Consider the Wildflowers

005. Candice Coppola: From Broke and Ashamed to Financial Freedom, a complete Money Mindset Transformation.

August 11, 2022 Candice Coppola
Consider the Wildflowers
005. Candice Coppola: From Broke and Ashamed to Financial Freedom, a complete Money Mindset Transformation.
Show Notes Transcript

“The money… thats not my thing”. On the brink of broke and about to lose her business, how an unexpected bill from the IRS became the wake up call this Louis Vuitton loving entrepreneur needed to completely transform her mindset about money. If you’ve ever found yourself burying your head in the sand so to speak when it comes to money, today’s interview is a MUST LISTEN! 

Candice shares openly and honestly about almost losing her business, borrowing money from Grandma Vera to pay payroll, and avoiding the IRS, all due to her complete lack of understanding about her business finances. You’ll learn the cloud-parting moment when she finally  figured out that money didn’t have to be a source of shame or fear, and how this former “non-money” person became obsessed with knowing her numbers. 

The best part? Now she is empowered to make decisions based on facts and not fears. 


Candice Coppola: (00:00)
And I quickly found myself in an incredible amount of debt and also really depressed. And when you put debt on top of depression, on top of anxiety, on top of poor decision making on top of having to keep everything perfect. I kind of felt like, do you remember that movie? Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead?

Shanna Skidmore: (00:22)

Candice Coppola: (00:24)
oh my gosh.

Shanna Skidmore: (00:25)
Never even heard of this, Candice

Candice Coppola: (00:26)
You have to watch this movie. It's with Christina Applegate. She works in this office and her boss tells her that she has to, no matter what is happening, she always has to say I'm right on top of that, Rose. No matter if the ship is sinking, everything has to be perfect. And that's also what I was carrying around. And things got so, so, so bad. I couldn't pay my employees. I had no money. Like I was moments minutes away from losing my business. And I say that in all seriousness, my luck had run out.

Shanna Skidmore: (01:02)
You are listening to Consider the Wildflowers, the podcast, episode five when Real Housewives of New Jersey, Danbury Correctional Facility, and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead all, make it into your conversation, you know, it's going to be a good episode. From broken and ashamed to finding freedom in her finances, Candice shares the hardest parts of her journey with complete openness, grace and a whole lot of humor. This episode is raw and real and an absolute must - listen. If you dig professional bios, here goes. Candice Coppola is an author, podcast host, business coach and entrepreneur, who believes that you shouldn't have to do business or happy hour alone. As a successful entrepreneur who grew a business from the spare bedroom of her home into a multi-country, multi six figure company, it's safe to say she's navigated the bumpy road of entrepreneurship. She started her first company Jubilee Events during the great recession in 2008. With no experience and no contacts, she grew it into a recognizable brand and team. Over 12 years, she worked with clients from all over the world and produced events in excess of $1 million. She launched the Power and Purpose Podcast in 2018, a show that explores how to build a profitable business with purpose and the stories behind successful entrepreneurs who have. Candice and her audience dig in and have meaningful conversations about business and life. As they explore the strategies and techniques that build profitable businesses. Her podcast, rated five stars ,sits on the apple podcast charts as one of the top 100 podcasts in the entrepreneur category. Candice's work and voice can be seen in many publications, but most recently, and most notably in her two books, The White Dress in Color: Inspirations for the bride, and The White Dress Destinations: the definitive guide to planning the new destination wedding. Her favorite color is pink, she's obsessed with all things skincare and Bravo TV. She's always overdressed and now lives in beautiful Barbados with her husband and two pups. Catch her on Instagram for business advice and tips, but stay for the island life and house plants. Okay. Formal introductions over here we go. Hey, it's Shanna. And this is Consider the Wildflowers, the podcast. For the past 15 plus years, I've had the honor to hear thousands of stories from entrepreneurs around the world. As a former fortune 100 financial advisor turned business consultant, I have a unique opportunity to see the real behind the highlight reel. I'm talking profit and loss statements, unpaid taxes, moments of burnout, and those of utter victory, or as my husband says, the content everyone is wondering, but not many are talking about. And now I'm bringing these private conversations to you. Hear the untold stories of how industry leaders, founders, and up and coming entrepreneurs got their start, the experiences that shaped them and the journey to building the brands they have today. Stories that will inspire and reignite, encourage to redefine success and build a life and business on your own terms. Welcome wildflower. I'm so glad you're here.

Shanna Skidmore: (04:01)
Okay. Candice, I'm really excited for you to share your story today. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Candice Coppola: (04:08)
Shanna, thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to share my story.

Shanna Skidmore: (04:12)
It has been really fun. We have just kind of gotten to know each other the last, what few months and I just feel like we're such kindred spirits. I love getting to talk about business and numbers and all the things with you, but before we dive into how you started to really love your numbers and figure out this business side of doing business, will you just take us all the way back to life before business and those really early days how'd you get started?

Candice Coppola: (04:35)
I got started at the very ripe age of 26. I had no idea what I was doing. I was working for a medical practice at the time, and that was really like my first legit job. I had gone to college and majored in art history. So I had no business background and I really had no business owning a business if I can be completely honest. I started off my first business, which was a wedding planning business, and I had never planned a wedding. Could you believe that? I started a business doing something that I had never done before and I'll even go a step further and say like, I had never really been invited to a wedding before outside of being like someone's flower girl randomly when I was a child. So I, for some reason had this crazy idea. The universe gave me this crazy idea that I needed to become a wedding planner. It was my calling. I feel like I got bit by a bug. And I think someone listening probably has experienced the same thing when they started their business. Maybe they had a little bit more experience, but I had no experience in planning weddings, and I had zero experience in business. I had, I had no idea how to create a spreadsheet. I had no idea what cashflow was. I had no idea what marketing was. But I was determined and I figured out a lot on my own own. And this is back in like the dark ages of 2007. It's a different ball game these days.

