YOU GUYS... before we dig into today's episode, I have HUGE news. The Mompreneur Mastermind Show is a Top 2o Mompreneur podcast! Woohoo!!! I am so grateful to each of you for being on this journey with me. Let's keep sharing and spreading the love so we can further our mission of helping women live better, love harder, and grow faster. Xo. Stef
Claiming Your POTENTIAL and OVERCOMING adversity. Boom. Erin E Hooley brings the fire on today's show. From mama bear to 7-figure business owner, Erin teaches us exactly how she did it!
Married two weeks after her 19th birthday, Erin is the mother to 6 children, ages 5-13. She holds no degree. She has completed no formalized training. She doesn’t even know how to sew! And yet, she is the President and Founder of Bailey’s Blossoms, a multi-million dollar children’s e-commerce clothing line, and Peyton Bre, it’s
sister brand for tweens and teens.
With a love for mentorship and coaching, she’s the creator and host of the “Conquering Chaos” podcast and is dedicated to developing a community of individuals who believe that business and motherhood (parenthood) are NOT enemies.
She’s the woman who refuses to take “no” for an answer. The woman who sees opportunity where others see failure. And the woman who is determined to help EVERY (man and) woman recognize their potential and find fulfillment in leading a life of balance.
In today's podcast episode, Erin walks us through her journey to 7-figures. How she started a product based business and was able to scale it from an affiliate on Etsy to owning her own children's product empire. Erin will give you the tips and secrets to overcoming adversity and stepping into your own life's potential using social media and true connection.
Love and light,
P.S. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to share a screenshot in your IG stories! I will shout you out on my stories! Yeahhh!!!!!
Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post.
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What has podcasting done for my business? Well, my podcast grew my revenue by over 98%! My community has grown by thousands and it has allowed me to touch more people than I ever could have imagined.
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Today's very special guest is Erin E. Hooley. Podcast host of Conquering Chaos! Find out more about Erin and her empire at erinehooley.com. You can also connect with Erin on social @erinehooley!
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey, you, here we go. This is episode number 70, and I am talking with seven figure mogul, Erin E Hooley today. And we're going to talk all about starting a product based business, and most importantly, how to claim your potential and overcome all of the adversity as you scale your brand and your business. It was so good at the end of this episode, I literally had chills because Erin just made it rain. You're going to love her. Before we dig into today's show. I want to read you the review of the week. This review is left on iTunes. It's a five-star review and it says inspired is an understatement left by library tutors. I heard Stephanie on another podcast and I was so sad when the episode was over. I needed more from her. I quickly subscribed to her podcast and have been bingeing. The episodes.
Stefanie is hilarious down to earth and relatable. She has the amazing energy that literally feels like we were sitting down right next to each other. Chatting like best friends would. My favorite part of each episode is when she prays for me, it brings tears to my eyes. It's everything I needed to get me through the day. You will be inspired and on fire after listening to her episodes. Oh my gosh. I love this one so much. Thank you. Library tutors for taking the time to share with me how much this podcast means to you and Hey boss, if you haven't left a review, why not pause this episode? Head over to iTunes and leave a review.
What's up. Mama boss. Welcome back to The Mompreneur Mastermind Show. I'm Stefanie Gass, success strategist and passive income queen creator. If you're ready to step into your God, led potential, create profit from your passions and capture the success that is already yours. This podcast was made for you as always. You can find out more and connect with me over at stefaniegass.com. So grab that cup of coffee or fill up that glass of wine and let's dig in to today's show,
Right? So who is Erin E Hooley you asked, let me tell you who are very special. Guests is today. Erin was married two weeks after her 19th birthday, and she has six children ranging from five to 13. She doesn't have any degrees. She has completed no formal training. And Erin says she doesn't even know how to sew. And yet she is the president and founder of Bailey's blossoms, a multi-million dollar children's e-commerce clothing line and its sister brand for tweens and teens, Peyton, Brie, with a love for mentorship and coaching. She's also the creator and host of conquering chaos podcast. And it's dedicated to helping a community of individuals who believe that business and motherhood are not actually enemies. Aaron is the woman who refuses to take no for an answer. She sees opportunity where others see failure and she is determined to help every woman recognize their potential and find fulfillment in leading a life of balance. Let's dig in to the show. Oh my goodness. You guys, I am,
I'm sitting here with the most incredible Erin. You heard all about her in the intro. I mean
Talk about mama that does it all
Like she has goals, right? So I brought her on today because I have to know like, how is she doing this? And I'm so excited to hear how she's scaled this amazing, amazing business that you're going to hear all about. And so welcome. Welcome to the show, Erin. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here. You know, I think having the opportunity to speak to other women who have the same degree of just power behind what they do has been such an incredible journey and an a fuel to make me want to run even faster and, and surround myself with such powerhouses. So it's good to be here. You know, Bailey's blossoms really started back in 2009 and it started out of my home. When my husband had gotten a job with Mercedes-Benz financial services that took him to Michigan and I was finishing up a preschool year out of our home in Arizona.
