The Hell Yes Entrepreneur with Becca Pike | The Secrets of a Multi-Million Dollar Exit with Sarah BoesToday, we are talking about insane results. This is what happens when you take extremely hard work and compound it with a mentor, a direction, a process, and a hell of a lot of courage. I’m interviewing my client Sarah Michelle Boes on this week’s show, and she’s a different kind of story.

Sarah came to me as a Nurse Practitioner about to go through her board exams. She started making study guide material for her classmates, all for free. This created phenomenal demand from her class, then word got out to other classes and other schools and she started charging for what she was producing. That’s when she realized she’d accidentally started a business, and she needed a plan.

Fast forward to today and Sarah is living the dream after her brand was bought out for millions of dollars. Tune in this week to hear how we made all of this happen. Sarah is sharing what her life looked like before starting her business, working two jobs just trying to keep up with her student loans, how she grew demand to a point where she was overwhelmed, and how we got everything in place to sustain the success she was experiencing.

 

My Thirty More Mastermind is now enrolling. This is the highest-quality scaling mastermind on the market, and the deadline for applications is only two days away: May 5th, 2023. Don’t miss out. If you’ve brought $50,000 or more in topline revenue into your business in the past 12 months, click here to apply.

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What Sarah started achieving as a result of the coaching she received, both one-on-one and in Thirty More.
  • Why the success Sarah has achieved is something she never thought was possible.
  • How running a successful business has transformed Sarah’s sense of self-confidence.
  • How demand grew and kept growing for Sarah’s study materials.
  • How it took Sarah to earn $1 million before she gave up her job as a Nurse Practitioner.
  • The story of how Sarah sold her business for millions of dollars.
  • Sarah’s advice for anyone considering joining Thirty More.

 

Listen to the Full Episode:

 

Featured on the Show:

  • If you are ready to create your first six-figure year, your next business investment needs to be Three More. Three More is where you’ll get access to our video vault of everything I did to create a highly successful brick-and-mortar company, as well as a booming online company. It’s not luck. It’s a process. And you can have it by clicking here.
  • If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Hell Yes Entrepreneur Podcast.
  • Sarah Michelle Boes: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Podcast

 

Full Episode Transcript:

Download Transcript 1

Hey guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, let’s chat. We are officially two days away from the deadline of the Thirty More Mastermind application window. If you are ready to scale your business, do not wait. The success stories and the results that we’re seeing coming out of this mastermind are unlike any other mastermind that I have seen. I know it can feel like a big leap. I know it can feel scary, but this is the shit that we are talking about when successful people say do the scary thing or take the leap of faith.

If you, yes you, have been wanting to come into my world and you make $50,000 a year or more and you’re ready to scale, you are ready to grow this business, you are ready to work less, you are ready to bring people on, you are ready to make this business bigger than just you, I invite you to apply. You have absolutely no idea how beautiful your business could look six months from now.

As Linsey said, “My only regret about this mastermind is that I waited so long to do it.” She didn’t even wait that long. I think she waited six months. Don’t do it. Don’t wait. Apply before midnight on Cinco de Mayo. See you soon. 

Oh my gosh you guys. Today is an episode. Today is a fucking episode. Listen to me. Today we are not talking about staying small. We are not talking about being realistic. We are not talking about what could happen if you just put a foot forward and do some work and try your best. We are talking about insane fucking results. What happens when you compound extremely hard work with a mentor, with a direction, with a process, with a lot of help and a hell of a lot of courage. 

This is an episode I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. This is with my student and now very good friend Sarah. You guys, she is a different kind of story, okay? She came to me about 18 months ago, and she had this business. She was a nurse practitioner going through school, and she was about to take her board exams. She started making quiz material and study guide material for her classmates.

She was just going to do it just for the people that were surrounding her and in her school, in her class. All of a sudden, all these people started wanting her materials because it was really good. Then people that she didn’t know started wanting her materials. Then people from other schools started wanting her materials. Guys, I’m talking about quiz material on a Google Doc that she created. 

Then she started selling them for like $25 a pop. Then she made a Facebook community where she started doing these like little quiz times and classes. Then all of a sudden, she had hundreds of people in this Facebook group. Then thousands of people. Then all of these people were buying her quiz material.

You all, she contacted me about 18 months ago, and she was like, “I accidentally started this business. I’m in way over my head. I am working around the clock constantly. I’m taking manual payments from everyone. I don’t have a website.”

At this point, the business had only been open for a very short amount of time, but she had heard about me. She contacted me, and she was like, “I need help. I am drowning. I can’t go anywhere else from here.” So she hired me on as her one on one coach for a year, and then she came into Thirty More for six months. We worked together for 18 months.

Guys, in that 18 months we not only cleaned up her business, we started seeing months of $100,000; $200,000; $500,000; $600,000 months. Guys, it kept growing and growing and growing. 18 months after she started working with me, she sold her company for dozens and dozens and dozens of millions of dollars to a corporation that bought her out just in time for her to have her first baby before the age of 30. 

Guys, this is a story unlike any other story that I’ve had on this podcast. This represents what is actually possible in this world. You guys, I cannot tell you enough how excited I am to have one of my very closest friends on. We have been through so much together. I can’t wait to hear how this goes down. I’m recording this intro before I talk to her, but I have a feeling that we’re going to go down some pretty hardcore memory lane. There is so much juiciness to get out of this. Listen in. 

This is episode 103. I am your host Becca Pike, and it is time for your weekly dose of Hell Yes Coaching. Let’s go. 

Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.

Becca Pike: Hello Sarah. How are you?

Sarah Bose: Hello Becca Pike.

Becca: I’m so glad you’re here.

Sarah: I know. I’m like I just saw you.

Becca: I know. You were just drinking wine with me at my dinner table with your sweet baby.

Sarah: With all of your children surrounding my baby.

Becca: I know. Did you love that? I feel like you did because it was so cute.

Sarah: Oh my God. Me and Ben, we literally were just like that was the sweetest thing we’ve ever seen. Just your four children surrounding Meadow as if she’s a circus animal. They’re all like ooh, what can we push? What can we do to make the baby laugh? 