Shanna Skidmore: (06:02)
Oh totally.

Candice Coppola: (06:03)
Yeah. I like to say I've been around since Moses. I've been around a long time, before Instagram and uh, I was able to figure out so much on my own. I think I just had this burning desire and tenacity to make a name for myself and to do something for myself. I knew that I didn't wanna line someone else's pockets and I wanted to create a life and a career that served my purpose and filled me with joy every day. I was so tired of that rat race, that 45 minutes driving back and forth to an office that I hated working for a person I didn't particularly like

Shanna Skidmore: (06:41)
. Yeah.

Candice Coppola: (06:42)
And my business really took off. It took about six months for me to get my first client. And then from there it was like gangbusters.

Shanna Skidmore: (06:51)
Wow. Okay. So where were you living at the time?

Candice Coppola: (06:56)
Well, I opened up my company, Jubilee Events in Connecticut where I was born and raised.

Shanna Skidmore: (07:01)
Okay. So you were working in this medical practice. I mean just this flash of inspiration or were you on, I mean, was Pinterest. Pinterest was a thing back then, right?

Candice Coppola: (07:11)
It was, yeah, I think so.

Shanna Skidmore: (07:13)
How were you? Like, I wanna be a wedding planner?

Candice Coppola: (07:15)
I was, yeah, I know. It's really random. I was on the couch with appendicitis. And, um, I had had my, I worked for a medical practice. I went to work that morning with my appendix, about to burst. I was in so much pain. I drove the 45 minutes, sat down at my desk, opened the office and I had to call my husband at the time to come pick me up within like five minutes. I felt like I was going to collapse. So anyway, I had appendicitis, I was out of work. They wanted me to come back the next day. Yeah. And I was on the couch and I caught this TV show whose wedding is it? Anyway. And this used to be a TV show on TLC. It was about wedding planners. And it was begging the question, whose wedding is it? Is it the brides? Is it the grooms? Is it the planners? Is it the families? And it just followed wedding planners around. And I said, oh my God, like, this is my call. I have to do this.

Shanna Skidmore: (08:04)
Yeah. Oh my goodness. Okay. So tell me, like, what did you do first? How did you come up with your name? I mean, I think even coming up with your name is so much harder sometimes than people, you know what I'm saying? Like that was such, I remember being like, what do you call your company? Let me Google that.

Candice Coppola: (08:20)
I know, I feel like I was way more creative at 26 than I am now at 40. I feel, I feel like I had the ability to be more clever yeah, back then. But I just pulled out of the thesaurus and I started looking up words and words that were adjacent to each other. There's this great tool called visual, thesaurus that I've used for decades now. And, uh, it's on the, you can look it up. It's And I just started plugging in words and finding words that were adjacent to other words. And I was able to develop a business name, but the first thing I really did was I sat down to write a business plan. And I, I put all of this. I was buying books off of Amazon when it's still a book, just a bookstore. And I was learning about business from these books and writing this business plan. And I wrote this beautiful business plan that I actually printed out and I dropped it off at the doorstep of my parents for them to read and give me their feedback. And I just put so much effort into those early days. Yeah. I spent about a year planning out my business, figuring out the name, the logo, the website, the branding, the business plan, the services, the product all while still working at this job that I hated.

Shanna Skidmore: (09:26)
Oh, wow. Okay.

Candice Coppola: (09:28)
Yeah. Knowing that I was gonna quit.

Shanna Skidmore: (09:30)
Got it. Yeah. Okay. So did you get a - how did you get your first client? How did this come about?

Candice Coppola: (09:36)
I was really good at SEO. So I've been building websites since I was 15 years old. And I've always had a blog and I had a live journal at one time. I'm really dating myself, but I told you guys, I go way back and um, so I built my own website and I'm just really good at SEO so my first customer found me on Google.

Shanna Skidmore: (09:59)
Wow. Wow. Okay. And did you have, here's my package. Here's my price. I mean, how did you create that first pricing structure?

Candice Coppola: (10:08)
Guys, my first price for a full service planning. And if you know anything about wedding planning, it's a lot of work. And if you've ever planned a wedding yourself, you know, that it takes forever it's it's a year long process. I think my first price point for full service wedding planning and design was $3,995. It's like outrageously cheap in comparison to where I went into what people charged these days. But I just made it all up. I just literally made it all up on my own.

Shanna Skidmore: (10:41)
Right. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, Candice, FYI, I have talked to people who charge like $500 for their first planning. So I mean, you know, you work with planning wedding planners all the time. So, I mean, when you have no idea, like you just don't know what you don't know. Okay. And so you went through that first client and was that tell me kind of the aha moments, not I'm sure there was some pricing aha moments, but walk me through and I think it's just side note. I think it's so great. I did this for a year as well. You have to try the services out and you learn. You build the packages better when you get out there and do it. So anyways, what were some aha moments that you had with that first client?

