Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Build A Business You Love

April 19, 2021 Julie Ball Episode 70
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Build A Business You Love
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Build A Business You Love
Apr 19, 2021 Episode 70
Julie Ball

#070 - In this episode, Julie encourages you to build a business you love.

She shares some questions you can ask yourself to get clarity on finding your "sweet spot". That is, what you want your business to look like and feel like.

This is a short break from talking about the tactical side of running a subscription box business but is equally important as you move forward in your journey of building a successful subscription box business.


Show Notes Transcript

#070 - In this episode, Julie encourages you to build a business you love.

She shares some questions you can ask yourself to get clarity on finding your "sweet spot". That is, what you want your business to look like and feel like.

This is a short break from talking about the tactical side of running a subscription box business but is equally important as you move forward in your journey of building a successful subscription box business.


Julie (00:01):

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen, and paper, and let's have some fun!

Julie (00:20):

Hey guys, welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. Thank you so much for joining me for another episode. If you've been following along, or maybe if this is your first time, I would love it so much. If you would subscribe, rate and review this podcast, that's simply how I can reach more people. The algorithm is based a lot off of the subscribe rate and review feature. So today I wanted to talk about building a business you love. When I look back at past episodes, I realized there's a lot of tactical things. There's a lot of interviews where you get to hear behind the scenes, but I realized that I hadn't talked about this, and this is something that I'm really passionate about.

Julie (01:02):

So I wanted to take a moment, an episode if you will, to talk about building a business you love. I think so many people hear the word hustle and they think of it as a bad word. It's like a negative word. I believe that you get to define hustle for you and granted in different times of your business and in different times of your life, you're going to have seasons of hustle and you're going to have seasons of rest. And I encourage you to really reflect back on your calendar and your schedule and identify where those seasons of hustle are and where those seasons of rest are. It'll help you get a better perspective of it in planning for the future.

Julie (01:43):

For example, my team and I both with Sparkle Hustle Grow and Subscription Box Bootcamp, Q1 of 2021 was a season of hustle for us. We had a lot of different launches. We opened Subscription Box Bootcamp. Again, we were an affiliate for Selena Sue's Impacting Millions program and just did some collaboration that took a lot of our time. And a lot of our effort. Now we are moving into a season of rest.

Julie (02:09):

And I love that because when I, I always find that when we're in a season of rest, we have more space, so to speak, to have clarity. And for me, when I have clarity and I've got a little bit of space, a little bit of wiggle room, I get very creative. I get motivated and I get tons of exciting ideas. And those ideas don't have to all be business related. They can be in planning our next family vacation, or, you know, planning out a vision board. They can be so many different things.

Julie (02:42):

So we're gonna talk about that today and what that looks like. I'm going to give you some questions. You can ask yourself and just some encouragement to help you build a business that you love because we're not doing this to be miserable, right? We're doing this because we want to do what makes us happy. We want to have an impact, all those things. And yes, I acknowledge that there are ups and downs in entrepreneurship. There's a lot of moving parts to a subscription box business. And if you're not riding that roller coaster, it's not entrepreneurship because there are just so many ups and downs.

Julie (03:19):

It's very unlikely that you become an overnight success and you just might not have seen all the work that's put into something before it becomes an overnight success. Never compare your day one to someone else's day 100 or day 1000. And remember that you're not running a race, you need to get comfortable with figuring out what you want.

Julie (03:45):

So I think where I want to start with this is finding that clarity on your sweet spot and what I mean by that is what do you want your business to look like and feel like where you are in a position where the revenue is good. You have time and energy to pour into your customers. You can be generous with your staff and your contract workers, and this might look a little different for you, but what I'm sharing with you is what is my sweet spot.

Julie (04:19):

Those are the things that I want in my business, and I'm going to make decisions based off of that. And you've probably heard me talk about this on other podcasts and other episodes, but we put a cap on the number of subscribers that we have at Sparkle Hustle Grow. It's not for lack of ambition. It's simply because we've found our sweet spot to be somewhere around 1200 to 1500 subscribers. When we grow larger than that, it just feels less intimate in our Facebook group, where there's less of the conversations that we're craving, the conversations that we're trying to facilitate at that sweet spot, around 1200 to 1500, we hit our revenue goals and I'm able to be generous with my team. We're able to go on trips together and I'm able to give them bonuses and, you know, spoil them with unexpected gifts. And that's something that's really, really important to me.

