You Have a Solution To a Problem Somebody Has with Sharvette Mitchell
So excited to be here today with my very special guest Sharvette Mitchell. And just in case you didn’t catch that first name exactly. That is Sharvette like a Corvette! And I didn’t come up with that, Sharvette did, but I asked her if I could steal it from her. So Sharvette and I are literally meeting for the first time here today. So, we are going to get to know Sharvette together and I’m going to start by just giving you her official bio. Sharvette Mitchell is an online strategist who works with female entrepreneurs and the few lucky men to help them build their platform and personal brand so that they generate more revenue. And Sharvette, I can tell you that, as you know, the very first thing I asked you was is that fuchsia? I love fuchsia. And is that your brand color? And you said absolutely!
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Yes, it is a part of my brain. So anywhere that people interact with me, they are going to see this color. So, I’m super excited to be here today.
And you couldn’t pick a better color then fuchsia in my opinion, because that is one of my favorite colors in the whole wide world. And it looks really good on you too.
Thank you so much. And your blue is smashing.
Thank you. I guess I have my brand blue and Tiara on today. So, if you are listening to this on audio, I highly recommend going and checking this out on my YouTube channel, because you want to see this. You want to see this beautiful woman Sharvette so, thank you so much for being here and taking the time to talk with me today. I really appreciate it. So, we’re going to jump right in with the first question, if that’s okay with you.
Yes. Let’s rock and roll.
Cool. I just would love to know a little bit about your journey, how you went from not having a business to daring to leap into your own business. And what’s happened from there.
Wow. Oh, so I love just sharing this. It all started at a girlfriend’s kitchen table, probably 13 years ago now. Her name is Edwin Moses, and she was starting a medical consulting business. And so my degree is in marketing. And so we were doing brochures and all kinds of marketing type of thing. And I stopped and I said, well, wait a minute, before we go print off all this stuff, magnets and all that kind of stuff. We need a website address. Like we need to put your website address on this. So I said, I’ll go figure it out. So I went and figured out this little website and put it together. And then people started asking me, could you do a website for me? Could you do one for me?
And I figured out I had a business because I paused one day and said, wait a minute. I think people pay for this. Like, I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing this for free. And that’s how I recognized I had a business. At the time I was working in corporate America. So, I was just kind of building my empire, all along, going to work and then putting my wonder woman cape on or after work and doing the web design thing. And I was comfortable, Kathy. I was really comfortable. I fortunately did not have the story that some people have who really hate their job and hate their bosses and all that kind of stuff. So I didn’t have that story. I was comfortable until I became uncomfortable. And so a lot of came there became a period of time where I felt like I was in a box.
And I started thinking, when we talk about Daring To Leap, what would it look like? What could this be? If I could dump all of Sharvette into Mitchell Production? What could that be? And one thing a lot of people talk about your why and all of that, really, what was my driving thing to take the take? The leap was I did not want to look back and have regrets. I didn’t want to look back five years, 10 years, whatever, and say I should’ve done it. What could have happened if I didn’t do it? And so I threw all the cards on the table and bet on myself. And I walked away from a 25 year career in corporate America at a company that probably a lot of the viewers and listeners are familiar with.
What’s in your wallet. You all can get some put in, but I know that one way after 25 years, February, 2018, was the last time that I did any work for that company. And I’ve got to tell you, zero regrets in taking the leap and throwing all the cards on the table for myself and betting on myself. And, so here we are. So, the business started as web design 13 years ago, but then along the way, the consulting and the online strategy came about because once people got a website up, then they were like, well, what’s next? What am I? And then that’s when you get into social media marketing and email marketing and all those good things. So that’s the long-winded version of my “Dare To” story.
That’s wasn’t long-winded at all. It’s really good story! So, I have to say that when you said you’d been there 25 years, I was shocked because I thought you might be 25 years old!
It’s the genes! And I started working when I was 13, but you know, we won’t talk about child labor law. People don’t be all over that, but thanks, mom.
Yeah. You got really good genes because seriously, I was shocked when you said you were there 25 years. So, it sounds like you worked at the corporate job and did your business on the side for awhile, is that right? And how did you manage all of that? Just talk a little bit about that, because I know there are a lot of people that really would like to do it that way to ease into it.
