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In this episode, Abbey Ashley is joining me to talk about building an online business from scratch and how staying consistent and connected to her audience helped her grow.

Episode 17: Building a 4 Million Dollar Business From Scratch with Abbey Ashley

Are you ready to hear the story of someone who built a $4 million business without knowing anything about the online space?

In this episode, Abbey Ashley is joining me to talk about building an online business from scratch and how staying consistent and connected to her audience helped her grow.

Abbey Ashley is the Founder of The Virtual Savvy. She helps aspiring virtual assistants launch and grow their own at-home business from scratch. Abbey started her own virtual assistant business in 2015 and was able to double the salary from her full-time corporate job, working only 20 hours a week… in just 30 days! 

She’s since gone on to grow a multi seven-figure business and retire her husband ALL from her at-home business. It’s now her passion to help others start their own VA business so they can taste the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship as well.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Getting started in the online space when you don’t know anything about it
  • The importance of growing an email list early on
  • Staying consistent with your content
  • The benefit of having an active and engaged list
  • Resisting shiny object syndrome
  • Figuring out what your next pivot should be

Not only do I admire the business that Abbey has built, but I also admire the impact and the heart behind her business. By staying consistent, resisting shiny object syndrome and never wavering on her mission, she has found so much success and has helped so many people.

I want you to remember what she said about sticking to your strategy when there is progress because it all adds up over time! Don’t overthink it!

If you want to kickstart your digital product creation so you can start selling on Instagram, download your empoweredbusiness.co/digital-product-toolbox.

Resources Mentioned:

Speaker1: [00:00:00] Today, I have another special guest for you, and this is one of my favorite people in the entire online business community. I’ve known her for several years. And not only do I admire the business that she has built, but I also admire the impact and the heart behind the business that she has built. She is someone who stays the course and is very focused. And you’ll see in today’s episode how that paid off. She resisted shiny object syndrome. And over the last four years, she has built a four million dollar business. And I met her when she didn’t even have employees. So it’s completely crazy because now she has 21 employees. And you’ll hear all of this in today’s episode. I just want to preface it with saying that Abbey is truly one of the best human beings I have met in the online space. And I really think you’re going to enjoy today’s podcast. So let me tell you a little bit about Abbey before we dove in. Abbey Ashley is the founder of the Virtual Savvy. She helps aspiring virtual assistants launch and grow their own at home business from scratch.


Speaker1: [00:01:03] Abbey started her own virtual assistant business in 2015 and was able to double the salary from her full time corporate job, working only 20 hours a week in just 30 days. She’s since gone on to grow a multi seven figure business and retire her husband, all from her at home business. It’s now her passion to help others start their own VA business so they can taste the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship as well. Let’s dove right in and hear from Abbey. You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help 1000 women make 100000 dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to 100 million dollars. Sound good? Then let’s jump in. Abbey, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you.


Speaker2: [00:02:22] I’m so excited. I love chatting with you.


Speaker1: [00:02:25] Oh, you’re one of my favorite people in the whole world to chat with. Hence why I was picking your brain for 20 minutes before even hitting record. So hopefully we’ll recapture some of that goodness for everyone to listen to. OK, so I like to start off with your entrepreneurial journey and how you even started running a business, why you started running a business and where you are today for sure.


Speaker2: [00:02:46] Ok, so my entrepreneurial journey started like a lot of people’s probably, I was looking for a way to make money from home. I was pregnant at the time actually, and doing some nannying jobs, like just a little bit here and there. We were really broke living in a basement apartment. Like just, you know, it was not easy. My husband was having to work 13 hour days and so we would barely even see each other. And I’m like, gosh, I just I want a way to contribute. And if I’m being really honest. So this was my second child. I was a little bored. I just needed something to do. And so I you know, I tried a couple of different businesses. I sold jeans on eBay and I did like this freezer kitchen meal thing and everything. Just it didn’t really take off. It was a lot of like just manual work, like even selling jeans. I’m like toting my kid to the thrift store. Then we’re having to run to the post office to mail them and all this stuff, and it just wasn’t working out. So a friend suggested that I look into being a virtual assistant. I had never heard of virtual assistants before. I literally had no idea what it even was. But I scoured the Internet that night and read everything about how virtual assistants help small business owners. I could use the skills I already had, how to price and package my services, literally just reading random blog posts on the Internet. And I said, I’m going to be a virtual assistant. I started calling myself one the next day.


