In this Episode
[01:52] – Shanda talks with us about what a freedom lifestyle means.
[03:48] – She tells us, “Freedom, for me, is truly spending time intimately with people but also making a huge difference in the world and making more than enough money than you could possibly spend.”
[07:18]– We hear about Shanda’s use of “flex time” and how that has evolved over time. She explains how endurance training both changed how she “flexed” but also helped her become a strong finisher in every part of her life.
[09:57]– We discuss how the logistics of flex time work for Shanda every month, including using email autoresponders; specific voice-mail messages; and being unavailable for calls, texts, and emails.
[12:20] – Shanda tells us why HeartCore Business offers paid, unlimited vacation to their employees, and why that works so well.
[13:35] – We hear how working as a team is the way that everyone, including Shanda, in her company, is able to take the time off they need to stay refreshed and at the top of their game.
[15:42] – Stephan asked how to answer listeners who think this type of flexibility is impossible for their business and life.
[16:51] – Shanda stresses, “My company didn’t grow because I worked harder; my company grew because I actually broke the scarcity in my mindset by changing my schedule like this.”
[18:05] – Shanda relates stories of clients who have experienced great changes in their professional and personal lives by adopting flex time.
[23:30] – We hear how abundance comes from creating a plan and a schedule that works to serve you.
[23:58] – Stephan and Shanda discuss the benefit of doing “tempos,” intense times (90 days) of doing very specific projects several times a year, and why you can actually make more money by doing less overall and doing more in targeted areas.
[25:00] – We hear Shanda’s excitement about The Zone Event.
[27:42] – Shanda tells us her experience of starting her business, working seven days a week, and only making $2000 profit for the whole year. She explains how being strategic with her time has grown her company to five million dollars last year in sales, with a 35-37% profit margin.
[30:08] – We get into the importance of taking care of our physical and spiritual needs, and being generous with our resources.
[31:34] – Shanda tells us how the Bible has become her favorite personal-development book.
[33:42] – We get into the technical marketing side of The Zone Event and talk about “swipe files” and “evergreen webinars.”
[37:20] – Shanda talks to us about creating a consulting or coaching company and why she believes “the most powerful coaching/consulting business on the planet is the one your life has already taught you.”
[42:49] – She tells us about the four coaches she currently has in her life.
[43:22] – We hear of the value of finding the areas in your life that you are resistant to and moving toward those areas.
[44:33] – Shanda talks about the size of her team at HeartCore Business, how they work together, how they stay motivated, and how they are compensated.
[48:38] – She tells us about her company’s process of reviewing their work throughout the year and says, “Wealth is built by retaining clients; it’s not built on just getting them.”
[49:22] – Stephan and Shanda begin to talk about insurance as a wealth-building tool.
[51:34] – Stephan reminds listeners of the Optimized Geek, Episode #32, with Ray Poteet, about being your own bank and setting up Infinite Banking.
[53:53] – Stephan talks about types of insurance, including Key-Man, Errors & Omission, Disability, Travel, Liability, Medical, and Life insurance.
Hello and welcome to The Optimized Geek. I’m your host Stephan Spencer and today I have Shanda Sumpter. She’s the founder of HeartCore Business. She has a best-selling book called Core Calling: How to Build A Business That Gives You A Freedom Lifestyle In 2 Years Or Less. She’s a nationally recognized business coach author and speaker. When Shanda started in the commercial real estate business with Coldwell Banker, she used emails to build a $170,000,000 real estate empire in just 14 months in London and Hong Kong. She went out on her own five years ago. When she did, she didn’t have an email list, she didn’t have a business, she didn’t have a baby, but now she has 121,000 names on her email list, sales over $5,000,000 and an 18-month old baby named Zack. Shanda is proof that you can build a business on the back of an email list and that you can create a freedom lifestyle for yourself. She’s going to tell you all about how she takes amazing amounts of vacation time, she has her clients do this. She’s got an incredible story. Welcome Shanda, it’s great to have you.
Nice to be here, thanks for inviting me.
Yes, let’s start with what is a freedom lifestyle in your opinion?
That’s actually a great question. The funny thing is I don’t think I’ve actually ever been asked that. To me, I think everybody’s got a different variation of freedom but to me, it’s being able to spend your time doing you want when you want it and having enough money to be able to do that at will. For instance, I have always wanted to be a mom, and I’ve always wanted to be a wife, and I also have a very strong drive in the business world, it would be very easy for someone like me to be a workaholic. In fact, I am definitely a recovering workaholic. Ran my life so that I’m working all the time just really in the pursuit of making more money. The truth is that’s not freedom at all and I think that a lot of business owners miss that when they’re in the process of building their businesses. For me, a freedom lifestyle means that I’ve got enough time to be able to spend time with baby Zack, to spend time with my partner Ash, to be able to spend time with my family, have conversations with my girlfriends, go do spa days, but I’m also very active in working. Three weeks every month, I work harder than most people will ever work, I really work very hard. However, there’s still a hard stop at [4:00] when I’m at swimming lessons with my son. Out of all the swim lessons, I’ve missed three of them where the nanny’s done it, I’ve done the rest of them. The last week of every month, I take off. I don’t say this to brag or boast at all, I just say this because I’m always amazed at the entrepreneurs that I meet that are out in the world, they’re like, “I’ve got freedom, I’ve got freedom. I’m working for freedom or selling this concept,” but they’re not spending time with the people that they love. Freedom to me is truly spending time intimately with people but also making a huge difference in the world and making more than enough money than you could possibly spend.
