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Podcast

Episode 132: Ask Serwaa Anything: My Business Isn’t Profitable, Negative Self-Talk and Advice For Starting A Business

Apr 15, 2021

In today’s episode, I am going solo and answering all the business-related questions I’ve received from listeners. I’m covering various topics for both new and seasoned business owners to help you navigate your business journey. 

If you want to learn what business growth looks like, how to push through negative self-talk, and why running your own business differs from corporate, listen up. Plus, I’m even giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how I built my business at the intersection of passion, skill, and market need.

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You’ll learn:

  • The four phases of business growth
  • Why your business will pivot and evolve
  • How to overcome Imposter Syndrome as a new business owner
  • An inside look at how I built my own business

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Episode Transcript

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Hi Off-Scripters it's your host. So and welcome to episode 1 32 of the She's off Script podcast. This is a show where we hear and learn from women who have created unique blueprints for their business success. My hope is that you'll hear their stories and translate their gems into a unique path

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for yourself. For today's episode we're having an ask, Serwaa anything episode. We're answering the questions that you submitted to us on our Instagram account @shesoffscript. If you're not following us there, make sure that you connect with us there as well, just so you have a chance to submit questions for future ask. So a anything episodes before we dive into the rest of the episode, I would love it. If you could subscribe, rate and review our show on ITunes or wherever you listen to podcast, this will help to spread the word about our show. So the amazing stories that we share on here can inspire women looking to launch their own Off-Scripters journeys, the She's off Script podcast also has a membership community to help you launch and grow your business with resources and coaching during our boss, Off-Scripters community today

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

by going to Serwaa, Adjei-Pellé dot com forward slash community with that. Let's go off script and dive

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into today's ask So why anything episode today, as you can see by the title, we are having an ask so anything episode, it has been a while since I've done a solo episode. We've had some amazing conversations with some great business women and I just wanted to give them their space to share on this platform. But because of that our community has grown, we have a few new listeners on here and I wanted to give you all a chance to send in your questions just so we can see what's on your mind and I can help you along in your business growing journey by answering your question. Also new this year, we're on Youtube. If you're listening to the audio version, just know that there's also a video version on Youtube and

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

if you're watching right now on Youtube, just know that there's an audio version that you can also take on the go with you. So that was the admin portion. Let's go ahead and dive straight into

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the questions that you have sent us. So the first question that we have today is, can you call something, a business even if you aren't making a profit? So the short answer to that is yes, because if you have a solution to a problem that people are willing to pay for and that

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you are putting out there and marketing, you have a business. Now, traditionally there are four phases or people probably break them down into more sub-phases, therefore, phases of business growth or a business growth journey to begin with, people have the ideation phase. Now this is where you're thinking about, what kind of business do I want to launch or grow and you're also forming the business, you're forming the legal structure or the bones of the business, that's your ideation phase. Next up, you're going to have your, what we like to call a validation or a proof

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of concept phase. Now, during this phase, you are trying to make sure that people actually are going to pay for the business idea or the service of the product that you put out there. So during this phase, you're probably giving people test samples of whatever you have to offer. You're probably giving people your service at a reduced rate just so you can get their feedback on what they think about whatever it is that you're selling them Next phase is your traction phase. Once

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you have an idea that actually works, it's

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time for you to gain some traction, which means how many people can I reach with this? How can I get consistent revenue? How can I get more income? Have I tweaked it? Have I made sure that this is a solid idea, and then finally, you can scale it. So this is you pouring gas on the little fire that you started. Once you have all the pieces, you know who you're selling to, you know what, you're selling them, you know how to sell it to them and you know where you're selling it to them, you can pour gas on it by either running facebook ads. That's one way people will do that. Or going on some sort of a podcast tour where your audience is and getting in front of new audiences. Or some people will also hire a pr firm just to get a lot of press around whatever it is that you're doing, and that will help more eyes get on your business. And in turn, you can convert those eyes into customers for your business. So to circle back to your question there, do you have a business if you're not profitable? The answer is yes, because oftentimes early on in your business, you're not going to be profitable. Profitability is simply the revenue that you generate,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

which is the income that you make minus the expenses. How much money does it take to actually run your business? Actually reach your customers? That is what's going to dictate your profitability. So all I would say to you is keep on going because it probably is going to

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Take you 18-24 months to go through all those

