Badass Is The New Black (Season 3) Episode #25 Scale Your Business To 6 Figures While Still Working Your 9-5 Day Job With Amanda SmithMar 14, 2022
Are you working a full-time job? Do you like what you're doing? Do you have a hobby that you enjoy? Do you want to transition that into your livelihood? Then you've come to the right place! Learn how to scale to six figures while still working in your 9 to 5 day job with Amanda Smith, the founder of the Dallas Girl Gang. Before she founded the company, she was working as an elementary school teacher—going into work at seven and leaving at four, almost a full day of work. How did Amanda run her own business while doing this? Join your host, Krissy Chin, to find out how because maybe you can do it too.
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Scale Your Business To 6 Figures While Still Working Your 9-5 Day Job With Amanda Smith
Scaling To Six Figures With A Full-time Job
If you are trying to build your business or grow your business or scale your business while still working a day job, then this episode is for you. I'm chatting with my friend, Amanda, all about how she scaled to a six-figure business while working a full-time job. If you struggle with feeling overwhelmed with everything to do and often freeze up because you don't know what to do next or how to fit it all in, then stick around. We have the answers for you.
Let's welcome, Amanda Smith, to the show. She is a Business Coach and CEO of Dallas Girl Gang, a 50,000-people global community of engaged women connecting in career, business and life. Amanda is an expert in connecting, marketing, pitching business and cultivating community. Amanda, welcome. I'm so excited that you are here to chat on the show.
Thanks for having me. I was so excited. We are going to get into some good stuff. Hopefully, this helps your community.
Fifty thousand people in your community, I like to think that is crazy, but then I have a group that grew to 40,000 in a matter of five weeks doing a summit-style thing. I know it can happen. I see groups out there. We are going to dive in and I'm going to ask probably some questions about that like how you got there because I'm sure people are wondering. Let's dive in with your background here a little bit of your story. I know we have similar backgrounds with some network marketing experience and then diving into coaching. I know a little bit, but let's share with the audience so they can get an idea of where you are coming from.
Entrepreneurs are a breed of their own. They have the innate drive, resiliency, and internal desire to start a business.
I'm in Dallas, Texas. I was a teacher for seven years. I taught elementary music. I love kids, but I hated the education profession. A couple of years into my career, I started doing network marketing, selling Rodan & Fields. I love the team building aspect. I did pretty well. We moved back to Texas. We had lived in Arkansas for a couple of years. It's where my husband is from. We moved back here in the end of 2016. As I started to try to network and find new friends, groups of people to network for my business, I found there wasn't a community for everybody to land. I was like, “What can I do?” I started a Facebook group. It's very common. I filled this need. That was super in a selfish way for myself, but it caught like wildfire because people were hungry for it. They too couldn't find a place where they felt like they belonged. There were a lot of things that were, “This is for real estate agents. This is for people in the wedding industry or the beauty industry or corporate career people.” I wanted to create something where everybody had a seat at the table.
It’s the same for me, caught on wildfire because I found a need. It was something that I wanted. What I heard you say and recognize you saying is that you were looking for this space and it wasn't there. You were like, “Why don't I create it?” That oftentimes how it happens when people are like, “What could I do a group on that could grow to a ridiculous amount of people?” Is there something that you are looking for out there that is not there that you can fill that void in the marketplace, or can you build community in that space in a way that someone isn't doing out there? Reflecting and looking at what you are looking for because if you are looking for it, most likely there are other people out there.
You can try to make up something, people are like, “What could I do that get so big?” If that is your thought process, it's probably not going to work because you are forcing something and you are trying to think of a cool idea or something that is going to catch on or trendy. That is not sustainable and it's not coming from an authentic place. I get that question all the time too. It's like, “What do I do?” I'm like, “You have to do this from a genuine place.” If you are thinking about money and numbers, maybe you sit with yourself and think through why you are thinking that first and then figure something else out.
Did you think when you started it that you were going to like, “I'm going to turn this into a business?”
