20 Years and $5 Million in Sales: What I Wish I’d Known Sooner
I’ve been in the jewelry business for over 20 years. I think about my journey all of the time, so a few days ago, just for fun, I decided to crunch some numbers.
I grabbed my records, starting all the way back to 1993 when I was just doing my jewelry as a hobby, and added up all of my sales. I was blown away by the results of my efforts! Seriously blown away.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve generated close 5 million dollars in sales!
That seriously amazes me, but wait — what if I had known all the business secrets I know now (what TO-DO and what NOT-TO-DO) back in 1993? What if I hadn’t tried to go it alone for so long and reached out to coaches and mentors? I bet my growth would have been even more significant.
Over the past two years, we have watched several of our mastermind designers soar to places they never expected (although we could see it clearly). Things like increase their sales by 20% to 100% over the previous year, see their work placed on influencers and celebrities and, most importantly, make the internal shifts that allowed them to kick their fear to the curb and go after their dreams and goals.
All because they didn’t spend 20 years learning about business by trial and error. They took a risk, joined our Mastermind, and chopped years off of their learning curve.
I thought I would share with you my insights on 20 Years and $5 Million in Sales: What I Wish I'd Known Sooner…
1. Surround yourself with the “Right” people
I can’t express enough how important is it to surround yourself with people who are going to support you and give you feedback and insights. When I found my tribe, everything changed in my jewelry business. I felt supported, my sales grew and I was earning more than I ever thought possible.
2. Your Strategic relationships are what make or break you as a designer
Learning to develop strategic partnerships is the key to your success in business. Why? Even though it seems obvious, they are going to support your success.
Your strategic relationships can be defined as your repeat clients and raving fans, your mentors or peers, your vendors and production partners, your team and anyone else who supports you in business over the long term.
Surrounding yourself with the right partners and clients for longevity are what will help you continue to soar and grow your sales.
3. Stay true to what works for you
Any time when I was uninspired or not feeling “it” my business suffered. Sales dropped, I had zero creativity and I felt like giving up. In hindsight, I realized this happened because I was not staying true to myself and what was working for me.
THANK GOODNESS for the help of my support team of coaches, mentors and consultants. Clarity often comes when you are supported by people who can see outside of your fog and lead you in the direction that you need to go.
4. Outside eyes can create rapid growth as opposed to doing it alone
I didn’t value the investment in myself and my business until I had hit rock bottom. It was when I felt like I had the least amount of money that I ended up investing in consultants and mentors to help me see outside of my fog.
Within just a few sessions, I was seeing my business differently. I couldn’t believe how stuck I really was! With the help of my support “team” and inspired action, I had the courage to make the changes that I needed for ultimate happiness and success.
In fact, I believe in this principle so MUCH that even though I teach jewelry business skills to you, I have a team of consultants and peers that help me think outside the box with MY own jewelry business.
5. Accountability keeps you on track
Right before I speak to my coaches (AKA “Team Tracy”), I get a little bit nervous. Sometimes I slack off. I don’t do what I say I am going to do and I I feel like I have let them down if I am not staying on track. While they are always supportive of me, they are really there to keep me accountable.
While I am responsible for my own business and personal growth, having my coaches or my “team” there to keep me on track has been KEY to the incredible personal and professional transformation that I have made over the past several years.
6. Taking action and putting yourself out there are the keys to business growth (not just beautiful jewelry)
Talent is important, but taking action and putting yourself out there is one thousand times more important than talent alone. I have met loads of designers over the year who are extremely talented, but get no where. On the flip side, I’ve also met loads of designers who have what I would consider mediocre talent and end up being superstar designers.
Your success is directly related to your ability to move forward in your business instead of hiding out in your studio. Flex your rejection muscles and learn how to detach from the “No’s” so you can start receiving the “Yes’s.”
7. Keep a constant eye on your Financials
In the short term, a careful watch of your financials probably won’t have a drastic affect. However, over time, disregard of your financials and understanding how your margins, expenses and overhead directly relate to your business success will drag your company down.
Listen to me…don’t ignore this VERY important part of your business. Keep a consistent eye on the complete financial picture of your business and understand what it means to truly profit (instead of having a million dollar hobby-oh I’ve seen it happen).
8. Your Happiness is more important than anything
Remember this! If running a jewelry business or the direction of your business is going in does NOT make you happy, take a step back and evaluate why! This is key.
My health and well-being was severely damaged near the end of my first business. I was only running it because I felt obligated to, not because it made me happy. It sucked the life out of me.
Changing my business direction, and working on my own terms, was the best thing I could ever do. I truly believe that my success is directly related to my happiness.
9. The only thing you can count on in business is that it’s going to change
I learned this adage years ago when I started practicing yoga. What’s true in yoga is true in business, the only thing you can count on is that things are going to change.
Over the years, my business has transformed several times: from a hobby to a wholesale business and now a custom and private label business. The changes were not only with my business model, but in the way I connected with clients, my design aesthetic, my unique offering and the list continues.
Success is fleeting if you aren’t willing to change.
I could probably go on for days about how to grow your jewelry business. The key ingredient, however, is the power of the community of the people I surround myself with. That is why it is first in the list.
See the evidence from these designers below.
In the video above, some of the designers we’ve mentored are sharing their stories of success Masterminding with us. Today we launched our application process for the F&TA Mastermind Intensive for 2015. If you are a designer who is ready for 2015 to blow their socks off, you are in for a treat.
Even if you don’t think you are ready for it, we highly encourage you to fill out the application for your own benefit. It will be invaluable to helping you evaluate where you are in business and where you’d like to go.
In the comments below, tell us the following::
What are your favorite insights for growing your business?
What was your biggest takeaway from my lessons?