It takes a tremendous amount of courage to start a business. For many entrepreneurs, it means leaving a life that is already financially stable.
Even when their companies succeed, business owners also have to make sure that they manage cash flow, hire the right employees, and establish a healthy company culture.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Lauren Messiah, who knows all about risks. Messiah has styled thousands of clients, including many celebrities and influencers. She is currently making a pivot and focusing more on her personal brand. We discussed what it’s like being a famous influencer, selling courses online, getting involved in entrepreneur communities, and her new book, Style Therapy: 30 Days To Your Signature Style.
Taking Radical Risks
Lauren told me that she wasn’t afraid to take radical risks, and that was one of the reasons that she has been able to become so successful. When the pandemic hit, she knew that she would have to change up her business model and adjust to her audience.
Messiah successfully exited her first company, School Of Style, and felt like it was now or never. She was tired of “making her passion her side hustle.” Messiah thinks that entrepreneurs should embrace radical risks because “once you leap, the net will appear.”
Messiah has a successful Youtube channel, and the channel was originally focused on building her email list. She told me that she was interested in organic growth, and knows that offering a window into her life to her Youtube audience is core to her marketing strategy. Lauren’s channel currently boasts over 10 million views.
Learning How To Lead
Messiah might be a famous Youtuber, but she’s always been an introvert. I asked her how it felt to become the President of the LA Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization, and she immediately felt overwhelmed. She knew that other members had a lot more experience than her, and was even thinking about trying to find a way out of the role.
She decided to move forward and told me that she has found the role incredibly rewarding. Lauren said that she had no choice but to grow and learn, especially when you are leading a board of 25 Type A entrepreneurs with their own unique perspectives and opinions. She is now proud of herself for sticking through it, pointing out that it has helped her refine her leadership style.
Forge Your Own Path
One of the most interesting parts of my conversation with this Fascinating Entrepreneur is Lauren’s commitment to brand integrity. Messiah understands that she needs to hire to scale her business, but she also told me that it was her goal to “never have employees.” She’s had some negative experiences with past hires and consultants.
Messiah hired several contractors to help her with her business, but she found that they didn’t really understand her vision. Lauren told me that she was betting on her brand involving both style advice AND self-help. While she knows that these experts had good intentions, she realized that it was best to trust her own gut. Check out our full conversation on the Fascinating Entrepreneurs podcast!
Transcript from Podcast
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[00:00:20] Lauren: So it just got to that point where it’s like, you know what, leap and the net will appear.
That’s been my whole entire career. Basically, it’s just taking radical risks and it’s always paid off.
[00:00:34] Natasha: Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their business? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit? These and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
If you’d like to know how to scale and grow your company and make more profit sign up on my website at natashamiller.co to get on the waiting list for my Entrepreneurial Masters Accelerator Program.
[00:01:14] Lauren: Hi, this is Lauren Messiah, entrepreneur, author, and personal stylist. I’ve been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Elle magazine. You should check out the Fascinating Entrepreneur podcast if you want to discover the strategies of successful entrepreneurs.
[00:01:33] Natasha: Today’s guest has 83,000 subscribers and 10 million views on our YouTube channel. Just exited her first company and is doubling down on our own personal brand.
In this episode, Lauren Messiah tells it like it is. How she started, how she made the jump into her personal brand full time and talks about our new book “Style Therapy”. Now let’s get right into it.
[00:02:01] Lauren: I think probably like most entrepreneurs. Being unruly in a traditional workplace. My journey is bounced all over the place from wanting to be a fashion designer.
I went to design school and realized that career path is not very lucrative and not as glamorous as I thought. So then I literally started at the bottom from working retail to being an executive assistant at AOL. And then to get out of those, not living the dream jobs, I started to work for startups. And seeing the contrast between working at a really large company, AOL, even though it was just an assistant, I was an assistant to some of the big executives.
So you could see that it would take forever for an idea to turn into something. And then when I worked for startups and was like, oh my gosh, we can think of something. And then make it something and I’m like, wait, if I did this myself, I could just fast track that even more. So that kind of gave me the entrepreneurial bug.
