90 Meet the Chief ‘Empowerista’ of Million Dollar Women
Happy International Women’s Day! We celebrate with entrepreneur Julia Pimsleur who has a big mission to help women entrepreneurs crack the $1mm+ revenue ceiling. Julia, who learned the hard way how to scale her business Little Pim to $1mm+ and beyond, is ‘Chief Empowerista’ of Million Dollar Women and has graduated 70 women so far with her teachings on mindset, skillset and how to leverage the right networks.
Melinda Wittstock: Welcome to Wings, Julia.
Julia Pimsleur: Hi, great to be with you, Melinda.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m so excited to talk to you about your mission, because it’s a big one. To help a million women get to a million dollars in annual revenue by 2020. That’s less than 2 years from now, how’s that going?
Julia Pimsleur: It’s going great. I’m having a blast, first of all, this is my fourth career, and the one I love the best, because I get to help other women overcome the obstacles that I faced myself, and bring together three really amazing communities, which I’m sure I’ll get to tell you about on this podcast.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. I want to hear all about it. What are some of those challenges that prevent women from getting to that really important million-dollar milestone?
Julia Pimsleur: First of all, just to do some stats sharing. Fewer than 3% of women entrepreneurs ever get to a million in revenues, it’s really this shockingly tiny number of women who make it to that million-dollar mark. Let’s face it Melinda, a million in revenues is not even mega success, right? That’s just kind of getting off goal in the business world.
You can start raising money then in a big way, you really know the business of business then, you might get funded; you might have great strategic partnership. All kinds of wonderful things happen at a million. Yet, very few women are getting there.
Since I’ve devoted myself to this over the last three years, ever since writing my book, Million Dollar Women, I’ve really seen that women struggle with three things. It’s having the right mindset, having the right skillset, and having the right network.
When women can get those three things right, they can absolutely get to a million, and way beyond.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so true. I mean, that is one of the reasons I always talk about, mindset, mojo, and money. They’re all really interconnected. Let’s break it down; let’s talk a little bit first about the mindset. What is it about our mindset that holds us back?
Julia Pimsleur: The first thing is, I’m a big believer that your beliefs can become your benefits or your burdens. Meaning that if you believe it, you can make it happen. But a lot of women just simply don’t believe that they could be the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. I’m in good place to know about it, because I wrote about this in my book, Million Dollar Women, I was one of those women.
I started my company, Little Pim, which was language teaching for young children, kind of like a Rosetta Stone for little kids, a multimedia product. I was super excited about how helping other parents teach their kids a foreign language, like I had taught mine French, and I’d grown up bilingual in French.
The product side of the company was really fun for me, the marketing, I loved the team building, but I didn’t love the numbers. I wasn’t great at the numbers; I didn’t have a finance background, or a business background.
Frankly, what I read in the media about CEOs at the time, this is some 10 years ago, you know, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg, and all these, you know, Steve Jobs, and I didn’t see myself in any of them. I just really didn’t believe that I could be the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. That almost thwarted my company’s growth, until I was lucky enough to find help with mindset, skillset, and network, those very three things I mentioned before.
Melinda Wittstock: Julia, what you say about mindset really does resonate with me, because I know this is true, even in my own life: that if I can’t see myself doing it, there’s such-
Julia Pimsleur: No way it’s going to happen, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It’s a remote likelihood that it’s going to happen.
Julia Pimsleur: [crosstalk 00:04:13] before we move on from that point, one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard from that is this famous quote from Henry Ford, where he said “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. That quote is absolutely correct. There’s something, though, about the role models that we look at as entrepreneurs. Because we’re not sitting in a garage for the most part, eating ramen noodles, and tinkering on something. Female founders come at it a little differently. We don’t necessarily fit that stereotype.
Julia Pimsleur: Let me tell you something that might surprise, Melinda, which is that I’ve seen one of the greatest challenges to women scaling up, because I’m now a scaling coach, that’s all I do, is work with women who have had some success. They’re making $100,000, $200,000, $500,000, but they want to get to a million.