And in the evening time I was getting really bored. So I figured I needed to start something new to keep me occupied. And my daughter Bailey she's our oldest child. She has this mad, crazy hair, three Calex in the back and two in the front. So she always just looked disheveled and crazy. And one of my little preschool kids had come to school one day with this little hair flower in her hair. She always had big bows and big flowers and she just always pristinely done up and cute dresses. And I thought, Oh, maybe if I put something in her hair, she'll look like she has a mother who loves her. So I started making, I went to hobby lobby with all my little 40% off coupons grabbed a bunch of flower heads, started chopping them up and gluing them back together and creating these hair accessories.
So the business started and that's called Bailey's blossoms Bailey for my daughter. And Boston's because it really started as hair flowers. Well, as most hobbies that I have go, it went really crazy, really fast, and I needed to justify all these expenditures I was making by turning it into yet another business. And I'm always, I'm a serial entrepreneur of sorts and always thinking of the next thing, just the next thing that I can do. And that fuels me in it. It gets me excited. So at that point it really started, I mastered the hair accessories and then I said, okay, well what's next? Well, you know, how many hair accessories do I really have to make in order to make it worth my time? You know, I'm selling these things for three to $5 a piece I need to make that dollar per hour proposition, does it really set well with me?
And so what's next. So the next logical thing was to start making tutus at the time. This is in 2009. It's a fluffier, the better that whole phase. Right? And so I started two twos. And so they're really focusing on first birthdays. And then the first Halloween came up the for any, no, that first autumn season, I thought, Oh my gosh, I can make a costume with a Tutu. And so I turned it into witches and cats and ghosts and pumpkins and all of these little things. And and that it went crazy, crazy, very fast and started to overwhelm me to be honest, where I thought, Oh, how many can I actually make before I need to get some help? I can't do like
Knowing these yourself. No heavens
No funny enough is that now it's a full-fledged clothing line. Right. And I don't actually, so at all, I have no idea how to sell. Right. And so, you know, that, and that actually leads it to, well, my husband got a position in Brazil, so we went to Brazil for two years and I had to shut it down on my California. Mama needs a break need to regroup and get my mind around what this looks like. Cause I was literally tying like the, no. So tutus all day long and tool all over my house, flowers all over my house. I was ready to kind of feel sane again. So I shut it down for two years. And during those two years, I had that opportunity to rub shoulders with some really fantastic entrepreneurs. And so for that duration, I was just able to dream and draft and conjure up what I wanted it to be when I got back. And when we had left, I actually, I think we had somewhere around 20 to 25,000 followers on Facebook and I said, Hey guys, Bailey's Boston's has taken a hiatus for two years. We're moving abroad, but stick around because when I get back, it's going to be bigger and better than it was before. And was it profitable
At this point? Were you already turning a profit?
It was okay. But it was a smaller profit because the expenditures I never paid myself, I should make that very clear too. I was, my husband's job was carrying us financially. I wanted to scale it. I wanted to see how big it could get. It actually kind of became a little bit of a sickness where my mother, I flew her out at one point to come and help. And she just said, Aaron, turn it off. You know, I had that Etsy app cause we were on Etsy at the time and it was constantly to change, change Ching all day long. And it was coming in faster than I could put it out and I'd just be crying and she's like, Erin, what's wrong with you? Turn it off.
Gosh. Okay. Look, you know that that's a whole different discussion. Yes. I've been there for a while and I think it's hard when you, when you hit the
Point of like, Ooh, I actually am successful, but then success doesn't actually equal. Oh, now it's does take a step back and everything's working. It's, it's almost harder. And you know exactly. And taking that step back, keeping that perspective and understanding what balance looked like in my life at that point was non-existent. So it was all about, I never took the time to celebrate the successes along the way. I just bounced up to the next one. So that was a, that's been a learning process in of itself. But when we got back from Brazil and we relaunched or we were preparing to relaunch, I told my husband, I said, I want to restart this company. And he said, okay, how much is it going to take? Cause he knew. And I said, all of it, I just watched the blood drain from his face and he just goes all of it.