Personally, I went from doing celebrity styling and didn’t really enjoy that and then transfer those skills into personal styling or women. And you have to start your own business. There’s no job, at least at the time, that would hire you to go shopping for people that was called working retail, which I already did and didn’t want to do again.
So I was almost forced into it. And thanks Aliso.
[00:03:39] Natasha: So a question that always comes up to me is, were you born an entrepreneur or did you learn, or can you learn to become one? And you answered that, but did you think you had it in you working retail before you saw the aha moment? Were you like, I’m going to be the owner of my own company?
[00:04:00] Lauren: Not necessarily, but I think I always knew that I wanted to do something different. I grew up in a suburb outside of DC and Virginia, and I never really fit in with anybody. Like at my school, I was the misfit, weirdo. I had friends, but it was like, Lauren’s kinda weird!
[00:04:21] Natasha: Did you go through a goth period ever?
[00:04:24] Lauren: I did, like punk, goth.. I was a total chameleon mostly cause I was like, can I find someone who I’d fit with? So I just tried on every outfit, but I could never envision myself staying in my hometown and getting married and having kids and having Sunday dinner at my parent’s house. Not there’s anything wrong with that, but I literally could never see it.
So I thought about being on TV and writing books and just being out there. I didn’t look-
[00:05:02] Natasha: You have been on TV and there is some book writing that we’re going to get into. So you had an entrepreneurial spirit?
[00:05:09] Lauren: Yeah, I didn’t ever think, I think, cause I didn’t see it. Especially at a young person, at the time now entrepreneurship is much more in your face with social media.
I was a teenager in the nineties. Like we didn’t have Instagram, so I didn’t really think it was an option. But one of my best friend’s mom growing up, she was not an entrepreneur. She worked for a big company, but her spirit of moving up and being successful and being a powerful working woman.
That also appealed to me. So I feel like all of the pieces were coming together to prepare me for entrepreneurship.
[00:05:50] Natasha: Yeah, it’s beautiful. So moving on you are the current president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization. You and I were in the chapter together. I unfortunately moved back to another chapter up in San Francisco, but I’d like to know how you found out about the organization at first, when you were in the accelerator.
[00:06:12] Lauren: Yeah. So one of my friends, her mentor is in EO, Kevin Roth. Everyone knows Kevin, if you’re in EO and she was like, oh, there’s this great organization for entrepreneurs. And I looked at it. I was like, but wait, you have to make a million dollars. And I’m nowhere close to a million dollars. She’s no, there’s an accelerator program.
So I joined the accelerator program mostly because when you’re an entrepreneur, I don’t know if you feel this way. But you almost feel crazy, like you’re on your own crazy island.
[00:06:47] Natasha: I still feel that way every day.
[00:06:50] Lauren: Right? Like your normal friends don’t get it. Your family doesn’t get it.
[00:06:54] Natasha: Then they don’t really care either.
[00:06:57] Lauren: It was mostly like why are you working so hard? Why are you, why don’t you just come hang out? It’s no, this is me. This is my DNA, this entrepreneurship thing. I joined the accelerator and it was amazing. It helped me grow my business from 350,000 to a million dollars in about two and a half years.
[00:07:19] Natasha: And that was School of Style?
[00:07:21] Lauren: Yes. That was School of Style. And it was just great to speak to people, even though they weren’t in my same industry, we all have the same problems and there was that motivation and encouragement to grow. So then when I graduated and joined EO, I was thrust into service.
They’re like, you ought to be on the board. I’m like, me, on the board? I was the communications chair for a couple of years, the learning chair. And then they asked me to be president. I’m like, me, are you sure?
[00:07:57] Natasha: Oh, I know they’re sure, Lauren. Because I met you two or three years ago and there was no question in my mind that you were absolutely, able to do that and would do it well, which leads me to my next question about the experience of being the President of the LA chapter.
