Welcome to episode 177 of Profit Boss® Radio! Today, I’m reaching into the archives and sharing a past episode that’s as relevant today as it was when I shared it as episode 2.
In this replay, I’m speaking with serial entrepreneur Allison Maslan. Not only has she built a business empire, and been named one of the “Top Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire” by Self Made Magazine, but as one of my business mentors, she’s responsible for so much of my business growth and success.
Our conversation is all about women in business – entrepreneurship, financial independence, managing finances as a couple, money mindsets, hiring, selling, exit strategies, and more.
Whether you’ve heard this one before, or missed it the first time, this one is packed with a ton of value that’s worth its weight in gold.
Here’s what you’ll find out in this week’s episode of Profit Boss® Radio
- Where does the courage to start your own business come from?
- Planning an exit strategy for your business.
- Why every woman should maintain financial independence.
- The importance of learning from your financial mistakes.
- Managing money as a couple.
- Shifting your money mindset from scarcity to abundance.
- Achieving success by embracing rejection.
- Why successful business owners are not victims of circumstance — success is a choice!
- A great tip for those who are afraid to sell.
- How to develop thick skin as a business woman.
- What to do when a prospect thinks your product/service costs too much?
- Why hiring is an investment and how to recruit top talent.
- How much should you pay yourself as the business owner?
- Saving as an entrepreneur and setting a financial freedom target.
- Strategies for couples who have conflicting money mindsets.
- Morning routines and rituals.
Resources and Related Profit Boss® Content
- Allison Maslan Website
- Allison Maslan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
- The Homeopathic Academy of Southern California
- Michael Hyatt
- Blast Off!: The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality by Allison Maslan
- Ep# 16 – Financial Planning for Couples
- Ep# 116 – When You Don’t Know What Kind of Business to Start with Mariko Briley
- Ep# 138 – How to Run a Scalable 7-Figure Business with Sigrun
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Hilary Hendershott: Today, I’m thrilled to share with you an amazing episode from the Profit Boss archives. It’s a conversation between me and business mentor Allison Maslan about serial entrepreneurship and financial intimacy. It originally aired in 2016. So, why am I sharing it with you today? Because what you’re going to hear is absolutely still relevant to helping you achieve your financial goals, including timeless lessons of money. Here we go.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay, Allison Maslan, welcome to the show.
Allison Maslan: Hi, Hilary. I am so excited to be here.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, welcome to Profit Boss Radio. I am so excited to be interviewing you, mainly because you’ve been my business coach and mentor for over two years now, and I’ve learned so much from you. And really, what I’ve always known about you is that you naturally have some really powerful skill sets and mindsets when it comes to money. And I’m excited to have you be able to share those with my audience.
I know that you and I previously talked about how sometimes it’s hard to get women talking about money with each other. So, I’m really excited for this conversation because you’re such a powerful woman, and we can discover what we discover about how that’s working for you. Your website says you’ve built 10 different companies.
Allison Maslan: Yeah.
Hilary Hendershott: Can you talk a little bit about how your entrepreneurial career has progressed in terms of the services you’re offering and what you’re doing now?
Allison Maslan: Sure. I feel that the work I’m doing now is my best work because it’s the culmination of all my years in business. My first business started at age 19. You can do the math, but almost three decades I’ve been in business. And so, I’ve learned a lot. Obviously, your wisdom comes through your wins and through your falls. And so, I’m able to now share all this wisdom with entrepreneurs, people that want to kind of strike their own path, and so, that they can reach their goals so much faster without the headache and the heartache. So, I have a team of coaches and myself, and I’m so passionate about helping them succeed. And we work with entrepreneurs all over the world.
Hilary Hendershott: That’s fantastic. What are some of the kinds of companies that you previously owned?
Allison Maslan: Well, they are quite varied. In fact, they’re each very different. I had a full-service advertising and public relations firm called the Borelli Group. And we worked with companies like Ben & Jerry’s and Supercuts. And I really got my marketing education early, which has helped me in all of my other businesses. I built the largest homoeopathic academy in the United States called The Homeopathic Academy of Southern California. I also had a homeopathic practice for 20 years and just stopped my private practice last year, a scuba diving certification company.
Hilary Hendershott: Really?
Allison Maslan: Yeah, and I don’t know if you knew that, but…
Hilary Hendershott: I did not know that.
Allison Maslan: A chain of beauty salons and software companies. So, they’ve all been in very different fields. Most of them I have sold. And I got to a certain point, I knew that it was just internally and it was time for a change. So, I feel blessed because I can work with entrepreneurs, whether they have an online business or they have a brick-and-mortar store or they’re a manufacturer or service company as well.
Hilary Hendershott: Right, because you’re bringing in all that past experience.
Allison Maslan: Exactly.