You said you are a recovering workaholic. What did it take for you to make that transition because I also was a workaholic. It’s an addiction. It’s a socially acceptable one but you have to make a significant change to your habits, to your lifestyle, to kind of the ruts in your brain that you’re used to triggering and it’s uncomfortable. What’s the secret there?
Having a great coach I think is a great aspect. I interviewed Kim Kiyosaki, Robert Kiyosaki’s wife of the Rich Dad Poor Dad books. I interviewed Kim and one of the things I said to her when I was in workaholic mode, I said to her, “Do you have a coach?” And she’d laugh. She’s like, “I have five coaches.” They had a wealth coach, real estate coach, a fitness coach, a spiritual coach. They literally had five coaches. She said, “You know, that’s just what a lot of very powerful people do. They realize humbly they can’t get outside their own thought process. When you’re a workaholic, you truly believe you cannot take time off. You truly believe that you have to get this done.” I had a great coach for me at that time and I hired her because she made a ton of money and she had an incredible lifestyle and she homeschooled her children, she cooked dinner for her family, and at that time for me it was a lot of money, she was making about $300,000 a month. She was way ahead of me at that time. I was like, “I want that. I want to make $300,000 and I want to be able to live the lifestyle that she’s living.” She put me on a stretch where I had to work three days a week and I could only work three days a week. If you asked me what my secret was, it was sticking to the plan that I committed to even though every essence of my being wanted to work much more than I committed but I’m very good at following a plan. A great entrepreneur has got to be good at following a plan because if you can’t follow a plan and course adjust and keep committing to that plan all the way through, you’ll find that you’ll be a great starter and a shitty finisher. I followed the plan, I worked three days a week, I got super depressed. What I realized is that my work is what really defined me. When I was only working three days a week, I had all this space. What’s crazy is that I got so much more done because have you ever noticed before you go on vacation you’re on hyperproductivity mode.
You get everything done. Because I was on vacation mode every single week and working only three day work weeks, I had that energy every single week. I had to get everything done. My efficiency went through the roof but my depression went super high because I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. I realized I had no life. That was a rude awakening for me. I thought I had this great life, great friends, super social, busy busy busy. I thought I just had this really full life and I didn’t, I had a poor excuse for life and all I did was work, all I talked about was work, I didn’t know how to be anything but work. Even when I would go out and have fun, I still talked about work and I thought that’s what all my friends wanted to do too but what I didn’t realize is many of my friends actually had lives outside the time they spent with me. It was really, really, trippy.
You shifted from this three day a week structure to a one week off model at the end of the month. What prompted that?
When I got depressed on the three day week, I decided that I was going to start doing triathlons, and I got into endurance sports. The reason why I got into endurance sports is because I thought I always held about 12 or 15 pounds overweight that I really didn’t want on my body and I’ve been doing that all through high school, all through my 20s, and I just decided that if I was going to have this extra time then I wasn’t going to use the excuse that I was too busy to train consistently and so I got another coach. I started training for endurance sports and I learned this crazy thing which was the mind on endurance sports is like a highly efficient machine. Not only did it get happier because my endorphins went up but I started to become a really strong finisher where I used to only be a great starter not a really strong finisher so I started to become a really strong finisher. That’s a whole another story. But through that, I started learning that athletes actually recover before races. They do recover after races but the strategy is that you actually go into a race fully refreshed. I realized, “Wow, there’s such a correlation between endurance and being an entrepreneur and that is that us entrepreneurs are doing this all wrong. We’re working, working, working, until we either have adrenal fatigue, many women have, or men you end up losing your wives, or your family, or you cheat or something happens because you’re so far away from the real life that you wanted to live and. What happens is life makes you have a recovery session. You’ve got to lick your wounds and recover whether it’s in a detrimental fashion or it’s in a health fashion. Endurance athletes, they do it beforehand. I started keying into this and I started realizing that there’s many endurance athletes who are high-performing entrepreneurs, and I started really dissecting this way of growing a really robust business and that is you need to actually schedule in recovery time on a regular basis where there’s no email, you’re not having work meetings. It truly is off, like it’s completely off. I started doing that and what happened was my company started growing really fast and I started having better relationships and obviously a by-product of that is I got in ridiculous shape.
That’s awesome. When you say you’re off, you’re not checking email for an entire week, no assistant is going to bother you and say, “Hey, this is really urgent. I don’t know what to do about this.”
No. It’s called flex week in my company. Flex week is flex time. It’s the last week of every month and it’s very rare that I’ll take a day out of there. Every now and then I’ll take a Monday and say I’m going to work this Monday, I’ll let my company know I’m going to be available on Monday. Most of the time throughout the year, it is truly 100%. If you would interview my staff they would say, “When Shanda’s on flex we don’t call her, we don’t text her.” They may email me but I’m not going to answer. They know that I’m not going to answer. There’s usually an autoresponder on my email that says that I’m on flex week. I’ll also take off the month of December. In the month of December, it says, on my email, “I’m off for the month of December. I’ll be back in the office on January 2nd or this year I think it works out to be January 3rd next year where the Monday is.” I say that and all my emails will be deleted before I come back to the office because most of them will be irrelevant by the time I get here. As you know, when you take a vacation, you don’t want to come back to an email list that takes you a month to get through. If this is an emergency, please email my assistant, if this is accounting issue please email our accountant, otherwise have a great December, a great holiday season and email me back if this is important on January 3rd.”
Wow, that is amazing.
