Welcome to the Holistic Wealth Podcast. I’m your host, Keisha Blair, wife, mother of three, author of Holistic Wealth and Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth. The show will showcase various experts in the key pillars of holistic wealth. Each week we deliver the best information on how to become holistically wealthy and live your best life. Today, we have a very special guest.
We have Eliza Revella and Elisa is the founder of Ellietalksmoney.com. She’s also the founder of E2 squared. She is a Financial Coach, a mentor and amazing person. I’m happy to have you here and welcome to the show.
Eliza Revella: Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And so I’ve been following along on Instagram and social media, and I love your content. It’s so inspirational. You started your business at 27, with four kids after a breakup, and you used your $1,200 stimulus cheque. And just scaled that into $1 million after 10 months. That’s amazing. I’m so impressed. And I want to hear everything. I’m dying to hear your story. Tell us about that.
Eliza: Absolutely. Thank you so much as well again for having me. Yes. I started my business in the thick of the pandemic about three or four months after finalizing my divorce and moving home. So I didn’t anticipate my business scaling so quickly, but I knew once my divorce, once I moved back home and with the pandemic, I knew that starting a business was the only thing that was going to really change our situation because I applied to about 53 jobs after I was laid off from my corporate position as director of sales. And all of those jobs said no, even with all my experience with everything I’ve learned. And so that was assigned to me that God was telling me to go in another direction. And so I decided to take all my effort, everything I knew and just put it into a business.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And that’s so amazing. And so I have so many questions in terms of where to start. So you’d got that $1,200 stimulus cheque. And then what was the next step? How did you decide how to use it? How much do you use for what? How to maximize that money. I mean, how did you decide on, you know, allocating the funds?
Eliza: I heard that the stimulus checks were coming. I was like, I started making plans then even before it hit my account, I knew that the portion for the kids, I was just going to save it for them. And I actually invested it into a dividend account for them. But my portion, I knew that I was going to save some. I was going to save some, to pay for my website, just to add some upgrades and, you know, do the best I could to make it nicer. I was going to use some for this program called Canva. Cause I knew I wanted to design my own course and ebook. And then I really set aside another bit for advertising because I knew, I didn’t know how to run Facebook ads, but I knew that there were people using influencer marketing where you pay a page, maybe $50, a hundred dollars, $200 to post about you.
So when I first started my Instagram, when I had about 300 followers, I used maybe $300 or $400 from the stimulus to pay for some pages to just post about me. So I could get a bit of traffic. It didn’t convert a whole lot because I think I only got up to maybe 500 or 700 followers, but it at least got me out the door.
It got me familiar with what it meant to pay for something like this and my business. And yeah, I just went for it. I used my ring light, started recording my YouTube videos, started just directing people to my website, taking one-on-one calls. And here we are.
Keisha Blair: I know my audience will want to know, for instance, which ones like you have multiple lines of revenue. I was on your website, you do life insurance, which is amazing. We have to get into that. Cause I’m a big believer. You know my story about that. Was it the one-on-one coaching that you think people gravitated towards? Or was it something else? I just want to know kind of what were the key elements that people gravitate towards in terms of your revenue streams?
Eliza: Because it’s scaled really fast. So at first I was just offering one-on-one coaching in order to build trust. And in order to get my first testimonials, I did the service for free. So my first, I think 10 clients were free clients, and that was really to test out my strategies and ensure that I had some successful case studies before I put a price tag on it.
But really what scaled it is when I created digital products, because it got to a point. Pretty quickly where I wasn’t able to continue exchanging my time for money with the one-on-one calls, because I was just getting booked out two months before, you know, in events. So I decided to create my first course.
I think that was September that I launched my own course, which was, you know, $20. And then the following month, I decided to launch another course and try that. And I shifted the focus of instead of marketing to book a call with me or to book a session, I started marketing to go take my course. That was where I’d put all my knowledge, all my expertise, all my information, you know, three-hour, four-hour, five-hour courses. And that is when it really started to scale.