Julie (05:13):

So what is it for you that will help you identify your sweet spot? You don't have to be the next FabFitFun. Maybe that's not in the stars for you. Maybe that's not in your goals. I never set out to have thousands, you know, ten thousand, a hundred thousand subscribers because that honestly guys just sounds super exhausting to me. If that's your path, awesome! I truly hope that you get there and you get there in a way with integrity and a way that feels good. But for me, I don't want things to be complicated. I want to really enjoy what I do. I don't want my team to be spread thin. I don't want us to feel stressed out. So those are some of the things that help me figure out what that sweet spot. So ask yourself these questions. How do you want to feel?

Julie (06:02):

You can build a life that supports the way you want to feel. What do you want your days to look like? For me right now, I work between the hours of say nine to three, maybe ten to three or four, just depending on what my workload looks like, but I don't feel the need to get up at, you know, four or five AM. That's just not what I want my days to look like. That's just not me. It might have been in a previous season and maybe it will be in a future season, but at this season where I'm right now, where we're working from home, we're homeschooling, my daughter's young. She is about to turn ten this summer. There's a lot of things that I want to do and be there for. And so what do you want your days to look like? And lastly, ask yourself, what are your core values?

Julie (06:51):

Just get out some pen and paper right now and write down some of your core values. And that could be personal, but that also obviously should be about your business. So just for food for thought, some of my core values are the golden rule "to treat others the way you would want to be treated." My entire team runs with that golden rule, kind of as our compass. And we want to make sure that we're able to over-deliver on customer service. We want to make sure people feel good and they feel heard, and they learn from each other. And that in our private Facebook community for our subscribers, that they are connecting and, you know, becoming part of this bigger community. And so that's really important for me in my core values is that golden rule to treat others the way I would want to be treated.

Julie (07:40):

Another one of my core values is to empower women. There are so many things out there that bring down women, or you know, you see girl on girl war, or, you know, people just nothing nice to each other or, you know, tearing them down for decisions or for the way they say something or you know. What we want to provide is a safe place where women feel empowered, they can connect with each other and help each other out and more food for thought when it comes to your core values. Two more that I want to always encompass is generosity and joy. I really want to be in a position that I can be generous with my team, with my family, with myself and my time with our subscribers and with our students. And I have finally built a business where I can do that, where I can send a surprise pack or a little extra, thank you gift to someone who may have gone out of their way, or maybe even had a bad experience and it's not going to break the bank.

Julie (08:44):

No, of course that didn't happen right away. And that's something that you can work towards if that's not in the cards right now. And that's okay, but it was one of my guiding principles. It's a core value is that I want to have the opportunity to be generous. And lastly, what I said about wanting to have joy in my life is just goes back to the fact of like, I want to do what makes me happy. And granted there are going to be some tasks involved in running a business that aren't going to make me happy, like doing my taxes. That's not fun of course, but I want to inject joy in as many places in my business as possible. And so I intentionally build that into the business plan.

Julie (09:27):

So one thing that brings joy to my team is travel. And so darn right. I budget in for travel so that I can take part of that joy, but also that I can help them be more joyful and be so excited to be part of the Sparkle Hustle Grow and Subscription Box Bootcamp team.

Julie (09:45):

As you're thinking about building a business that you love, you need to find clarity on your sweet spot. And to recap, there are some questions you can ask yourself, how do you want to feel? What do you want your days to look like? And what are your core values? So get a journal, get a pen and paper, write down those questions and answer them, think about it, and really, truly answer them so that you can start creating your business and building your business to match those, to align with the answers that you came up with.

Julie (10:16):

So as we get into, you know, building a business, and I've mentioned before all the moving parts of a subscription box business, and just being a business owner in general, there are so many things that are going to come across our plate and we have the ability to say yes to what we want and to say no to what we want.

Julie (10:33):

And if you're like me, I'm a recovering people pleaser. And I said, yes, just so many things that really didn't. I don't know, what's the word I'm looking for. They really didn't need to be done, or I should have said no, I should have had more boundaries. And so I have three more questions that I want you to write down. And I want you to ask yourself these three questions when you are presented with an opportunity, or if you're thinking about launching a new project and that project could be something huge, it could be a huge goal. Or maybe that's just a project where you're starting a new marketing campaign, or maybe that is making a hire, or it could be anything as simple as, you know, a podcast interview or writing a blog. So I want you to ask yourself these three questions.