The paradox here is that the very skills that got them to where they are, which is impressive, are the ones that are going to keep them from getting to that million dollar mark. Let me just explain that a minute, which is that usually women who start a business have a pretty high level of confidence, they might be like a domain expert in something, maybe they really cracked the code of using LinkedIn for marketing. One of my clients has an amazing LinkedIn marketing firm.
Maybe they created a better way of freezing baby food, and now they’ve got this $500,000 baby food company. Whatever it is, they’re really, really good at what they do.
But, it’s that very same domain expertise, and high level of expectations, and sometimes perfectionism, that keep them from scaling up, because no one can do it as well as they can. It’s very hard to delegate, it’s very hard to have other people do the work. I’m saying this from experience: I am a recovering perfectionist. There should be an AA for recovering perfectionists.
Melinda Wittstock: We all are, there’s something about women and perfectionism, this comes up on the podcast over and over and over again. Why is it? Why are we so perfectionists?
Julia Pimsleur: Well, I don’t think I can get into explaining that, I’ll leave that to Brené Brown, or someone [inaudible 00:06:20]. But I will say that what happens in business, because I work with these women every day, is that they have a really hard time delegating. One of the things I help them with is realizing that if you hand something off, it only needs to come back 80% as good as you would’ve done it. Because that free time that you freed up, that 80%, you can use to go make your next business deal, go raise money, work on your finances, things that really require your attention much more than fixing the broken links on your website. Even if the person only did it 80% as well as you might have.
We work a lot on that. That’s certainly not the only thing holding women back, but it’s one of the big things. It’s ironic, because they wouldn’t have started a company if they weren’t really, really good at what they do. But now, they have to kind of make this big shift in order to become what I call more of a leader, and less of a doer.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, there’s a big difference between operating a practice, and operating a business.
Julia Pimsleur: That’s right. You know, you don’t want to just make a job for yourself. I always say to women “If you just want a job, you can actually get better pay and better benefits working for someone else.”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, exactly.
Julia Pimsleur: Right? Working for yourself, like the business should work for you, not you for the business. But that’s a big mindset shift. I teach a lot about working smart, not hard, as I call it, because we are so socialized to work incredibly hard, as women. If you want something done, ask a woman to do it, she will stay after hours, she will cancel all of her personal plans, she will make it happen.
That’s a great quality. But, when it comes to building a multimillion-dollar business, that’s actually one of those very qualities that got you here, but won’t get you there.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, because you end a worker bee, if you’re working in your business, and you’re not working on it.
Julia Pimsleur: Absolutely. There are so many amazing tricks, and shortcuts, and hacks, that successful entrepreneurs know, and that a lot of women just haven’t learned yet, that is also part of what I, and many other wonderful coaches, and women empowerment organizations are teaching women today.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, really providing the context to understand the use of your time. You do a little back of the envelope calculation, if you’re in your QuickBooks, or you’re fixing the little social media thing, or you’re doing whatever it is, yeah, as you said, broken links, somebody could be doing that for, I don’t know, $20, $30, $40 an hour.
But, what’s your value as a founder? You could be creating new IP, you could be finding a new strategic partner, you could be growing a whole new line of your business that is creating not only value, but growing your valuation doing all of those things. What’s your hourly rate then? Is it $1000 an hour? Is it $10,000 an hour?
Julia Pimsleur: You know what? Women are so used to working this way that I have to kind of play what I call mean big sister with them, which is I say to them “Everything you’re doing, you need to ask yourself, is there someone else who could be doing this for $15, or $20 an hour? If there is, you are cheating your company, you are literally cheating your company, because you are paid, hopefully, $100 an hour, $200 an hour, $500 an hour, and why would you pay someone $500 an hour to send a follow-up email to a customer who wasn’t happy? You can hire someone for $10 in the Philippines to do that.”
