558 Susie Carder:

Succeeding in business as an entrepreneur is all about being willing to try, fail, and learn… over and over again. That’s not easy if you come at it as a perfectionist. Nothing about entrepreneurship is ever perfect – because there is always something to improve, fix or pivot in fast changing circumstances.


I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who started out as a low-paid hairdresser trying to support two little girls – and decided she’d do whatever it took to create her own business.

Susie Carder has since created not one but two $10million businesses. It wasn’t easy.  And she learned a lot along the way – helping more than 100,000 entrepreneurs boost their revenues by more than 3000 per cent. And guess what? Everyone had to overcome mindset issues – about money, their self-worth, and of course, go into recovery for perfectionism.

I can’t wait to introduce you to Susie! First…

Susie Carder says her core genius is the ability to simplify complicated issues by creating simple proven systems that are guaranteed to create dramatic growth for any company. She learned the hard way, first by studying every business book she could find in the library as a low-paid hairdresser trying to launch a business – and since by always reaching out to mentors and coaches along the way as she built two $10m businesses. The author of 10 business books, her newest is called ‘Power Your Profit’ and gives you a bulletproof start-to-finish plan for taking your business from startup mode to the multi-million-dollar mark.

Today Susie shares her inspiring story, plus we talk about the biggest mistakes and blocks women face in business, why you need a solid financial plan, as well as how to pivot in a crisis like Coronavirus and much more.

Take out your phone and download Podopolo where you can join Wings’ “lift as you climb” community for female founders. Please share your challenges, because when we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable, overcome perfectionism and ask for help, magic happens.

Now to Susie Carder, who has an amazing offer to share for those of you who grab her ‘Power to Profit’ book – especially the chapter called ‘Math is Money, Money is Fun’. She gifts you all her spreadsheets and formulas to master your business plan and help you stay on top of your numbers – which, as you’ll learn today is one of Susie’s secrets to scaling two businesses to 8-figures.

Let’s put on our wings with the inspiring Susie Carder.

Melinda Wittstock:         Susie, welcome to Wings.

Susie Carder:                    Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to support your conversation, so excited to be here with you. Thank you for everything you’re doing for us as entrepreneurs because you’re a breath of fresh air.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, bless you. That’s so kind and I’m excited to talk to you, too, and I’m particularly intrigued by your story. I mean, so there you are, you’re a hairdresser and you’re trying to support two little girls and somewhere along the line you say, “Oh, I’ll just start a business”, as one does, right?

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         What was the spark to do that?

Susie Carder:                    Well, I grew up within a really large family, so there’s nine of us; Bobby, Ronny, Stevie, Terry, Joanie, Shelly, Susie, Kelly, Debby.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, my goodness.

Susie Carder:                    Right? Six girls, three boys, and my dad was in the military and my mom was a seamstress, so my dad had told us our whole life, “When you’re 18, get a job, get married, get out.”, right? That was my schooling. We didn’t have money for education, there was never a conversation about going to college. I’m like, okay, so at 17, I’m like almost 18, I’ll move out. Hello, ding dong.

Melinda Wittstock:         Wow.

Susie Carder:                    I went to vocational school, went to cosmetology school, and then worked at night and did this vocation. In the meantime, I met my husband. I was 17, he was 27 and he was an Adonis, he was beautiful. Big muscles, he had a checkbook and a car, this must be good.

Melinda Wittstock:         You’re 17…

Susie Carder:                    I found myself, and I’m 17, right, what do you know about a husband at 17, but I’m like, whatever. We got married, had a couple of kids, how hard could that be? I had no idea. When I really realized I did not know how to pick a husband, so my picker was off, and so I found myself divorced. My baby was six [inaudible 00:02:06] old and 18 months old. It was a very abusive relationship, verbally and physically. I found myself divorced with no alimony, no child support, and I had to make money. I had to figure this money thing out. When I look at business, 15% [inaudible 00:02:22] is based on technical ability, the other 85% is the sales, the marketing operations and the finance. I quickly learned I’ve got to figure out, because I was paid, what I earned that day was my paycheck, right? We were on commission or I would pay rent to somebody. I would go to the library, I’d go to the bookstore, I’d go to the used bookstore and devour books. Those were my coaches, to figure out I’ve got to get customers in.

It took me about a year to really figure out how to have a six-figure business I was doing about a quarter of a million dollars a year three days a week. The average hairdresser at that time, Melinda, was doing $30,000, and Paul Mitchell took notice to me and said, “What are you doing? How do you do that? You’re always busy, you’re always happy, you’re always making money.”, and I didn’t have a choice, right? I didn’t have a backdoor. I had to figure this out for my children. They really were my why. I grew up poor, I didn’t want to be poor. I really liked my shoes, so I had to figure out how do I pay for them. Because my marriage didn’t work out, I realized no one’s going to save me, no one’s going to be my knight in shining armor. I didn’t really go, “Oh, I’m going to start a business.”, it was out of necessity and desperation.

For Paul Mitchell, they hired me and I started doing these cluster classes to teach people how to build a business, right, because they were all great with the technical, but they were waiting around for their business, and that’s where my speaking career was birthed. People would say, “Oh, my god. Susie I love what you do. Do you have a book?” I’m like, “No, I’m a hairdresser. I don’t have a book.”, so I wrote a book, and then they’re like, “Oh, my god. I love the book [inaudible 00:04:02] to read [inaudible 00:04:03] on audio?” I’m like, “No, I don’t have an audio.” I wasn’t trying to be a speaker, I was just trying to support my community. It started from a love and a passion because they’re not teaching business development in school at that time, and so I did that for several years and then ended up building the largest training and development company in the beauty industry.

