bought into.
Holly: And we learned a lot.
Caitlin: And that person will basically be the final step in really taking us out of the day to day in a meaningful way.
Rachel: Yes. And by senior hire you mean like a leader or somebody who’s like a director.
Caitlin: Yes, someone to manage all of the retainer clients.
Holly: A director level.
Rachel: Yes, yes.
Holly: Because up until we made that hire, you know, we were really still responsible for our client success. And we will always be in that role, for sure, but we can't be the only ones pushing the pedal down and pressing go. We need our team to be able to do that as well.
Rachel: Yes, yes. And getting yourself out of the day to day allows you to be up here so you can see, oh, here's where we're going. You can see what's shifting in the marketplace, I can see what our clients are needing, here's the next move we need to make.
Caitlin: And I think the other change that we made shortly after – Well, I guess it – was it May or June? But we determined that we did need a different way of working with clients that was not so high priced and so long term commitment.
This was a little bit before we knew what the correction/recession was really going to look like. But we came up with a six week PR accelerator where we could give clients those quick wins and that comfort that I think comes with having an agency that really has your back and is working on your behalf and delivering opportunities all the time for you.
Caitlin: And once they kind of wrap their brain around, oh, this is what it means to have an agency, usually they love it. And then they want to come on in a bigger, more long term way.
Rachel: Yeah, so it's almost like an on ramp. So the six week accelerator is like an on ramp into working with you long term.
Rachel: I think people, business owners can be very hesitant to hiring a publicist. Like you think, oh, I'm not important enough to need a publicist. And it's like, no, no, no, no, do you have something that you want the world to know? Then you need a publicist, you could use a publicist.
Holly: They say I don't want to be a star, I don't want to be famous.
Holly: And you can be famous in your own space, in your own universe.
Holly: And you can decide where you want to shine, but you have to shine somewhere in order to make your business grow.
Rachel: Exactly, and for people to know more about who you are.
Rachel: And it's that social proof, right, we're always looking for. Like how do we filter through when there's so many options and so much information coming at us every day? It can be social proof to say, okay, this person has been on the Today Show, right? Like that tells me something about them, right? Like they're probably a pretty legit expert. I mean, not necessarily.
Rachel: But it is something people use, right, to validate whether they should work with somebody or that kind of thing. And it was something that like, I wound up having something go viral and that's why I hired a publicist because I had a lot of stuff incoming. But then once I started working with them, I realized I should have hired a publicist a long time ago. I think, if you have something to promote, right, then it can definitely help with getting the word out about your business.
And I think the accelerator is so cool because people are afraid to commit to a publicist. You're paying a monthly retainer and it's like, is it going to work? It takes time.
Rachel: Like with all good things, it doesn't happen overnight. Same thing with the mastermind, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a little time, it takes some effort, right, some growth, being coachable, all of those things.
But I think the six weeks is really cool because let's say I was somebody who had a launch coming up for something I was about to sell. I could hire you for six weeks, have a whole bunch of activity going on pointing back to my business so I can grow my audience before that launch happens. Brilliant, right?
Or like, hey, I’m dropping a new podcast. I want there to be a little bit more fanfare. I think this is such a brilliant offer. I think you're going to see so many more people saying yes to it because people love it.
Holly: People love it so far.
Rachel: Yes, it's a great way and especially if people who feel like, you know, they think that they're not good enough to have a publicist, it’s a great way for them to try it.
Caitlin: And it can happen really fast. I mean, obviously, I love it when the clients who come to us are already so newsworthy, but no one knows about them yet.
Caitlin: And then it's very easy to get them wins sometimes. But I think that's true of so many underrepresented leaders who just don't believe in themselves necessarily and aren't sure why what's happening for their peers isn't happening for them.
Caitlin: But we've had clients in the accelerator who have been in the Washington Post within two days.
Rachel: I love that. Awesome.
Caitlin: Who have been in Pop Sugar, The Economist. Harvard Business Review was a great one because I’m a huge nerd about that. Can I also write for it? I didn’t add that to my pitch
Rachel: I love that because I think it comes from imposter syndrome.