Keisha Blair: Sounds amazing. And now your Instagram is over 100,000 followers. And so it’s growing a lot and you have some amazing content there for people. What are you finding with millennials in terms of COVID-19 and what they’re most concerned about? What are you hearing from women, you know, black women, especially, and we’ve been so hard hit with COVID-19. What are some of the main things and challenges that you’re hearing that women are facing?
Eliza: Well, a lot of my clients, my audience, really want to get out of the rat race really wants to be able to be the decision makers in their lives. I think that COVID-19 was a wake up call for so many, especially those who lost their jobs in the pandemic or those who had to start homeschooling like I did while trying to work a job. You know, it was just like, oh no, this is not, it’s not, it, it became very challenging to be a good mom, full-time mom and try to work a job, full-time. And so I think a lot of people, women, especially are looking for a way to get out of that and have freedom and flexibility to determine their own income so that they can homeschool if it needs to happen so that they can, you know, Pick up the kids whenever that needs to happen.
And that’s why I’m so passionate about it, because I know for me, when I was thrown into this COVID situation with four kids and had no way of bringing in money, because how could I go get a job? I was sick of receiving unemployment. I just knew I couldn’t continue on like this. And that’s what drove me to really start the business.
So now I always want to help women recognize that you have a way out and you don’t need to have a whole lot of money to get started with your business. You just need to have a whole lot of drive and discipline and consistency, but you can take what you know, how to do and put a price tag on it. And open an LLC and form the business. And that can be your pathway to the freedom that most of them are looking for.
Keisha Blair: That resonates with me so much. I have to 3 kids and I was homeschooling through all of this. You have so many strategies that you advise women on, like getting grants and loans as a course. We have to have the funding, right. So I’m wondering if you can just give the listeners could like a few of those key pieces, like some thoughts on those key pieces?
Eliza: Absolutely. So a very important element of positioning yourself for funding is making sure that your business is set up properly. So you need to have an LLC or whatever entity partnership you’re going to start with. You need to have an EIN number, which you get from the IRS.gov. You need to have a business bank account. So these are some non-negotiables that every business has to start with in order for you to look like a legitimate business, when you approach a lender or a bank for funding. But then in addition to that, you want to start building your business credit right away. So when I began teaching this, I noticed that there was a huge gap in terms of the access to this knowledge. And many people didn’t know that business credit is just as important, if not more important than your personal credit, especially when you’re a business owner. So you want to start establishing trade lines right away. And this is what I teach you all in the course. On the other side of that, another great way that you can get funding, especially if you’re looking to open a restaurant or a particular type of business that is a brick and mortar location, or a specific type of online product is to write a business plan or to write a grant proposal.
That is what can get you funding either from a bank or free money from a grant board or a nonprofit or a community organization, or even the government in your state and the federal government so that you can get started with some money. So that’s really key. Another thing I often want to educate people on is that with my business, that I have I leveraged it to then allow me to start getting into real estate, like opening up Airbnb’s, acquiring other properties. So I noticed my audience gets caught up wanting to start all these businesses at one time and then being very stressed because they can’t. But what’s very important for you all to know is just focused on starting one thing, get one business bank account, register one business.
And then from there, use that business, build your business credit. You can apply for a loan. You can apply for a line of credit. You can apply for funding. Now you’re in a position to leverage that, to help you get into another industry. So to put a down payment on an Airbnb or to do a corporate lease on an Airbnb or to get a commercial property.
So don’t try to do everything at once. Formulate one business, build that business credit, get funding for that one, make sales work on that. And then as that one is starting to generate revenue, leverage it to help you get into another room of business, such as real estate and et cetera. It’s important for everyone to recognize that one business can really give birth to other businesses so long as you do it strategically. So in terms of your business and your growth, which revenue lines would you say are the most profitable?