I started the Facebook group and people are like, “What was your business plan? What was this and that?” I was like, “I didn't know a business plan. I started a Facebook group.” I knew how to put events together, so I did that. I kept asking people what they needed and wanted. Eventually, I realized it was way simpler. I realized, “I should be compensated for my time. We need to start charging for event tickets.” Everything used to be free in the early days. It was a natural evolution of how it happened. I did not.
It’s the same for me. The Facebook group that I created, Essential Oils for Professionals, ended up bringing people into GROworkspace. GROworkspace was not even a thought in my mind in terms of business to offer when I started that Facebook group. Similar to you, I wanted that community and that educational space for my own network marketing business. I was like, “There is a need for this. I want this for my people and me, so I'm going to rally the troops and create it for free and have this free resource for people.” It turned into something way more exceptional than I ever thought it could be. You let the doors open and them was like, “I have this community and group that I can leverage, not in a bad way, but to promote my new business.” It worked. Unfortunately for some people, there is no magic answer in one and shoot it. It has to happen organically.
I love that word genuine and coming from this place of service and filling a need and void and making sure it's something that you truly want and desire because then it will naturally turn into something. The topic that we are going to talk about is scaling to six figures with a full-time job. It's something that we haven't talked about specifically on the show. I'm excited we are going to talk about it. You were a teacher when you were doing network marketing and then were you still a teacher when you started charging for these events and launch this business?
We lived in Arkansas for the first year or two of our marriage. After we got married, that was when I started direct sales. I did that for a year and a half, and then we moved here back to Texas. I kept doing it. Simultaneously in 2017, I started Dallas Girl Gang. I started the Facebook group and then we started hosting events, but I was still doing Rodan & Fields on the side. In my brain, it was still like, “That is my business and then this is my passion project, having a community of girls.” Once the Girl Gang in direct sales did this, I was like, “This is taking more time.” At the time, it started to fulfill me more. I knew I was going to be able to reach more people. Our Facebook group, podcast, a lot of our events in the early days, free. I loved my network marketing business, but I wanted to do things on a bigger scale. This is the way I saw I could do that. The cool thing was my network marketing business helped fund the first days of Girl Gang, because putting on events cost money like renting a space, getting decorations, flowers, food. We always work with sponsors. In the early days, we didn't have recognition to get sponsors because they didn't know us. Several years later, we can usually get all the food and all the drinks and probably the location sponsored for free because we are helping them market this brand to our people.
That is not how it was several years ago. I did not leave my teaching job until I scaled to six figures and until 2020. I taught simultaneously while running Dallas Girl Gang from 2017 to 2020, 2019 was the biggest growth year ever. That is when we saw this explosion of traffic and demand. It was because we kept gaining this exponential momentum. We started getting recognized locally and press. We had started our podcast. That was the second year of our conference. We brought Jaclyn Johnson, the CEO of Create and Cultivate. She was our keynote that year. We saw this huge growth. In that year alone, we did 40 in-person events, which is a lot.
Burnout happens when you don't prioritize self-care.
I highly don't recommend it. It was way too much. I was teaching at the same time. You get the summers off, but like two months. I did all of that for the better part of three years. Towards the end, I was like, “I can't do this anymore. Two jobs, can't do it.” My husband and I decided, I'm glad we did because of COVID, we decided I'm going to stick it out until this date because we were saving for a house. We wanted to be financially super smart. Some people will be like, “You replaced your teacher's salary. Get out of there.” When you are running a business, you need more because you have to pay for your own insurance and do all this other stuff. I am glad that I did what I did. I waited as long as I did. I never encouraged my clients or anybody to be like, “Quit your job. It will work out.” That is my journey. It was not easy.
My next loaded question is how did you do it?