Hilary Hendershott: And you truly are a serial entrepreneur, obviously. And the idea of staying in business or going into business for themselves really scares and intimidates some people. So, to what do you attribute that truly is courage, I think, some entrepreneurs relate to it like there’s nothing else they could do. I mean, now that I’m in business for myself, I can’t imagine ever going back, but it was one of the scariest leaps of faith that I took. So, where do you think that comes from?
Allison Maslan: Well, it comes from my father, and I tell the story about him a lot, just because I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My father built over 50 stores, a women’s clothing chain and was the largest privately-owned company in the United States for many years and just being around his energy. If he had an idea, he went for it. So, you learn by example. It just seemed like the right thing for me to do. I never really questioned whether this was going to be successful or not. And I think he would have supported me in whatever I wanted to do, but I thought, wow, he’s created kind of a nice life. I think I would like to do that, too. So, courage comes when you have fear of the unknown and you have to go inside and tap into that will and take the steps regardless of your fear. And so, for me, it wasn’t unknown territory because I had seen that throughout my life that it was possible.
Hilary Hendershott: One of the questions I wanted to ask you that you actually already answered was whether or not you had sold those previous companies, because you and I both know that that day of selling your company can be a very, very lucrative day for some business owners, but a lot of folks don’t steer toward that outcome. How did you think about that and design that as a potential outcome as you were CEOing those businesses?
Allison Maslan: Well, a lot came from experience. The first one, I pretty much gave away and I was naive back then and I was in my 20s and I had gone through a tough period. I was going through a divorce and I was truly burned out from that business and I was ready to leave and I couldn’t get out of it faster. I was completely exhausted. And so, I was hasty about the decision and I pretty much gave away my half. I had a partner. I think I got $6,000 for that business, which was a million-dollar company. So, it was not a smart move, but I was reacting from my emotions, which is something that you should not do. And moving forward, obviously, that’s how you learn from those hard lessons. I definitely did otherwise, and I created some very lucrative sales.
Hilary Hendershott: So, can you talk a little bit about maybe a financial mistake that you made in one of those companies, and then a big financial win, something that you’re really proud of just so folks can learn from you?
Allison Maslan: Oh, my gosh, I’ve had many financial mistakes over the years because a lot of times in business, there’s no guarantee. And so, you do what you feel is going to be the best decision based on what you learn from your mentors or past experience. I would say, well, the first one was selling that business for practically nothing, and then I gave the money to my ex-husband, mistake number two.
Hilary Hendershott: How did he talk you into that?
Allison Maslan: Oh, I don’t know, naive young woman, but you know what? It was actually really good for me because I vowed from that moment on that no matter what relationship I was going to be in, I was going to keep my– we had our joint account, my husband and I, we had a great marriage, my new husband, but I would maintain my financial independence so that no matter what happened, I would not feel that I was dependent on what somebody else would do, that I would take my life back. So, that was a huge lesson for me to learn early on, and I think is accountable for a lot of my success following.
I think sometimes it’s choosing the wrong person. For instance, when I wrote my book Blast Off, when I did the first version, I hired an editor and I paid her by the hour. That was the decision we made instead of saying, okay, this is the set price for your editing. And by the time I hit $15,000, I realized we still had a lot more to go. So, again, that was a big wake-up call for me to say, okay, I’m not doing this by the hour, I will get a set price per project so that I can budget. And so, that’s a practice that I always do moving forward.
Hilary Hendershott: That’s great. And you touched on something that I think is, I mean, you sort of glazed over it, but I think it’s a huge deal for a lot of women. And that is the idea of maintaining financial independence. I think, when you’re in a marriage or a relationship, emotionally, we get to a place where we feel like if we’re married to someone, that we should share everything, share our fates, share our money. And so, literally, can you say a little bit about what you mean about maintaining your financial independence? Does that look like keeping accounts of money that you previously had? I imagine those are separate assets. And then, how do you think about that in terms of, I know that you love Mike very much and you’ve talked about how happy you are, and so, how do you sort of jive or make sense of that in your mind?
Allison Maslan: My husband and I both own a business. We’ve both been entrepreneurs for almost 30 years. So, that’s a plus because he does understand the ups and downs of businesses and that you have to spend money to make money. And we trust one another. If he needs to make an investment in his business, that’s his decision. I mean, we talk about it, but I trust that he knows what he’s doing, and he does the same for me. And so, for instance. I just, over the weekend, signed up for $5,000 to go on a cruise that is for networking for me next November.
Hilary Hendershott: Is that networking in air quotes or no, I’m just kidding?
Allison Maslan: Yeah, exactly, but I didn’t ask him if I could go. I just told him that I was going. So, we trust each other implicitly. Now, at the same time, we have a joint account and so, we know what our expenses are. And I ran the money and the household, like a lot of women do. And I just tell him what we need and where we’re at. So, we do have that joint account for all of our personal things. And then we have money that automatically, from both of our businesses, goes into our savings and investments and things like that.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. Now, do you talk at the beginning of the year in terms of, we both know entrepreneurial income can fluctuate, do you have kind of a minimum range that you promise each other you’ll be in in order to maintain household bills and things like that? Or how do you work that out, how much to pay yourselves?