Melinda Wittstock: This is absolutely right. Is this a universal issue? Julia-
Julia Pimsleur: You mean, is it female specific? Is that what you [crosstalk 00:09:56]?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, is it female specific, almost universal?
Julia Pimsleur: You know, I don’t think I can answer that, because I only work with women, I’m on a real mission to help a million women get to a million in revenues by 2020, as you pointed out. While some wonderful men have read my book, and I work with, every so often, one-on-one, I only coach women entrepreneurs. They’re almost all struggling with this issue. I would say it’s pretty universal to women.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. How do you turn it around? Okay, a woman comes to you and say she’s making $100,000, $200,000 a year, or whatever, and she wants to take it to the next level. How does your program work? What’s the first thing that you teach her? How long does it usually take to switch around that mindset?
Julia Pimsleur: It takes a few months actually, because as you probably have experienced as an entrepreneur, knowing something and actually doing it are two different things. I know that when I was growing my business, I would read all these business books, and go to seminars, and go hear successful entrepreneurs speaking, come back with pages, and pages of notes, but then I would just go right back to doing everything the way I did before, because that’s our go to, right, is how we’ve already been doing it.
I created an online business program called Million Dollar Women Masterclass, which lasts for four months. The reason is I give them two hours of content with business lessons, like the first two are mindset and strategy. Then, they have to meet with their coaching group, they meet in small groups of nine, and go over what they learned, and go over their homework together, and actually implement these things in their business.
Then, have a place to come back to, with this coaching group, they also get an accountability partner, to say “Hey, here’s what worked,” or “Here’s what didn’t.” By the way, the fact that they have to show up to this coaching group, means that they do the thing, right? Because it’s one thing to go to a seminar and take a bunch of notes, it’s another thing to get on a call with eight other high-achieving women who are exactly like you, and have the same excuses to not do their homework, but they actually did it.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s so smart, Julia, that you have built in that accountability part of it, or even the relationship part, because women really value relationships. To be in this group, I don’t know, everybody ends up listen each other up, I assume.
Julia Pimsleur: Sure. Also, the course only attracts people who want to be part of a community of high-growth women entrepreneurs. There are some business owners who really are more, I don’t know, I wouldn’t even say introverted, because we do have a lot of introverts in our program, but who just like being solo.
But most entrepreneurs I’ve met are a bit lonely. It’s like, it can be very lonely work, you’re just working away all day, usually can’t afford to hire a lot of high level help until you get to that $200,000, $300,000 mark because you can’t afford them.
Often, you’re kind of the only grown up, and it’s really nice, and incredibly helpful to your business to have this community of like-minded women entrepreneurs, who are also building their businesses.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s absolutely crucial. One of your, we talked about mindset, and the other thing is skillset. Let’s just hop over to networking before we go back to the skillset, because without those networks, if you are isolated, it’s very difficult, in my experience, to succeed. You really do need mentors, and coaches, and other folks who are entrepreneurs like you, who kind of get you.
Julia Pimsleur: When I talk about network, it’s both peer network and strategic network. The Harvard Business Review has a really fascinating article about networks; that says how we really need three types of networks. Those three are strategic, operating, and personal.
Personal network is, you know, your friends, your family, that’s kind of obvious. Operating network is when you’re stuck on a specific problem like “I need to distribute my ice cream across America, and I need to talk to someone who’s also done that so I can find out how much those freezer packs cost.” That’s operational. Usually women are pretty good on those two. I’m yet to meet a woman who can’t solve your problem with five [inaudible 00:13:58] or five best friends, right? Find, solve your problem, that’s operational.
But then, comes the strategic. Melinda, that’s where many of us fall down. Because the strategic is who do you spend time with, who pulls you forward, who helps you be the biggest version of yourself, who gives you entrée into rooms where you wouldn’t have been otherwise.
