I guarantee you’re not the only person in this situation. Getting caught up in fear happens to so many people, but being scared because you have no experience is a shitty excuse. You can do it – I cannot stress that enough. It all starts with showing up and listening closely to the people who have already done it.
Somebody has gone before you and there is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel, so join me on the podcast this week for some insight into why you might be feeling stuck and how to take your business from the idea stage all the way through to making more money and working fewer hours.
Want to have it all? Well, the best day to get started is TODAY. Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who want to take their life and business to a WHOLE new level of success. I’m Brooke Keeling, multiple six-figure business owner, passionate entrepreneur and your host.
Welcome to another episode of the Love Your Living podcast…
Hey everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. I am Brooke Keeling, and I am so excited to be here with all of you and very grateful that all of you are showing up and tuning in and joining me on today’s hot topic.
So today, I decided to touch on a topic that has come up a lot recently in the programs that we’re running and different groups that I have going on, and just in my own business as well. And whether or not you run your own business, or maybe you manage a team or maybe you’re not in business at all yet, that is okay because a lot of this will apply to you whether or not you are in business, you can find these little nuggets.
If you tune in and some of these things don’t apply directly to whatever it is that you’re doing, that’s okay, because so many of these topics within business, they apply to our life too, right? And for me, that’s what business is. The reason why I love businesses and I create more businesses and I create more work for myself id that I absolutely love learning new things, applying them to my life and my business where it can grow and it can make me better.
If I’m literally stagnant for too long, I go absolutely insane, and so that’s what life is all about. That’s what business is about; failures and learning and growing and creating something that you love. So, on that topic, we are going to be talking about going from the idea stage to actually starting a business.
Now, I see you. I see so many people out there that have these incredible ideas. I’ve had many, many conversations with people that say, I have this incredible idea or I’m going to start this business, I have this idea to do this. And you can see the excitement and you can see them literally light up a room with the passion and excitement that they have from within.
And there’s many things that come after that, which I won’t touch on all of the reasons why businesses don’t succeed today, but we’re going to talk about getting super, super clear on going from the idea stage to actually starting a business. So, I have multiple businesses and I’ve been in the entrepreneurial world for about seven years now.
My businesses are profitable. They’re all going right now. They weren’t profitable in the beginning; most businesses are not. So if you’re just in the startup phase and you’re listening to this and saying, oh great you have all these whatever, you have to invest in your business, and that’s time and that’s money sometimes.
So, I’m in a phase right now with my businesses that we’re going strong. My main business is Keeling Homes, which, if you’ve been on the podcast before, it’s my real estate business here in Madison, Wisconsin. And I’ve been in that business for about seven years now, and my goals in that business have continuously evolved.
When I first set out, just looking back at those goals, I never would have imagined where I am today, and that’s because we hit a goal and we set another one. We don’t ever stop too long in the middle, which can drive some people crazy, which has made some people leave the team, which has made some bad fits because we work. We work hard. We have work ethic and we continuously want to grow.
That type of passion and commitment has allowed me to create a seven-figure business and I don’t have to be in that all of the time. Now, yes, of course, there’s times where I have to dive in head first and I have to get things rolling back to where I want them to, or there can be really long stretches of time where my time is more involved within that business.
But there’s also times – real estate is a business that most people consider 24/7, okay, so I’ve been able to put teams and systems in place so that it’s not a 24/7 type of business for me. And it’s my goal to not have it be a 24/7 type of business for my team members either because there’s so much more to life than just business, right?
So, a lot of the things that we’ve put into place is so that we can create a sustainable lifestyle for ourselves as well. Again, if you’re listening, I’m not going to tell you that it’s roses all the time, because it’s not. There’s many, many timed where it’s all hands on deck for all of us or I lose an employee and I have to figure that out, or whatever it may be.
But, my team produces more business than I produce at this point in time, which I am so grateful and so proud of, an incredibly proud of this squad that I have. So I’ve built this business up. We are literally in the top of our market, the top 1% of our market, and I have zero business experience. So, for any of you out there listening that think, I could never do something like that – yes you can. Yes, you can.
So, if you haven’t heard my story previously, I’ve been in my real estate business for about seven years. I have no business experience. I have an associate’s degree, which I’ve always been mortified to tell people about and just not proud of, and I didn’t come from a big background of money being readily available to do different things. Like, I gave plasma while I was trying to get myself through tech school and it wasn’t always glamorous and it’s for sure not the life that I live right now. But looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
And looking back at some of the mindset struggles that I’ve had to overcome about not feeling good enough or not feeling qualified enough or educated enough or whatever it may be, I’m here to tell you, whatever you want in your life, you can achieve it. You just have to have a plan around it.