Multi-pronged, what’s the experience of having to do it during the pandemic? But also how have you experienced these roles in growth and development? How meaningful has that been being on those different committees and chairs?
[00:08:29] Lauren: Yeah. You know what, it’s been great. And I would honestly say that being the president has been the best role, most terrifying leading into the role.
Why did I say yes to this? Oh my gosh. Is there an escape route how to get out of this?
[00:08:45] Natasha: Was it imposter syndrome a bit?
[00:08:47] Lauren: A little bit and just overwhelmed. I had two businesses at the time and it just seems like, how am I going to fit this other thing in and how am I going to do a good job?
And yeah, there’s people that have been in EO much longer that have much bigger businesses. So it was a little like, is there a way out of this?
[00:09:10] Natasha: You wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.
[00:09:12] Lauren: There’s always a way, but it just wasn’t an option for me. So I went forward, but it’s been so rewarding in terms of growth, personal growth, because you’re leading leaders, you’re leading a board.
I think I have 25 people on my board. And they’re all entrepreneurs and they’re all type A, so trying to lead that group, you’re bound to grow and learn.
[00:09:41] Natasha: I would be very nervous personally to be president of that chapter. That chapter specifically is very powerful, very together, very forward thinking, very successful, very verbal, not to scare you, you’re halfway through your term. So you got it.
[00:10:03] Lauren: It helped me settle into my leadership style and myself, and I feel like coupled with the pandemic. The pandemic has given us all an opportunity to sit with ourselves, which I’m a very introspective person. I’m super woo-woo. I love to journal. I love to meditate. So realizing in the grand scheme of things, that this is still just small potatoes.
So it helped me just let go of things. It’s like all of these people are volunteers who are volunteering their time during a pandemic.
[00:10:38] Natasha: I asked specifically, I wanted to know your vantage point, but also wanted our listeners to know what the value is to be on these boards. There’s a lot of ego that happens in there.
I know that I’m very proud and it is definitely an ego inflate to be on the boards of these high, highly regarded organizations. But beyond that, I wanted people to understand why the opportunity is so important.
[00:11:06] Lauren: You get to learn. It’s again, running, not running, but overseeing all of these entrepreneurs.
It’s like running a business in a way, but there’s no stakes there. Like you’re not going to lose a bunch of money.
[00:11:21] Natasha: It’s like playing monopoly.
[00:11:23] Lauren: Right? Yeah. So it’s working a skill. You can test things, you can try things. So I’ve become a better entrepreneur because of that service. And it’s funny for me, I’ve never taken like an ego standpoint to the board.
Probably I should a little bit, I’ve seen people on the board that have leveraged the positioning and opportunity. But for me, I just love being of service of a chapter that’s given me so much. So it makes me feel good. The benefit is giving back, and practicing my leadership skills on a whole new level, because my business is very small.
I don’t have a lot of employees. I work from home, you know, it is my goal to never have employees.
[00:12:18] Natasha: I understand why. I understand. But maybe you could, as an introvert, you’re talking to a fellow introvert and you probably know that about me because we’ve, we know each other, but because I’m outgoing in person does not equal, I’m not an introvert.
[00:12:33] Lauren: Oh, yeah, no, totally true. I have amazing contractors. I’ve set up a business in a way that makes me love and enjoy my life. I don’t have a vision of having a building with my name on it with, of people working like I’m good, but I am a leader in my business for all of my clients and my community and my social following.
So to be able to practice leadership skills on such a high level. Serving on the board. And learning how to get along with different personalities and letting things go and pushing for things. It definitely transfers. So I think that’s a huge gift for anyone that’s willing to serve, no matter what position it is.
[00:13:17] Natasha: Yep. Agreed. I would love to know. I just saw that you recently exited your first major entrepreneurial endeavor School of Style to focus on your own brand. Lay it on us. What is going on? That’s so exciting. Congratulations.
[00:13:34] Lauren: Yes. It’s something that had been on my mind for a while because it’s difficult to juggle.
