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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
We put so much effort into developing growth strategies for our business with marketing plans, yet what are we doing to track these efforts? In today’s episode, growth strategist, Celi Arias joins us to discuss why you should understand the metrics of your business and how to track and measure the results of your efforts!
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discuss how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
Celi Arias is the entrepreneur’s best friend. As someone who has been a startup COO and holds deep corporate experience in sales and partnership in the luxury sector, she knows numbers, systems, teams, and operations. As a strategy consultant and mindset coach in the business world now, she is also certified to help her clients through the struggles that come as a result of the new changes they need to make. And while she has a no-BS approach, she also nurtures clients to results like: finally reaching past 7-figures, feeling confident on exactly what to do next, and removing the chaos and confusion.
Here are the highlights…
[:11] Get to Know Celi
[1:57] Metrics to Pay Attention to for Growth Strategies
[4:00] Colie’s Examples of Efforts
[7:36] Instagram Metrics to Measure
[10:00] Seduction of Courses, Programs, etc.
[11:23] There’s No-One Size Fits All Strategy
[11:44] Look at the Metrics: Celi’s Exercise
[17:00] Growth Begins in Fulfillment:
– 1. Having a Product that Delivers the Result You Promises
– 2. Referral
– 3. Lifetime Value of Your Customers / Retention
[18:20] Retention Plans & Reports
[22:43] Tracking Your Metrics
[29:38] Understand Your Numbers Even If You Hire Someone to Manage It
[31:54] Biggest Fuck Ups
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hey guys, welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. My guest this morning is Sally, but I am gonna let her tell you all about who she is and what she does. Good morning, Sally. Welcome to the podcast.
Celi: Good morning. It’s so nice to be here. Thanks for having me.
Colie: Uh, I’m so thrilled. So why don’t you tell the listening audience who you are and what you do.
Celi: I will do my very best. This one’s always a challenge for me. I’m a growth strategist, and what I really do is help, entrepreneurs and small businesses blast through their plateaus through strategy, implementation, and spiritual mindset support.
Colie: I know I could probably use some mindset . We’ll see what we do during this podcast.
Celi: the secret key, so,
Colie: I think it is because I will say that before I branched out, you know, before I branched from photography into the Dubsado world, like it was a mindset and you know, this, I was like, can I really charge this much for this work?
And so, you know, did have to do a little bit of mindset work myself. And I feel like I was a photographer, I had the luxury of like growing the business at the pace that I wanted to, my daughter was, you know, in school. so I started slow and I really didn’t try to become full-time until Chloe was in school full-time.
So I’ve always had my prices at like what I wanted to charge and not like lower so that I bring clients in. So I do think that that mindset really helped me grow the photography side of my business. we’re gonna talk all about growth. So the one thing that I think people get hung up on is metrics, you and I are both nerd.
love metrics. So in general, metrics should entrepreneurs be paying attention to order to determine if their growth strategies are working?
Celi: Ooh, okay. She went, she went in deep and fast.
Colie: I did.
Celi: yeah, so I hate this answer. It does depend.
Celi: am. So I’m not a one size fits all like fit into my box strategist. With that said, what I would want you to do is look at your business. So let’s talk about a creative right? And. Metrics. I think the reason we don’t look at them is because we over complicate them and we get intimidated by them. And so we just, it’s like the thing that we turn a blind eye to. and that becomes the, the thorn that’s growing, right? but the metrics that to measure your growth what is the effort that you are measuring.
Celi: So let’s think about it like this. I, Let’s say I’m going to the gym because I want biceps, okay? Let’s just say,
Celi: I wouldn’t get on a treadmill and for an hour, number one. So this is the problem I see a lot of people do. want biceps, so therefore I’m gonna go to the gym and go on a treadmill, right? Like, I wanna grow
Colie: Unrelated. Mm-hmm.
Celi: I will just keep doing more content. Pet peeve of mine. so, but, okay, so what metrics do is, Okay, what I’m gonna do is three times a week I’m gonna to this trainer. She’s gonna give me specific to do. I’m only doing them three times a week. And what am I gonna do? I’m gonna take a measuring tape and I’m gonna measure my bicep and see
Colie: If it’s growing.
Celi: week over week month over. right?
