Kelly Roach is my guest in this episode. Kelly tells it like it is and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with her coaching and training – and her energy!!
Listen to Kelly’s podcast: Unstoppable Success Radio
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The full transcript is now available here.
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Happy reading! Now here is the full transcript of the podcast.
Ingrid: Hello, and here we are with Kelly. That’s Kelly Roach. Good morning, Kelly.
Kelly: Good morning!
Ingrid: And good afternoon to you.
Ingrid: Kelly, tell us about your business. What business are you in? What is your business?
Kelly: Absolutely. Well, I am business growth strategist, and what that means is that I help entrepreneurs from around the world to make six- and seven-figure leaps in their business. So, my job is to help them identify the fastest, most efficient way to work both smart and hard in their business to achieve their financial goals without compromising their quality of life.
Ingrid: Fantastic. So, when did you start this business?
Kelly: I started this business in 2012, but 2012 is not when I started doing what I do in this business. I actually have been doing business growth strategy for a Fortune 500 for almost a decade before starting my business. The only difference was I was helping one company to make millions of dollars instead of channelling that energy and focus into helping lots and lots of entrepreneurs around the world to be able to impact their family and future generations and their livelihood. So, it wasn’t really a change in terms of what I’m doing per se, but it is a change in terms of who I’m helping and, of course, who I work for, which is now myself.
Ingrid: Which is yourself, indeed. So, why did you make that change? Why did you transition? I mean, you’ve kind of alluded to it there previously, but what was your real reason for … why did you start the business?
Kelly: Oh gosh, well we could be here until tomorrow, but I’ll give you a couple of the highlights, you know? Number one, freedom, right?
Kelly: I knew I was going to want to have a family and be a present mom and a really invested parent and wife, and, you know, we wanted to travel the world and do lots of fun and exciting things as a family. In my previous career, I had been promoted seven times in eight years. I was working 60-hour-plus work weeks. I was travelling all over the country. I knew that in order to keep growing my career I would need to continue on that path.
So, you know, quality of life was probably at the very top of the list for me. But coupled with that was really a sense of fulfilment. I mentioned already that I’m wildly passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve their financial goals, and, you know, that’s because I struggled financially growing up. I came from a home that was borderline poverty-level, and so to me, once I learned how to never struggle again financially and build my own personal wealth, I wanted to really channel my energy and focus on helping solve that problem for other people. So, there’s a lot of meaning behind the work that I do, beyond the mechanics of helping someone grow their business, you know? So, those are just a couple of the reasons.
Ingrid: Yes, just a couple of the reasons. I think a lot of people listening can resonate with some of what you’ve said there about, you know, the promotions and the time and the number of hours. Then, in order for that to sustain that, having to maintain that, you know, you can’t just turn that off, can you? Hm.
Ingrid: This is one of my favourite questions to people, is that idea of when did you realise that you were in business? When did you realise that your business was real? What was it that made it feel real for you?
Kelly: Yes, it was just those first couple of clients, you know?
Kelly: Once I had done it once, I knew I could do it again and again and again. It’s like that high you get every single time you see someone getting those amazing results. You’re like, “Wow, I want to dedicate my life to this. I want to make this my future. I want to be able to see the result of the impact that I’m making on someone’s life and their family every single day.”
Ingrid: Thank you, Kelly. So, when you were working in your corporate and you had this idea for doing it outside of that, how did you know that there were people out there who wanted what you’re offering? I mean, it’s probably quite obvious, but what was it that made you realise that this was something that you could do for individuals that you were doing in your company?
Kelly: Absolutely. Well, I started really paying attention to what was going on in the marketplace, and I started paying attention to what companies were investing in, and what individuals were spending money on. I knew that entrepreneurship was on the rise. I also knew that most people that started businesses had not clue how to do the sales and marketing piece of generating clients. I also knew that was one of the biggest reasons why businesses were failing. So, I realised if I could get in early, show people that there is a better way, that there is a proven path and help them walk down it, that they would be willing to invest money in that because I could provide a tangible dollars and cents return for them.
Ingrid: Fantastic. So, speaking of dollars and cents, how did you fund your business in the early days? You know, did you walk away from the corporate job completely and then set yourself up, or how did you pay for yourself in the early days?