Keisha Blair: So if people are thinking, okay, let’s say, you know, I lost my job during COVID-19, I’m trying to think of something that will bring in something quickly so that I can get off on employment. I can leverage this loan that I have, but I need something that, you know, will come in very soon and be fairly regular and stable. Like what advice would you have and what would you say is your most profitable income line?
Eliza: My most profitable stream on my digital products. Number one, then secondly, is my coaching. One-on-one coaching then thirdly might be my life insurance. And then fourth would be like my Airbnb, my rental property, things of that nature. But I would say for anyone who wants to get started with what they have, I recommend one of two things start creating your digital product. Or start selling a physical product using Shopify. And so you can do a physical, the product by drop shipping it. Okay. So drop shipping is a method and where you’re essentially the middleman. So you go on Alibaba research, the products you want to sell such as workout, sets, hair, glasses, jewelry, whatever the case might be, and you advertise it in your store for a specific price.
Now Alibaba is probably going to sell it for, let’s say $3, but you can mark it up to $10 or $15. So when people buy it from your store, you’re the middleman. So when they buy from you, Shopify has apps that connect your store with the. Actual merchant from Alibaba, which is in China. And then they shipped the product to your customer.
So you’re not holding in inventory and you keep that profit difference. So you bought it from them for $3. You sold it for $15, that $12 was yours. So that’s one way that you can get started with relatively no money. You’re just not going to need to spend about 30 to $50 on your Shopify store and start creating content on Instagram immediately.
That’s one way. The other way would be through digital products. I teach people and I have a course on this. You know, everyone has something that they’re experienced in something that they’ve overcome a story that they have and something that they can teach to someone else. A lot of the time, we just don’t give ourselves enough credit.
So have you ever started at point a and gotten to point B in something, whether that’s losing weight, overcoming depression, raising twins, potty training, whatever the case might be, that transition is something that you can teach someone else and people will pay for it. I think a lot of the time people don’t think people will pay for things, but they will, especially when you position yourself as an odd Gordy or someone who can teach it in that space.
Now where the time comes in, because both of these things don’t cost a lot of money to start. I did it and made a million dollars, but where the time comes in is the consistency and creating content. And that’s where people do that too soon. Because my first four months I made a hundred dollars in this business may be 500, like maybe in digital products specific.
Let me be clear. Yes. In digital products. But the rest of the income came in the following six months, then it really started to blow up. But a lot of the time, people don’t want to put in that first three to four months of time, but you have to, you have to, because when you first post, you can’t expect that people are just going to come buy from you, like, oh, Here’s a new person, let me just go by their e-book. You’ve got to put in some of that sweat equity. So that’s really what costs and starting a business, not necessarily the money, but with social media, you can now position yourself immediately. Right. But you just have to put in that time of showing up. Creating content, engaging with your audience, getting them to trust you.
And once you successfully do that, well, then you’re able to experience nearly pure profit because of the fact that you didn’t spend a lot of money to start the business. You just put in the, yeah, I know. And that’s so important is building that trust and building the sweat equity that you spoke about, which is so important.
Keisha Blair: And, that’s what I’ve been hearing from so many entrepreneurs on this show was that, I started doing things for free offering my services for free so that I could build that trust. And I had those testimonials and I could build out the case studies, as you mentioned. So we got, and that’s critical, but so many people give up too soon because they’re looking at the three months. They’re like, oh no, I could’ve got a job earning this much. Or, you know, and then people run off and they get a survival job. They run into something they’re not happy with. And they’re still unhappy 10 years down the road. And so everyone – you need to put in the time and don’t give up.
And so at least that’s something I want to ask because I know lots of women listen to this show, lots of moms and they’re thinking, oh my gosh, I have three or four kids. How am I going to make this work? How do I make the time with their homeschooling? What advice would you have for them? I mean, do you use any productivity tools? Do you have employees now, do you get help with, for instance, some of the tasks that you do and just wondering, you know, how you make that all work?
Eliza: So, you know, luckily when I moved back home, I had my mom to help, which is great. She was very helpful with the kids when I had to be focused in some ways on the business, but I would definitely say for those listening, my mistake was not delegating sooner.