Celi: all a metric is. Okay. So it’s that simple. when we’re talking about growth in your business, let, let me, I’m, I’m better with real life examples. Like, how do you get leads for your business? What is a typical way that a photographer gets leads from their business?
Colie: Oh, so am a big SEO girl, but I know that many other photographers are not the same. But from the very beginning of my business, I put a lot of effort into blogging that I was getting really organic traffic from the internet for people who were actually searching for, let’s say, family photographer in the Boulder, Colorado.
Celi: Okay, beautiful. that’s actually perfection because you didn’t say, I’m active on all these social media channels and I blog and I speak and I go to No, you just gave me one thing. Beautiful. By the way, everybody listened to Colie. I have one strategy which is my blog and seo. Cool. So you can probably go into your website and measure how many people are reading it
Colie: How many visitors I’m getting. Mm.
Celi: many visitors? That’s your metric. Number one over here on the left side. Cool. 200 visitors. Of those 200 visitors, many of them clicked whatever called action you had? Whether it was sign up for my newsletter, listen to my podcast, or book a call? Right. How many of those 200 into, Huh? She’s kind of cool and she kind of knows something and I like her work. I’m interested because once they. Clicked SEO did the awareness work. once they’ve come into your world, right, they’ve entered your funnel, they’ve clicked, they’re engaging with you. That’s basically somebody raising my ha, the raising their hand and saying, I’m kind of interested.
I don’t know if I wanna be sold to yet. I’m curious, right, From those clicked, is the next step in your journey and how many of them got on a call with. From the call, how many of them converted to
Colie: sale. Mm-hmm.
Celi: sale? That’s it.
Colie: but, and
Celi: it. That’s
Colie: you and I say this right.
Celi: I want you to measure that journey. That’s it.
Colie: I will say. So did that from the very beginning. Now, if you asked me how many people are currently clicking on my website, I don’t pay as much attention to it now because now I feel like I’m settled. I have the number of clients that I want on both sides of my business. They’re both doing well. But in the beginning, that was literally the metric.
I mean, if you asked me like seven years ago how many visitors I got to my website that month, I could probably. because on a weekly basis, I was looking inside of my Google Analytics to see how many visitors I was getting. wasn’t actually, I will admit though, I wasn’t actually calculating the percentage that we’re converting because I was getting enough to where I just, you know, I, I just didn’t care.
I was more worried about are people hitting my, my website and then knowing that I was. The number of clients that I needed each month. I was like, Okay, this is working for me. is good. So, and yes, I agree with you on content marketing. I mean, will say, I don’t wanna say I’m a rare breed, but most people don’t focus on SEO because they think it’s hard.
They don’t like to blog, they don’t know what to say. mean, all of the things, right? So a lot of people go for like what they see of as the low hanging fruit, which would be like Instagram, like if I put my pictures on Instagram. Clients will come, which I’m not gonna say that’s, you know, bad, but in my case, that definitely isn’t where I get my clients and it’s not something that, you know, I would do.
But Celi for the people who are Instagram people, what is the metric that they should be measuring, in terms of using Instagram as marketing?
Celi: well I’m gonna say two things to that. One, I do wanna recognize that you’re the anomaly very rarely do I ever meet someone who said, yes, I did that in my business. I tracked those things. So good job,
Celi: Um, cuz I think we also need to recognize that,
it super easy, it is super simple and it’s like this thing we avoid doing for Instagram. I agree with you. I actually think. Quite difficult to convert on Instagram unless you have a following that’s to your niche and what you do, and they are following you because of what you. Do have a lot of clients. I’ve probably, in the past, I’ve in the, I was doing some math the other day and in the past three years, because I used to be a head coach at a company worked with over a hundred clients and I, I just say this because it’s true you know, some of my clients and some of them have a big presence. Really, one of my clients converts, really converts real sales
Colie: of Instagram.
Celi: she has 120 k follow.
Celi: So I don’t say that to be a jerk. say that because take a breath. If your Instagram isn’t converting into sales, it’s okay baby girl. It’s okay. It’s okay. You’re not alone. Right. And and what I would say to like, here’s how I Instagram cuz you know, I make really funny reels about business and whatever my role is, Instagram is fun.