My assistant goes in so I have a very, very, very, private email for the month of December when I’m gone. There’s only two people who have access to that, my assistant and my book editor. If there is a dire emergency, like something really bad has happened in the office, my assistant can call me or she can forward something to that email. It’s very rare I ever get anything in that email. It’s just very rare because if there was something that urgent, my assistant would call me. My entire staff knows that nobody is allowed to call me, not my general manager, nobody is allowed to call me. They all have to go through my gatekeeper which is my assistant and they have the same respect from us. When they’re in Italy on vacation, we also have unlimited vacation inside my company, it’s paid. Anybody on my staff can take unlimited vacation throughout the year, it’s 100% paid and they just have to do a great job inside the company. We run our company like that because again, I want my staff to be fully recovered when we’re pushing, when we’ve really got something big on the plate and we’re working on stuff which is pretty much all year long. They’ve got to make sure that they’re recovering and they’re not running on low steam so I consider it their responsibility to make sure they’re recovered and not saying, “Oh my god, I need a vacation.” That doesn’t fly in my company.
Right. When you say you give unlimited amounts of vacation as long as they’re performing. What’s kind of the maximum time that you’ve given so far? Two months? Three months?
I don’t track it.
Oh, you don’t.
I don’t track it at all. My joint venture manager, right before our product launch, a lot of people would think I was crazy. Two weeks before our product launch, she was in Italy for 10 days. But while she left, she partnered with somebody else on the team to make sure that the communication was still happening with the partners that were mailing and supporting the launch. We truly work as a team inside this company.
Wow. Let’s say that you’re a consultant or a coach and you apply this model to your business. You take the entire month of December off. I guess you added all up and you take four months out of twelve right?
I did last year. Last year I took out four months out of twelve. Now, let me say something about flex time because again we’ve had some of our clients write about this in books and it’s not about taking my plan. My plan works great for me because I work really well, I’m actually thinking about changing my plan right now because now I have a toddler. I just want to spend more time with him but I also have this crazy drive. What I’m finding now is that because I’ve got swimming lessons and I’ve got music lessons and I really want to be a great mom, that definition of freedom, but I also don’t want my company to slow down on growth. What I’m finding is three weeks now, I’m just kind of got some good momentum. Taking off the week, almost I don’t need to take the week off now. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just my algorithms inside my body have changed. My life has changed now that I have a toddler. We’re now looking at doing two weeks a quarter which would actually cut my flex time down a week. It wasn’t designed like this because I need more time inside of my company, it’s more about the flex time working to have me feel recovered. Now, we’re looking at every quarter moving into next year taking off two weeks, so I’m out of the office two weeks of every quarter and then going to like another country or something like that. I’m gone for two weeks exploring the world with friends. We’re now calling groups of our friends. I’ve enrolled Ash, my partner, in this. We’re like setting up time next year with our friends so that we have different sets of friends that go with us to maybe China or whatever and we’d go for two weeks out of every quarter and then I’ll work a four-week work month but then i’ll still be done at [4:00] because family time is after that. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it makes sense. I imagine the listeners are going to feel like, “Wow. That sounds great but I could never pull that off because I am a coach or I’m a consultant.
I am a coach. I am a business coach. I still see one on one clients. To build a great business, you have to be really good at leadership which means that if you’re good at leadership, you’re great at sales. Another word for sales is enrollment and enrollment goes back to being a great leader. My clients are enrolled in this vision. It’s not about Shanda disconnecting and not being around, it’s about everybody leading a great life and it’s about me being able to be highly functioning as their coach and their consultant to support them. I lead groups of 400 clients and group programs. I lead personal clients. I have Voxer on my phone so I’ve got clients that are walkie talkie-ing me and they all know that at [4:00] I’m done and they all know right now that the last week of the month is flex week. Most of them have adopted it because I’m a strong leader. My company didn’t grow because I worked harder, my company grew because I actually broke the scarcity in my mindset by changing my schedule like this. Remember, my company grew working three days a week. I doubled in size working three days a week. You got to remember abundance and great business strategy. You having the ability to access a campaign or a strategy or an idea that’s going to make you millions or thousands or whatever it is that you want, it doesn’t come from a limiting thought process. If you really truly think that you can’t do that, that’s an indication for you to try it.
Would you say that all of your clients, most of your clients, or just some of your clients are adopting the flex week, kind of last week off of the month sort of schedule?
Well, my second tier clients, I have a second tier program that people can stay in forever, it’s called Marketing Mastery. Those people I would say about 85% of them do some sort of flex and a lot of them copy my flex just because they haven’t created their own.
Are they getting amazing results?
Yeah. Good. They definitely are. Emily travels around the world, to Bali, to Thailand, all over the place. She flies first class everywhere from the most part for what I understand she’s been flying first class for the last couple of years now. When I met her, she was only making just six figures. Now, I think she just put 53 people in a coaching program. Let’s just say she’s charging $600 a month which she might do for a group program. So she’s making $32,000 a month with that program. She’s making $381,000 a year and she’s travelling around the world. Now, that’s not her only program. I have another girlfriend and friend, half of my good close friends have created coaching and consulting companies because of this, because you can turn anything into a coaching and consulting company. I have another great friend of mine, Carrie, we just showed her how to build an email list and she just finished building the 14,000 people on her email list, she made $650,000 this year and she had a baby in the process and is a single mom. We’ve taught her now, because she makes great money, to be able to build. She now has built a salesperson to sell for her and she has a got an admin person that we’re moving on to full-time to make her life easier. She also has flex week. We have clients that are in the seven figures, they have flex time. We have clients who, God bless their hearts, who have gotten cancer in the middle of the year and have got to go on to chemo for extended periods of time, now their flex time is even grown because they just can’t work the way that they were working before and so we adopt flex time to their chemo and things like that so that they have extended periods of time and their companies are growing. We took one girl over the seven figure mark when she was dealing with her cancer and her life.
