Our guest this week is Michaela Smith. She is the owner of two great businesses the Karma Koaches and Meditation Nut. She started building her business at a very young age. She was lucky to have an A-team family that it became relatively easy for her to scale up.
It was such a colorful ride growing her business but she came to a point that she reached her “maximum”. She felt like she should be doing some more. In September 2018 she posted her business for sale. She tried finding herself and her true passion. She wasn’t into life coaching and business coaching even though most of the people she knew tells her she can be one.
Michaela’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaela-smith-ba907714/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Welcome back to Rocky Mountain Marketing. Today, my guest is Michaela Smith. Mikayla is a coach and an entrepreneur. She loves humans almost as much as she loves dogs. But she loves being outside hiking any time of the day. She is a true Colorado girl at heart. And actually she’s she’s located right here in downtown Littleton just like yours truly. So I love it whenever I meet people that are just right around the corner, karma coaches and meditation that are her current two businesses. And she previously owned a pet sitting business for nine years and sold it just a few years ago, her favorite ways to meet new people are at the grocery store, networking events, hiking or anywhere else in the world. Michaela, thank you so much for joining me on the show today. Of
Michaela Smith 1:07
course, thank you, I appreciate the invitation and just the conversation. It’s gonna be awesome.
Katie Brinkley 1:14
Yeah, and you know, like I said, in your intro, I love that you’re located in downtown Littleton like me, I love meeting people that are just right around the corner. And it’s like, no idea, you know, and then we met, we met in a Facebook group. So you know, it’s always interesting to me, like how you can meet someone online. And then sure enough, they’re just right across the street from you, I was so so happy that you’re on the show today. Because I know that we are going to have some great conversations about being an entrepreneur and starting your own business and selling your own business. But before we get in to all of that, give us a little bit of a history on you. Tell us a little bit about yourself, tell us where you grew up and what your life was like growing
Michaela Smith 1:52
up. Yeah, so I grew up in Colorado Springs, which is obviously just an hour south, basically, here, and in little 10 and grew up but there and lived there for 27 years, and didn’t live any other place. And so my growing up was that there was a group of us and kindergarten that we started together. And then by high school graduation, we graduated together. And it was really cool to be able to have that even though Colorado Springs is known as very military type of town. There was definitely a good group of us that just really built a wonderful and solid community, I guess you could call it so for myself, I’ve kind of always had that entrepreneurial mind. I’ve always been the one where whenever I’m with people, I always asked way too many questions on the whole. And it would always drive my teachers nuts whenever I was in school, because I’d always be like, Well, why are we doing it like this? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to do it some other way? And they’d get frustrated with me they like they call me Kayla, could you please just do the assignment? And I was the one that was like, No, I don’t want to just do the assignment, I will then see why you want me to do it like this. But what that helped me with today is just being able to be in the question and be curious and always want to know, like, what the answer is and or how it shows up. And so yeah, it’s been a really amazing journey since then. And so the other piece about growing up was that I’m a third generation entrepreneur. And so my dad is much poorer as well. He’s a coach and consultant himself. And one of the things that showed up whenever we were younger was that, you know, he would come home and he would, there was this one night in particular, where he laid out these note cards, one for my mom, one for my brother, one for myself. And then you know, we sat down to eat dinner, and he looked at us and he goes, Okay, guys, I need some help. I need some ideas. And I’m running out of ideas for this particular client. So he told us about the client, he told us what the challenges were. And then he like, basically created an entire mastermind with us as a family. And so I started that, obviously, whenever I was young, and like I just thought it was really fun and really cool. And so the more that I was in that conversation, I thought, Oh, man, this is really interesting. I want to know more about like the processes and how that works. And so I decided that as well after I graduated high school that I thought okay, I want to start a business and I had already been doing like some of the pet setting and babies And dog walking and all the rest of this stuff, but I haven’t really committed. And so I remember there was this conversation where like, in my head, I was like, I want to start a business because everybody else has a business, I need to start a business. And by everybody else, I mean, like, the people, my family, not necessarily friends, not necessarily like colleagues, I didn’t enjoy working with, like, as an employee, I had a job for about nine months working. I want to call an old folks home. But that is not the proper term, because there would be multiple people that would tell me that that’s the incorrect term. But I can’t think of the right term. So if you can think of the right term, retirement community, there we go, yes, that would be great in a retirement community. So I worked in that basement, I was like, Well, you know, I want to do something on my own. And I was driving in my car one day, and I thought, Okay, I need to call dad. Because I need to ask him, like, what’s the first thing that I actually need to do? And because for me, I’m very step by step, do this, then do this, then do this. And also, I am also one that will think of a and I will also think of z, but I will forget about em, you know, in the alphabet, if you’re looking at processes. So for me, I think of an idea. And then I want to sell that idea, even though the idea hasn’t been built yet.