Celi: I do it if it’s fun, and if I’m not in the mood and not feeling it, I don’t do it. but I make tons of content on there and I don’t really convert people from Instagram either. So I would take a really hard look at where have my clients come from. Let me look at the past three months in my business.
Let me, you, There’s no, you don’t need to complicate this. Put it on a piece of paper where like, let me just list them out by name. Who were my clients? If you have a CRM or you have a system that shows you great, but you don’t need all that. Last three months, here are my clients. Cool. column, where’d they come from? Cool. What is the highest placed or tool or whatever, converting.
Celi: you need to be focused on get clients. And what often happens is we fall seduction. We, we fall into the seduction. Of all these marketers who are selling us on their marketing programs and their content marketing programs, because, hey, guess what you’re being sold to by an expert marketer,
Colie: On the tool of their choice.
Celi: of their choice and they’re selling you their content marketing framework or course or mastermind and convincing you, and some of them are really good. I’m not like, Dogging anyone. But remember you are observing someone in their zone of genius telling you by my course, and you can do this too.
But by the way, I make money off of this cuz I have 20 K followers, 30 K, 90 k, a hundred k. They make great content, It’s really seductive,
Colie: It is.
Celi: And so we fall into this seductive trap and not just on Instagram. This happens in a lot of other areas, right?
Celi: that’s gonna get me PR and press, and that’s gonna be the cig. have clients have PR and press and have sales, right? It. It comes down to, reason I say I never build, there’s no one size fits all strategy is cuz it’s like, Hey, let’s take a look at your business. Let’s take a look at where your clients have been coming from. What do we learn from that information? Cool. Now let’s build a strategy based on what’s
Colie: those people. Mm-hmm.
Celi: those people and how do we find more of them, and where do we find them and how do we talk to them? And maybe it ends up being Facebook groups. Maybe it ends up being networking local communities. Maybe it ends up being. Doing more gallery shows, maybe it ends up being that, you speak at more, it is, right?
Oh, that those two clients were like, perfect for me, and they were ideal. Where did they come from? Amazing. Cool. Double down, right? And, and that’s the strategy that is actually going to create growth. And it’s, reason it’s become so hard is because we are literally being sold to every day that growth starts in market. And that growth starts if you just buy this other course.
clients from. And because they were coming from this particular group, all of those clients ended up being really, For lack of a better world word, difficult. And it kind of, the clients that go out of scope
Celi: like, Yeah, but can you also do this?
And, but can you also do this? Can you also add, can you extend the, And I’m like, We had a contract and like my deliverables are super clear and I’ve like gone above and beyond. For you, it’s, that’s also a mindset thing. When people ask for more and more and more, that’s just where they’re at in their mindset. Um, but I just made a decision when I was like, Oh, Right. I’m just not going to get clients from that group anymore.
Colie: But if you didn’t have the data, you wouldn’t have known that that was where the difficult clients were coming from and you wouldn’t have known that, Hey, maybe I need to stop I mean, it’s not even Maybe I just need to stop participating in that group. Or maybe I need to stop mentioning my services in that group, cuz you can be in a Facebook group and get value for your.
Without wanting to get clients from that particular area. So I just wanna, I just wanna put that out there because one of the things that we discuss, In terms of v i P days and stuff is, well, how do I get clients from the Facebook groups where I know that my ideal clients are hanging out in, And you know, there are ways to do it, but also should make sure that if you are in groups where it will not be an ideal client, that you are not trying to gain clients from that area.
I mean, I just wanna put that out there because I think that people feel like you are, you have to be. But again, go back to your piece of paper that Sally told you to write, all of your clients and where they came from. And if you have clients that are great and they all seem to be coming from one particular area, particular marketing guys, double down on that one.
But if you are also able to areas where you not seeing the ideal clients that you want, slowly walk away, close that door,
Celi: Yeah. I’m gonna add to that because I always get pushback because my clients always love to give me some pushback. So for all of you who are like, Okay, I did the exercise and it’s across the board equal, right? Like, I have two from here, two from here, two from here to from
Celi: here. So system doesn’t. Cool. Step two of the system is which of those clients did you enjoy the most working with,
Celi: was more ideal? three of that is, which of those marketing channels or platforms do you enjoy being the most
Colie: the most. Mm-hmm.