Speaker1: [00:04:18] I love that QuickStart!


Speaker2: [00:04:21] And so I you know, I lived in the Washington, D.C. area. So the very first thing I did was I looked up local networking events, went to my first networking event, followed up with some leads, got my first client that very first week. And it was just incredible because I’m working from home. My toddler daughter, she’s about, I guess, like a year and a half at this point is playing. And I’m sitting there and I’m working and I’m making money. And I’m like, oh, my gosh, this is real. Like, this is really happening. And so that was the light bulb moment, I think, for me was that I could use the skills that I had to make money from home. So I went on to create a bigger virtual assistant business. I hired subcontractors underneath me to help me with the work, which was so amazing because not only was I helping myself, but the people I hired were honestly just my friends. They were other moms, other stay at home moms that I was like, hey, you used to do graphics in college. You do social media for me. Hey, you are like you write really cool posts on Facebook. I bet you could be a copywriter.


Speaker2: [00:05:29] You go hustler.


Speaker1: [00:05:31] So literally,


Speaker2: [00:05:32] We’re just I’m just like employing my friends to help me with some of the work on a contractor basis. And so I grew this little like mini agency from my basement apartment. Now, I started getting into online marketing and just discovered this whole world. It’s like this underground world that you don’t know exists until you’re in it. And then you’re like, what is this?


Speaker1: [00:05:57] And try explaining it to I say this in “your real world friends” and they think you’re crazy.


Speaker2: [00:06:03] To get it. So I started following a guy named Brian Harris. He had a business called Video Fruit. It’s now Growth Tools is his business. I still really look up to him because such a visionary and really just broke down online marketing in such an amazing way. So I started following him like just consuming every blog post. And I thought, I’m going to work for this guy, like I’ve got to figure out how to work for this guy. And so I ended up sending him like this cold pitch email that I worked probably two weeks on. I created him a course. I took a blog post, I made a course out of it. And it was like, here I made this for you. You could turn it into an opt-in. I don’t care. I just want to give it to you. Here you go. And it was this like value for marketing that I teach now because he was my ultimate dream client. He said, let’s get on a call. We have to chat. And he ended up hiring me to do copywriting on his team. And I worked for him for about a year, year and a half. And it was amazing. He, it was like the best paid internship because here’s this guy who would, you know, launch an online course. He had an online course on how to get email subscribers, which was perfect because that’s exactly what I needed to do, was start building an email list. And so I’m taking his course, working behind the scenes, seeing how he would launch his course and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in a week and I’m like, what is this magic? This is crazy, like what is going on? But I’m literally behind the scenes just seeing how the whole thing works while taking his course on. Here’s how here’s how it begins. What year is this? This is two. I started my day business in twenty fifteen. I landed him as a client at like end of 2015. Early 2016.


Speaker1: [00:07:48] Ok, so you started building your email list in 2016.


Speaker2: [00:07:51] Yeah, OK. And it took me about a year, nine months to a year to get a list of a thousand subscribers. That was my goal. I’m going to get to a thousand. And it took me a while to get there because I’m literally just like, asking people to be on my list. You didn’t run paid ads or anything. This was all organic. Oh, gosh. I had no idea how to do Facebook ads, I didn’t know how to do anything. So I would just post in groups and be like, who was my list? Comment yes below!  Like back when people used to do that, it was cool. Now everyone’s like, that’s terrible. Don’t do that. Well, I didn’t know any different. And so I did that in groups that allowed it. And so I did that. And just like asked random people to be on my list, I started blogging. And so that was one thing I did, although I didn’t know if anyone was actually reading my blog. That’s the content I was sending to my subscribers. And so I built this list of about a thousand email subscribers and I was writing about anything under the sun that had to do with what I was interested in, what I was learning. So a little bit about copywriting, how to find clients on LinkedIn because I was finding clients on LinkedIn. I was just writing about anything I knew about. And so then let’s see, I got my list of a thousand subscribers and if I’m being honest, I didn’t even know who was on my list. Like, I’m like, I don’t know who you people are. Like, Thank you for following me,


Speaker1: [00:09:08] Were you emailing them at this time or just collecting them?


