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Girlboss CEO Lulu Liang shares her learnings from 0-1 vs 1 and above at Luxy Hair (she took the biz through a massive exit!)

by Female Startup Club
November 18th 2021
00:54:25
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Today on the show we have Lulu Liang. Girlboss CEO, Entrepreneur and all round legend.
We cover so many good things in this episode, like how she joined a business at 23 and became the ultimat... More

doing here, we're in month two of being part of the hubspot podcast network and I wanted to take a second to shout out another incredible women lead podcast. Being boss with Emily Thompson if you're a creative business owner or thinking about becoming one. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it means, but what it takes to be a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler, I loved Emily's episode on taking time off as a business owner. It's definitely a really challenging part of running your own business and I recommend giving it a listen, check out being boss wherever you get your podcasts. This is lulu liang for female startup club. Hello and welcome back to the show. It's Dune here, your host and hype girl today on the show we have luliang girl boss, ceo entrepreneur and all round legend joining us. We cover so many good things in this episode, like how she joined the business at just 23 and became the ultimate operator within it, taking the brand through an exit to become Ceo.

We also talk about her thoughts on taking a brand from 0 to 1 verse one and above and her crazy, cool new gig as Ceo of girl boss. This is a super cool episode and I think you're going to love it. I'm so excited and by the way, if you haven't done so already, are you signed up to our newsletter? We dropped industry news job opportunities and the key takeaways from every single episode on monday of every week, obviously I'm totally biased but it is an epic resource for entrepreneurs or for people who were just interested in entrepreneurship and the women behind the brands we know love and by it's a great way to kick off your week. You can sign up for free at female startup club dot com, but that's enough about that. Let's get into this episode. It is a crack up. This is lulu for female startup club. Mhm. Are you working around the clock to build the business you always imagined?

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S. C. Female startup presence lulu. Hello, welcome to the female startup club podcast. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be meeting you here today for the first time. Yeah, I know I've heard about your name so many times and I've seen you around, so it's great to actually make the connection virtually. Yes, lucky us, I want to give everyone listening a little bit of context. This is the first time lulu and I are actually meeting but I've been on the receiving end of such beautiful conversations centered around you for many years now through our mutual friends Alex and Mimi icon and I feel like I have the short version of your rise to the top within the previous company looks ahead, but I want to dig into the long version, so let's go back to life before luxi here many years ago when you were a management consultant and you decided to scrap it all, trade it all in and go and work for a beauty startup.

Yeah, my background previously has been and it was in commerce and math, I was always super analytical as a kid, um really, really nerdy and also super curious, so I really love looking at different things and thinking about how I can improve them and um when I went to school for a business, I got very um seduced by this career and management consulting, they pretty much pitch it there. It's like if you don't go to investment banking or management consulting um you're failing in this business world. So they really really sell these two careers for you. Um And I thought I had like my life planned out so I thought I was gonna do two years of management consulting, go to an ivy league, the school for my M. B. A. Work another two years so that they pay for my M. B. A. And then go work in some kind of executive role in beauty or fashion um As something I was passionate about. So this is the dream that you're sold in business school. Um Yeah so I worked hard to try to get there and then I started off at its center it's the world's largest management consulting firm and I was very like young keen eager eye to get started.

And within the first couple months I just realized really quickly that I wasn't meant for me long term. Um I just felt like I most importantly couldn't be authentically who I am every day at work, like I felt like I had to go on every day and put on some kind of face and um I felt like in that industry it's more about what you're saying or doing and what you're actually doing and you really can't see the tangible effects of the things that you're doing in a really operational way um because it's more about presentations and ducks and models and things like that, so I felt like I was having a quarter life crisis because I worked really hard, like my entire life, not just like in school but like I sacrificed and like movie dates with friends and like so many things to try to reach this goal and before that I wasn't actually an anxious person at all, I was pretty calm because I knew like I had a goal, like I was very like focused on this goal, but then once I achieve this goal and I didn't know I didn't like it, I felt like so anxious cause anxiety comes from like the known, you know, so I was having like my very own quarter life crisis and at that time I watched a lot of Youtube to like help me like feel better about like life for inspiration and I discovered median Alex, our mutual friend on Youtube through Mimi's morning routine video.

So do you know what I'm talking about? I don't know specifically which one it is, what's the morning routine video? I think it's the most popular video, if you filter for her, like uploads and by most popular, I think it's the most popular one, but it just got recommended to me, I was just browsing Youtube, I've never heard of them before and this youtube, this morning routine video got recommended for me and I just really resonated with the philosophy and I still use some of those morning routine wing tips to this day, like from that video, but I really resonate with them, not on just like their travel and vlogs, but more like their thoughts about like entrepreneurship and about lifestyle and their values and I just felt like I had to work with them in like some way like capacity, like whatsoever. Um if it doesn't matter if it was free or if I had to like do like customer service and I really didn't care like what I had to do. So I uh oh my God, wow, I love that well lightbulb moment. I know it was so keen.