So, I’ll talk more about that, but I just want you to know that if you haven’t heard my story before, I am a girl from the Midwest that used to be 60 pounds heavier than I am today, that has no fancy-shmancy degree, that gave plasma just to get through a tech school program, that married into a doctor’s family, that had to overcome all the stuff that comes with that in and of itself.
So, I am here to tell you, whatever you want, it is absolutely achievable. So, when I first started out into this business world, I had to figure out a couple of things. I needed to figure out what I really loved doing. So that was pretty quick. I went from being more in a corporate setting where I was very much managed and I had hours. And there’s great things that come from that too. You get to check out a bit more after work, you get weekends off that you don’t have to think about things, you don’t have to manage the money and pay the bills and do all that boss stuff.
However, I was really, really excited to be able to paint my own picture, to be the visionary of my own life. And I had to figure out what I really loved to do. Now, this is step one for all of you. If you are thinking of starting a business, if you have all of these incredible ideas of this could be really profitable or this would be life-changing for our family, or this could be a really great idea, I first want you to figure out what you love doing.
What is it about that that you really love? Because if you don’t love doing it, you’re not going to follow through with it. so, finding out what passion you have within that, what love you have for that, and then finding a demand. I had to find a demand in my market that I could squeeze into and start doing more of what people were looking for, what was lacking, what others weren’t doing, and what I loved.
And then, I figured out what I didn’t enjoy doing and I started outsourcing that. Now, this didn’t come right away, but most of us wait way too long to hire our first person. We wait way too long. And what this does is it sucks all of our energy and our focus is on the tasks that are not going to move our business forward.
Now, if I could have looked back, I would have hired my first assistant maybe a year into the business rather than four years into the business. And just hiring that person alone would have lit a fire under my ass, because it’s really, really scary when you are a fully commissioned person or a business owner. If you’re a business owner, you pay your own paychecks. I run payroll. I get gusto in my inbox and I’m like, ooh, I paid myself. It goes from one account to the next account.
But I would have hired someone way quicker and delegated some of the things that I didn’t like so that I could really, really focus on the things that I loved, that brought me energy, and that brought more money into the business.
Now, my husband, shortly after I started in real estate – once I really got it cranking in the way that I wanted to and I felt confident, I got over that, oh that sale came but where’ the next one, am I going to survive it, can I pay my mortgage, when is it going to end, that was just a lucky streak. Once I started having more confidence in myself, which that’s a mindset thing that we need to work on if you have those thoughts still – but my husband decided that he was leaving his very, very secure job to also jump into a role that was 100% commission.
And so, that meant I had nothing to fall back on. I didn’t have a safety net of a – he had a very nice income at the time. We had incredible health insurance and benefits and 401K, all of that. And, as many of you know, when you are an entrepreneur, or if you’re in a commission-based role, you don’t have all of those luxuries. You have to create that for yourself.
And so, we took that leap and it made me work really hard, and it also allowed me, which is really cool, it allowed me to kind of step into his world a bit too and provide guidance from the guidance that I received when I first started out. And so we actually hired his first person – I don’t think he was in the business for a year and he hired someone. And when it came time to upgrade to a different office I said, you do it, that’s a mindset thing. You do it, you invest.
I would have never done that for myself, but being where I was and learning from what I learned from, it was so much easier to do that and make those decisions for him. And so for me, I started really outsourcing a lot of the things I didn’t like. And one of the very first people that I hired teams was a cleaning person. It was someone that didn’t necessarily help my business. They were not an assistant in my business.
They were not checking emails and taking phone calls. They were helping me manage my household, which was really important because it was something that I’m super anal about and I spent a good day on every single week outside of my business on cleaning my house. And I knew that whatever it was that I was paying someone to do that was going to be well worth my time so that I could focus on my business; the time, the energy, everything.
So that was actually my first hire, the cleaning lady. She’s phenomenal. She still works for me today and I think we’re at, I don’t know, five years later, two houses later, a house later. So you have to get clear on delegating some of that stuff. And I want to just take you through some of these phases that we go through as business owners and as multi-passionate entrepreneurs on how to get really clear and out of that idea phase into action, because I have been there so many times.
And also, in the whole sense of delegating, I’ve had this conversation recently with a couple of my friends and it’s very, very interesting because everybody has an opinion, right, and I truly do think that you’re in a certain phase when you start a business, an infant phase where you’re collecting all of this information and understanding how things work and just doing your research and learning. And then you get to a phase where you can start to have an opinion about certain things.