Speaker2: [00:09:11] I would email every week. I’d send a weekly newsletter, I do a weekly blog post like that was…


Speaker1: [00:09:16] So I just want to say real quick with that is, I do think that right there, because that’s what I did. I, I emailed even though in the very beginning when there are only a few hundred and then they turn to a few thousand. And I think a lot of people go wrong right here because the beginning we were doing both of us, we were putting out free content and and emailing for free. It was for free. And a lot of people are not willing to stick with that. And they’re like, well, forget it. Like, what am I getting out of this? And then they give up and they say this whole online business thing doesn’t work, but it does. But you can’t expect people to just be raining money at you the second you start building your email list. 


Speaker2: [00:09:56] So, OK, everyone is looking to like, we can get into this, but like everyone’s looking for this like, magic key to like online business. I truly think the magic key is just consistency in sticking with something long enough to let it make money. Yeah, I really do.


Speaker1: [00:10:10] Thank you. And there are other ways you can you know, like I talk about building a smaller digital product in the beginning to recoup some of that. But like even that, you have to give it time. You have to give it time. You don’t build an audience overnight. But OK, I just want to interject that because I felt like that is something we both did. And I think we both ended up seeing success because we hung in there and a lot of people just aren’t willing to hang in there. So, OK, so you start your emailing, you’re blogging, but you don’t have a course yet.


Speaker2: [00:10:36] So I knew I wanted to do a course because again, I’ve been working for Brian and I’m like, this is the ultimate goal. I want to create a course. And so I emailed my list once. I had a thousand. And I’m like, OK, what do you guys want to learn for me? Let’s hear it. Like I was, you know, like, I’ll teach you anything. Branding, blogging, what do you want to learn? And they told me that they wanted to learn how to start a virtual assistant business. And I was like, huh?

Speaker2: [00:11:02] I didn’t even realize that that was the list I was building. But cool, let’s do that because I know how to do that. Right. Like, I did the thing. And so and it was so cool because it was just like full circle. I had already come up with with the name the Virtual Savvy. Like that was


Speaker1: [00:11:17] An amazing name, but it had nothing


Speaker2: [00:11:19] To do with virtual assistant either. It was just like all things virtual. I actually woke up in the middle of the night with that name. I woke up and I said, the virtual savvy I wrote on a piece of paper went back to bed. And so it was just cool. Like months later, it was like, you do have it trademarked, right? Yes. 


Speaker1: [00:11:33] Good. Because if not, I’m going to make you trademark it when we get off this call. 


Speaker2: [00:11:38] We’ve got lawyers on all types of things right now. So essentially, I asked the the list, what do you want to learn from me? Virtual assistants. I said, OK, cool. Another thing that Brian did again, and he knows this, I still text him all the time and be like, guess what happened? Because he he knows that he was kind of my muse this whole time. And we were teaching totally different topics. So he was cool with it. And so his whole methodology was like, rather than putting your blood, sweat and tears into like this this course that takes you six months to develop presell it. And that’s what I did. So I had a list of a thousand people ish. And I said, hey, I’m going to create a course on virtual assistants, literally, here’s like a Google doc that explains what’s going to be in the course. Here will be the modules. Here will be the lessons. Here is I’ll release it one new module every single week for the next 12 weeks. And eventually this course is going to be nine ninety seven. I’m going to sell it for four ninety seven get and now you can build it with me and get more access to me and get it at half the price. And so I had in one week’s time I had 16 people buy, so I made eight thousand dollars in a week, which was like, life changing, life changing me. I was like what just happened? Right. And that was really the start. I had already been blogging and I thought, you know what, I, I feel like my target market is probably on Pinterest. So the first thing I did with that eight thousand dollars was I hired a Pinterest manager to start doing an organic Pinterest strategy for me.


Speaker1: [00:13:15] Just to note, at the time, organic Pinterest was a lot easier than it is now. Very true. So this is one of the important lessons for business. When you follow other people and you see how they gain traction, likely the way they gain traction for the most part when it comes to social platforms isn’t going to be the way they are going to gain the same traction five years down the road because things change.