I said all of it, but it's okay. It's all right. Give me six months, maybe a year. And I will put all that money right back where it belongs. And he being my husband and he's fantastic. And he's been this isn't his first rodeo with me and he said, all right, I'll trust you let's do this. And we had incurred a mountain of school debt because he had just gotten his MBA previous to me getting a job with Mercedes. So we had put a down payment on our home and then I took the remainder of that money and to relaunch the business and took us down to safety net zero. So that was a scary time. That is
Really scary. But I think you knew in your heart, obviously you were successful the first time. So here you go. Better than ever 2.0 right. And the greatest part was, and I believe it was around 25,000
People when I left, when I got back and I saw that there were two, still 22,000 people waiting and I'm going, Oh, maybe this was by accident, but maybe it wasn't, let's see what we can do. So I decided in that moment, I said, here's the thing it makes me happy to create. And I know that that's important. I need to do that. It does not. I like making it the first time. It does not make me happy to create 101 times the same piece over and over again. So my vision completely changed. And I said, all right, in order to scale this to the degree that I think I can, that I believe I can. It looks different now. So how does it look different will look different because I needed to outsource the production. And so actually it was funny when we first got back, I said, all right, instead of me making these two twos, I want to teach other people how to make them. So I gave my husband my phone. I said, take a video of me. I'm going to do a DIY video on how to make a Tutu and let's see what happens. And we'll start selling the kits with the tool rolls and the, and the accessories and everything. So people could make it themselves at a fraction of the cost
Need to make them passive income, baby. Yeah,
It was fantastic. And it started to really snowball and we were doing fantastic, but then I really was looking at the seasonal aspect of it. And I said, okay, well we really mastered the fall, right? Because of, because of Halloween and we've really mastered the one-year-old birthday scene. But in reality, what I've done is I've pigeonholed myself to make money in a specific part of the year. And I have to constantly be finding new people to purchase new customer acquisition over and over and over again, because you only have one first birthday. And unless they have five daughters, I have a one-time customer every time. So I was constantly spinning my wheels and I thought, okay, what can I do to have them come back? So that's where it continuously kept evolving. And then I finally said, okay, well what about a romper? Where, cause some people said, I don't want to make this thing.
I, I just want the outfit done. Can you just do it? And I'm like, really want to, but I got a better idea. And so then I created this first romper and we, we would do rompers and chunky jewelry and a hair set. And then people were, we were just getting them for first birthday sessions. Now they're getting them for six months, old pictures, newborn pictures. So we, I started seeing this evolution of returning customers, repeat customers. And I thought, okay, this is where the future is. This is where I'm headed. What's next. So that's where it really started to where it started to explode. So in essence,
Since you would create the idea for a product, which for you is closed and then you would design them
And you then outsourced the creation of the product, right. Outsource that to China, outsource all over, including China. Yes. Trying to Bangladesh. We've lost, we're looking at some in Uganda, Mexico. I mean we have places and connections all over the place. I think one of the biggest things that I haven't touched on yet too, is we were on Etsy at the time. Yes. Selling it. That was my, where we were selling on Etsy and Etsy is, was just, you know, hot and happened in 2008 was when we had started on there. So, I mean, we were just, it was at the beginnings. We were one of the first and we were, we were one of the most established children's brands on Etsy. And I remember at the end of, Oh goodness, I think it was 2006. Nope. It was 2015, the end of 2015. And that year we had done about $600,000 in sales.
I looked at my husband and I said, do you think it's possible? Do you think that we can be entrepreneurs and you can quit this corporate job and we can, we can create a different kind of dream. Can we do that? Do people really do that? Yeah. And he's very risk adverse. So he's like, you know, let's see. And I said, how about this? Why don't we? And we're very spiritually inclined. And so we hit our knees and we prayed. And we just said, is this something that we're supposed to do? And we felt like 2016 was a year that we needed to test. So we decided, we said, okay, 2016, starting in January, we're going to pretend within our budget that your income no longer exists, just is scaled enough to where I said, you know what? I need to put myself on payroll.