Celi: So it’s layered, right? So don’t tell me, Oh, it’s all equal, or They’re from all over the place. No. Then just take it another step deeper. Go another step deeper, then you get to, Oh, it. I should be focusing in on just really doubling down on my SEO and my blog, or I should be doubling down in these types of Facebook groups. Or I should be really doubling down in masterminds or what.
Colie: So I’m gonna take this one step back because I think what we’ve been talking about thus far growing your business or growth strategy related to bringing in more leads or more qualified leads, that’s just one part of it. Is there a about the growth with clients that you already have?
Because feel. A lot of people just associate growth with getting more clients, Getting more leads get you more clients, but very few people are actually looking internally at the business that you have now figure out how you can grow your business. With what’s already there it audience, if you haven’t heard me say this yet, it’s a treat because I say this all the time.
is easier to get people to pay you if they’ve already paid you . Like if you’re trying to grow your business and you have clients you’ve had one offer, and maybe you have another offer for
Colie: gonna be easier to get them to say yes than it is, you know, some random person who just inquired in your business.
Sally, anything that we should be thinking about when we are talking about business that we already have and the the client roster the leads that may have inquired and not
Colie: should we be looking at for those people?
Celi: Yeah. Well, actually, I’m so glad you said this. You, you might have heard me say this, but I always say growth actually begins in fulfillment, which is why I talk about stressing out and focusing so much about your marketing, because real growth begins in fulfillment. So really growth begins with number one, having a product that really delivers result you promised. Okay, If you aren’t getting great testimonials, great referrals from people because they loved working with you, start at the beginning, which is the product, and what’s the result you’re promising and do you actually deliver that result? I would not be, I would be remiss if I don’t start at the beginning.
Celi: Then number two, referral. Then number three, what you’re talking about is the LTV of your customers, so the lifetime value of your customers, LTV is kind of tied with retention, so it depends on your product and what you’re offering. If you’re. Offering a model that people can continue with you or take course level number two or course level, that’s retention, right?
How do you retain them? And if you have a subscription based model or a community, how do you create retention systems? Right? So I do work on that with my clients. It’s like, what our retention plan here and how are we creating systems to retain?
Colie: Oh, planned. Yes.
Celi: Yeah, so I actually create retention plans and I create plans. My clients. can give you an example. Like one of my clients has a VA consulting, uh, VA firm, and she gives, she gives people either for admin work, but also to do outreach work. So for the outreach clients, we create monthly beautiful report. That we send to the client, right? And that report them, here’s all the work we did, here’s all the outreach we did for you.
Here’s all the DM conversations we had. Here’s how many of them converted into calls. of those calls you, these are the all the people that showed up to your calls. And of those calls, this is how many you closed. welcome. So that’s a retention.
Colie: And data just given to you. Oh my goodness.
Celi: we act, you create report for the client because business gets emotional and people go, I don’t know why I’m paying for the service.
I feel like I didn’t get any new clients this month. So at the end of the month, every month we get a little in your inbox going, This is what we did for you this month. Wanna. Right. There’s a lot of ways to approach retention, and then what you were talking about is ltv, which is the lifetime value of your customer. Okay? They already bought this. They got a graded experience. I have these three other packages that I can always come back to them and say, Hey. it’s this time of year. You might wanna do a family photo shoot for Christmas. Book it in. Now. Here’s that package, right? have you ever thought about a Valentine’s Day photo shoot for your honey You know, like what it is? your other packages are, clients are the ones that you want to be returning.
Celi: like the photography world. My, I worked with an amazing photographer in New York City, which is why I have all these like gorgeous
Colie: Brand name, GTOs.
Celi: of myself, which I’m always like, I feel like that’s not doing me justice, because then I feel like people meet me on video and they’re like, Uh, not a professional model.
And I’m like, No, I’m not. But people ask me for his, They’re like, Who was your photographer? And I sent him
Colie: good referrals.
Celi: the time. And he has one package, one deal. But he’s so amazing that literally I’ve had, I was on a podcast with somebody who lives in LA and she was like, I’m gonna be in New York on such and such week.
Can you connect me with your photographer?
Celi: I was like, Oh, yes. So do not underestimate value of doing a great job.
Colie: In fulfillment. Yes.