Yeah, no, it just like, I felt like the universe is calling to me like, like I felt like intuitively so right, but I, when I watched their videos and I watched everything within like a week, all of their content, I just felt like like I meant to like work with these people and I really resonated with them, so I followed them on instagram and I saw that they were hiring like a social media coordinator for one of the other companies, intelligent change um and I apply for that role and I was, I was both like very Underqualified but also over qualified for that role at the same time, so I got to know Alex and made me through the interview process that took like four months. We had dinner in Toronto, it was like a five hour dinner and yeah, I decided to take like a A pay cut from my consulting job and started working with them as assistant in 2016, I was about 23, I just turned 23 at the time, That's incredible, wow, what a change! I imagine that would have been a significant pay cut going from management consultant to you know, start up life, I read that you kind of entered that role with you know such determination that you were going to change your title really quickly and that your motivation was like you are going to have an impact with in this business, you are going to you know do stuff basically, can you talk about that early time in the startup, what was it like what were you kind of doing to actually prove yourself and change the business?

Yeah, I thought like I was able to like take this like title cut and like pick and all these things and just take a leap of faith because I just felt very confident in my skill set and I knew it wasn't being fully utilized in my past role um and I thought like I could just go in and put myself and make a difference and like everything will work out in the end, so I took a leap of faith and I think in terms of mindset of what really helped me in the beginning was I always treated the business like it was my business from the very beginning and kudos to meet me and Alex for getting me to do this because I'm high rise higher, probably have done like 1000 interviews, sense of higher, probably at least 50 people sense and it's very hard to find this in people and and to like cultivate this some people, so I don't know what happened, but like for some reason like right from day one, I didn't have any equity in the business, I was an assistant, like my pain reflected that, but I just felt like I owned this business was my business for some reason. Um so I just try to act in that way and um we at lexi for anyone that joins lexi, we asked him to read a book called linchpin by Seth Godin and it talks about being like indispensable and organization and the emotional labor that's associated with that kind of work and being a leader um and how you're paid is directly related to the type of problems that you solve.

So just being an extreme owner and a problem solver. So yeah, I think having those mindsets really helped me and just acting in the role that you want to be in and not in the role that you're in just like having my mindset switch to like not letting the title like deter me from doing things. Do you have any examples that come to mind specifically of like what you mean to paint the picture of like how you are acting or how you were showing up with like certain projects that you were kind of spearheading within the business? Sure. Yeah I mean I did everything like eight is that in the business? Which I saw was really great experience because I got to like understand the details of that role um and the nuances of that role before I hired out for it. So back then I was team number three we had somebody on our team who um did customer service and someone on the team who did um I would say like part marketing. Yeah it was a marketing role and I kind of like filled in for everything else like so it was like all the counting of the fulfillment, all the operations of the hiring, firing, organization design, HR growth product launches.

So it was really good to like it was everything from like buying snacks for the office and like picking a place for us to run to the office space to like you know building on the forecast model for the next three years. It was a very broad role which I really enjoyed. Um but specifically like what I think I did was like extreme owner where it's a solution oriented was really just every time like there's so many decisions to be made in the business and obviously as a founder is really really hard for you to let go of decision making because it's your baby, you know and you're very touch to it and it's emotional as well as logical, so something I did in the beginning with every time I had a decision that I wanted to be made or decision that needed to be made in the business, I would always like I would approach Alex and I'll be like hey this is the decision, this is what I would do, like this is what I would decide, do you agree yes or no? And every time there's a problem I would go to him and like hey this is a problem, I think the three different ways we can approach it, I think we should do this, do you agree? Yes or no, so I just try to make their lives very easy, so all they had to do was say yes or no and then obviously like when we didn't agree we would discuss and that would be a great learning for me, but we start to realize really quickly that um we were aligned and like 95% of time, so like it was an easier transition for them to like start delegating like more decision making responsibility, full problem solving responsibility to me, so I was never like oh my gosh this is the issue, like I'm so stressed, like what should I do, like I never asked that question um one of my first responsibilities was to lead a photo shoot and to re shoot every single image on the website and we sold hair extensions.

So I remember we had everything all planned out. I had this big like Excel Gant chart for everything like it was organized by the 15 minute thing I thought I had everything nailed down but like you never know what's gonna go wrong. So the night before it was like nine p.m. Eastern the photographer message me and they were like the studio told us that we can't shoot there anymore so we don't have a studio space for tomorrow and it was nine p.m. Eastern and the shoe was at like eight am or nine AM the next day so I couldn't like I couldn't even talk to Alex I mean because they're in the U. K. You know? But I um I just like found another studio space and I like I mean like it was a very logical thing to solve you know? Um I just have that all organized, told all the models and all the makeup artist like where to go and just found a solution for it. So like that's like an example of something like that just to like come not with like questions but like as much as you can like take the emotional labor it's like to be wrong. I think most people like they ask you like what they should do is because they're afraid to make the decision because they're afraid they're gonna be responsible for it and then they'll be blamed for the reaction and the outcome of it, but I think the more responsibility you take and the more you're okay with being wrong sometimes that's how you grow and you realize no one knows what they were doing it on a day.