I took a six months sabbatical because I was just burned out, this was years ago. I was running my agency and I was living in New Zealand at that time. You can do this from anywhere and you can set your own schedule and as long as you have systems and great people in place, you can pull this off. I took almost six months off and it was fabulous. I didn’t have to go to the office, it was amazing.
It’s great but like I guess the message I’m trying to say is that I just want people to stop getting burnt out because I don’t think it’s your life and then business. I think business is a part of us and when done right, it should feel great. It doesn’t feel great if you are running yourself into the ground, it just doesn’t feel great. I limit my speaking so that I’m not on the road 12 months out of the year. I’m only on the road closest to my zone event which is actually coming up here in Los Angeles. Now, I’m speaking a lot because we’re going into the Zone Event and I want to bring awareness so that I can get as many people to come to the event as possible so I can help as many people as I can build businesses with these freedom models. I share this with you because if I didn’t know how to put marketing in the right order and I didn’t know how to prioritize marketing in the right order, this is a big piece for entrepreneurs living like this, then this would feel unattainable but this is a great example. I do a lot of speaking, I make myself very available for TV and things like that. Anything that I can do moving into the zone event, that’s because that’s the project at hand and it requires a lot. I don’t want to go speak on stages 12 months out of the year way far before my event because it’s not about me going and selling more products. I can do that through webinars. Last Friday, we put a webinar out. I’m very transparent, we made $15,000 off a webinar that we put out. That’s just a nice day, it was a nice hour. That will go on to probably at least double over the next couple of days with the follow-up system. I can make that type of money going and speaking on stages too. You can do $60,000, $80,000, $100,000 speaking off stages but if it requires me to go somewhere, get on a plane and it’s not in the prioritized time zone of the zone event which is my big event, if it’s not in proximity to that event, I don’t need to chase that money. I’ll do everything through online stuff and through now Facebook Live or live streams, or webinars where I can be at home and when I’m done, I feel like I’ve contributed enough. I’ve given my time, I’ve supported and now I’m going to be with my family. Does that make any sense?
Yeah, it does.
We don’t have to burn ourselves out. I think it’s really easy especially the more successful you get, it’s a double edged sword. At the very beginning, you think you need to take everything. Real estate agents have this problem. They need to work 24/7, seven days a week. That’s a mindset. The girl who showed me her first year in business, she made a million dollars selling real estate, she didn’t work on weekends. Do you not think everybody wanted her on the weekends, yes but she didn’t work on weekends. Abundance comes from actually creating a plan and a schedule around you that works to serve you. If you’re throwing yourself into the ground, you have to stop and just say, “Why do I think that’s okay?”
Yeah, it’s as much about the not-to-do list as with the to-do list.
It is but people say that all the time, but most people don’t live it. It’s like another great opportunity will come up in front of you and you’re like, “Okay, I got it. Let’s go.” It’s like, “No, just stop doing that to yourself, you’ll make more money if you do less and you actually do more in specific prioritization. I call them tempos where you work really hard for 90 day segments. You should do that twice a year and your company will just go ‘prrt’.
Yeah. I remember Carl White describing how he builds these bridges fully before he moves on to the next bridge where most people are working on a whole bunch of things at the same time like, “Oh, I want to start a podcast and I want to set up these email sequences and I want to do this affiliate program.”
You get it, you totally get it. You’re articulating it perfectly. That’s exactly what I’m saying. What is the rush?
If you only have 90% of the bridge built, that’s still is an unfunctional bridge. No cars can go across it. Just finish the darn bridge then start the next one.
I love it. That’s very well articulated. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Your Zone Event, when is that and where exactly? In Los Angeles?
I’m so excited. It’s just one of my favorite projects of the year. It’s in Los Angeles. It’s at the Western Hotel in Los Angeles right by the airport. It’s November 9th through 11th. If people want to learn about it, they can go to thezoneevent.com. It’s a very unique event. I know that a lot of people think that about their events but really here’s why I think it’s unique. We work on your business at the event. I run it like it’s a $2,000 workshop. Of course, I always make an offer every single event. I’m going to make an offer at the zone event to show people how to build their email list and show them how to sell to those email lists and scale their company but whether or not somebody purchases our offer at the event or not, they will walk out for instance like the webinar that I just did last week. We were taking that webinar and we’re taking all the swipe files and people will actually work on their own messaging and following the formula that we use so that they can actually run evergreen webinars that actually convert. People like our coaches will be there working with you, I’ll be there working with you. That’s just one piece of what we’re doing but we take apart the best marketing that’s worked over the last 12 months inside my company and we put basically blank slides for you to start building out your next 12 months working off exactly what worked in my company over the last 12 months and it’s going to be like two, three things. It’s not going to be 500 things that has you totally confused. You’ll really walk out with a very simple 12-month plan with actual marketing materials that we have approved and looked at and have sampled off of our tests and our purse, our swipe files, our follow-up series, all of that type of stuff. How do you really convert true buyers and customers so that you can make a bigger difference in the world. It’s a very cool event.
Yeah, that’s great. You’re very transparent. This is just a great example of that, sharing all your swipe files and marketing collateral that got those webinars filled and how it worked and lessons learned and so forth. In fact, even before we recorded this, we were chatting and you were sharing your revenues and profit margins and stuff and how everything went up when you switched to your flex time model and started just being much more focused and not being available all the time. Do you want to share any of that with the listeners?