Celi: fulfillment. also, he’s just a gem to work with. He’s such a lovely person. He’s done editorial work for Vogue, which is why he made me look so good. but he is also just like hilarious and fun.
And so I’m always like, Yes, please call Paul. He’s, he’s just a gem of a person and an artist, we went through and will blow your socks off, you know,
Celi: he doesn’t even ask me for it. I’ve sent him so many people.
Colie: but you’re such a high, you know, you are a satisfied that I’m sure that when you need your next set of branding photos, you’re gonna return to him, which is going to increase.
Celi: him and be like, Can you make me not look so good?
Celi: Because I feel, Can we do like a photo shoot where it’s like a little more like real me because I just feel like
Colie: Well, you know what, Sally, I do think everybody needs a good mix and, you know, traveling for the branding photos, like, I traveled to San Diego this year, um, in June because I, there was a photographer in San Diego that I wanted to work with and yesterday I literally just booked a second branding session for this year and I’m going to see somebody in Dallas.
So, yes, I am someone. Technically that was word of mouth because she just did a branding shoot for one of my business besties. And I was like, Oh, I’m totally gonna hire Amanda. Okay. And then yesterday I did it. So, Absolutely. so when we’re thinking about retention and the growth plan, is there, like, first let’s back up Sally.
So how should people be tracking these? Like, do you have a tool. or a like kind of table that someone should set up track the growth? Um, these metrics that we’re talking about throughout their business?
Celi: Yeah, absolutely. You Are you talking about just the referral, the
Colie: Well, just in general.
Celi: Oh yeah,
Colie: we told them to put it on a piece of one, column two. like, I don’t know about anybody else listening, but I can’t keep tracks of pieces of paper. Like they just, no one should see my office right now. It is quite the horse show. once you’re writing these things down and you’re reviewing them, like, where is it we could be entering this information that we can look at, okay, well this is what it showed in q1.
And now this is what we have in q2 because I do think it’s worth saying, guys, Sally is not telling you to do this one time a year and then move on. Like this is something that you should be writing down. I mean, in my opinion, no less than every quarter. Every quarter, you should be writing down all your clients where they came from, because you will see that in q1.
you had people coming into your business from and you decided to double down on. In quarter two, you should of course do the again
Colie: see if your doubled effort towards marketing channel B actually led to more leads, more qualified leads, more closing. All of those things that we’ve been talking about, calculating and kind of keeping track of.
Celi: Okay, so I love this question because I get asked this a lot and I give a very frustrating answer, but this is my honest answer. Um, I am a systems person and I Yes, please track that in the of your.
Celi: And here’s why, because I want you to use it.
Celi: um, I’ve built that out for myself in Click Up. have clients who do it in Air Table because they are Love Air Table.
clients who don’t use any PM tools or CRM tools yet. And for those clients, I build them a dashboard. in Google Sheets,
Colie: Sheets. Yeah, that was, I, I knew you were gonna go there, cuz of course I know what the back end of your business looks like, but like
Celi: you’ve seen it. So,
Celi: doesn’t have a system that they don’t, that they already use, I’m like, don’t worry, we do not need to suddenly go and learn, click up or suddenly go and learn air table.
Celi: I’m gonna make you a dashboard and here’s these columns we’ve been talking about and I make you check fill it in every Friday or every Monday, cuz you know, I’m looking at.
Colie: I know you are.
Celi: at your sheet. because then when we you know, my recurring clients, for my retainer clients, every week I’m like, Tell me the numbers. Go. I, I, my rule is I want you to use a system. That you’re going to actually open and look at. I have somebody doing it in notion right now cuz she just loves notion.
I I am particularly like pipe drive a sales tool. It’s like it does everything I want it to do. It does projections, it does conversion. I, I do try to, I’m like, I tell people like, check out pipe drive if you like it. I have two clients who’ve implemented it. I have another client who uses Udu and. Made Udu do what pipe ride would do. I have another client who uses something podium, like work with every system. the reason why is because I want you to actually track it.
Colie: And use it. Yes.
Celi: I want, it to be fun. And one of my yes, the last week I literally started weeping our call.
Colie: It takes a lot to make you weep. Selling. Uh, that must have been amazing.