Becca: Ever since you left, they’ve been asking me to have another baby. I’m not sad about it. I kind of want another baby, but no. We’re not doing that.

Sarah: Yeah, Mark’s like you can do that by yourself.

Becca: I know. That’s what he tells me. He’s like you can have a baby by yourself. He’s like I’ll supply the sperm, but you’re raising it wholeheartedly alone. I’m like gosh. So mean. It’s just a fifth kid. I’m not asking that much. 

Sarah: It’s casual. It’s fine.

Becca: Oh my gosh. Okay. So before this podcast episode started, I had done an intro already kind of describing you who are, what you do. So my audience is already a little bit up to do at how insane your story is. So now I want to go on a timeline and just kind of talk about where you were before the business started, when the business did start, some of the hoops you had to jump through.

We went through a lot together. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like you are so much better at remembering all of the details than I am. Maybe because you were in the thick of it, and you were growing one business. At the time, I was helping 20 people grow 20 businesses, but the details seem to leave me. But the overall picture, obviously, doesn’t. 

This is one of the most insane accounts I’ve ever worked on. It has been the most inspiring story to ever watch, and I just want my audience to really hear how crazy this is and how fun and exciting and what’s possible in business. Sounds good? 

Sarah: Yeah. 1,000% breaking what’s possible, even from my own brain. I feel like over and over and over again as we worked together I just like broke what was possible. I’m like oh, could I do that? I’m like I could sell my company. I could do this. Then to watch myself live it out, I almost don’t believe it’s me sometimes. I’m like did I really do that?

Becca: You’re so different now. Obviously, we can get to all of this, but when I met you, you were so timid you couldn’t get on video. You couldn’t get on a microphone. There was no just popping up on your Instagram stories and chatting with your audience. That was absolutely unavailable to you. Now, you are so comfortable. You are all over the place. I mean first of all, what changed there? What do you think happened there? 

Sarah: I think I grew so much confidence in myself from running a successful business. I think before that I was always just like teetering on the edge and trying to find my confidence. I think as a young new nurse who’s consistently trying to prove themselves again and again and again, I deserve to be in this role. I’ve had a lot of issues in the past where when I was a student, I was almost thrown out of nursing school. 

So I think when I started as a nurse, my confidence was already way low. Then I was trying to overprove myself all the time. In the business, I’m like wow. Look at all the things that I can do. Look at what I’m capable of. By seeing what I was capable of, my confidence just went up. It’s not perfect, by any means, but I was on Instagram earlier talking about how I have OCD and all of these different things. Three years ago if you asked me to do that, I probably would have hid for a week and not come back out. 

Becca: I tell people all the time confidence is only doing the scary thing and not dying. That’s what breeds confidence is getting on Instagram live for the first or admitting that you have OCD or PTSD or whatever it is and not dying. Or doing your first webinar and not dying. That’s the only way to breed confidence. Otherwise not doing the thing, you don’t know that you’re going to be okay at the other end.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s basically OCD therapy. It’s just facing your fears head on, and then you’re like oh, wait. I survived that. I’m okay with that. I could do this again. I mean it’s not my preference. I don’t want to do it, but I can do it.

Becca: Yeah. People are like why are you so confident? I’m like I’ve just eaten a lot of shit. I have fallen on my face a lot.

Sarah: I’ve just lived it. It’s fine.

Becca: Yeah. I’ve just kept being okay afterwards. So take me back to what life was like for you and for your husband and for your family. What was life like the six months before you started your business?

Sarah: A totally different life that I very much remember in excruciating details. So in the six months before I started my business, I got married. I moved across the state. I was commuting two hours to work. I was doing full time school and working two full time jobs. So literally I was somewhere seven days a week all the time. I was so busy. I was so overwhelmed.

I’m just like people always say if I can get here, it’s going to be better. I’m like if I could just graduate nurse practitioner school, it’s got to be better because at least my schedule is going to open up a little bit. We were just running to the races all the time. Me and my husband had so little time together because I was commuting, because I was working so much. He was working so much. We were both wracked with not only student loan debt but also just the debt of getting married, buying our first house, just all of those season life items we were just trying to keep up.

I remember when we bought our house, my husband was so nervous. For anyone that knows my husband in real life, and Becca you can attest to this, he is like so easy going, so go with the flow. He was like, “This $1,200 mortgage makes me really nervous.” For perspective, my student loan payment at the time was $1,500 from nursing school and all the other degrees I had gotten. So everything was just chaotic. 

There was not a lot of flexibility. There was zero spontaneity of any kind. I mean to the point that when we went on our honeymoon, my Papaw, he had given us two grand to go on our honeymoon, which was a really, really big deal. I spent three of those days studying because I had to come back and take a midterm. Just totally different lifestyle.

I kept saying if I can just get to the next point, if I can get to the next point things are going to be better. I mean, I didn’t think it was going to get better in this way, but it was a lot being somewhere seven days a week all the time and being that committed.

Becca: So Ben was working full time, and he was a truck driver. Is that right?

Sarah: He was doing – 

Becca: So he was away a lot. 

Sarah: Well, so, he did a year over the road where he was just gone all the time. Then in the six months leading up to starting the business, he was driving a concrete truck which means sometime you go to work at 2:00 a.m., sometimes you go to work at 10:00 a.m. It could be 2:00 p.m. It was just that schedule was very chaotic in itself, and I hated it.

Becca: So you were in school full time. You were working two jobs. What was your day like? When did it start and when did it end?

Sarah: Well, if I was commuting to Lexington, it started at 3:30/4:00 in the morning so I could get to work on time. Then I would work seven to seven. I always got there earlier though because that’s just me as a person. I would work seven to seven then commute home, next day do it all over again. So that really sucked.

Then if I was teaching, that was more local, but it would still be another seven to seven shift, just somewhere else. Then when I was doing my clinicals for school, that was more typical nine to five, but I mean that’s still the whole day.

Becca: Yeah, absolutely. What kind of money were you making at this point? You were just lower middle class Americans, right?

