Episode 21 Transcript: Scaling Your Service-Based Business with Stacey Brown Randall

Brett Fellows Stacey Brown Randall, welcome to The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast.

Stacey Brown Randall Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Brett Fellows We are excited to have you here. I think what’s really unique about you is in our world when you’re doing an exit plan, and we get with clients, and we’ll figure out okay, well, how much do you have? And what is it that you need? We come to some sort of wealth gap that we have to fill, let’s say before they go to retirement.

Brett Fellows And oftentimes, that gap will be filled by value drivers in their business. So, creating the business to be its own operating entity without the owner, can go without the owner, self-operating business. And I think that’s where you’re unique in terms of what you do with referrals. Because a lot of the value drivers is they have maybe too few clients or rely on just a handful of clients.

Brett Fellows That if they have successfully become comfortable, and they’re not naturally asking for introductions or doing the things that are necessary to get introductions to further grow their business and at the end of the day, be worth more to somebody who might want to buy it. So I think your input just in that value driver section would be fantastic. So, thank you.

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, no, it’s my pleasure. And you know, I think about, when you kind of think about folks who are transitioning out of owning their business to whatever their next great adventure awaits them. And transitioning that business, whether they’re going to sell to a VC or they’re actually going to groom a child or another family member to take over.

Stacey Brown Randall You know, a lot, sometimes the questions I’ll always get are like, what I teach. It’s so relationship-driven, it’s like, can I transfer my relationships? The referrals continue to come in, can I transfer that? And I’m like, yes. I mean, there’s a way to do it. And there’s a way to do it best, right? I mean, there are lots of ways to do lots of things. But there’s a way to do it best and easiest.

Stacey Brown Randall But I think that allows folks to kind of keep that transition of like, hey, if you do have a referral piece or a referral strategy in your business, and then you don’t want to be the one that’s always maintaining those relationships, there is a way to make sure that those relationships can stay active and stay alive, even when you’re handing it off to someone else to manage.

Stacey Brown Randall So, it’s always a, it’s a good way to think about referrals. Not just from let’s have a great year and get a bunch of referrals this year, but actually as a strategy for how your business can continue to grow year over year. And then even without you.

Brett Fellows So you are a business consultant about the referral process. And I know you have your own five-step process, and you work generally with small businesses. Tell us, what does your business look like today?

Stacey Brown Randall So we do, we work with small businesses. I mean, we obviously have corporate clients that we work with. But where I get the most jazzed and have felt like I just have the most fun is when I get the opportunity to work with small business owners and sometimes even the solopreneurs. Because they are small, but they are mighty, and I love that. And those are the shoes I walk in every day.

Stacey Brown Randall So I understand their world and their business. But really, we do focus on relationship-driven businesses. So not businesses that are highly transactional, not tech-based type companies like the SAAS-based companies, but real relationship-driven businesses. When the client has to trust you and will also probably spend some level of time with you in the process of doing business with you. But when they have to trust you, and it’s no small investment to make the decision to work with you. That’s where we find to be our sweet spot to helping those types of business owners generate more referrals in the way that we teach it, which is referrals without asking.

Stacey Brown Randall So it’s the financial advisors, it is the attorneys, CPAs, real estate agents, interior designers. I mean, you think about what those folks, and there are many others. But just to give you an example, you think about what those folks mean to their clients, and as the expert, they want to be seen as what they will ultimately end up doing for them. Those are the kind of things that we want to get someone to be referred to us like, who do you recommend that I should use to do this? Whatever this is. Those are the folks that are uniquely positioned to really have a strong, well-oiled machine when it comes to their referral strategy.

Brett Fellows Okay. And I saw your website says, about five or six years, have you had your own consultant’s business?

Stacey Brown Randall That means I need to change the website. No, because we’re going on almost a decade[.

[08:47] The business failure that led Stacey Brown Randall to become a business referral consultant.

Brett Fellows Okay. And you mentioned hundreds of clients have gone through some of your programs. and your students have some of your programs. I read I got your book, good book. But I know you didn’t start out as a consultant. So I think it’s a fascinating journey how you got started. Can you talk about that for a bit?