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phases and see profitability in your business. So don't get discouraged early on, you're not making enough profit or you're not making consistent revenue because you're probably still going through all those phases.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Alright, so that was question number one question number two is do you have any advice for someone who is newly trying to launch a business? And I will couple it with this other question about how do you push through

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negative self talk when starting a business? So I would say I have three pieces of advice for you. If you're newly starting a business, I would encourage you to start a business that is at the intersection of something you're passionate about, something your skills at and something that is a big enough problem for someone else that they would actually pay you for it. Remember we talked about that validation phase where you're making sure that people actually will pay for the solution you have Yeah this is what I want to make sure that you're doing is whatever problem you're solving or whatever business that you're growing. Make sure that it is at that sweet spot because you will need that perfect storm when it gets tough because the business building journey is a long one. We already talked about 18 to 24 months just to get yourself profitable. So you want to make sure that it's something that you're passionate about, something that your skills at because that's going to be your X Factor, right? Because you could do it so easily that you don't have to think about it. It's just a matter of learning the mechanics of how to sell and how to market, but the skill itself, the solution itself, it's something that is a gift

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of yours, right? It's something that is a scale of yours that no one can very easily replicate that perfect storm. So that's number one. Number two, I would encourage you to take it slowly. I feel like the internet and social media has made it seem like people are overnight

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successes and that isn't always the case. Most people's first businesses aren't going to succeed. Most people's first businesses will go through multiple iterations. They will go through multiple pivots before they find that sweet spot before they find that business that's actually going to work for them. So if you're meeting them three years down the road when they just oh I just launched this new business and it worked. You may not know that this business that they are just launching and it grossed a million dollars overnight is simply our version 10 of whatever it is that they've been working on over the

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past 10 years. So take it slow. Don't be fooled by people's overnight successes. Run your own journey and piece of advice number three for those of you who are newly starting a business is to be fully committed to the

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process. Don't treat it as a hobby. Don't minimize what you're doing. You have a solution to offer people out there need whatever it is that you have to offer. So don't just say ah this is just my little side thing that I do. It's just a little side hustle, you know, no treat it as a business. Be fully committed to it from day one and there's so much more that I could say about launching a business. But yeah, those are the three

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

pieces of advice I would give you. And then the second part of the question, how do you battle all of the negative self talk? And I would tell you that that negative self talk or the self doubt, it's also called imposter syndrome. It probably

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is never going to go away because as the saying goes, new levels, new devils at every level you get to, there's probably going to be something that you are unsure about or something that you've never been faced with and you may be hesitant to move forward because you feel like you don't belong in the room or whatever the case may be, whenever that arises, I would encourage you to do this test. Think about whether or not what you're telling yourself is something that you would say to your best friend, do that best friend test because our best friends, even if we're giving them tough love, we're doing it in a loving way and we're not flippantly saying mean things to them, the way we say mean things to ourselves in our minds like oh that was a stupid thing for you to say,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

oh they're never going to buy that. What is the narrative you are telling yourself? And I want you to get

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into the habit of proactively checking yourself whenever you find yourself talking to yourself in that way and as I said, it's probably never going to entirely go away, but you can start to build better and more positive self talk in your mind. The other thing I would say is surround yourself with people who are doing things that you never even thought were possible because that proximity to power, that proximity to success is so motivating and a the way that they talk about what they're able to do, it rubs off on you and I would encourage

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you to build those kinds of relationships, find mentors that are going to speak life into, you find new friends circles who are not looking at you sideways because you're building a business. I think your friendships are probably going to evolve as you launch a business because they're not interested in this new phase of your

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

life. I'm not saying drop the friends. All I'm saying is develop new friendships, so you have people to lean on from a business growth perspective and then you can have your friends to lean on for just life stuff in general. So that would be my advice on that combined question. The next question is how is what you do today, different from what you did in your corporate job? So for those of you that are new

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to me or new to the podcast before starting this podcast and also starting

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Pilling code which is my consulting business. I worked on Wall Street for almost 10 years in my last role. I was a vice president managing the US. commercial real estate operations team and I would say that there isn't too much that is different. And let

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

me explain that to you. So today on my the consulting side of my business I like to call that my business to business side of things where I'm working with business leaders to create and implement their digital strategy so that they don't get disrupted by all the innovation that's taking place and they can make sure that they preserve their revenue growth into the future. So that's the business to business side of what I do. And I also have a B. Two C. Side to business to consumer side and this podcast