Sarah: Lower middle class, by far. I remember when we made our first $100K what a big deal that was for us because we hadn’t broken $100K together yet. We were like working towards that goal. I was making 50 grand as a nurse, and that was before taxes. So you can imagine what was left after that. I mean you don’t get paid to go to school. You pay money to do that. 

My teaching job at the time was just a little adjunct job. So I wasn’t really making a whole lot there. But my goal with that job was I could kind of grow into, teach more in the future. So it was a side gig more than anything else. 

Becca: Okay. Yeah, okay. So let’s fast forward to just to the month, the 30 days before or after you started this business. Please tell my audience why you started this business to begin with.

Sarah: So I started this business because I was preparing for my own nurse practitioner board exam. Nothing out there was meeting what I needed. So essentially the way that this market has worked and has worked this way for a long, long time, by long time I mean decades, is you do a two-day in person conference where you learn the content eight to 10 hours both days. Then they send you home with a workbook, and they’re like okay, you are good to go.

That is not how I learn in any capacity. There was this big shift in the market because they have always done these in-person conferences, but COVID hit. So this was all the year that COVID hit, which was a really important point to my business because it gave me so much opportunity. They moved all these conferences to webinars instead. So when I did my two-day, ten-hour day webinars, I literally fell asleep in the middle of it. 

So I told my husband at the end. I’m like oh my God. I almost paid $1,000 for this webinar format, but I don’t feel prepared to take my exam. My anxiety went like level 100,000. I tell my students all the time my hair was falling out before my exam. My hair was literally falling out. Because the other piece of COVID is that my exam kept getting pushed out and pushed out and pushed out because they kept closing down testing centers. So my anxiety just [inaudible] all the time.

Then when I took my exam, I was like I did all this stressing, and I pulled out all this hair over this student thing that took me less than an hour and I had no problem with. I would have been prepared if I had just went to school and taken the test the next day. So I’m like what students really need is not the content. Yes, the content is important. You need to refresh. 

What students really need is the skills to deal with their anxiety, being able to manage that on the exam day, and ultimately just build up their confidence to be able to test. Because a lot of students get trapped in like I’m just not prepared enough. I’m just not prepared enough. You’re never going to be 1,000% ready no matter how much you prepare. If you have good skills in place to manage your anxiety then you’re going to be able to handle that on exam day. You’re still going to be able to be successful. I was a hot mess express.

Becca: Now, I know you started this business to help your classmates, right, but also you started this business because there was something you couldn’t afford.

Sarah: Oh yeah. How could I forget that? Oh my God. Yes. So at the time, I was talking about student loan debt and mortgages that we weren’t sure we could afford. I had to get a dental implant. Me and my husband were like oh my God, how in the world are we going to afford this? I was like I only have so much room left on my credit card after the wedding. How are we going to make this work? I have to get this dental implant. I have to have a tooth in my head. So I told my husband, it was Memorial Day weekend. Our air conditioning was out. We couldn’t afford to get it fixed. I’m like –

Becca: What year is this? 2020?

Sarah: This is 2020, yeah.

Becca: Okay.

Sarah: So I’m like I’m just going to put together this little review course basically in our attic, if you want to think of it that way. I’m up there sweating. My husband is outside building his own grill by hand. That was at the point we had no money. Him and his friend were building a grill and a smoker by hand with cinder blocks outside while I’m trying to create this review course. 

I literally just throw it together in a weekend. It’s three hours on Zoom. It is the jankiest PowerPoint slide you’ve ever seen in your life. I’m just like if it works for anyone it’s a success for me.

Becca: Yeah. If this helps one person then I did it.

Sarah: Yeah. It took me a weekend to throw together. It was just three hours. At that point, I’d already been teaching for a bit. So I just used all of my strategies that I was seeing that were successful with students already, what I was looking for but couldn’t find in the market. Put all those things together, sweated upstairs for 48 hours, recorded it, did a lot of iMovie chopping and those sorts of things, and then put it out into a Facebook group. I said here my classmates. This is for free. Please invite someone to this group for me. That’s all I ask of you. 

Becca: From what I remember, when you did start – So people started coming into the Facebook group. Then you started selling it for $25, right? 

Sarah: I tried to sell it for $25, but here’s what happened. Because I gave it to the first 30 people for free, my classmates. Then I just said okay, the first 100 people in the group can have it for free, and then I was going to sell it for $25. Well, it came to the first person to pay the $25. I was so excited. I’m like here’s Venmo. Here’s Cash App. You’ve got the options. They’re like, “My friend got it for free. Why in the world would I pay $25 for this?” We haggled back and forth. My very first customer paid $15. I have it framed in my house.

Becca: Because she haggled you down from $25? 

Sarah: Yes. $15 is all she would pay, God bless. 

Becca: I hope she’s out there somewhere in the world like on a podcast somewhere saying I haggled this one woman who ended up become Sarah Michelle NP Reviews like a year later.

Sarah: Yeah, disaster. Most people paid $25. Most.

Becca: So that’s amazing. Then what happened? So like here you are. You’ve got your first 100 people in. Someone just haggled you down 15. Now you’re selling it for $25, but people continued to flood in, right?

Sarah: Yeah. What happened for me that I was really fortunate is someone that I went to school with did my course, loved it, took their exam, passed. They went to another student Facebook group, and they were like, “Oh my God, this was the best thing I did by far. I wish I had chopped out all the thousand dollar reviews and different things that I had done. I wish I had just done this one $25 course.” 

Becca: Yes.

Sarah: Oh man. 

Becca: Love people like that.

Sarah: Then like 300 people ran to the group. So what started to happen is I started to get posts like that in my own group. So then it became this Facebook group of I passed today, I passed today, I passed today. Every post you see is talking about how much they love the course, what a big deal it was for them before they tested, how it really did decrease their anxiety and build up their confidence. 

Then people just fed off of that. They were so excited. They’re like, “Oh, if this person has success, why wouldn’t have success? Then it’s a no brainer. It’s only $25. It’s only $30, you know?” 