Stacey Brown Randall Yes. You know, I always like, when I tell this story, I always wish there was like a small part of telling the story. I could just be like, you know, Brett, I just woke up one day and God was like here, right now you’re brilliant with how do you get referrals without asking. Like that would just be a really super cool story to tell. Super short too, right? I woke up and God made me brilliant. Like that would be awesome. But it was not that way.

Stacey Brown Randall I actually learned the strategy that I teach now, my referrals without asking strategy, and some of the additional strategies that we teach that go along with that through the school of hard knocks. I actually had an HR consulting firm. It was the first business I ever started. And it would make it to the four-year mark, just past the four-year mark, but it wouldn’t make it to the five-year mark. So I joined like the 82% of business owners that fail within their first five years and joined the business failure club.

Stacey Brown Randall And when I looked back on why that business failed, and if I ever wanted to have another business, the things I was going to have to be willing to do differently. When I looked back on that, I really, I realized, like, you know, there were some areas of growth in my business that I did not take advantage of because I didn’t see them. And the problem was when you look at how a business typically starts, and it depends, right, every business starts a little bit different.

Stacey Brown Randall But with the industry that I was in as an HR consultant in the industry, that’s one of the industries that I work with it now. I mean, a lot of folks grow their business because they’re amazing at being whatever it is. I’m an amazing attorney working in this really big firm, and I decided to go out and hang out my own shingle and do the work. So we’re amazing at the thing we do. And then we have to figure out how to be a business owner that comes along with that.

Stacey Brown Randall And for me, it was the ability to kind of look at how I was growing my business and where my clients were coming from. And I had some really big-name clients like KPMG, BDO Ally Bank, when I was that HR consultant, but it wasn’t growing fast enough. When they were a client, it was, those were great years, and when they weren’t a client because the project ended, those were not so great years. And when you have so much of that roller coaster, and you don’t get off of that roller coaster in your first or second year.

Stacey Brown Randall Like again, I was still on it well into my fourth year. It really, you know, you can’t scale that way. And you certainly can’t really be focused on growth the way you need to be. And so ultimately, I made the decision. I mean, I think that there’s, maybe some people would say, oh, maybe you gave up. Like, no, I think I just admitted the fact that the way the business was being managed and run and everything else that was happening, it just wasn’t the right business for me.

Stacey Brown Randall And it was okay that it was going to end in business failure. But it gave me all this ammunition of how I wanted to do things different when I started my second business, and I went back to corporate America. Would you’ve ever had tasted freedom, and then you go back to working for somebody, and I do like go back and put on heels and suits. I’m like, oh my gosh, it’s like, we’re sitting here for maybe just four women, but like, worst thing ever. And I was like I gotta get out of here. And I was always looking for an exit strategy. So I got certified as a productivity and business coach while I was working in corporate America. And that was what I started as my second business was as a productivity and business coach.

Stacey Brown Randall And my referral strategy that I created, I created it for myself, because my second business had to be successful. It could not have the same issues that the first business had. So it was throwing spaghetti on the wall. Figuring out how to grow this business and doing it not in the way I did when I grew my first business, which was a ton of networking. It was, you know, people always say, oh, you’re in the right place at the right time. Do you know what makes the right place at the right time happen? When you’re in a lot of places all the time.

Stacey Brown Randall So I was always networking, I was always hustling. And at that point, I have two kids. Now I have three kids. And it just becomes this very compressed life and ultimately didn’t work out. So when I started my second business, what I knew was to be in a lot of places and hoping they were the right places at the right time. But always being like this will not sustain me past my first year. I cannot allow it; I cannot let that be how my business grows. So I started looking for other ways to grow my business.

Stacey Brown Randall And I knew referrals was something I should be taking more seriously and that I should be doing a better job at. And then realizing my first business, I didn’t get any referrals. And I was like, well, that’s not good. I do really great work. And my clients love me, why not? And I kind of set out to uncover what that was. Part of that process is learning how to generate referrals the way we’ve been taught for the last couple of generations, which is ask or compensate or be gimmicky and promotional or network to know a ton of people or just hope they happen.

Stacey Brown Randall And I was like no, none of those work for me. So I literally was throwing spaghetti on the wall my first year as a business coach, trying to figure out how can I make referrals happen in a way that honors the person that’s referring me but also feels good and authentic to who I am and what I want to do. Because I don’t want to ask and compensate and all those things. And it wasn’t until my coaching clients started saying, how are you growing so fast? And I was like, oh, well, this is my strategy.