In that process, I really figured out how to build a training and development company. The funny thing is the first publisher I presented my book to, they denied me, as most new authors, and I’m kind of the person, Melinda, don’t tell me no, just tell me how. They told me no, so I’m like, “Fine, I will open my own publishing company.”, not knowing what the hell that meant, and so started a publishing company to publish all our work under. Fast forward 15 years later, the same publisher that denied me ended up buying my business for 10 million, Rutgers Publishing Thompson Learning. That was like my victory day, “You said no, you didn’t want me. You rejected me, and now you’re ending up buying the whole kit and caboodle.” I was very happy.

In the middle of all of that, we saw another need, right? I’m about finding the need, filling the need, really looking at what your customers say they want and then how do I deliver that. We started the largest online membership program for the beauty industry. Back in the day, so we started this in 1999, and think about 1999, Melinda, Google wasn’t around yet, right, the internet was brand new, all these dot com businesses were new. Eyeballs were the thing. Our first website, this is so crazy, was a half a million dollars-

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    Because we had to build everything. There was no-

Melinda Wittstock:         From scratch, there was no WordPress, there was no-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah, none of that. Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    I had to figure out how to raise money. I’m like, okay, so I found this course about how to raise money and in the course was amazing. We raised a million dollars for that business, but I saw, I’m like, “You guys, you’re not teaching anybody how to build a sustainable business. They’re all technicians. They need to learn the system side, they need to learn the business side. You need an instructor to do that.” They’re like, “Great. Why don’t you do that?” I’m like, “Uh, okay.” I started teaching entrepreneurs, that’s where I transitioned into the entrepreneur market. Then people would say, “Gosh, Susie. I love what you do. Will you do it for me?” I’m like, “Uh, I don’t know anything about being an attorney.” “I don’t know anything about being a graphic designer. No, can’t do it for you. No, no, no. I’m just here contributing.” Again, contributing to my market. I’d like to say I was way more savvy and sophisticated, but I was not at that time.

My grand scheme was, I’m like, okay, I’m going to charge them double what I normally charge and then they’re not going to want to buy me, right? They’re not going to want to participate. That was my strategy. I put that out there. Okay, here’s the fee, it was double what I was normally charging them, and they’re like, “Okay, let’s get started.” I’m like, “Oh no.” I quickly had to learn different industries and different businesses, but in that journey, what I learned, Melinda, was business is business, is business. There’s key indicators, there’s some key things that you have to put into place for your industry, which most of the time the business owner knows that piece.

I know profitability, I know how to find money, because I’ve always been that hustler because I have always had to earn money. I think a lot of people are just kind of waiting for it to happen and I’m that person that just makes it happen. Again, don’t tell me no, just tell me how I can do it. Tell me how much I need to make. Tell me what I need to do, but don’t say we don’t have a budget. Let’s go make that happen. That’s my passion, right, is teaching people the foundation. Build your business on cement, not on sinking sand, right, not on an idea or a hope.

Now, 30 years later, I’m much more sophisticated. I can see the signs, right? I can plan, I can do that, and that’s the journey, right, it just came from serving. Coming from a servant leader first and then looking at feeling the need and it’s been this amazing journey for myself and my children. Our lives are completely unrecognizable because I was willing to serve first. I didn’t come with my hand out going, “Pay me, pay me.” How do I change this industry, how do I support this industry, how do I-

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, so you started out by really identifying through your own challenges and your own problems. When you can solve those, what you’re facing in your own personal life, then, and this is just the basic rule of business, if you’re having those problems, chances are a lot of other people are having those problems, too.

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Solve them for yourself, and then figure out how to solve them for other people. What’s amazing about your story, Susie, is, literally, it is a bootstrap story. It’s like, literally-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Pulled yourself up with your, I don’t know what the feminine equivalent is of the bootstrap, but I don’t know, high heel.

Susie Carder:                    I think a bootstrap, right? I think it’s bootstrap. We’ve all got boots, we [crosstalk 00:09:06].

Melinda Wittstock:         We all got boots. Maybe they’re high-heeled boots, but whatever the case, it’s so impressive. There must have been moments, though, along that journey where things were really challenging or really hard. Did you have any kind of heart-stopping moments along the way where you couldn’t see the path forward and what did you-

Susie Carder:                    Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         And what did you do in those moments?

Susie Carder:                    A couple of things come to mind, right, when I look at just going through. I didn’t know how to price my services. I would be in meetings with CPAs and accountants and I felt like the stupidest person in the room. That made me have a hunger to work. My partner was really great at Excel, and I’m like, “I need to create a spreadsheet so I understand the difference.” They’d give you two PNLs, there was an accrual and a cash. One said I had money, one said I didn’t, and I’m like, “I like the one that says I have money.” They’re like, “Well, you do have that money, but you don’t have that money.” “Just tell me how much money I have and what do I need to do?”, right? Literally, Melinda, I was so [inaudible 00:10:14] finances.