Speaker2: [00:13:39] And it was like that’s what was hot, right? Let’s just go all in with that. And that’s what I did. So I think no matter, you know, if you’re listening to this in 2021 or five years later, like what’s kind of hot right now, what seems to be


Speaker1: [00:13:52] The thing right now, it’s Instagram Real’s and I haven’t even done that. But I just did a great podcast with the Elise Darma. You know who she is because we’re at Mariah’s event together. And she was encouraging me. She’s like, you got to try Reel’s! She must have done it like ten times then. Like, I don’t want to do video, though. And she’s like, no, like this is where it’s at. So I think I’m gonna try it with my launch. But anyway, so we weren’t even a thing back when we were talking about you getting on Pinterest.


Speaker2: [00:14:15] So so I literally just kind of kept wash, rinse, repeat. All right. Let’s just keep doing more of what works. So I kept blogging, kept growing my list, and I launched again a few months later. And I’ve literally been doing that since 2016, doing two to three launches. I was doing three launches. We ended up switching to two. I eventually developed the second product, a membership site as well. And so now we kind of once a quarter have kind of a launch, but there just with the two different products. And so that’s that’s really what we’ve been doing is just that and that’s in the same goals I had in the beginning. They’ve changed, obviously, but it was OK, I want to get a thousand email subscribers and once I had a thousand, I set my sights on ten thousand. Now I want to get ten thousand. And I just kept working to get ten thousand. Ten thousand. Ten thousand. Once I got ten thousand it was like, all right, let’s make it fifty. Right. And that took a lot longer. Was I guess the next big milestone was probably like twenty and then fifty and we just crossed one hundred thousand subscribers. Yeah.


Speaker1: [00:15:26] And keep in mind when we, I would say you probably you’ve had several hundreds of thousands of people likely filter through your list between unsubscribes and any purge campaigns you did.


Speaker2: [00:15:35] That’s true. And I will I mean, I’ve always like although my goal has always been email subscribers, I profit over ego like I want to make sure I have a quality list. So every six months I do a massive clean out. So we actually just we’re like about to break my heart because we just crossed one hundred thousand and we have like fifteen thousand twelve, 12 or 15 that are cold subscribers right now. So we essentially could, you know, after we do kind of a reactivation campaign, we could end up going back down under a hundred thousand because we’re going to clean it out. But again, I’d rather have a quality list and have it be good. So, yes, we have done that several times. So could my list be bigger right now? Yes, but I feel like that cleaning my list out every six weeks means that I have a good engaged quality list. And you know that 90 percent of my list is actually engaged in my emails. They might not be opening every single email, but they’re engaged in some way. And so I think that that’s helped me be able to have and we were talking about this a little bit earlier, knowing that I have an active engaged list where 90 percent of them are engaged in some way, answering, opening an email once a month. Even then, it makes things more predictable. Like now we can I can say usually within like a very small percentage, I can say this is how big our launch is going to be, because this is how big our list size is now. And we can just we can predict and it makes it so easy to budget to. To, you know, like, are we going to hire new team members? All right, well, we should make this much. So our plan is we usually wait till after launch and that’s when we hire new people. But like our plan is, this is how much we’re going to make. So we’ll be able to hire three new team members or whatever.


Speaker1: [00:17:33] But that’s why it’s so important to keep it clean, because those predictable numbers won’t  be predictable if you’re going off numbers of a bunch of people who are not engaged. And I will say I used to clean my list very regularly, I would say through maybe early 2019. And then I then some people got to me. This is the thing about listening to other people instead of listening to your gut, some people got to me with their opinions about like so maybe call for six months but then they’re going to come up and buy from you. And I’ve since at this point it’s like you know what, they’ll find me again then because I run active advertising like they’re in my Pixel. So there’s a lot of ways people can come back to you. But I ended up deleting seventeen thousand people at the end of twenty twenty and it made a dramatic difference in everything from clickthrough rates to open rates to engagement. And so I knew all along I should have been doing it and keeping a clean list. I got ConvertKit Pro so I could see the engagement scores and this was just deleting people with like the lowest engagement score. And I would still even date it back like six or eight months prior. And it was still I still got seventeen thousand to purge. And that was tough.