Becca: Man, that is so awesome. So at what point did you go from that to the girl that I met that was like, “Holy shit, I accidently created a beast. I don’t have a website. I’m up all night manually taking payments. I’m pulling my hair out. Help me.” 

Sarah: I got to that point by August because, well, I take that back. Maybe it was closer to September. Because in August, I made my first $100K. I remember by my birthday that year I made my first $100K, and that was a really big deal. Because you think we started Memorial Day. August is not that far from Memorial Day.

So it was getting to a point that I couldn’t keep up in direct messenger. So I think that’s the other thing to note too. Everyone that was a customer of mine is someone that I personally talked to and I was like personally coaching through how to save for this exam, how to pass this exam. That was fine when it was 30 people, 100 people, 500 people. Once you’ve got like three, four, 5,000 people in a Facebook group, that gets beyond overwhelming so fast.

I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that I did it because I would get up before work. I would answer Facebook messages for a couple of hours. I would go to work. I would come home from work. I would do the same process. I’m still trying to create more courses, do all these things on the side because there’s all these things that students are looking for that I want to be able to offer them. There’s just not enough hours in the day.

Becca: I like how you were like it was fine when there was 500. I could handle that. 

Sarah: It was all fine. I can reply to 100 people.

Becca: I get 100 people in my group, and I just freeze. I’m like I don’t know what to do.

Sarah: No. I mean, it was mostly manageable, but I obviously got to a point.

Becca: You must have spent so much time coaching people in that group. Just that alone, much less taking payments, much less coaching people to even trust you to buy, much less dealing with responses and questions about your course. Just the coaching the 500 people alone is a full time job.

Sarah: Yeah, I was obsessive. I was like this is the golden egg. I remember we talked to a tax guy in August because I was like I think I need to be an LLC. That was how far off base I was. I didn’t even have an LLC when we started. I wasn’t anywhere close to that. He was like, “This is your golden egg.” He said, “Do not lose the golden egg.” I’m like okay, I’m not going to lose the golden egg.

Becca: Wait, what’s the golden egg?

Sarah: The business. He was like, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Becca: Oh yeah.

Sarah: He was like, “I can’t believe this.”

Becca: This is what I tell people all the time. I’m like stop obsessing over making your business perfect before you launch it. No. You don’t have to have everything put together. People are like I want to make sure I have the LLC and the bank account. I want to make sure I’ve got the website, I’ve got the business cards, I’ve got the Instagram that’s beautiful. I’ve got the graphics. 

I’m like stop it. No, throw it out there. Make it amazing. Make it quality. Make it work and gain followers and gain people that trust you and love you and then go back and make it pretty, but it’s all about the quality first. You’re a great testament to that. 

Sarah: I had no logo, no website. I didn’t have my face on my courses because I’m like I’m too young. No one’s going to think I’m credible to put out a course like this. I had none of the pieces whatsoever, but it still worked. So I feel like I am the biggest pusher of it never has to be perfect. It’s never going to be perfect anyways. It’s going to be really messy. You just have to put it out there. You’ve got to see what happens. Then you can tweak and pivot after that point. You can always play catchup with websites, logos, apparently LLCs. 

Becca: Yes. We don’t advise it, but you can. That is so funny.

Sarah: I think a point where it came to a head though is I was drowning. Well, I’ll say I was bobbing in the water. I’m still spitting out water a little bit, but I was surviving. Then when it came time to do the website, I was so far in over my head. We’re trying to find people on these websites like Upwork and Fiverr. 

So we find a guy to do a website, and we got like what we felt was a major steal. He was going to do the website for $1,500. If anyone offers to do a website for $1,500, please run far, far, far away. But my whole premise of doing a website A was to free up some of my time, right, but B was do to do subscriptions because I knew what a business opportunity it would be to put people on a monthly subscription. I’m like that’s where it’s at. Because right now, I’m just doing one time payments for lifetime access. That’s only going to take me so far. I need the monthly subscription fees.

So this guy spends a month building out a website. It comes to two days before the launch. I’m going in and I’m testing. I’m like dude, the subscriptions aren’t working. He’s like, “What do you mean?” I was like the subscriptions aren’t working. He said, “It was never supposed to be a subscription website.” I was like it’s literally in our contract. That was the whole purpose of doing a website.

Then he was like, “Well, if you’re going to be this irate about it, maybe we should just get off the phone. I can talk to your husband later on the phone. Maybe we can sort it out without you.” I literally thought my head was going to explode off my body because I was like this is not my husband’s business. This is my business. We agreed on subscriptions. 

Becca: Let me talk to your husband. 

Sarah: Yes. Let me talk to your husband. Then I was like okay, I’m going to go ahead. 

Becca: You’re like well, maybe whenever I get done with my casserole and get my kids to bed and get out of the kitchen. 

Sarah: He compared my business one time to a bake sale. I’m like my business is not a bake sale.

Becca: Oh my God.

Sarah: This is a legitimate business. It may be run on Venmo and Cash App, but it’s a legitimate business.

Becca: Oh my God. What is up with that? That is so funny. Okay. So at this point, first of all, how did you hear about me? I don’t remember that. 

Sarah: Basically you business coached someone one time that I was nurse friends with. She wanted to do a taco van, which she did not end up doing because it was a very [inaudible] idea, but so good job on telling her not to do that. Long story short, I was like I think there are people out there that help people run their businesses I guess. Like consultants, helpers, I don’t know what the word is. Apparently that word is coach.

I was like I’m just going to look at that chick because I’ve been to her massage place before. I’ve seen her grow a business. I watched Massage Strong go from what felt like an apartment building to the really nice locations. I was like if she can do that, she could probably help me.

Becca: It did. It was an apartment building.

Sarah: I got a massage in an apartment building. It was weird. It was fun. I was googling, am I in the right place? I was.

Becca: You’re like am I going to get killed? Maybe.

Sarah: Who knows. 

Becca: I always wanted people to feel on the edge coming to me – 

Sarah: Oh, I was on the edge. 