This is embarrassing to share, but somebody needs to hear this. I would try to balance my checkbook, couldn’t balance my checkbook. I would have to close that account and open a new account and start over. Finally, my banker is like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “I can’t balance it.” They’re like, “Well, let’s get you on QuickBooks. Let me show you how to do that.” I’m like, “Okay, but I’m not really technology savvy.” They’re like, “It’s fine. It’s easy. We’ll set you up. We’ll support you.”, right? I think being vulnerable and asking for help is really one of the hardest parts as entrepreneurs because we’re supposed to know how to do it, right? That’s our mindset, right? I’ve got the answers, and we’re high ego, that allows us to accomplish. What we accomplish is our ego and then we forget I don’t have all the answers. I’ve been an advocate of finding coaches that are 10 steps ahead of me-

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    So I don’t have to make the same mistakes. I might still make [inaudible 00:11:06], but you’re going to stop me. If we’re working together, they’re going to go, “Susie, don’t do that, do this. That [inaudible 00:11:12] we’ve already tried that. That doesn’t work. Here’s what you’re going to do.” I might pay a lot of money for a coach, but the money I save by investing in someone that’s already been there, done that, I mean, is a lifesaver.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, this is a really important point because women tend to have a couple of problems here. We tend to be perfectionists, and that means we don’t ask for help. It’s the kind of equivalent of cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes, right-

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Thinking that we have to, whereas men, I think, I think they find it easier to say, “Hey, dude. How did you do this?”

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         It’s not personal to them to not know whereas we’re so focused on proving, proving, proving, proving, the competency is very difficult for women to ask for help. Again, this comes up over and over again on this podcast and the advice is ask for help, but it’s easier said than done. What is it that stops women from doing it? Is it just that perfection gene or is it some sort of feeling that we’re not enough deep down? How can women-

Susie Carder:                    I think it’s that vulnerability.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    Right? It’s that vulnerability of going, and then who do I ask, right? I have several different women’s groups that I’m involved in that allow me to be vulnerable, like take off our super cape, right, our Superwoman cape.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    There’s not many places or meetings because we’re always having to prove, we’re having to defend, we’re trying to protect and so trying to find a group of women that will allow you to take off your Superwoman cape and be real and vulnerable and share here’s what’s really happening, I might be successful, but here’s my stop block, here’s what I don’t know. Here’s all the challenges that I’m going through right now. That’s incredibly important is really looking at what tribes are you’re involved with? That, to me, is when I find those safe places that I can let go of that super cape and I’m not trying to be perfect, and I’m not trying to have all the answers, basically if I look at it, I’m a business coach, I’m supposed to have the answers, right? Then if I don’t have the answers, who has the answers? I’m always searching for powerful women. I relate more with women, right?

In the beauty industry, our industry is 90% women but everyone in leadership or in power, 90% of them are men, and they were condescending, and I just wanted to see me, right? I wanted to see a woman like you, wow, look at her. Look at Melinda. Look what’s she up to. Look what’s doing. How can I be that? Men, I would look at, and I’m like, I can’t be that. I’m not a man. I could take your tools, I can take your practices, but I want to see a woman that has to deal with their family, right? I was a single mom managing my kids, and managing a budget, and trying to date, and trying to raise my children, and traveling. Back in the day, that wasn’t a man’s world. Now, men are definitely more into the sharing of responsibilities, but when I was younger, that wasn’t the reality. I was supposed to do it all, be it all, have it all, be the great wife.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    You know that old song, I can bring home the bacon [crosstalk 00:14:22]. Right? We grew up with that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, we did. I remember because it was almost a badge of honor. I used to pride myself on how much I could do and how resilient I was, and all this kind of stuff, and at the end of the day, you get to a certain point where you burn out because you’re putting yourself last in that equation.

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Learning to actually create time for yourself and your own selfcare, time to really develop relationships with other women. That is so, so vital. I mean, you and I are of the same generation though, and in my industries, they were almost entirely male dominated and I struggled to find female mentors. I had the same yearning as you, that I wanted to learn from other people who shared my context or my experience, but I looked around and there really weren’t any. The few that there were, were all wrapped up in scarcity and didn’t necessarily, they saw me as a threat or competition coming up.

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         The joyous thing is that scarcity attitude is beginning, I think, really to shift profoundly where women are really showing up genuinely wanting to help each other.

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         I think that’s the game changer for us to get out of that scarcity of like, oh, my god, she’s doing this. That means I’m less than, or if she succeeds, I won’t. All of that nonsense.

Susie Carder:                    I agree. I think the mean girl, that whole where we grew up in the mean girl generation, like you said, is dissipating. To go, let me give you a hand up, not a hand out, a hand up. Let me show you, which I love, right? I’m conscious of how do I be that for my industry, how do I now be too busy for people and not go, oh, they’re beneath me or whatever the ego says.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, I try and do that, too. I try and create enough time. If I’m asking other people for help, people who’ve been there, built that ahead of me, or have mastered something that I need to master, I try and remember that there’s lots of people coming up that are looking at me. There’s so many different ways that I can help them, like all the different things that I’ve gone through or where I’ve failed and learned and failed and learned, and failed and learned, and all that kind of stuff. I did that so other people don’t have to. I try to make sure that I’m giving forward and mentoring at the same time. Do you think though, Susie, that women also struggle with asking for help because they automatically cancel it out in their brain and this person’s so busy and so important and so successful, why would they want to bother with me?