You can have an opinion about a certain strategy and be able to give really clear direction on how you want things done and why because you know the basics of it. But in the beginning, you don’t even know the basics. You just have to learn and educate yourself. And in this world of focusing on one thing, like there’s a book called The One Thing, and niching down so that you’re only focusing on one thing – I have a different opinion about this because I have many friends that are extremely successful focusing on only one thing.
I also have incredible friends that are extremely successful that have multiple different business ventures going and different pieces of passion. And my heart is always aligned with the second, with having different ideas and being able to build out other things and not just focusing on real estate. But I got really stuck, because so many people were saying you just focus on one thing. You can’t take the gas pedal off because then that business is going to dip.
But the reality is, once you start to get systems and people in place, then you can, you can move onto the next. It’s all timing though. And I was having a conversation with a friend recently and she has an incredible business and she has two different things that she focuses on within her business. And again, she said, I get so much kickback from people who have an opinion about me having two niches.
And the interesting thing was, she had a really busy year this year and she’s really trying to promote one of these things. And so her comment to me was, I will likely have to give up the other one, even though I really love it, I will likely have to give it up. And my thought was, why? Why would you give it up? You spent 12 years building it up. It gives you passion and excitement, why would you give it up? Why wouldn’t you just train or add team members or whatever? It’s a million-dollar business, why would you give it up?
And it got me thinking a lot and asking a lot of questions to my other friends and networks and just saying, like, look, you have multiple businesses – I would go around and I’d say, you have multiple businesses, how do you manage them? One of them was timing, one has a million-dollar business, it’s a brick and mortar business, and then they’re also in the online space building out different things in the online world, and now also starting into the real estate world as well. And it’s like, how are you doing all of these things and still seeing success in all of them?
It’s not like if I take my attention off of this piece then that one goes down, and now I have my attention off of this piece and now this one goes down. And the comment that I got from that particular person was, one, it’s timing, you have to have the right people and the right systems. There has to be a good time. You have to have your exist strategy, which everyone should always have in business. You should have your exit strategy. It’s your retirement – or you’re just going to work until you’re in the grave because we don’t have a 401K as entrepreneurs, so when do you want to retire? How much money do you want to make? How much money do you need to make in order to live your lifestyle, and planning that piece versus spending every little thing that comes in the door?
But the other person that I was talking to who also has multiple businesses, and ironically enough, many of these people have the same businesses that I have as well, how do you not manage it? Because he’s still very much a part of all of his businesses as well, and he said, the number one key is to delegate. You truly have to know what it is that only you can do.
This is one of the biggest things that came across in these two people that have been in business for much shorter period of time than the others. They said, you have to be able to delegate. Build up a team and delegate whatever it is that only you can do. Everything else needs to get delegated to someone else.
So, if you are someone that is in a similar boat, that maybe you’re being told to only focus on one thing or you have multiple things going on and you just can’t decide because they all make you happy and they’re all exciting and they’re fun to you and you can’t imagine giving one thing up, I am here to tell you that that is okay.
And it’s very interesting because once I started to truly accept that for myself, all of a sudden I started seeing – like, my eyes were open to all these people around me doing just that. These people that I really look up to – I mean, you look at even big names, Tony Robbins, he has like 16 different businesses, 20, I don’t know, maybe 30 – maybe it’s totally underestimating that. He’s got a lot of different businesses going on and he’s in those offices maybe two times a year, if that.
There’s so many people in many different industries – Ally Love, she’s a Peloton instructor that I absolutely adore. She is phenomenal. She’s a model, she’s a New York Nets broadcaster, she’s a Peloton rider, she has a company called the Love Squad where she holds retreats. She’s doing all of these things. She just has a really clear understanding of what she needs to be doing in each of those areas to move the businesses forward and delegating everything else.
You need to have help. If you don’t have help, we need to get you some help. So, on that note, I want to talk about three reasons, the three biggest reasons why I see people stay stuck at the idea stage and they don’t actually start a business, or you do start it and then you quit right away, or you put something out there, you make the Facebook page and then you say, oh here it is, you don’t have any sales in two weeks, I guess I’m done, let’s move on to the next thing.
So, number one, you think that you need to have a lot of cash to start a successful business. And honestly, in reality, if you have talent and a passion for something, or a skill set, you can start a business with literally a couple of hundred dollars. I started my real estate business with almost no money in the bank, you guys.
