How a single mom built a 7-figure business from her kitchen table
How did Karizma Marketing start?
I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2005 from California. I had a baby two years later, but I couldn't find any local, fun and trendy sayings on baby clothes. So, we started a custom printed baby clothing business. This was before Shopify existed before I even had a Facebook account. I had to learn everything myself WordPress, Photoshop, QuickBooks, inventory, ordering, Facebook ads, and the design of clothing. I got professional, industrial-strength printers. I had a full-blown, six-figure e-commerce business in Hawaii. I started my brand/company (Koko Bean) in 2007 and did that for about eight years.
I was in the food industry still and I was at night serving, which is not my passion, but you get so comfortable because the pay is so good and your benefits are so good, that it kind of shields you from pursuing your dreams because you're comfortable and safe. After creating Koko Bean, I built up this incredibly strong skill set, of building a business, understanding e-commerce, and digital marketing.
I stopped doing Koko Bean and started a digital marketing and e-commerce consulting business, Karizma Marketing. Finally in 2018 I took the leap and went full time into my consulting business, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
What strategies do you use to build confidence in yourself and support yourself through challenging situations?
Tons of mindset work. I also believe mindset is a muscle, just like your muscles at the gym, and if you don't work it out, it gets weak. So, I have to work it out every day too. So, things like manifestations and affirmations. Actually, all my passwords are all manifestations and affirmations, all about abundance and love and joy and success and ease and support, all sorts of fun, weird stuff. I also have a really great business coach that constantly pushes me. So, one of the exercises she has me do when we meet is share three things you really appreciate and love about yourself today. That's just so good to have that practice. Another practice she had me do is ‘I am' statements for 30 days straight, and I had to do three a night in a journal. For example, “I am intelligent. I am a great problem solver. Etc... “So, by the end, you had 90 'I am' statements that were really cool to look back on.
The other thing is gratitude. I really believe in practicing gratitude. So, whenever I feel overwhelmed in my business, the verbiage is really important. I'm grateful for the universe. I'm so grateful for being full right now, instead of saying, I'm so stressed because I'm so busy, I can't get to things. The goal is to be aware and carefully choose the words you say to yourself. It doesn't mean I don't mess up, and I say the wrong words sometimes, but I'm really aware of the way the words affect my reality.
What is a daily/weekly/or monthly routine you do to manage stress and provide yourself with self-care? How much time do you spend on the item, how frequently do you do it? How does it help you?
Yeah, I totally deal with burnout and stress, and all of that. I realized that investing in self-care is one of the most loving investments I can give myself. Travel is my self-care (pre-covid). I just rent a condo somewhere with a beautiful view and travel on my own to have some me time. I give myself time to do my workouts, wake up whenever I want, and know that I don't have to answer to anyone. I just get to be there by myself, and I get to feel inspired. I work really, really hard during the day, but I'm happy to do it. I carve out this uninterrupted time for myself and I get so much accomplished, and feel so much inspiration, and I get re-energized and refocused. So, when I come back, yes, I had five days without my normal meetings or answering to anyone, and I'm so inspired. I'm so reenergized. I'm so fresh in my mind. My stress is gone. I got to just chill out. I got to explore, I got to dig into my passion, and so what I do to manage that is I make sure to pre-schedule trips for myself. I pre-schedule trips even if I don't know where I'm going.
For me, I see it as my office expense, because everything for me is virtual, which is another blessing, so this can be my office expense for the month. It literally pays for itself because I get so many new ideas on these trips.
What specific practice do you do to stay focused on your goals, to help your team to stay focused on your goals and move forward each day towards achieving them? Is there something you do daily, weekly or monthly to stay organized and on track? A tip or practice you could share with others that would be helpful to them?
I make vision boards. Also, setting clear goals and measuring goals in Quickbooks. I stay organized and on task by using Asana and keeping a paper planner. I'm huge on to-do lists and planners. So, I always say, the fifty dollars I spend once a year on a planner, brings me thousands and thousands of dollars in revenue, because of productivity. I use my calendar online, on my phone, my Calendly link, and I also actually physically write everything down. That has kept me so productive. There's so much scientific evidence that shows that you’re 80 percent more likely to reach your goals when you physically write them down and the actual execution plan. So that's why my planner, QuickBooks and my vision board are everything.
How do you know when to stop working and focus on loved ones?
I'm still trying to balance that. That's probably one of my weaknesses. Probably my top weakness is work-life balance, so honestly, I am not the best at it. But I do ensure I have dinner with my kids nightly. I'll make dinner, chill out with them for a while. We always turn the TV off during dinner and talk. I also take them on trips with me for example to Oahu for five days. I want them to have memories of us doing these fun things together. We also try to go to the beach together once a week. But honestly, I struggle like everyone else with work-life balance.
Tell me about a time in your business where you failed, and how you moved forward from this situation.
My best business lesson was when I had what I thought was a great idea. But I didn't properly research it. I didn't actually ask the market if they wanted it, if there was a demand for it, if anyone would actually pay money for it. My idea was a concept similar to MOPS, mothers of preschoolers. I wanted to develop a program so that moms could get support in their communities and develop a full-on curriculum for it for a very inexpensive member rate. It was an organization helping moms network, letting them connect and grow, and providing the entire curriculum and agenda for the meet ups.
Long story short, as I invested a lot of money, a lot of time in developing everything, photography, videos, content, blog posts, the entire thing, like months and months, thousands and thousands of dollars, and when I launched it, crickets, nothing, nothing like never sold, never did anything. I gave up very quickly and if I could have done everything over again, the biggest lesson was, do I have a minimum viable product? Does anyone want this service? For example, in referencing The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss he tests out ideas before actually implementing them, and so he doesn’t invest a lot of time or a lot of money up front. So many business owners who come to me about this idea or this business, or this or that, I'm like, first, don't invest money in it. Like, actually just test your market, do your market research, ask people if they actually want this product, see if other people are offering it. If people are, how can you improve it? How can you differentiate? There are so many things, like don't even worry about building a website, just throw the idea out there and test it first.
Favorite pair of Mohalas?
My favorite pair are the Kaimanas. I actually just wore them when I was on vacation on O’ahu. Someone saw me opening my case and complemented it and loved it! It is so great for travel and trips and super easy to disinfect. What I love the most is the fit. I can’t run in sunglasses because I get pounding headaches. After years of migraines, I took my sunglasses off, and my migraines would instantly go away. I think it was the bouncing of the sunglasses on my head when I ran or something like that. Truly, my pair of Mohalas are the best. They don’t fall down my face, slide down, or bounce -- it’s awesome!