Like, you know, I realized it wasn't their job to solve all my problems is my job to like solve the problems. So wow, that is crazy. That's so interesting. And at some point in that journey, you become general manager and you lead the business through an exit and you become Ceo of the company, which is just, You know, I guess when you're starting at 22 or 23, I think he said going through this journey and then becoming this key top of the company and you've accomplished this huge thing going through an exit. What are the key learnings or takeaways from that kind of transition from exit through to Ceo? Honestly, when I think about this, like my biggest takeaway from that year, I mean obviously tactically, like I learned a lot kudos to anyone whoever sells the business or exit, it's so much work from a diligence perspective and from a pitch perspective and you have to still be growing the business at the same time and keeping it a secret from your team.

So it's just like so many different factors at once, but like the first thing I think about what you're asking that question is, um, I think I learned how important it is to let go and how important is to like have an abundant mindset and how important it is to. Yeah, just like reframe that part of my mind. Um, I think like I was really, really working very hard towards like this exit, it was my north star for the majority of that year and like one track minded, I like a lot of other things in my life suffered and I felt like even it wasn't even healthy for the sale for me to be like, so, so like determined because like it was just showing up in a lot of unhealthy ways and when I started like letting go just like unnecessary stress and things I couldn't control and like glory muffins that you can control. Um, I think it's really important to have ownership and like take responsibility for what you can control, but there's so many things that you can't control. So I honestly think like a big part of my lesson for that year is just like, like being a little like let go and more.

I think that's been helpful for me so far and to also like enjoy the journey as well, you know, like, um, I think the destination is obviously great. A lot of founders, especially the, I'm sure this audience, um, maybe it's an eventual dream of them one day. So like build this huge business and sell it for a big multiple and then it's obviously great when you achieve it. But you realize once you do that there's so many like, it's hard to explain. No one ever like nose until you experience it. But like the journey is actually like the most beautiful part and when I think about like what I appreciate the most about that business and like my fondest memories, it's always been like with the team and at the office and at our off sites and like building and they were really small and like doing all these like super scrappy, like unorthodox, not best practice things. Um, the romance of a startup Yeah. And no one will ever take that away from you. Like now that I think like more than just like the result of what happened now, I have felt that skill set. So like now if I know if I like someone strips me of everything of all of my titles, of all of my money, if like all of my success at least I know how to do it, you know, so I'm just really grateful to have learned that through that experience, Everything you're saying really resonates with me because I think and I was on another podcast this morning and I was actually talking about this if you don't enjoy your day to day and you don't enjoy the journey on the way to the goals that you set for yourself, you've truly lost because like the goal is just this tiny thing that happens maybe once over here or maybe once over there, but your life is the everyday and if you're not enjoying that and making the most of it and doing great things with it, then that sucks basically.

That's your life with him the day. And yeah, I was just listening to a podcast on the team for a show recently um where he had his startup coach, I think her name is Alice. Um, come on speak and they were saying that like everyone has problems, you know, it's like problems, problems, problems, there's like obviously problems and like creating your first business and like problems in the first initial branding and getting from 0 to 1, but then there's also problems in scaling and there's also problems and exiting and there's also problems that investing so that it's just like never ending like life things, you know, like no matter who you are, how much money you have, you still have have problems. They're just different problems. Um, and they were like, if you put all of your problems on the table and all of everyone else's problems the table, like most of the time you still choose to like have your problems and I mean there's so many things I respect about other people, people who built these like Ginormous businesses and like huge, huge, huge success and I admire certain aspects about them. But when I think about like if I admire their whole life and if I want my life to be like their life and its entirety.

Like I don't know if I want to like make all those sacrifices and like give up my life completely and like wake up every day at like four AM and like I don't know if I could do all those things. So yeah, I don't think anything actually ever solves your problems. Like the biggest thing that we get to do in business is that we get to solve like such interesting problems. You know, I would say that's one of the most beautiful benefits of like working in a startup is that every day you're faced with like with challenges but like it's just that's the emotional labor, that's where your value at is is how you approach them and how you solve them. Um but you know, I'm like, oh like I'm really overwhelmed here and just hire somebody to help me with this. But once you hire somebody then you'll have like management issues, you know, like there's always gonna be some kind of challenges. So like nothing's ever gonna be perfect selling your business will make your life perfect. Nothing will make it perfect. So it's so important just like enjoy it as it's happening and like romanticize your life and enjoy the day to day and you're like the entire year. I was so one track minded on this that I like, I was losing focus of everything else, which is my life.