I had debt. I was not making a great salary income. I had just bought my first house. I completely did not have a big reserve fund. And reserve fund, often times, is something that kills a business, having the overhead and not being able to survive it. However, if you have an idea, if you have passion, a skill set, and if you have the work ethic and the drive, there is nothing that you cannot do. There is nothing. You just have to believe in yourself.
Beyoncé says, “I’m not a betting girl, but if I had to be on anyone, I would bet on myself.” That’s what she says. If there’s a will, there’s a way. You will find it. It’s not if, it’s not where is my next sale going to come from? It’s not, like, am I going to make it? It’s you know you’re going to make it, you know the answer is yes. Maybe you don’t know exactly where, you can’t pinpoint it, but you know the answer is yes and you’re going to go and get it. You have to have that mindset.
Number two, the second reason that people stay stuck in the idea stage is fear; fear of not having enough time, fear of trying something but failing at it, and not necessarily failing at it for you, but allowing other people to see you fail. It’s the fear of making a fool out of yourself, putting yourself out there and people having opinions around that.
All of these fears are very real. They are very real. We all have them. But honestly, most of the time, what we’re scared of the most is failing others, not necessarily ourselves. At least that’s true for myself. I could fail all day long, but when people see you fail in the public eye or you feel like a failure or you’ve failed your family – that’s the biggest one for me now, like oh my gosh.
Sometimes I get caught up in these thoughts too, like what if I make this investment and it has a really bad effect on my family or my daughter, whatever it may be. We all have these fears. The biggest tool that I can share with you around fear is having compassion for yourself. It’s another thing that I really struggled with because I am very hard on myself and I expect a lot and I also expect a lot from the people that are really close to me.
And so, oftentimes, I can come off as really hardcore or not having that emotional – I’m just hard, you know. Like, if you want to have a goal, that’s great, but you’ve got to work for it type personality. I can have a very hard approach to that at times. But having compassion for yourself and allowing that thought to come up and then turning it around into something else, because all it is, it’s a thought.
I’m really scared about failing at this launch – I understand that you’re really scared about failing at the launch, but what is different? How are you supported? How are you going to make it? How are you proud of yourself? Those are the questions that you need to turn around those thoughts and those fears and keep going and keep believing in yourself. And even if you have a day that you’re all the way at the bottom and you lost – like it was just a shit day, that is okay because you only have up from there, and we’re all going to have those days too.
Now, number three, the third reason is not knowing the exact steps to take. This is probably one of the biggest ones. So you’ve overcome the fear, you’re ready to put yourself out there, you’re ready to take action, now what?
What business model do you choose? What’s the right package to sell? How do you articulate your products and your services? Where do you market them? What social platforms do you use? There’s so many different tools and gadgets and apps and everything. What do you need?
And when you don’t have a step by step system in front of you and you don’t have a mentor giving you feedback, you will not take action, and then you’ll stay stuck. You’ll stay stuck in this idea stage.
So, you’ve got to get crystal clear on what those action steps are. Now, if you are someone that likes pen and paper, like I do, I love to write things down, I think it’s really powerful to write things down too- there are studies around just actually putting it in your own handwriting and seeing it that allow you to really associate with it and take more information in.
So for me, when I get in this phase, I map things out on my whiteboards. I have, like, three massive whiteboards and I map them all out. And then from there, I can scribble it, I can erase it, I can add something more to it, and once I get, like, the bare bones to that, then I can start to put an actual plan in place. I can start doing my quarterly priorities and my monthly priorities and my action steps and who’s executing and what software I’m going to need.
That’s what allows us to get clarity so that we can take action. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t know where to go. But sometimes, we don’t even know where to start to get the actual plan to get it started, right? And this is where I’m going to recommend to you, you need to find someone that has already done what you want to do and you need to figure out how they did it, what resources they had. What programs did they purchase? What coaches or mentors did they work with?
Don’t sit around trying to spin your own wheels recreating something that someone has already created. So if you really look at someone else’s business – look at what other people are doing, whether it’s the same thing that they’re selling or it’s just the space that you want to be in, meet with them. call them, say hey, look, I really admire the work that you’ve done, or I really respect how you’ve taken your business from A to B. I’m curious if you would be open to chatting with me. I’m curious if you would be open to meeting me for coffee.
I did this all the time in real estate and not one time did anyone ever tell me no. People want to talk about themselves. They want to share with you. Maybe, if they’re your competition, they’re likely not going to share with you everything, but they’ll give you some tools. They’ll give you some groundwork to start with.