I was carrying it all on me. Granted with digital products. I didn’t necessarily have to have, a lot of extra help because it I’m not shipping out anything. You can automate a lot of the process, but what I’m neglecting to get sooner was a virtual assistant or a customer service rep. So I was up midnight, 2:00 AM answering DMS, answering emails, fixing, you know, making corrections, and it was stopping me from being able to be in my zone of genius, which is creating our content, scaling the business.
And while I’ve managed it well, because I did achieve a lot. Sometimes, I think if I have brought on a customer service person, maybe I could have hit $2 million. I mean, in 10 months, do you know, maybe I could have hit $1.5M in 10 months. And so now I have help. I just hired my assistant maybe two months ago, it’s been two months, which has been very helpful. And so now I’m starting to think more of, okay. How can I remove myself from the operation so that it can exist even without me necessarily. And I think that that’s how all of us should think when we know we want to start a business, sometimes it can feel so close to us. And it should because it’s your baby. You put in so much time, but ultimately you want it to be able to exist on its own. That’s when you know, you really have a profitable thriving business when you don’t have to touch anything and it’s still running.
Keisha Blair: Great advice. And so I know you took the free personal financial identity quiz and that’s so critical for women now. We’re getting back into normalcy or some form of it. So important for people to know what their personal financial identity is and how they can harness it. So I know you took the quiz and we want to learn about yours and your thoughts on it. And you know, whether you see it in your daily life and how you see it play out. So can you tell us what your results were and your thoughts?
Eliza: Yeah, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think my results were like, Moderate or safe or something like that. I’m not a very risky.
Keisha Blair: Was it the Minimalist then? It was a Minimalist. Okay. Perfect. And so does that, do you see that play out in like your daily life?
Eliza: I definitely do. I was actually not surprised at all because, you know, I truly am not a big spender and that’s something I was telling my students the other day. Is even with the success I’ve had, I haven’t drawn a large salary for myself. You know, the only thing I’ve done is I got, I moved out, got myself, an apartment for me and the kids, but I think my goals are so defined and clear that I’m willing to still, you know, wear the same stuff I had, you know, I mean, I always had nice things.
I don’t feel the need to go out and buy all these designer expensive things right now, because rather than me putting $5,000 on a bag, I’d rather put $5,000 as a down payment, you know? Cause you can buy a house with $5,000. And so my thought process is so focused on, as I mentioned earlier, taking one business and creating multiple businesses that spending on me is really not a part of the equation right now.
So I think that when I got the Minimalist result, it was good. I was like, okay, that’s me.
Keisha Blair: Yeah, I know. That’s amazing. And we’ve had so many minimalists on this show who are so successful, successful entrepreneurs and just stories, are so inspiring of what they’ve been able to accomplish. And so something I wanted to ask you just, because you said, you don’t draw that salary for yourself. And so I’m wondering, because I know I can anticipate this question coming, people are probably wondering how much they should be taking out of the business or shouldn’t be taking out?
Eliza: So I think a lot of the time I did mine based on the market rate of what I would be making if I was someone’s employee. So I looked up, okay, what would a CEO or a VP of a small consulting firm be making and an LA that’s really anywhere from like $150,000 to maybe $250,000. So I kind of did mine on market rate, but. Honestly, I would say, and this is directly from my CPA, for anyone listening, you kind of want to look at being anywhere from 10 to 20% of your monthly business income can be what you start to pay yourself. That’s the best way to kind of scale. And that’s reasonable. It’s modest. Now of course, as your business starts to make more money, some people pay themselves 30% of their business profit. I think it’s all based on your goals, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going over that 30% of that number, because then at that point it’s becoming more about you than the business, but really and truly its 20%, or 15% is like a sweet spot, where if you’re a business that’s making $10,000 a month, maybe at that point, you’re paying yourself $2000. Now, of course, this is going to depend on what your monthly expenses are, but this is why I always teach my students, as you go into starting this business, go ahead and get in the habit of decreasing your lifestyle expenses.