I give mad props to people that are like, I have 20 businesses and my brain is like, tug of war constantly. And I really love what I do on my personal brand to help women find their confidence and their style and be change makers in the world. Then I’d always feel tugged, but I got to work on this, and it made my passion feel like a side hustle.
So it just got to that point where it’s like, you know what, leap and the net will appear. That’s been, my whole entire career. Basically it’s just taking radical risks and it’s always paid off. So the fact that I also did it during a pandemic was like, what am I thinking?
[00:14:31] Natasha: Were you planning for this prior to the pandemic happening?
[00:14:35] Lauren: It had been on my mind. Yeah. And it was like, you know what, after this thing happens then, and it was just never coming because there’s always something new that you think of when you’re an entrepreneur. There is no wrapping it up in a nice bow. So it was like, We’re doing it.
[00:14:53] Natasha: Now tell us about the new endeavor. What does it include even if it’s the things that you were doing in tandem for people that are just meeting you now, what are the different opportunities to work with you?
[00:15:05] Lauren: I started my career as a personal stylist. One-on-one I worked with really amazing, powerful women in Hollywood, shopping for them putting together their outfit.
Watching them be like, oh, I feel so good about myself, letting them go. And then coming back when they need more clothes. So over the years of working with women in that capacity, I would help them see themselves differently and level up. So I applied the same principles to myself. When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I needed a freaking make-over because nobody was taking me seriously because I looked like a little kid.
[00:15:43] Natasha: You were a little kid. Weren’t you young when you started?
[00:15:47] Lauren: 28. So yeah, I was dressing like a 22 year old girl, but when I went through, took myself through that process coupled with all of the work that I’ve been doing over the past 12 years to just make myself a better human. I’m like I could have a much more, I could have a bigger impact if I combine those two things, style personal development and got to work with more women being online instead of running around the mall in Los Angeles.
So that’s when I transitioned to an online business doing courses, memberships. Books videos, TV opportunities. So all of that has been running in the background the whole time I had the other company, but now…
[00:16:38] Natasha: That is a lot.
[00:16:40] Lauren: Oh, it’s a ton. So now it’s just go time, focus on what I’m doing. My big focus now is growing my membership, Style Confidence Collective and there’s these amazing women inside of that group.
[00:16:55] Natasha: Yeah, your before and after stories and pictures are amazing. And I remember my best friend from Des Moines, Iowa was like, Lauren Messiah? I’m like, yeah, I know Lauren. She’s oh, she was in one of your challenges. And she’s a beautiful portrait artist. She has this big thing about photographing people that are over 50 and she just got giddy.
And it was like, as if. You are a celebrity, she lives in Des Moines, Iowa. There’s not very much access to celebrities there. So that was really adorable. And she just loved going through that challenge with you.
[00:17:30] Lauren: I love doing free challenges. I’ve got one coming up early next year.
That’s going to be super fun, but I just love getting women together and giving them a safe space to just be themselves. There’s so much pressure on social media and conditioning from society that we have to be one extreme or the other.
[00:17:54] Natasha: It’s true. I don’t think you’re going to remember this, but when I first met you, I was introduced to you and someone said, oh, Lauren, she’s a personal stylist.
And I remember everything in my body going, oh geez. The first thing I said to you is something like, oh, I started making excuses for my style. And you were so great. You were like, no, you’ve got cute shoes on. You got a great bag. You look adorable. And I was like, oh, okay. Thank you. I could’ve probably.
It’s a little too soon for tips in that moment, but taking some tips.
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So, I would love for you to tell us about this new book Style Therapy.
[00:19:07] Lauren: Yes. Yes. Style Therapy. This is a great, I feel, entrepreneurial tale because I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve always had visions of walking into, a bookstore or a retailer and being like, that’s my book. So as any entrepreneur would do, I just took matters into my own hands.
And I had self published, a book called the Style Solution. It was a workbook. I sold it on my website.
[00:19:36] Natasha: Did it have stickers and like pens and cool stuff like that?