Rachel: I think there's fear, right? Like I'm not good enough, no one wants to hear what I have to say. Or we undervalue our own expertise and talent, right?
Rachel: So we're like, oh, this is easy for me, it must be easy for everybody. No, it’s not actually.
Holly: Because you've been told at times that it wasn't, like not to value being seen, right?
Holly: You've been told that. And so to actually take that step forward and say like, I am worthy of being seen, my business is worthy of this news, it’s scary because you haven't been told that by a lot of people.
Holly: But we know it's possible and we know what happens when we get more people on the covers of the magazines.
Rachel: Exactly. Exactly. Okay, so y'all have hired a leader, you've created this new offer.
Holly: Yeah, and I want to say just one thing about that is that we created several offers before that that didn't work.
Rachel: Yes. People think it’s like no, you don’t just, I created and it should instantly be a bonfire, right? And it doesn't always work that way.
Holly: Yeah. So we were here with you in March and we came off of our March, our first retreat for the mastermind and we were on fire. And we had this great idea and we're like, yes, yes, yes. And we did, we took ourselves out of the retainer clients, more or less, and we sat on the phone and we developed this offer and we were super excited about it.
And I still think it's a good offer. I think that there's still something there, but we're continuing to tweak it.
Holly: And we launched it and it was crickets. And then we launched it again and it was crickets. And we talked to Keshel one of our coaches, and we're like what's wrong? She's like, well, did you test it? And we started thinking, she's like, well, that was a test. It didn't work, what can we learn from that?
Holly: And then we spent April through June, launching, testing, refining, launching, testing, refining. What works? What doesn't? Go to the Schmillie group, who likes A or B? Which one do you like? Do you like this word or do you like that word? Do you want to do a six week thing or do you want an online course?
Holly: And I think it's so scary to take a step forward because you want a guarantee that it's going to work.
Holly: And there's never that guarantee, except for if you keep moving forward, eventually something's going to work if you keep learning something every step you take. And so we kept tweaking and kept listening to our audience, kept listening to our team. And we created the offer that finally worked.
Rachel: Yes, exactly. It's trial and error. That's what business is, right? You're testing things. And it's really not about you, it's about serving the customer, right? So figuring out, what is it that they want? What's going to drive them? What's moving them? What messaging? Sometimes it's just like I'm using the wrong language and therefore they're not paying attention, right?
Rachel: And so you have to be willing to go back and test and tweak. And people hate that part, right? And I'm like, well, if you're not willing to do that, then you're not cut out to be an entrepreneur because this is what it is.
Rachel: You're never done testing and tweaking. We're still testing and tweaking. I'm always trying new things and saying, well, how can we improve that? Or how can we improve the number of people who show up to this call? Or how can we improve the number of people who participate in this event, right?
Rachel: Like you're always working on little things to see, well that worked, that didn't work. And you're not attaching your self-worth as a human being to whether that test worked out or not.
Holly: And if something fails, it doesn't mean that your business is going to fail.
Rachel: Yes, exactly.
Caitlin: It’s just learning, we've learned so much from our failures.
Rachel: Exactly. Exactly. That's what Brittany Martin, who's the president at Hello Seven, calls it successful failure failures. She loves that phrase.
Rachel: And then, you know, sometimes I'm stomping around because I'm in angry mode because I'm like, “Why didn't it work?”
Caitlin: It sucks to pay the bills for the failure sometimes.
Rachel: Yes, it's not like you're not upset about it.
Holly: It hurts.
Rachel: Right, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it's super disappointing. You loved it, you were so excited about it, you put all this work into it and you put it out there and everybody's like, nope. And you're like, how rude, why don't you like me? But it’s just this is what it is to be in business, to experiment.
And to be in business long term, you just have to learn to love the experiments and say let's try this next and see what happens and have it feel fun instead of devastating, you know?
Caitlin: It is really fun, I think. I mean, it is sort of like on some level I feel like I'm going to play with Holly every day.
