Tina Marie has been accelerating business growth through better teams and systems since 1997. She’s helped take multiple startups to 7 figures and growing within one year. Her passion is growing people who grow businesses that bring quality products to the world. Better people, better business, better world for all.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:56] – Tina is addicted to growth
- [01:31] – Tina is a worker and a grower
- [02:10] – Value Bomb Drop: Help people think deeper and have conversations with people
- [05:00] – Step back, think, and ask yourself questions
- [05:32] – What is something you’ve changed your mind about in the last 6 months? I never asked myself “what is the most important outcome of what I am doing right now?” I believe in sacrifice, but I don’t believe in teaching my daughters that other peoples’ feelings are more important than their own
- [07:48] – Stick to your values
- [08:11] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: I learned what I don’t want to do
- [10:05] – JLD shares a story about selling on Ebay
- [11:53] – It’s easy to see what’s working for other people, but what does your gut say?
- [12:24] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: One of the owners I was working with came to me and he wanted some tech help. I started working with him, but I wasn’t strong enough to tell him he was doing it all wrong. After trying and trying, I finally said, “I’m just going to quit.” And they said “No, we’ll do what you say…” 9 months later, we broke a million dollars in sales!
- [16:58] – Everybody should get to the point where they believe in themselves
- [18:22] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? Empowering the visionaries
- [20:20] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – Nothing
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – What you allow continues
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – Consistency
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Join.me
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Pre-Suasion
- [22:56] – Everybody should be aware that no one is their best yet
- [24:07] – Connect with Tina on https://www.facebook.com/profitdriversincFacebook
Tina: I am always ready to ignite.
Tina’s been accelerating business growth through better teams and systems since ’97. She’s helped take multiple startups to seven figures and growing within one year. Her passion is growing people who grow businesses that bring quality products to the world. Better people, better business, better world for all.
And Tina – take a minute. Fill in the gaps in that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Tina: I really just do love growth; I’m addicted to it. Ever since I was little, I was constantly wanting to learn new things – Can I improve this? Can I break this and then can I improve this? My mom really appreciated that thing.
I started programming in BASIC when I was 8 because that was new knowledge. I was a bit of a bookworm. I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I started - My first real business was being a newspaper girl. I bought my first dirt bike with that money. I worked – I got my first paycheck at 12. I got an actual paycheck working in the fields. I am a worker. I’m a grower. I’m a learner. And I love people. I love making things better than they were when I found them.
John: So, one thing that I’m excited to talk about is your journey, Tina. Because people like yourself, who are willing to break things and then fix them and break them again, you have a lot of ups and a lot of downs, which is a good thing –
John: – because that’s the roller coaster journey that we should be embracing as entrepreneurs.
But, before we get into that, let’s talk about what your current area of expertise is. Share that with us and then give us two things that we need to know about this area of expertise; two value bombs that we probably don’t.
Tina: What I’m doing right now, and what I’ve been doing really for the last 14 years – I mean, I’m a work-at-home mom, stay-at-home mom – but I’ve been growing businesses because I have a knack for it. And you know, like I said, it’s just kind of something I’ve always done. But I’ve narrowed down to a couple of things that I realize a lot of people don’t do.
I’m a thinker and, while a lot of people do think, I’ve recognized that I think a little bit differently than the average person. So, while a lot of clients that I come across can make seven figures and other people can struggle to do that, they do it without necessarily having really clear intentions, really clear focus, really clear purpose. And so they get to, what I would call a “glass ceiling”, and they just – they can’t break it and they really want to break it.
Because everybody has their goals and their aspirations, right? So what I help people do is get into their full potential. And one of the things is that people just don’t really – they don’t think about what it is that they want. They don’t think about how they want to feel. They don’t think about how they want to be. They don’t think about what they want to leave behind. Really, what motivates them is getting to a specific point but not beyond that.
And so I ask people the questions that help them get beyond that and they’re – I hear all the time, “Well, that’s a good question. I never thought about it. I never thought about that.”
So, really, it’s just helping people to think deeper and – Well, how do you do that? So, you ask somebody like yourself – I’d say, “John,” you know, “where do you want to be in five years from now?” And you might tell me where you want to be financially but I might ask you, you know, “What does it look like? What kind of relationships do you have? What kind of relationships do you have with your family right now and what do you want them to be?” Like, “What’s your health like right now? What do you want it to be?”