Kelly: Yes. I’m a huge believer in bootstrapping, and I’m a huge believer in not having debt. So, you know, I mentioned already I struggled financially at one time very early in life, and never want to do that again. So, we live totally cash, you know, no debt, house is paid off, the whole thing. So, for me, I started my business on the side while I was still working full time. I bootstrapped the business as I could afford to invest in it and, you know, we had been saving for many years prior to that. But I didn’t walk away until I was earning substantial income in my business.
Ingrid: That’s really that side hustle, that kind of growing your business on the side while you’re working in a corporate is a huge ask, isn’t it? It takes a lot of energy to sustain that, doesn’t it?
Kelly: It really does, and I think more than anything it’s discipline, right? I think that for me, there’s certainly been times that I’ve worked much, much harder in my corporate career than in my business. I have certainly never worked the kind of hours in my own business that I did in corporate. I never intend to do that again.
Ingrid: Never again.
Kelly: But I think more than how hard it is, it’s really just the discipline. Right? It’s like, wake up a little bit early, stay up a little bit late, you know, be really focused in how you use your time, get uncomfortable, do what’s necessary, but I think it’s a better way to build a business for a couple reasons. Number one, to make the right decisions in your business. It costs money to make money, right?
Kelly: It costs money to get help, it costs money for advertising, list-building, to gain visibility, you know, for your business, all of those things. I think it is incredibly important to have the funds to do that, and I think a lot of people have a very kind of naïve perception of what it will take to start and grow a business. They don’t realise how much not only is it an emotional investment, but it’s also a financial investment, because the average business doesn’t turn a profit where the owner can actually take an income until year two or three. So, if you don’t have a strategy and a plan and a road map for that, and you just walk away without a huge cushion, you’re probably going to be one of those statistics of the 85-95% of businesses that fail.
Ingrid: Yes. You know, Kelly, I was just reading a report yesterday that’s been released in Australia, and 45% of businesses overall – not just the first 2 -3 years, in 45% of all small businesses the owner has not paid themself for the past two years. That’s not a business. I don’t know what you’d call that, but it’s not a business.
Kelly: No! It’s called insanity. I mean, why? Why be in business if you are not earning more money, achieving more freedom, you know, and really living out the benefits of it? Now granted, of course, in the first couple years it is sacrifice, and in the first couple years you’re not going to be taking income. But, you know, there’s many, many business owners as you just stated that are five years, 10 years, 20 years in that aren’t paying themselves, and it’s because of poor business practice. It’s because of a lack of investment in the right things that are going to allow you to move forward.
Ingrid: Yes, I remember listening to the woman who founded Dermalogica, and they invested everything back in the business for the first, I think it was four or five years, but that was a strategy that they said, “We’re going to not buy new shoes, we are not going to eat out, we are just going to invest every cent back in the business.” Sometimes as you say, it’s just about discipline, isn’t it? And how you’re going to grow that business.
Kelly: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Ingrid: Thank you. You said that, you know, finding customers is often something that people struggle with in the early days. How do you find new customers? You know, what do you know about your customers, and how do you know who they are? So, how do you find them?
Kelly: Yes. So, we do a lot of attraction marketing, and what I mean by that is we utilise our free content to gain visibility in the marketplace and become an authority, and then attract people into our email list and into our funnels. Then from there, they tend to either reach out to us directly or buy via one of the funnels, or via one of the launches that we do. So, for me, for us … I say us, I say we all the time because I have an amazing team that I literally could not function without. But, you know, for us our top revenue source is, in terms of where those clients are coming from, are going to be our podcast, our webinars, live streaming with video, Facebook ads of course, and then referrals. So, that’s where a lot of our new clients are coming from each week.
Ingrid: Yes. I have to say that your team … I’ve been dealing with Lindsey, and she is absolutely top-notch. It’s been a delight working with your team as we prepared for this interview. I know we’re doing a webinar later in the year, so I have to endorse you, Kelly, you do have a terrific team around you, and as you say, you can’t do it without them.
Kelly: Aw, thank you. Yes, they are wonderful and I give them so much credit because it really is a “we”, you know, with everything that the company does and I so appreciate them. So, thank you for that.
