As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful Service Business,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor Lou Dixon.
Taylor Lou Dixon is a certified Image Consultant and Business Mentor specializing in supporting powerhouse female entrepreneurs to discover and use their “It-Factor” to grow their influence, impact, and online business. She has been an online entrepreneur since 2014, starting two successful service-based businesses before the age of 25. Her signature process of personal, brand, and business reinvention guides her clients to become thought leaders in their industries by gaining clarity on their most natural essence, convicted message, and embodied medicine. She has helped hundreds of female entrepreneurs to make more money and grow their impact across many different online industries. Taylor Lou is a master level trained NLP Practitioner, Life and Success Coach, and Hypnotherapist with a passion for personal growth and spirituality. She offers online courses, workshops, high-level group programs, private mentorship, and immersions.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I actually started my first business right out of college. I had many social media marketing internships in college and saw an opportunity to offer my skill set to small and medium sized businesses through entrepreneurship, rather than pursuing a 9–5 career. Little did I know that this was the first step to the most incredible journey of my life, which led me down a path of self-discovery, personal development, and finding my purpose. After three years of running my social media agency, I stumbled upon the world of online coaching and my life was forever changed.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
I reached a point in my first business where I knew something had to change. Even though I was making great money, I didn’t feel particularly fulfilled by the work. While attending a marketing conference, I had the idea to start a local women’s group and immediately felt so inspired by the concept. The idea felt so right and allowed me to utilize my most purpose-driven skills, passions, and interests. At this same conference, I met a group of coaches who lived in Austin, TX. There was something so different and magnetic about them. I enrolled in a group coaching program led by one of the women that I met at the conference and thus began my coaching business which is now a multiple six-figure brand with online courses, workshops, group programs, retreats, and private mentorship packages, all run by a small but mighty team.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Oh man, there were so many mistakes in the beginning. An overarching theme when I first started my business was a tendency to over-complicate things. One example of this was when I decided to host a one-day virtual workshop. I organized tons of speakers, spent hours and hours creating a very thorough PowerPoint presentation, collected people’s home addresses to send physical invitations, and spent so much time marketing the event. I wasn’t making a lot of money at the time, and this was supposed to be the THING that brought me new clients. I put all my “eggs in one basket” and did everything possible to spread the word. In the end, I realized that I totally overpriced my event, for where I was in the level of trust and authority that I had with my audience. Only one person bought a ticket! I was crushed. But in that moment, I learned how to be a scrappy entrepreneur. I started inviting people for free and it ended up being a wonderful event. This event created a lot of momentum and was filled with paying clients the next time I offered it. I also learned that simple is better. And I’m still learning this lesson time and time again. But that’s the beauty of owning a business, there’s always new opportunities for growth.
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
I always ask my clients to establish a “why” for themselves and a “why” for the world when considering the mission and purpose of their business. The “why” for myself is to be fully expressed and free in my creativity and leadership. A mantra that I use often is “I create everything from nothing.” I LOVE the feeling of turning an idea into something that generates revenue, creates financial freedom for my family, and provides value to the world. This creative freedom drives me every day. My “why” for the world is specifically centered around female empowerment. I feel so strongly that feminine leaders are setting the example for what it looks like to live a life of authenticity, expression, contribution, and abundance. Lately, my vision is driven by helping service-based, online entrepreneurs to re-design and scale their business using their “It-Factor,” which is essentially my brand and business reinvention system rooted in self-discovery. I also want to become a mother in a couple of years. This vision of me with two-four little redheads brings me so much purpose and drive and encourages me to build my business in a way that provides passive and reliable recurring income for the future. Doing it for the kids!
What do you do to articulate or demonstrate your company’s values to your employees and to your customers?
The Taylor Lou Coaching brand is dedicated to making sure that every single person is valued, seen, and encouraged to shine bright in their “zone of genius.” Our clients are encouraged to deeply understand the value that they inherently contribute to the world by simply being themselves, and “following the breadcrumbs” of their desires, passions, and personal truth along the way. In practice with my own brand, this looks like encouraging our team members to have full autonomy and leadership over the projects that are in their wheelhouse. We also outsource often to ensure that our team does not get overwhelmed or burnt-out by tasks that aren’t a good match for their expertise. Lastly, I do my best to be very quick with verbal affirmation and encouragement for both team members and clients alike. I like to say that I am the #1 cheerleader and champion for the people in my life.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
“You are not your business.” As a service-based, purpose-driven entrepreneur and personal brand, it can be so easy to take business challenges, disappointments, and failures personally. Without proper boundaries, these situations can take a huge toll on your self-worth. A “no” from someone you thought would become a client, not hitting your launch revenue goals, an unhappy customer, tech glitches…. these obstacles happen and it’s important to handle them like a CEO. This also means having a vibrant and healthy lifestyle outside of your business, which is super important for our wellbeing. Community, hobbies, self-care, play, relationships, philanthropy, these are all ways that make you more than just your business.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I’ll never forget the chapter of life that I spent living in a little one-bedroom apartment with barely any windows and my cat to keep me company. I didn’t know anyone else my age starting a business and I felt so alone. I would sit at my desk for hours staring at the computer screen, overwhelmed by the learning curve of entrepreneurship, before finally giving up and binging Netflix instead. Several months later, I discovered that there was toxic mold in my apartment which contributed to my lethargic behavior and mental health struggles. However, to be honest, despite my unique beginning, I had never seriously considered giving up. I had a deep knowing that things would eventually work out. I knew this was my path, and that if I stuck with my determination long enough, I would make it.