Susie Carder:                    Yes, I definitely see that. Well, and I also see that we’re afraid of the no, right? When you look at [crosstalk 00:17:13].

Melinda Wittstock:         Right.

Susie Carder:                    Even in sales, right, you don’t want to pick up that phone to make a sales call because you don’t want somebody to say no, which then means am I not good enough, did they not like me. I think everybody has enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not successful enough-

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    I’m not good enough. I know I do. Mine’s I’m not good enough, and it’s a double-edged sword, right? It makes me work harder to be good enough but then that voice in my head, that negative self talk can just ruin you if you’re not aware of it, right? Thank God I have a therapist because it allows me to untangle my beliefs from growing up. At a early age, we were told no, no is one of the first words we really got. No, don’t do that. Especially as women, no, you can’t behave like that, and no, you can’t do that. No, this is a man’s world. No, that’s not your job. When I grew up, it was like go be a secretary. A secretary? I don’t want to be a secretary. What else do you be, right, when you look at career counseling or how do you choose your career.

There wasn’t a lot of women being a powerful leader and feminine, and being support and being a family. I love seeing women who are just being bad asses and still honoring their family, and still honoring their relationship and their man, and going, “I’m not perfect, but here’s what I have to contribute to the world.” That vulnerability-

Melinda Wittstock:         Absolutely.

Susie Carder:                    Is not something we were trained to have, right? In closed doors, if you’re my ride or die girlfriend, I could bawl with you and go, “I don’t know how to do this.”, but I think we are coming full circle hopefully, right [crosstalk 00:18:54].

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, so true. Actually, it’s interesting, when asking for advice or looking for mentors, I’ve found, and maybe this counterintuitive, but sort of the higher you go, in essence, if you really reach out and talk to someone who is an A player who has mastery, that person is more likely to be really generous with their time because they don’t have any kind of issues around someone competing or taking anything away from them because they’re already there. They tend to be more generous and they tend to be flattered that you’ve asked. They want to help you.

Susie Carder:                    Right. Don’t you think that really is your self esteem, because I’ve met people who their egos are so big that it’s still all about them?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    To me, it’s when someone’s really worked on their self esteem, they’ve really worked on their own value that they go, “Oh, let me share.” That’s why I’m committed. If I look at, again, the small piece of your success is that vocation that you do, right? The other piece, your personal development, your business development, and so I’ve always been an advocate of work on me first. I think I learned that getting a divorce early, right, my picker being off, finding the wrong, not knowing how to value myself. That investment in me, working on me and what’s stopping me, and my limiting beliefs, and who I am, and my contribution has really enabled me to be a stronger business woman, it enabled me to be a better mother, it made a better [inaudible 00:20:34] mother to really support the next generation coming up. Who my children are in the world versus who I was, like I see their confidence level because I instilled that in them. To watch them, like wow, I wish I had that confidence at your age. That is amazing.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    We have a responsibility to our children and to our nieces and nephew, and other young women coming up to go, “Let me help you. Let me show you.” There’s a hard way, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    There’s the fighting way, there’s the mean girl way, there’s the I’ve got to step on people, and then there’s collaboration to go let me find, and I think there’s tribes in both, right? Find the tribe that is willing to support you to be the woman you want to be, that inspires you, right? In the groups I’m in, these women inspire me. They’re playing so big in the world and they’re bad asses and then you come and they’re vulnerable and real and you’re like, wow, it’s very attractive, attractive physically, attractive in business, attractive, like that character, right? I don’t think a lot of people work on their character, they just are climbing. What’s the next, what’s the next? Well, I don’t want to just climb and step over people, I want to make sure that the relationships I do create were honoring each other, celebrating each other, and helping each other win.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, and that’s ultimately a dead end, too. I’ve seen women who have done that and then they end up, maybe they hit those milestones, but they’re empty milestones because-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         They’re alone, or if it’s a destination, when people get to the destination and ignore the journey, the destination doesn’t make them happy.

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Because if money is your only marker of success, you can never really have enough. Someone always has more.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         One of the things that I’ve really learned along the way with increasing consistency is that it’s about the journey, really having fun, and if you’re an entrepreneur, creating a company, creating a culture that you enjoy, working with people that you want to work with, all of that. Creating a business that supports the lifestyle that you actually want, but that presupposes that you know what you want, and this just comes back to your comment about therapy. I think business growth is one and the same with personal growth in entrepreneurship. I think when done right, or if it’s a particularly perceptive entrepreneur leader who really wants to grow, they tend to be a lot more open to that and the challenges along the way become the lessons, and those lessons are the opportunities to really grow. Therapy was a really big part of my journey. There was a certain point where I was just blocked and I had to unlearn things-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         And relearn them-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         And realize that all the stuff that was blocking me was just deeply embedded in my subconscious from stuff I learned or stories I told myself as a four year old or a seven year old without frontal lobe, you know?

Susie Carder:                    Right, right. Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right? Shedding all those things. With all the people that you help in passing on all the wisdom and growing two 10-million dollar businesses, Susie, and all the things that you’ve done, what are the biggest single blocks that you find to teaching people about things like sales and systems, and asking for what they need? What generally is holding them back?

Susie Carder:                    There’s a part of it that we have this magical thinking, that if I just put it in the universe, it’s kind of that love attraction, [crosstalk 00:24:31]-

Melinda Wittstock:         Right, like I’ll just put it out there and not do anything?