Ask all of those questions in every facet of life. You know: What do believe? What are your systems for personal growth? What are you working towards and how are you going to get there.
So it’s just having some of those conversations that people – I was surprised to find out – don’t actually have with themselves on a daily basis.
John: It’s interesting because we, as humans, are so present just because, you know, we’re doing things today. Like, we gotta find ways to eat, we gotta find, you know, fluids to drink – hopefully, it’s water – you know, we need to find ways to pay next month’s rent, we need to find ways to, you know, pay our car payment. Like, we need to do things, like, now. And so often, because of the either right-now or near-term demands on our life, we never look far-term because, you know, we just –
John: – frankly, don’t think we have the time to do so but then when you don’t, five years go by. You didn’t ask yourself where are you going to be in five years. Well, if you’d answer yourself five years prior, you’d probably be in a lot different place because you actually would have had an idea; you would have taken some steps and some goals to focus and get there.
So step back, Fire Nation. You know, have these thoughts and these conversations and these questions that you’re asking yourself, at the very least, and just see what comes up and see – Hey, is there a way that I can start shaping my life to actually be there in three years, and five years? So that when that time does come, in the snap of fingers, you know, nothing – you know, you won’t find that nothing’s changed. You’ll actually have made changes.
So let’s talk about something, Tina, that you’ve recently changed your mind about. Like, you’re on the cutting edge. You’re learning this, you’re learning that. But what’s something that you used to believe, like, recently, that you just don’t anymore?
Tina: This is not necessarily business-related but it is related because to me, all things are related. We operate in our business as human beings, as individuals, and how you do one thing is how you do everything. Is that right?
Tina: I believe that’s right. Anyway –
So, what usually will happen is I’ll get some new information that will almost always come through something that I believe as a parent or as a spiritual being or whatever and then that will take on new applications into my business.
So just within, well, the last week or two, I – I’m trying to think about how to word this – but I have a habit of, when my – when guests come into my house, that my girls are present, my daughters are present, and we have good manners and we’re open and more inviting to everyone. And I feel like that’s just good manners and that’s how you do it. And I never asked myself – again, back to asking ourselves questions – what is the most important thing? Which is one of the questions I ask myself all the time: What is the most important thing I can do this day?
But in this scenario, what I didn’t ask myself is: What is the most important outcome of what I’m doing right now? What am I teaching my daughters? And, in their home, I don’t want them to feel like their purpose is to please other people more than – to take care of other people’s emotions more than their own emotions. Do you know what I mean?
Like, I believe in sacrifice and I believe in doing things for other people but what I don’t believe in is teaching my daughters that other people’s feelings are more important than theirs and that we don’t put on a show for the sake of making somebody else feel something and – because that’s not being authentic, that’s not being true to ourselves and, also, that’s telling my daughters other people are more important than them and that’s absolutely not the case.
And the way that that’s going to have business applications is – for my clients, for anybody – just, you feel more creative, you feel more powerful, you feel more enabled when you are congruent within yourselves; when you’re true to who you are and when you’re really – I won’t say “unyielding” because I do believe in compromise also – but when you stick to your values and you are unyielding with your values. Does that make sense?
John: It makes sense, Tina. But we’re going to move on because I’m kind of curious about your journey as an entrepreneur.
John: You’ve – Again, we’ve talked about the roller coaster that most entrepreneurs are on. What is your lowest point? What’s your worst entrepreneurial moment that you’ve experienced to date?
Tina: So, in the beginning, I started selling some things on eBay. I did – like a lot of people do – I’d try this, try that, try this. You know, figure out how to work from home. And there was this program, which you might be familiar with – this was 14 years ago – it was called SMC with Tom Bosley. Do you know what I’m talking about?
John: Never heard of it.
Tina: Okay. Well, this was this catalog program. It was on TV all the time. But I’ll have you know, John, when I started working on the internet; I still used dial-up via AOL. It’s been a little while. It’s been a little while.
So, there was a program called SMC and it was this catalog program and they told people, “Hey, you could start your own business. You can sell our stuff.”
Well, everybody and their dog was selling their stuff. So you go to eBay and you’re like, “Well, everybody’s selling this. How do I stand out? How do I make some money?” And I had noticed that people were offering their products for free, only “plus shipping” and the shipping was, like, $150.00. I was like, “They’ve sold a hundred of them. That’s amazing! I’m gonna try that.”