Yeah. And I actually would recommend that, if you are thinking about any viewers, listeners, thinking about jumping into business, I would actually recommend that you do start to manage your time, you know, there’s weekends, there’s evenings, there’s holidays. I even posted not long ago. The last holiday I posted on Facebook, you know, I remember when I was in corporate America, I looked forward to holidays cause I would just work on my business. And so you utilize those times now I will say I was a virtual worker for many of those years. So the balance was a little bit easier for me cause I was virtual and working remotely, which set me up for entrepreneurship. So, they actually paved the way, trained me, didn’t know it, but train me to work virtually and interact with virtual groups and teams and all of that all over the United States.
And so, it’s really about managing your time and energy, Kathy. Sometimes you will have the time, but you don’t have the energy. And so, it really is a balance of doing that and giving yourself grace. There’s a week where you’re slammed at work or there’s a time period at work. So, but at that point in time, what I worked on was in quarters. So the beginning of a quarter and the end of the quarter was really slammed. Well, I’m not going to do a big launch in my business and know that I’m slammed at the end of the quarter in the corporate America. So you kind of balance things out that way.
And you mentioned energy. Do you have any tips on how to keep your energy up? Because I totally agree with you. It’s my energy that usually prevents me from working, getting more done rather than the time.
Yeah, like listening to your body. You know, I go to sleep. If you’re tired, you might need to take a nap. But then here’s the other thing, like if your energy is high and you might be up at midnight and you’re like, I got all this energy, so operate and do the work that you need to do when your energy is there. Don’t kind of look at a framework of, well, I shouldn’t be up at 1:00 AM doing this, but if that’s where your energy is now, that’s not sustainable. I’m not the one that signs up to say, sleep when you’re dead and all that kind of stuff. I’m not signing up. People talk about, you have to sleep when you’re dead.
I love my sleep. I am not giving up my sleep.
Right, so I say, pay attention to your body. If you need to go to sleep, go to sleep, but then recognize that there is a period where you’re like, I’ve got energy. I move like monopolizing, like boom, boom, boom. And get things done.
Great tip. Thank you for that. And, you mentioned that you were lucky because you’ve got to work virtually, are you able to have that side job more easily because of that? And you already learned how to work virtually as a result of that? Well, right now Sharvette with the COVID and the lockdowns and the work from home happening quite a bit. I think maybe there’s a lot of opportunity there for people rather than worrying about COVID and thinking about that all the time to potentially tap into that dream that they’ve had of starting a business and that on the side, while they’re working from home remotely. What do you think about that?
There’s so much opportunity right now and really ongoing because people’s mindsets have shifted in this virtual space. It used to be that sometimes people thought, if this is a virtual business, you’re not really in business. If you don’t have a brick and mortar, then you’re not really in business. And that paradigm has shifted and it will never go back. We’re seeing in the education, we’re seeing it everywhere. So, that’s an opportunity for those that have a dream, have an idea, have an area of expertise to launch in and be able to offer that virtually. But here’s the other thing, if you’re working full time, if you’re still in the space of COVID, you no longer have the commute time. You just got to get dressed from the waist up.
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You don’t have to figure out a whole outfit, just dressed from the waist up, cut down time. So maybe some of that time that you were using for commute and getting a full outfit together, that you could spend a little bit in the morning when your business, lunchtime, you’re not necessarily going anywhere that much though, you got food on the crackpot or whatever. So, your lunchtime may have some more time in the evening. So, there are pockets of time. I remember a young lady saying that I don’t know where she got this from, but she would have this little acronym, TMA – time magically appears. So a lot of times it be like, I don’t have time. I don’t have time. But, she would just say TMA – time magically appears. That there’s this time that’s in our days that we just have to recognize, and then this opportunity to deliver your expertise, your product, or what have you virtually, because now everyone is open to it.
Yes. And in a business like yours, where you are working virtually, what kind of services do you primarily offer at this point?
Yeah. So, I’m working a lot with dynamic leaders and business owners around their visibility and their branding, their personal branding. And so working with them on what are the things that you can do to build your platform that then raises your visibility and draws attention to you. And then people hear about your business. And that’s a lot of social media, live streaming, getting media attention. Maybe it’s starting your own podcast, speaking, hosting events, virtually or in person. And so that’s a large part of the work that I’m doing. One-on-one consulting and group coaching. And then I also do still have weapons on services where I’m supporting leaders and businesses on that.