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

is part of it. So I'm building a media platform. I like to call it the She's off Script platform has this podcast, it has our membership group that we started this year as well as courses and virtual conferences. So it sounds like a lot and I don't do it all by myself as far as how is it different from what I used to do? It has facets of everything. So in my 9 to 5 I worked on strategy, I worked on international projects and managed them. I also helped to establish and grow teams. I managed people and so that business strategy side of things and working with very large corporations on Main Street and technology firms

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

really gave me insight into the way businesses work. And then a part of my side hustle within the

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company was to sit on a selection committee for what is called the 10,000 Small businesses program, which was a little bit of an accelerator for small businesses. They would come in and get coaching and things of that nature. And I was a part of that for a few years and that really gave me a passion for working with small businesses. So it wasn't a far cry from what I'm doing right now with the she's off Script platform. So long story short, not too much is different. I've been able to extract the expertise and everything I

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Located from my 9-5 and turn

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all of those pieces into a business that I love because let's be honest, they're always parts of our jobs that we don't absolutely love, but you kind of have to eat your vegetables with the desert. Right? So for me this is kind of the perfect happy medium where I've been able to build a business around my passion around my

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skills and around the need that's out there in the market. So keep your eyes tuned because our eyes or ears tuned. I did mention of course, so that's kind of giving you a little

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bit of tea on what's coming up on the she's off Script platform. So the next question is, what is your favorite part of your job? So many favorite parts? And as I mentioned before, I was able to put together the pieces of my 9 to 5 that I absolutely loved into what I do every day now. But let's run down the list here. My favorite part I would say is meeting people I meet all sorts of business leaders, Ceos executives and then also the women that come on this podcast are also Ceos and leaders in their businesses. So I absolutely love that they're able to share and pour into my community. But I love that they're part of my personal network now. So I love to meet people and this has been a great way to expand my network and friendships and relationships as well. Other than that, I love that I'm able to help people and business owners bring me behind the curtain and I get to see what their challenges are. I get to see some of the amazing things that they're doing. It feeds me just as I'm able

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

to work with them and pour into their businesses. So that's been amazing. The other thing that I love about running my own business is the fact that I'm able to innovate and move quickly. And that's something that within the corporate space is tough is there's so many layers that you need to go through in order to see a project come full circle when you run your own business, you're able to pull a team together fairly quickly. If you have a

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great strategy and you have a great way to execute and implement it. Things happen pretty quickly and I love that about running my own business. Hopefully I don't ever get so big that things turn sluggish, but for now, that's an

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aspect of my job that I love and then, last, but not least, one of the big reasons for me launching this business

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was that I wanted to be able to control my own schedule, and right now I'm able to do that. I'm able to set what days I don't take meetings, what days I have podcast interviews, what days I can just step back and be a little bit more creative versus having to work on the admin of

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my

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business, So that's been an amazing part of working on my own thing. Okay, so that brings us to the end of this ask So a anything episode, if you found that listening to the answers to all these questions have gotten you even more excited about launching your own business, no matter what phase of the business journey you're in, whether you're still idea waiting or you're looking to scale, I want to invite you to join boss, she's off Script which is our membership community, you get life coaching, you're able to

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

sit in the hot seat and get other business owners to focus on your business, and then you'll also get video lessons, downloadable resources and so much more. So go to Serwaa Adjei-Pellé dot com forward slash community for a little bit more information about our boss, she's off Script membership community. Alright with that, we'll see you back here for the next episode. If you're listening on apple podcasts or Spotify wherever you're

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

listening, please go ahead and subscribe. If you're watching on Youtube, go ahead and subscribe and then also leave us a review. That is really what helps us get discovered

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

on platforms like apple podcasts. All right, we'll see you back here for our next episode soon. Bye. Hi Off-Scripters I'm so glad you made it to the end of this episode. If you enjoy listening to our show, please pay it forward by sharing us with your network between episodes. You can find me on instagram are handle is @shesoffscript or you can catch up on past episodes on shesoffscript.com - see you on the next one.

hey there!

I'm Serwaa, your new business strategist.

I’m a digital business strategy expert, headstrong high achiever, mom of two girls and wife to a strapping African man.

Embracing these facets of my life has been the key to breaking through my plateaus!

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