Susie Carder:                    Yeah. I’ll put it on my vision board. I’ve got pictures. Okay, you’ve got to put action in place. Get your business plan out of your head.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    When I start working with a client, 90% of the time they don’t have a business plan, and if they say they have a business plan it might be a one-page idea list, not a plan, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    The first thing is let’s work on your financial plan, because for me what you’re financial goals dictate what’s our marketing, dictates how you sell that, and a lot of entrepreneurs want to stick their head in the sand like I did just close the checking account, open another one. That’s why I’m so passionate about it, because look, if I could figure out how to do it. I took this complicated thing, for me, called business finance, I’m not a CPM, not an accountant, I’m not a financial advisor, I just have figured it out for me and I’ve done it successfully over and over and over again for clients to look at where’s the money they’re leaving on the table. You’ve got to get it out of your head and get out of the magical thinking. There is no magical thinking. It’s like let’s put a plan together. I see people wasting so much money, and like, I’m going to buy this, and I’m going to buy that, but they’re not implementing. We have people that sign up for our $30,000 Master Mind, Melinda, that don’t do the homework. [crosstalk 00:25:44].

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh. Oh.

Susie Carder:                    I can’t help you if you don’t do the homework. It’s not them having a conversation with me. I [crosstalk 00:25:51].

Melinda Wittstock:         I’ve had clients like that. I help people launch their podcast and now, just in my sales qualification, I put a lot of effort into qualifying whether someone’s actually going to do the work-

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Because otherwise, it’s frustrating for me [crosstalk 00:26:08]. You don’t want to help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

Susie Carder:                    Right, it’s not about money anymore, right? I learned that all money is not good money. I think entrepreneurs need to realize that all money is not good money. To go I want someone’s that going to do the work, because if you don’t do it, that’s my reputation. If I say I want to do a podcast, Melinda, and I don’t do anything, and they’ll go, “Oh, well, who did you work with?”, “Oh well, Melinda.” I didn’t do anything. No, no. I like to tell people, “Don’t tell them I’m your coach because you’re not doing the work.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I mean, isn’t it lovely, though, because you do get a lot of validation. You get so much out of it as a coach. The coach thing is not my core thing, but-

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         I have so much to teach and I enjoy teaching people who actually want to learn.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Then they really do advance and when you see the results of that, it’s just so exciting to watch someone really fly.

Susie Carder:                    Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         So Susie, there’s so much going on right now when we think of the coronavirus and the economy and just the general uncertainty, and there’s good and bad in this obviously. I mean, there’s a lot. It’s a challenging period for a lot of people for many valid reasons, and at the same time, this is where my entrepreneurial brain kicks in and I think, wow, it’s a really exciting time filled with opportunities because the virus is shining a light on so many things that are wrong with our society, like ways in which the healthcare system or the education system, or whatever it is, surely can be improved.

Then also, shining a light within ourselves of like are we in alignment, are we doing the thing that we really want to do? There’s a lot of opportunity for people. If someone’s sitting there and thinking, “God, I’ve always wanted to start a business, but now is not the right time,” or finding all kinds of ways to put blocks in front of doing it, or using coronavirus, or the economy as a reason. What would you tell that person.

Susie Carder:                    Well, what I’ve seen is there’s three types of people; the first is the partier. “Woo hoo! Day drinking party.” This is my [inaudible 00:28:34] and so this is like their time off. The second type of people are like, “Let’s just get it over with. Let’s get back to normal. Let’s get back to normal.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    Well, I’m sorry, there’s not normal [crosstalk 00:28:44]-

Melinda Wittstock:         Mmm, yeah.

Susie Carder:                    [crosstalk 00:28:45] a new norm.

Melinda Wittstock:         A new normal. Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    [crosstalk 00:28:47] yeah. The third type are the generals, right, the people that are like, “Okay, let me pivot. Okay, this is the way I’m going to do it. How do I leverage it? What do I need to do? How do I make this happen?” I think you have identify first which one are you. Are you the one that’s just pissed off and want to get it back to normal and have it comes to terms with there is a new norm? We all don’t know what it is, but inside that, you’ve got to pivot, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    What do I do, what do I do, what do I do?

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    The first thing I did, I’m going to say it again, I went back to my finance [inaudible 00:29:17] I have 30 events on the book because we were doing this book launch this year.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right, [crosstalk 00:29:20] 30 events. You had 30 events during corona. Oh, my goodness.

Susie Carder:                    The events and then we overnight wiped out, right? I’m like okay, well my financial goals aren’t relevant now, let me go back and see what can I do. I shifted it, I pivoted, because I didn’t want to set myself up to fail or feel like a loser, or feel like I’m not good enough, so I shifted it and then I got really clear on what’s the action I need to take. Now, we’re ahead financially [inaudible 00:29:46] which I’m excited. We didn’t hit our stretch goal, but we are hitting our must goal. I always have two goals, the must and the stretch. How committed are you to making a difference in the world? My very first book I wrote, Melinda, was called Passion-

Melinda Wittstock:         Mmm.