And, of course, the very first time I did that, somebody reported me for being fraudulent and –
Tina: I thought, “Yeah, maybe that’s not the best way to go about it.”
Now, obviously, that’s common sense. But I think that there’s a certain point in – early on, when people are trying to be successful – that lines are maybe a little bit gray; that you don’t know exactly what you stand for. I mean, I was a lot younger then and I realized that just because something sells, just because something can maybe earn a buck, doesn’t mean that that’s what I want to do to be able to earn it.
So, it was kind of a worst-moment/best-moment thing because it really defined me as what I was willing to do and what I was not willing to do at that time.
John: Yeah. What’s interesting is that actually brings up a story that I hadn’t thought about in decades, literally – or at least a decade because it was about a decade ago. But I saw that going on too and, like, I was like, “I’m gonna sell something on eBay.” Like, I was selling things on eBay, like, very small, like, nothing too big and it wasn’t too common. Like, I was still in the Army at the time, so it was very, very much just kind of like doing some tests and checking it out. But, you know, maybe a couple things a month.
But then I saw a couple people that were doing just what you were saying and I said –
John: Oh. I see how they’re kind of making maybe a little extra profit margin. Like, you know, they’re making it seem like a good deal, then the shipping is higher, so that’s probably where they’re, you know, able then to go and to ship it for less.
And so I actually did something. It wasn’t to that level – like $150.00 for shipping – but, you know, it was something for like – I remember something along the lines of like $37.00 or something. So it was like I sold something for $10.00 that really, I should have sold for $30.00, but then I have like, you know, $35.00 for shipping.
And I remember the person bought it and then he just wrote to me – like, a very nice letter. He was just, like – or a very nice note. He just said, “Hey, John” like, “I’m so excited to have bought this. This is cool. By the way, let me just” you know, “send you, like, a pre, like, UPS-like package thing that they’ll come pick it up at your door and, you know, it will save me money because it shouldn’t cost 35 bucks and, you know, it’ll cost, like, 5 bucks. So I’ll take care of all the shipping. You don’t even have to worry about it.”
And I was like, “Oh my God.” Like, that’s totally the right way to go about this but now, when I do that, like, I’m not making any kind of a profit margin. But when you really step back –
John: – another time, you gotta ask yourself, Fire Nation, like, what are you trying to do? Like, are you trying to pad profits with, like, (quote/unquote) “not real shipping” or, you know, are you trying to, like, actually run a business –
John: – and provide value and, like, do something that’s really good for this world?
So I remember just having that bad feeling of, like, just saying to the guy, you know, “Yep, you’re right. Do that.” And I took the loss and I just never (quote/unquote) –
John: – “padded shipping” again. And I just always kind of went back to that whenever I thought about other areas, when I was doing different things in the future.
So, something to think about, Fire Nation. It’s easy to see what’s (quote/unquote) “working for other people” but what does your gut say? How does it feel?
John: Does it seem right? Does it pass that test?
And go ahead, Tina.
Tina: I think that everybody comes across a point where you have a defining moment about, you know: Who am I and is this in alignment with my personal values?
John: Let’s move to another one of your stories. This one’s going to be an AH HA moment. So, take us there to one of your greatest to date, Tina.
Tina: This is where I realized my value, which is one of those things as a – as you grow in a entrepreneur.
So I think there are two kinds of entrepreneurs. There are the people that offer products and there are the people that offer services; they kind of trade time for money. And I’m that person. I’m a consultant. I offer my services. I trade my time for money.
And I hadn’t really realized what my value was. I started off – I had trained myself to do web design and I trained myself to do graphics but really, I’ve always had a mind for business and I’ve had a mind for problem-solving and asking those tough questions.
And I started working with a company who had been – they’d been working for three and a half years to bring a digital product to the marketplace. And when I came across them, they had been – they had just finished up their two-month launch. So it took them three and a half years to create it. After a two-month launch, they had made $80,000.00 and then it had fizzled out to about between $3,000.00 and $4,000.00 a month on ClickBank, it’s a info product.
And so, one of the owners had come to me – and he was familiar with me because we had worked with somebody else – and he wanted some tech help because that’s what I was doing primarily at that time. And I said, okay.