Sure, yeah. I’m happy to share. When I was a workaholic, I’ll never forget my first year, I made $2,000 profit. That’s freaky. I worked out of a closet and I was working seven days a week and I couldn’t believe at the end that I made $2,000. I don’t even know how I lived to be quite honest. I had a massive tax bill at my time because I had no money and I was an entrepreneur. Every dollar that came in, I obviously spent it but with my expenses, my profit margins, I mean $2,000 at the end of the year and had a tax bill and I couldn’t understand how business really worked that way. I started moving down to this flex time, having recovery time and strategically building my company from a sound balanced mind and now I’ve grown a company that is yielding $5,000,000 a year, our profit margins are at 35% to 37% and what’s cool is that that’s after I’m paid, that’s after everybody’s paid. I share that because a good company should be–I think Walmart’s at 35% profit margin, I don’t mind sharing that type of stuff because I think a lot of times people don’t look at their PNLs. They’re only looking at the money coming in the door and I just really want people to look at their company and build it properly. You know what I mean? Build it, understand your profit margin and pay yourself good money. You don’t pay yourself nothing and then never buy a house. None of that makes sense. You’re going to have to pay your taxes. I live in California so taxes are ridiculous and you’re always finding ways to try and wealth build differently but at the end of the day it’s hang out with smart people, ask smart people how they’re doing it and play the game the way it’s meant to be played, and look at your profit margins and grow accordingly. I don’t pay myself $100,000 a year to not pay taxes. I pay myself properly. Last year, I paid myself half a million dollars a year, the year before that I paid myself $300,000 a year. I just share this with you because first of all, I don’t know how much money you really need because I still have a hard time figuring out how to spend it all. I just do. We’re all on this hype to make millions and millions and millions and millions. I don’t know why. I give 10% away to God, I tithe 10% to anything that spiritually feeds me. I just did it to Joel Osteen just recently. I’m tithed to him. I just really think it’s important to be a good person, think generously, give back, you definitely get what it is that you seed but most importantly it’s not just important to tithe but it’s important also to take care of yourself because if you don’t have the self love to take care of yourself, then you’re just playing a dangerous game with your health and with your ego chasing something called money that’s never going to make you happy. Be happy and make a ton of money in the process.Hang out with smart people, ask smart people how they’re doing it and play the game the way it’s meant to be played. Click To Tweet
Yeah. I wholeheartedly agree. The tithing too is important. You don’t want to count stuff that you’re doing that ends up just benefiting the person directly and nobody else like it doesn’t go on to serve others and feed others. If you give a homeless person $20, that’s not part of your tithing. That’s just the extra because that person’s going to use it for themselves alone and not share the wealth and share that energy. The 10% is just the tithing piece and then on top of that–that’s an interesting thing too is that pretty much just guaranteed that you will get more in return from the universe in the bible. That’s one of the things. You’re just going to get more out of it.
I’m reading the bible for the first time, cover to cover right now. I don’t know if you know Isabela, she owns a company called Beyond Diet. I think they’re just over like in their $20,000,000 mark company and she’s like this humble, sweet, amazing girl and she homeschools her kids. The piece that’s most interesting about her is her number one most important job is to be a good Christian wife to her husband. She always inspires me because when I call her, we talk scripture, we talk this, and she’s the one who told me, I was like, “I really want to read the bible cover to cover but I find it hard to read. I fall asleep, or I don’t understand the words, or it’s too complex for me.” It’s funny right, like you just have all these limiting beliefs and she’s like, “Read this one. It’s like the new beginners guide to the bible.” I’ve been reading it and it’s like the best personal development book I have ever read. I mean, it is so good. I’m sitting there going, “Why do we run around and say I’m spiritual, not religious?” That’s just another religion. It’s like you’re actually being what you don’t want to be. I just stopped all of that stuff and said, “I’ read a course on miracles, I’ve worked with shamans, I’ve gotten to psychics.” I’ve just been on the seeking quest my entire life and I baptized myself but I never really stayed in scripture. It’s very fascinating. Now my nanny’s reading the bible. It’s just interesting when you really take on the plan and follow the plan. I don’t want to digress too much but it’s like all these stuff that’s said about how limiting the bible is or judgmental, it’s not. It’s who’s telling you these. The bible says things like don’t cheat on your partner because I’ll forgive you but your human friends will probably brand you and never forget that you’ve broken your integrity and your word and your reputation will be tarnished. The bible just says all these great things to protect you, it’s very fascinating.
I’ve been taking Kabbalah classes.
I did that too.
I see that similar thing where it’s the best self-help sort of movement where you get this very practical knowledge but it also feeds you. Pretty exciting.
That’s awesome. That’s great that you’re doing that. I did Kabbalah too. It’s fantastic.
Let’s go back to the lifestyle design sort of stuff and wealth building. Just quickly, let’s define for folks who don’t understand all the internet marketing terminology, swipe file and evergreen webinar.
Okay so swipe file is basically imagine taking an email that I’ve sent out to my email list or we’ve posted a message on Facebook, have you ever posted something on Facebook it’s got no engagement, no likes, no shares, just nothing. A swipe file is a way for you to take something that I’ve done and you just mirror it. I teach business but you can take my swipe file and you could put health words on top of it. You basically change the words where I say maybe make money, you would say get in shape. It’s a way that the formatting of the way that I’m writing my emails or my posts are written in a way to the point that they’re direct and they capture people’s attention really quickly. Not all emails are post work and that’s why at the zone event when I’m giving this type of stuff at the zone event and sharing what’s worked and you can copy it, it actually gives you a high advantage and shortens your testing span so that it works quicker. In all and all, it will work quicker. Swipe file is just basically that. It’s emails, marketing, that we’ve sent out on the web through email list that have really had a great open rate, really had a great clickthrough which means that people have actually just raised their hand to work with us or personally purchased from us.