Katie Brinkley 6:33
And so in that, that was going to be my very first question for you, because you had a successful business, and you did have selling it. And I think that a lot of people think that when that business has run its course or that when you kind of get the burnout, then you just shut the doors. So I would love to talk with you a little bit about how you sold that business. Yeah,
Michaela Smith 6:56
absolutely. One that was actually one of the pieces within the conversation I have with my dad, which was he goes, you need to register an LLC, I went, Oh, I need to go figure that out first. And so I figured out the LLC, I’m by that point, then he and I started talking about services, and offering services. So the first iteration of the business was octopus woman. And it was the most epic purple octopus you could possibly think of for a logo. Oh, my gosh, it was so cool. I think my brother designed it. So just to give you a little background on my family, my mom is an actuary, and she does bookkeeping. My dad is a consultant and a coach. And my brother is a website designer. So literally an entire family, I have every service that I could possibly ever need, whenever it comes to building a business. And so the first iteration was octopus woman. And so we offered babysitting and pet setting and house cleaning. And then things started getting a whole lot bigger. And I had to start figuring out how to hire people, I think about 20 years old, and which is quite young to try and figure that out. It’s not an easy, easy deal. And so I figured some of that out had lots of challenges and lots of successes within that. And then from from that point, after hiring a couple people, I want him to be able to hire both genders, all genders. And so I transition the company to octopus concierge. And so because I really wanted to keep the purple octopus, because I really love the per block plus a lot. And so and the types of clients that were serving, it was me made sense. And so then once we got to that point, I had staff and myself and like this whole thing, then the end of college happened for me and I was in this space of while I keep joining the business, obviously I decided to keep going. And so I did basically a complete rebrand. And one of the things that I learned in business is that sometimes the most impactful thing can be a rebrand because then you get to attract new clients and new offers and new specials and all the rest of the stuff. Plus I didn’t have a desire really to do house cleaning and babysitting anymore. And so I transition from that into pitter pattering pause and I kept that for about four years. And then there was this point for me where I thought about the four year mark as kind of going okay, well you know, I’ve kind of reached why I reached my max as to what it was that I was gonna build with that. And I’d also reached my max as to what it was that I really wanted to to do because I claimed that at one point that I was really happy and yet I love the dogs absolutely loved and adored the dogs on the operation stuff wasn’t my cup of tea. As well as there was just I was just on 20 473 65. Like I didn’t have any breaks, which was really hard to do that for such a long time. And and I get that I created that myself. And so I then got the opportunity to figure out what I wanted next. And so it was the end of September, whenever I decided, Okay, I’m going to post the business for sale. And it was really, really scary time to me to do something like that, because I had never done such a thing, of course. And so I posted the business for sale. And then I moved to Denver, October 1, and I commuted from Denver down to Colorado Springs to still build the business and as well as take care of clients, as well as take care of pets centers hire more pet sitters, the whole thing, October 18, I got a call from someone who was interested in the company, the end of that month, my dad and I met with them. And by November 3, the business had been sold. And so there was so much that happened during that time around discovering for myself, who am I, what do I want, what I really, really want? And how do I want to take action from that? And so selling a business is not easy task, but it can certainly be done. I learned that one. So yeah, that was the journey in a very long way of, so I apologize.