Well, I actually had just gone through a divorce. I didn’t have any current clients, so I was taking anything. And I said, “Yeah, whatever you need just” you know, “I need some work.”
And so this was, like, five and a half years ago. And I started asking them some questions: Well, what do you guys need? What do you want to do? And then I was asking more questions: Well, why are you doing it this way and why are you doing it that way? And, I think if you did this better, you could do that.
And so they said, “Well, will you be our business manager?” And I said, “Alright.” It was like $15.00 an hour. And, at the time, I would take anything. That’s what I needed.
And so I started working with them and a couple months later, I’m looking. I’m like, “You guys have the same problems now that you did then. I’ve told you that you should do (this, this and this).” But I wasn’t quite strong enough to use the language that they needed to hear. I wasn’t quite direct enough to say how badly they were doing. I was kind of dancing around things a little bit.
And then I realized it’s not serving anybody. I’m like, “There’s no point in you even having me as your business manager or giving it a title because you’re not listening to me. You’re saying that they’ll do this and you don’t do it. You’re saying you’ll do this and you won’t do it. And the reason you’re not doing it is because, 1) You don’t have the time; 2) You don’t have the desire, or 3) You don’t have the talent.”
So, wherever one of those problems came up, I would point it out and point it out and point it out and finally, I said – even though I had no other income, John. I had no other income. I was so frustrated with the fact that there was no growth. I was just, like, I’m gonna quit.
Tina: I’m not even going to work here anymore. I can’t be broke and dissatisfied at the same time. So one of has to be fixed.
And I was going through a divorce at the time. Like, it was –
Tina: – the most difficult time of my life but I hated it so badly, I was so dissatisfied. I’m, like, I’m just gonna leave and I’ll figure out something else.
And they’re like, “No, no, no. Don’t leave. We will do what you say.”
Nine months later, we broke $1 million in sales –
Tina: – and had three other products out on the market. I got their programmer to straighten his act out. I hired a copywriter and a couple of other people to get some of the work done. And where there was either no desire or no time or no skill to get the things done that needed to be done – because my visionary was fantastic. The salesman was fantastic. It was the lack of fulfilling the product that we had issues with and that just needed some management and that needed some organization and that needed to have them let go of power a little bit and give it over to me because that’s me. I’m consistent. I’ll push it through day by day by day.
So about a year and a half later – and I had kept telling them, “Look, you guys. I’m making you more money so that you can pay me better so that I can take care of my family” because I needed that. I’m like, “I more than earned it.” And a year and a half later, we got to the point where I said that and they’re like, “Yeah, yeah” you know, “whatever.” So I quit.
And I had somebody else offer a job to me and it was for twice that pay. And so, they were actually friends and they said, “Hey. Well, you’re stealing her from us. You’re a safety net for her and that’s not okay.” So, the new person withdrew his offer and I didn’t have any income. And they expected me to come crawling back and I was like, “How dare you. I made you so much money.” I said, “I don’t need a safety net. I am my own safety net.”
And the reason that’s important is because I think everybody should get to the point where they believe in themselves so much, they don’t ever tolerate abuse. They don’t ever sell themselves short. They don’t ever say, “This is the best that I can do.”
And even if you have to get the point of: I don’t have any money and I’m responsible for four mouths to feed, you have to believe in yourself that much. And I did.
And ever since then, it’s happened three or four other times since then – three other times since then – where I’ve walked completely away from all income and the very next time, I no less than doubled my income in the same amount of time that I was working.
Now it’s six figures a year in less than 20 hours a week, with my four daughters. And I don’t ever have to worry about stuff like that again.
John: “I don’t need a safety net. I am my own safety net.”
Like, Fire Nation, listen to those words. They need to be imprinted onto your soul. Like, you have the opportunity and the ability to be your own safety net, so do that thing.
And so many people are just floating along, too. Like, they’re just floating along; they know that their job could be better. They know that their employer could be better. They know that this could be better. Like, it’s just – Sometimes it’s just time to step up.
And, you know, to step up and just stand up for what you believe in and believe in yourself, first and foremost, and go forward with that and take these words from Tina and –
Speaking of that, what is the one thing you’re most fired up about today?
Tina: It is doing the same kind of thing for other people. It’s empowering the visionaries, the ones that create the business, the ones that have these amazing pie-in-the-sky ideas, because they have the ability and it’s a gift to dream bigger than the average person. But these people, generally, are not so much the doers; they’re not the implementers and the executers. They don’t have – They’re not grounded the way a lot of other people are and you have to be in order to build consistency.