The best thing too when you have a swipe file that’s provided by the marketer who sent all these campaigns and they’re willing, like you are, to give all the data on this is what worked and what didn’t work otherwise you’re flying blind. The idea of a swipe file is that usually you’re just capturing emails, Facebook Ads, magazine ads, and so forth that you see out in the wild that look compelling that you think work but you don’t know for sure and you’re just putting it all into a file or a folder in your computer and reviewing that later and seeing what you’re going to copy or kind of R&D, rip off and duplicate. With what you’re doing, you’re sharing what happened on the back-end.
100%. Then evergreen webinar is this thing that everybody wants which is a webinar that is playing, it’s been recorded and is playing while you sleep. It’s playing seven days a week where people can come to that webinar and they can watch a presentation and take advantage of your offer. The cool thing about that is that’s happening while you’re spending time on your flex time. That’s making you money when you’re taking some time off and recovering. What’s important that I teach that I think is really important part is how do you get people to that, that are your ideal client base. When you’re suffering around something and someone makes you an offer that will solve that suffering, you feel like a miracle had just happened and so you want the right people to come watch your emails and that’s what I speak about everywhere is how do you get the right audience to watch your webinars, to open up your emails, to join your email list, how do you get those right people and that’s what I think we do very, very, well. We’ll discuss all of that at the zone event. We’ll give all of that at the zone event and it really is about you making more money and also taking a good amount of time off to enjoy your life in the process.
Yeah, good stuff. Let’s circle back to this idea that you said earlier that you can turn anything into a coaching or consulting company. Can you elaborate a bit on that because I think some real world examples from clients where they thought, “I’m stuck in this kind of business model because I basically created a job for myself, I don’t know how to get out of it.” Can you give a few examples of those?
I’m looking at a picture right now on my wall with a woman by the name of Christine and she thought she need to go get a certification in holistic weight loss and so she did. She went and spent thousands of dollars to get a certification. This is a lot of people’s story because she thought she needed to get more education to build a business so that she could be financially stable and free, eventually free. She started a business consulting around that. I think that’s something that people, “Okay, great. She got a certification to be a health coach, a weight loss coach.” She’s not doing that. That’s just not what she’s doing now. She started there, she learned how to write emails and how to attract an ideal client base to buy her product on weight loss but she didn’t love it. What I think is the most powerful coaching and consulting business on the planet is the one your life has already taught you. What I mean by that is Christine, I’ve known her since we were in high school. She’s always been the girl who walks into a room and everybody turns around and looks at her. She has more friends than anybody I know, she’s got crazy charisma, and what she does is she runs her feminine energy in a way that attracts everybody to her. She, especially men, loved Christine. She’s now married. However, Christine can walk into a room and every man turns and looks, they just do. For women that are having a hard time meeting the right man, Christine now teaches them how to fearlessly flirt in a way that’s very authentic to them. For women like me, I obviously am engaged and have a baby and have found my guy but I had to hire a coach to figure out how to get over myself. I would go to restaurants and I would just hang out with my girlfriends, order a bottle of wine, and eat and then I would go home. I shut down my energy. I’m sharing this with you because Christine now has a business around something she authentically was already great at since she was in high school and now she gets paid great amounts of money to work with her. Everybody has something that they don’t have to learn the perfect messaging around because they are already so good at it. I think a lot of people are trying to create businesses and they end up hating them even if they make a lot of money because they’re actually not selling something that is organically authentically them. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it does.
Some people, I’ve seen men who are great at numbers and great at accounting and they could charge $25,000 to teach CEOs how to read their numbers. They love that stuff, they geek out on it. Great, awesome. That’s fantastic. That’s a great consulting business. I’ve seen stay at home moms that just want to make an extra $5,000 a month and they just cook healthy meals for their family. I’ve seen one woman grow a seven-figure business around just that.
She literally creates healthy meal plans and shopping list and she sells subscription-based products where people can purchase that. You get your shopping list at home and you get these healthy menus so that you can cook for your family so that they eat healthfully. Now she’s building a whole consulting business around it but she’s already grown a seven-figure company around it, but she only started out wanting to do $5,000 a month. My point is I don’t care if you garden really well, if you can make musical instruments and you want to share that with people, my parenting coach we do montessori training. My parenting coach, I taught her how to build a targeted email list and taught her how to take her talents of what she does, stop working for peanuts, and start charging great money. She now has parents all across America and Canada that pay her on retainer to Skype with them and teach them how to set up their home montessori and then teach them how to parent montessori style. Anything can be taken and created a virtual business around. I haven’t found anything yet, I built that $170,000,000 in real estate sales through literally the same process that I teach people how to do this but what I did was I found that I built a company around something I didn’t love and so this is why I say if you keep chasing money, it’s not going to make you happier but building a lot of money and making a lot of money around something that fires you up is awesome and I’m going to tell you the thing that fires you up is the thing that you’re best at. It really is. You might downgrade it or you think I don’t actually want to teach that to people but the truth is when you open up and stop being selfish and you start helping people with that thing that you’re really good at, you’re going to find that very quickly you’ll scale, very quickly you will build, and you will love it because it feels effortless to you, there’s nothing to prepare.
How many coaches have you hired simultaneously? You mentioned Robert Kiyosaki’s daughter?
Wife. Yeah, they don’t have kids. Right now, I always have an endurance coach because whenever I slow down on my endurance training, the capability inside my mind, my capacity shrinks and so I have an endurance coach. I have a business coach and then I have a MasterMind for networking that I am a part of. That’s what I have on my roster right now.