I know, for me, in Little Pim, because everything I teach is something I actually lived through as an entrepreneur taking my business from a $30,000 investment to being a multi-million dollar company. I joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and for your listeners who haven’t heard of it, that is a global organization of entrepreneurs. You need a million in revenues minimum to join, yet another great thing that unlocks for you, when you get to a million, you can join this kind of organization, and you get a peer set of people who are running multi-million dollar businesses.
The average business size in there is about 5 to 10 million. The million is the entrée point. The reason I bring this up is that I have not read that Harvard Business article, Business Review article, it’s not that I was like “I must find my strategic network.”
But, what happened was, I joined this group not because I was so comfortable there, I was actually very uncomfortable in a lot of those rooms, and meetings, because it was about 85% men, and I would often go to the meeting and someone would say, they we’re like “Oh, whose spouse are you? Who did you come here with?” Miserable, right?
It wasn’t like I was having so much fun, I would’ve rather been out having margaritas with my mom friends. But, I knew these were rooms I needed to be in, where I could learn, and I could grow. Over the years, some of my best business opportunities came from being in EO, and some of my dearest friends, and we started a women’s organization within EO, which is still thriving.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, this is so important. Actually, to get out of your comfort zone is something that I really heard in that. Even when you feel like somehow, I think some of us have impostor syndrome. Even when we’re really succeeding, and doing really great things, we think: “Wow, do I really deserve to be in this room?” That goes back again now, back around into mindset.
Julia Pimsleur: Melinda, you’re so right about that. That’s why in my online business school, Million Dollar Women Masterclass, we start with mindset. Because I always say “You can’t build a mansion on a shaky foundation.” You got to make sure that foundation is solid, or there’s no point in teaching you the other two things, the skillset and the network, if you’re not in a place to receive them. If you don’t feel 100% ready, and excited, and motivated, and energized to build your business.
[tweet_box design=”box_12_at” float=”none” author=”Julia Pimsleur | Million Dollar Women” pic_url=”https://www.melindawittstock.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Julia-Pimsleur.png”]The women who succeed, are the ones who have that really clear, strong vision and don’t let things throw them off course. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @juliapimsleur[/tweet_box]
That doesn’t mean you won’t, sometimes, feel overwhelmed, or intimidated, that’s all normal, but the women who succeed, are the ones who have that really clear, strong vision and don’t let things throw them off course. I’ve become really fascinated with that piece of the puzzle, because I think it’s the hardest to teach, and it’s what my next book is about, it’s about strengthening your mindset so you can reach your goals.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it is one of those things that’s hard to teach, I often wonder, in interviewing so many accomplished female entrepreneurs on this podcast, many of whom have grown businesses far above the million dollar mark, they have a resilience and a positivity of kind of “Oh, how hard can that be? I’m just going to you know,” like as Kara Goldin says “Fly the plane as your building it.”
Julia Pimsleur: Sure. That is a mindset technique. One I like very much is, and I think it’s the essential thing you need for a mindset as an entrepreneur, is to make like water around rocks, it comes from a Buddhist proverb, like that, you know, when water meets rocks it just goes around them. What is being an entrepreneur but constantly getting around these rocks and boulders, and sometimes really, really big ones that look scary.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s true. But I think being around other people who are going through what you’re going through is also vital. I’m a member of an organization called Maverick1000, and again, like EO, you need a million dollars in revenue. But you also need the right mindset to be in that group too. You really got to be willing and showing up to play all-in, be dedicated to personal growth-
Julia Pimsleur: Melinda, there are 11 million of us now, 11 million women entrepreneurs in America. It’s time for us to have our own networks of powerful, high achieving, ambitious women. I think that the problem I hear from a lot of the women I meet is that, if they’re entrepreneurs and they’re very ambitious, they have friends who are entrepreneurs, but they’re mainly men, and that’s just statistically true, right? Because there’s still more men entrepreneurs.