[00:19:43] Lauren: Exactly. First, it was a digital book. Then I was like, you know what? I’m going to spend the money and make a physical book. I mailed them out myself, cute pens, stickers the whole bit.
And through an EO connection, I got introduced to a literary agent and she’s oh my gosh, I saw the book. It looks amazing. She’s can you overnight me a bunch of copies of the book? And I’m going to FedEx now. So I overnighted like seven or eight books, whatever I had left in my closet. And she pitched it and within a month or so I had a book deal.
[00:20:20] Natasha: Who are you getting published with?
Abrams. And when will it come out?
[00:20:25] Lauren: It comes out April 27.
[00:20:28] Natasha: Two seasons in publishing and it’s exhausting, and to wait, but I’m sure there’s some editing.
[00:20:34] Lauren: It was supposed to come out. The book is done. Its design is ready. It’s been ready. It was supposed to come out in September 2020, and then it got pushed back, good reasons that I won’t get into, but all positive.
And then the pandemic. Okay, this is really good timing now, but it’s delayed, but you can pre-order it on my website. There’s a tab in the navigation for book.
[00:20:59] Natasha: Great.
[00:21:00] Lauren: Pre-order it.
[00:21:00] Natasha: Will link to all of that. But my burning question now is, does it come with stickers?
[00:21:06] Lauren: This one doesn’t. But it’s beautiful. So this is fun. Originally they were just going to repackage, the self published book and, publish it. But they had seen my challenges that your friend loved and my YouTube content though. Could you combine some of that motivational stuff like with the workbook? So it’s a book that combines my story. My Style Therapy is journey from childhood to today with client stories and every day as an actionable something for you to do, it’s 30 days to your signature style.
So you write in the book, you get your markers out, you color in the book, you get your own stickers and gee, that alcohol fancy, but it looks beautiful. When I met with the publisher in New York for the first time, I don’t know, I expected it to be like a black and white book with fill in the blank. And I’m like, this is like, full color.
[00:22:10] Natasha: Wow. You have images of past clients.
[00:22:15] Lauren: There’s images of me. There’s illustrations in there of clothing, anything. I don’t have any pictures of past clients, although maybe for book number two.
[00:22:25] Natasha: Oh my gosh, you’re a media mogul now.
[00:22:29] Lauren: Ooh!
[00:22:31] Natasha: Brilliant. I’m going to be buying the book. I will pre-order now.
Cause I know that’s, it’s important to just get support, right? Support from your fellow entrepreneurs, friends, people in the industry. And so I’m recently looking for what successful or intriguing or fascinating entrepreneurs are doing to implement a strategy that you’ll double down on to grow your business.
And since we’re coming up to the new year, is there one strategy that you can share with us that you’re going to double down on nail in order to, have your business scale and grow to the place you want it to go to?
[00:23:14] Lauren: Yeah. So I think I’ll give one more woo. And I’ll give one more practical. So on the woo scale, I’m definitely doubling down on community.
You know, the moment that lockdown started in March, I immediately went to, what do my clients need right now? What does everybody need right now? They need connection. They need community. They’re bored. You can’t push the same messaging to say, put on your ball gown to sit at home in your house, like most personal stylists.
And they, they reach out to me on Instagram, Lauren help. What do I do with my business? Nobody wants to get dressed. I’m like girl, pivot, figure it out. So I really switched to a community-based strategy where we’d have, I have a book club in my membership. So every month we read a book and we talk about it in the comments.
I’m like, all right, wait, we’re going to put this on zoom. So we’re all hanging out. And then I did the zoom styling parties, where I’m like, everybody bring their necklaces and I’m going to teach you how to layer necklaces. And we’re going to hang out. We’re going to talk. And it was just what everybody needed.
And everyone’s this saved me. And then you can get deeper into what your customers really want. And a lot of my customers are introverts. They’re, lonely. They’re not prepared to get out of their shell. So I’m like, this is giving them something that they didn’t know they needed, that they really need.