Stacey Brown Randall And they’d be like, thanks for teaching me from a productivity perspective, like how to tackle my inbox. But what I’d really like to learn is your referral strategy. And I’m like, oh, let’s do it. And then being forced to teach them, you know, really forced me to figure out, oh, wait, there’s a strategy in the system. I do this, and then I do this. And then oh, and I’m always making sure I say this. When I taught it to this first couple of clients, it really helped me refine the process, and I reverse engineer a lot of why things happen.

Stacey Brown Randall And so I was able to do that to this. You know, that was almost a decade ago. So it was you know, we’ve definitely refined the process now, right? There’s a lot more of this is what you do, and this is how it works. And then I’ve, we’ve had so many case studies and success stories from our clients who’ve gone through the program. But it does come down to relationships at the end of the day. And that I mean, sometimes I feel like I’m teaching people just to be good humans. But there’s actually way more to it than just that. But it does come from that place.

[14:34] How Stacey scaled her business and went from one-on-one consulting to having clients across the globe.

Brett Fellows Yeah. And so when you started that second business, you were a business coach. And then as you’re listening to your clients, you’ve refined it. Then this referral thing was almost a shift. And you got more finite and almost a niche into the referrals, part of it. Does that sound right?

Stacey Brown Randall I did. Because one of the things, one of the lessons that I learned when my first business failed was that you have to keep your eye on scalability. Like you always have to, particularly if you’re a consultant or a coach and you’re trading dollars for hours. You have to eventually hit a ceiling, right? If you want to make more money. And so for me, it was I knew that I needed something that was scalable. And so I was always keeping my eye on what am I doing now that can be scaled.

Stacey Brown Randall And it was, you know, if you’re thinking this is like back in 2012, 2013, right? It was like online courses, like online programs were becoming more and more of a thing. Now it’s like, I mean, who doesn’t have one, right? And who hasn’t bought one? But like 10 years ago and 15 years ago, it was starting. It was happening, but not to the level it is now. And I noticed that trend, and I was like, there’s got to be something that I teach that I can put into an online program where I can, like, you know, protect my intellectual property but also sell it so that people all around the world can access what I do.

Stacey Brown Randall And so even though when I became that productivity and business coach, I didn’t know what I was going to scale. I was very clear and always looking for opportunities. I didn’t want to scale the productivity piece and the part of the business piece I did. It wasn’t as scalable as I thought it would be. But when I landed on the referrals without asking strategy and it was working for me, and then sort of working for my clients, I was like, I found it. That’s it. That’s what I’m going to scale.

Stacey Brown Randall So we did a whole shift in the business where we kind of stopped doing the one-on-one coaching. And we made a shift first to one-on-one coaching with the new referrals without asking strategy. Then we started doing, you know, the 30 to 50 people workshops, and then we eventually moved at the end of 2015 to an online program. And of course, it’s been refined a number of times over the years. But that really allows us more.

Stacey Brown Randall We’re serving business owners in 10 different countries all around the world. Like I think about like, you know, the real estate agent in Singapore that I get to help or the attorney in the Bahamas that I get to help. Or, you know, I think about the people who are all over the world that I’m able to help because I have the scalable platform with my online program. That’s not the only way I engage with folks. And some people just really want that one-on-one opportunity.

Stacey Brown Randall It’s a very, it’s like a VIP level that we do it. And it’s still a very streamlined process of what it looks like to engage in a VIP level with me. I don’t take as many people that can come into the the online program, the independent study or self-study program. But we do offer both because we know that’s how people want sometimes to learn and to put a new process in place in their business.

Stacey Brown Randall And one thing we always talk about is what we teach you to build in your first year. We expect you to still be executing on it in year five and year seven and year 10. We are building a sustainable strategy for your business that’s going to produce referrals for you year in and year out. So it’s important that you get it right in that first year. Even with our online program, there’s like opportunities to like upload your work. I, personally, in a lot of cases, review the work and give direct feedback on if you’re heading in the right direction or not. It’s like one of my favorite things to do.