Katie Brinkley 11:38
Well, I was gonna say, I mean, like, it’s, like I said before, I think that a lot of people just assume that, you know, when, when it’s time for you to move on to the next thing in your life that you just shut it, shut it down. But I love that you sold it. And it was an entire journey for selling that that business. If someone is listening right now, who is an aspiring or a new business owner, what is the single biggest piece of advice that you would give him or her as their journey starts?
Michaela Smith 12:04
Oh, man, that’s a big one. I’d say be present, truly, because so many times as a business owner, it’s so easy to be like thinking about the future about what it is that we want and like to create and everything. And then we think about the past of all the reasons why it doesn’t work. And yet, if we’re present, and we’re actually in the space of business, what’s here that then we get the opportunity to actually be able to see what actions we we can actually take instead of being in that stuck sticky mode, which is where a lot of entrepreneurs that I know, and I as well coach get into as well.
Katie Brinkley 12:43
Well, and you know, I saw something the other day on Instagram. And it was it really spoke to me because it said, like you were saying before be present. And we’re always thinking about like, Okay, well, I got to do this, and I have to do that. And we say that life is short, but really, you know, life is long. And if you think about it in that regard of like 10 years ago, being a social media, anything didn’t exist. So I couldn’t prepare myself for to be what I am today. If it back then you know, like, and in these 10 years, like the way I’ve grown so much, and the things that I have learned and just being present in the moment and taking everything in that I need to to help me and my business grow. So I love that you said be present in the moment and take it all in. Because if you try to rush it, then you’re not going to get to where you need to be in your there are no shortcuts. And you do need to have the entire journey to help your business grow. So Love, love, love that tip. If you were to go back and do anything differently, you know, say give us your Cliff Notes, don’t let us make the mistakes that you made, when there’s anything that you would have done differently, what would it be?
Michaela Smith 13:52
I think the biggest answer would be nothing. Because I wouldn’t have learned all the things that I did. And I mean, life is just a series of learning experiences. And the more that I’m in that space, the more I get the opportunity to actually be able to have gratitude for it. And also just be with what reality is because so many times what I see for myself is that I’ll go back and I’ll be like, why did I do that? Oh, my gosh, you know, like now I’ve learned how to do something differently. Like why didn’t Why didn’t I know that them? And I didn’t know that then because I wasn’t there. And like my reality was totally different five years ago in comparison to what my reality is now. And like just consistently, I think questioning what’s my reality, and being with that, that’s where the magic shows up for me. And so if there’s a element of Is there anything that I changed now, because I wouldn’t have gotten any of the magic I got out of it.
Katie Brinkley 15:01
I love it. I love it. I love it. You know. And I do think that one of the hardest things is to compare ourselves and where we are with our journey to other people’s, especially with social media, it makes it so hard to see what other people are doing. But as my friend, Allison has said numerous times, we’re not seeing their bloopers, we are only seeing their highlights. And that is something to take into effect, and you will find your own spot in the entrepreneurial world. So I absolutely love that. What do you think that? I mean, you’ve had a couple businesses now you had your business that you built, and you sold and now you have two new ones that you’re running. What do you think that some of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when they’re first getting started? is I mean, if there’s anything that you can say, like, you know what? Absolutely not, do not worry about getting that office space, just skip it. Or if you’re like, I wish I would have invested in a logo and branding right off the bat, what would you tell somebody if they’re just they’re just getting started? And you know, don’t make that same? same mistake? I did? Yeah,
Michaela Smith 16:07
I think what’s so important is to know your numbers. I know that that sounds like the most boring answer on the entire planet. But as a business owner, even at the very, very, very beginning, it’s so important to know, like website numbers, how many people are visiting your website? What your financial numbers are? What does it take to be a profitable business? What do your profit and loss statements say about your business, there’s like, the numbers for me is by far the most important piece, anybody who like if somebody is interested in selling a business, the only way to solve business is to know the numbers to be able to create that. And also on the other side, it’s not like, it’s not doing the numbers once a year, it’s doing the numbers monthly, because then you can actually see, how do you want to grow the business? Like, what does that look like? And what does a profit look like? And how much debt Do we have at this particular point. And, like all of those things, the numbers are so so so so so, so, so important to the health of a business
Katie Brinkley 17:27
1,000% agree, and I think that, you know, a lot of people might not be checking their, their numbers, right off the bat as much as they should. And this actually was a perfect setup for my next question for you. Because, you know, you you’ve been looking at the numbers, and you follow your SEO, you’ve been checking the website traffic. So you now have two businesses, you know, the meditation and the karma coaches? What does your model look like for engaging and finding and selling to your clients and customers these days? What is your marketing model that you found to be successful for you?