Celi: I was like, am getting right now. And I, and she was just like, Oh my God. And I was so sad that I didn’t record this call because it was like, I wanted proof in the world that this is the shit that makes me cry. was, she’s somebody who actually came to me and she hates numbers avoids numbers and, and avoids looking at her numbers and Ma makes her really uncomfortable. And I showed her in Google Sheets what I wanted her to track and what I wanted her to look at. And I wanted to have healthy projections in her business and know what’s coming and know what money’s coming in. She has a big business. she came to me at zero. And she just came to me. She’s like, I took the weekend.
She’s like, I am an air table person. It works for me. It makes sense to me. I built out your thing Air Table and I’m going today to report my numbers to you tell me, tell you where we’re at over week, financially, month over month, what I can expect to come in here. And I’d like, I was looking at her air table and I was like,
Colie: It’s so beautiful.
Celi: I was like, Oh my God. I’m crying and she was just like,
Colie: What is going on? I know.
Celi: it’s like, I don’t care where you do it, do you understand the beauty of this person was in debt scared of numbers, and now she has this thing where she’s like, I can tell you where we’re at this week. I can tell you what’s coming in next.
Week. I can tell you when I’m get, when I can pay my team, can tell you like how October, December is projected to look. So I now know how hard I need to work to hit my goals. And I was just like, my work here is done. She’s grown up. She doesn’t need me anymore. Like I was literally like, have been recording this call.
Celi: she laughed so hard. She was just like, You are the biggest weirdo. And I’m like, I know, know, but
Colie: I own it.
Colie: mean, Sally, first of all, I need you to walk away from this podcast knowing you have to record all calls. I don’t wanna ever hear you say again that you didn’t record a call. I hit record on every single call because you literally never know when someone is gonna give you an amazing testimonial.
You never know when they are gonna say that one thing that’s that needs to go in all of my marketing. So Sally, that’s number one.
Celi: one of those, like, I don’t need our full session today because I have a sales call at the 30 minute mark, but I just wanted to show you what I did and I was like, Okay, sure. Let’s hop on for
Celi: we’ll catch up later. I was just like, Oh my God. Oh my God. I
Colie: And second, I wanna say earlier I said, there’s a lot of power in your own data. So now I’m gonna that and I’m gonna say there is great power in knowing and understanding your own numbers because the one mistake that I see a lot of people make when they go and they outsource their bookkeeping that then they never look their own numbers.
Like, it’s like, No, I’m paying a professional to do it. Like they’re taking care of it for.
Celi: you said that because I know
Colie: But you need
my role with all my clients and myself included. I want you to know how to do it, I want you to understand it, and then we can give it back to a bookkeeper.
Celi: I’m fine with that, but I want you to know how, if you use QuickBooks or if you use Zero or whatever, I want you to know to reconcile and I want you to know how to use it, and then I’m happy for you to give it away because here’s the thing, had so many clients. Who are close to seven figures or beyond, and they have businesses and no one’s told them. They have an accountant, they have a bookkeeper, have somebody else doing it. Because here’s the thing, guys, your accountant and your bookkeeper is not a business strategist,
Celi: so it’s not their responsibility to say, Hey, you of are run, you’re running like hand to mouth every month.
Colie: Do you know that
Celi: that, Do you might wanna work with somebody to look at that? Like, I am surprised now my framework. it used to be that I looked at profitability if I felt it was something we needed to address. I just address it with everyone
Colie: everyone. Yes.
Celi: at how even a $2 million is not profitable or someone who thinks she’s killing it cuz she. Going to end the year at 700 K, but like can’t pay her bills next month. You’re not killing it if you
Colie: your profitability is in the toilet,
Celi: Yeah. So we sometimes, if that’s, again, measuring the wrong thing, looking at revenue, just looking at new leads, closing to sales, just looking revenue not looking at all the internals.
Right. So I agree with you. I think there’s some amazing bookkeepers out there, and I have one that I recommend to people, and you do need to understand your numbers, and you need to understand is your business profitable or did you just give yourself a full-time job you’re
Celi: in harder because it’s yours?
Colie: So, Sally, I got one question that we’re gonna close this out with that I ask
Colie: and that is, tell us about your biggest fuck up in your business. What did you learn from it and what did it cost you?