And that helps them become stickier in my community where they’re not leaving. They love it here. Their friends are here. So I’m really doubling down on that. So all in, on the membership, all in on the challenges, I want to connect people. So my product isn’t just I figured out style, I’m good. Or I’m not going anywhere.
I don’t need this. This is like home. This is family. So that’s the woo. The more strategic is I’m going back to how I really grew my business, which was YouTube. That is how I grew my business.
[00:25:33] Natasha: You have a massive channel. I was, I’ve been on it before. Clearly, I know a lot about you that probably you’re surprised at, but today I looked at it again and I was like, oh my God, there’s layer and layer and playlists and such great information.
What are you going to do? A new show or new five new shows?
[00:25:54] Lauren: Well, I feel like, when I started my YouTube channel, I was just looking to grow my email list being that you don’t have an email list, it’s hard to have a business these days. Now, text messaging is the jam.
[00:26:10] Natasha: Are you on Community yet?
[00:26:11] Lauren: Not yet, but I need to.
[00:26:14] Natasha: Gary V told me about it. Just to name drop.
[00:26:17] Lauren: Maybe I should add, I’ll add that my, to my list. But I just focused on making content that people would be searching for. So it was super simple stuff. How to wear a white t-shirt what to wear to a funeral how to try on pants without actually trying them on like weird, simple stuff.
[00:26:35] Natasha: How do you do that? I’m just kidding. I’m just looking on YouTube.
[00:26:38] Lauren: The pants and you hold them around your neck. If they touch in the back, they’re going to fit around your waist. Yes.
[00:26:44] Natasha: Mindblowing.
[00:26:45] Lauren: Yeah.
[00:26:46] Natasha: Is that like saying from fingertip to fingertip? That’s how tall you are.
[00:26:51] Lauren: Ooh. Yeah, I guess it is. Yeah.
[00:26:53] Natasha: That’s supposed to be it.
[00:26:54] Lauren: So that’s how I really started to grow. And then I shifted strategy a bit. And I really wanted people to know me. So once I got a big enough following on YouTube, the videos became a little bit deeper and more personal and about topics that weren’t necessarily search friendly, but they were friendly.
So people would be like, you know what? I want to buy from that chick. So now I want to grow my audience more and I’m always about organic growth. So I’m going to be doubling down on YouTube strategy to get, more eyes and then just repeat that same thing, like amazing.
[00:27:33] Natasha: Most of this will you do on your own? Or will you have someone that you’re going to hire, not talking about video crew or hair and makeup or lighting, but will you do the implementation of your YouTube by yourself? Or do you have someone, like, working on that with you?
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[00:28:30] Lauren: Right now I’ll be doing it by myself. It’s been an epic hunt. Maybe someone listening will be the person I’m looking for, but it’s been a massive hunt to get a creative, like a content creator who also gets the mission. So that’s the thing with me and maybe it’s me being stubborn or just, I really love my craft. I don’t like doing gimmicky stuff just for traffic. On Instagram they’re like, oh, you can grow your following if you do outfit videos of what you’re wearing. I’m like, I’m not doing it. People don’t care.
[00:29:09] Natasha: You’re not going to do dancing around on Tiktok or reels?
[00:29:13] Lauren: No, I’m still trying to figure out how I can do reels where I won’t want to poke my eyes out because they’re just-
[00:29:20] Natasha: I don’t want to point at various… This is gotta go, Lauren. It’s got to go.
[00:29:27] Lauren: It’s got to go. So those are the things that I just won’t compromise like my brand integrity, my own integrity, my real OG LM followers. They’d be like, what are you doing? So I won’t sacrifice like a little bit of like slower growth or not having help until I find the perfect help. Like my community manager. She’s amazing. Took me forever to find her because I’d get, gimmicky people.
Am I going to just do it myself?
[00:29:59] Natasha: Yes. So I would love to know. I saw when I was taking Amy Porterfield’s DCA course, they highlighted you as one of the chosen ones of success. So when you started School of Style, it was a course. Did you do that on your own and then come into Amy Porterfield later? How did that process of learning how to do education digital courses happen for you?