Michaela Smith 18:01
Yeah, so I only use LinkedIn. That’s it, don’t use Facebook, don’t use Instagram, le is LinkedIn. And some of that for myself is within the coaching I with meditation, right? I coach executives and entrepreneurs. And so LinkedIn is an amazing spot for that. And for meeting people, or connecting with folks, and as well as for karma coaches, because there’s a lot of coaches who have a desire to be able to grow their business, too. So there’s kind of like the combo of both of those. And so but LinkedIn, spend my spot and has kind of on my spot that I’m sticking with at this particular point, because yeah, it’s just, it’s a wonderful platform. And it also allows for me to do more one on one basis was people and that’s what I really prefer doing. Anyways,
Katie Brinkley 18:58
I love that you brought in LinkedIn, because I feel like LinkedIn has gotten kind of a bad rap. And it’s, it’s so much more than just an online resume. And I think that’s what a lot of people think that it is, okay, well update your LinkedIn. And it’s just a online resume. But it really has been a very powerful tool for me, one to find guests for the podcast, but to to continue growing my network and I’ve gotten a lot of leads from LinkedIn I’ve gotten, I’ve given a lot of leads on LinkedIn. And the community that I’ve been able to curate over on LinkedIn is really something special. I LinkedIn is one of my favorite social media platforms. And I love that you brought it up, because I think a lot of people aren’t utilizing it to its biggest capabilities to all of the capabilities that it can do for you. Sure, you can, you know, get noticed by recruiters and potentially find a new job but, you know, if you’re using it the right way, you know, there’s no need to go to another networking event. And yeah, it’s it’s a great Great tool. So, coming up almost on the final few questions for our episode today, man it Time flies when you’re having fun. I want to ask you a couple more questions about, you know, your two current businesses that you have when you were talking about selling your first business and then not launching not one, but two new ones. How did you make that jump? Because it can be scary. And it can’t necessarily not always be the prettiest of things to do. I know that when I jumped into entrepreneurship, it was because I was laid off from my dream job. And I didn’t know what was next I was like, Well, now what for me, and when I was given the opportunity to just give it a shot and see where it took me, that’s when so much changed. And I it helped my confidence, it helped me do exactly what I was passionate about, I think it can be scary for a lot of people to make that jump, I was kind of just thrown in. But for those of us that have been thinking about, you know, maybe I should just start my own business, or I think I’d be happier if I just went out on my own, what would you say to them?