Speaker1: [00:18:37] I mean, that was like, oh, right to the heart, especially when you run paid advertising like I do, because, you know, like likely I paid a lot of money to acquire these people, but they weren’t so and I wanted my watch because what I learned from Abbey, I’ve learned so much from Abbey. You’ve taught me that the consistency in following the numbers and even though I knew that all along in my gut, I was not so great at doing it. So I went into two thousand twenty one saying that, like, I’m going to back into the numbers, just like you do with your launches. You know, I’m going to know my conversion rate so well that every launch I can back in and say, OK, we need to get this many new people on our list, this many people need to be engaged. And then I know, like in the sales pitch, converted this and just go down the line. It’s like conversion rates down the line. Then, you know, at the end result will be within a range like I aspire to be you. This is what I’m this is what I’m working towards because Abbey’s brilliant.OK, so based on a few things, I wanna talk about your products because, you know, I’ve told you many times in the past how brilliant I think you’ve been with your consistency, how you a product letter and how you stuck with it.


Speaker1: [00:19:38] But before we talk about that, there was something you said that stuck out to me. And it’s something that I’ve seen a lot, too, and I’ve done, but unintentionally, which is every major course that I’ve ever put out. I did what you did was I built it along with, like a beta or founders round, and it was unintentional. But like, you need capital to be able to do stuff right. Like you need money. And so in order for me to spend, you know, hours and hours of time building, of course, to me it was just logical that I had to get people to commit to it first. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth my time. And then at the end of that, if I spent all that time at the end of knowing, but then what it would be like starting at square one. So I feel intellectually that made a lot of sense to me. No one told me to do it that way. And as I talk to all of these entrepreneurs and now I know lots of them at this point and including you, everyone seems to be very consistent with the fact that they pre-sell then build with that first group. Would you say that that is what you see as well?


Speaker2: [00:20:38] Yeah. I mean, so that’s what we kind of did with the first two products. We’re building a third product right now and I will say we haven’t pre-sold it, but we also have this audience now that like we are able and that’s what some people go back and forth on Facebook groups. I have a Facebook group for all of my paid courses. And so we’re in there every single day. And it’s like we’re just able to see like people are asking for this thing, you know? And so I think now, like, should we be doing that? Maybe we’re going to test and see. Right. Because we are currently building something that we have not pre-sold. And that’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be to see how it goes. But at the same time, the reason we’re we’re building it is literally because it’s like, well, everyone’s asking for this thing, so we should probably just build it.


Speaker1: [00:21:38] But now here’s a big difference here. And so this will lead into the discussion of what your two major products are right now. The big difference of what you’re saying here is every time I’ve created a new product, typically it’s been like you’re familiar. And I’ve talked on the podcast like bruited on my Pinterest courses, but in true Monaca fashion, I retire them. I’m like, let’s blow the world up. Yeah. And my husband, like, didn’t we just build a house? I’m like, oh yeah, don’t worry. Yeah. Luckily it really ended up being the best decision, but essentially I had to because I blew up my biggest revenue source, just kind of like, bye! When I did the next the big program I’m working on now, I did a founders round and pre-sold it because I needed the Capitol. You’re in a position because, you know, this is what I love about you, your consistency, whether it was boring or not, because it’s entrepreneurs, I know that we always wanna move on to the next thing. But you have stuck with these two products for years and launched them over and over and over again, which has allowed you to build not only the audience who will buy the next thing from you, but it has allowed you to have that capital where let’s just say the new thing flops. It’s not going to kill your company. I blew up the Pinterest stuff first and yeah, we would have stayed afloat because I had other things going. But it would have been real close if I had taken the risk of building a whole course in a month of my time there. So this is where I feel like you’ve totally shined and like you beat other entrepreneurs by a mile is because you stick with things that are not necessarily fun or like they can get boring. But the consistency has built you a solid foundation. So that’s the consistent launching that you’ve done. So can you tell us what your two products are?