Becca: That was it feels way more relaxing once you’re on the table and you’re safe. It’s a marketing technique.

Sarah: Yeah. So I reached out on your website, and I think you called me literally the same day, which was good.

Becca: Yeah, I remember our consult. I remember you saying like if I’m correct, I remember you were like, “I’ve already made $250,000 in my business.” 

Sarah: I had. I was up and running.

Becca: You were like, “It’s going. I’ve got the demand, but it is a mess. I’m not okay. I’m not sleeping. My husband’s not sleeping. We’re not okay.” I remember being like well, what does your assistant do? You were like who? I was like well, what about who’s on your team? You were like what? 

Sarah: Huh? I’ve never heard that word.

Becca: I was like what kind of software do you have where they can do your membership? You were like, “What are you talking about?” 

Sarah: I’m like I manually do that behind the scenes Becca. Okay.

Becca: Oh my gosh. So when we started working together, what were some of the biggest turnarounds for you? Like just immediately right off the back?

Sarah: I think the very first call that we had and you were like, “I don’t normally do this, but Sarah, I need you to hire someone by the next time we talk.” We were going to talk in a week. You were like, “Just put on Upwork, Fiverr, wherever. Just find somebody. You need somebody. I think that by far, just, I was so lost on how do I even find someone. For you to open the door and be like, “It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit. You’ve just got to get somebody in the door at this moment. You can clean it up later.” It was really pivotal for me.

I think in the long term with our coaching, what that turned into was a theme of learning how to delegate because obviously that was not something I was very good at. I was very particular about all the pieces of the business. So I remember lots of conversations that we had. It was like if they can even do it at 80% of what you can do it, that’s probably good enough. Or 90% depending upon the task, those sorts of things.

So I think the team building piece was really pivotal. I think a little bit too what we talked about earlier of the confidence piece because that came to play of putting my face on my business and putting myself out there. I mean, I had never even done an Instagram story. That was terrifying to me. I joined Three More to figure out how to do Instagram stories. That’s how terrified I was. 

So I was just like newbie and newbie and newbie. I remember you being like, “Do you at least have a tax person?” I’m like oh, I’ve got that part down. He’s like a 95 year old man that only does things on paper. So I had to evolve past that, but I was like all I’ve got are taxes and a kind of functioning website. You gave me a lot of resources of here’s how I would hire an assistant, here’s how I would get a website, here are some ways you can market. Like all of those foundational pieces to really just hit the ground running even harder.

Becca: Knowing you now and knowing how particular you are about your business, it makes me laugh really hard on the inside that I gave you seven days to hire your first person.

Sarah: Find someone right now please. I was like ah.

Becca: No overthinking. You’re like the queen of overthinking. I was like good luck. You’ve got seven days.

Sarah: I hired two. I overachieved. I hired two in that first week.

Becca: That doesn’t surprise me. Yeah. Now tell me about your husband at this point. You found this chick that had a massage studio in an apartment. You paid, I can’t remember what my prices were at the time, but you paid some amount of money. Then all of a sudden it was like all hands on deck, go, go, go. You’re going to hire people. You’re going to get a software. You’re going make all these changes. What was his perception of all this happening?

Sarah: Well, I will say it was my biggest investment to date ever in anything. I didn’t have any perspective of what coaching cost or what that looked like. For me I was like if I’m going to put this much money in, I’m going to make sure that I commit myself to the process. That way I get the big result, ideally, that I’m hoping for, and obviously I did. 

I’m very fortunate with Ben that his mom had a business coach growing up. So he had already seen the beauty in the fruits of coaching through her eyes and the way that she grew. Basically Ben’s uncle runs a very successful plumbing business, and his mom helped to build that business and was like the general manager. So she did a lot of coaching alongside his uncle to figure out how to run that business. Because when they started, she was running the phones and he was doing the plumbing. It is way past that point now by far.

So I think at first he was a little overwhelmed because he was like, “I’ve never even heard you talk about a business coach.” I’m like yeah, I googled it on my way to get glasses today. I talked to her after my glasses appointment. Can we just wire her the money tonight? What do you think?

So I think at first he was like, “Uh, I don’t know. That seems suspicious.” Then when he thought more about it and we actually went and talked to his parents about it because I’m like I’m thinking about making this investment. I think it makes a lot of sense if we want to keep running with the business. At that point, Ben had actually already quit his job. That’s how invested we were. I wasn’t ready to quit mine quite yet. Looking back now, it seems so silly and trivial, but I was like I’m going to lose health insurance if I quit my job. How am I going to find health insurance?

Becca: Oh my God Sarah. I will never forget. Of all the details that I’ve forgotten, I will never coaching you on your is making $400,000 right now in the last few months, and you are still working at a hospital because of insurance. 

Sarah: I made a million dollars. I made a million dollars before I quit my job. I was that nervous.

Becca: You made a million dollars before you quit your job because of health insurance. So many of my friends and so many of my clients hold onto that. They’re like yeah, but then I might have to pay $1,000 a month in health insurance. I’m like you can sneeze $1,000 a month out of your Ass. What are you talking about?

Sarah: No, deeply, deeply ingrained from my parents about the health insurance. Because even my mom. My mom doesn’t fully understand the business all the time. So she’s like, “Would you ever go back to be a doctor?” I’m like well, first of all, I’m a nurse practitioner. I’m basically a doctor. Number two, no, I run a wildly successful business. Why would I go back to school? That makes no sense.

Becca: She’s like it’s not secure enough.

Sarah: So Ben was anxious at first, but luckily he had already experienced coaching. So that really helped. At least opened the doors to the possibility.  I think it might have been a little bit more push and pull, but at that point, I had made a quarter of a million dollars. He had a lot of faith in me. He had a lot of faith in the business. So he has always told me run 1,000%. Do all the things you want to do. Go big or go home. He’s always had that confidence in me I haven’t necessarily had in myself. So that really helped.

