On July 7th, 2021, I was the special guest on another great podcast aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs – Winners, Wallets, and Worldviews hosted by A.J Armstrong. I hope that the listeners learned a lot from this conversation, we covered a lot of ground.
AJ starts by giving me a great introduction – kind enough to say that I have immense business acumen. He breaks down how we are going to talk about much more than just the beauty industry – how my business journey will inform a lot of other entrepreneurs across industries, no matter what it is that they sell or do.
He says that the only way to describe me is as a serial entrepreneur – and we laugh together about how I do so much that I never really know where to start when someone says, “What do you do?” From there we go into a bit about what AJ does – including a new coworking space that I tell him he started right! We talk about how fun it is for entrepreneurs when things are going well because as entrepreneurs we know it’s not always fun. I mention that I feel like entrepreneurs have to get through a lot of hard stuff before they get to the fun stuff, so I always like to hear when entrepreneurs say they are having fun with it – like AJ says he is with these endeavors!
Then he asks me where it all began – I tell him I started out with lemonade stands, with selling baseball cards, all this while going to school and not doing well at school. In my early adult years, I did a lot of bartending at night, trying to figure out how to start a business during the day. I point out that we didn’t have the same kinds of online resources, podcasts, that kind of thing to learn from then like we do today. I tell him the story of my first real business – one I am still proud of having been involved with, it was a little bit ahead of its time – the first Thai curry sauce being sold in the US, we didn’t have any funding – it was a lot of hard work and we had a ton of success – until it all crashed. Then I tell him about what I did after that, how I went back to working, started a few other businesses that didn’t really take off for various reasons – sometimes for bad partnerships – before a chance conversation led me to research the hair business. I tell him about how I really had no experience when I got into the beauty industry but that the first year was good, the second year was better, and we’re in year eight right now and it’s always exciting and always fresh.
Then we get into shiny object syndrome, how so many entrepreneurs can get lost from their core business, especially the more successful the more options come up. Here is a simple solution: say No when you need to, be careful about what you do and who you partner with – that is huge.
AJ asks me to tell him a little more about the beauty industry and how we got into it and how we started crushing it in such a cutthroat and competitive industry. I tell him my beauty industry origin story and about the conversation that started it all – and about how ultimately we don’t just have our own brands at Private Label, but we are the backbone for thousands of beauty brands that we help with their branding, packaging, logo, marketing, dropshipping, Shopify…. Basically, anything that makes our clients successful.
Then we talk about how in a time when so many others are moving away from Brick and Mortar, we are about to open our FIFTH showroom – something I am really proud of. We talk a little about how the experience of walking into a Private Label showroom is like no other. Then we go into my customer-focused approach, and AJ asks me what my “recipe” for success in that regard is. I explain that when you are dealing with products as an entrepreneur it’s just a fact that not everybody is going to like your product – I even say, if you’re not getting any bad reviews at all then you clearly aren’t selling enough product! I tell him about our 37,000 strong Facebook tribe, of hair entrepreneurs that I post in every single day – and I built a lot of our products and services just asking questions in there and getting feedback, comment after comment. So that’s something that all entrepreneurs can learn from. Pay attention!
I go into social media advertising methodology and how to tweak your ad, and understand your audience – you don’t always get better results by spending more, for example. Pay attention to which ones perform better than other ones. You never know what works – whether it’s ads, products, services – some of the ads that are the best quality people scroll right over them, but a less produced TikTok style video might go viral!
We switch from FB ads to talk about the entrepreneur life in general – AJ asks me how people can start from their first idea. I hit a cautionary tone, because the truth is, it’s very rare that you’ll hit a home run with your first business, so be careful. You have to expect failure, you are going to make a lot of mistakes and that is the only way you are going to be successful in business – because if you aren’t making mistakes, you really aren’t pushing hard enough. In terms of starting, I explain some of the basics about how to do it right -from getting your business account, to your business credit card, to talking to an accountant – all the things so many people put off – don’t make that mistake. It is so much easier and so much cleaner to set it all up.
We talk about expensing, and AJ points out how people don’t think about how they are still spending money that doesn’t need to be spent, even if they can “write things off.” We talk a little about credit inquiries, credit card processing fees, paying taxes, and my experiences in buying property for the business – in cash.
I talk about how making money is a whole lot easier for me these days than it was ten years ago – and that is because I have gone through trial and error. AJ talks about how the problem with a lot of entrepreneurs is that instead of running TO something they are trying to run away from something – quitting their job. I agree, saying if you think that entrepreneurship is easier than working for someone you are crazy – even the mental aspect people aren’t prepared for – having a job is not a bad thing, even as an entrepreneur, that’s not a bad thing while you are building your business. AJ makes some great points too. I talk about how I was working 40 or 50 hours a week full time for someone else when I started my beauty business – I had employee number one, two and three – I was actually employee number four before I took my first dollar out of the company, before that I reinvested every penny.
We talk about investing in ourselves and then discuss private equity and how investor money is not easy money and how you should wait as long as you have to before getting investor money – people are investing to make money so once they give you money you have to work twice as hard at that point! It sounds good, but how much do you have to give up of your business for that extra money?
We wrap it up with me talking about how we grew quickly to a seven-figure business, and how I wanted to get to eight figures before I wrote a book because the mindset to get from seven to eight figures is totally different. Fearless Beauty is the book I wish someone had given me when I first started. I point out about how it’s really of value to anyone in business – its not about lipstick and hair extensions – it’s about mindset, and then it talks about the process we all go through – I don’t just glorify my success, I talk about my failures – it’s important for entrepreneurs to hear that. Then I break down everything an entrepreneur needs to know to get on the right foot for success. I tell him that I really did put everything I know into this book. We talk about how there is even a section in the book written by my girlfriend – she and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary -and included in the book is a very honest letter I had her write – something you will never read in any other entrepreneur book. Read those pages, it’s a game-changer, it’s very powerful.
I tell AJ that Entrepreneur Magazine put my book into their list of the ten books every entrepreneur should read – I was really excited about that because I wanted it to change lives.
The conversation ends with me giving out my contact information – find me at hairbusinessblueprint.com which links to everything!
What they said :
Mikey Moran is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Private Label Extensions, a hair extension and technology company helping entrepreneurs launch and manage their brands, ranked number 278 of the Inc. 5000 and the number one fastest-growing beauty business in the country by Cosmetic Business.
More about the Winners, Wallets And Worldviews :
In this Podcast series, Aaron Armstrong will motivate you and walk you through the limitations, fears, and boundaries that hold you back to becoming the person that you are meant to be. Breaking free of strongholds and pushing yourself is the key to becoming the person you want to become. Aaron will motivate you, help you think outside the box, and mentally push you to think in ways that you have never thought of before. Be Strong, Be Somebody.
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