Speaker2: [00:23:20] Yes. So my two products, I still have my signature course to train people how to become a virtual assistant. And it’s the essence of the very first course that I created. We did change the name. I re-recorded the lessons, updated things a little bit. I now have a whole team that supports that course, which I love, because they’re just in there every single day and they are honestly, like, better at it than I am. And I love that, like, they’re just all good at supporting that course. And so that’s the training program to teach people how to become virtual assistants, how to choose your services, how to set up, you know, set up your LLC, how to market, how to price and package, build a team, the whole shebang. So that is called the savvy system. And then we have a membership called Savvy Vault. This is a tech training membership and it’s essentially for virtual assistants who kind of want to up level their skills. Right. They want to learn more skills. They want to now maybe they want to be a Pinterest manager or a YouTube manager or a podcast editor or they or they just want to learn a certain tool like convert kit or active campaign, whatever it may be. So we have over 60 tech courses now where we teach the tech right.


Speaker2: [00:24:36] And it’s kind of like Netflix style. You can just go and kind of pick and choose. You can binge watch a whole course or go around and that’s just a monthly membership. So people pay monthly to be a part of that tech membership and we release a new tech course every single month. So it definitely continues to gain value as we go. Now, I think it’s important, again, I launched this membership and a membership can be a lot of work, especially like the “What I am doing?” Which is we are literally releasing new content every single month. But I have a full time person that is her whole job and it’s not even always her creating courses. Sometimes we’ll bring in course contributors. So let’s say we were releasing like a FloDesk, and nobody on my team knows FloDesk. We haven’t used it. That’s not our email marketing platform that we use. And so we brought in a FloDesk expert. We will pay them and their course will go in to the membership. So it was a really nice complimentary product. Once we had again kind of the capital to where it wasn’t just, oh my gosh, I have to create new content every single month.


Speaker1: [00:25:53] Ok, and this is one and I remember when you added on the membership and we all know memberships bring recurring revenue. I’ve talked about it many times on the podcast so far, recurring revenue, very important. I would say you enter every month with these fixed expenses and if you don’t have guaranteed revenue coming in at some point, that becomes a very stressful way to run a business. Memberships are a great way to help bridge that gap. You had the course it was running successfully or having successful launches. We’re talking like six figure launches you were having at this point. Why in membership, why didn’t you add it in and up the price of the course? Why didn’t you like there’s a million things you could have done, but what made you choose that, the add on product? The second product would be a membership?


Speaker2: [00:26:37] I don’t know if anyone’s ever asked me that question before. I mean, honestly, it was just an idea that I had and it seemed like something that could work really good as a standalone product. So at the same time, I’ve been building a Facebook community, so we have a big Facebook group, it has like sixty thousand. This is a free group, has like sixty thousand members in it at the time of this recording. And there’s so many people in there who they were already established VAs. I mean, there’s people in that group that were VAs far before I was, right. So they don’t need my course and how to start a business already doing the thing. And so I felt like this product would be a really good, it’d be really good for those people who maybe didn’t need the course, it would also just be a good complementary product. So it almost acts as an upsell. So whenever we do our big launches of the savvy system, every year, 50 percent of people also add the second product on. So, I mean, it’s a really great complementary product.


Speaker1: [00:27:42] Ok, so you’ve been consistently launching the main course for four years at this point, right.


Speaker1: [00:27:51] How did you resist the shiny object syndrome that we all have to do? Like tiny offers blew up last year around the thirty seven dollars offer? There’s a million distractions out there, like let’s try this or that. Let’s do a high end group coaching, let’s, you name it. I mean, because, we’ve seen it at you and you’ve been in a lot of programs too, like the high end group coaching. How in the world did you keep yourself from going down those rabbit holes?


Speaker2: [00:28:16] I think it’s hardest in the beginning, honestly, because like now I’m looking at my business and we’re on track to do four million dollars this year,


Speaker1: [00:28:27] Which is amazing.


Speaker2: [00:28:29] And what in the world? And I’m like, why in the world would I break this? You know, like, there are so many people counting on me and all this. And I still want to do other things and I am doing other things. And I think I just remember, like when I was trying to get traction, I had in my head like this picture of where I wanted to be. And I was at the time, I was looking at this mentor in front of me who was Brian. And I was like, I want to do what he does. Like, I want to launch a course and have it make six figures in a week. Like, that’s amazing. And could be life changing. And I hope you guys aren’t listening to this just thinking like, oh, man she is all about like making that dough like. No, like you guys don’t understand the amount. Like our goal is to train a hundred thousand people to be virtual assistants because I know that it’s life changing.