Stacey Brown Randall More likely when I can say this is great, not when I necessarily have to deliver bad news, we got to make some changes. But whatever they need is what they’re going to get to have the best success. And that scalability has been the saving grace, really, I would think of the company being as successful as it is now and being able to help as many people as we’re able to help all around the world.

Brett Fellows Yeah, that’s so smart. Good for you, and great job. And what does it look like today? What percentage of the business is online versus one-on-one coaching?

Stacey Brown Randall Oh, wow, I probably should know those percentages off the top of my head. But I would say definitely more than, well over 50% is online. Definitely. I mean, it’s probably even more than that. Now that I think about it, you know, for every person, you may come on as a VIP, and that has a lot to do with the schedule openings and you know, when we have availability. But for every person that comes on as a VIP, there are dozens more that are going to be joining at the online version.

Stacey Brown Randall So I mean, well over 50%. It’s probably even higher than that. But not giving specific, I guess numbers, because I’m not sure, but that is the part of the program. I mean, that is the part of the business that we focus more on growing. I mean, we’re making shifts and we’re changing some things up. We’ve been doing this now, an online version since 2015. And we’re on the third iteration of like, like we update the course every year and add different things to the program every year based on what is needed and based on the questions that we’re receiving.

Stacey Brown Randall But we’ve actually gone in and like re-recorded the videos and redesigned the templates and the checklist and the downloads three times. And so we are constantly making it better and constantly making it look better. Because the software gets better that’s able to support the online program. And so we’ve definitely made overhauls and changes to it, and we’ll continue to do so as we move forward when it’s necessary.

Stacey Brown Randall But it’s really cool when you think about that ability to reach around the globe in that way of being able to help people. And what I love is like, you know, when I have an Aussie who comes into the program, and they’re like, you know, you Americans are really direct. So we were a little concerned that you wouldn’t like cross-culturally be able to fit for us. And then they realize, like, what I teach them, what I believe and my philosophy, and they’re like, oh, yeah. This is totally exactly how we want to grow our business. So yeah, it’s really cool.

[20:04] The thing that drives Stacey when it comes to helping other business owners grow their businesses.

Brett Fellows That’s great. And going back to, you had your own business, you went back to the corporate world, and you started this present business. What was your why? Where does all this drive come from? Where do you think all that energy and confidence? I’m sure it builds in time, but what’s your why? What keeps you moving?

Stacey Brown Randall You know, I really crave lightbulb moments. And other business owners, just that ability for me to teach them something. And they’ll be like, oh, my gosh, yes, yes, I get it, I see it. I can do that. And then they can go off and have success. I mean, not all light, I think about one particular light bulb moment. Not all lightbulb moments are fun for clients or business owners to have.

Stacey Brown Randall I remember one time, I was working with a financial planning firm, and I was gonna work with a number of their financial advisors or financial planners. And I was asking them to go back and pull out some data where I just assumed they had tracked the information that we needed. And they hadn’t, and he was angry. He was like angry at me. He was like, I know, I’m like angry at you. And I don’t need to be angry at you. He was just, I can’t believe it took you telling me that we weren’t doing something in our business. And like, we’ve been doing this business for longer than you’ve been alive.

Stacey Brown Randall And I was like, hey, sorry. But it’s just those lightbulb moments. I really love them. I love being able to help people. And you know, I know exactly what it’s like to live with the ego blow of a business failure. It’s not fun. There’s nothing fun about that financially, emotionally, mentally. The blow that your ego takes, it’s really hard to like get up every day and keep moving when you have to recognize that your business failed and you are a member of the business failure club. No matter how crowded that club is or not, it’s still not one you want to be a part of.

Stacey Brown Randall It is the teacher of the greatest lessons though, right? And when you are willing to take it that way. But I know exactly what that feels like, I know what it feels like to be slipping into something and feeling like oh my gosh, this may not last. I may not be a business owner anymore. And if I can help someone not go through that because they just needed this piece that I teach, I’m going to do it. Because I firmly believe had I had this referral strategy with my HR consulting firm, it never would have failed.

Stacey Brown Randall I’m thankful that it failed because it put me where I am today. And the lessons that I’ve been able to learn throughout that process and that journey that God has allowed me to go on is really, really important to where I am today and what I believe and think and you know, all those kinds of things. But yeah, I really do crave those lightbulb moments and helping people avoid business failure.