Allison Maslan: Well, we both have an idea of what we want to make salary-wise in our business. And so, we really work to maintain that and we plan how much we want to put away for the year. And so, what I’ve learned– I’m much more of a saver than my husband. He’s kind of like the maverick. And we got together, it was like whatever was left, that’s how we operated. And I was like, no, that’s not going to work. So, we set it up so that it’s an automatic distribution from his business so he does even know that it’s there, but we do discuss how much that’s going to be. And we’ve worked a lot on this. I think that everybody has their money beliefs from their past. Even though I feel like I was healthy from my childhood, being a single mom for 12 years, being the sole breadwinner, it was really on me to pay for my daughter’s education or anything we did. And so, I always wanted to make sure that there was going to be enough there. My husband was single for many years. He hasn’t had children. So, he’d be able to just kind of…
Hilary Hendershott: Do whatever he wanted to do.
Allison Maslan: But he’s whacked $10,000 on that and even though we could do that, I’m a little bit– I like to think things through. We’ve had several discussions over the years. We’ve been together for 10 years to work on our money mindset for our relationship. In fact, we even did a seminar last year just working on our money mindset. And I think that whatever level that you grow in your business, whether you have a six-figure business, seven-figure business, eight or higher, you always have to work on your money mindset. And as a couple, you have two money mindsets. So, then you’ve got to bring that together so that you’re both on the same playing field when it comes to building your wealth.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, and that’s always been one of the things that really impressed me about you in the area of money specifically, is it’s obvious that you have a very, I’ll call it abundant money mindset. And I want to define that objectively because I think people throw that word around. And I just mean that when you, Allison, look at things and possibilities and options, you see huge possibilities. You see profit in the future. You see abundance in the future where some people look at the same situation and they might see no possibilities. So, what would you say to someone who currently doesn’t have an abundant mindset? How do you actually shift what you believe?
Allison Maslan: Well, I think there’s a few parts to that question. First of all, when I look at, am I going to spend money on something or not? So, for instance, let’s say the $5,000 that I just signed up for this cruise, I didn’t look at, oh, that’s costing me $5,000. I look at what can that $5,000 make me. So, it’s kind of like investing in the stock market or something. You’re looking at what you’re going to make. And to me, it’s the exact same thing. Instead of looking at a cost, I look at the value of the opportunity. If I can take that $5,000 and I meet, let’s say, a potential client or somebody who can speak at my event or someone that’s going to introduce me to someone that’s going to open a lot of doors for me, let’s say, for a bigger publishing contract or something like that, potentially, that $5,000 could give me a million back. So, that’s really how my mind operates. So, I’m not afraid to spend the money because through experience, I see that this is true. And if I don’t spend the money, I’m actually losing money because I’m losing this amazing opportunity and I’m just keeping myself really small. And I have big goals for our company. And so, if we’re going to reach those goals, I’ve got to play big. And then, the next part of your question is how do people shift that mindset?
Hilary Hendershott: Yes.
Allison Maslan: So, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have fear. It doesn’t mean that I don’t go, oh, my gosh, have those moments. Or if you lose something or if you lose a client or things like that, that definitely affects your bottom line. And so, I think the natural place for me is like, oh, no, that’s the first thing that happens is, oh my gosh, what just happened? And then, after I kind of regroup after like 10 minutes, then I say, okay, if I keep focusing on fear, I’m just going to make more of the same. So, how can I put this into the positive and say this is happening because I’m going to have a whole new opportunity open up? So, I shifted and that is actually positive. I step back, I reconnect with the big vision of my company and all of the millions of people that I want to impact positively in the world, because I have a big vision for that. And I center myself and then I say, okay, so what is the next decision I need to make? And I look for solutions. And every time you make a decision, you move forward. When you sit on the fence and you don’t make a decision out of fear, it’s kind of a form of self-abuse in a way, because you’re choosing to stay stuck.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, I think I relate to that. I know for myself, I tend to be very results oriented. So, for me, confidence often comes from successes I’ve already had. And so, in my business, if I lose an opportunity or someone says no to me, I will be in a bad mood or depressed for the rest of the day. Then the next day someone will call me and say, can we talk about a business opportunity? Or someone will want to hire me, and then I’ll be elated for the rest of the day, but I think what you’re talking about is consciously moving yourself into that elated or possibility space. And you do that by decision making?
Allison Maslan: I do. I make a decision. I recently had an event in New York and I didn’t get the complete results that I had hoped for. And my husband was actually there. And I had that bummed-out energy afterwards and I was disappointed just like anybody else would be. And we both looked at each other and we started singing the song, I got a new attitude. So, we’re kind of corny that way, but you sort of have to play those kind of games. And then, I flew off to Florida right after that and had a fantastic event. So, you can sit there and stay in the doldrums.