Celi: Amazing this. I never get asked this and I’m so honored that you would ask because it’s a really important one. So I’m really old. I’ve been in business for like 25 years
Colie: but you’re not old.
Celi: I’m, I say that because people are like, What do you know? And I’m like, Well, I’ve been in business for a long time. My first I started in my early twenties. In Argentina and I started a clothing line for a niche that I saw really needed its own thing. It was a beautiful experiment, and it started to do well and take off. So I made two mistakes in this business, and I say this because it’s so, so, so, so, so important. I was young proud. Hubris might have played a part cuz I’m very smart I’m very nerdy.
And I, when I was younger, I thought I knew everything I
Celi: Um, so number one, I thought I knew everything. I know now that I don’t know everything and I’m happy to not know everything and I’m happy to be wrong and I’m happy to be proven wrong and I’m to learn When I was younger, I did everything in this business. That was mistake number one. I wore every single hat. I’ve made the patterns and made the sample. I sewed a lot of the pieces. I did my marketing. went to events and sold at events, at trade shows, at like industry events. I ran a boutique. I saw I fitted clients
Colie: I’m exhausted with you giving me that list.
Celi: I, I always say I never partied and I never drank in my twenties because I ran a business That’s the truth. I didn’t start drinking until my thirties, so I was like, I was too busy in my twenties. I worked seven days a week throughout, like from the age of 24 to 33. I worked seven days a week. So that was mistake number one, was thinking I could do it. And what happens when you think you can do it all and you’re doing all the things because you’re such a superstar and you’re whatever. You ignore like the metrics. And I had, uh, a mentor of mine who taught me a lot about and he, poor man, you talking to me was probably like talking to a wall and. He’s such a lovely, lovely, uh, uh, man and still a mentor to me today. he tried to teach me about metrics and numbers, and I’d be like, This new dress, people are loving it and I’m killing it.
And he’s like, Cool. How many did you sell this week versus last week? Right? And I’d be like,
Colie: And you’re like, I don’t know,
Celi: People love it though. I’m gonna make a hundred. And he’s like, Are you sure you can make a hundred? Do you have
Colie: are you sure you can sell a hundred? Yeah.
Celi: sell hundred? yeah, this is my best selling dress. Like are you talking about? basically he was trying to get me to like stop doing all the things, like hire some assis, some junior level assistants so that you can start looking at the numbers and the metrics and like run your business like a business and. God, I fought him. I fought that for years. Um, so those are my two mistakes.
It’s like thinking I could do it all just cuz you have
Colie: And ignoring your metrics,
Celi: you are smart. Just because you’re smart and you can doesn’t mean you
Colie: you should, mm-hmm.
Celi: Right. And because I was so busy, here’s what I see my clients do lot. We purposely make ourselves busy to avoid the things we’re not good. And in
Celi: case, okay, so in my case, I was good at numbers. This is why I love numbers so much. People think I’m a numbers person. I’m like, No, I went to art school. Okay, I went, I have a fine arts degree and a fashion design degree before I ever got my The reason I fell in love with numbers later was because, The numbers are telling me the story
Colie: Story of the
Celi: my business is performing or not performing, when I was able to see numbers in that way, they’re telling me a story. The me could go, I can get down with. Okay. Okay. Numbers, tell me the story. Give the story. And now I teach numbers that way. But that was like my biggest mistake was whatever you’re making really, really busy with, when you catch yourself saying, I was too busy too,
Colie: the thing you need to work on.
Celi: thing you need to work on. I was too busy to really sit down and never look at my numbers and whew, that bit me in the ass in the end.
Colie: Sally, I love that we’re ending on that story cuz it’s amazing. people wanna follow you, find out more about your growth strategy services, where can they find you?
Celi: Funnest place to follow me is on Instagram because, you know, I show up there for
Celi: am Don Celia. And um, if you wanna know how your business is performing and if your business is scalable, go take my quiz. It’s just fun for free. It’s meant to help you. It’s not a score telling you like you pass fail. meant to help you know where you should be looking.
Celi: And it’s quiz sell rs.com
Colie: And I will have all of that in the show notes. Guys, Celi, thank you so much for joining me this morning. You know I love you. Any opportunity to see more of your face is a good one. Thank you for coming on the podcast. And guys, I’ll see you next time.