I got it. Like, you know, I'm taking control of my life. Like what's stopping me from like trying to live my ideal day today, you know, like it's under my power. It's all about my thought process, you know? So absolutely, it's all about that mindset shift and taking the challenge is using them as growth, using them as learnings. Gosh, okay, so you go from, you know, being team member number three through to an exit and then you decide to also launch your own business. You decide to start another company and essentially go it all again. Tell me about evergreen journals. Tell me about the journey. Yeah, I'm really, really into self growth. I'm a big self growth nerd. Um, I read a book a week, I listened to so many podcasts. I, I'm always looking for hacks to like how to improve my life, you know? And now I'm thinking that like that's probably a mistake and like probably the biggest hack is to let it go. I really think letting go and accepting and having that acceptance.

Um, but actually the biggest hack of all the hacks is to just let it go, you know, Oh my God, I feel like that's really easy. It should have been done though. That's some serious practice if I think about like all these things like they're all like just like a band aid remedy, you know? But yeah, I'm really into self growth and well it was sort of during the year when a soul luxi or a led by sales process that I had this idea of like how the journey is so much more important than the destination and your life is not like these crazy moments, but that's not who you are, that's not what makes up your life, your life is like everything in between, you know, and like these crazy moments like, you know, selling a business, we're getting engaged, getting a promotion, buying a house, like they make up maybe like 0.5% of our entire lives, you know, we don't get these crazy moments every day. So our life is actually all like that mundane day to day grind moments and that's actually our life when you think about people's lives, it's not like all these crazy things they share on social, it's like their morning routine, their evening routine, like how they approach their everyday and I just thought about how important that was, is to be intentional with how you want to live your like normal, very ordinary week in your ordinary day and your day is really made up of your habits and your life is made up of your habits and the things that you routinely do, it's what actually makes up what your life is and who you are the and so um, wanted to create a product I create, I created with my best friend ali on how to do tool just to help you hack building like habits, making the process, building habits easier and building positive lasting habits.

Um, I will say honestly it's a co founder, it's hard to admit this has this solved like do you buy this product and then you like have positive habits forever? No, of course not, you know, but it has genuinely made it like At least 10% easier for me to build positive lasting habits. Like that to me is like worth it. And also it's maybe like super, super self aware and then be able to live intentionally because basically every day on the journal you fill out, track your mood of the day. So there's like five different smiling faces, you track your mood and most importantly truck why you felt that way. So you just get very in tune with who you are and what you enjoy what you don't enjoy, what fulfills you will bring to you like light and flow. Um, and then just key ran an important learnings that you want to remember from that day. So there's so many things I have great conversations with people and I'm like, oh that's such a great nugget. I need to remember that for my life and then I don't, you know, but this is a great way to document that and then what I do is every day and I also review my journal entry from exactly a year ago that day.

So I get to see like how I progress, Oh that's a cool one, I love that. Yeah, I basically I document everything on this app called day One on my phone and I just like upload some photos of the day and I also upload like a picture of my journal entry because I still like writing. Like I like the feeling of a pen and paper, it's very like soothing for self care. But then I like this function to like digitize everything. So I get to like just put all the photos from the day and then like I have my journal entry as well, so I get to read everything and then now I had this for the last three years, I've been doing this every day for the last three years and it's just like, I think it's probably because I'm a control freak. It helps me like feel like I have some control. What did you write on this day? Last year, a year ago? Oh my goodness, that's so fun. I just read it this morning, let me tell you, it's so interesting to see like how sometimes you still have the same challenges or the same process or just to see how much you've grown.

Um and it gives you a good perspective to like go into that day, oh this day I wrote that like I had a really lovely time meditating with my brother And it was just really important to spend time with family. So my brother was 16 years old, so this is a photo of us meditating that evening and I was like, I want to remember that spending time with family is important, I'm really grateful for these like special moments that I get to stand with him. So yeah, that was from a year ago today. Oh my gosh, you need to call your brother today, give him some love reminds him of that time a year ago, getting me in the fields there Doing here as we get deeper into the holiday season, you might be thinking about ways to keep your business connected through the madness with things like employee holiday travel by our behavior changes and Q4 wrap ups, staying connected has never been more important from marketing to sales and operations. A hubspot Crm platform is ready to connect all of the touch points of your business, whether you're just getting started or scaling to what's next, hubspot is consistently working to make its platform more connected than ever improved forecasting tools, give you a bird's eye view of your entire pipeline to see what's around the corner, see how your quarter is going inspect new deals and use customizable data driven reports to improve team performance as you grow with custom behavioral events, you can get into the details of what makes your customers tick track site behavior and understand your customers buying habits or within the platform, learn more about how a hubspot crm platform can help connect the dots of your business at hubspot dot com On the growth side of your evergreen journals business, how's it going?