Well, that’s really exciting because I’m hoping that you’re experiencing the same thing, I train people how to be virtual experts. And from the end of February to now, they have had their biggest months ever, because there are so many businesses out there needing this kind of help and realizing they need this kind of help. Are you experiencing that same thing with a lot of people coming out of the woodwork on a why I’ve put this off for a long time, and now I realize I have to do this?
Absolutely. I’ve been fortunate. You know, there are peers who I know that have studios and things that they should have were grossly impacted. But I was fortunate that has not been the impact for me. And so the opportunity, there are huge amounts of opportunities. And I agree, I have seen great benefit from this time period.
Yeah. And sometimes I know, Sharvette, the way you’re talking about this sounds like I have felt, too, which is a part of me wants to jump for joy and go, wow, this is our time. Those of us who’ve already been doing this work and working online and here we are perfectly positioned and yes, that’s great for us. But then on the other side, we hesitate to celebrate it because there are so many people suffering right now. And I’m sure that’s how you feel too, a delicate dance and balance. But I don’t think we should minimize our successes because we did have that courage to dare to leap into this when others didn’t.
Absolutely. And, there are people with traditional businesses that are now looking like, how do you do zoom again? And what, let me see how I can incorporate that. So, there is definitely an awakening in that space. And so we’re positioned well.
Yeah. So, when you think about, let’s try to give those guys a few tips here because they might be listening to this going, you know, I’ve been thinking about moving online, what should I do? So, what would you tell somebody who has that brick and mortar who has not really jumped into the online world yet is still trying to figure out, do I wait until this is over? What do I do? So, what would be your recommendation?
For those businesses? Yeah, absolutely jump in now. So, I have a client in a similar situation, boutique owner. And so now the writing is on the wall of being more visible online. And so one of the first things was getting in that social media and working in that, like a job and, you know, putting the pictures of all your products on social media and saying, Hey, this can be shipped to you. This can be delivered to you. There are a lot of options now. So, if it was something that they had to pick up, it can be shipped or delivered, or could it be curbside pickup. No contact pickup. So those types of things. And then, the third thing is around the email list. Hopefully they’ve been building an email list and staying in contact with their customers by way of email and then letting them know here’s the other ways that we can get products to you versus you coming into the boutique. This is what we can do.
And then the third piece of that. Is there a service component that attaches to your product? In this boutique example, now she is available for styling, which can be done by zoom. So, if you get in or got something, now I’m not just focused on my product, but now let me talk about my expertise and I can style you, or I can go find items for you, send you the pictures. Here’s the layout of the outfits that you need for this reunion that’s coming up in December or whenever. So those will be the three things, the recap of that social media, like working at like a job and putting your products and whatever you have out there and how can people get them. And then also your email list is very key, staying in contact and letting them know. And then what other service is a nice compliment to your physical product. And how can you offer that virtually?
Well, I’m going to tell you, you just got me super excited, cause I really hate shopping. I truly hate it. I have never liked in person shopping. Online? I can shop all day online, but having it leave my house and go to the store and try stuff on. I am signing up for whoever that is. That will style me from my house via zoom I’m into that all day long!
Awesome. I love it.
I mean, how many aren’t that’s and the other thing that I think is really taking off is not only that part, but styling you. So, you look good, like you said, from the waist up. Yeah. Because that’s what we’re seeing and your background, like my background is not cool right now. That is literally a shower curtain.
Wow. We would not have known it.
Yeah. Well now you do. And I don’t have a ring light yet right here either. And I know I need that. So, if somebody could get on here with me and go, okay, now here’s what you need to do. Here’s what you should do for your background. Here’s what you should do for your lighting. And if they would make me look even better, I’d be like, yes, thank you.
Sign me up.
Yeah. So, three great tips. Thanks so much for sharing that. So, you mentioned that you do consulting also. If somebody is out there and they’re thinking, yeah, cause I hear this a lot. There’s no way my business could really do what she just recommended. Are you somebody that they can reach out to and you can do a consultation for them to have them identify how they could do that? Because I think you’re like me and I believe no matter what business you do, there’s something you can take online.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely love to chat. Sharvettemitchel.com, complimentary consultation. And we can chat about all of the possibilities.
Fabulous. I know that the virtual experts that are in my membership program, they have reached out immediately to talk to all of their clients and said, let me help you figure out how to get online and make money. And many of them have made more money online than they did at their brick and mortar. And I hear stories like that and I know they’re analogies, but if you just try this while you’re not able to do your brick and mortar anyway, or limited to your brick and mortar, it’s not going to hurt you to try it. And then you may absolutely fall in love with it and say, I’m never going back to that brick and mortar, or you might say, Hey, now I have two streams of income. Right?