Then, they have friends who are women, some of whom are entrepreneurs, but very few of them are kind of the driven, high growth entrepreneurs. One of the reasons I started the Million Dollar Women Movement was to create more places both online and offline where ambitious, driven, high growth women entrepreneurs can find each other, and help each other take these huge leaps, and go outside of their comfort zones, as you just spoke about.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s really true
One of the things that’s so interesting if you are one of those really high performing female entrepreneurs, as both you and I are, it’s very difficult sometimes when we’re around our girlfriends who just don’t understand us.
Julia Pimsleur: Yeah, they don’t get us. I think they think we’re freaks sometimes.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, because we’re probably unusual, certainly unusual statistically. Some of those women can sometimes say things, I think they’re often really well-meaning, like we all have friends how are well-meaning, but they may say something that, you know, I don’t know, it isn’t necessarily encouraging.
Melinda Wittstock: I think what’s tricky, because women are so necessarily focused on relationship, I mean, we really do care what other people think of us. If we have girlfriends who are not entrepreneurs, and are not driven like you are, Julia, or I am, serial entrepreneurs, who’s lived and [crosstalk 00:21:38].
Julia Pimsleur: [crosstalk 00:21:38] something a little different, it’s not better or worse, it’s just different.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s just different.
Julia Pimsleur: I don’t know about you, Melinda, because I know we’re both moms, but I would sometimes be on the playground when my kids were little, and I was like “Oh, my God, 10 more minutes and then I got to go back and check my email, and make sure that my supplier delivered and all this stuff.” I’d look at these other moms sometimes and be a little jealous, like “Oh, they don’t have all that going on,” at the same time, maybe some of them did.
But, a lot of them would just fully … they’re present on the playground, this is where they’re going to spend the next five hours, and I don’t know what that feels like.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I don’t either: I launched the business when my daughter was six weeks old.
Julia Pimsleur: Good for you.
Melinda Wittstock: I don’t really know what possessed me. I do remember being just very good at juggling, and I came to the conclusion that I was living a life of work-life integration.
Julia Pimsleur: I like that.
Melinda Wittstock: The only way that I could really make sense of it is to try and be 100% present when I was with my kids, but 100% present when I was in my business, and leverage both. I think being a mom made me better as an entrepreneur, and I think being an entrepreneur made me a better mom.
Julia Pimsleur: That’s beautifully said, yeah, I would say the same. I have two boys who are 10 and 13, and they are the lights of my life, I adore them, and I also feel I got just the right amount of time with them, and they have a great relationship with me, so no regrets about building my business while my kids were little, actually gave me a ton of flexibility to be at things that mattered for them.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, that’s it, I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about this flexibility, I don’t even know what it’s like to have a job-job in that sense, because I work when I’m able to work. I have this flexibility, I think, that women really need in a lot of ways to be good moms.
But I’ll tell you a funny story. We were talking about anecdotes. My daughter, when she was in fifth grade, she’s now in ninth, but in fifth grade she asked me to come and speak to her Montessori school about what it’s like being an entrepreneur. She said “But mom, here’s the thing,” and she did this movement like a hockey stick with her hands, it’s like “You got to tell all my friends that it’s not like that, that’s like,” then she did this kind of wave motion, as if it were like a roller coaster-
Julia Pimsleur: It’s more like a roller coaster.
Melinda Wittstock: Because she said, “Mom, I’ve watched you, and that is actually what it’s like, right? Can you set my friends straight?”
Julia Pimsleur: That’s so cool; I love that.
Melinda Wittstock: What’s curious is, they learn a lot of things from the mindset and the resilience, and the attitude that you have to have if you’re going to succeed at this, whether you’re a man or a woman. But it’s curious, getting back to this whole thing about what other women think of us, though. Whether that’s an impediment, whether we let those things get to us or not. I’ve just learned that you can’t.
Julia Pimsleur: No, and you have to be very protective of your inner circle. I did kind of rearrange my relationships with people when I started building my business really big. I didn’t ditch my old friends, but I needed to spend time with people who thought big, who were running multi-million dollar businesses, who I could learn from. That was part of the [inaudible 00:24:44] of an organization that had many successful entrepreneurs, whether it’s EO or something else, or joining Million Dollar Women, is you get to be around those people.