I saw a movie with Michael Jordan years ago, and it was in one of those dumb theaters. It was 3D, I’ll never forget it. I mean, this was many years ago, maybe 20 years ago. And he talked about one of the reasons for his success was that if he got a bad shot on the basketball court, he was able to let it go immediately and move on to the next, but that a lot of players, when they would hit a bad shot or whatever, lose a point, they would emotionally stay stuck there and would ruin the rest of their game. Success really is determined by, we all get knocked down, but how fast from the time you get knocked down, do you get back up again and you’re back on the game?
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, that’s really great. It’s really great. And I think for me, something that helps me in that area is I play a little game called Getting a Hundred Noes, and that is I’m looking for, let’s say, 10 podcast interviews. And I say to myself, okay, my goal is to actually get 100 people to say no to me, which obviously it isn’t, but if I actually get, I never actually get to 100 noes, by the way, but it kind of flips it on its ear and makes it a game. It’s like, oh, thank you for the no. Like, that’s one down. I know by the time I get to 100, I will have achieved the result of scheduling 10 podcast interviews. So, that’s a way I kind of play with it.
Allison Maslan: Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you just expect that you’re going to have some more rejections, then it’s not that big of a deal. You know when it happens, and we all do, that’s normal.
Hilary Hendershott: So, I also saw an article that you wrote called Successful Business Owners Are Not Victims of Circumstance. And I’d venture to extend that to all people. Successful people don’t become victims of their circumstances. So, it seems like everything is going really well for you now, but what would you say to someone who has had circumstances occur in their life, like you had in your 20s, like a divorce or possibly a special needs child or a business partner who sort of left them hanging out to dry. How do you move past dire circumstances and put a plan in place to move forward in your financial life?
Allison Maslan: Well, I mean, when we allow ourselves to be victims of our circumstances, we don’t have very many choices. And we are victims when we are young, maybe if we were children and maybe we were in an abusive situation, that would be an example of being…
Hilary Hendershott: Well, that’s truly, truly a victim, yes.
Allison Maslan: But as adults, we have a choice in most cases. And so, even in my marriage in the past, which was difficult, I chose that relationship. So, it was when I finally got that concept of that I could choose my circumstances and that I was responsible for the experience I was having in my life and I could create a new experience every single day, it was so empowering and exciting for me, very freeing, where I think sometimes people feel like I have to let someone off the hook that really wronged me. By hanging on to that sort of victimhood, it just keeps you stuck, and you’re the only one that’s really losing. So, it’s like saying, you’re angry, but you’re swallowing the poison. You’re angry at someone else, but you’re the one that’s suffering.
So, I truly believe that everybody has the power to succeed, to reach your dreams. It’s a choice. And so, if you’re around people that bring you down that are negative, that don’t believe in you, it’s a choice. You can stay in that circumstance and operate at that level or you can break away and surround yourself with people that are uplifting and positive and successful. So, if your business isn’t working or the job you have is not working, to stay there and complain about it is really just going to give you more of the same. Find a solution. There are many out there.
Hilary Hendershott: It’s like when I get to kind of dig into the nitty-gritty with people of what they’re spending on and what their financial situation is. And when I hear the words I have to, like I have to spend on that, I have to do that, I can’t stop that expense or that commitment, I know we might be in trouble because that’s a mindset. And the truth is you don’t have to spend on that. And sometimes those are the expenses or the commitments or the agreements that are keeping you stuck. And I don’t know exactly how to move people through that. I do my best through coaching and encouragement and inspiration, but it is kind of an indicator of a victim mindset, in my opinion.
Allison Maslan: Yeah, it is. And get the support, whether it’s a therapist, get a coach. I mean, I have a coach, I have a mentor. I’m in a Mastermind group. I constantly seek the counsel of an advisor to make certain decisions and key decisions in my business because sometimes we’re emotionally close to it. I have been in therapy at different times in my life because I don’t want to stay stuck in there. I want to move forward. I want to learn and grow.
Hilary Hendershott: Yes. Well, knowing you for a couple of years now, that’s evident. You have a lot of energy to motivate, to take action, and to keep moving towards success and creating more success. Okay, I want to talk about a really taboo subject right now, and that’s sales. So, one of the things I know you do to build your business is sell from the stage. For example, I happen to have hired you in a phone conversation, but lots of people really have reactions to selling and especially selling in a group setting, both in principle and in the moment like, oh, here she goes. She’s selling again. So, what is your philosophy on that? And how do you build up the thick skin to kind of deal with the resistance?