Julie (11:24):

Number one, is this project in alignment with my core values? So obviously you had to answer those other questions first, but you want to think about, does this project fit the needs of building the business that I love? Is it in alignment with my core values? If a project doesn't align with the golden rule, I'm not going to do it. If it doesn't align with the concept of empowering other women or being generous, or creating joy in my business, I'm not going to do it. Those, remember those were some of my core values. And if it's, if a project is not in alignment with those, then it's not going to feel good to me to do it. It is going to be a burden. And it's probably going to have some negative impact. So ask yourself, is this project in alignment with my core values?

Julie (12:16):

The second question I want you to ask yourself when a new project is on your plate, does it help me achieve my goals? But I don't want you to think of just revenue. Of course, you do need to think of revenue. You know, you don't want to do hundreds of little tasks that aren't going to ever make you any money because this is a business, not a hobby, right? So does it help me achieve my goals from a revenue perspective? What about from an impact perspective, impacting my customers, impacting the movement that I'm creating with what I do in my business? Does it have an impact on my team? So you want to think about what impact does it have, this project, and does it help me achieve my goals? And finally, quality of life. Does it help me achieve my goals of the quality of life that I'm trying to create with this business?

Julie (13:07):

So the third question that I want to ask you, and this may seem silly, but I think it's so important is, is this project complicated? From an operational perspective, what's involved? Are there new softwares you need? Is there a cost because of that? Is it going to require new team members or spreading your existing team members thin? Or is this going to be a project that you can execute with? What you already have with just adding a little bit of time? Can you automate things? Automation is a beautiful thing. And we use automation a lot. Just a quick example in Flowdesk, which is the email marketing service provider that we use. We automate a new subscriber welcome sequence. So when someone enrolls in Sparkle Hustle Grow, and they're a new subscriber, they're automatically going to be put into a new subscriber segment and four emails over the course of, I think it's, you know, four to seven days they're going to automatically send out and we don't have to do anything new. That's what I mean about "Is this complicated?"

Julie (14:17):

There might be some heavy lifting in the front end, but then can it be automated in the long run? And so if a project is super complicated, I'll talk it over with my team. We will decide together if this is a good project for us. And we definitely keep in mind how much manual work is this going to take us? Or can we easily automate something like this? Now, of course, there's going to be projects that come across our plate that are a little bit complicated, but we really, really want to do them. And we will strategize how we can make it more simple, how we can make sure that we're investing our time and our money into the right resources, but ask yourself, is this complicated from an operational perspective?

Julie (15:04):

So to recap the second part of this little podcast is before you take on a new project and you remember, you're trying to build a business that you love, ask yourself, these three questions. Number one is it an alignment with my core values? Number two, does it help me achieve my goals? And, you know, look at that from a broad perspective, like I said, revenue, impact, quality of life. Whatever's important to you, whatever your goals are. And number three is this complicated from an operational perspective? So there you have it. Those are some of the things that I think about on a daily basis when I am making decisions for my business. And you get to make those same decisions, because you're the boss. You are in control of saying yes to things saying no to things of pivoting when something's no longer in alignment with you and your core values.

Julie (15:58):

I hope this podcast was inspiring to you. I know it wasn't necessarily a tactical thing that you, you know, do this in your e-commerce software or, you know, build this email segment. It wasn't like that it was kind of this different approach, but I think it's equally important because as I mentioned earlier, I really want you to find that sweet spot of what feels good in your business and what is producing enough revenue and supporting you, your staff, your family, whatever it is, find that sweet spot. And don't be afraid to just take rest in that sweet spot. You don't have to be racing anybody else to the finish line because you are in your own race. You know what I mean? It's not like you have to prove yourself or have more subscribers than somebody else. Figure out what your sweet spot is for you, for your business, so that you can build a business that you truly love. That'll be a game changer.

Julie (17:02):

Thanks guys, for listening to this episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share with your colleagues in the subscription box world. I am so blessed to be able to support you guys. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you on the next episode.