Caitlin: And it’s the best feeling. I mean, we're so in love with our business that I do think sometimes it can feel hard to think even bigger because it's gotten big so fast. And it's like, what is next? Because I really feel so happy most days.
Caitlin: It's just like, this is the best.
Holly: We're Voxing each other, like under the covers sometimes like, “Oh, I just had this really good idea.” And we're constantly like playing with the business, it is fun.
Holly: But you have to want to be that.
Caitlin: Her husband is like, “Caitlin has to go home now. We're in bed.”
Rachel: I love it. Okay, let's talk about what have the results been, right? So you've put a lot of effort in, you've tried and tested things. You've hired people, you’ve fired people, you've hired people again, right? Like it's all of the challenges of scaling and growing a business. And what has changed for you? Like in terms of where the business was last year versus where it is now, what looks different?
Caitlin: Well, I think you gain confidence when you hit your goals.
Caitlin: And I think that if you can make a million dollars in what we've all gone through in the past four years, like you can certainly make more than a million dollars. And you can certainly make that gross million dollars more profitable, you know what I mean?
Caitlin: And so I think it really does help with some of the impostor syndrome that, you know, never really goes away. But there's different levels to that. So I think that's huge.
I think the impact that we're able to make as we attract higher caliber clients too, like people who really are doing world changing activities and who are working for equity in a big way, or who are running for office, or who are trying to defeat extremism through politics, like all of that stuff is just so exciting to be a part of.
Rachel: Yes, and to help amplify voices that you totally align with that are aligned with your values, it's so exciting. And I love to hear how satisfied you are with your business. And y'all are like, you almost sweep under the rug like how much you've made. You’ve gone from like, it was low six figures, right, last year, is that right?
Holly: No, we were like we did 5.
Caitlin: We did 650.
Rachel: 650 last year and then this year you're at a million already.
Rachel: Yeah, so you're going to more than double your revenue this year.
Rachel: That's amazing.
Holly: It is kind of crazy when you say that. I don't even think we realized.
Rachel: Yes. No, you got to stop.
Caitlin: And we pay ourselves more than we did last year.
Caitlin: I think this is the first year that I personally took home more than that first year, because I put it all back into the business.
Rachel: Yes, exactly.
Caitlin: And that feels good too.
Caitlin: You know, to just really feel comfortable. And then my son just started kindergarten and his school is four blocks from our house. I get to walk him there or bike him there every day.
Caitlin: And it's just magical. So it's so lovely.
Rachel: I love it.
Holly: Yeah. You asked what changed, and I want to say, Rachel, we raised our prices.
Rachel: Yes, raising prices is my favorite pastime.
Holly: That’s part of it. That’s part of it, raising prices, which attracts the clients that we want to work with. And other clients say no, and that's always unfortunate. But then we find the people that are right for our business at this time.
Caitlin: Figure out your framework and don't sell all the things, until you have that framework at least.
Caitlin: Like really do focus in on, like we were really ruthless about we work with clients in two ways or three ways.
Holly: Yeah, three ways. No other way.
Caitlin: Like we were really hardcore about that and I think it helped. And now it's nice that we feel like we actually can be a bit more expansive and do challenges, or do kind of some funky one off tests and see what works.
Holly: Yeah, and because we attracted, now, clients that have more budget to work with, they are more organized, they’re more ready to do the things that we want to do.
Rachel: Yes, they’ve got a team.
Holly: They’re getting better results because they have a team, and they're organized, and they know what they want.
Rachel: Yes. It's funny when you raise your prices and have standards like, I only work with this kind. Yes, standards, imagine that. It's not just I'll do anything. Who was it that was telling the story about making two cents an hour? Kendra Adachi.
Holly: That’s so good.
Rachel: Yes, y’all need to catch that episode where she was talking about how in her first business she was making literally two cents an hour when she did the math, right? And it's like this is what happens when we spread ourselves too thin or we say yes to anything, right? And we just get to a place where we're like, okay, well, this is a hobby because it certainly isn't making any money.