Absolutely. And you might notice that the online income might overtake the brick and mortar.
Yeah. I hear it. I watch TV every day, news every day where somebody, whether it’s a doll maker or a game store or some other store that you would never think would do well online. I’m going to tell you one that this lady made dolls and I got to tell you, they were not that cute. I didn’t know. I was literally like, people buy that? And she said, I went online and I have sold twice as many now that I’m online than I ever did at my store because she can sell wide rather than right there. Just local or worldwide, literally.
Honestly. And that’s really the opportunity is that you don’t have to. Sometimes we get conscious of, these people here know me and I don’t know if anybody would like my stuff. I don’t know if anybody, in say Wichita, Kansas, that wants your product or service and you’re limited to a 20 mile radius, right?
Yes. Just like my Tiara, I got online. I’m constantly looking for new tiaras and I had Googled crystals and I had Googled tiaras and you know how Google is, they’ll put your stuff together and they’ll show you something. And they showed me this. And I was like, where has that been all my life? Then I think that people who make it live in Georgia. And I am in Missouri. Well, we’ve been talking about all these businesses that people can build online. Let’s talk about when they’re ready to scale and they want to grow from just that one man show and grow bigger. You have a team of your own. Can you tell us a little bit about how your team operates? Do they come to your house and work or are they virtual? How does that work?
That’s so great. So, primarily virtual. I have a virtual office manager that supports me weekly. Shout out to Tara and I will say she is local. So when I have things like brand photo shoots for clients, that are multiple ones, she is able to be hands on site. I’ll host a conference every year. She’s able to be hands on site, but primarily we are working virtually. And then I also have a developer who is a contractor that comes in, there’s some troubleshooting with some of the websites, help support that and he’s virtual. And then from time to time, I will contract out specialized skills, such as copywriting. So, I’m working with a copywriter right now to build out email sequences. I’ve had a contractor for about a year and a half who just did the normal emails that I send out to clients. I’ll do specialized contractors like that.
But I will tell you, I started with having contractor support and virtual assistant support when I was working full time. So, I realized right when I was working full time, this young lady was able to support my podcast, my podcast talk radio show at that point, with getting guests and creating the graphics and all of that. So, I really want to encourage people to think about getting support probably before you think you need it. You might be thinking, Oh, I need to be full time. I need to be out here. I need to know. If you’re working full time now, what a great way to add another set of hands. So, my first virtual support was while I was working full time. And so, those are the types of people that are supporting me and I might be leaving out of something, but that’s the bulk of the team.
Yeah. That person’s going to listen to this podcast. I mean, did you forget me? Such a great tip. I, 100% agree with you. Bring on a virtual assistant or a virtual expert or an independent contractor specialist, whatever you call them, earlier than you think you need them. Because when you wait until you’re desperate, then your business is not growing as much. You’d get very overwhelmed. And if you’re doing this on the side while you’re working, Oh my gosh, they love that you already hired a VA while you were doing that. That is brilliant because you’ve got the money to pay him and you need that extra time. So that’s a great tip also on how to TMA. I’m stealing that.
Yeah. And yes, I love that. And here’s the thing – having virtual support makes you get your ducks in a row. So, if you hire or contract earlier than when you think you need it, because you have to be able to explain someone what you want them to do and have procedures and processes and all of that in place. You don’t want to wait when you got this whole big, run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Now you got to document the seizures. So do it all steps. So, you know, those procedures back, I’m trying to remember it. It was five or six years ago that I had that first virtual support. But guess what? Once I did those procedures for her, then the next virtual support person come in and take over. And even things like graphics, Kathy, I see people spend 400 hours trying to do a little Canva, a little graphic. Contract that you! You can get a virtual expert to do that. That is not worth your energy and your time, but absolutely spend Google apps the time on something that they could contract out.
Yep. So, there’s so much there. I want to unpack a little bit of it. The graphic design thing that you were talking about. I do not have an eye for any of that. The only thing I know is once I see it, what I like, but just like everybody else, sometimes I go down that rabbit hole, oh, this isn’t going to take any time I’m going to do this. And I did that with Canva and I spent probably four hours. I’m not exaggerating, fiddling around with this thing, trying to get it to look good. When I was done after four hours, I looked at it and thought, well, that is so horrible. So, then I hired somebody to do it.