Stacey Brown Randall Now, on a personal side, I just like being the boss. I will be 100% completely honest, I like being the boss. But I also like being a very present mom and wife as well. And that’s really important and maybe it’s just the positions I had when I was in corporate America. But there’s nothing worse than like racing out of your corporate job hoping the traffic is in your favor and you don’t hit every red light. So you’re not the last mom to pick up your kid from daycare, right? Like, there are those moments where like, I want more freedom and flexibility.

Stacey Brown Randall When my kids get out of school at three o’clock, I kind of want to be there. And I want to, I don’t need to be there every day to pick them up. But I want to be there more days than not every week, and I want to be present. And being in charge and being a business owner really allows me to kind of build that strategy or build that schedule and that strategy for me to be able to do that. It doesn’t mean I don’t work, right? But it does give me the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when I am going to work.

Brett Fellows Yeah. And that’s always one of my most fascinating questions. So, what’s a typical week look like for you today?

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, so it really depends on what we have going on in the business. I love to build out ideal weeks when I can, but I also recognize that some weeks fall very short of being ideal. But usually, you know, I do most of my, if I’m ever going to do like a podcast interview or I’m going to be on a one on one with one of my VIPs or doing a group session with my inner circle members or anything like that, that I’m going to be doing. We try to put those on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays.

Stacey Brown Randall I’m giving a lot of flexibility on Mondays. I like to call it my plow day where I can just like get things done on Monday. Kind of get myself set up for the week if I’m the bottleneck to something that somebody needs. They know if you haven’t gotten it from Stacey by Monday you will, and just kind of push through what we’re doing. And then I try really hard not to work on Fridays unless I have to from a catch-up perspective.

Stacey Brown Randall Summers are way lighter than the spring and the fall. Or I guess I should say the first, you know, five months of the year. And then summer’s really light, which I really love. I do have three kids. I’ve got two teenagers and one tween, so nobody’s driving themselves yet. So you know, there’s a lot of being present there that I love. And then having the ability really to just say like next week, I’m in Cape Cod speaking at a conference and a week ago, you know, I was speaking at another, giving another presentation.

Stacey Brown Randall And so sometimes I’m traveling. Obviously I haven’t been up until recently from travel perspective. But it just depends. What I love is that I kind of look at what’s on the calendar and then map out the rest of the time that I want and kind of what that looks like. And I have hard stops in my calendar every day. Like my virtual assistant knows, don’t schedule around that, don’t schedule anything after three o’clock if you can help it. And that really helps as well.

Brett Fellows Yeah, the speaking is interesting, too. And again, from your website, you seem like a very good speaker. Did you ever think you would be a speaker?

Stacey Brown Randall Yes. I did. Maybe I’m supposed to be more modest and be like, oh, no, it just happened. It just didn’t.

Brett Fellows Do you enjoy that part? I imagine that people want you to speak more and more. So has that become a bigger piece of what you do?

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, you know, speaking on stage was a big part of my HR consulting business as well, and it’s just something that I’ve carried on with what I do now. And then when the book came out, Generating Business Referrals Without Asking. When the book came out, the speaking kind of like exploded from that perspective. Particularly through the end of 18 and all of 19. And then a lot was on the books for 2020 that ultimately went virtual or didn’t happen.

Stacey Brown Randall But no, I mean, I grew up with a love of the stage. I mean, I did children’s theater as a child. My one claim to fame is that I was Verruca Salt in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, which is the big brat. If you’ve ever seen that movie, I’m the one stamping her foot. And so I was on the stage as a, you know, doing children’s theater. When I was in high school, I was the weekend host of a video show. I had two other co-hosts, and we did this show called Video Max that went for a couple years while I was in high school, and then maybe, I think it went into my first year of college.

Stacey Brown Randall And then I was a broadcast journalism major in college, and I thought I was going to be the next Katie Couric. I mean, she had to retire at some point. Somebody had to take her place, and I really thought I was going to do that. And then while in college that totally shifted and changed. And I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do. But I had, you know, when you are in a communications program, whether you do the written communication, or you know, the verbal communication or the onstage communication, you learn this really valuable skill of like, how to communicate.