But having standards and saying, no, this is how we work with people and only in these ways, and we only work with these types of folks. And just having boundaries, then the people who are a good fit for you are delighted to have found you, you know, and so excited to be working with you. And then it just feels good. It feels like play instead of feeling like work.
Rachel: I talked to a lot of folks who are at, you know, maybe they’ve got their first 100,000, they're sort of in that busy bee phase, is what I call it. When you're in that 100,000 to 200,000, maybe up to 250 where you're very, very busy, you're seeing it starting to work, but you're still the one delivering everything, doing everything, sending every email, doing every social post, whatever it is, right?
And so a lot of times folks in that phase are like I don't want to get to a million because I'm just going to get more work.
Caitlin: Yeah, no.
Rachel: That’s not how it works.
Caitlin: It’s not.
Holly: You’re always going to have more work. If you're at 200 and you stay at 200, you're going to have more work that whole time because you're at 200 continuing in that busy bee.
Holly: And yes, at seven figures you have work still.
Rachel: You still got a job.
Holly: You still got a job. You’re not going to work yourself totally out of a job because when you do, you create another job.
Rachel: So true. Exactly. So yes, exactly. So when you're in those earlier stages, do you find that you're actually working a little bit less or that you just have more spaciousness?
Caitlin: Oh yeah. I mean, until we come to you and then we blow everything up. No, in the best of ways though. I mean, there are often weeks where I do not even work 40 hours, and I might work 30 hours. And I can go on vacation and truly unplug for five days without any stress. I don’t know that I could take a month just yet. But I think we're getting to a place where we can see that on the horizon where one of us could be gone for a good stretch of time and it would be fine.
Rachel: I love that.
Holly: Like we give our team, this summer was harder, but we give our team every Friday off in the summer. So we do have summer Fridays. And you know, we work really hard.
Holly: But I am done at four every day, even though I'm on the Eastern Time Zone and most of my team is on the Western Time, Pacific. And it's like four o'clock, I'm done.
Holly: I hike and meditate every day before I start work.
Caitlin: She does.
Rachel: I love that.
Holly: And I don’t start work until 10.
Caitlin: I’m like Voxing her and I’m like, “Where are you? I know you're on your hike.”
Holly: I’ll Voxer her like, “I got this idea for a product.”
Rachel: Yeah, that's hard too, because I feel like there would be pressure when everybody else is on Pacific time, right? That you'd feel like, oh, I’ve got to get up, and they've already been there for a couple hours. I better get to it. And you're like, no.
Caitlin: It’s a good lesson for you.
Holly: Yeah, I mean, there is. And then at the same time, it's practice every day in knowing that as the leader of the team, if I'm working when I'm not supposed to, I'm showing them that they're supposed to be working when they’re not supposed to, and then they're burning out.
Rachel: I agree. Yes.
Holly: And so I take it as part of my job as a leader to give myself a break.
Holly: Give myself time off.
Rachel: Exactly. I love it. So good. Are there any parting words that you'd want to share? Any advice for entrepreneurs who are listening?
Caitlin: Well, I would just say, I think we mentioned I live in Idaho, there's nothing like Hello Seven in Idaho. And I think if you are in a state where you feel like maybe you don't fit in, it is even that much more important to find your community and your people who will help you kind of hold this vision and support you and validate your crazy ideas.
Rachel: Yeah, totally agree. How about you?
Holly: Nobody's going to tell you that you have the green light and everything's gonna go perfect.
Holly: We all want that guarantee, we all want to be guaranteed success. And nobody's going to give that to you except for yourself. And you do that by betting on yourself every day.
Holly: And continuing to invest in yourself, invest in your business, invest in what you're doing, and believe. Because every time you believe in yourself, you might fail, and then you'll come back up. And so just keep going and keep trying because if it’s failing, you're learning from that failure and you'll win on the other side.
Rachel: That's right. That is right. Thank you for those wise words. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it's going to inspire so many people. I appreciate you both.
Holly: We’re so happy to be here, thank you Rachel.
Rachel: Yes, awesome.
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