And, my thought is somebody should work with you if they don’t have their brand in line yet work with you. Get that brand in line, then hire somebody who is a virtual expert who can go into Canva, upload all of that stuff. They’ve created with you, their logo, their colors, their fun pictures, all of that into their Canva. And then that person can actually log into there. This is what I do. I have all of this in Canva, my virtual expert logs in, he designs everything right in there, everything, my PowerPoint, memes, everything, so that if he’s gone, I can go in there and grab anything I need and use it. And I can change like a couple of words and not have to change the design and do that if he’s gone. But if not, I just have him do all of it and send it to me. And it’s so easy. And it actually looks like somebody developed it that knew what they were doing rather than a child drawing. Right? Because as easy as Canva is to use, you can still make things look really bad, according to what you’re doing, it goes back to time and energy.
So, it goes back to that four hours that you spent, man, your energy is zapped and then it still doesn’t really look like what you want it to look like. And, you can have your energy back when you could have had a consultant help transform lives and businesses.
And listen, I have a little bit of a design, because I do web design. But web design and graphics are two different skillsets just for those listening and watching. Two different skillsets!
Absolutely are. And anybody that says, can you do both? And they say, yes, you go, okay. I’m not hiring you.
Well, they can, but usually people slant towards one, you know, there’s usually more one way or the other and you’re gonna pay. If they have figured out both, then that’s a higher skillset, but I will contract out graphics. And they go, do these some simple things. I call, throw away graphics that I’m going to just use one time. And I’m huge on templates, Kathy. So if I create, if you all come to a webinar by advertising the webinar, listen, I use that webinar graphic last July. I used it last January. I’m just changing the dates. So, I’m huge about repurposing graphic nature.
If it works, don’t try to fix something that’s working, right. What is that saying? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. And you know, your brand is your brand. It’s going to look good. And, unless it starts looking dated, which websites in particular, Sharvette, and since you’re a website guru, I feel like the websites can get dated really quickly just by the shape and size of them and the way they operate. I mean, at a glance and I know nothing about websites other than when I look at them, I can tell who’s got an old website, who’s got an up-to-date website. And if it’s an old website that has not been to up-to-date, I worry that the business isn’t up-to-date. They may even be out of business is what I often think. So, I move on.
Right. And as a consumer with that observation, I think that is such great information for those listening who have websites, keep them up-to-date. Go in to check, cause your bio has probably changed. Oh, at least every six months, something has happened. How they blog on your website, a blog is a quick indicator. Cause it usually has the date inside the blog, that recent activity. Plus the search engines are looking for activity. If a website is stale and untouched, Google, and all the search engines kind of push it back further down. Ain’t nothing much going on here. And so then that’s working against you from people finding you.
Yeah. One of the other things I wanted to mention was we’re talking about all these great things cause you and I we’ve been working online and we’ve been marketing our business for years now. And those who are listening, who are saying, Oh my gosh, all of that is way too overwhelming. I have no idea where to start. I’m already so far behind. And I’ve heard them say far behind or heard them say I have to start over. So, when somebody says, I don’t want to start over, or somebody says, I’m so far behind, what suggestions would you have for them to think about this instead?
So, start where you are. If you think about somebody walking in a desert and there’s a mountain horizon way far ahead, and you’re walking and you’re thinking, gosh, I can’t wait. It’s so far, but every step you take gets you closer to that mountain. And then once you take 10 steps, now you’re closer. Then you take another step. Now you’re another step. Now you’re closer. What happens is people stop and they get stuck. And so then the mountain never gets closer and they never move them. So, to encourage yourself to take one step and maybe as something small as, I love starting with social media because I feel like that’s the lowest hanging fruit. That’s the quickest place that you can get a win.
And a lot of times people may be in that space of I’m so far behind, or I’m feel like I’m starting over just needs like a small win. So, can you post on anywhere on social media that you have a product or service or something for sale and invite people to look at a sales page or if they don’t even have that to inbox you for information, just to get their confidence up in people, interacting with them. Social media is where I would start now. They got a little bit more courage jumping on Facebook live, or a video is going to triple that exposure. But if they can just take a step to say, I’m going to two or three times a week, put out on social media that I have XYZ proctor service reach out to me, or this is how you reach out to help them.