And instead of taking money, wherever there was leftover, I said, no, I'm actually cutting myself a check twice a month, every month to make sure that that happens. And I put myself on payroll. I had a small team that worked out of my spare garage of my house. And we decided to reconstruct our budgets. See if that was something that we could make work out. I'm not even kidding. I can't make this stuff up in January mid. So Etsy sends me a Christmas gift in December. And then in January they changed in policies and procedures. Things started to fall apart and we were removed from the Etsy platform. Oh my gosh. Oh. Oh, you talk about a panic mode. Have you seen the show?
Cause that's exactly what happens to her. You have to go watch that. That's awesome. I haven't I'll have to go and check it out and watch it in all your spare time in all my spare time. I will do that. Oh my gosh. So Etsy crumbles. So what did you guys do.
At that time? 85% of our sales were on Etsy. So I mean not a little chunk and things were changing so rapidly. I was literally sick to my stomach. I'm going, is this a joke? Am I being punked like so much?
Oh my gosh. I mean,
And I told my husband, I said, okay, well clearly it doesn't, you don't get a much clearer answer than that. Surely we're not supposed to be entrepreneurs throw in the towel, keep your nine to five for the rest of your life. Like this isn't supposed to happen. And I walked out to my garage to go and tell my team what had happened. And at the time, one of my, actually my customer service manager, she was eight months pregnant. And I walked out and I said, Hey guys, here's what's happened. We're no longer on Etsy. And started teller her. And she looked at me and she said, Aaron, are you telling me that after I have this baby, I no longer have a job. And that was the reality of what I was about to tell them. But once she said it, that way I just stopped.
And I couldn't, I couldn't say it. And nothing short of divine intervention. I just said, no, I'm telling you that if you'll be patient with me, your job description just might change. And she said, okay, what do we do today? Etsy is no more. We have no orders. We have no messages. What do we do now? And I said, all right, Etsy, doesn't provide you with a customer base or an email list that you own, which is a very painful reality, hard lesson. Right? So many lessons I said, okay, well individually start messaging. Every single person who's ever purchased with us on Etsy and say, thank you so much for your support. We just wanted to give you a heads up that Bailey's Boston's can now exclusively be found at Bailey's Boston's dot com. And they're like, okay, let's do it. Let's see what happens.
And so everybody just no more production, no more shipping,
Sending messages all day long. And within just, I mean, two to three hours at most, we start getting flooded back of messages, people going, Oh my goodness, congratulations. This is so exciting. What an amazing event and happened. And you know, things are happening. This is so great. And all of a sudden I stepped back and I thought, Oh wow, this is an opportunity. Yeah, this can be okay. And I looked to the website and I saw this massive spike in traffic because when everything was working on FC, even though I knew what I had to do on the website to make that grow, I wasn't doing it because nothing, because all my efforts were put in over into Betsy basket. So I had not prioritized my own land, my own, my own home built on my own land because I was so focused on this little rental property. That was my home. That really wasn't, that's so key. Yeah. It was huge. By the end of that year, we grew 233%, you know, I think that's the same.
That is insane. Like Bravo. And I think that's such a Testament to, as an entrepreneur, like we're going to be shaken and brought to our knees multiple times. Like there's so many failures and roadblocks and you guys could have easily said, well, that's, he's gone. So I guess we'll just, you know, that's it, I'm just going to go back to my daycare and having you in his thing. But you there's, I feel like don't you feel like there's always every single time, there is an answer. If you just keep putting one step in front of the other. Yes.
And I think that's really key. Cause you, you said exactly it there. What is the difference between an entrepreneur who succeeds and an entrepreneur who fails? Well, the entrepreneurs who succeeds refuses to let the failure be the end of the road. It's just, it's just like a fork in the road. You just have to turn, you just got to pivot and people who see it as a dead end failure and who stop in their tracks. Well, of course they're never going to see success because they're stopping, they're allowing it to be the end. All
Exactly. So I have a question. So this is a funny story that you might laugh at. I was newly pregnant and I, you know, do you remember when those headbands were in style, Erin, that like, they went here across your forehead and like back big crochet ones. Crocheted Brayden ribbon. Okay. So I'm a, I'm a three on the Enneagram. You probably are too listening to you. Huh? And so I'm an achiever. I'm like, I can do anything. I can figure it out. I started making these headbands for myself and I was posting them on social and everyone, same thing that happened to you. Oh, where do I get one of those? I'm like, why just made it with like a glue gun? You know? So I thought, Oh, I'm gonna sell these things and started an Etsy store. No way I did even still be there. I hope not. Cause I don't even know what would happen. I got an order. So put it out there. And I was a joke. Like I don't even think I sold one. My profit margin would have been like 10 cents. It was so silly. So, but, but the point is, what about those women listening that? Cause I'm so gifted at online marketing, but what about the women listening that are going,
But I have a product or a craft. Yes.