Everybody asks that question. Sometimes, I don't know how. Some of the times, I had strategy executing. Entrepreneurs, we're a breed of our own. When people are out to start a business, build a brand, we're not like other people. Your resiliency builds up, I believe, but you have this internal desire to make that impact or spread the word about X, Y, Z. That's where my drive came from. People's lives have been changed through the community that we've built. People coming here moving to this city being 100% lonely, didn't move with anybody, they're from a different state or country, they don't know anyone and then they come into our community, they meet their best friends, their brunch group, their hiking group, their yoga class and workout buddies, their lives are changed. They would not have found those people had it not been for our community. That is the kind of stuff that kept me going. Teachers, we get up super early. School starts for elementary 7:30, so you got to be there at 7:00 unless you are a late teacher. I was never a late teacher because I never wanted to be, later, get in trouble. Getting up at 6:00, going to work, working with kindergarten through sixth graders until 3:00 PM, working until 4:00 PM, and then if we had an event that night, forget it. I was going to be shot the next day. We were going to watch a movie or do a worksheet. Your energy gets drained. Two huge things that I would say helped me were, one, mistakes that I made, being workaholic, working too much. Once we start started to see growth and get recognized or whatever you want to say, that was exciting to me. I wanted more, so I would do more. I would go to networking things. I would go and try to make all these high-level contacts and connections. I'm wanting people to know my name. I had to come to Jesus’ moments and conversations with my husband because the first one didn't take. He was like, “I miss you. What are you doing?” He saw that I was creating something fun. He was like, “This is so cool. You're doing fun things.” This is one of my things I always tell people, I had never taken the time to tell him my vision, everything that was in my head.
My goal is what I was trying to accomplish and where I saw this thing going. Had I approached it when I was having those thoughts and feelings with him in the moment, he probably would have understood and I would have balanced my life better, but 2019 took a toll on me. I did not prioritize self-care, my health, my wellness as a human. I found myself in a state of burnout. My body is still recovering from that. Not to mention as a teacher and the school that I was at, it was highly stressful. Your adrenaline levels were going like this all day long.
It was a constant every hour of the day was shifting your priorities. That is my biggest tip that I share with people, is it is a constant shifting of priorities. There is no such thing as, “Here is how I'm going to balance everything out. I'm going to do this in this bucket and this.” Tomorrow you may have to shift it all around. I don't even have kids, not yet. I can't imagine what that looks like putting that into the mix. I micromanage my time, breaks that I had during the day at lunch. What I learned is to take your lunch break, eat your food, go to the bathroom. It's the only time we get to go as a teacher during the day. Let your brain do nothing.
Even when I wanted to push and keep going, I had to learn how to force myself to slow down and take my time because the growth was there. It was not going to go anywhere. I always thought like, “Someone's going to get there first. This is going to expire. This is going to go away.” I kept feeling like I had to chase it. Micromanaging my time, putting things on my calendar, living and breathing by my Google Calendar, setting boundaries for myself in my time, knowing when I am going to eat, when am I going to sleep and rest, I'm not working on Sundays, I'm not working on the weekend. It's a constant shifting of priorities. If you have a partner or a spouse or whoever, communicate that vision to them and have open conversations that are not a shock to the other person that you are doing other stuff.
That is a great recommendation because we can get lost in it. We were here doing this because we're passionate. That's what entrepreneurs are. We would do this stuff like you were doing without even getting paid in the beginning and then you get smart, you figure out, “How can I monetize this? This is shifting up. It's taking up all of my time. I need to be compensated.” That is such great advice because no one wants to lose their relationship because they started a business. You want the best of all the things. That is super important.
I have the benefit of my husband. He is not a full-time entrepreneur, but he has done some entrepreneurial things like bought a city bus, turned it into a party bus, had a big vision for it. It never panned out. It's still sitting in Chicago. Everyone's like, “You need to bring that bus down here to Atlanta” Maybe you should send it to you guys. You could use it. He gets it probably more so than most, but that is such valuable advice to share your vision with your other person, so they don't have to look at you like you are crazy. You have two heads, like, “What are you doing? Why is that getting way more attention than me?”
“Why is it so important to spend time doing this thing that makes no sense to me?” The biggest thing that stands out in my mind is going to networking events. It was like, “Haven't you gone to a ton of them?” Every one of them is different. They all have different people. Building businesses is about relationships. If I don't have a relationship with people that I might need down the road, then I'm going to be up a creek. That was the biggest thing that I didn't share for a long time. He even started going to some with me. We are fine, not all the time.