Candice Coppola: (11:23)
Oh, I had so many,  a lot, not related to money, but I had so many aha moments in the early days. You know, it took me about six months to get that first client. And then of course through their wedding was about a year out or thereabouts. So I had all this time to really cut my teeth in the industry. And I was out there introducing myself to people, networking, making a name for myself, and I hadn't even planned a wedding yet.  I might have fibbed a little and pretended as though my experience was a lot greater than what it truly was just to get my foot in the door, but I really prioritized networking and meeting people and building that brand awareness while I was cutting my teeth on this first wedding. And that first wedding led to another wedding led to another wedding. I can remember being in my first consult feeling so terrified and FYI, my first consult, I didn't book the client. And I don't think it was anything to do with me. It just wasn't the right fit or whatever. But I learned so much in those early years. And I was able to grow a, a six figure business in the first two years. I, I don't know, like if I could pinpoint one specific thing that led to that success, because it's not easy to do. And especially in today's climate, it can be very hard because it's competitive. There's a lot of people, the market feels saturated. And of course, if you're charging $500, six figures is like years away. Right. But I think really, and truly one of the biggest, one of the biggest aha moments for me in those first two years was the power of relationships. And how those relationships helped me to build my business.

Shanna Skidmore: (13:03)
Yeah. And would you say relationships with others in the industry relationships with a client? All of the above?

Candice Coppola: (13:09)
All the above. But especially relationships I built in the industry and how they referred their customers to me, one of my, my first smart choices I made was I researched people in my market and I identified people who were in front of my clientele that I wanted to attract. I don't know if I read that in a book or if I came up with that on my own but I knew that in order to get my first client, I had to be adjacent to somebody who was already working with those types of people.

Shanna Skidmore: (13:40)
So did you reach out, like, I think one of the hardest things now with everybody being, you know, our inboxes are full and they stay full. I, I hear a lot from my students and clients. Like how do you network, how do you reach out? Especially online. So were you just emailing people? Were you calling them, how were you, were you going to events? Like how were you meeting these other people that you wanted to meet, especially if they were already years into their business?

Candice Coppola: (14:07)
Yeah. It, it was, it started with email and trust me, a lot of people didn't respond to me. I, you know, I, I got ghosted before ghosted was even a thing. A lot of people didn't respond to me and that's okay. They eventually came around. I can think of a couple people who never returned my emails.  I guess I am still a little bitter about it.  but they became great friends eventually. So you try not to take it personally. I can understand how difficult it is again now to kind of get your foot in the door but you just have to be persistent. And I think one of the things that I did well was I took time to get to know the person that I was reaching out to. And I tried to put myself in their position and I thought, well, what would they want from a person like me? How can I make an impression on this person and give them something of value before I ask for something in return and far too often, when we're networking, whether in person via email, wherever, we're thinking, what's in it for me, like, how can I get this person to send me their clients or give me business when you should really be thinking, what can I give this person first?

Shanna Skidmore: (15:10)
Mm-hmm yeah. Yeah. I love that so much. And you know, it's interesting. I'm sure this is the same for you, Candice, but we receive emails here lately. It feels like every, every day, but my assistant is out of town. So I'm getting all the emails right now. So, you know, if people reaching out with this service or that service or this, and, you know, we connected through an email first and we did that because of a mutual connection, a person. And that's what for me has been, I learned that way back when I worked in finance, you know, if you can have a common person or somebody even go before you and introduce you because I am the same, I feel like relationships have built my business and still do. So I love that so much. Okay. So those are the early years you hit, you hit six figures early. So this was what, 2007, 8, 9. It sounds like. And tell me, how did things start to shift? What were your next steps? Like you grew this company, you were getting the clients you wanted. I would love to hear about how your pricing shifted, how your revenue shifted. And then, you know, I know you had a big turning point in your business. I would love to hear about too.

Candice Coppola: (16:15)
Oh gosh guys, I'm gonna reveal all the tea. I'm gonna spill all the tea today and reveal some very deep secrets. Um, that still cause me a little sense of shame when it comes to money. So buckle in, because I'm gonna share with you all the juicy, the juiciness about my business. And let me tell you, it is not all pretty and it is not all perfect. So as my business grew, I started to grow with it. I was making a lot of money and at the age of 27, 28, I was making more money than I had ever made from a job before. And more money than I was ever used to. and I had no foundation in life for money management or understanding money. I played a really good game and I thought I knew what I was doing. And sometimes when you're young, you have this like over-inflated sense of thinking, you have it all together.  it's like the Danny Kruger effect in some ways  and I did have a lot together. Let me tell you I was booking high end clients. My prices were rising. I think at this point we were probably in the $6-7,000 range. I started bringing on team members, associate planners. I had a shared office space with industry colleagues and I shortly moved out of that and got my own office. I, which we called the studio space. It was a creative space for just me and my team to sit down and work every day. It was really a dream. It was in an old factory. It was just lovely. Those were the days  I took on payroll, which was, was hella scary. I have to be honest. And I was, there was so many mistakes I made with that guys. And I'm gonna share that in a second, but on the surface, things were incredible. I was flying all over the place. I was doing crazy work. I was building a brand that was recognized that people knew I was on my way to Engage. Which if you don't know what that is, it's like the luxury conference for wedding professionals still is to this day. Very expensive to attend. I was buying myself, Louis Vuittons, like Louboutins. Like I was living it up.

Shanna Skidmore: (18:25)
Yeah. Your highlight reel was looking good.