Oh, I also have a parenting coach so now I have four. I have a parenting coach.
Awesome. You mentioned one of your clients always flies first class. Is that something that you recommend?
No. It’s not important to everybody. I don’t have any of those crazy little tactical things, that’s not what it’s about. I like to fly first class and I want to fly first class and that’s for comfort. I like it. I gave her instructions to fly first class because she had resistance around it at one point. Now she flies first class all the time because she no longer has resistance around it. Some people don’t care. If you don’t care then great. Why spend money if you don’t care? It doesn’t matter to me. I think everybody is just unique. Whatever you’re resisting now, whatever you’re fighting so hard to have an opinion about, that’s actually where you should be heading into.
Yeah, that’s kind of the law of attraction. Instead of allowing or resisting, you’re kicking up all this resistance in front of the path, the vortex basically.
Yeah and if people actually followed that, they would scale their excitement in life so much quicker but they don’t because they like to preach that again but they don’t actually like to do it.
Yeah, that’s true. I’m curious about the size of your enterprise, is it mostly systemized? Do you have a small lean team or do you have dozens of staff?
No. We have a small lean team, it is growing because we are very hands on with our client base. Generosity is the business model that runs our company and so not that I will always make everybody happy because not every single person thinks that we’re generous but we definitely are. We run through our client roster list and we monitor if we’re losing a client meaning if they’re not showing up in one of our groups, or we haven’t heard them on calls or they missed an event or something like that in MasterMind. We’re very hands on and you need staff for that but we’re still quite lean. I think we have eight coaches right now and an internal team of five employees and we’ll probably add another three employees over the next 12 to 16 months to that to our home base. We are building out a call center right now to help our clients sell because we’re very good with enrollment and many of our clients are very good at enrollment and we have an interesting system inside of our company to help them get even better at enrollment by feeding them additional leads to practice and we will personally burn through the cost of those leads to help our clients get better. We have a really neat company I think but it is still pretty lean.
Very cool. What sort of systems are kind of at the heart of it that make it so profitable and scalable?
Our staff is paid on performance so they have got small bases and then there’s unlimited ability to grow their incomes so we have sales team members that are making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year and coaches that are also making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year but they didn’t start there, they may have started at $2500 a month. We have a mantra inside this company, I personally from experience, because I’m so generous, I have a tendency of wanting to pay more money and give people what they want right off the bat but I’ve learned really quickly that I’ve ruined a lot of great people that way and people just don’t appreciate themselves or the job or the opportunity unless they’ve worked for it.
Yeah, that’s a really important point and I learned this actually from Kabbalah this idea of Bread of Shame that if you make it too easy for them, you can kind of hand it to them on a platter, they don’t feel like they’ve earned it and then all these side effects come. Lottery winners getting all these money end up blowing it.
It happens all the time. I lived through that experience too many times to do it again. If someone’s enrolled in our vision, they will jump on board and there’s every reason for them not to jump on board because they’re not getting paid a ridiculous amount of money. However, through creating value inside the company and helping the company grow income, they start to get a percentage of that. Usually by year three, between two and three, they start to see the efforts of their work just like when entrepreneurs start to yield and then by year three or four, they should be in a good position inside the company.
Do you do a lot of launches? Or is it just kind of throughout the year it’s just going?
We’re not a product launch company. I have no problems with it at all. We’re just not built that way, we’re not built on info products. We do have a couple of info products but with our info products, you also get accountability coaching for five months depending on the campaign were running. Again, we’re so hands on. I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Oh Shanda, only a small percentage of your people will ever get results and ever do anything with what you teach and so you just have to live by that.” I have never felt like that sat well with me and so we’re always–just like when I speak off the stage and get off the stage, I ask myself, “Where could I have done better?” We are always, every year, we stand in front of our clients pretty much naked and let them tell us what they would have liked to have seen different in the last year and we humbly accept the feedback and make tweaks inside of our company to become stronger the next year. We build off of that. We want our clients to stay with us so there’s a cost to acquiring a client and our clients typically don’t leave. 62% of them out of our first year program, 60% or 62% so far as we’re yielding right now stay with us for a second, third, and fourth year. Wealth is built by retaining clients. It’s not built on just getting them.
Pretty good. Do you have any last kind of tip or strategy that you’d like to share with our listeners in terms of wealth building that we haven’t already discussed?
Yeah. I highly recommend that everybody gets some sort of an insurance policy for a rainy day. Years ago, I started taking a percentage of everything I made and putting it into a slush account which made me cashflow wealthy to be able to invest in things to grow my company but it also brought me to the awareness that if something happens, God bless if you ever get sued like we’ve been sued, I’m sure you’ve probably been sued. There’s unfortunate people out there that like to play that game. They’re not just suing, there’s economy breaking down. Right now, we’re looking at the fact that Uber and a lot of these car manufacturer–I just signed up for a self-driving car for TESLA. We’re running into an economy that is slowing down on jobs available. This place is changing. This world that we know of is changing all the time. You’re going to have some good years and some bad years. I recommend that you find some sort of insurance plan. I literally have an insurance fund. I have one that I ensured my mother for high death benefits. When she’s older, I can borrow from it and take care of her in a home if I need to so it doesn’t affect my family. Also, when she passes away, it gives me a great income to take care of my family. It’s almost like I paid for my own inheritance. Creating insurance plans, becoming your own bank. There’s books written about it. You really need to think outside of just the cash flow and getting the cash flow even if you’re on a cash crunch. It is so important to get with some smart people and ask some smart people what they’re doing and find some sort of a model or a plan that works for you that you can commit to because life can get really tough. It’s not a matter of if it’s going to get tough, it is absolutely going to get tough. If you are not set up for it, it’s just like, “Why put yourself through that?” I think that’s important.