I want to sell. And I've heard Stef talk about her Etsy failure a hundred times. How do they start? Do you believe it's your own website and then do it hustle in it yourself with marketing? Like what would you say to the new you is a great
Question. Oh. And if I could go back and only tell myself a few things, that wouldn't how wonderful that would be. Right. You know, I absolutely believe if you have a tangible product or service, you should have a website that is your home base and every social media platform or third-party platform, be it Amazon Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever it is you use, you see that as a driver of traffic. So that's a vehicle, but it's not your home base. It's a vehicle to get you to your home base. And so I am a firm believer that you take that and you drive it to your home. And so one of the reasons, and I think a lot of people go, wait a second, you got off Etsy, which was 85% of your sales and you grew 233%. How does that work? Something's not adding up.
Well, the whole reason was, and at first I didn't understand that either. But then when I went to our social media accounts and I started looking at our Facebook and I started looking at our Instagram as our looking at the trends, the thing that changed was instead of people saying, Oh my gosh, that's such a cute romper. Where did you get it? Oh, thank you so much. Hashtag Etsy. It became hashtag Bailey's blossoms. I claimed my name, the brand name. And I had no idea the power behind a brand and what that trust factor could do for that psychological just ability for people to connect instantaneously and to become a repeat customer. That brand recognition was the game changer for me because now people weren't going to someone else's third party platform that was taking half of my profits. And then I'm competing with people who are also doing similar things. They are coming to my home and they get to see all of the things within my home that I want them to see and nothing else.
I love that. And I agree with you 1000000% that I did an episode recently on what you should invest in first. And one of the first things aside from building the platform like a podcast or something where you can pour value into the world, the second one was a base like literally a website. It's so interesting that you said
Based or not. So then
Was the number one driver of your marketing efforts in your marketing traffic? I get like later it was word of mouth,
But what did you do initially? Absolutely. So in the very beginning, when we relaunched, that was in 2013, so you're talking a hot, hot time for Facebook, right? So we did a ton of Facebook ads at this time. And I think we have a, roughly around 500 and some are close to 550,000 followers on Facebook and about 200,000 on Instagram. So Instagram obviously being newer and at least slightly newer right. Is a little slower for us than Facebook because we've been there for longer. So Facebook ads were really the core driver of a lot of our traffic. In the very beginning, we were very, very creative about how to drive that traffic. Cause we didn't have 2 cents to rub together. So I wasn't about spending money. I didn't have, we had no money left. I had depleted the savings account. And so it was all about creative tactics to engage with people and to really allow people to become a part of our brand.
So for instance, one of the things that I love the most is if you go to the website, all the pictures you see of all these cute little kids are customer images. We don't pay for photographers. We have no seasonal shoots that we organize. People send us them and we get about six to 700 pictures sent to us a month. Oh my gosh, it's crazy because we do what we call a QT contest, where we say, submit your photos and for a chance to win a gift card of X, Y, or Z value based off of whoever wins this contest. And so we put everybody into a Facebook album, we choose the top 20 at the end of any given month. And then we turn it over to the fans to vote. And what do you know, all 20 of those top of those finalists, they're sharing it with their grandparents, their aunts and their uncles and their friends vote for my sweet kid, vote for my sweet kid. And they become a true and integral part of our brand and our story. And so it's not just about what you can create, but it is about how can I involve the people that I'm serving in this creation process, to where they take pride and ownership with me and help be the best marketers that I have.
Oh my gosh. I think that's such an important message to get your customers engaged in the process. Yeah. Just, I mean, anything you do. And I think that's a brilliant, brilliant way to drive that user engagement because what mommy's not like Susie Lou over here is going to win. Like let's get real look at this.