Candice Coppola: (18:27)
Oh yeah. I mean, if Instagram there was Instagram stories back then. I would've like looked like the person who had it all together minus the private jet minus the Range Rover  But I had, I had, I mean, it was an incredible time in my career. I was being featured in magazines. I was being noted as an expert. I was being sought after, by clients. People would walk into my office with my work, from a magazine in their hand and be like, I want this. It was a really crazy, incredible time. I was on the pic of signing a book deal. A two book deal. It was crazy. Yeah.

Shanna Skidmore: (19:02)
It happened fast. I mean it really fast. Okay. And now share what, what happened next.

Candice Coppola: (19:10)
Yeah. Um, so all of this wonderfulness was going on and if you saw me on the surface, you would be like, wow, she she's killing it. And I was, but I also wasn't. There was like this deep undercurrent of instability in my business when it came to money. And that's because I had no solid foundation. I still hadn't acquired a solid foundation in understanding my money. I thought I understood it, but I also operated from a place of what's in my bank account is all mine. It's what I have today. So if there's 20,000, if there's 50,000, if there's 10 or if there's five, all that money is my money. . When it's not really my money . I wasn't, uh, ready for payroll taxes. I wasn't ready for the fixed overhead costs that I was experiencing. I hadn't done the math. I hadn't consulted with an accountant or somebody who could look at my books and say, Hey, we've got a problem here. You might not be feeling it right now, but you're gonna feel it later.

Shanna Skidmore: (20:14)

Candice Coppola: (20:16)
And I just kept plugging along, buying Louis Vuitton bags and flying myself here, there and everywhere  renting Chanels oh my God. You know, I used to buy I used to rent Chanel bags and do all this crazy stuff guys. Until

Shanna Skidmore: (20:34)
I love this story. I oh my gosh.

Candice Coppola: (20:37)
this is real. Um, until it caught up with me. Yeah. And part of what also caught up with me was the end of my marriage at the time. So I, my marriage started to take a turn, I would say in early 2012, maybe late 2011 and things just really started to fall apart. And if anybody here has been through the end of a relationship or the end of a marriage, it's hard. Even if it's something that ends up being a really good thing for everybody, it was really difficult. And I had to move out of the house and find my own place. And I started making more crazy financial decisions without consulting someone. And I quickly found my myself in an incredible amount of debt and also really depressed. And when you put debt on top of depression, on top of anxiety, on top of poor decision making on top of having to keep everything perfect. Yeah. I kind of felt like, do you remember that movie? Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead?

Shanna Skidmore: (21:47)
No  Oh My gosh. I never even heard of this. Candice

Candice Coppola: (21:50)
You have to watch this movie is with Christina Applegate and okay. She works in this office and her boss tells her that she has to, no matter what is happening, she always has to say "I'm right on top of that, Rose". No matter if, if the sip is the ship is sinking. Everything has to be perfect. And that's also what I was carrying around.

Shanna Skidmore: (22:11)

Candice Coppola: (22:11)
Yeah. And things got so, so, so bad. I couldn't pay my employees. Um, I had no money. I, I like, I was moments minutes away from losing my business. And I say that in all seriousness, my luck had run out. There was no more blood to, to bleed. I was in deep, deep trouble. And I'm trying to borrow time with people's paychecks. I'm trying to pay bills. I'm trying to consolidate and condense. And I'm also just trying to get myself out of bed in the morning.

Shanna Skidmore: (22:49)

Candice Coppola: (22:50)
It was really tough.

Shanna Skidmore: (22:52)
Thank you so much for sharing. I mean, that's, I have chills. It's hard. I just feel, I can feel that over here.

Candice Coppola: (23:00)
Yeah. It was, it was a, it was a really dark and tough time. But on the surface, you probably wouldn't know. Some of my closest friends and of course my team members, they actually sat me down and were like, you need to get it together.

Shanna Skidmore: (23:15)
Yeah.  yeah.

Candice Coppola: (23:15)
Which is embarrassing to admit, but I mean, what a great team to have, where they would feel comfortable enough to do that and still wanna stick it out with you. You know, things got really bad. I had to borrow money from my grandmother.

Shanna Skidmore: (23:28)

Candice Coppola: (23:28)
Yeah. Which I'm, I'm I'm not proud to admit, you know, I had to borrow money from grandma Vera who was so kind to loan me money, but it was a loan. And she was not playing when she said I want my money back.

Shanna Skidmore: (23:41)
Right. Yeah. So was it just, you know, it sounds like cash flow. I mean, and I see this, you know, a lot where you had probably a lot of cash coming in, especially when people were booking or paying those final payments. But like you mentioned, there was no plan for the money. There was no, like, thinking ahead, and I know we talked about this and about not knowing about the tax bills coming and

Candice Coppola: (24:07)
Oh, we'll get into that in a moment.

Shanna Skidmore: (24:10)
Yeah. So, so did you, what, so what did you do? Did you have to let team members go, how did you kind of climb out of this and, and change things around?

Candice Coppola: (24:20)
I had to borrow money in order to make things better. And that was really difficult. Things got so bad that I didn't pay my taxes. And then I got really scared and I didn't pay them again.