[00:30:25] Lauren: So School of Style was originally an in-person experience. We held classes at Smashbox Studios at Pier 59 in New York, and it was a massive production. So we did that and I was getting tired. I was getting tired of setting up sound equipment and lugging things and event planners and caterers. I’m like, this is annoying. So I had started to listen to Amy’s podcast. I was like, man, I really think we should do like digital courses.
[00:30:56] Natasha: And when was this?
[00:30:57] Lauren: This was 2015. Okay. Yeah, 2015, I think 2016, probably 15. But I couldn’t convince my business partner for School of Style to get on board with online classes.
But I really wanted to try it. So I created my first digital product for my business, for the Lauren Messiah brand. So I took my in-person styling techniques and was like, I don’t want to do this in person either. I don’t want to run to the mall and be, 40 years old and like lugging garment. So I’m like, I’m going to figure out how to make my styling process an online course.
So I used myself as a test dummy and launched and did pretty well on my first launch. My partner’s okay, let’s try this for the school. So then we did it for School of Style and it was a runaway hit for School of Style, like runaway head.
[00:31:54] Natasha: How much did it grow that business? To go to a digital format?
[00:31:59] Lauren: Oh my gosh. Crazy crazy, crazy amount. We were going from, in the early days of School of Style, bringing in 350 K a year. And our first launch for the digital course, we made 126,000 in five days. So I’m like, I know.
[00:32:23] Natasha: Once you put School of Style on digital, was it digital only, or did you do some in person?
[00:32:30] Lauren: So we did for quite a few years. So yeah, 2015, 2016 is when I tested it myself. Then we moved over to School of Style. So we add about a year and a half, two years of having both in-person and digital. So digital was the down sell if you wanted in-person.
Our classes were like five grand to come in person, but they were in LA in New York. They’d have to fly. So it’s oh, you can’t afford this, buy this $2,000 course instead. And then in 2018, We were like done. We were done with the travel. We were done. So we switched to a hundred percent online model in 2018.
And thank God, especially now when everything’s digital, we just got to kick back and didn’t have to scramble to turn our business into an online business.
[00:33:21] Natasha: And so now you have all these tools and all the know-how to continue with your own brand on the back of everything else that you were doing. It’s a great trajectory story.
And you didn’t know necessarily where you were going, but all of these experiences, it sounds have led you to now this aha moment of you’re owning it completely. It’s all your ideas. It’s all your work. And it’s really flourishing and coming to fruition.
[00:33:49] Lauren: Oh yeah. Any time I dip my toe into doing something like in person again, I’m like, okay, one more, styling client.
You’re like, oh, one more workshop. It’s nah, I’m lines where it’s at.
[00:34:02] Natasha: You’ve had quite a bit of success, like a lot of success, but as any person that is living and breathing, there’s gotta be losses. I should have asked you this last night to give you some time, but I’ll just give you some time.
Is there something that has happened in business that was like a mistake or you’re like, oh, why did I do that? And then what did you learn from it?
[00:34:31] Lauren: Maybe it’s just me. Maybe other entrepreneurs can relate, but it’s that my business is such a labor of love. So I’ve done so many things myself and you hear and you learn if you want to scale, if you want to do this, like you got to bring people and stay in your zone of genius. All good advice, but I’ve definitely put trust in others when it wasn’t time.
So I was in. Total panic mode, I guess last year. Yeah, last year, because I was considering wrapping up my time at School of Style, but I was too afraid to just do the leap that I did this year. So my credit, I got to hurry up and get my revenue up for my other brand. And I want to get that to EO business, within nine months.
And I hired the heck out of people, quote unquote, experts, branding and marketing and funnels. And it’s no risk, no reward. 50 grand here. 30 grand. Just talk about loss. Yeah. Loss of money.
[00:35:36] Natasha: Were those contractors or employees?
[00:35:39] Lauren: Contractors.
[00:35:40] Natasha: But still, that’s a lot of dough going out the door.