Allison Maslan: Well, I never have really thought of myself as selling. I’ve always been super passionate about what I’m doing in my business. So, it’s more about the excitement that I have and the confidence behind it because I believe a thousand percent in what I’m offering. So, that’s the first thing. And the second thing is that if you believe that you have the best product and service on the marketplace, then why wouldn’t you want to get it in everybody’s hands? If I’m not offering something, I’m doing people a disservice because I’m saying here, I’ve got this, but you can’t have any. So, if I feel that it’s going to better somebody and you know that they’re going to enjoy it or in my case, with business mentoring, if they’re going to profit from it, but it really doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If it’s dirt and you really believe it is the best dirt on the planet, these nutrients that are going to really help the farmers’ plants grow, you better get out there and hustle like there’s no tomorrow.
Hilary Hendershott: Hustle that good dirt.
Allison Maslan: Yeah, exactly.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. I mean, how do you feel about polarization? Because I’ve heard it said that a good speaker will polarize the audience, and in some sense, I relate that to the question before, which is, you have your business mission, but obviously, it’s not going to please everybody in this. I think a lot of women are gripped by the desire to be liked by people and to not polarize people or audiences. So, do you ever feel like sometimes you’re choosing your mission over being liked?
Allison Maslan: Absolutely. And I think women have a hard time with that because we are the caretakers. And naturally, we want to be liked. Who doesn’t want to be liked, right? But as your business grows and you are connecting with more people, there is no possible way that you can be liked by everybody. That’s something that I heard from a young age. You can’t please everybody. And I think it’s becoming okay with that, not everybody is going to agree with you. And I think that’s made me a better businesswoman because I have a thicker skin, like I’m really okay if someone does not agree with what I’m doing. They’re not a fit for my product or service. That’s okay. I send them love, and they can go somewhere else. I’m not here to twist somebody’s arm to like me. If I do that, I would just be exhausted. I mean, there’s no way that I could grow my business. So, I think, just get clear on what’s important to you, what that deeper meaning is, and what that mission is and just go for that full steam ahead. And the people that are going to be magnetized to that will connect with you and those that aren’t, that’s okay. They will connect with something else.
Hilary Hendershott: So, I notice for me, I have plenty of paying clients, and the top-tier services that I offer are not discount services. I work one on one with people and I offer them customized advice in their life. And so, it’s not an inexpensive thing. And I think you offer something similar, but I noticed when people say to me, they clearly don’t perceive the value, kind of like, are you kidding? That’s a lot of money for what I’m getting, like they clearly don’t see the value that I do have a reaction to that. Kind of like, they take it as a negative or they dislike me, or then I maybe dislike them at the moment. I think, well, we’re different, and I kind of wish that that thought wasn’t there. I wish I were more of an open space about it, more accepting that that’s going to happen. And that could be one of the 100 noes that I’m actually seeking. What’s your reaction when someone clearly doesn’t perceive the value and talks it down?
Allison Maslan: Well, I mean, first of all, for you, Hilary, you are the go-to expert for building wealth, hands down. And I’m not saying that just because you’ve been my client, I just know the work done results that you get. So, it’s really, you’re asking for finances, compensation commensurate with what the value is that you’re offering. And so, when you have a higher value or higher touch points, more time or energy, more expertise, the dollar is going to be higher.
Hilary Hendershott: Absolutely.
Allison Maslan: But I think, just getting those rejections as a young age, I remember I did all the marketing for Charlotte Russe, clothing stores, and we were working on a new logo for them. And I remember being there and presenting the work. There are three brothers that own the company. And the wife of one of them said, “This is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.”
Hilary Hendershott: Oh, my.
Allison Maslan: And so, I remember at that moment taking it in, but then I thought, you know what? This woman has no taste. So, that was the only way that I could make a shift. And then, one of the brothers said, “I’m so sorry.” So, it’s really okay if it’s not a right fit for somebody and it’s not going to be. If someone says that, then they’re obviously not ready or they’re just thinking very small and the right people will be attracted to what you’re offering that right fit.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, I like that level of acceptance and kind of gracefulness about it. It’s like, okay, I think I’ve heard the saying, and it sounds a little maybe cold-hearted, but it says some will, some won’t, so what, next. Part of our job is to find the people who are a right fit. So, how do you think about bringing people into your business? For entrepreneurs, the expense of employees is high, and contractors want to be paid, whether they produce results or not. Have you ever instituted a policy or asked people who provide services for you, be that employees or contractors, to take an incentive-based position? So, I’ll pay you X low amount, but I’d rather pay you based on the profits that I derive from what we’re doing together. Is that one of your strategies in business?
Allison Maslan: Sure. I mean, we have several different strategies that we use depending on the position itself. We have, for instance, with the COO of my company, which is the Chief of Operations, is a salary plus incentive percentage based on performance of the company. And I’ve had sales positions that have been commission only or commission against a draw. That way they are guaranteed a certain amount, but it’s taken away once you hit that level of commissions. And so, it depends on the type of position. If it’s a position that can create revenue, then that is one that you might look at that model.