Shanna Skidmore: (24:35)

Candice Coppola: (24:35)
And it started to snowball and I, I, I have a, a, a real sense of shame over that because I'm supposed to be perfect. I'm I'm this business coach now. And I was then too, by the way, , I'm supposed to be perfect and I'm supposed to have it all figured out. And there was a lot around money that I hadn't figured out. So I let a year go by the year of my divorce go by and I didn't pay my taxes. And if anybody listening has ever been in that situation, you know how it feels, you feel a sense of dread every time you think about it and it can quickly snowball into another year of not filing and not paying. Because you're scared of the repercussions of the previous year and you don't wanna touch it. You don't wanna acknowledge it. You don't wanna face it. And there was a point where I was like, they're gonna come for me. They're gonna come for me. Like Teresa Giudice.  from Real Housewives of New Jersey.  they're gonna lock me up in Danbury Correctional F facility, which is where she went by the way in the state of Connecticut, which is also PS across the street from my grandmother's house.

Shanna Skidmore: (25:44)
There's common

Candice Coppola: (25:45)
Hand to God.

Shanna Skidmore: (25:48)
Vera wants that loan back.

Candice Coppola: (25:49)
I know Vera is like gonna see me mowing the lawn at Danburry Correctional Cacility in my brown jumpsuit. I was like, they're coming for me.

Shanna Skidmore: (25:58)
And your rented bags

Candice Coppola: (26:00)
Going back,

Shanna Skidmore: (26:02)
Oh, Candice.

Candice Coppola: (26:03)
Oh God. It was a combination of so many things that led me to that moment. Right? Definitely my mindset, my depression, my life circumstances living way beyond my means. I mean, far beyond my means. I don't know if I felt like I had to put on a show for people. Or I wanted to be a rich person or a person who was perceived as very wealthy, but I was living beyond my means. And I had no plan in place to manage my money. And I operated from this mindset that I'm not a numbers person. I was never good at math. I was never good at numbers. And I was just not a numbers person. This was too hard for me to figure out I don't get it. I'm into the pretty, I'm focused on the business,building the marketing, you know, all the splashy stuff and getting those high end clients and the notoriety and the, the kudos, but the money. That's not my thing. And so it was this, just this like combination, this storm of poor decisions and not being equipped to confront the situation I was in and fix it. Because let me tell you there's a solution to all of this. And I just wasn't ready or I wasn't able to acknowledge what the solution was, but there did come a point where I was able to kind of the clouds parted and I was able to see clearly my mistakes and what I needed to do next.

Shanna Skidmore: (27:36)
Yeah. So this was, you said what? 2012 kind of 2013. I just wanna point out this was really before people were building businesses on Instagram. So, I mean, it wasn't for cuz I, I think this happens a lot, the kind of keeping up with ,feeling the need to present because of social media. But this was even before that, you know, maybe you were, had your business on there, but it was in the new, new days of Instagram. So you had had your business let's see at this point, five, five years. Six years. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you had the clouds parted moment and how did you start to dig out? Like what did you do?

Candice Coppola: (28:17)
Yeah, I borrowed money. I paid off my debts. I called my accountant. Well, I called a, an accountant  Who is now my accountant  yeah. And I said, please don't let the IRS come for me and take me away in handcuffs. And he was like, you need to relax

Shanna Skidmore: (28:37)
thank goodness. You found a good CPA.

Candice Coppola: (28:40)
Like you need to slow it down. It's not gonna happen.  But we're gonna make this right. And we're gonna dig into this and we're gonna solve this problem. I paid my past due taxes. I filed, I paid the IRS was really nice.  Um, nobody came for me, nobody put me in handcuffs and I think most importantly through the process of actually filing my taxes and filing those back taxes, one of my big moments was sitting down in QuickBooks and manually putting in every expense. Over those two and a half years.

Shanna Skidmore: (29:13)

Candice Coppola: (29:14)
And seeing where the money was going, J.Crew, jet blue, this fancy restaurant, New York city, bag borrow steel, rent the runway, J crew. I mean yes. Louis Vuitton it was crazy. And also what I was paying here, there, and everywhere for expenses and the act of actually being in my books and seeing that first-hand and having to physically put those numbers in was a light bulb moment for me.

Shanna Skidmore: (29:41)
Yeah. Yeah.

Candice Coppola: (29:42)
I was like, oh no, no, no, this is, this is crazy. And I became obsessed with my numbers and that's when things took a big turn

Shanna Skidmore: (29:52)
Candice. Oh my goodness. I, I love this story so much. I think it's funny. I don't even know if you know this story, but people, I think kind of, I don't know if it's shocking or not, but I worked in finance for five years. When Kyle and I moved and changed, you know, kind of shifted where we were going. And we did the exact same thing. We sat down, looked at all of, and now I have all my students and all my clients do this because we could not even pay our car payments. And we sat down because we were told, you know, if you take a client to lunch or coffee or, you know, they're more likely to buy from you. And so, I mean, I was going to Starbucks three times a day. I was having the shakes by the end of the day cause that's so much caffeine  And we could not even pay our car payments. We sat down. And I had spent $500 on Starbucks alone. And then I had spent a thousand dollars on like taking clients to lunch and I just sobbed. I sobbed. I was like that would've paid our mortgage and that would've paid our car payments. And now I tell all my students it's the hardest, like just it's hard. It is so hard. There will be tears involved, but it's that awareness is the key to change. And then it is like, where do you want your money to go? Because you have the power to tell it, Hey, like we buy one nice bag instead of five or, you know, whatever. Like, so anyways, I thank you for sharing that. I would love for you to answer with the story and kind of your journey. What would you say is the best thing that you've learned about money?