Because I think a lot of people think as soon as you become an entrepreneur, you just get rich, you live this flashy lifestyle, but to sustain as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to be disciplined and live a little bit minimally. So go ahead and decrease your expenses right now. Start looking at what can you cut out of your budget so that even when your business starts making $10K, $20K per month, you’re comfortable with only paying yourself 20%.
Because you’ve decreased your expenses to the point where you’re not feeling like I need more money, I need more money, you know, because you can always give yourself a raise when it’s your business. That’s the freedom of it. But you want to do it at the right time.
Keisha Blair: And that’s such that advice because I think a lot of us get tempted to go back into the corporate world, because they’re like, well, look at the salary I had there and I was able to maintain this kind of lifestyle and this business hasn’t given me that yet. And so people get very demotivated and think that the business isn’t working or won’t work because they’re eager to get that kind of what money immediately. What I love about your advice a while ago is that you’re decreasing your lifestyle so that you’re not tempted to make wrong decisions, that you’re not tempted to think short term, and you’re not tempted to make rash decisions that are not going to benefit you in the long-term. So, ELisa, that’s amazing. And of course, is there anything else that you wanted to add? Any advice before we go, is there any last words of wisdom that you want to give?
Eliza: I guess I would just say those of you who are listening, who are, and you have a business that you’ve started, or you want to start a business, just stay consistent. You know, I know everyone says this, but I truly mean it don’t give up because typically your hardest days are what are getting you closer to that breakthrough. And a lot of the time when it’s very hard and we feel like nothing’s working, the thing is when we want to stop, but that very next day is when it could just, just poured through. So stay consistent, don’t give up and then really set goals for yourself. I would recommend anyone listening to create a vision board or write down a list of what your goals are in life, what you want to achieve, what you want this business to help you be able to do.
And then look at that every single day, because that can really motivate you to stay focused and then you’ll know. Okay, well, if I don’t show up. I won’t be able to get any of the things I put on this list. So I will show up so that I can get closer to being able to accomplish what I envisioned from it.
Keisha Blair: And so can you tell us where to find you on social media and your website so the audience can know where to find you?
Eliza: Absolutely. So my handle is Ellie talks to money on all platforms and my website is also www.Ellietalksmoney.com. So that’s where you can find me. Definitely send me an email. If you have any questions, if you’d like to work together one-on-one and certainly do get my courses so that you can have everything you need for your business.
Keisha Blair: Thank you so much for joining us. It was amazing having you.
Eliza: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
Keisha Blair: Thank you for joining us this week on Holistic Wealth with Keisha Blair. Make sure to visit our website keishablair.com where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify or via Rs so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you found value in this show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes or if you simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out too. Are you a member of the Institute on Holistic Wealth? If not, what are you waiting for? Go to Institute on Holistic Wealth/memberships to choose your membership plan and join as a member. You get so many perks, free worksheets, advice coaching, and a member’s workshop to design an intentionally designed life. Do you need to figure out your life purpose? Take the Build Your Life Purpose Portfolio, an online self-paced course. Are you struggling with all your money decisions? Take the free financial identities quiz and then take the personal financial identities course. Did you recently suffer a breakup job loss or experience the death of a loved one? Take the Holistic Healing online course. Do you need an overall plan to achieve holistic wealth? We will help you figure out your Holistic Wealth Blueprint and of course if you want to start making money by helping others achieve Holistic Wealth, become a Certified Holistic Wealth Consultant. Regardless of what career you’ve got, the Institute will show you how to increase your income and walk in your purpose. The sooner you join the sooner you start to achieve a more holistically wealthy lifestyle and you’re going to want to stay for a very long time so go to Institute on Holistic Wealth/memberships to join. If you haven’t read the book yet pick up a copy of the award-winning best-selling book Holistic Wealth: 32 life lessons to help you find purpose prosperity and happiness