Speaker1: [00:29:24] And how many full time employees do you have now that you’re supporting now?


Speaker2: [00:29:27] We have twenty one full time employees now. And like these are moms, these are people who like wouldn’t be able to just, you know, go do a normal nine to five or would have to sacrifice so much. And they’re you know, we’ve been able to support one of our team members this year as she’s gone through major health issues. And like, there’s just so many things that it’s like this is way bigger, right?  At the beginning, it didn’t start out with that, if I’m being honest. It was like, whoa, that’s cool, I want to do that. And I kept my sights on it. But like now, looking back, it’s like, gosh, like the amount of impact we’re able to make. We’re going to start like building wells in Africa because it helps women to have more time. They’re spending 20 hours a week walking to wells. So we’re like, how else this whole, like, empowering women mostly is what we’re doing. And that’s kind of the mission behind the brand. So anyways, I think that it was just I had my eyes set on that. And I’m just like the only way I’m going to get there is if I just keep doing this like I’m going to follow.


Speaker2: [00:30:29] I’ve always had a coach. I’ve always had some kind of a mentor. And I’m like, I’m just going to follow this path and I’m going to keep with this path until I feel like I’ve reached that point. And once I reach that point, I’m like, OK, well, now what’s the next thing? And I find another mentor who’s doing what I believe is the next level, the way to level up my business, not to change it, not to destroy it all and do something new. But what’s the next pivot I can make to take me to the next level? OK, now what’s the next pivot I can make to take me to the next level and to bring our team to the next level? Right. And so I’ve had a series of different coaches that it’s like, OK, now I want to learn how to do this thing. And so I’m learning that thing with a certain coach. I learn it and then I move on to the next. I’m like, OK, now I want to learn how to do this thing and we learn it and keep going.


Speaker1: [00:31:17] And it’s so practical. Yet the world is so distracting that most people go for the shiny objects and they stay at the same revenue level for several years because they keep chasing like the next big thing that the next thing they think they should be doing without fully optimizing what they already have. And that’s what I have admired so much about you. I, I remember I love telling this because it’s just so incredible when I want to put this into, like, frame this for people. I presented on Pinterest at the Boss Retreat in October of twenty eighteen because I’m still carrying around my pump. I travel around the country with that breast pump, shout out to my pump moms out there and I remember I had to stop right before I went on stage. She put me on a little early and I was like oh I was like hiding out in the corner pumping. So that was fun. But I remember we went to dinner that night. I’ll never forget this. You had just hired Lisa, who still works for you? She was your first employee, correct? Yes, she was at the dinner with us. And that was your first employee. I mean, I was there watching you, like, take the biggest leap because your first employee I know because I’ve done it is a huge thing. It’s like now you’re really seeing this is like something outside of you just replacing an income or like providing for your own family.


Speaker1: [00:32:32] It’s a pretty big step. And now that’s two and a half years later and your company has twenty one full time people. And so, when I talk about the power of consistency to also frame this, I hired Hayley in August of twenty nineteen, made her full time in October of twenty eighteen. And guess what, we have not grown like that. And you know why. Because I would get in my head with shiny objects and I took on too much and I was trying to do too much and I and even though, and I can talk forever like Pinterest was the wrong thing to be in for the scalability that I want it, which I’ve talked about in previous episodes. But this year I did an episode about how I’m going to grow in two thousand twenty one, and I essentially said I’m going to be like happy. I didn’t say it on that podcast. I knew how to interview you, but this is like we’re going to link to the goals I set for twenty twenty wonk’s. I’m pretty sure I said it there. This is what this year is about because honestly I should have only been about a year behind you, but I’d say I’m actually like two years now because I wasted time focused, like just spreading myself too thin. And you’re like a really great lesson in staying the course and what that can do and the impact on others. I completely agree with you there that once it gets beyond you providing for your family, which I think we both can do very well and our families are very comfortable at this point, it’s about when women make more money.