Hilary Hendershott: Where they’re selling directly?
Allison Maslan: Yeah, where they’re selling directly, or what they’re doing is impacting your bottom line. If it’s someone in an admin position, even though they still are impacting your bottom line because they help you to be more productive, it’s not so easy for them to really actually create revenue. So, in those positions, we generally have straight salary, but we do also have some contractor positions as well. People that aren’t really working in the office, I’m not their only client, but we do hire. I’m hiring for new people as we speak.
Hilary Hendershott: I know. I’ve always been amazed at the number of people you’re able and willing to bring into your company just because it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal, especially in the state of California, to bring on an employee for legal reasons. As entrepreneurs, it can get tricky, but you seem fearless.
Allison Maslan: Well, it’s the same thing, like I was saying earlier, if I don’t fill the position, then the work’s not getting done or it’s slow or we’re missing opportunities. So, the way I look at it is that if I don’t fill this position, I’m losing money.
Hilary Hendershott: Right. And I think, you certainly have good interview skills and you’ve gotten better and better at selecting the right candidates over time, right? So, bring in people who are a good fit. And I think the one thing that you have suggested that I think is a great option for business owners is to do a working interview. So, do you do the first 30 days or the first couple of days as an interview kind of thing?
Allison Maslan: Yeah, I can do a two-week working interview, and that will weed people out right on the spot because some people just don’t want to do that. They want to have an answer and that’s it. If they’re working at another company, it’s a little challenging to have two jobs at the same time. So, all the planets have to be aligned, but if someone works within your company for two weeks, you can tell, because some people could be great in the interview, they can sell themselves, but then they get into the job, and it’s not a fit. And I’ve had that happen many times over the years. So, you definitely learn to see those red flags. And you also get clear on what the role is that you’re trying to fill so that you can make that right decision. And also, what’s your company culture? What type of person would fit in? You might find someone who has great skill, but you know, personality-wise, there’s going to be some clashes. So, there are a lot of things to look at for sure.
Hilary Hendershott: So, for a working interview, you would pay them full time or you would pay them for the time that they work, and then, at the end, it’s just understood we’re either going to be a yes or a no. And so, it’s kind of on them. It’s like an audition.
Allison Maslan: Exactly. Or you could do a 90-day trial or a 60-day trial and you really agree to have that 60-day backstop that you evaluate and you look at all the different areas and say, is this working for you? Is it working for them?
Hilary Hendershott: So, let’s talk about something that I think is really a pain point for a lot of business owners, and that is how you figure out how much to pay yourself as the business owner. And you and I have talked many times. It is critical in your first couple of years of business, you’re in an investment period. You’re essentially going into debt in some way. I share publicly that I took the business, the revenue from my wealth management company and used it to fund the training and internet marketing portion of my company. And so, in that sense, I’m borrowing money. I’m borrowing money from one company to pay for the other. And you’re well past that first investment phase in your business, although you’re always investing. When you started paying yourself in the current business, how did you decide how much to pay yourself? Was it a particular percentage? Or was it what you needed to live? And how do you think about that on an ongoing basis?
Allison Maslan: Well, I think it’s changed over the years because I’ve had this business for a while now. In the beginning, I was still running another company like you have been, and I was making that transition. So, I had my homeopathic practice and I was making enough money, plenty of money in that practice to live nicely. And as this began to grow, the revenue of that business began to shrink. And it was a completely different billing cycle, like I used to get paid on the spot for appointments for that practice. And this is more paying over time.
So, once I have adjusted to that change, first of all, I took what I felt we needed and I really wanted to keep as much in the business as I could because I was investing a lot in marketing and my own mentoring and so forth. Then, after a few years, I began to see the potential of profits for the business and have some big goals and bigger missions. I began to look at a percentage of revenue. So, I started with like 10% and then have gone up to 20%.
Hilary Hendershott: Great. And you’re able to keep that consistent over time. Okay, and do you and your husband have a number in mind, kind of a target financial freedom number that you’re saving toward? You said you’re a big saver, and that’s actually really unique in the world of business owners, in my opinion. In fact, the data tells us that entrepreneurs tend to be a little bit behind salaried people in terms of their savings, just because of that capital investment phase and everything. So, are you saving just a particular amount every year? Or is there a target number in mind?
Allison Maslan: I think we save a certain amount every year, but we’re always looking at new business ventures to invest into. So, I have two business ideas that are like waiting in the wings right now that I’m really excited about, that I know are going to take some investment. So, I’m willing to pull from that. I’m really okay with that.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay, and do you do that in retirement accounts? Or do you keep money in brokerage accounts that’s after-tax accounts so that you don’t have to pay an IRS penalty if you pull it out to invest in a business?
Allison Maslan: Yes, in both.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay.