Candice Coppola: (31:15)
Oh, well that, um, you always have an opportunity to make more of it. . There is always an opportunity. At least I found in my experience, um, I've also learned that I believed that in order to be successful, you had to make a certain amount of money. And what I've come to learn now. And this is more recent, some more recent lesson for me as my, in my experience being a business coach is, is that what someone else earns? What their enough is? Doesn't have to be my enough. And I, what I mean by that is, is when I started my coaching business and I sold my event planning business and I went full time into being a business coach. I thought I was gonna be like a seven figure business course creator. Like I wanted that path. I wanted millions. And over the last two years, I've discovered that that isn't the right path for me. And my enough, isn't a million dollars. It's, it's less than that. And that's okay. And that doesn't take away from my success and that I can be okay with my enough number.

Shanna Skidmore: (32:24)
Yeah. Oh that's I could not have said that anymore. Beautiful. Candice Well, okay. So I wanna talk about you selling your company, but I wanna, you said something that I just wanna, let's talk about it for a second.  You were an ambitious person, clearly you are an ambitious person. And I think the world tells us successes more, this idea of more, whatever more is. More of all things . do you feel like you still wrestle sometimes being okay with like knowing what is enough for you and this is the path I've chosen. Like talk to me about wrestling. I call it the kind of contentment and ambition finding that harmony between the two. How do you wrestle through that?

Candice Coppola: (33:02)
Yeah, it's hard. I, I, I, I tell you that I'm finding my enough number and it's different than what I thought it was going to be, but I still wrestle with the "more", I'm an enneagram three to the core of my being. I am a, once I latch onto something I'm all in, I'm fully dedicated and I go the distance. And I have a hard time not achieving or not doing more, having more, being more. And I think that is like permeating throughout my life, by the amount of handbags in my closet.  right. Which I all bought and paid for these days very easily.  um, but you know, with, with, with many things in my life it's like, I need more, I need more money. I need more students. I need more products. I need to give more. I need to give them more of this and more of that. Uh, I need to set higher goals. I need to constantly be achieving more. And it's hard. I'm not gonna lie. It's something that I continue to wrestle with and something that I continue to talk about with my business coach.

Shanna Skidmore: (34:11)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I hear that. It's for me going back to like, what do I want in this season? What are my life values? What are, and it's, you know, because I'm the same, I think I'm not a three on the enneagram, but I test as a three all the time. I think people are shocked. I'm, I'm a very ambitious, competitive person, but it's like, it is a constant kind of reassessing of sometimes it's a push season. Sometimes it's a rest. And especially, I always say it feels like I'm always swimming against the stream because the world tells me something that I, you know, isn't for me right now. So thank you for sharing that. Okay. Tell us what your business looks like now, it's transitioned a lot in these last few years, and I would love to hear what you're doing now, how it shifted and all that good stuff.

Candice Coppola: (34:57)
Well, Jubilee events, my previous planning business grew and grew and grew. It grew into a beautiful place. We were working with incredible clients. We were charging the top tier in terms of pricing and we were making great money and, and things were feeling good from that sense. But I was becoming tired and feeling disconnected from planning weddings personally. And so I wrestled with that for, uh, I would say a good two years, hoping that one day I would just wake up and things would go back to me, feeling super energized and joyful and, and excited about planning and designing and all of the fun things that go along with that. But the truth is, is that my, my enthusiasm for the work inside of the business really started to wane. And I came to the conclusion that this chapter in my life, I had grown to the point that I could grow it. I had grown the business to the point I could grow it. I had done all that I could do. And it's so funny that we're leading into this after what we just talked about. The enough point and I decided that I couldn't go forward anymore. I should also say that the stress and anxiety of some of the events we were planning was really throwing me for a loop.  I was tired of the weekends and I was tired of the overwhelming feeling of responsibility with these events that were very expensive. You know, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars up to a million dollars. It was just really stressful. So I approached one of my team members, the same one who sat me down and said, listen, sister , you've gotta get it together. And I said, do you wanna buy my business? And she said, yeah, lit literally it went like that. And, um, what a great transition for both of us, she had started off as an intern. And is now the owner of this beautiful business. And she was the one person who could take the business and turn it into something more. Take it and move it from where I could take it and move it beyond that into something more. And so in October of 2019, we signed all the fancy paperwork. We went out to lunch, her, myself, my husband, we had some wings and some wine and we celebrated this new chapter for both of us. Yeah. It was really fabulous. And it was an incredible experience to sell my business.

Shanna Skidmore: (37:16)
Yeah. Yeah. 12 years. So 12, 12 years. 12 years. Yeah. Yeah. That's so beautiful. Okay. And you were already doing some coaching, like did you know your next step was education? Or, yeah. Walk me through kind of where you were going.

Candice Coppola: (37:29)
Yeah. I had had this teed up. I had started a podcast the year before I sold my business. I had started really digging into mentorships. I scaled back the number of weddings that I took. I really only took a handful and I started digging deeply into one on one coaching with mostly wedding planners, but also some other wedding pros in the years preceding the sale of my business. I had started coaching wedding pros, um, back in 2011, 2012. So I had been doing it for a while and building a personal identity and brand around that and it was in the works. It was something that I loved more than planning weddings. And that's how I knew I needed to make a change. I loved this, what we're doing right now, more than I loved planning, weddings. And so everything was teed up and ready to go. I launched my first product, like two weeks after I sold my business, which is wedding pro insiders, my mastermind for wedding pros.