Speaker1: [00:33:50] It’s not, we do good things right. And like I paid maternity leave, I, you know, I, I have never when someone when one of my employees says that their kids are sick and the baby, I feel how times I’ve had babies on on our Zoome calls, they’re getting bottles that I would never, never make them feel bad about that. This is what this is about. It’s about getting a better life and more advantages that women have never had before. And that’s like super gratifying. And I know you think it’s super gratifying to for sure for and that’s what drives that’s like why I don’t want to hit a million dollars this year to hit a million dollars like. Yes, it will be cool to hit a million dollars. I’m not going to lie. There’s that glass ceiling. There’s women, you know, so many small businesses owned by women never get there. And yeah, I want to be one of them. No, I have that, like, drive to do that. But it’s so much more. It’s about who we can impact when we get there for sure. So I think that’s really cool. OK, so what I want you to tell us about is the new thing you’re doing for your finally doing anything.


Speaker2: [00:34:51] Now, just a note to what we were talking about. I am an entrepreneur just like everyone else, and I have had all of the shiny objects. But here’s the thing. Like pretty much like ninety percent of your ideas will work like they really will. Like if you just stick to them, they’ll work. If you have a good strategy and you just keep doing it. So my whole thing has just always been, you know, I’m going to choose this one to choose this is my strategy and I’m going to get it until it’s running at like 80 or 90 percent. And once it’s running at 80 or 90 percent, then I can move on to a new thing and sometimes it’ll take years to do. But that compounding interest just really adds up after you’ve done that several times. Right. And so I think that just and it can be scary. I think a lot of us are like, oh, did I choose the right thing? And I mean, I just think that most of the things if you’re seeing some kind of interest, some kind of progress, just keep at it because it will keep it will work. So, yeah, I am finally doing something new, which is totally, totally new for me. We are building out a marketplace. So it’s been kind of a dream of mine. I’ve personally been really just unhappy with the hiring marketplaces for remote employees. Feel like a lot of them are just race to the bottom dollar and are just very impersonal.


Speaker2: [00:36:26] And so we’re setting out to build the best hiring marketplace on the planet that’s built on community and culture and really finding a person that you want to be a part of your team because your team is not just outsourcing projects, it’s it’s the culture that you’re creating. And so the way we’re building this hiring platform is very focused on communication and cultural fit. And it’s just we essentially asked our freelancers and people who would hire on the site, what would you want if you could just create a marketplace? What would you want? And so we’re just listening to feedback and we’re creating something really, really special. So the goal is to launch it in twenty, twenty two, early twenty, twenty two. So it’s still it takes a long time to build out a product. This is totally different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s a whole new world for me, but we are building, kind of a wait list and we’re going to have people giving us feedback and coming in and like having people play around with it. So if you want to be a part of, like, building a new freelancer marketplace, because that’s literally it’s like we’re doing it together. You can go to Hello Savvy Dotcom. Hello Savvy will be the name of the hiring marketplace and yeah, get on our waitlist because we are building something really, really epic over there. Yeah, I’m so excited.


Speaker1: [00:37:52] I mean, I know that I was part of like the initial phase of you asking what we would want as someone who hires and would utilize a marketplace like this. And it is sorely needed it for so many reasons, which could be a whole separate podcast. But let me just say, I have no doubt that is going to be successful, honestly, especially with you behind it. I’m very excited for it and I will definitely be one participating in the marketplace. All right. So we can find you. Hello savvy dot com. Is there anywhere else you’d like people to be able to go to find you?


Speaker2: [00:38:21] Yeah, I mean, if you’ve been listening to this and virtual assistance just seems like an amazing first step for you. You can definitely go to the virtual savvy dotcom. We’ve got tons of resources, resources since 2016. So you can binge my website for quite a long time. So tons of resources on how to start working and making money immediately by becoming a virtual assistant. So check that out as well. Awesome.


Speaker1: [00:38:46] Thanks so much for joining us, Abbey.


Speaker2: [00:38:47] Thank you.

Speaker1: [00:38:50] Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode of the Empowered Business podcast. If you’re ready to get started creating digital products and take your business to the next level, download my free digital product toolbox, head to Monica Froese, dotcom or slash toolbox to grab it. As always, you can find all of the links and information mentioned in this episode at Monicafroese.com forward slash podcast for you right here again next week.

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