Don’t wait for the right time or for more money in the bank. It is never really is going to be the right time. I started my first company with $400. Start with what you have. You use what you have, use who you know, and do what you can, and then you learn, and you grow along the way. But there’s always something you can do to start. And I feel like that is just the biggest step is just starting.
4. You have to work hard, sleep is overrated
People don’t realise how much work actually goes into these businesses. I know a lot of people with way more followers than me that aren’t this successful. I’ve actually put a lot of work into it.
I worked a lot when I had [son] Wolf and I didn’t really see a point in stopping or slowing down. So yeah, then I had [daughter] Saskia, and I was like let’s start the next business. A benefit of being my own boss, I can do a lot of work from home, so I could just be at home with the babies and doing what I needed to do at the same time.
5. Marketing is the most important thing in business
I saw that opportunity from the very beginning. And I just knew I wanted to take advantage of that [social media following]. In my opinion, marketing is the most important thing when it comes to business. So, I thought if I keep growing my following, I can pretty much do whatever I want.
6. You don’t need lots of cash at first, just invest time
I saw people loving what I was posting on Instagram about workouts and all that kind of thing. So, I thought I should really be selling this. That started the business. I started on my own and I made these PDF downloadable programs. It took me actually so long to make these because I was doing it on the word and Photoshop, and I am no expert on the computer, I did not really know how to do anything. But I figured it out, I had a lot of sleepless nights, just working away on these programs
My initial investment was about $400 that I spent with someone to illustrate the exercises on the programs I was making. That’s how it all started.
I wanted to elevate it more and more. And then eventually came the Tammy Fit app, which has everything in it. I was using apps for meals and different ones for workouts and all these different apps. I thought I just wanted one with everything in one place to give my users as much as possible out of the experience.
7. Re-invest early winnings
I was making good money, not just from my PDFs (exercise program), but also promotional things on Instagram. I used all that money and invested to make the (Tammy Fit) app which was quite a large initial investment. It actually cost a lot to start off, but I knew it was something I wanted to do. I knew it would pay off.
8. Get the skills you know you don’t have
I knew nothing about starting a clothing brand. I turned to my sister [Amy], she was living in Sydney at the time and I said, please move here [to the Gold Coast]. She is very business minded and very organised and sort of the other half of my brain. I am so unorganised and a bit all over the place sometimes. I just felt I needed her to sort of help me to focus and helped me start this business.
9. Customer service is paramount
On the day we launched (Saski Collection) something messed up in the website and we actually ended up selling over by like hundreds of units. I had all these orders and I had no stock. I know how huge customer service is in a business. And I also knew a lot of my customers buying my products were followers of mine, or fans, on Instagram. So I thought you know what, I’m going to call all these people personally, and tell them, I’m so sorry.
I just didn’t want people to be upset because this was the first impression of my business. I really wanted it to go well. I ended up calling pretty much everyone on the list. Everyone was so nice about it. They were just excited to be on the phone. It didn’t turn out to be that bad.
10. Don’t complain
My best piece of advice that has always stuck with me (in life and in business) is to never complain. You either change what you’re complaining about or there’s really no point in complaining. There’s no point stressing. We either fix it and if we can’t fix it, let’s move on.
11. Know your limits when working with family
It was really good in the beginning (working with sister Amy at Saksia Collection). And it slowly just sort of started to go downhill. We had our usual sister bickering, which was normal, but then it just started getting more and more intense and more toxic. I ended up firing her. It was the best thing for our relationship. And now since we stopped working together, we spend every single day together. (Amy still works with TammyFit, but they don’t spend much time together at the office).
12. Don’t trust everyone, get another opinion
I ended up trusting some people I shouldn’t have. I didn’t really know better at the time, but I got taken advantage of and actually ended up wasting a lot of money, like hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It was a supplier, someone we were paying to do something for the app and they sort of just took advantage of us.
A lot of people look at me and think this young blonde girl like she doesn’t know anything. And unfortunately, what I’ve learned from that is to really take precautions and triple and double check things and also to remember that other people don’t necessarily have your best interest, you’re the one that’s going to care about your business the most. So, you need to remember that sometimes people won’t always be honest and truthful and do what’s right.
If you are not an expert in something, consult with someone that is, like a third party that could maybe let you know this person is taking advantage of you.
13. Build a following, build an empire
I remember how I had 15,000 followers or something, which I thought was a huge deal at the time, because there wasn’t a lot of people on Instagram. There wasn’t lots of people with big followings. But there were a few people I followed, a few women that had like a million followers, I just thought it was the craziest thing.
But I also saw them and thought, why are they doing more with what they have? They had this big audience and they had so much influence over these people. I couldn’t really see them taking advantage of that or like starting businesses with it. They were just sort of posting on their Instagram. They could be doing so much with this. I was thinking if I was in that position, all the different things I would be doing. I saw the opportunity from the very beginning.
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