Shanna Skidmore: (38:25)
Wow. That's amazing. And you know, I think something I learned by happen, I don't know, happenstance or I dunno what the word is, but you know, education coaching is a completely education, especially courses, completely different business model than a service based. So even though you were doing wedding planning, now you're teaching wedding planning, there's still a lot to learn. And that's, that's what I learned too. I was working one on one with students and clients and then made it so I could work one to many, but I had so much to learn on the education side. Did you approach that just like you did in the beginning, but now 12 years wiser of figuring it out, creating your processes and your pricing, or did you kind of take a different approach this time?

Candice Coppola: (39:10)
Yeah. I found that I suffered from analysis paralysis as I became a business coach. And I think I also suffered from imposter syndrome as well. It, it could have been that 2011, 2012 fiasco. That just constantly, I feel like I haunt myself with over and over because I still have that shame, you know, around the mistakes I made. And I don't know if I've fully forgiven myself for losing it. And almost losing my business. So there are times even still where I feel the pressure of imposter syndrome. And when I started my planning business, I just made things up and I was, everything felt so free and loose and easy. But 12 years into entrepreneurship and also 12 years older with more responsibility, with more lifestyle costs.  And honestly, coming from an income that was stable and very rich into something unknown felt very scary. I suffered with a lot of analysis paralysis thinking like, I'm not ready. I need to know more. I need to take this course. I need to do this thing. I need to learn from this person. I need to spend more money here, there, and everywhere. And I think it was perfectionism coming into play and imposter syndrome that really stunted me in the early days of my coaching business. Yeah. After I sold my, um, my event planning business.

Shanna Skidmore: (40:38)
Yeah. So will you share, and then I wanna kind of move into kind of a quick fire question round, but will you share how your life looks different now and how you've structured your business to support? I know you're really big into supporting the life you want. And I would love for you to share how you've set up your business to do that. And just maybe some life values you have now that allow you more of that rest season.

Candice Coppola: (41:04)
Yeah. When I sold my event planning business, I knew that I had to reclaim back my summers and my weekends. And I knew that I wanted to incorporate rest into my life and I didn't wanna work so hard anymore. Felt like I had earned my flowers. I had earned my stripes, my wings, I had worked my butt off. And I had also sacrificed a lot of my own personal moments and memories and weekends and vacations. Even starting a family. Because of weddings and having to be available on weekends a year in a, a year in advance. It's very hard to plan for a family as a wedding planner when you're, you know, constantly booking new clients out a year in advance. And so these days I make sure that my work schedule feels light. I plan out my days, I'm uncompromising in my nos. I feel, I feel empowered to say no more to the things that aren't going to serve me or that I can't serve in the way it needs to be served.

Shanna Skidmore: (42:08)

Candice Coppola: (42:08)
I take time away. This summer, I'm taking a week off every single month. To do whatever I want. And if I work during that week, that's up to me, but I'm just doing it because I can. And I'm trying to like unwind 12 years of hyperactive, intense work and beliefs that I've developed about work and creating a new space for myself. And that takes time. I'm still unlearning things and undoing rituals and routines that no longer serve me in my business.

Shanna Skidmore: (42:41)
I love that you brought that up Candice because you're exactly right. Rest is so active.  And unlearning, you know, people ask me, I take a month long sabbatical and people ask me like, what do you do? What do you talk about? What do you, you know, and it's, it's like, that's a great question. You have to relearn sometimes how to do life when you set your business down for a little while. And I also love that you mentioned, and if you went to work, that's okay too. Because I think so many people shame themselves. Like I'm supposed to be off. I shouldn't be working, you know, like, know that harmony, know the balance. And you live in a new place?

Candice Coppola: (43:19)
I do. So in 2014, I moved to Barbados and I launched a sister brand of our event planning company here. And I focused on destination weddings for the five years that our company existed here simultaneously while it continued to exist and Connecticut and New England. And so I'm really trying to embrace island life. I feel like, First of all, COVID threw me for a loop, sadly, because I had sold my business and there was like all these plans of being free. And I, as you all know, I was, yes. Not very free  yeah,

Shanna Skidmore: (43:51)
Yeah, yeah.

Candice Coppola: (43:52)
But I'm learning how to embrace island life these days, because I really, I don't feel like I ever had a chance in those years where I was a wedding planner and running these two businesses, you know, side by side.

Shanna Skidmore: (44:02)
Yeah. Oh my goodness. Candice, thank you so much for sharing your story and just being so open and honest because this conversation needs to be heard. And I know we, we talked about that before, how important it is to talk through the shame around money or understanding your money. And one last question, and then I wanna go into a fire round, just kind of side note made me think. Do you feel like knowing your numbers now empowers you more to have this lifestyle and embrace the island life? Like that's for me, I know knowing that number gives me freedom. Would you say the same?

Candice Coppola: (44:37)
Oh yeah. Knowing my numbers helps me to make educated decisions about what I wanna do with my time.  And I'm no longer just guesstimating based on the amount of money in my bank account, what I can do with my time or with my money. So being obsessed with my numbers and when I'm saying, I mean, I've got spreadsheets, I've got all different types of things happening and I'm always looking and monitoring and I'm like, woo. We made this much over here. Woo. I'm constantly plugged in probably more so than I even need to be because of what I've experienced. And I never wanna go back to that place of being broke and being ashamed. But yeah, I would say knowing my numbers helps me to just make decisions and feel empowered because I'm able now to make decisions based on facts and not fears or emotions. So I hope somebody here listening and hearing my story, if you've ever been in my shoes, I want you to feel free. Like you can reach out to me, girlfriend, you can reach out. I promise I'm a vault. You can tell me anything and I'm happy to commiserate. If you've ever not paid your taxes. If you've ever gone to the brink of being broke and almost losing your business, maybe you're there right now. Feel free to reach out to me and just know that it's not as uncommon as you think.