Susie Carder:                    And it was in the salon industry, but it was all about getting your passion. If you’re not passionate about what you do, quit that and go find something else because we’re going to do free stuff, you’re going to work late nights, you’re going to work weekends, and you have to be really passionate about what you do or it will be torturous. If you’re not passionate about it, quit that, find something else that you’re really passionate about. The great thing about this whole pandemic, right, I look at it, it’s the gift that’s wrapped in sandpaper.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    It has leveled the playing field, so people who were 10 steps ahead of you, we all had to reinvent our business, right, and the people that are thriving are people who have not stuck their head in the sand, who have not said I’m waiting for it to get back to normal, that’s on a party boat and those are the people that have gained the COVID 15 or 20, whatever the number is, right. They’re like, “I’m just going to sit back and Netflix and chill.”, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    We go, no, no, no. It made me drive harder. It made me dig in deeper. It made me be more creative, like how do I be more creative? I thought I was creative before, but now what do I need to do inside of this? I think if we, we, I don’t want say you, like it’s we, we’re all doing this, determine what’s the thing that I can do now? Now, what I love is seeing all the new businesses popping up, right? You look at the masks; there are bling masks, there’s camel masks, there’s a ton of different stuff. There’s something called the cootie catcher. I saw this in Marshall’s the other day, a cootie catcher. That sounds naughty, but the cootie catcher was basically this little hook pin, so instead of pushing the elevator button, you put on your key chain and you push buttons, you push your ATM thing so you’re not touching things. You can open a door with the cootie catcher, so the cootie catcher, and then I guess you sanitize the cootie catcher. I’m like, that is interesting. All these things that are coming up.

You look at all of our businesses. If you have a physical location, all the shields and all the protection stuff, that’s a whole market that wasn’t there before. When you look at when businesses, Google launched in a recession and down economy, Microsoft launched in a down [crosstalk 00:32:14].

Melinda Wittstock:         A lot of the great businesses have done that.

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         I mean, my own business is entirely pandemic proof. I mean, it’s an interactive podcasting platform, right, where people can connect around content and put learning into action, so entirely a virtual company right from the beginning.

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         It was going to be that anyway, but I think that coronavirus is accelerating a lot of trends that were happening anyway. Trends towards online learning, which has been growing but making that more interactive. For instance, non physical locations, virtual work, a whole series of things-

Susie Carder:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         And it just seems like this just happened in a faster period of time.

Susie Carder:                    I agree completely. That’s the gift that’s wrapped in sandpaper. For people who are taking radical action, right-

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Susie Carder:                    Not waiting to see what’s happened. Let me wait and see. If you wait and see, you’re going to miss the boat.

Melinda Wittstock:         No, that’s true. Actually, a really good friend of mine whose been on this podcast, she’s coming back on, Gitte Pedersen, she was innovating to cure cancer with her RNA solution, and all these new vaccines that-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         That are coming out for coronavirus are all RNA based, so she figured out an RNA saliva test that-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Is instantaneous, so she pivoted her business to use her RNA technology to adapt specifically to the coronavirus. That’ll probably be the making of her company actually. The curing cancer thing is a long haul.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         She’ll get there.

Susie Carder:                    I know, but that’s being radical. How much failure do we have to have? The average person quits after three times, right, so you look at how many times do I have to do something before I quit? You can’t quit at that, right, but that’s her passion. She’s committed, so she’s not going to quit. So many people go, “Oh, I’m going to sit back and rake in the cash.” Uh, no. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do before you sit and rake in the cash.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, there’s also something that comes up at every phase of a business. I mean, there’s the challenges at startup, there’s the challenges once you get to a couple of hundred-thousand dollars in revenue, getting from there to, say, a million. There are completely different challenges from a million to three.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Completely different challenges again from three to 10. You can tell I’ve been here, right?

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         As a CEO, you’re almost having to be a different person in a way, or at least-

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Double down on different skillsets at those different phases. What was your experience in terms of how you had to grow personally, and in your leadership and what you were actually doing in your business-

Susie Carder:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Melinda Wittstock:         As you took those steps to scale to the eight figures?

Susie Carder:                    Especially in this market, the first thing I did is look at budget, right? Where was there spending that I didn’t need to spend, right? The second things was renegotiating contracts. What was working in an up market, maybe not working in this market, can I renegotiate any contracts. I cut about 50% of my expenses going into this, so I’m always looking at what am I investing in and what’s my ROI. I think a lot of people just spend money, right, but am I getting the return on investment? Being fiscally responsible to look at that will allow you to make the business decisions that are right for you. I think it’s don’t just wait for an accountant to give you your numbers. You’ve got to understand that so you can make educated decisions.

Then the next piece was really looking at how do I be creative in my marketing? I mean, we were radical. We were doing Facebook live every day, we were doing webinars every day to pour into the community because people were freaking out. Even though I was freaking out, I wasn’t freaking out, I’m like we’ve got to still do business, and let’s do business. That paid off. That generosity and contributing and serving and giving, right, allowed me to set up all these speaking events online and virtual, right, where before they were all live and all those got canceled. I think when you can pivot and manage your business by your numbers or your key performance indicators, those things from how many people are in your Facebook groups, and how many friends do you have, and what’s the engagement? Those are all key performance indicators working, right? If you’re paying someone to do social [inaudible 00:37:07] and our engagement’s not up, and it’s flat, well maybe they’re not the right [inaudible 00:37:11], maybe they’re not doing what’s right. I don’t want to have to be the expert in everything I do.