Allison Maslan: Diversified that way for sure.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, because if you’re under age 59 and you pull money out to invest in a business and you don’t want to do it in an IRA so you have to pull it out, you do have to pay that 10% penalty. And that’s a question I get from a lot of people.
Allison Maslan: Right. No, without those accounts, we need the money in for sure. And so, just having some stock accounts and things like that that we can have access to quickly if I need to finance something or get financing. So, for instance, our house is on the market right now, and we are planning to buy a new house. So, you’ve got to really prepare for that a couple of years in advance being an entrepreneur, because you can write off a lot in your business as an entrepreneur. Well, that doesn’t go very well when you’re showing…
Hilary Hendershott: Low income on the tax returns.
Allison Maslan: So, we’ve been planning ahead on this for a couple of years. So, we’re paying a lot of taxes right now because we need to really show that income. And there are some things that are completely valid running through the business, but we want to keep the profits higher. So, I don’t, and we’ll just pay for it. So…
Hilary Hendershott: So, you’re being strategic.
Allison Maslan: Exactly.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. And so, how do you think about your financial but real life self-future? I mean, I know you, and you have a ton of energy and you probably don’t– I’m imagining you don’t have retirement in terms of the cessation of activity as a goal. So, what do you imagine in your future in terms of that?
Allison Maslan: Well, my husband and I were just talking about this recently. In fact, this past weekend, we were away in the mountains. We went and we were with some friends there and we were discussing this same exact topic. Both of us do not want to retire. I don’t know if that will continue at the pace that we go because we definitely go full steam ahead, but I love business for the sake of business. To me, I’m not doing this just to make money for a means to an end. And a great quote by Walt Disney is that he had said was, we make movies to make money to make more movies. So, I love business for the love of business. I love the challenge. I love the impact that business can have on the environment, on global impact on humanity. So, I have a big vision that way. And so, I don’t know that that would ever stop because then that would mean that I’ve stopped growing. To me, that’s kind of death. So, lots of excitement for sure. So, you’ll see me hopefully at 100 plus.
Hilary Hendershott: So, over time, maybe potentially work a little bit less, maybe draw more income from savings and kind of go from there, but it’ll be gradual.
Allison Maslan: For sure. And we want to set ourselves up that we don’t have to work. We do it because we want to. And if I can say, okay, I’m taking the next six months off because we want to travel, and that has to be figured in, for sure.
Hilary Hendershott: Right. And I know you did share that you and Mike went to a conference and worked on your money mindset. Do you have other tips you can share with women who are in a relationship where they don’t have the financial harmony that they want? Are there practices that can be adopted or ways to deal with seemingly conflicting money mindsets with your partner or spouse that you’d like to share?
Allison Maslan: Sure. In fact, I teach this, I take clients through a lot of these money mindset practices, and a lot of times, husbands and wives come together, and it really saves their marriage. Last year, I had a couple. The man was an entrepreneur, a gentleman, and he was taking some big risks in his business, and his business had exploded, but at the time, he mortgaged his house. And his wife was freaking out and she was threatening to leave him. And they both came to the event. And really, she got to understand more about this entrepreneurial mindset. And we really worked through it. We looked deeply at, what are your old beliefs about money? Is your belief that money is evil? Is your belief that your money is going to be gone tomorrow? Is your belief that talking about money is a shameful thing? So, you have to really get to the root of that to understand what your beliefs are.
And once you understand that, then we do something called flip switching, and that is where we write down the complete opposite, something that you would never actually think, which is money is flowing effortlessly to me on a daily basis and really, visualizing that money just pouring into your bank account and feeling that energy. And so, just like you work out in the gym and you’re working your muscles, you have to work your mental muscles every single day. So, I teach clients in my Mastermind program that you’re in and also in my events how to flip switch that money belief and ward it off when you start thinking negatively about how to shift that into the positive and really feel it in your body on a cellular level. That is truly the key. And you’ll start to see your mood changing, your choices changing, and ultimately, your results.
Hilary Hendershott: You’re talking about a topic that’s very close to my heart, that kind of money scripting happens to be the subject of the TEDx talk that I did. I call those money operating systems. It’s just a different way to language exactly what you’re talking about, but I find some people readily identify their money operating system, money is bad, or there’s never enough money. And I’m ready to move through it and others are, when I find them, they’re in a place where they’re really defending it. They have a lot of evidence that it’s true. And it can get really stuck, but I think both your and my message is actually, that’s all in your mind. And if you like your results, if you like how that feels, then you can keep it, but you can also choose to flip it around.
Allison Maslan: Well, you spoke on my stage last year and your money operating system. I mean, everybody loved it. I think it’s something that they can really work with that’s so powerful. I think one thing to remember is that our mind is wired for survival, right? Survival of the fittest. And so, anytime we get into an uncomfortable place, the mind goes, woo. Sirens go off, and conquer this kind of discomfort. So, naturally, go back to that comfortable place, which unfortunately, that comfortable place doesn’t help us to grow.