At least, even if people just click, like I say, congratulations, you know, sometimes you need to go, people are clicking light and saying congratulations, or I didn’t know you did that. I didn’t one of my friends, shout out to Tony, her mom, her creates this custom hot sauce. And I’m not even that much of a hot sauce person. And so I was over a house one day. I was like, Ooh, I want some myself. So she’s like, my mom’s selling it. She’s kind of getting into whole foods and all this other kind of stuff. And so she brought me a bottle of the hot sauce. Well, I took the little video. I happened to have a makeup done a day and I share it.
And, the video has like a thousand views just about hot sauce, like just me and Sharon. And she got ordered step up orders. And there were people that commented on her, shout out to Ms. Nixon and the Caribbean. Let me get the hot sauce right. And people were commenting, I didn’t know you even had hot sauce! I didn’t know that you even did this. And it’s just one step of putting it out there. And she got orders stacked up, took a shot, a picture of the boxes that she’s mailing out. So, you just got to let the world know that you have something.
That’s right. Taste of Caribbean Hot sauce. Okay. And Sharvette, if you want, we will put a link to that on our show notes because I love hot sauce. I am a hot sauce lover. So, I’ll be giving that a try. See, I mean, when you listen to this Dare To Lead podcast, you never know where this is going to go!
So, you made me think of a couple of other things. I wanted to mention one more tip on the social media thing. I saw something, this simple, just like you’re talking about, it can be something as simple as what you just said or ask a question. I’m thinking about doing blah, blah, blah. I’m thinking about selling this hot sauce that everybody in my family loves type yes. Below. If you’d like to know more about it and LPM you. Brilliant? That’s that? Is it brilliant?
That’s all you have to do. That’s literally how my Facebook group started. I just noticed on my personal page, it was like a lot of inner, I need to pull this somewhere. And I made a comment. Hey, I’m thinking about starting a Facebook group for female entrepreneurs. If you think it’s a good idea. Comment. Yes or no, honey, like a hundred people were like, yes, they were like the founding members and starting that Facebook group was one of the pivotal things that shifted the trajectory of my income hands down. But then that led into an event hands down by that one question of, I’m thinking about doing this, who’s interested?
Yes. And those things we’re talking about right now, these tiny steps that you take, how much do they cost to do? Zero! Nothing. I mean, and people that say, Oh, I just I’m nervous about putting myself out there or I don’t want people to feel like they have to buy for me any advice on that.
That is fear of visibility of what you’re dealing with. Fear of visibility and a little of that is fear of success. Some people don’t fear failure. They feel what happens when this light shines on me and what happens when the hot sauce sells out. And now I got to figure out all the package and all that. So that’s fear. So recognize that that’s fear. But a lot of times women say that. So I’m going to talk to the woman. Cause you don’t hear men entrepreneurs say those things.
Right? Those are women. And why is that?
Some of that is the social climate and the society thinking that says we should be quiet. We shouldn’t do more. So, some of that, you just got to shake that off because McDonald’s doesn’t care. Did they show you the same commercial? Six times in one sitcom, none of these big brands have stopped running commercials during COVID. I had clients who were kinda like, you know, during the COVID period, I didn’t want to be insensitive. I don’t want to sell, listen. None of these other big brands stopped any of their selling in any of their commercials. And in the other thing you got to think about is that you have something that is solving a problem for someone. When you say, I don’t want people to feel like they have to buy, you have a solution. What? I don’t care if the hot sauce or if it’s a $10,000 program, you have a solution to a problem somebody has. And that’s the shift in thinking that I don’t want people to feel like I’m trying to make them buy. No. You’re giving them an opportunity to solve a problem.
Yeah. I don’t cook very well and that’s part of the reason I like hot sauce a whole lot. Cause it covers up the taste of my food. It makes my food taste so much better. So, I didn’t know about this amazing hot sauce and because it’s not out there enough. And if you hadn’t mentioned it, I still wouldn’t know about it and it could change my life because it could make everything taste so good. All the way to, like you said, a $10,000 program where somebody teaches you how to build a business or helps you build a business and suddenly you have an online business where you’re making a great income instead of sitting home and wishing that your brick and mortar was back up. Lots of great tips.
So back to your team. You mentioned that it was virtual and you talked a little bit about independent contractors. So, is it 100% independent contractor, mix of employee and independent contractor? What’s your take on that?