Yeah. It was just little creative things like that. That started small, that grew over time and that engaged the customers to becoming your fans. And that's really, the biggest thing is there's a difference between a customer, somebody who just throws money at you and somebody who is an advocate for you and who is a fan, they're loyal, they're loyal. They're going to do anything for them to yes. So it's just, it's that mutual respect, that mutual appreciation. I am serving you. You appreciate it. You're doing something for me. I appreciate it. And the wheel goes round and round and round.
So cool. So going back to the Facebook ads, just cause this, this has been curious if you had a product like yours, let's say somebody says, okay I'm going to go do steps, little headband business. Cause I'm passionate about that.
Some similar to what you guys did. What is the Facebook ad strategy
That like, what was the, the Facebook ad that
Took off for you guys? Was there one thing in particular? Was it like a static picture? Was it a video? Do you remember? That is a great question. And this opens up a whole big can of worms. But if for somebody starting out who hasn't dabbled in Facebook ads yet my number one recommendation would be a retargeting ad. If you have no other ad, it needs to be a retargeting ad. And what that is is you can take your Facebook pixel, you embed it into the code in your website, Google it. I promise you. It's not as scary as it sounds. And then the people who have already engaged, gotten to your landing page, taken a look at your product, taken a look at your service. They already are. They've already been introduced to you, the trust factor already starting that seed's already been planted. And so, you know, when you go to Amazon, you take out a pair of shoes and your kid yells at you and you, and you have to go do something else. You forget about it until you're on nbc.com and that pair of shoes is staring at you inside face. It is that concept is that same concept for it's like, Hey, don't forget about me. I'm still here. And then they go, Oh yeah, I remember I saw that. I wanted to buy that. It's front of mind that it is. Yeah.
That, and also I think the thing too with retargeting is you're going to spend less money because those people are already interested in you. And it's not like a cold market ad where you're like, Hey, by the way, I have a romper, you know?
Correct. So I agree. Yeah. The one other thing that we do a lot is I know with the Facebook ads manager, a lot of people will go in through ads manager and create an ad from scratch. Well, when you create an ad from scratch and it's not all bad, we do that sometimes too, but there is no social proof. There's no engagement. And who wants to be the first person when you don't know or trust or like a brand yet to like it to comment nobody. But when a bunch of people are already doing it, then all of a sudden you feel more safe to break into that conversation, to leave your 2 cents to throw a heart or a thumbs up or whatever it happens to be, to click on that link. But when there's nothing there, that trust factor diminishes even more. So one of the things that we love to do is we'll take an, a post that we posted organically. And then we'll go through the ads manager and we'll boost it as a conversion ad using that social proof. That's already in existence from our current audience. So right from the first paid traffic eyes that see it, they see that other people have already engaged. They already trust. They're already given a shout outs talking about how much they love us or throwing a picture of their kid, wearing something, whether it's that item or something similar. And that helps so, so much
That's gold right there. Hope you guys caught that one. Cause I'm like, Ooh, I liked that because I've, you know, I do run ads and things like that, but I love, and I know, and I notice when the photo or video or whatever already has the comments in lights,
That's the one that's going to succeed every time. That's the one. And then the other thing too is once your audience is big enough, I don't know if you've done this already or not with your brand, but you can create a lookalike audience based off of people that have gotten to a certain point within your funnel, which is incredible. So then you can just say, and, and Facebook and Instagram will look at that data. What that person, what those person's interests are with the demographics are their age range. When they have kids, their purchasing habits. And it will create an algorithm to target people that look just like them, like your best customers. And so when you can't create an interest based audience, anywhere close to something like that. So that is always our best ads are run off of that 1% look alike, purchasers ad. That's the audience that we use. Do you run your own ads? We do.
That's cool. Thank you for those tips because I think that'll help everybody. So my next question is, you know, gosh, you had all of this success now with this business and you kind of launching into some dabbling in some new stuff, but just,
I am. Yeah. So what do you think the most important character trait is, or the most important trait that you attribute to your success thus far? Oh, that's a loaded question. A little backstory behind this. Can I share, please do so what my husband, two years ago in April of 2017, he put in his notice and he left Mercedes-Benz financial services and came on board full-time with me. And at simultaneously they were putting on the company was putting on a women's leadership summit, a conference. And they asked me to speak as a creative disruptor and entrepreneur. So that was, it was so great. It was my first speaking engagement. And to be honest, I was so nervous. I was so nervous and I actually wasn't nervous until they emailed me and they asked me for a bio and headshot and I'm like, why would a headshot?