Building businesses is about building relationships.
The other thing that you touched up more of like, “Don't do what I did in the beginning.” Which is set yourself up for burnout because that is real, it happens and it's more than just, “I'm tired.” It's mentally draining, physically draining. I have heard stories of people like, “Literally, I couldn't get out of bed.”
That is emotionally exhausting.
I like those little tips of being mindful, using your calendar, giving yourself that space to eat. Sit down and eat and be mindful of the food that's nourishing your body and take the time to go to the bathroom, the little things that you don't think about, but taking time for that personal care. I like to always tell my clients like, “Give yourself grace.” I give myself grace for some things, but then there is that fine line of giving yourself too much grace like you let every little thing. This is going to give myself some grace and not going to do it. What is your advice for someone out there that is trying to take on this, “I'm trying to give myself grace and not push so I don't get burnt out?” Still pushing yourself enough to get things done. If you have goals and you are working a full-time job, you are busy. If you are raising a family, you're busy and you have to find time to spend time in your business to build your business. What is your advice for someone that's in that scenario?
The best thing I did do early on was getting help. I'm not talking about like hire an assistant for $3,000 a month. You don't have that money at the beginning. I found a couple of college interns that were in their senior year. They were graduating. They want an experience. I did not have to pay them. That may work out for you. It may not. Even if you can find someone to help you do the tasks that you either, A, always procrastinate because you don't want to do them or, B, the stuff that maybe you're holding on to that maybe you're being a perfectionist about, but someone else can do that. One of those things could be your social media, creating your posts or your images. If you taught someone how you like to do things and you gave them your brand, guidelines of colors and fonts and you told them what you wanted every month, they could probably do it. You can give them feedback.
The best thing I did early on was finding help. I would highly recommend that to people with kids as well. I went through this with a client who is in my Passion To Profit Accelerator Program. She had a baby the week that we started and now she has four kids total. They're all under the age of five. I am like, “She's superwoman.” We talked about like, “Do you want to get a babysitter?” She was like, “We're getting a babysitter.” Her husband doesn't work on Mondays. She gets the kids on Monday so she can work. We got to go through like, “What do you want your time to look like? How can you get help?” Everybody says using the SMART acronym, is it measurable, all those things, setting goals in general and checking in with yourself as you are going. If you see yourself, you are procrastinating as one thing and you are giving yourself too much grace, why are you doing that? Why are you feeling resistant to it? Is it because you are scared or is it because it stresses you out too much or are people going to probably say no like you've already written this narrative in your head of what is going to happen? If that is the case, you need to stop yourself and sit with it and figure out how you can move forward. The other way I explain it to clients sometimes is, “If you are in this pattern of maybe giving yourself too much grace or making excuses, if you stay this same way as you are right now, doing the same things you are doing in every aspect of your life, where are you going to be in five years? Are you going to be where you wanted to be with what you told me you wanted to be in five years?” We go through that. I’m like, “What do you want to do in the next 3 months, 2, 5 years?” We vision and cast. If they are like, “I am not going to be anywhere near where I want to be in five years if I keep doing what I'm doing right now.” If you don't apply that principle to anything like health and wellness, mental health, working out, but those are usually things that can jolt your brain into, “How do I need to re-approach this?”
I covered so much of that stuff when I was working with a high-performance coach like looking at different things like what do you want your family life to be? What is holding you back? Where are these roadblocks? Where do you want them to go? What is being put in place or what is happening now, how can we be more intentional to get those things? I love that you do this vision casting down the road, 5, 10 years. I do the same thing because also all about, “Let's create and design the life that we want to be living.” It does take work to set up your business and start it in the beginning. That can be challenging when you have a full-time job, when you are raising a family and you are starting to set up this new thing. Let's be intentional about where we want to go in the future so that we're setting it up the right way to get there. We have talked about time. What about prioritizing? Do you have any tips for prioritizing?