Ingrid: No, thank you. So, one of the things when people are selling a personal service, and I know that your product ties what you do as well, but ultimately it’s a service. I work a lot with health professionals, and that idea of pricing and how do you price yourself, and what charge do you make for what you do … just, you know, and you can be as open as you like about your actual pricing, but it’s more around the philosophy behind it. What process do you use to decide a pricing strategy for your business?
Kelly: Sure. Well, you know, first of all, it depends on what the specific goal of that product or service is. So, I’ll kind of expand on that a little bit so it makes sense for everybody. So, I like to look at the service offerings in my business, or in one of my client’s businesses in sort of an ecosystem, right? To me, the ecosystem basically has one product or service that leads into another one in kind of a circular fashion, and moves up the scale. So, I mean, we have things from books that are $12.00 up through people paying $4000 to $5,000 a month for personal coaching, right? So, it depends on the goal of that product or service.
So, for example, one of our low-dollar audio programmes, the whole purpose of that might be just to cover the ad spend for the leads that are coming into that funnel. So, that pricing strategy is price low and drive volume. But then in my mastermind, the goal is high-dollar investment, you know, doing higher-level more custom work. So, we make a very limited number of spots, so we charged much higher with that. So, I think it’s very important to have a good mix of products and services at different price points, and that you understand the purpose of what you’re doing.
You know, anything that requires your personal time to deliver obviously needs to be priced very, very highly and at a premium, because you’ll run out of time so quickly. Once you have undercharged and gotten a whole bunch of people to say yes at that level, you then don’t have the time to go out and market and sell to get the better clients, because you’ve just filled up all your time with these low-dollar people.
So, I think it’s just about, like, really having a strategy. Just like you said, you know, “What is this strategy?” It’s about having a strategy, and really thinking through the implications of how many people can I serve in this particular product line, and how many want to serve? Then, how much is my time worth, and how much do I need to be making for every 30 minutes or every hour that I’m going to be doing this type of work? Then, you can kind of make those decisions accordingly when you get into products and programmes and other services that maybe either your team can deliver or that can be automated, and that type of thing.
Ingrid: Yes, that’s terrific, and you’re right. It’s about having a strategy, isn’t it, that works for you?
Ingrid: Yes. Now, it sounds to me, Kelly, like you could do this, and having read all the other things that you’re involved in, you know, chances are you could do this forever. Do you have an exit strategy? Have you thought about what happens? Because when I work with people, often they haven’t even thought about it, you know, they’re just going to do this forever. What do you think about exit strategies?
Kelly: Yes. Well, I think running the business every day as if you’re going to sell the business is the best way to operate.
I say that because whether you want to sell or you want to pass it on, or just want to run it as long as you possibly can and make a great income from it, the principles that someone would look at when someone is buying your business — the trend line of the revenue, the conversion ratio, the net profit after the owner’s pay, all of those things — if you run your business and build your business that’s sound financially, that’s run like a well-oiled machine, and that starts with those end things in mind, you’ll always enjoy running that business, and you’ll have a choice at the end. I think that’s the key, because most people have no choice, because even if they wanted to sell their business, they wouldn’t be able to because it’s a mess. Right?
Ingrid: And there’s nothing to sell. Nobody would buy it.
Kelly: And there’s nothing to sell. Exactly. So, right now for me, I’m at a point in my business where I do intend to run this business through retirement age. I’m building a business that is around my life, and it’s built in such a way that I can build a legacy of work that spans beyond my lifetime. I don’t know whether I will end up getting my daughter involved in the company or whether I will end up selling, or whether I will just run it until I’m ready to, you know, finish, wrap it up. But what I do know is that I work very, very hard every single day to make sure that those things that I just mentioned are in place so that I can choose my exit strategy. To me, that’s the most important thing, to have a choice.
Ingrid: Yes. I think what you said there about running the business every day as if you were thinking about selling it, because as you said, with the team, with your clients, they rely on you. So, you know, they’re looking to you to provide the service. Your team are looking to you to provide the income. So, if there isn’t money to pay them, and there isn’t money to pay you, Yes, it’s a mess, as you say.
Kelly, let’s go back to you personally. Is there something you wish you’d done differently at the beginning? Because often when people get started in a business, you know, they’re full of enthusiasm and excitement, but later down the track they think, “Oh, man, it would’ve been so good if I’d done that differently from the beginning.”