Becca: It’s funny hearing that he was apprehensive at first because now my idea of Ben is that he’s the one that pushes you to call me about things. When you’re having anxiety he’s like call Becca. Or you’re calling me and you’re like, “Ben’s making me call you. Ben’s making me ask you this. Ben wants me to talk this out with you.” So Ben feels like a huge supporter of me and you getting help with all of that. So it’s funny to think that he has had his own journey with it.

Sarah: Yeah, well, he knew the opportunity it was there. We were just both nervous. I literally have always been the person in the background like nope, too risky. Can’t start our own business. Because he was going to do his own trucking business, and I shut that down immediately. I was like no. So it’s fun to live now on the flipside. Now I get to help him live his business dreams, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Becca: Yeah. Absolutely. So what do you think? Like looking back, okay, so you started so small. You hired me on a few months in. How far were you in? 

Sarah: End of May. I hired you in November.

Becca: So six months in.

Sarah: I attended a lot of classes in December. That’s how I remember it.

Becca: Okay. What did the next six months look like? 

Sarah: I feel like those six months are such a blur because everything was moving so fast all the time. I started working with you. I got my first couple of employees who were contractors at the time. Then I figured out I transitioned to full time. Once I had like a taste of help, I was like oh my God. I want all the help. Please, thank you. 

Then there was a lot of cleanup to be done in my business. By cleanup like yes we had a tax guy, but we need to become an S-Corp and figure that sort of stuff out. We needed to get a new website because when I started working with you, I literally was dealing with subscriptions one by one in the backend of the website. I was doing piddly stuff like that that if you have a legitimate website are not concerns and those sorts of things. 

So I feel like the next six months was just cleanup, cleanup, cleanup, and I was still very much in build mode. So I built all my live classes in that time too. I had to really start. It was the first time that I was like maybe I’m overdoing it a little bit. I feel like you kind of opened up my eyes to that too.

Ben always tells the story of when I was writing my live classes, because they’re scripted, that I would sit up in the middle of the night in bed, put a pillow in my lap as if it were a laptop, and start typing in my sleep. So I had to get to a point where I could hire on more team members, do less things myself, become a CEO, which I very much was not in the beginning. I was just a little bit of everything all the time. So I think even the first six months to a year after we started working together was all clean up all the time. 

Becca: Yeah. Did you know that you wanted to sell your business from the beginning? Or did you just start entertaining that later down the road?

Sarah: I would say we were a full year in when we started thinking about it. We were seeing acquisitions similar to our company in the space. When I say we, it was me and my husband because we were always trying to crepe and be in the know and those sorts of things. Part of why we were so interested in the acquisition space is our company was growing so ridiculously fast. 

It was just like boom, boom, boom. The snowball was going so hard. I’m like eventually at a certain point, the snowball will slow down. So we want to time it right if we are going to be acquired. I don’t think we could have hit better timing both business wise and personal wise to be acquired. It became an ever present conversation in years one to two.

Becca: Can you give my audience an idea of what you mean by how fast it was growing? Like tangibles, numbers, anything. Like how fast was it growing?

Sarah: I would say that it was doubling, tripling, quadrupling our expectations. Like we couldn’t even come up with numbers and projections that made sense. We would just blow right past them. So we were getting all these students in the door. It was just the word of mouth for us. We were finally getting some augmented digital ad help and those sorts of things that we hadn’t had in the past. Because after our first million, it was all word of mouth. 

Then it was like oh, maybe we should run ads. You were like, “Sarah, why aren’t you running ads?” I’m like doing Instagram. I got the podcast. I started doing all these brand awareness pieces. It just imploded. It was like fireworks in our business. It was just go, go, go.

Becca: I remember a very pivotal moment when we decided on live study groups. Can you talk a little bit about that and what happened there, what we decided, and how it shifted your company? 

Sarah: So everything up until we had worked together was all recorded asynchronous. So it means self-pay, do it on your own time, monthly subscription, watch the videos as much as you want, etcetera. What was missing in the market, because if you remember from earlier we were talking about that webinar style, eight to 10 hours. Nobody really likes that, but everybody just continued to do it. Everyone else in the market was doing it. Why would we change?

So there was this really pivotal opportunity to do something different. I kept telling people over and over because they would ask for a live. I’m like I’m not going to do live if I have to do it like everybody else. That defeats the purpose for me. I want to do it in my own way, in a way that makes sense for what I would have wanted as a student. So that was how I created everything with our live study group program. 

So it is a broken down five week intensive program so you’re not cramming everything into one or two days. You basically watch the recorded courses on a schedule. Then when you show up to the lives, we’re not teaching you the content. We’re reviewing what you already learned. It’s very interactive. It’s very fun. There is no sleeping like I was sleeping during my webinar. 

The goal is that you feel so good at the end of the live sessions you’re like I could take the test tomorrow because that did not exist in the market before that point. I mean you go to the webinar and you’re like I’m exhausted. I want to test in three months now. I want to push out my test. I’m so tired.

So it was a really big deal to try to bring those to light in the way that I wanted to do it, and that was how I ended up hiring the two employees in one week. Because I could see the vision, but I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. So I hired my first nurse practitioner to help facilitate that. At the time, I was still trying to do it all. So all she did was run chat. I was like I’m going to teach these live groups. You run the chat for me please.

Becca: When you introduced it, people ate it up.

Sarah: Oh my God, they were so excited. In the first group, I had 29 people. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s a decent amount for the first group. Because when I say I just put it out there, I gave people a week notice. I’m like no education about this program, no forewarning, no marketing, no ads, no nothing. Hey, I’m doing a live study group. Do you want to come? It was obviously a way higher price point than what I had been selling previously at $25. 

Then the next group doubled. The group after that grew bigger. Then we got to right around prime graduation season, and we were doing 50 or 60 spots in a class at that point. I put it on my website, and it sold out in literally 35 seconds. I was like whoa. I was like I need to run more groups. What just happened?

Becca: Oh my gosh. Okay. Let’s fast forward. Where are you in the last six months?

Sarah: I feel like the last six months have been a lot both business wise and personal. So I think the big thing to know is our company was acquired. So my company was acquired right past the two year mark in business, which is like crazy in the world of acquisitions. No one can believe that I grew that fast to be able to be at a point to be acquired at the two year mark, but I did.