Stacey Brown Randall And so all the things I loved about theater and being on television and all that kind of stuff, just kind of for me, it was like natural. Of course, I would promote my business from speaking on stage. And that has been, it’s not a huge part of what I do, honestly, as the kids have gotten older. It’s not a part that I always feel like I have to do. And now having an online program, it gives me the ability to do speaking in different ways like this. On podcast and things like that. But yeah, I love it.

[27:22] How writing and publishing a book helped Stacey Brown Randall draw even more clients to her service-based business.

Brett Fellows That’s great. Now, tell me about the book in terms of how was your experience writing a book? And especially in a service-based business, you know, a knowledge type of marketing idea, a book is fascinating. Speaking as someone who tried. I spent the whole month of July just trying to get started and still haven’t made any headway. How was your experience? And was that a big part of the growth that you’ve had?

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, so definitely publishing the book was a big part of the growth the business went through. I mean, people are now, it’s just easier for them to find you when Amazon’s doing some of the marketing for you, right? I mean, you just can’t really beat that. And then, of course, I went with a publisher, and I think that helps as well. I mean, I think you can, you can get a book published in a million different ways. And you should do the way that works best for you.

Stacey Brown Randall For me, it was going the publisher route. I think that helped particularly from a credibility perspective of landing speaking engagements. But writing the book was definitely a process. My issue is that I wasn’t unaware of what this was going to look like. My father was an author for most of my life. And so he was the not-so-typical 80s dad, 80s and 90s dad, that stayed at home with the kids because he was writing all day. My mom went off to the sales job, but he worked from home.

Stacey Brown Randall And so I watched him write and write and type and type and write and edit, print out the manuscript and edit. Now he wrote fiction, that is something I will never write. And I’m perfectly capable and confident in saying never there. That’s not my gift. But so writing was definitely, I definitely got that from my dad. I definitely am comfortable writing. That doesn’t mean I don’t like, there’s some days, I’m like, oh, my gosh, I don’t want to write this chapter. I mean, we all have those moments.

Stacey Brown Randall But writing is definitely a skill, it’s definitely something that I am confident in my ability to do. Please don’t ask me to multiply in my head, because I can’t, I need my calculator. But there’s definitely some talents that I have that I am able to use, and writing is one of them. And so writing it was, it was still like this labor of love-hate, right? I mean, like, it’s so fun to think about it. And then it’s so fun when it’s done.

Stacey Brown Randall And then it’s like all this stuff in between, trying to make it happen. You know, and I actually had, like, I sent off my book to the editor, and she was like, we need to rewrite the back half of the book. And I was like, you’ve got to be kidding, I have nothing else to say. Then yet, I had five more chapters, in the end, didn’t know it. So it’s definitely a process. I’m actually working on my second book. Now I say working on it because that’s exactly where I am. It should have been published in 2021, but it will have a 2022 publish date. It’s still not done.

Stacey Brown Randall And so, and I think that’s the hang-up of having a book. Like you know, the first book, you write it, you feel amazing, you get these great reviews, and then it won three awards. And I was like, oh, no, no, now I’ve got to live up to that. You know, someone’s like, I just want to push the second book out and just like quietly be there and then not so that stress of like, oh, it will it be as good as the first. But I’m fighting against that to put out a really good book. And so it’s a process.

Stacey Brown Randall It’s huge in terms of visibility and credibility with the business. But it’s just another platform for me to reach more people, to have more people have aha moments. I just had somebody who bought the book and just left a fabulous five-star rating and review on Amazon. And she was gushing about how much she loved the book and how she’s like I’ve got a plan of action. She bought, the book was like $15-16, right? And she was like, I’ve got a plan of action.

Stacey Brown Randall And I’m like, that’s what I want people to be able to get from any of the content I put out there. Obviously, yes, I have a pay program for people who want to go faster or want to get exactly everything they need to know without having any questions. That’s why I have a business. But I love it when people can consume any of the content I put out there and the lightbulb goes off for them. And they’re like, okay, I know what to do next.

[30:57] The most common issue Stacey sees when it comes to generating referrals.

Brett Fellows Referrals without asking. So what’s the one common issue clients come to you with about referrals without asking?