What are the key drivers for growth at the moment? I think you launched last year right in 2020. Uh what's it been like first year of business? Um I would say definitely it's been very, very humbling like for sure because when I came in biloxi was already like a very successful like thriving sizable business, I was able to scale it. So I was able to take it from a seven figure business to nine figure business when I left but like I didn't get to do the initial 0 to 1 phase and I would say now I've done that phase, I have so much more respect for like early stage entrepreneurs who like do the initial phase 0-1 is hard, so hard. Yeah and I know people like love it and it's fun but like obviously creating a brand is fun and creating products is fun and creating like beautiful imagery and all that's fun but like actually finding product market fit for your brand, it's quite hard and now actually I was like I went in with very unrealistic expectations. I was like look at me, I'm an e commerce like genius, you know my my best friend, she's like a leader of Shopify, we know a lot about like e commerce and like how to scale products, I'm like this is gonna hit seven figures and it's full of your first year like very organically and it definitely did not do that and we launched, I was like oh this is just like everyone should just start e commerce business because it's so easy to like just generate passive income for yourself and have this great lifestyle business.

But like it's so much harder than like people make it out to seem like it's very very difficult and even like we're I would say decently successful that we've generated very solid sale, six figure sales Very organically, like I work on it for maybe two hours a week, so was my partner because right now my focus and priority right now is girl boss and growing girl boss. Um And before it was luxi so it's been like a side project I would say, but like even if you make it very very successful like you still have to like obviously like the product costs money, shipping costs money, marketing costs money like to pay people like so your margins get very very thin and then how much money as a founder you can actually take out of the business, maybe you can take out like even if you make a million dollars a year, take out like 30,000 but you want to mess it back into the business because you want to grow. So I think like it's definitely a myth and a hoax that people think you can start these like B two C. Businesses and you're generating like seven figures of revenue and like able to sustain it forever.

I would say if I give like any piece of advice for like the aspiring entrepreneurs on like this podcast is like now that I've done this, I don't think I would actually start a business again from scratch like from zero. I think I would um my next journey will probably be able to buy a successful business, something that's already found product, market fit has good revenue, has its profitable and sustainable has like good bones and then just be able to use my zone of genius and be able to scale it and make it bigger, make it better. I'm bringing the right team the right culture and all those things, those are things that I'm person the most passionate about. I feel like that would be like the best use of my time. But no it's great, it's been like every minute I've spent in this business has been such a joy because I've done with my best friend and like it's been so fun and I've learned so much and like we're still doing very well and we have like definitely growth plans in the mix, but I would say above all else, my number one lesson is that it's really hard, it's been very humbling and it takes a very different skill set for someone to go from like 1, 200 then from 0 to 1, like you're a different kind of entrepreneur and I've learned that I'm more of a scalar as an entrepreneur than I am 01 and I thought maybe I think I started the business because I have some kind of like ego, an inferiority complex and I'm not a true entrepreneur unless I start my own business And be able to like take it from 0 to 100 all on my own.

But I think that's false. I think being entrepreneurs, like being a linchpin and taking emotional labor and like, you know, like leading a team solving challenging problems, like hiring a team managing people, like that's real entrepreneurship, you know, like making, like, people who are like single person entrepreneurs, it's more like you're a freelancer because you're still employed if you don't work, like the business doesn't work, you want to to be entrepreneur, you need to create a system and processes so that the business works without you in it long ramble. But yeah, honestly, like I'm over sharing on this podcast for sure, but that's really my biggest takeaway, I love it and it's something that comes up often. I actually talk about this often, even just my husband that 0-1 phase feels really hard and identifying whether you're a builder or whether you're a scalar and where you fit in the mix but of course it's tricky because if you haven't gone through the scaling part either you know of course how do you know? But we've spoken about that kind of you know a lot of founders now you know by a company that's doing well and say amazon for example and then putting their skill set, plugging everything else in turning it on.

You know creating more of a sense of community and making it look cooler and all this kind of thing. So I think it's a really interesting what you're saying. I'm like yeah that's amazing. Very cool. Yeah you're taking brick and mortar taking like traditional products like bring down to the to see. Yeah there's a lot of ways to scale and yeah I'm not saying scaling is easy, scaling stuff are not easy but like I think different people are, your zone of genius is different for who you are and like every stage you need different skill sets and I feel like my skill sets are more suited for the scaling phase so I'm excited for that. Well this is a nice segue into what you're doing now you have recently earlier this year joined girl boss. So exciting, congratulations by the way huge new chapter for you. Tell us about girl boss, tell us about the vision, Tell us how you're going to be scaling this company. Yeah I'm super excited. Yeah it's been like so humbling again and just such a great learning experience for me moving from D. C. And now into media um which are two very different place.

But yeah I took this opportunity. The owners of Girl Boss reached out to me earlier this year and asked me to join and lead the company through. I would say turn around because we have a really large audience, extremely extremely large audience. Very engaged great mission, great purpose. Um that was very heavily focused on events and immense production pre Covid. And then when Covid happened was obviously really hard for the business and we kind of had to start from scratch you know and we're just taking the assets and see how we can make it work in this new digital world and when they first approached me I was like oh like I'm not interested in that because I'm so comfortable like I'm very happy in what I'm doing. I love e commerce, I love this of amazing team. I still have a lot more work to do. But I actually think like the biggest thing that convinced me over to join girl boss and lead this new two point oh is because my most motivated and all things in life by growth and like new experiences and just getting better and being a better version of myself and I just felt like before I start a family I have like one last hustle in me, I don't think that's true, just like one last one, you know.