What I like to do, Melinda, is if you’re the expert in creating a podcast, I want to hire the expert, let the expert tell me what to do, not me tell the expert. I think so many people go, “I’m going to hire Melinda, and then I’m going to tell her how I want to do my podcast.” Really? You don’t know how to do the podcast, so listen to the person that knows how to do the podcast, right? Even with my assistant, I say, “Listen, if I have to tell you how to do your job, one of us isn’t needed, and it certainly is not me because” so holding people accountable [inaudible 00:37:46] the result you need them to create inside of your business, even at that lower level as an assistant, right? Then as money goes up, and the investment goes up, the responsibility and accountability goes up. I think leaders, we don’t want to hold people accountable because we don’t want to be mean, we want to be nice.

I learned a long time ago that [inaudible 00:38:08]. I use what I call the CAT system. [inaudible 00:38:13] get mad at you or upset with you, or write you up, or get frustrated, I ask myself these three questions: Was I clear on my expectation? If I was clear, okay, then that’s not my responsibility. Did I hold them accountable to what we needed to be done? Then, did I give them training? If the answer is no to any of those three questions, then I have to take responsibility and go, okay, I didn’t hold her accountable so let me go back, talk to her about what the breakdown is, and then what accountability do I need to put in place to hold that person accountable?

The same thing with the training. We throw project at people and then they do the project and they come back and you’re like, “Oh no, that’s not I wanted it.” Well, you didn’t stop to teach them how you wanted to do it, right? It takes 10 units of energy to produce one unit of result. Once you get the momentum going, you put one unit of energy into getting 10 units of result. It’s really I look at business like a combination lock. Remember like in school and you’d go to your locker and you’d have that combination?

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    One little tick off and that sucker wouldn’t open, and sometimes you’d stand there for five minutes because you’re so in a hurry trying to get the ticks. Well, that is business. One tick off, like think about a podcast, if they have one tick off an engagement, or one tick off in their marketing, it’s not going to work, right, but you know the combination. I know the combination in [inaudible 00:39:34] business finance and your strategy so I can look at, oh, you’ve got a tick off here, a tick off here, a tick off here. Profitability income is not one tick, it’s all the ticks. If your combination is jumbled, there’s no way you’re going to open up the money or the possibility-

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    Or the exposure.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    Right? I think that’s a great visual because I remember just standing in front of that stupid combination lock. I know the combination, but somehow I’m missing the tick and it’s just not opening.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    I want you to look at that and go, “Oh, I just have a couple of ticks off.” It doesn’t mean you’re back, doesn’t mean you’re wrong, doesn’t mean you didn’t do it right, there’s just a couple of ticks and you’ve got to find the people in your community, the experts that can help you. This is the combination. Do this, get this. I always tell my students, “Just please do what I say. If you do it [crosstalk 00:40:22]

Melinda Wittstock:         Just do it.

Susie Carder:                    Hey, we’ll get the result.”, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Just do it.

Susie Carder:                    People want to do it their way. Okay, that’s going to be way more expensive [crosstalk 00:40:28]

Melinda Wittstock:         Actually, my partner, who’s a serial entrepreneur, and I joke, you can be right or you can be rich.

Susie Carder:                    Right. I choose the later. I would humble at your feet. Let me be humble. I will be quiet now.

Melinda Wittstock:         Often those two things don’t necessarily, aren’t one in the same, right?

Susie Carder:                    Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right or rich? It’s interesting where people’s ego just comes into it and it really is a block to learning. While we still have some time left, because I could talk to you for hours, Susie, I’m really enjoying this-

Susie Carder:                    Me too.

Melinda Wittstock:         I want to make sure that people find out all about your new book. It’s called Power Your Profits, a great name, and we all need to know all your secrets in there. Tell us a little bit more about the book and where we can all get it.

Susie Carder:                    Yes. Listen, this is 30 years of doing it wrong, getting it right, and building 10 businesses, two 10 million dollar companies, and so it’s not a linear book, right? If you need help in sales, you want to go directly to the sales chapter. I give you my script that I’ve been using for 20 years and that script closes hundred-thousand dollar clients, and it closes $900 clients. I learned this from my first coach, Doug Carter, and learned how to close because I was scared. It’s called the stair step questions, so if you need to close sales, go right to chapter six. Don’t go to one. Whatever, come back to one. Download that script, get that script, use that script, and start making now money now, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Fantastic. Chapter six everybody.

Susie Carder:                    Chapter six, go right to page 198. The script is on 198, right? Then, again, in the chapter eight, which is Math is Money, Money is Fun, nobody likes math, but we all like what money does for us.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    Again, I give you all my sexy spreadsheets and formulas to go. If you follow this formula, you can have profitability. Skip all the other ones. If money’s your issue, and you need to figure that one out like I needed to early on, I’m like, “I’ve got to figure out how to pay my bills.”, right, or “I’ve got to figure out how to go to the next level,” go directly to 248, right, chapter eight, and make that happen.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s great. I mean, just even getting comfortable with your numbers and knowing your numbers. There’s so many business owners, men and women alike, that don’t even look at their numbers and so then they’re surprised, but the number tells a story. They’re predictive to a certain degree, right? You know where you are in your business.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Knowing those numbers is-

Susie Carder:                    I realized math was creative. I didn’t learn that in algebra. In algebra, I failed, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         No.