Shanna Skidmore: (45:50)

Candice Coppola: (45:52)
And you have you have this opportunity, maybe this is your wake up call. You have this opportunity to make things right. And you can always make things right. And on the other side of fixing some mistakes and getting caught up and filing those taxes and doing, doing the correct thing is something really beautiful. And that's knowing your numbers, becoming a numbers person becoming invested in that, in your business and hopefully growing.

Shanna Skidmore: (46:20)
And I think, I always say it's simpler than many people think, you know, know what you need. And, and of course that's what I teach every day. So I love it. But it's like, it, it can be easier than I think people think, thank you so much for, I, I love this podcast clearly because I've heard these stories for 15 years. And like you said, it is more common than people know. And I just thank you for your bravery to come and share because it's not easy. And it takes a lot of courage to share the hard things and what you still are recovering from, you know, and feel like you're recovering from. Okay. So I have some questions. I just, these are quick fire questions. First one you might have already answered, but you can say pass or if you have another one you wanna share. So my first question is one thing you would be embarrassed if people knew about you personally or in your business.

Candice Coppola: (47:16)
Oh my gosh. Nothing really? But I guess maybe the story that I just told today, again, I still feel some shame around it, but. I'm letting that go. I feel like it's gonna, this is gonna serve somebody and that's why I decided to share it. Yeah.

Shanna Skidmore: (47:28)
Yeah. Thank you so so much. Okay. Second one kind of the same thing. You've just shared so good. But are there any regrets? I, I so dislike that word, but kinda wish you could do over moments.

Candice Coppola: (47:40)
Yeah. I wish that I would've paid attention in math class.  I wish I was more present in high school in general, but no, you know, I, I just, I operate from the philosophy that everything that has happened to me in my life and trust me, I have seen some stuff. Everything that has happened to me in my life has brought me to this point. And I, I like who I am and I, I love my life. So yeah, no.

Shanna Skidmore: (48:05)
Yeah. I love that same. Okay. Third, what would be a big win or a pinch me moment.

Candice Coppola: (48:13)
Ooh. Um, I feel like this is a big win and this is a big pinch me moment. I'm so excited to be a guest on your podcast. So that's my answer.

Shanna Skidmore: (48:20)
Are you serious? You're gonna make me cry over here, Candice. Well it's gosh, the honor's mine. Okay. Number four. What is the best advice you have ever received?

Candice Coppola: (48:31)
Mm. I left this part out of my story, but when I was starting my business, the very beginning, Jubilee events, my event planning business, I went and saw a financial advisor. And he was talking to me about pricing. And this is what helped to bolster that full service price. And he said, Candice, I don't know anything about planning weddings, but you're sitting here and telling me you're gonna work for free. And you're going to run a contest and try to get some exposure and people in your portfolio. And then you wanna plan high end weddings. And I'm here to tell you anybody who would take advantage of free work from you is not gonna be the client who attracts your next best client. So my advice is to put yourself out there at the high price point you wanna be at and attract the type of clients you wanna work with in the long run from day one.

Shanna Skidmore: (49:21)
Wow. That is good advice.

Candice Coppola: (49:24)
He was right.

Shanna Skidmore: (49:25)
Yeah. That's so, wow. I'm gonna have to process that  it was really good. That's very good. Okay. Last question. What are you working on now? Or what is one resource that you would love to share?

Candice Coppola: (49:37)
Ooh, well, um, we're getting ready to relaunch our podcast, The Power and Purpose. So I would love to share that with your listeners, if you are a wedding pro. If you're a wedding pro and you're looking for straight up advice on running your business, I'd love for you to check us out The Power and Purpose. I don't have a date of when the next season is coming out, but it's coming out in the fall.

Shanna Skidmore: (50:00)
Oh, I'm so excited. And we'll, we'll definitely put the link in the show notes so people can find it. All right. I'm gonna have you send us off by telling everyone, what would you tell yourself, going all the way back to 2007 on day one of your first business?

Candice Coppola: (50:17)
Oh my goodness. This is a tough question. I think I would tell myself that this is the best decision you've ever made. It's gonna be a wild ride. It's gonna have some bumps in the road.  and don't be surprised when you feel the desire to pivot, to change course and to do something new, follow your intuition, follow your gut and have fun.

Shanna Skidmore: (50:54)
I love that. Candice. That's so good. And I love that you shared there's so many pivots in business and most people don't, they, you know, oh my goodness. I wanna pivot. And it's so natural. Candice. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has been an honor to have you on the podcast and I just think you're such a joy to be around.

Candice Coppola: (51:13)
Oh gosh. Thanks so much for having me.

Shanna Skidmore: (51:15)
Hey wildflower, you just finished another episode of Consider the Wildflowers, the podcast. Head over to for show notes, resource links, and to learn how you can connect with Candice. One final thought for today, from Maya Angelou, "Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it." As always. Thank you for listening. I'll see you next time.