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, they’re going to show up, and they’re going to have, there’s a couple of things we’re going to see. Number one is that they’re going to be able to tell me I get some referrals. There’s just no strategy behind how and when it happens. And for me, I always know that’s because you don’t know who’s referring you. And then you don’t know how to take care of them correctly and to say the right things so that you don’t have to be awkward and uncomfortable and, you know, ask and offer to pay and those kinds of things.

Stacey Brown Randall You don’t know how to do it without doing those old-school tactics. So you’re doing nothing but you’re getting some referrals, but there’s just no rhyme or reason to it. Or I’ll have people who come to me and they’re like, I’m actually getting a lot of referrals. And I have this fear that one day it’s just going to stop because I don’t have a strategy and a system behind it to make sure that this keeps going. And if it’s just based on the fact that these people for this moment in time love me, what happens when they forget about me? Right?

Stacey Brown Randall And so there is this idea, and both of them come from the same place. There’s no strategy, there’s no plan. And that’s ultimately what we are able to provide them is like, yes, you need a plan, you need a referral plan that is different from your prospecting and different from your marketing. And it needs to be a standalone plan that you operate within the business, and you need to know exactly what that looks like.

Stacey Brown Randall And it starts with the who, right? Who are your referral sources? We’ve got to identify the who before we can determine how we’re going to take care of them what we’re going to say, what we’re going to do. And then on the other side of that, you probably need more referral sources. At some point in your business, you’re probably going to need more than referral sources. Do you even know the process to cultivate somebody into a referral source?

Stacey Brown Randall So when they show up, it’s usually because they’re gotten something and they loved it. And they’re like, how do I get some more of that? That was awesome. It was way easier to close that client where they are getting a number of them and they’re like, I just don’t want it to stop. I want to have a strategy and a system to keep it going.

Brett Fellows Yeah. And I thought the book was great and will promote the book, of course. And I looked at your two courses online, they seem fantastic. I think anybody could benefit from either the book and/or the courses would be great. Good job.

Stacey Brown Randall Thank you. I appreciate that.

Brett Fellows And so what does it look 10 years from today? I mean, there’s only one Stacey Brown Randall. So I’m realizing you have children, and that life will change perhaps in the next 10 years. But what’s your vision for your future?

Stacey Brown Randall You know, it’s really interesting. I always operate from kind of knowing where I want to be five years out. Ten years out for me is a little bit more of a, it’s more of that vision board, maybe kind of sorta, but we’ll see how things go. Because nothing goes according to plan. I mean, we were a two-kid family. And then one day, we realized we needed to take custody of our seven-year-old nephew. So we did. And we brought our seven-year-old nephew into our household when our son was seven and our daughter was five.

Stacey Brown Randall And we became a family of five instantly overnight, and you know, having to deal with all of the things that go into bringing your child into the household that, you know, has been abandoned and neglected. You know, dealing with all of that, so I, you know, I used to be like, this is where I’m going to be. And then when we took custody of Danny, and then a series of things happened like my father passed away unexpectedly in 2018. I never thought that would, I mean I knew eventually he would, but not at that age.

Stacey Brown Randall And I was like, you know, I was 39, giving a eulogy. I was like, what like, this is not how this is supposed to work. And so I am really cognizant of like, knowing kind of where I want to be, and kind of what I think I want life to look like. But I’m not married to the picture. And I’m not married to the idea that I’m going to get there the exact way I expect to get there. Because that’s not what life is all about.

Stacey Brown Randall I don’t know where God’s completely taking me. But I just know, I’m trying to do the steps as he’s asking me to do them. But when it comes to the business, I see myself doing more of the same. I see myself always growing, I see myself always being able to provide more and better for my clients that I have the privilege to work with. But I am young. And in 10 years, I will still be young.

Stacey Brown Randall And so from that perspective, I can’t imagine what this ultimately looks like for me from a business perspective. I do know what I have could absolutely be purchased by somebody in the future. I’m not immune to the idea that that is potential. I don’t believe any of my children will want to take over what I’m doing. But I don’t know, I’m not gonna say never, right. But I know right now, this business gives me the freedom and the flexibility to really help a lot of people and to live a lifestyle that I love.