One thing that has helped a lot with this too is using a platform called ClickUp. I don't know if you use ClickUp or anything, but we use this for our team. I use it in my personal brand. It’s growing everything. You literally create task boards and lists for yourself in different projects. You can put what kind of priority does it have. Once you are forced to do that, you can see, “Creating these graphics on Canva is not a high priority. I need to be doing my follow-ups with potential leads or booking sales calls with people. That is the high-priority stuff.” That helps put it in perspective too. Seeing what is time sensitive, what is coming up that has a due date to it, do you need to get back to someone? Is there an invoice due?Maybe you are a graphic designer or a website designer, is your client’s project supposed to be done June 2nd? It's easy to try to do all of the things every day. I recommend you map out what your days look like. For me, Tuesdays and Fridays are Dallas Girl Gang focus days, or I will take podcast interviews or calls. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, are focused on my personal, my coaching brand. I know in my Calendly link, my calendar scheduler on Tuesday, Friday, those are the only slots open for podcast interviews or any Dallas Girl Gang potential brand partnership calls.
On those other days, that's when I do personal brand stuff. You don't have to do it all every day. More on actual priorities, what is timely. What is going to move the needle? You have to identify what that is for yourself. What is going to move the needle as far as building your brand, revenue, visibility, exposure? What are the other things that either need to get done or you want to get done, or it's a project that you are working on that you get to determine the due date of that? Those can be secondary or tertiary priorities. That was usually how I approach it.
If something has a deadline, it probably needs to get prioritized sooner. You didn’t say this, but I was thinking of the 80/80 rule, 80% of your business focusing on the things that are going to bring in 80% of your revenue. Focusing maybe prioritizing that aspect. Don't spend a ton of time on something that doesn't bring in that many new people for you. I wrote down ROI. When you were mentioning moving the needle, what is going to return on your investment doesn't just mean monetary, like what is that return. Thinking about, “Out of these five tasks, which one is going to get me the biggest results for what I'm looking for right now?”
If you're watching a program and you need more people, more leads, what of these five things is going to give me the most return on the time that I'm going to spend on that. That is going to be my priority. One of the girls on our team that does work for me. I will come up with these ideas and be like, “I want this created.” She will be like, “Where does it live in the priority list? We are doing this and this. Is that at the bottom of the list?” I have to think like, “What is the return on that? Is this going to be way better if we bump this to the list? How much time is it going to take? How much is it going to push back that other project we are working on? Is that smart for business or is it not?” Sometimes I have to be like, “Finish up that first project, but then do it before this project.” When you are working a full-time job, when you are raising a family, when you are starting a business, priorities are key because you don't have all day every day to do the things.
I can look at my white board and I know all of my Q2 goals. Weekly, when I'm sitting down and planning my week and I write out things I need to get done or whatever, I'm like, “Do these align with my Q2 goals as well. If so, then also, what are their priorities?” If my Q2 goal is X amount of sales or something and none of my tasks are focused on sales, there needs to be a change. Revisiting your goals and seeing if you're still tracking what you told yourself you wanted to do.
Like if you are launching your business and you set up a website, you have limited time and space. Make sure that what you are focusing on is getting copywritten for the website. It’s getting it up and going and running. I love that, setting goals, but then making sure what you are doing some people may know them as Key Performance Indicators, KPIs, to make sure that everything that you are focusing on is leading back to being able to achieve that goal by the time you said. I love that you mentioned Calendly. You use Calendly. I use Acuity Scheduling. That is a calendar platform. We have talked about it before. I live and breathe by my calendar. I can't believe I waited so long. I set up my Acuity. It was when I was revamping my show system because I was like, “This is not working.” All over the place, trying to figure out a booking for the show. I was like, “I need a calendar to send someone to.” Like you, I only have three days and certain hours that I open up for meetings, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, between certain hours.
Setting priorities is key to starting your own business.
That is the only time anyone can book a meeting with me, a discovery call with me, my show. I always leave Fridays and Mondays open because who knows? We might want to do a long weekend. I do use my calendar. When you are busy or you have other priorities with things, having those little slots dedicated, Tuesdays, no kids have sports or swimming class. I have this extra time. That is going to be open and dedicated to website development or creating my course. You have to put it on the calendar or you are going to get overwhelmed. You are going to get lost. Things take way longer. How many times have you done something and you are like, “That should take me a week?”