So, how are things going today? How did your values lead to your eventual success?
I truly can’t believe all the magic that’s happened to me. I regularly pinch myself and question how life can be THIS good. Not to say that there aren’t any challenges and difficult moments, or opportunities for growth (there are plenty!), but I’m so deeply in love with my life, brand, and business. My business continues to thrive and grow exponentially, despite the global pandemic, and serves hundreds and hundreds of women across the globe. I have clients all over the world who use my services to start, grow, and scale their online businesses by discovering more about how they are uniquely designed to lead, create, and unapologetically express themselves. My commitment to be a living embodiment of the possibility that women can live an incredibly fulfilling life and create a brand and business around it, has led not only to my increased success, but to regularly inspires others. I believe in creating a win/win/win ecosystem for those women who are daring to do things differently, which drives me every day to keep going.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a founder or CEO should know in order to create a very successful service based business? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Prioritize a deeper understanding of self — Especially if you are using a personal brand to grow your business. This is exactly why I’ve developed my “It-Factor’’ reinvention system. The only way to become a thought leader in your industry, and attract your dream clients in a saturated market, is to deeply understand what makes you stand out from other brands. My system is based on unpacking three main elements which include your ‘natural essence’ (the energy people naturally feel from you), your ‘convicted message’ (the message on your heart that is begging to be shared with the world), and your ‘embodied medicine’ (the effortless way you impact those around you). This system helps fempreneurs to practically apply this to their business- infusing more of themselves into their services, marketing, content strategy, personal brand, and so much more. Directly after implementing this method for myself, I had my first six-figure sales month. After creating awareness around these categories and sharing this approach with my clients, we are seeing incredible jumps in their income as well as influence.
- Create a clear vision and motivating “why” — You have probably heard this one before, but I encourage you to really consider what is going to keep you going day after day, when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and hide. Your vision and your “why” might be the only thing keeping you going on those days, which is why it is so important for you to have some serious substance behind it. We all want money and freedom and recognition and a beautiful life, but what is worth sacrificing for? For me, it is executing my brand vision now, so that I can be super present with my future family. I want to pour all of my creativity and love into my greatest legacy, my children. This drives me to continue building a strong and sustainable foundation for my business. It’s so much easier to show up for the tedious aspects of day-to-day entrepreneurship when you know why you’re doing it.
- Build your support team — I can’t emphasize this enough, YOU CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. It will take a village if you have big dreams and goals like mine. You’re going to need a mentor to show you the ropes and remind you that it’s all going to be ok, key contractors and team members with specific expertise, a community who believes in your dreams, people to support your health, and much more! Leadership is a big calling and you will need your dream team.
- Spend more time on your business — Time spent on the business looks like building the vision, mapping out high-level strategy, coming up with creative solutions, developing new growth strategies, and scheduling creative whitespace. Time spent in the business looks like administrative work, delivering on client work, sales calls, project management, etc. The best way to do this is by scheduling what I call “CEO time”, even if it’s just a couple of hours a week. I have “CEO time” Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s and only take client and potential client calls on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and occasionally on Friday’s.
- Don’t neglect your personal brand — Whether you are specifically using your personal brand to grow your service-based business or you’re using a business brand, I highly recommend developing a strong personal brand presence either way. A personal brand is the modern-day business card. People want to get a sense of who they’ll be working with and feel a connection with the human behind the brand, not just the service. Not to mention, it’s an incredible way to use your “It-Factor” to positively impact and influence your audience. One of my recent clients went from $30K monthly revenue to $60K, with very low overhead, the month after she started using her personal brand to drive business in conjunction with her business brand. Another client was running a marketing agency making around $3K per month consistently, and then immediately jumped to $11.5K after we revamped her personal brand, which quickly turned into $15K the following month. She has continued to maintain this new level of income by posting consistent, organic content on her personal Instagram.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’ve had many incredible mentors along my entrepreneurial journey. But honestly, I credit most of my success to my parents. From a young age they encouraged me to pursue everything I was ever interested in. I had a super active imagination and loved dressing up, acting, singing, and dancing. My dad built me, and my siblings, a huge wooden stage in our yard to encourage this expression. They always let me know that I could be anything I wanted to be, and that no dream was too big or unrealistic. They instilled so many important values that shaped me into the person that I am today.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I often express to the other women in my life, whether it be clients, team members, friends, family, the incredible qualities that I see in them. I would love to start a movement around this act of expression, particularly amongst women. Encouraging women to give genuine reflections to each other about their superpowers and the positive impact that they naturally have can ignite massive amounts of transformation. This kind of reflection is also incredibly valuable to gaining a better understanding of your “It-Factor”!
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