That is just a game-changer, it just normalizes it, you know, when you start spending time with people who have what you’re trying to move towards.
Melinda Wittstock: They say that you’re only as good as the five closest people to you. If you surround yourself with negative people, or if you surround yourself with naysayers, or people who say things like “What makes you think you can do that?” It’s pretty hard to succeed. Your networks are absolutely vital.
dMelinda Wittstock: You did mention in this context, not only three different types of networks you need, but three different communities that you’re working with on Million Dollar Women, so tell me a little bit more about that.
Julia Pimsleur: At Million Dollar Women, we brought together for what I can tell the first time three vital communities who are helping more women get to the million dollar mark. The three communities that we serve are women who have businesses that make between $100,000 and let’s say $800,000, who want to get to a million, that one’s obvious.
The second community we’ve brought in to our Million Dollar Women Movement is the women who’ve made it. We’re not talking about Arianna Huffington, and Tory Burch, and Sara Blakely, this kind of 10 women we hear about all the time. I’m talking about the women who have businesses that are making between a million and let’s say $20 million. They’ve got awesome lives, they’ve got teams, they’re making good money, you may not read about them every day in Forbes, but these are the women who today’s budding entrepreneurs want to have those lives. Yet, there are few opportunities for us to learn from them.
I know that was a big frustration of mine when I was building my business, I had so many great mentors, but couldn’t find any women mentors. That is who I profiled in Million Dollar Women, was women who reached that mark. Now, with our community, we’ve brought them in; that’s kind of the second circle. The first circle is the women getting to a million. The second circle is the women who are making between a million and $20 million, and they’re coming back to mentor, and be advisors to the women who are coming up behind them.
The third circle is the investors, and the companies that want to see more women succeed, because we sometimes forget, as entrepreneurs, that there are entire businesses built on us having more revenue so that we can hire them. There are bookkeeping firms, there are banks, there are marketing agencies, and we’ve been fortunate, at Million Dollar Women, to work with some of the best as our sponsors of our summit, and our business program.
They’re there not just because they could get clients, but because they really are invested in seeing more women succeed. Everyone is aware that it’s not a level playing field right now for entrepreneurs, and that we need to do whatever we can to help this next generation of women get to a million and beyond.
That’s something that gives me great joy, is to bring these three circles together, and leverage all of those networks, and contacts, and have everyone help each other.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, that’s wonderful. You see such a flourishing of efforts in alignment with that mission that you have, Julia. Myself, I’ve pledged to invest $10 million in 10 years in 100+ female-
Julia Pimsleur: [crosstalk 00:28:19] that’s right, good for you.
Melinda Wittstock: Entrepreneurs. But then, you see folks like Carolyn Rodz, and Elizabeth Gore at Hello Alice, that really amazing artificial intelligence platform they put together to connect women to funding opportunities, and to mentors, it’s a wonderful platform.
Springboard Enterprises, which I’m an alumna from 2011… So many amazing women have come through that, and it’s now, the stats from that are astonishing, $8 billion raised, 115 IPOs, God knows hundreds of exits, and that’s over kind of a 15-year period.
Julia Pimsleur: Let’s not forget that betting on women entrepreneurs is good business. The studies have shown that women run businesses have something like 35% higher returns, I don’t remember the exact study, but it’s been often cited. We have to remember that this isn’t just sort of a do good cause, this is also good business.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, but I love that you’re bringing women back. Women who have succeeded, bringing them back to mentor, because I think that’s so critical. I know I’m of an age that when I was coming up, I couldn’t find female entrepreneurial mentors.
Julia Pimsleur: Right, me too, I know.
Melinda Wittstock: I think they didn’t exist.