Uh, but like, I felt like I was getting like a little bit too comfortable at the end of flux, we just had like, I was kind of like, I worked myself out of a job eventually, which I think is a dream from an entrepreneur, like work yourself out of a job, you know, you have all the right people in place, doing all the right things, you guys are all aligned, there's the right system, it's just like working like clockwork, you know, and that's where we got it to near the end, which is amazing, it's beautiful to see that as an entrepreneur, but I think I was just getting too comfortable as an individual for my own growth and I was like, okay, like I wasn't expecting to leave, but um, with this opportunity I get to like really hustle and like turn the business around and being the grind and get uncomfortable again and beautifully challenge and solve interesting problems, I definitely was very challenged, you know, like, I'm solving like very interesting problems, um grab those who were, are and what we do, first of all gross, we exist because we believe, I guess very similar to you guys at the female startup club, we believe in the power of women and I'm like very feminist myself and I believe in the power of woman and I believe that like women are powerful and we're here to support women to do whatever they want, you know, and girl boss right now we're a media company, so think like Goop Refinery Forbes morning brew benches, we deliver content to help female entrepreneurs to help with career advice as well.

We target a lot of people women in their mid stage career on just like really non cliches career advice right now, when you're googling career advice, it's all like very, very outdated and not relevant to today's world. So like we do that through our podcast, but mainly right now through our daily newsletter which we sent to people every morning. Um we curate, we write it and we give like business news, career advice staff picks all consolidated in a very funny way, like our tone is very, very humorous, so it's kind of like having your best friend pop into your inbox every morning to say hi and like tell you what's going on with the world and give you some good advice and like help inspire you throughout your day. Um so that's what we're focused on right now is building really good content across the board across all of our channels and growing your audience, making sure that we're delivering value for them and making sure that we're helping them achieve career success, relationship success, business success, but like the vision is so so so much bigger, like so many opportunities and I would say I'm definitely like, I'm actually like way more excited about more launching right now, we're currently working on behind the scenes than like this media play um which will launch Q one of next year, so yeah, super, super pumped, I don't think I can share too much about it like right now, but we're going to launch it next quarter um and there's so many things obviously that we can do with the brand, we have a recently actually just finalized the three year vision, like a three year peanut picture for the brand, which is this like four page google doc, which it goes into detail about everything, like what is their business model, like who are we, why do we exist?

What is our mission, how we're going to give back, like what is our team look like, which I think is just so important for any entrepreneur to do, and now like had the vision and super excited about the vision, I have the team on board, I'm just like super excited now to execute and I feel like we're like in a really, really solid place, I'm excited to see where it goes, gosh, I'm excited Q one next year, I know you can't share, but I'm on the edge of my seat and my follow up question, which I'm assuming, you know, it's redundant now, but my follow up question was obviously, you know with what happened in the pandemic events, couldn't go ahead as planned, I know you guys did crazy like nine or 10 figure deals or something weird, huge, weirdly huge um and obviously that goes to zero and so my question was around like what are you doing to, you know, change that revenue model and get back to that position, but I'm assuming that Q one next year, I've got to stay tuned, I've got to keep in the loop, which obviously will be, I'm super excited to see what happens and we'll have to have you back on the show to tell us more.

I believe that yeah, I'm really excited. What is your most important piece of advice for entrepreneurs coming into 2022? Oof. Um I feel like a broken record, but I really believe that it's all about your mindset and prime in your mindset every day for success um and believing yourself, I know it's so cliche, but it really is so important, you know? And every day I wake up I'm thinking about how I can frame my mindset like no, I already can do something and I'm watching like this is to them watching my billions right now. Have you watched billions? No, what is it? I think it's on HBO but it's a show about this like super aggressive, dominant male hedge fund manager and all of his skill sets, you know, and I'm thinking about like what can I do to be a little bit more like assured, not like me the way that he is just more assured than myself every day. Um And I think that's especially for females like so important to think about like how we can like shift our mindset to like serve us in the best way possible.

Um and just really like believe in ourselves. I think that's like the most important thing, you know? I think like first of all you can do it you know? Um you think that people have all this crazy and sage advice and like everyone else in the world knows what they're doing, but like no one really does, you know? And like being entrepreneurs like being like a dog with no one like holding your leash, you know, you're just walking on your own. So I think it really starts with the belief in yourself and what you have to offer this world, which you should because like I've worked in some really really large corporations from Central to Loreal and I thought I would come into like all these like top secret of like strategy, but like no one really knows what they're doing and it takes a lot of emotional labor to put that together. So I think believe in yourself is the most important thing. Um A really big fan of like podcasts and books but recently have actually started listening to like war affirmations as I'm working and I'm like washing the dishes and like doing my joy my downtime of like folding laundry and washing dishes?