[00:35:44] Lauren: And it’s just, it’s those frustrating moments. You look back and you learn, it helped me learn to trust myself. Trust my gut and really get what I stand for down. So nobody can take you on a ride because when you’ve got these experts, all well-intentioned, I’m sure. Very good for some people. They want to throw at you the industry jargon like no.
Nobody’s going to buy X, Y, Z. They only want to buy. I’m like but this is, my thing. No. Trust me and the algorithm and this and that. And it’s like, money gone. And then they’ll use you as a success story. I can’t even tell her Google my name and there’s websites that are like, oh yeah, we help Lauren go from this to this.
[00:36:35] Natasha: You know this reminds me a little bit of a podcast I was listening to on how I built this with Sarah Blakely. And everyone’s saying, oh Sarah, I just thought you were going to sell those to friends or give those to friends and family as Christmas gifts. Nobody’s going to buy that.
And then everybody that you know, is part of that success story now wants to say I was the first to-
[00:37:00] Lauren: And I don’t know, I feel I was talking about this to some of my clients this morning on a zoom of like, when you just know, and it’s worth the wait for the growth and it’s worth the pain and the lessons it’s like that fine line between stubborn and no, I know.
I know I’m onto something combining like self-help and style. I know that going deeper and embodying it and being okay with looking good is a thing. And you’ve got all these experts that are like, no little girl. It’s not a thing. Like you need to sell style. You need to stay in your lane. We’re going to position you as this.
And you’re like maybe they have a point. They are the expert in XYZ.
[00:37:48] Natasha: You do have proof of concept and now you have success. So if anyone comes to you, I guess I’m going to speak for you in addition to what you just said. If someone comes to you and says, you know what, Lauren, that is not going to work, just take it from me, don’t do it.
You’re going to know, yeah we’re doing it.
[00:38:06] Lauren: Exactly. And I feel like, learning from those mistakes, sometimes you need to be hit over the head with wow, I lost 50 grand. Cool. Won’t make that mistake again. But gaining confidence, that’s so much what I teach women inside of my programs. Yeah. I want you to look and embody the part of a confident woman, but I also want you to be confident and believe in what you do. Because now, cut to a year later after all these experts were telling me what to do. It’s yeah, my concept does work. It’s a book and there’s other magical things happening in the background right now, too. Like I’m onto something kids just how Sarah Blakely is so very much on to something.
[00:38:51] Natasha: Sarah Blakely now, I just have to say has a gym has a basketball court in her house. I follow her on Instagram and I’m just mesmerized by her wacky crazy life. Anyway, more about you. So before we end, is there anything that you want to talk about that we haven’t covered, that you want listeners to know about you, about your new endeavor. I’m going to say new endeavor. It’s new because you’re putting a hundred percent of your time and effort into it.
[00:39:20] Lauren: No, I would just say to anybody listening that is interested in being an entrepreneur, that it’s not, it’s a long game, all of the overnight success stories that you see and everybody makes it look so easy on Instagram and it’s the same tips and tricks and hustle. Stay true to your vision and find a couple of people that you trust to be your mentors, whether you’ve met them or not.
So with Amy Porterfield, for example, there’s a million people that teach course creation and list building. I can hear it from her. And I trust her and I like her. And she’s now a friend. That’s where I’m sticking, right? Like I’m sticking to my vision. I’m sticking to those experts in those fell entrepreneurs that I trust and trusting that it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. There’s no like overnight quick fix. I’m an entrepreneur and now I make millions of dollars.
No, hang in there. It works out. And it’s pretty fun too.
[00:40:28] Natasha: I loved the time I got to spend with Lauren. She jumps right into the deep end and figures it out. She’s passionate about building a community of women and has an extremely exciting future ahead of. For more information, go to laurenmessiah.com. That’s Lauren, M E S I A H dot com and visit the show notes for this episode.
For more information about me, go to my website, natashamiller.co. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe. Also if you haven’t done so yet, please leave a review where you’re listening to this podcast now. I’m Natasha Miller and you’ve been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.