Michaela Smith 21:07
So I’m gonna answer both questions here. Being on how, like I made the decision to start, currently switches as well as meditation, and then also being able to, for other people who are like, Oh, my gosh, how do I do this? For me, I had to take a good chunk of time off after selling the business because I was exhausted. And I had never taken any time off. And I was working school, and I was at work and more school, and which, you know, was the choice of mine, and I fully fully absorb that too. And so, within, I had the whole idea around karma coaches. And so, you know, obviously my brother put together a website and did all that. And we worked together in that process to launch that. And, you know, during that very first month, I tell you, I had every insecurity pop up outside of that, and it impacted all my relationships, everything. Like, if there’s one thing that I can say, learning through that is like I it, there’s just a lot going on. And so I got the opportunity to grow a lot during that time. And I was also having people in my life show up who said, Hey, could you help me, like with coaching and with business coaching, and some of that, and I just, I really wasn’t interested. But I, I helped him out because I was like, Okay, oh, I can help I can show you how to do the certain things. But then what would end up occurring on the other side of that was that I didn’t feel super passionate about life coaching or business coaching at all. And so I was just consistently seeking, even though I had clients who are really interested and people who are paying me I’m like this whole thing, until I found meditation coaching, imitation coaching is super different from the life and business coaching. And so for myself, I’ve had magician practice I’ve done had many mentors throughout the years, and have certifications, all kinds of fun stuff. But at the end of the day don’t really matter and the sense of like, what the results were coming from, it was really cool for people. And so, you know, through that it was I just had to really watch the messages that I was getting from either other people. And if people believe in Universal finds, that is a big thing for me that like whenever I’m consistently getting the same message over and over and over and over again. It’s like, oh, maybe I shouldn’t do coaching. Maybe I shouldn’t get into that space. So for anybody who’s kind of like, in that process, trying to figure out like, Okay, do I start one business? Okay, start two businesses start one first, and then just kind of see, see if it works. See if people like it, see if there’s a need to pivot and just track and track the numbers and track what’s there. And and then, cuz the only way that we ever are going to know if something is there or not is to go on the journey, like and do the whole journey to even if it’s messy, so because it’s been very messy in the last couple of years. I will say that.
Katie Brinkley 24:44
Yeah, I don’t think any of us were prepared with our businesses for what 2020 and part of 2021 has has thrown on our plates but I think that that absolutely is something that needs to be considered and it can be messy, but it is one of those That’s, that’s so worthwhile because it’s something that you’ve built and you’ve worked hard on. And it’s your own, you know, professional baby that you get to take care of and nurture and struggle with and help grow. And so I absolutely love it. Well, Michaela, this has been such a great conversation. Is there anything that I didn’t ask about during today’s discussion that you think is important to share? I don’t think so. At this point, just be present. Have fun and play a lot. There we go. Awesome. Well, where can we find out more about you and your business online? And where should we send our listeners? So Lincoln’s my
Michaela Smith 25:35
spot that’s home? And yeah, I would love to connect with anybody that says, hey, you know, I heard you on the podcast would love to connect, I would absolutely love to connect with with them as well. Just even just for a call and and meet each other. And then have fun, because that’s what I’m all about is presence and having fun.
Katie Brinkley 26:01
Awesome. Well, thank you, again, so much for coming on the show today.
Michaela Smith 26:05
Of course, thank you, I really appreciate that.
Katie Brinkley 26:08
huge thank you to mckaela for coming on the show today. I love the fact that she had started three businesses. I mean, I know how hard it has been just to start one. But three is so awesome. And I love the fact that she brought up selling a business because if you have started something and your passion is no longer there, or if you are finding yourself stuck with with where you are, and you feel like it’s time to move on selling the business is a great way to to still keep that that business alive and move on to your next big thing. So I love that we talked about selling your business, and I’m so happy that she brought up LinkedIn. If you’re not using LinkedIn as part of your overall online marketing strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. LinkedIn is so much more than just an online resume and a way to connect with with coworkers. I know I say this on a lot of episodes. But when I first got out of the corporate world, I never understood why anyone want to go to a networking event. I was like, why would you want to go talk about work after work with a bunch of strangers. But after starting my own business, I have seen how important it is to network. And that’s what LinkedIn is all about. It’s all about not necessarily Who is your ideal client and customer who can you do business with? But who can you network with so that you will be there top of mind when it does come up in a conversation with somebody else in their network. So if you’re not using LinkedIn yet as part of your overall marketing strategy. Absolutely. Now is the time to start if you have any questions about getting started with LinkedIn and using that for your online presence, feel free to just shoot me a DM over on LinkedIn on Instagram or shoot me an email Katie at Katie Brinkley calm but thank you again to Michaela for coming on the show today great episode and be sure to connect with her over on LinkedIn.
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at https://www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com/ connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.