But what has literally been a game-changer for me is finding people outside of my hometown industries, my competition, finding resources, finding coaches, finding other agents that are playing at a level that I want to someday hopefully get to and figure out what they’re doing. And the interesting fact about this is that it is just incredible and amazing how connected those people are.
You find one person for real estate – like, I’d find one person in one state and then I’d get connected with another person in another state, and I’d get connected like literally all across the country. And guess what, they’re all part of the same program. They’re all friends. It’s just another network because you’re curious and you had the insight and the knowhow to start doing some research and figuring that out for yourself.
That’s’ what I do in any business; find people that you really love and find out what they’re going, what are they investing in? Who did they work with? Because almost always, they have had help, they have had the knowledge, they have wrote the playbook as to where they’re at now. So don’t recreate the wheel. Go out there and find some resources that could be a really great help for you in getting really clear and getting action steps, or find a coach that is really incredible within the space that you’re in so that they can help you; say yes, no, give you the direction and plan if you want to execute it that way.
But what you don’t want to do is just sit and be stuck in this planning phase with no action. You need to take massive action so that you can start seeing some wins in your business. Now, for any of you, a plan is crucial. You have to have a plan.
Those who don’t plan, plan to fail. So if you don’t have a crystal-clear plan, that is where you need to start on things as well. But there’s a whole background of work that you can do just on figuring out what you like to do, how to implement it into your life, how to create both the business and the lifestyle that really make you feel happy and light you up versus just doing work and getting burnt out on that or living a great life and not having the money that you want to have.
So if you feel like you are stuck in one of these phases, thinking that you need to have a lot of money, you don’t. Oftentimes, when you have too much money – I don’t think you can have too much money, I’m just going to throw that one out there. I don’t think you can have too much money.
But, if you have money readily to invest in things, you still don’t see the success that you want – I’m just telling you this because there’s probably plenty of you that are saying, yeah that’s so great, if I had $500, $1000, $10,000 then my problems would be solved and I’d have a successful business. You would not. I’m telling you, I’ve started a business with zero money and I’ve started a business with a lot of money to invest, and I’ve had to go through the exact same things with both of them, only I invested a lot less in one of them than I have the other one. So money doesn’t just solve everything and you don’t need a lot of cash to get a business started, to get an idea started to take action.
Number two, if you’re stuck in fear, this place of fear, find a network. Find people that can lift you up. Find people that are doing the work with you and just know that everybody has the same fears. We all have the same insecurities. And oftentimes, the people that judge us the most, the people that have the biggest opinions, are the ones that are sitting on the sidelines just waiting. They’re just scrolling through Facebook because they have an extra five hours a day to scroll through Facebook and say, ha watch this person.
You are here to prove those people wrong, so bust past those fears and let them say what they want to say, but it’s your life and it’s time to step up in your life and create a life that you truly love and that you deserve. And if you feel like – and or, I guess, you could have all of these fears, you could have one or the other, but this is where people get held back.
If you don’t have a plan, you will fail to succeed in your business. You have to have a crystal-clear plan with action steps, with key metrics, with what needs to get done, who it’s getting done by, and by when. Everything needs a timeline.
So, if you don’t have a clearly executed plan, then maybe start there. Reach out to people that have done it already and ask them to share with you some of the things that they learned along their way or where you’re at now and how they can help moving forward, or find yourself a coach.
If you don’t feel like you have the support that you need right now, always feel free to reach out to me. I am more than happy to pay it forward. I have learned so many lessons in my own world and I am happy to share those lessons with you. In addition, if you haven’t been on our ride over the last few weeks, we have a new academy that opened up that is such an incredible price point. It’s $297 for a six-week course with all of these action steps step by step.
So especially if you’re number three, if you don’t know the exact steps on where to start, this is an incredible program for you that will literally take you step by step into creating income within your business, and it’s also a lifetime program. So if you haven’t checked that out, feel free to check it out. We’ll have a link in the show notes and you can also email me or shoot me a note if you have any questions as well.
So I hope you all have a really, really great week. I hope you got some value out of this week’s episode and just know that you are not alone. As I always say, you’re not alone. We are all here just doing the work and we need to be able to support each other and share from our own lessons in life and grow together as well. So, remember to lift each other up along your way as well. So, thank you so much for tuning in. I will see you guys all next week.
Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of the Love Your Living podcast. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love or simply take your already-pretty incredible life to the next level, head on over to loveyourlivingonline.com or simply check out the link in this week’s episode of show notes to instantly download my 6-Figure & Beyond Business Blueprint. You’re going to absolutely love it.