Becca: Because being acquired doesn’t just mean big numbers. Being acquired, it’s like when someone goes to look at a house, right? If you’re going to look to buy a house, you’re not going to buy a house that requires, or some people will, but most people don’t want to buy a house that requires them to go in and fix it, right? They don’t want to replace the floors and the ceiling. They want it to run, they want to be able to acquire it, and they want it to be smooth.

So what you had to, I mean what it shows is that in the two years that you were building this, you cleaned it up so good that someone wanted to acquire it. It didn’t require any fixing. It didn’t require them to go in and fix it. It was all smooth. It was all looking good, and it was extremely profitable.

Sarah: I think the even bigger statement to how cleaned up my business was. Because literally up until the point I was acquired, I had done coaching with you, and we had done a lot of cleanup again and again and again. When I was acquired, they knew that I was about to go out on leave. So they knew they were going to be acquiring it without me for a while because I was pregnant at the time. I was about to go on maternity leave. 

I think that’s a big testament to of how much we had gotten it to a point together of where it could run without me. Because that’s what we kept working towards in all of our coaching of like how can this run without you? You can’t be the one person doing all the things. 

So when I was acquired I had almost 20 employees at that point. Which if you had told me when I started the business you’re going to be acquired. You’re going to have 20 employees. You’re going to be able to do X, Y, and Z. I wouldn’t have been able to even wrap my brain around it. My brain would have been like [inaudible].

Becca: Yeah, of course. That’s why it’s just like one step at a time. How do you build a big ass business? One day at a time. You make one decision at a time. You pull the trigger one. Yes. People get so tore up. They’re like I’m worried. I want to take this business. It’s like a startup. They haven’t even gotten their first client. They’re like I want to have multiple locations. I’m like slow down. Slow down. Let’s get a client. Let’s get a second client. Let’s get a third client. We’ll start moving our way from there. Yeah, it’s so true.

Sarah: Well, I think one cool detail that I left out that I always like to tell people so I’ll tell it now is the first day that I actually sold any courses, and I was selling them on Venmo and Cash App and that person haggled me down to $15, I made $1,000 in a day. I paid for a fifth of my dental implant in one singular day. I was like oh my God, how do we do this again?

I remember being so exhausted but ecstatic. I’m jumping in my living room. I’m throwing my phone because I’m so overwhelmed by all the messages I’m getting. I was like we could play for my dental implant this week. What if we made $1,000 a day for the rest of our lives. What would that look like? I just, that was so out of the realm of possibility for me in my brain with the money I was accustomed to making.

Becca: Do you remember how much you used to talk about your success whiplash? Do you remember how you were like, you were like you’re really poor, broke, busy, never seeing your husband, terrible money mindset. You can’t afford anything. Your biggest goal in life is for you guys together to bring $100,000 into the house, right? 

Straight to making hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars every 30 days. Your husband is retiring from his job. You’re retiring from your job. You guys have workers. You have an immense amount of free time. Now you have a baby on the way. Now you’re looking at your dream home. Like this happened so fucking fast. Unbelievable. You kept saying I just have whiplash. I just can’t believe it. I remember you saying I know I keep saying it, but I can’t believe it. I remember being like me either. 

Sarah: I know. Every call. No, but really though the money mindset was so hard for me, and it’s something I still have to work on today religiously all the time. It was just so engrained. I’m poor. I’m poor. I’m poor. I can’t work enough jobs to make enough money. We’re always scrapping to make ends meet.

It’s been a total flip to be like you know last summer when we were acquired I’m like I want to buy a Bronco. Ben was like, “We could go buy a Bronco.” I’m like I want to buy a Bronco in cash. He was like, “We could do that.” I was like okay, let’s do that. We still had to have the conversation. I feel like I had to have the okay like this is an all right decision to make with our money. So it’s something I have to work on all the time. It’s just been so fast. So fast.

Becca: Ben sent me a text. I should pull it up.

Sarah: Did he?

Becca: Yeah. Ben and I talk about you behind your back. I don’t know if you know, but there’s a whole team of people taking care of you behind the lines that you just don’t know about. So he sent this text message, and he was like, “I was sitting here when Sarah did her first Thirty More with you.” Was it Miami? Was that your first Thirty More with me? 

Sarah: Yeah, well, no. It was at your house, remember. The very first Thirty More was at your house.

Becca: You did two Thirty Mores? 

Sarah: Yeah.

Becca: Okay. 

Sarah: I was an OG Thirty More and an OG Three More basically.

Becca: You were OG Three More. Oh man, that’s amazing. Okay. So you did like a year of one on one and then like a year of Thirty More.

Sarah: Yeah.

Becca: All right. So Ben texts me. This was after you guys had been acquired. It was probably like, I don’t know, five months ago. He texted me, and he was like I’m in Miami. He was like, “I was sitting here when Sarah was in Miami, and I was telling her in this same place at the same pier that one day we could have a boat.” He was like, “It’s only been 18 months later, and we could buy a boat cash right now if we wanted to.” He was like, “Our entire life has changed. I can’t believe it.” He was just sending this like abundance and gratitude message, and it got me. It got me good.

Sarah: That feels like my boo bear. 

Becca: Yeah.

Sarah: No, we try to take moments to appreciate all the time because we’ve lived the flip so hard. Now we wake up. We don’t always have our days perfectly scheduled and planned. We have a lot more flexibility right now, which I think, for me, that’s the biggest thing that I’m grateful for when it comes to money is the flexibility of time most of the time. We can wake up. We can look out on our farm.

It’s so fun to think when we met seven, eight years ago, our big dream one day was to have a farm. Now we get to live that today. I mean we just get to live so many things that we wanted to live at expedited speed. So we take a lot of time to be grateful to that and a lot of time to soak that in because we never want to take that for granted.

Because Ben actually worked with a coach who was like, “At one point you’ll start taking this all for granted.” So now Ben has like a personal vendetta of like we’re never going to take this for granted. We’re always going to soak it in.