Susie Carder:                    I’m like, well, why are you putting the alphabet in algebra? That makes no sense. Once I realized that we could make up your financial future. I grew up poor. There was no money. I just made up my financial future and then put a plan to it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Susie Carder:                    That is what’s so exciting is we’re the only stop block in creating your wealth. It’s a limiting mindset, it’s an inherited mindset, and if that’s your issue, like you have to look at where is my mindset, that’s chapter one. To look at what’s that [inaudible 00:43:45]. I grew up, there is no money, don’t ask, right? Go get a job and work hard. That was my mindset, so I made millions, but I was killing myself. It took me years to realize it doesn’t have to be hard. I’m making it hard because that was the belief I grew up with.

Melinda Wittstock:         The belief, right, that somehow we don’t deserve it unless we worked really hard. That’s really pervasive. I had that one, too.

Susie Carder:                    Right, and that was my how my dad grew up, and that was his philosophy, so you just inherit it. It wasn’t like anybody talked about it, it’s just what you did. Unconsciously we inherit it from our churches, and from our grandmas, and our aunts, and community. How does your community handle that? It’s juicy, juicy, juicy. Real practical stuff, right, mean and potato, and I lace it with funny stories because I tell you my failures. I tell you how I did it wrong because I want people to see if I can do this, I don’t have a formal business education, I do have my PhD, which is my public high school diploma. That’s about as formal as it gets.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love that. I love that, because people always ask me, you know when you play that game, Three Truths and a Lie, or whatever?

Susie Carder:                    Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Okay, and so my lie is always something like I have an MBA or that I have a master’s in journalism.

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Here I am and people always believe the lie-

Susie Carder:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Because here I am, I’ve grown five businesses, the seven and eight-figure success, right? You would think that I would have some sort of business education. Nope. Not at all. Or I’m an award winning journalist, right, and a former TV anchor. Surely, I was trained in journalism. No.

Susie Carder:                    No. What we’re trained in is that hustle muscle to go. I’m going to be unstoppable. Now, we both have a ton of education, it’s just not traditional, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Exactly, and then it makes you actually even think about the education system. I mean, I tend to think with the way the economy is shifting with so many gig workers and people who need side hustles, I mean, people really need entrepreneurial skills. Whether or not they’re going to grow, be an entrepreneur actually, and grow something or pioneer something out of whole cloth, is not everybody is suited for that. The entrepreneurial skill in terms of being able to take initiative, being able to actually understand money and finances, all these sorts of things that you learn along the way as an entrepreneur, I with the education system was geared more that way.

Susie Carder:                    Exactly, because that’s, to me, I like traditional education, I’m an advocate of education however you choose to learn, I just want to learn it today and implement it tomorrow. That’s my ADD, that’s my, I’ve got to [crosstalk 00:46:32].

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, the implementation, I mean, that’s it actually because when people actually see the transformation of learning something, it transforms something in their lives, then they become lifelong learners, right, when they kind of see the point. Look, I want to make sure everybody gets Power Your Profits, and everybody knows where to find you, too. Susie, what’s the best way?

Susie Carder:                    Yeah, so the best way to get the book is go to PowerYourProfitsbook.com, forward slash, wings, right, so that we know that you were on Melinda’s podcast so we can send Melinda love, love, love, love.

Melinda Wittstock:         Aww.

Susie Carder:                    Right, you can also get ahold of me through my name, Susie Carder, our website is Susie Carder, C-A-R-D, as in dollar and dinero and delicious, E-R. I like to make it memorable.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love it.

Susie Carder:                    Right? All my social handles are Susie Carder, so we have a ton of resources. If you purchase the book through that website, we give you able $5000 worth of bonuses. Now, I know that’s bananaramas, but I always come bearing gifts, so you’ll invest $28 to get $5000 worth of free education to help you look at your money mindset to help you.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh.

Susie Carder:                    I give you some of my sexiest spreadsheets for free. I blow my clients away, and I make them really simple. You put in three numbers and you get a whole projection. It’s sexy, sexy, sexy.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, this is just so generous, and I love that you use the word sexy, too. It’s very, very, very generous, Susie. Thank you so much, and anybody listening to this, just take Susie up on her offer. I’m just going to say that again; $5000 worth of, that’d be including actual practical stuff that will change the game for you right now for 28 bucks and also a generous offer just to use that coupon, Wings. We’ll make sure that that’s in the show notes, so if you do happen to be out and about driving or whatever, and you miss that, just check out the show notes on the website and please take advantage of Susie’s offer. Susie, I want to thank you for putting on your wings and flying with us.

Susie Carder:                    Thank you for having me, and thank you for allowing me to serve and pour into our community. I appreciate who you are in the world. You are a beast. I’m proud to have you as my sister from another mister, and anything we can do for you, I would love to support you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love it. Thank you, Susie.

Susie Carder:                    Thank you. Have a blessed day.

Susie Carder
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Listen to learn the secrets, strategies, practical tips and epiphanies of women entrepreneurs who’ve “been there, built that” so you too can manifest the confidence, capital and connections to soar to success!
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Listen to learn the secrets, strategies, practical tips and epiphanies of women entrepreneurs who’ve “been there, built that” so you too can manifest the confidence, capital and connections to soar to success!
Instantly get Melinda’s Wings Success Formula
Review on iTunes and win the chance for a VIP Day with Melinda