Kelly: You know, I’ve been very intentional about what I’ve done with the business. I would say two things. I would say number one, I wish I had started sooner. So, I wish I had started five years before I did. That’s number one. Number two, I wish I had invested even more in list-building and advertising from day one, because there’s a time lag with your list-building of the time people need to be following you, and they need to be engaging with you, and that audience-building really does take time. So, you know, although that is something I did from the very beginning, I definitely wish I had accelerated that strategy more and more quickly. Then, I guess just thirdly, just sharing more of myself sooner.
So, up until maybe like a year or two ago, I really resisted getting on video and, you know, really putting more of myself out there. All of a sudden when I started doing the podcast three days a week, and webinars and live video, my business exploded because I was actually sharing of myself. You know, I was engaging with people. I think before that a lot of it was posting on social media and emailing and that type of thing. It’s like, you can only kind of go so far with that, if that makes sense.
Ingrid: That totally makes sense. It’s interesting that you wish you’d started earlier – this is very common. But that’s interesting what you say about just going out and reaching out more in those early days, because you really were starting this business on that cusp of that entrepreneurial sort of journey, whereas now it’s a bit more of a crowded marketplace, isn’t it?
Kelly: Oh, it’s very different today than when I started. Very different, Yes.
Ingrid: Yes, you really saw that wave as it was coming. We surf, so I often think about a surfing analogy – we watch for waves right out the back, looking for a wave coming in, and you clearly could see that wave coming.
Kelly: Oh Yes.
Ingrid: So, this is a slightly different question, and it’s more insightful, but what do you wish you’d known from the start? Is there something that somebody could’ve told you about business. I mean, you were doing what you were doing in a corporate, so maybe there wasn’t much that you … you were aware of things. But is there something that you wish you’d known about as you started your business?
Kelly: Yes, absolutely. I think that is I wish I had really understood that many elements of entrepreneurship, unlike success in a corporate environment, you really can only learn through doing and you cannot avoid failure on the path to success. I think that when you have something to lose and you’ve been successful in the past, and then you’re starting something new like an entrepreneurial journey, I think for me maybe I tried to protect myself a little bit too much. I tried to avoid failure in the beginning a little too much, which maybe held me back. I could’ve grown a lot faster or sooner if I was willing to fail my way forward.
So, I wish I had better understood the importance of embracing failure, and really understanding that you learn through failing and that’s what then redirects you to success, and that you can’t avoid that in order to grow on your entrepreneurial journey.
Ingrid: Kelly, that’s such an insightful answer. Thank you so much for that. I hope everybody listening has paid attention and rewinds and re-listens to that, because that’s very, very insightful about the journey. So, you said you’ve got good family support, but just who apart from yourself has been … and you can either name names, or you can talk conceptually, but who has been of the greatest assistance to you in your business?
Kelly: Sure. Well, my first mentor definitely was Ali Brown, and I give her credit for the vast majority of my understanding of getting started and growing my business online. So, you know, she was a huge influence for me, and so definitely want to give credit where it’s due there. You know, to me I’ve always followed Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer, read Napoleon Hill’s books, you know, that type of thing.
So, from that standpoint, personal development and mindset and spirituality, those are three of my big influencers there. Then finally, my husband. I retired my husband a couple years ago, and he’s home full-time with my daughter Madison so that she doesn’t have to be in daycare. So, obviously without his support and without him being, like, a superhero dad, I could never be doing what I’m doing. So, I would say those are kind of the three different categories for me.
Ingrid: Yes. I have to endorse the Ali Brown. You know, talk about somebody who saw the wave from the back of the … She has I think inspired so many people to do what they do, hasn’t she?
Kelly: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you look at the vast majority of women leaders in the online space today and virtually all of them studied and learned from her.
Ingrid: Yes. She really was the Ezine Queen in those days, when nobody knew what that meant.
Kelly: Yes, ma’am. Yep. Yes, she was.
Ingrid: I’ve personally followed Ali for a very long time, as well. So, Kelly, I just have to say, when I read in your information that you had “retired your husband”, I had to look up what that meant because in Australia, I thought you’d kind of moved him on as opposed to …
Kelly: Oh, that’s funny.