Julia Pimsleur: But here’s the thing, Melinda, is that the women who are coaching at my summit, they’re female founders who are in that million to $20 million range. They get 10 emails a week from women who want to “take them to coffee,” you can’t see my quotes, but write with the air quotes, and “Take them to coffee.” No one has the time for that when you’re running a multi-million dollar business. But that doesn’t mean they want to give back, they just can’t vet all the women who reach out to them.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly.
Julia Pimsleur: That’s why they’ve been willing to work with us, at Million Dollar Women, is we say “Hey, you can just come to us, once a year, spend two hours coaching these women. We will vet them, we will bring them to you.” That’s created a really wonderful opportunity for them to give back in a way that they can, because let’s face it, when you’re running a $3 million, or a $10 million business, it’s not like you are sitting with your feet up, and watching the birds fly. It’s like that’s just a whole new set of problems you’re dealing with.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Thank you, though, for doing that, because I think if there’s a structure around it, and all the different ways in which we’re able to collaborate with each other, I mean, all the women who have this mission to help other women working together, we can literally lift each other up, hence the name Wings, which by the way, stands for Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling.
Julia Pimsleur: Amazing, I didn’t know that the ‘S’ was Scaling; I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: The ‘S’ is definitely Scaling. Scaling is, I mean … entrepreneurs are in it because they understand leverage, so this is so important, I think, I’m so glad that you are specializing in teaching scaling.
Julia Pimsleur: Thank you, we’re really good bookends too, because you are allowing women to learn how to scale from their desks, from their couches, [inaudible 00:31:30] they’re sitting watching this, driving their car, perhaps. Then, a subset of the women should come to our summit, and have an in-person experience. Our next summit is April 5th, and 6th.
Julia Pimsleur: You know, the other thing that you probably know, but I wonder if your listeners know, is that most women tend to start their businesses in their mid 30s, while most men tend to start them in their mid 20s, this is what research shows. Of course, what are a couple of things that women tend to be doing in their mid 30s, Melinda? What else are they doing?
Melinda Wittstock: They’re having kids.
Julia Pimsleur: Yeah, having kids, they often have a partner, they have aging parents, we have so many responsibilities in our 30s, many of us, and having something that’s virtual, like what you’re doing, is just brilliant because so few women can take the time out of their business to go to something. That’s why I’m really grateful for all you’re doing too.
Melinda Wittstock: Thank you. I found, though, that I do actually have to get out of my own way and go to things. One of the things that I love about Maverick is that I literally have to leave town, I have to go some place, and usually, really kind of great places, I’ve just got back from the Bahamas. I learned how to tag sharks, and I actually pet a shark.
Julia Pimsleur: Oh my God, amazing. How did it feel?
Melinda Wittstock: Really cool. They’re very Zen-like creatures. Who knew?
Julia Pimsleur: Talk about overcoming fear: that is going beyond your comfort zone.
Melinda Wittstock: But, getting outside of yourself in these situations with other entrepreneurs, and you learn so much through, I found, with that organization, through play. That there’s this way of just collaborating with other entrepreneurs in impossible tasks, or just silly things, where you’re not attached to outcome, any of that, and you learn and grow.
There’s a whole other dimension to Maverick, of course, too, which is that we’re giving forward. There’s a lot of social good, evolved enterprise. That is kind of an interesting one, and that I wanted to ask you about, because I think a lot of women who want to create businesses tend to come at it from a mission, or social good position, which I think is awesome.
But all too often, that pushes them into nonprofits, or thinking too small rather than thinking disruptive, and big. There are some big, big problems out there in society, that women can go and solve, and take big moonshots, I mean, like really going for $100+ million companies. Where do you see the ecosystem there in terms of encouraging women to actually take moonshots?
Julia Pimsleur: One of the fastest growing aspects of entrepreneurship right now for women is social entrepreneurship. There are a lot of companies that are setting out to do well, and do good. Those two can absolutely go hand-in-hand. We’re actually doing a whole panel on social entrepreneurship at our summit this year.