I don't even have a college education, man. I don't have a bio. I know what that is. It's I'm Googling it. And everyone's like, Oh, I went to Harvard, I went to Yale and I'm like, Oh crap. I did nothing. Like I don't. So this, maybe this was just luck. Maybe I'm just not even that great after RA, maybe this should never have happened. And if you get in that self sabotaging spiral, and then I'm going okay in a headshot, I mean, all the pictures I have of myself, I'm making some goofy face with my kids because I like, I prefer to be behind the lens rather than in front of it. And so anyways, to ask my husband, I said, you're corporate, you write me a bio, you do it. And he goes, okay. And so I left him in my office with a pen and paper and I walked out and I'm like pacing the house, come back in after about five minutes of my awesome patients.
And I look and he wrote down wife, mother, entrepreneur, and I'm like, wow, you can't even write me a bio is the worst. Like how embarrassed thing this is. I suck. I'm the worst. I shouldn't even do this. I shouldn't talk to anybody. I'm a fraud, imposter syndrome, all of those things. And then I like went into my bedroom and I threw myself on my bed and I had a good long female cry. And just then all of a sudden, I just thought, you know what, maybe there's somebody out there that has an unconventional story. And maybe there's somebody out there that needs to hear that you don't need to have all of the paper credentials to make something great. And so with that, I dusted myself off. I asked for a little, you know, silly forgiveness for being so foolish. And then I took my daughter Bailey, who was 11 years old, outside with my camera. And I said, here's how you need to hold it to make me look a little thinner than I really am.
And then she took my first headshot and I sent them that headshot. And I wrote my unconventional bio and I said, all right, let's do this. And I was scared out of my mind, but I like, I wasn't, I bit my tongue and crunched my fist, a little set, a little prayer marched up to that stage. And I talked about how the only limitations that matter are the ones that you put on yourself. And that message was just as much, if not more for me than for everybody who was listening. And when I left that stage and that fire of the potential of making a difference, making an impact on other people was lit in me in a way that I never even knew that I was interested in that changed everything. I changed everything for me. And I thought so many women that come and ask for advice or break down in tears because they feel like they're not worthy of the success that they're dreaming of.
And I am. So I want to change that narrative. I want to say, you know what? Yeah, it's going to be hard. Yeah. It's going to be tough. And there are going to be days that you're going to wonder what in the world you were thinking, but the potential for you to step into who you were created to be it's worth it. And I want my I've got six kids, four sons and two daughters. And I would be so sad if I were to look at them and say, children, I want you to dream big. You can grow up and be whatever you want to be. But girls don't dream too big because at some point someone else's dreams are going to matter more than are. So you're going to have to sideline all the things that you want. Well, we would never say that to our kids.
And yet we do it to ourselves, the number of women that feel like their passions and what makes them happy, come secondary to being a mom and to being a wife and being a daughter and a friend and a sister. And all of the other things that we are, it's heartbreaking for me. And I want people to understand that living a passionate and driven and purposeful and joyful life is a blessing. Not just to you, it's not selfish. It is a blessing to everyone around you. And so that is how I've gone from brand to brand, to purpose, figuring out what I really was. What's the point of all of this success? Well, the point is I think that the Lord gave it to me because he wants me to make a difference with it. And so that's where I've been led to. Now. I know that that was a totally roundabout way to answer your question, but I'm on fire about it.
Can I just say, first of all, I have chills. I'm like actually have chills. And I just want to say like amen to that sister friend. Like I think obviously, you know, I believe in that so strongly, that's exactly why I started this podcast and I don't make any
Excuses and apologies for being a driven, successful entrepreneur while having kids. Right. And I totally agree with you that it's so sad that because we are women, everyone else, everything else, everyone else's dreams comes first and we feel that we have to be secondary to that. So yes,
You're preaching to the choir on that one. I know it. I know it I'm with you. So ladies listening, I think the bottom line of Aaron's incredible story is that, you know, preying on and realigning with your own heart and soul and going back to who you were at five and 10 years old, and what were the dreams that you had when there was no one else telling you what you should be and you didn't have kids yet to worry about and a spouse to clean up after, what did you want? What was your purpose and get back?