Ingrid: Sorry, I have to say that, because when I read it I thought, “Retired your husband?” And I thought, “Do you still have one?” Then I realised you did, but it took me a minute to realise with that actually meant.
Kelly: Gotcha, yes, yes, yes.
Kelly: So, one of our big dreams when we … actually I was going to say when we were married, but the dream started before we were married, because before we were married we had agreed that when we had kids that they would never go to daycare. We agreed that wherever we were at the time, and whatever we needed to do to make that dream a reality that we would do it, because we wanted to raise our own family. So, for us that was just, like, such an important thing, and you know, when I found out I was pregnant with Madison it was just, like, an obvious thing. I had worked really hard for a couple years prior building the business, and it was one of the great accomplishments of my life for sure, to be able to fulfil on that.
Ingrid: That is terrific. Anyway, thank you. So, who can give you really good feedback? Where do you get your feedback from, Kelly? Who tells you it straight?
Kelly: Yes, definitely. So, I would say my husband, for sure. But in terms of team, I get tonnes of feedback and collaboration from them
Ingrid: What would be the one thing that you would tell or recommend to someone starting their own business?
Kelly: Be patient. The number one thing is be patient. The number two thing is be kind to yourself. The number three thing, as I mentioned already, is allow yourself to fail, because if you don’t allow yourself to fail, you will never, ever succeed. I think sometimes we fight so hard to protect ourselves from failing that we actually stand in the way of our own success.
Ingrid: Yes, that’s terrific. Now, we’re almost at the end and I know you need to go….
What three characteristics do you think you have that make you successful in business?
Kelly: Yes. First and foremost, discipline. I’m willing to do what is required to succeed, regardless of whether it’s comfortable, or easy, or convenient. So, I would say that’s number one. I would say number two, integrity, because I think when you get real results for people, and when you over-deliver on your promise, and when you are who you say you are, and you do what you say you’re going to do, I think that gets put out in the universe and ultimately comes back to you tenfold. I think that that’s been a huge part of my success and I think it will continue to be. Then, number three, I think just believing in myself.
I think, you know, so much of business, there’s like the tangible and the intangible. There’s the activity that you do, but then there’s the energy around it, and I personally believe energy is everything. I think believing in yourself and trusting that whatever goal you have in your heart of hearts, you were given that goal for a reason. You were put here with a purpose, and you were intended to achieve it. I personally believe that about myself and each and every person listening today.
Ingrid: Hm. Thank you so much. So, they’re your essential characteristics. Do you think there’s anything else that somebody getting started, because you’re established, you know, and those apply to everybody. Is there anything else that you would say to someone, or anything else that somebody needs as they get started in a business?
Kelly: Well, I think the most important thing is be willing to invest in your success. People always ask me, “You know, how did you get started?” Well, a year before I started my business, I did a full year of online business coaching with Ali Brown. A full year, before I start my business. I intentionally did that a year before I started my business because I knew that the battle is won before you take the field. So, if you don’t have a background in sales or marketing, or haven’t run or grown a business before, invest in getting help learning the skillsets you will need to succeed.
Don’t assume that you can just make it up as you go. There’s a reason why businesses succeed, and it’s because they follow good principle, they develop the right characteristics, they get the right skillset and tool set, and they utilise those strategies to succeed. So, be willing to do things the right way, and know that there’s someone out there that can teach you anything that you need to know in order to be successful.
Ingrid: Man oh man, Kelly, you are inspiring. Thank goodness it’s the beginning of my day, because I am off to do something great today as well. So, Kelly, how can people get in touch with you? If people have listened this, and there’s about half of the audience listening to this podcast is based in the U.S., and the rest are in Australia and around the world. How can people get in touch with you if they wanted to, you know, do what you do and be involved with those variety of products and services that you offer?
Kelly: Sure, absolutely. Unstoppable Success Radio is my podcast. It’s all about helping entrepreneurs and small business owners go further faster in accomplishing their goals, and we are live three times a week. So, for sure that’s a great place to find me. If you want to learn about my coaching and consulting services, my website is kellyroachcoaching.com or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ingrid: I’ll put all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much, Kelly, and lovely to have you with us today. Thank you.