It's still on my to-do list four weeks later.
Things naturally take longer than you expect. You can go ahead and double that time, whatever you think that could be. Those are great tips, priorities calendar. Any other little last nuggets you have got a great free gift that I'm going to let you share with everyone?
Entrepreneurship is lonely too. Maybe you can't find an intern or afford to pay someone to do something for your business yet, you will get there, but have some people in your corner. You can go to that Facebook group, that group text, or maybe you start a group chat on Instagram and you are venting to each other or asking questions or a space that you can go. This is why we developed our membership. Our community is free, but for those who are building a business, we have our membership. That is the space where you can go and be vulnerable and lean on each other in a true meeting of the minds approach. You will go crazy trying to keep doing this by yourself. I'm not saying get you a business partner that you go into business with but find some people to connect with on a weekly basis. Get out of your head a little more. Especially if you are single, living alone, you can get in your own little world and far removed from society. Find your people.
If you are working full-time job or another job, likely the people at that job, you are not going to be talking to them. They don't get it. They are not an entrepreneur. Find yourself an entrepreneurial group. There are millions of Facebook groups. There are membership sites. There are all kinds of things. Go connect with a community. Tell us about this free gift. Tell us what it is, why they need it.
I created a free three-day workshop that is sent to you through email. You can do it all in one day or you can do it day 1, 2, 3. It's me teaching you on video through tangible tips in ten minutes or less on building a scalable and profitable business. There is so much misconception around sales and pricing your services and all of these things that you're still wondering as you are trying to get your business off the ground, especially if you are in a full-time job as well. This is a free three-day workshop that I put together that is available to everybody.
I have enjoyed chatting, picking your brain and bouncing different ideas off each other. You guys need to go connect with Amanda. I know she has some exciting things that are going to be happening. Get on her email list, sign up for that workshop. Where are you hanging out? Where's the party? Instagram, Facebook?
I love Instagram and Clubhouse. That is where you and I connected.
My first time on Clubhouse, I was so scared and nervous. I had Melissa Litchfield on the show as well. That is how we connected because I ended up raising my hand. I remember it very vividly and sharing some thoughts that I had with my business. It was you that gave me the tip. You were like, “A little tip for you, go connect your Instagram to your Clubhouse profile.” I’m like, “Thanks. Newbie here.” You offer some value to me. That made me trust you a little bit more. You were like, “Let's connect after this.” You have more backgrounds. I have a new friend. Find someone else like an entrepreneur to bounce ideas off of or share the love.
I love Instagram and Clubhouse. I love my email lists. A lot of people are like, “I haven't even had an email list. I haven’t sent something to my emails in a long time.” Don't sleep on it. It is awesome. I love writing love letters to my friends or to people in my community. It's a much more intimate way to get to know me and build a relationship with me. I love my email list too.
@AmandasInDallas is her Instagram. You guys connect with Amanda. This has been amazing.
Thank you so much for having me.
For all of you out there that are super busy, doing and living life but are trying to design the life that you love, a business that you are excited to wake up for, remember, take imperfect steps every single day. A little action every day so that you can reach your goals.
- Dallas Girl Gang
- Facebook - Dallas Girl Gang
- Passion To Profit Accelerator Program
- Acuity Scheduling
- Melissa Litchfield - Previous episode
- @AmandasInDallas - Instagram
About Amanda Smith
Amanda Smith is an educator by trade turned CEO of her own company, To Gather LLC. Amanda is an expert in connecting, marketing, pitching business, and cultivating community.
After a huge life shift in 2017 and a move to Dallas, Amanda was seeking a community for women that was inclusive and offered resources for career, life, and business- anc came up empty. So, she created one herself and called it “Dallas Girl Gang.” Today, DGG has an audience of over 45,000 women across the country.
Now Amanda is bringing “You Can Sit With Us ™” to life across the country and coaching women who are building new businesses. She is passionate about bringing women together into a meaningful community and lifting one another up.
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