We’re really excited to feature companies that have found ways of earning really high revenues, kind of [inaudible 00:34:47] while also making change in the world. I don’t think that they have to be at odds.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, no, they’re definitely not at odds, in fact, a lot of the research shows these days that companies that do have that social mission, whether it’s a buy one, give one model, or there are a whole bunch of different ways of doing this, outperform those that don’t.
Julia Pimsleur: I’m glad you said that, because when we started planning this social entrepreneurship panel, we quickly realized that while not all women may be starting a social entrepreneurship company, or like a B Corp, if you’re familiar with that term, almost all women want there to be some aspect of their company that’s give back. The way you’re investing in women, or some companies will give 10% to a cause they care about.
We, at Million Dollar Women, just started a nonprofit arm, so we can help more women of color from low-income communities take advantage of all these amazing resources, and access to capital who might not otherwise have access. That’s something else we’re going to look at, is how do you integrate a little bit of that into your company, even if you’re not a B Corp, or something like a social enterprise.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. It’s so great that you’re doing that. I wanted to go back to the skillset part of your three sets here, mindset, skillset, and network. What are some of the skills that you find that women are missing at this stretch to a million and beyond?
Julia Pimsleur: A lot of it is the leadership skills, the leadership, and management. As I was saying before, often women start companies because they’re a domain expert, they’re very good at something, and so they’re kind of operators, they’re doing that thing.
Melinda Wittstock: They need to learn how to hire, how to manage, how to lead, how to create corporate cultures, how to put systems in place, that sort of thing?
Julia Pimsleur: Yes. I always say, “We want to take you from someone who’s doing great things to being someone who’s an enabler of other people to do great things.”
Melinda Wittstock: Right. That’s absolutely-
Julia Pimsleur: That you can go to the Bahamas and pet sharks.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, exactly. Actually, while I was there, while I was not working, I had a number of really big game changing ideas.
Julia Pimsleur: I’m not surprised at all [inaudible 00:37:05] stopped, that the ideas can bubble up.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s why I meditate. If I didn’t do that, I think my business wouldn’t be as strong as it is.
Julia Pimsleur: That’s another great mindset technique, absolutely. I meditate as well. But back to the skillset a minute. Delegating, team building, the delegating falls into the team building, that’s one big set of skills that a lot of women need to master. Paying a lot more attention to their finances
It’s ironic, I have this creative documentary filmmaker background, I really didn’t like my numbers, I didn’t like talking about the numbers, and I am now teaching 300 women about how to look at their KPIs, their Key Performance Indicators. I’ve come a really long way on that, because I realized, you can only grow your business as much as you track and measure what’s working and what’s not.
Melinda Wittstock: This is absolutely true. Julia, how can women find you, and work with you? Because I know that so many of our listeners are in this sweet spot, that you specifically address, like trying to get out of their own way, trying to get from a practice into a business, trying to grow their revenue, trying to get to that million. How can they find you and work with you?
Julia Pimsleur: Women who want to learn more about my Million Dollar Women Masterclass four-month program can set up a 45-minute call with me, it’s free, it’s called an Accelerate Session. We take a deep dive into their business, into what’s working, and what’s not, and how they can scale, and I’ll let them know how Masterclass works, and see if they’re a fit for that. They can just sign up for that 45-minute call at www.mdwmasterclass.com that’s MDW like Million Dollar Women. Mdwmasterclass.com.
Melinda Wittstock: Of course, you will be able to hear Julia on the Wings of Success Virtual Summit, because you’re going to be joining us there as well.
Julia Pimsleur: That’ll be so much fun. I also love to communicate with women on social media. I’m very active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, staying clear of Snapchat, because my 13-year-old told me not to go on that. That’s his, that’s just for him.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I think my kids probably don’t want me on Snapchat either, come to think of it. Anyway, Julia, thank you so much for putting on your Wings, and flying with us today.
Julia Pimsleur: I loved it. Thanks for having me, Melinda. To all the women listening, scale up, go big, and join us as we all go big together.