I have 100% independent contractors.
And what do you feel are the benefits to having the independent contractors?
So, the benefits have been, you can scale and grow, so if you need to shift around or shift resources or if you don’t only have a need. So, for instance, the copywriting for the email. Once we do the series, there’s probably like three different series. Then I might not need that service for a while. So, a contractor resource fits better. In that particular instance, I will say that I am planning to scale to more of a part time, full time resource for the virtual, which is currently called the virtual office manager. But the contractor resources, I think just give flexibility on both sides because as a contractor versus an employee, here are the assignments, the dates. We kind of want things back. And then you go manage how you’re going do it. So there’s benefit, I think on both sides. But the flexibility is when you need to move resources in and out, it’s very helpful.
Yeah, exactly. That’s what I love. It’s on demand, you know. I’m trying to think of something I don’t need, I’m to the point where I need everything all the time. But, I was thinking, wow, there was probably a time that I only used a copywriter once in a while, but I’ve turned all my writing over to my copywriter. She’s so much better than me. And that’s what I’m realizing. A lot of people say, Oh, I’m the best at this or that. Well, you can’t be the best at everything. I’m sorry. We really aren’t. So, I was an average writer and I turned my writing over and I tried several different writers quite honestly. And I found one who, she says my voice better than my own voice! Like that’s exactly what I really wanted to say. I just didn’t know how to say that. That’s a goal. So, I’m going to tell you right now, I’m treating her very well cause I don’t want her going anywhere. And she is full with clients most of the time, but when somebody gets really good at something, they can be pickier and choosier. And so she’s narrowing down who she really works with to only do those things that she really loves doing rather than writing everything. So, yeah. And, I do love that because when COVID first hit for me, I didn’t know what was going to happen. Even online. I thought what’s going to happen. And I was like, okay, can everybody just cause my whole team is independent contractors, too.
So, I said, can everybody just do what absolutely has to be done this month until we see what happens with COVID and then my goal will be to go back full blast to everything you have on your list to do. But let’s take a breath here and we did and by two weeks in I’m like, okay, it’s all going to be fabulous. Let’s everybody go back, you’ve got your list of what to do, go. But they’re all part time independent contractor, you know, cause if they’re full time, they become an employee. And I don’t want an employee. I want independent contractors because like you, I’ve had employees in other businesses that I’ve had. And my first employee, she told me, I’m really feeling like you’re just paying me to do the paperwork that the IRS requires to have an employee. I don’t think I’m actually doing anything else for you. And it really did feel like that. And I ended up shutting that business down because it wasn’t profitable, but I learned a lot. Fail fast. And then build your next one. I love it. So, thanks for sharing that about the independent contractors. And do you have any tips on how best to manage and get the most productivity out of your virtual team?
I started using my immediate support that I’m working with every week, an internal intranet portal. So, there’s portal that I use and we do all of our communications within the portal. And so if there is assignments or Powerpoint that need to be updated or what have you, and it’s just easier than email because you can see kind of the chain. So that’s one tip and some people use other various things. But, I use a portal, a communication portal for sure.
The thing you’re calling a portal? Is that something other people can use or is that something that I’m not available in the public?
Clinked.com is a white label portal. And I also use it for clients and it’s a great. It’s a white label portal.
That’s a great tip. Thank you.
So clink.com is what I use. That’s been one of the very helpful tips cause everything is centralized.
Fabulous. Yeah. Great tips because I used to be really tied to my email and it just got overwhelming, like you said.
Good. You know what? I can step into the portal and what can we were talking about creating these web pages? Okay. This is okay. Cool. It’s just easier than clicking. Go back through and read through emails.
Right. Great tip. Thank you for sharing that. So, I can’t believe it, but we’re coming close to the end of our time together here. I could talk to you all day, Sharvette, so is there anything that I haven’t asked you about that you wanted to be sure to share?
You know what, I just want to leave with my favorite quote by H Jackson Brown, Jr. “Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” So, get on the dance floor”.
Get on the dance floor. Yeah. What love that quote.
Or leap onto the dance floor!
Leap up and down while you’re there. Yeah, exactly. I mean, do you remember? And I’m sure you do because you were talking about this group that you started. Do you remember when you had just like maybe 10 or 15 or even a hundred people there and you thought this is going to take forever. Do you ever have those kinds of thoughts?