So, what I love to do is find out what their genius zones are. I love to find out what fires them up and I love to find out what their weaknesses are. And then, what I do is I build a team around them and I build the systems around them. I teach them a little bit about leadership and a little bit about communication. I help them get clear about who they are and where they’re going and then I bring in a team and I do the same thing, exactly, with the team.
And what’s so exciting about that is at the end of the day, I come back to my daughters with this amazing energy instead of so many people. They’re just like – they drudge through their day and me, I’m like, “Guess what I did today?!” I did this for this person and this for this person, this for – and “Guess what product they’re bringing to the market” and “Oh my gosh. It’s amazing. Look. This person just thanked me in their book.”
And now I’ve got a stack of books where people have, you know, put me in a bio because they’re thanking me for the help that I did for them and I’m like - This is just amazing. Not only do I get to help in a business level but I get to touch people’s lives personally. They’re making more money but they’re doing it in less time. They’re telling me about the trips that they’re taking with their families and the husbands that are taking their wives out on dates and they haven’t done it for a year and a half and not only that but business has multiplied times four at the minimum within a matter of months. And that – if you can’t tell – fires me up.
John: Well, what fires me up is that Tina is going to continue to drop value bombs in The Lightning Round. So don’t go anywhere, Fire Nation. We’re going to thank our sponsors.
Tina, are you prepared for The Lightning Round?
Tina: I’m prepared for anything. It doesn’t mean it’s going to come out perfectly but I am always ready to rock.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Tina: Nothing because I was always willing to try but what was keeping me back from up-level was self confidence.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Tina: What you allow continues. If you allow bad things to happen, if you allow people to abuse you, to pay you less than you deserve, to talk to you in a certain way – guess what. You’re going to keep getting more of it.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Tina: Consistency – doing the small things every single day and trusting that that’s where growth comes from.
John: Mm. That’s why I’m obsessed with the book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Fire Nation.
If you could share just one internet resource like Evernote, what would it be?
Tina: Join.me – I love it because I can record calls with my – with anybody. If I’m doing it with my team, if I’m doing it with my client, I can share the screen. I’ve got different phone numbers that they can address and come in through it or they can come in online. They have a phone app that you can use, an iPad app that you can use and it’s very inexpensive.
John: Recommend one book, Tina, and share why.
Tina: Really, just one? That’s so hard. That’s so hard. Can I do two?
Tina: Okay, two.
So, one is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People because there’s just so many different things and he gives so many anecdotal stories that really paint a great picture for you.
And the second one, to be brief, is Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini because it makes me think. And it makes me think about why I think the way I think and how I think. And if there’s anything that people need to do better, it’s think.
John: Love that.
Let’s end On Fire, Tina, with a parting piece of guidance; the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye.
Tina: The thing that I would say is that everybody should be aware that no one is their best yet. And there’s two ways to look at this.
No one is their best yet, meaning all the people that you’re looking to and putting on pedestals and thinking that they’re perfect – they’re not. Well, they’re just not. They have their problems. You might not be able to see them but they have them. So, keeping that and humanizing the people that you’re looking up to and admiring, helps to kind of ground you and understand that they’re not better than you, they’re just on a different part of their journey right now.
But the other thing is that, because you’re not your best yet, you need to figure out: What can I do to be my best? It takes systems, it takes teams and it doesn’t matter if it’s business or if it’s parenting – they say it takes a village to raise a child, it takes people. Bring people into your life; don’t try to lone-wolf it. Be consistent in the things that you do.
It goes better, also, when you’ve got somebody who makes the best out of you; somebody who challenges you and who tells you – calls you on your stuff. You know what I mean? Somebody who understands you, understands your values and says, “You could do better” and they expect you to better and they believe that you will do better.
John: And how can we reach you?
Tina: You can connect with me on Facebook. It’s facebook.com/profitdrivers. Or you can find me on LinkedIn; same thing /profitdrivers. And – I’m always there. It’s easy to connect.
John: Love it.
And Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hangin’ out with TM and JLD today. So keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type “Tina” in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz: Time stamps, links galore.
And Tina, I just want to say thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Tina: Awesome. Thank you, John.
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