Becca: Why would a coach say that? No. You’re not going to take it for granted because you guys went through so much. I just don’t agree. 

Sarah: I don’t agree either.

Becca: It’s a practice. Yeah, that’s fun. You’ve got yourself your dream home, your dream farm, your dream Bronco. You’re going to wrap that dream Bronco in glittery pink wrap here pretty soon.

Sarah: Yeah. Indian pink glitter.

Becca: You’ve got your dream baby. You’ve got your lazy river that’s going to be installed in your backyard because I’m going to tell Ben that it has to be.

Sarah: One day. I’ve been pushing for that lazy river for so long. Well, that’s the thing. I’m like I want to do something fun with the money. I’m like buying the Bronco was fun, but I’m like a lazy river is so much more fun.

Becca: You know, I’ve been impressed how much you guys haven’t used your money for fun stuff. Now, I don’t know everything you’re doing. So, of course, I don’t have a great context, but I would expect at least one lazy river or something.

Sarah: Well, crazy fact. Talk about money mindset. Now, granted for the audience, we’ve had a lot of things go on with our baby. So I think that’s kind of put pause on life for us as well. Literally the only thing we’ve spent money on since we’ve been acquired was the Bronco. We were talking about the other day because we’re like maybe we’ll buy a lake house. That might be cool. So it’s weird to think it’s been almost a year since the acquisition and all we’ve bought is the Bronco.

Becca: Are you holding onto it because A, you just feel comfortable and you want to think it through, or B, are you frozen with all this money and don’t know what to do with it?

Sarah: I don’t think I’m frozen. I think we’re at just this point where we’re so content with what we have. We wanted the farm. We wanted a baby. We wanted all these pieces. Now we’re just so excited to live in that moment. The money’s nice and the money’s cool, but the biggest thing, like I said, is money has flexibility. So there’s not a whole lot that we want for. 

Becca: Yeah, that’s true.

Sarah: We’re just so grateful to be together.

Becca: Also I guess it’s not fair to say you’re not spending it on fun stuff because Ben’s getting ready to start a massive company.

Sarah: Yeah. He’s about to start his own business, so. 

Becca: That’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait for it.

Sarah: Yeah. You’ll have to have him come on the podcast in two or three years and talk about his distillery business.

Becca: Oh yeah, I want him on the podcast tomorrow.

Sarah: Yeah. That was the original plan for this podcast. It did not work out.

Becca: I know, but then we are lazy, and we didn’t do it. 

Sarah: I know. Too many babies.

Becca: It happens.

Sarah: I mean five kids in one room having to record a podcast. 

Becca: We had great ambition though.

Sarah: Yes, very great ambitions. 

Becca: All right. So to wrap this up, number one, what would you say to anyone that is interested in working with a business coach, working with me, going into Thirty More, going into one on one? I have, to be quite honest, a lot of podcast listeners that contact me, and they’re on the cusp. They’re like I want to do it, but it’s a lot of money, right? You went through that. You had the anxiety of it. You pulled the trigger. It worked out well for you. What’s your advice? 

Sarah: I mean this is going to sound really generic and cliché, but I wholeheartedly and genuinely mean it. If you’re thinking about it, just do it. Because all the money that I invested into our coaching I made back tenfold again and again and again. I got so much more from our business coaching. Not just from the business piece of it, and yeah, that was really important. Building a team, delegating, the foundation of the business, website, all that. But I got so much personally from our coaching.

We’ve talked about throughout this episode how much confidence I have, how much I’ve grown as a person. I feel like I’m such a different person now from when we started coaching. I am such a better version of myself. I’m just living in a whole different season of life. I feel like our coaching together really attributed to that. So I just, Becca will tell anyone who will listen, but I send her messages of gratitude like every six months. I’m sitting out on the farm, and I’m like oh man. I owe Becca so much. I am so grateful for Becca. So I think you’ve just got to do it. Honestly, just do it.

Becca: That’s so nice. I’m grateful for you. It’s been really fun watching you, and I’m just grateful for our friendship.

Sarah: Yeah, and we’re friends.

Becca: Yeah, that’s the truth. We were friends from the beginning. I mean you were my client, but we were friends.

Sarah: We were buddies.

Becca: We were. Now it’s like you’re not my client. You don’t own a company anymore. You don’t own a business. So now it’s transitioned even more. So now we get to watch our babies grow up together, and we get to hang out and watch Ben build his business and watch Mark build his businesses.

Sarah: Yeah and drink wives.

Becca: We can just be the trophy wives now.

Sarah: If only I could be the trophy wife.

Becca: I want to be a trophy wife so bad. 

Sarah: That’s my next evolution, okay.

Becca: Can I just look pretty and drink vodka all the time? That’s what I want to do?

Sarah: Can you coach me into that? Can you coach me into how to be a trophy wife?

Becca: Yes, I’m going to be a trophy wife coach. That would be the best. Oh my gosh. I love it. All right, thank you so much for being on Sarah. As always, I love you, and I just think your story is so inspiring. I know that this episode is just going to kill it on my podcast. So thank you for being here.

Sarah: Yeah, we love you too from me and Ben.

Becca: Oh, thank you.

Sarah: And Meadow.

Becca: Oh Meadow, I love you. All right. Thank you, goodbye. 

Hey guys, this podcast is the blood sweat and tears of a lot of different people. The planning and the preparation of each episode is extensive. My team and I are really proud to bring you this free and abundant content each week, and we hope that you’re loving it. If you are, the very best thank you that we can receive from you is a review and a share. 

When you share this episode with a friend or leave us a five star review, it is like pouring a little bit of magic into our podcasting bucket. It is what gets our work recognized. It’s what gives us energy and keeps us going, truly. Not one share nor review goes without recognition from our team. As always, we fucking love you here at Hell Yes Coaching. Have a beautiful day. 

Hey, thanks for taking the time to listen to today’s episode. If you’re looking to get more clarity and momentum for your business, visit hellyescoachingonline.com. See you next week here on The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast.

 

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