Yeah, absolutely. I remember hosting my first in person event and I did Facebook ads. I was the one. So social media and two people showed up, two people registered.
The live event is not easy to get people to attend a virtual event. Isn’t even easy to get people to attend.
Ya. Now I’m going on my fifth conference and we have about a hundred ladies every time they show up.
Awesome. So, what happens at your live events? What do you learn and what do you do? Who’s it for?
It’s for emerging and scaling entrepreneurs. Only the girls can come, it’s all females. We do panel discussions. This year we’ve added break-out sessions and I’ll bring in some heavy hitters mixed in with even some emerging. So, for instance, I’m actually wearing some jewelry by a young lady named Sherese Jones, Sassy Jones boutique. Which by the way, is a very great case study because she is an online boutique, booming busting out of the seams about to be on HSN, all virtual. She actually had a store in Britain, what the virtual business supersedes, everything she’s been busting out of the scenes for the last couple of years. And so she came and spoke and this is her necklace. It’s called the Maliyah – Sassy Jones Boutique. So, I’ll have different people. I had Zandra Beauty who’s in Target her mom, because she started the business. She was like 9 and 10 years old when her mom came and spoke. So, I’ll just bring in different people to speak entrepreneurship related topics. It’s awesome.
Oh, I love it. So, if you want, we’ll put the link to the jewelry that you just talked about on our show notes, too. And here’s my question. You know how I get on Google and just try to Google stuff? I am really into How To Get Away With Murder and every time I watch it, the leading lady whose name I’m blanking on right this second, has the most amazing jewelry. And I want that jewelry. I can’t find it.
It’s hard cause they’d hardly shouted out or tell what the stylists don’t tell what, cause we’ve seen, I know Sassy Jones I’ve seen like watching them like that size. They don’t do that!
Do you think if I contact Sassy Jones, does she do requests like that? Like what made me think of it as your necklace? Right there reminds me, of the red necklace that there’s a couple of different red necklaces that were on that show and I’ve been looking for that red necklace cause I love red and I would love to have that. Wow. I’m going to reach out to Sassy Jones and see.
Yeah. Cause it came in red in a couple of different colors. So she’s had a bunch of stylists, you know, those stylists go buy stuff all up. So yeah. I’m sure you’ll see something.
I’m going to go look and I’m going to tell you right now. Cause that’s one of the things that I thought about is if I put a really neat necklace like that on that it would, jazz me up a little bit more than I’m am now. I know that was the other thing. See, I need a stylist to tell me if I have a necklace and a Tiara. Is that one too many? Cause I’m not giving up the Tiara!
I think you’re saying three over three success, et cetera.
Okay. So, I love the information about your live event. And if you’ll share that link with us, we’ll put that on the show notes too. Because live events are so special. And they really make a huge difference in your business, in yourself, personally, in the connections that you make. And this is coming from somebody who didn’t leave her house for the first five years I started a business.
And then I was like, okay. I feel like the thing I’m missing out by building my business is going to a live event. I’m going to make myself go. And I did. And I was like, this is huge.
There was nothing like it at all. And you know, again, I’m an online girl, but nothing like the energy that comes into the room when you’ve been with people.
Hey, we’ve been friends on Facebook for six months and now we’re meeting in person or people you’ve been in group coaching with and things like that. But you never physically met them. It is nothing like it. So, November 5th – 7th in Richmond, Virginia. Yes. It’s going to be live and in person I’m not canceling anything because COVID is going to be gone! Sharvettemitchell.com will take you to everything.
So cool. Oh good. Okay. Awesome. Awesome. And so, I know for sure there are people listening to this right now going, Oh, Sharvette is so inspirational. I need to talk to her. Tell us a little bit about the type of people that you really love to work with and how they can best get in touch with you.
Yeah. I work best with leaders and I am a leader who was really assigned to other leaders and leaders professionally. Those that have a full-time professional job, but are doing some other things. So, it really in the females that are in that in a leadership role, either professionally or their business is scaling, building and emerging. A lot of my clients, I have therapists, accountants, real estate agents, pastors, really are kind of the framework of the ideal clients that I work with. And so, I’d love to offer consultation and just chat. If any of the listeners are like, Hey, I think we might have a connection. Sharvettemitchell.com, complimentary meet and greet call. We can just chat.
Sharvette, thank you so much for spending this time with us today. We have gotten gems that have fallen everywhere here today. I really, really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me.