Um and very simple affirmations like maybe share for you to share in the show notes. That's helpful. Yes, absolutely. Yeah, this is a, I was recommended with this lady with her morning meditation guide and her affirmations and it's so lovely. Now I'm like just washing the dishes, like hearing this woman tell me like I am enough, like you are enough, like all these like super wonderful things. So like really, like, I'm trying to train myself that that all happens like naturally and subliminally for me. Um I guess it's another hack. Um but it's been so lovely so far. I've been doing it for the last week or so. Yeah, so I think like just and that comes with shifting my mindset. So every day I'm thinking about like what can I do to pry my mindset to set myself up for success. So I guess to summarize it all just to believe in yourself, believe in yourself, going with blind optimism, tackle it head on, enjoy the journey. I love it and act like it, you know, Yes. Show up as the person that you want to be totally Yes, exactly.

We wrap up at the end of every episode with a series of six quick questions, some of which we might have covered, some of which we might not have, but I asked them all the same. So question number one, what's your why, why are you doing what you're doing? Um Okay for me the biggest thing that motivates me more than anything else is from internal like locus of control and that for me is growth. So that's anything from like business growth to like personal growth to see like growth. My team seeing growth and others just for me growing as a person like learning new things like learning new experiences, having new experiences. That to me is so motivating, like every time I get to learn something new it's so rewarding, I'm like wow there's so much love for me in the world to do and it just makes me so excited about the opportunities that are out there. So yeah, I just like getting a better every single day and learning something new every day. That's what really motivates me. I love that Question # two And you can choose in which business this fits into.

But what's been the number one marketing moment that made any of the three businesses we've spoken about today Pop? Um I think across the board for you to really be your competitors, you have to do one of two things. One you have to outspend them or to um you educate them. So it's really about paid marketing or content marketing and paid marketing is seductive because the scale is really fast, you know and you see like super fast scale but it plateaus like over a certain amount of time. Content marketing is more of a, like a longer term play, but you reap the rewards later on and when you don't have as many resources and capital like it's so important and now, especially with what's been happening with like IOS 14.5 and like everything that's happening you see on facebook like it makes me believe in content marketing like more and more um and just building a following, building an audience so like podcasts like this and just producing a really good, valuable, consistent Quality, authentic content out there, that's what's normally drive business success in the end.

And I think all businesses have been successful for that. Like for Luxi hair, I walked into this like a gold mine of a business where before I drawing, I don't think they spend like maybe like $10,000, maybe $50,000 actually in total over five years of marketing period. Um and it was doing like, it was a massive business and it was all through organic content as they produce on Youtube that drove the entire business. So it was no like there's no like crazy spikes but it was like consistent growth over time and it's definitely like a long term play and you feel like sometimes you're posting, but you're like losing followers or you know everything you're saying, you're speaking my language. Yeah, you're like what's going on? But like um consistency is one of the most important things. It's the compound effect, it's that 1% every day keep doing it, take the action, don't look at the numbers necessarily just keep going and one day you're gonna look back and be like, whoa Oh totally and delivering value, just delivering like quality, authentic, consistent content, you know?

Um over time that that's what's gonna win. I'm so with you, Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? I know we touched on this before, but are there any other books, podcasts, resources that you want to shout about? Yeah, I would say I still in general like slow media more than a like, like fast media. So slow media to me is like books, you know, I feel like books are like the most sage advice over time because I'm going to take a lot of effort in years at the time to write something in their best knowledge and things that like we can find teachers from like centuries ago and these are both have lasted through the testament of time, you know, So I feel like we can get so like seduced into like fast media and like instagram and twitter and all these things. Um and news, but like slow media to me has been the most helpful for sure and we're and I enjoy the most, it's like the most stress free version of media there is out there. Um but now actually before I think I had a pretty negative association with news.

um I remember reading tim Farriss is like four hour work week where his advice is like don't watch the news, you know anything that's important like your waiter will tell you about dinner was if it's important in the world someone will tell you and like just stay focused on your goals, don't get distracted and I really subscribe to that mentality for a long time because the news is like so sad sometimes you know But I realized over the last like two years that it was probably very selfish of me to like be just so like turned off towards like fast media and it's important to like um as an investor as a business person to be informed about what's going on in the world and now especially I I run a media business, I slowly understood like the important of that how important is to like like be informed so that we can give back and make educated decisions and like you know like help others as well you know especially with everythings happened on this last year with covid and all the different social injustice has gone out in the world like it's taught me how more important it is to be informed.