Yes, yes, absolutely. A hundred percent. Yes. And that is the whole reason that I started a podcast that I started a community, Facebook group, all of these things, to be able to try to bring, to pass this new vision. And I think that as we're going through this, this journey of professional development, it is in tandem with a personal development. If you are growing as a person, your business is going to grow. If you were in a standstill, likely your business is going to be in a standstill too. And so it's all about that constant forward motion and movement and not looking at it in a day to day or hour by hour, as you're looking at business and you see the growth, there's going to be dips along the way. But as long as that incline is consistent throughout month, over month and year over year, you're on the right path. And that's with our personal development as well. Okay.
And you know, I think it's too, like, do you feel fueled and fed? Cause I wake up every day and I have like this excitement about my mission, but if I go back five years and what I was doing, then I didn't wake up and say, Oh wow. Like, I feel like this is God led. I feel like this is about me. And I feel like it's about growing my bank account. And so it's also inventorying your heart and say, am I doing something that I'm called to do? Because if you are, you're going to keep pushing through the aversion. You're going to keep pushing it to the setback. That's the story is going to crumble. And you're going to say, well, guess what, I'm going to go find somewhere else to say.
Yep, absolutely. Yeah. Oh gosh. I love it. That ability to constantly pivot and change and not see it as a stop, all end all is. And really it's just for me, I look at it as I will always step into the darkness. I will always be the first one to put my foot forward and say, you know what? I don't have all the answers. I don't see the end goal at this point, but I feel driven and inspired to move. And so I'm just going to move. And as I do, the path is illuminated every single time the path is eliminated, but you have to step out first. And that is not to say that it's easy to see. Failure is only one of the small failures that I have received along the way. I mean, I've had some major, major hits along the way, but, and you know, it's funny.
Cause after just about a couple months ago, we actually had a massive one where we had launched a new business and the, it was actually a social selling, a network marketing business. And based off of the inventory in comparison to the number of people that were selling the inventory, we realized that we had an inventory problem way too much and we wouldn't be profitable for years. So we had to pivot that and it was such a hard hit for me. I literally, I hit rock bottom for a couple of days and thank goodness I have somebody on my team that came over and showed me some tough love. And he said, Aaron, we're not going to get anywhere great without your vision. So you have five minutes to wallow in this and then you need to get up and you need to do what you do best and you move forward.
And I kind of latched on to him. I said, how about 15? And he goes, no, five, five minutes. That's all. And you know what? It was just enough of that little kick in the pants that I needed to be like, you know what, you're right. You get absolutely nowhere when you're sitting down. And so while yes, if you need to take a moment to cry it out, cry it out. But then girl get back up and move, move forward because nothing is going to change when you're wallowing. And when you're sitting still, I just can't even so good. Like so, so many golden nuggets Erin. Oh my gosh. Well, my girls are going to be like, I need me some Aaron in my life be your amazing products or your brand, your new podcast. So tell my community, how did they find you? How did they get them some more Erin?
Sure. Well, I created a new community on Facebook and Instagram. It's Erin E Hooley. I had to say it, but throw that in there because someone else had already taken my name, Erin hooley.com. Erin Hooley on Facebook and Instagram. And now the new conquering chaos podcast, which can be found everywhere. So you guys go check it out. Cause I'm going to be a guest on Aaron's show too. I mean, so excited. You guys like me. You'll love Aaron. So thank you, Aaron. This has been a blessing lighting, motivated and inspired. And I know that my girls will too. So thank you so much, so much.
Wow. That last part of Aaron's interview left me with chills. I'm so grateful that God led her to us so that she could share her amazing inspirational message, her journey, her struggles as an entrepreneur and a mama. And I'm so grateful that we were able to learn from her today. I want to leave you with an abundance prayer boss. I pray over you now that you realize your dreams are worthy. I pray that God gives you the belief in yourself, in your heart and in your mission so that you can head out there and change the world. I pray that if you feel like a fraud or you feel not good enough, or you feel unworthy that you drop to your knees right now and ask God for the grace and the confirmation so that you can believe in yourself again so that you can take that first step in making a difference in your life, in your family's life and ultimately in the world. Because I believe in you more than, you know, as always love and light Steph, Hey mama, real quick. Before you go, if you found value in today's podcast and you learn something new, if you'll head over to iTunes, the mompreneur show
And leave a review and subscribe to the channel, that would be awesome. And I love to connect with you over on social media. My handle is at Stefanie Gass. I'll see you soon. Praying, light, love and abundance until next time.
Lots of fancy unused education. Podcast Coach, Clarity Coach, & Top #25 Ranked Podcast Host for Christian Entrepreneurs.