Lindsey Morando is the co-founder of The Marketing Co-op, a company that helps female entrepreneurs simplify the marketing process. I am incredibly proud and excited to share this next Leaper’s story because many years ago Lindsey accepted an internship with my team at House of Blues Entertainment. I have had the good fortune to watch her career blossom ever since and trust me when I say, I take no credit. Lindsey is an enthusiastic force of marketing magic. After you read her story, you’ll understand why her big leap was no surprise to those of us who know her. Way to go, Lindsey!
What is The Marketing Co-Op?
We work with female entrepreneurs who are feeling overwhelmed with marketing and help support them in simplifying the process! We help them shape their pricing & packaging, get super clear on their target market, and then work with them to reach that target market through a few select marketing tactics unique to each individual’s ideal client.
How did you start your business?
Nicole and I met through colleagues in the industry. As soon as we met, we connected over our love for supporting entrepreneurs who felt challenged about getting through all of the ideas in their head. We met weekly to support each other in a little mini mastermind. After a few weeks of meeting, we knew that we both could work together but we weren’t sure how. Then one day, outside of a Starbucks after one of our meetings, it hit us. We needed to provide that space to support women in taking action. There were too many ideas and not enough action steps happening. So we realized that we could come together to create a coaching program that could support women in simplifying the process. We spent months after planning and then official launched a few short months later.
Tell us about your growth thus far.
We will officially be 2 years into business in April 2016. This past year we have had insane growth. We are up 1000% to last year and most importantly, we have a fabulous book of clients who have said yes to themselves and their business. We feel so lucky to have the growth we have had, but if we didn’t take risks and make investments in our business and a coach for our business, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today. I truly attribute our growth to a few things. The first is time. No one truly expresses to you the amount of time that it takes for your business to grow, and it truly does. We like to say the 2-3 year mark is truly where you see the most growth!
The second is investments. We made important investments in the early stages of our business. We weren’t willing to bootstrap it. It was truly important for us to make smart and calculated investments and we did just that. That has allowed us to exceed our expectations in our growth.
Describe how it feels to go to work each day?
It is pretty darn amazing. We get to wake up each and every day and work with our ideal clients. We get to have women come to us and share their journeys and how much our time together has supported their goals. It finally feels like I am making an impact and my gifts and talents are fully being utilized. For years I felt like no one was listening as I went from corporate job to corporate job. There was so much red tape in my day jobs it felt like I could never get anything done. It is pretty beautiful to wake up every day and not to have that red tape. We can create whatever we want from scratch and see any idea through that we want. I feel so fortunate as well that Nicole, my business partner is always up for anything! This allows us both the creative space and control to see our ideas come to life. Each day I feel so lucky to live in the world of possibility, literally as an entrepreneur anything is possible. There is always a way, you just have to enlist a little bit of courage and of course a lot of action!
“Being an entrepreneur is a pretty remarkable feat because there is no cap.”
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The fact that there is always a way. When I was in a day job, I always felt capped. Capped when it came to my creativity, capped when it came to my pay, I often just felt stuck. Being an entrepreneur is a pretty remarkable feat because there is no cap. You can make it as easy or as hard as you want, but each day you have creative control and you get to call the shots! If you need to make more money, you go out and get more clients or think of new ways to get revenue streams flowing, there is always a way.
What did you do prior to this?
I have been in marketing for 13 years. I worked as the Director of Marketing for a fitness facility in San Diego, handling all of their in-house and online marketing. I have worked for fitness facilities, restaurant chains, corporates fitness apparel, you name it, I have seen inside their walls!
Did anyone or anything inspire you to take the leap?
Its funny how life happens. About 3 years ago my boyfriend and I broke up. I was in complete shock and in the past I would have let that ruin me. I would have been depressed and whoa is me, but at that moment I knew something needed to change in my life. There was a reason I was single and going through break-ups so often in my 20’s. I realized that I wasn’t fully utilizing my gifts. So I spent a year really exploring, I started a blog which truly helped me to heal and over time I started to share that blog with others. After months of writing I realized for the first time in my life I finally felt happy in a break-up and so I decided to write a book based on the blog. I knew that my journey could help others. It was there that I really started to explore the world of entrepreneurship and I started to think about what it would be like to start my own business.