So I'm doing a lot more fast media than I used to and I get it from like certain people might follow on twitter and just like the reddit homepage and with girl boss daily as well we curate some highlights throughout. But yeah, I'm still a little bit torn on like what makes the most sense. But I think for like stage, like not stressful, selfish advice to me, slow medium books is like the most soothing for me. I'm going to link linchpin in the show notes for anyone who wants to check that out, who hasn't read it yet. Question number four is how do you win the day? What are your am or PM rituals and habits that you, you know, do every day to keep feeling happy and successful and motivated. Um yes, I share the one earlier with you about journaling and the importance of journaling. I love, love, love journaling. I have a super, I would say like I'm like a fun robot, like I'm kind of robotic but I'm also like, I don't take myself that seriously. So I've never had someone say that on the show. I tracked my anxiety level every day.

I track my happiest little day. I have an excel chart that max it out over time. Like it's pretty like I have a system, I have like a daily, weekly, monthly annually quarterly review process and I have a very strict like morning and night routine but I won't get into like all those details because it's quite intense but I think like obviously I don't do it all the time, but if I really want to win the day, like those things help. I would say that the number one advice for winning the day and like what makes the biggest difference for me, it's just like, I don't check my phone first thing in the morning, like if I can just do that like everything else kind of like doesn't matter as much like we'll follow, you know, the days that like, I'm just like, oh my gosh, what's going on in the world? Like what's going on in the business? Like, and I want to like wake myself up, what's going on on instagram. Those are the worst days because I already wake up like living the day reactively and not proactively and not intentionally, I'm just reacting to everything. So just promised myself to like just be reacting all day. So like of course I don't follow my routine every day.

But I definitely notice that the biggest difference when I check in and don't have my phone first in the morning, I am really bad at that right now and I need to get back into not checking my phone in the morning, I let that habit slip and now, you know, I'm back in a bad place. It's really bad question number five, if you were given $1000 of no strings attached grant money, where would you spend it in the business? And it's to highlight your most important spend of a dollar. I would say like if it's not $1000 if it's more than $1000 like in general, I really believe in people and then we didn't talk about people that much in this podcast, but I'm a big advocate for people and for building teams and building culture and for or design and in terms of how to scale the business that it wasn't a healthy scale really in the long term is you have to let go and I would say like it's not about numbers, it's not, but I actually think the businesses who are able to operate very successful businesses with a very small team, like those are the businesses, I'm the most impressed with like kudos for them for doing that ineffective way.

So it's not about just adding people, it's about like being very strategic about your warg and how you design in who are the right people, what are the responsibilities and what do they own and where the skill sets you need to look out for in this person and just being very strategic about how you design your overall organization. Like once you do that, like then you'll have a lot of success and I'm bringing the right people who are aligned with your values, obviously that's super important. Obviously you can buy anybody, you can't for $1000 so if it's outside of people in hiring or design like definitely content um it's the best thing that you can do if you're a new entrepreneur and you're just starting out like that's where you can just start, you need to start with content and you need to start with like putting yourself out there, putting like valuable, consistent, authentic content out there for your brand for your business um because you're not gonna win on paid media, like you know, it's hard to win on pay immediately right from the beginning, so um you want a good base, so that's where I would say the best spend for your resources would be in the beginning and last question question number six, how do you deal with failure?

What's your mindset and approach when things don't go to plan? I think for me, um my biggest motivation in life is growth, right? And like how do I get better every day? So whenever I fail, I actually try to look at it as a positive thing and it's all about our perspective, you know? So I think about like what did I learn from this and how can I prevent this from happening again and every time something happens wrong in the business, which happens all the time, it's not okay just to fix it. That's not like the solution just to fix and make it better, It's like what can we do to prevent this from happening next time? Like what could have done initially in the process earlier on to prevent this because I think if you're constantly chasing fires, it's not like something to be proud of, you know, like you want to build a good business where of course there's fires sometimes, but if it fires day to day, every single day, then something is not right with the way that you're running your business and running your team. So every time there's a failure or a mistake or a fire, I just try to think about like, what can we do to proactively not let this happen in the future and what can we add in as like safeguards in our process and the way that we work together to prevent this from happening.

I love that lulu you are such a powerhouse. I have loved meeting you. I can't wait to meet you in person. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show and share this wild ride that you've been on Across these three businesses. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me on. I love doing podcasts because it's like therapy. I always feel like I've gone to therapy every time I've done a podcast. So it was lovely to be on. Thanks for hosting me through today. Hey, it's Doom here. Thanks for listening to this episode of the female startup club podcast. If you're a fan of the show, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about our D I y course the ads, M. B. A. I also truly appreciate each and every review that comes our way. It might seem like such a small thing, but reviews help others find us. So please do jump on and subscribe, rate and review the show. And finally, if you know someone who would benefit from hearing these inspiring stories, please do share it with them and empower the women in your network.

See you soon. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah.

Girlboss CEO Lulu Liang shares her learnings from 0-1 vs 1 and above at Luxy Hair (she took the biz through a massive exit!)
Girlboss CEO Lulu Liang shares her learnings from 0-1 vs 1 and above at Luxy Hair (she took the biz through a massive exit!)
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