Hilary Hendershott: No, it does not. And that’s a very good point is that your brain, your mind really, truly is satisfied if you’ve survived a situation, no matter how bad it felt or how badly your results are. Even if you regard the results to be a failure, your brain thinks, well, I’m still here. So, whatever actions we took, however much we gave up or possibility we didn’t create, we can just go take that action again, but you have the possibility to really transcend that.
So, you’ve mentioned your event several times, and I’m not ignoring that. I want you to talk about that event because I think it’s a critical event for business owners to attend. I just have one more question, though. I really want to know about you. Do you have a morning ritual or any other kind of daily or ongoing practice that keeps you really productive and in a good headspace?
Allison Maslan: I have several rituals, but gratitude is at the top of the list. And my husband and I, before we get out of bed in the morning, we talk about what we’re grateful for. So, no matter what has gone on, if something isn’t going well in the business or within the family, then when we focus on what we’re grateful for, we really see that we’re abundant on so many levels and we don’t take that for granted, and that really is probably the most powerful ritual that we have. And I don’t look at any emails when I get up in the morning to take a shower, do my hair, do my makeup, because that’s a time where my mind is creative and I’m coming up with ideas or I might remember something that I needed to do. And if I jump on email too quickly, then I stop that process. And I’m not a morning person, so I need some time for my brain to actually start competing again.
And then, I also exercise a lot. I’ve been doing that since my childhood and just physically, getting those endorphins going, really has helped me in so many challenging times in my life. And it creates that resilience. And then, of course, you know that I’m a trapeze artist and that crazy stuff, so.
Hilary Hendershott: I’m convinced I’m too tall for the trapeze. I’ve always been really blown away by your gymnastic ability.
Allison Maslan: You’re not too tall.
Hilary Hendershott: But speaking of exercise, I couldn’t agree more. I feel so capable and free when I’m running or– I personally love to lift weights. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. And everyone has their thing that they like to do, whether that be the dancing kind of working out. I’m forgetting the name of it right now, but I couldn’t agree with you more on the exercise bit. And I did want to say, I hear a lot of entrepreneurs. Michael Hyatt, for example, is one who has written a lot about why it’s important to be a morning person. And meeting you was really gratifying for me because you and I will be up, emailing each other at midnight. And that really is when I get into that space where I’m just taking things off the list. And I am not a morning person either. And I’ve always thought, well, if Allison can do it, then obviously, so can I.
Allison Maslan: Well, I finally just embraced that that’s the way I’m wired. I mean, my mom is up till two, three, my daughter, my brother. We could do a conference call with my family up to eight. So, it’s genetic.
Hilary Hendershott: It’s obviously genetic.
Allison Maslan: Now, I oftentimes have to get up early for a conference call at 7:30 in the morning, but I really try to work with the rhythm of my body, and my whole company knows. So, if I could do my heavier meetings from 10 on and I do, I get excited at night, and my creativity starts going, but I work on it. I really try to get to bed earlier, I get that eight hours. So, it is important to get sleep.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. My team knows too. Essentially, my meeting calendar starts at 10:00 a.m. and I don’t obviously wake up at 10:00 a.m., but it takes me that long to get up, get my coffee, get worked out, and get to the gym and back and get ready to go. So, just to let you all out there know, if you are a night person, there are other people doing it, too.
Allison Maslan: And the benefits of being an entrepreneur because you get to set your hours. So, that’s kind of a cool thing.
Hilary Hendershott: That’s right. And it was really freeing for me to finally, like you say, embrace it and just say, you know, no, this is my life and my company, and I don’t want to meet before 10. And that’s okay. And I’m often taking meetings on the weekends and at night, so it’s fine.
Allison, you are so fantastic. I’m so proud and happy that you are in my launch series for the Money for Women podcast. I have always wanted to talk with you more about where your powerful mindsets about money came from. You touch on them. A lot in your coaching and it’s just been amazing to get to know more of the nitty-gritty details. I often say to people, look, if you don’t know what to do to produce your own financial success, just start by emulating someone else, just start by copying what they do, the things that they say, the strategies they take on, just bring new practices into your life and that shifts your perspective, your results, and moves you into a new headspace. And I think, of all the women that I’ve met, I would definitely put you up there as one of those money mentors. So, thank you.
Allison Maslan: Oh, you’re welcome. I mean, it’s really been an honor, Hilary, and to see you grow and all of the people that you’re impacting with your guests. And so, that’s really what it’s all about. So, it’s been completely my pleasure and so much fun.
Hilary Hendershott: Awesome. Allison, thanks for your time on Profit Boss Radio.
Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC and Profit Boss® Radio do not make specific investment recommendations on Profit Boss® Radio or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of Hilary Hendershott, CFP®, MBA.