Yeah that’s great. There’s an entire episode of The Optimized Geek dedicated to being your own bank and setting up infinite banking. Listeners, definitely check out that episode. That was an interview with Ray Poteet. We’ll put a link in the show notes to that episode as well as all the stuff that we talked about in this episode. Any particular insurance that you’d like to recommend?
I don’t even know if I’m allowed to do that but just because I teach wealth–I don’t know what the liabilities are. Now I do infomercials and things like that.
What do you have that’s out of the ordinary?
I think a great one that’s underused is insuring your parents or insuring your partner. The truth is your parents are going to pass away. If they’re still alive, they’re going to pass away. You can insure your parents even at a high elderly age. It has a high death benefit. It’s tax-free money that comes to you. It’s 100% tax-free money that comes to you. I recommend that’s a no brainer, it’s a very inexpensive way to give yourself a retirement or inheritance that isn’t taxed by the government. I also like these strategies where you’re paying into your own life insurance. I just was learning about a leveraged version of that. Again, you really should go talk to someone. I love David DeAngelo. He’s great. He’s worked with Tony Robbins. He’s a fantastic guy, super honest, very much believes in God. He’s doing a lot with Christian radios lately and TV. He’s a great, great, guy, always available to help.
That’s Eben Pagan, David DeAngelo’s pen name, yes.
No, Not Eben Pagan.
Dave DeAngelo is his pen name so he wrote Double Your Dating, is that who you’re talking about?
Oh, no, no. David DeAngelo is an actual, financial planner but he only deals in insurance. I have financial advisors that can do insurance but they don’t do insurance like David DeAngelo does.
Got it. If you have a contact, email or something, or website for David that we can include in the shownotes, that would be great.
Listeners, just for your information, the kinds of insurances that you could consider, this is not advise because I’m not qualified to give financial advice or legal advice or anything like that, I’m not a lawyer but there’s key man insurance, there’s error and omissions insurance, disability insurance, there’s travel insurance, there’s liability insurance and obviously medical and life. There’s some insurances that you definitely going to want to look into, like I have disability insurance, because you never know what could happen and that’s expensive, it’s a lot more expensive than life insurance. If something happens to you and you can’t work and you have to look at the fine print of these different policies. A travel insurance can be really cheap but then they don’t pay out. If you go on and you look at the reviews, they’re horrible.
The insurance I’m talking about is more playing with life insurance in a way that really sets up you and your family to win.
Yeah, and that’s more of the infinite banking being your own bank sort of stuff. Got it.
The whole game is not trying to get away from taxes, it’s how to grow your money and not lose your money and how to grow your money tax-free.
Excellent. Well, thank you so much Shanda. This has been a fabulous episode and I really appreciate you being so transparent with your numbers and your strategies and everything. It’s going to be a really valuable episode for our listeners. Thank you again.
You’re so welcome.
Alright listeners. Be sure to check out The Optimized Geek website, optimizedgeek.com where the shownotes will be, the transcript of the episode and we’ll have a checklist of all the action items to take from this episode and you can download that as a PDF. Definitely check that out and we’ll catch you on the next episode. This is Stephan Spencer signing off.
Links and Resources:
- HeartCore Business
- Core Calling: How to Build a Business That Gives You a Freedom Lifestyle in 2 Years or Less!
- The Zone Event
- Optimized Geek, Episode #32, with Ray Poteet
- David J. D’arcangelo
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Take the time to think about what a freedom lifestyle would look like for you. What would you do if you took 1 week out of the month off, or only worked 3 days a week?
☑ Look closely at the times during the year that you are most productive (i.e. before or after vacations, doing certain types of projects, etc.). Use that information to establish flex time that leaves you more refreshed.
☑ When you take time off, are you really off? Do you sneak in calls, emails, or research? Commit to being completely off the grid in order to get the most benefit from you time away.
☑ Taking “flex” time is very important for recovery and productivity. Make it a priority to disconnect often from your regular schedule.
☑ Identify tasks you can block together that will enable you to be more focused and increase your productivity.
☑ Make a schedule and stick to it. You can always adjust it when you need to, but committing to your schedule will help you accomplish projects more quickly and efficiently.
☑ What should be on your do-not do list? This list is just as important as your to do list. Figure out the tasks that can be delegated, and stop doing them!
☑ Understanding your profit margins and your P & L reports is important for you to see how you can grow your business. If you don’t have time or don’t know how to review your financial performance, hire someone to coach you on it.
☑ Check in with yourself to make sure that your business is making you happy. If you are finding yourself burnt out and addicted to working, you are probably not working in a space that fulfills you.
About Shanda Sumpter
From having $500 to her name to running a multimillion-dollar company, entrepreneur lifestyle specialist, Queen Visionary and founder of HeartCore Business, Shanda Sumpter, found the secret to success and now she is sharing it with the world in her bestselling book, “Core Calling: How to Build a Business that Gives You a Freedom Lifestyle in 2 Years or Less!” Shanda is turning old-school business advice on its head and teaching people how to build an audience first. Her goal is to take the “hard” out of business and enable people to live the life they’ve always dreamed of. Through her business coaching, her book and her tailored series of online marketing courses, Shanda presents a step-by-step system to take participants out of the daily grind and into a life they love. She lives with her partner and her son on the coast of California, where she runs her business from her oceanfront home office. For more information, visit www.HeartCoreBusiness.com.