Stacey Brown Randall I’m going to only make that better. And the next couple of years, which I’m really looking forward to as we kind of like, you know, level up the business and kind of provide different types of services and products and services to our clients. And so that’s really exciting to see that come to fruition, but I don’t know exactly where I’ll be in 10 years. But you know, as long as I’ve got my husband and my kids, I’m pretty sure I’ll be just really stinking darn happy. And just kind of taking whatever comes my way at that point.

Brett Fellows So you seem very well-grounded and very deliberate with this. And intentional. Do you have your own coach? How do you stay focused?

Stacey Brown Randall Yes. And he’s mean. He’s not always mean. But yes, I do, and it changes from time to time. There are years I’ll go without having someone and I’ll be like in a mastermind with other female business owners. I’ve been in masterminds that are co-ed and then I’ve been most recently in ones that are female business owners. And so yes, sometimes I float between being in a mastermind for a year or two and then working with somebody or going through someone’s program.

Stacey Brown Randall But I’m always looking for that hands-on piece that comes with any kind of program that I may be going through and always just kind of leveling up the business. But yeah, so it just kind of fluctuates, what that looks like. But nobody does it by themselves. Nobody does it on their own. I mean, at the end of the day, the loneliest times I have felt in my business is where I didn’t have anybody to bounce an idea off of.

Stacey Brown Randall I remember specifically when I was trying to get the courage to move from one-on-one coaching that I made a very good living at and move, but it was very time consuming and you were tied to your desk, and to move to the online program. And I didn’t really at that moment have anybody that I felt like I could run the numbers through, run my ideas through, talk about the pitfalls, like what could happen. I remember hiring, I got on an hourly basis a fractional CFO, who was like a friend.

Stacey Brown Randall And he came to my office, and we sat down and I said, okay, and I like mapped everything out on the whiteboard. I was like, here’s what I’m thinking, here’s what I want to do. And he looked at me, he goes, Stacey, you know your numbers better than most business owners. Why am I here? I go, I think you’re just here to tell me it’s a good idea and give me permission.

Stacey Brown Randall Because I don’t have anybody that I’m bouncing ideas off of to ask me the hard questions, that I’m seeing around the corners that I may not be seeing. And he was like, yeah, no, you’re good. Off you go. Just do it. And we did, and obviously, that’s one of the reasons that we are where we are today.

[37:43] Stacey’s definition of success.

Brett Fellows Of course, that’s great. Well, in the spirit of your time, Stacey, this podcast is about successful entrepreneurs. And I found over the years that success means different things to different people. So I’m curious, what would be your definition of success?

Stacey Brown Randall You know, my husband always says, and I find like, as we get older, he’s saying it more and more. But he always says if your definition of success is a number, you’re probably defining it wrong. And so I want to be financially successful, because I think, innately in all of us that that’s kind of what drives us. Because it really does give the freedom and flexibility to make different choices.

Stacey Brown Randall At the end of the day, I just want to be able to be present. I want to be able to look back and be like, you know what, and I can say this, and I can say this, like my husband and I laugh all the time. But we have dinner with our kids all the time. Sometimes we’d rather not. Like could we just be that family that didn’t have dinner together for like, oh, I don’t know, a month. We are a very tight knit family.

Stacey Brown Randall I mean, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our troubles and we don’t have our problems. But we are a family that like, we are at my son’s cross country meets and at my daughter’s plays that she’s, and we are at basketball games and baseball games. And we are there and we are present and our kids will never wonder about, I wonder what mom and dad think about us.

Stacey Brown Randall And we are there to have the hard conversations and the easy, fun conversations with our kids. And we are very intentional about our marriage. I know that we may not, he and I together may not be the biggest financial success that we could be because our decisions to be a very present husband and wife and parents to our children have consequences from a financial perspective. We are really living our best life and we just love it.

Brett Fellows Love it. Thank you for sharing. I love it. Stacey, where can our listeners connect with you? Perhaps online?

Stacey Brown Randall Yeah, absolutely. Well, the book is a great place to start. So it’s the podcast if you don’t like books and you listen to podcasts. Roadmap to Grow Your Business is my podcast, and our home base is just the website. It’ll direct you to where you need to go. Staceybrownrandall.com.

Brett Fellows Great, and we’ll be sure to have all that in the show notes. Well, Stacey, thank you very, very much for your time today on The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast.

Stacey Brown Randall Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Brett Fellows Take care.

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