It truly was this journey that started me off. From there I went on to write my first book (itsjustthebeginning.com) and after my journey of healing, re-kindled things with my then boyfriend, I officially decided to become an entrepreneur (The book will give you the juicy ending ;)). But I can now call that man my amazing husband and we are both entrepreneurs!
Did you have a plan for the leap or just go for it?
I did plan. I gave myself 6-months to save, to invest in the business and stay in my full time job. I also took on side gigs and jobs when I left my full time job to ensure my insurance and other bills would always be covered. I like to have back up plans 🙂
How scary or exhilarating was it?
Totally scary. There were a lot of sleepless nights, there was a lot of fear, change, shifts. But I am happy to say that we are still here and thriving almost 2 years later. The key is being open to shifting and changing, it is a tango, but just know for every step back, there is a step forward around the corner.
I have had to learn to truly trust my gut and have faith (not easy for an over thinker) luckily Nicole is amazing at doing just that and I have learned so much as a result.
What are some mistakes you’ve made thus far?
The first was trying to sell an e-product with no community. We are action takers so we literally had an e-product up and going, all of our business sites done in 90-days. But when we launched we didn’t have a community, we got nervous and started to give so much away for free including our time. This was taking a toll on us and our families.
I am so thankful that Nicole being the risk taker she is said we needed to hire a coach. This literally shifted our business. We went from $400 in our bank account of making 21k in 30 days. I never thought that was possible. The key is, you can’t cut your own hair, and even though we had years of experience under our belts, we couldn’t see what we couldn’t see! We needed that outside perspective. We won’t ever go without a coach again!
Also, I think letting fear get in my way. It is a constant battle that I have to remind myself that I am not a starving artist, there is always more to make, I just have to look within and utilize all of my knowledge and gifts. I have truly gotten better at this by having an income tracking sheet so that I always know what is coming into the business and our lives. I track our income every day, this supports me in being grateful, making money goals and really truly seeing what is happening in the business!
What was the best advice you received?
Action creates motivation. I used to think it was the opposite! But I realized once I started to take action I would get an action high and from that I feel like I can just continue to take action. So if you are ever feeling down, just force yourself to take one action step, the rest will come so much easier from there.
What has been most satisfying about your journey?
I would say just recently, the first year ever my husband and I didn’t have to rush to thanksgiving dinner and rush home to be at work the next day. We can now have little Friday morning dates and have a lot more flexibility, that time we have gotten back is priceless.
Have any other areas of your life changed/improved since shifting careers?
My mindset. I have made a HUGE shift. For so long I had the starving artist mentality and I have realized what we have to give is so valuable and that I was doing myself and my family and my clients a disservice by de-valuing myself! This was huge for me. I had to realize that I am truly worth it and that as an entrepreneur there is always cash available to make you just have to make sure you are constantly feeding your business and focussing on the right type of marketing instead of being everywhere.
Do you miss anything about your previous career?
Great question, I have worked with some wonderful companies, so I definitely miss the people. I have met so many wonderful individuals on my journey. But I am thankful to have kept in touch with many of them!
What advice would you give to others who are considering leaping?
Do whatever you need to do to feel secure in your leap, whether that be a small business loan, an investor or a good amount of savings. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the bootstrapping your business movement. A lot of times when you do that, you have to go back and rebuild key foundational pieces. Figure out what you need to bring in monthly so you feel good about your business and feel secure in your finances and either set that aside in savings or look at alternate sources (sba for loans, credit lines, investors). When you feel that security, you are far more confident and people are very attracted to that confidence and can’t wait to work with you!
Be sure to learn more about Lindsey’s coaching program here and follow her @getitdonegals.