You can reach your end goal without sacrificing important things in your life by just knowing and doing the right things! You don’t have to sacrifice your family time to earn a huge amount of money. Instead, take care of yourself and the people that you love. In this episode, author, mentor and coach Fabienne Fredrickson discusses how to go from 6 figures to 7 figures and get your life back. Most often than not, people earning this much with their job have to trade it for something else in their lives. It could be sacrificing their time and health. It’s time to get your life back!
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A Proven Recipe To Go From 6 To 7 Figures Without Getting Overwhelmed With Fabienne Fredrickson
I am so excited about this episode. We have some amazing guests every week with incredible expertise who is generous with their time. This particular guest’s story is so familiar to me. If you’ve been following my show, you know a lot about my story. Her way of getting to the end goal and everything about her is very similar to my own story that I had to have her on. Her name is Fabienne Fredrickson.
She’s the author of a bestseller, The Leveraged Business. She also runs an amazing community of thousands of women on her website BoldHeart.com. Before I ramble on about her expertise and background, I’m going to have her come on the show and explain to us why she does what she does and why it’s important to have some sanity and balance in our lives. Welcome to the show, Fabienne.
Thank you, Victoria. I’m delighted to be with you.
Tell us a little bit about your background, what you do, why you wrote your book and so on.
I realized back in 1999 that I was unemployable and had to get out of corporate because it was never going to make me happy. I left corporate to open up my own nutrition practice out of my home. I thought, “I’ve been in advertising, marketing and sales. I’ll fill my practice. It will be fine. If I could make $65,000 a year, which is what I last made in corporate, I’ll be so happy.” I realized that when you’re selling yourself, it’s not easy to do that. It was a lot of dark nights of the soul, “Do I stay self-employed but very unhappy and struggling or do I go back?”
I decided to stay self-employed and create a client attraction system for myself. I filled my practice within eight months to full capacity. Other people started asking how I did it. A year and a half later, I became a business coach. I’ve been teaching women for many years how to use this client attraction system to get to $10,000 a month consistently.
Once I went to multiple 6 and 7 figures, other people started asking me, “How did you do this, especially with three small kids at home?” I said, “Let me reverse engineer what I did. First, I leveraged my team, systems, etc.” It has now become a proven recipe that you follow if you want to go from overwhelmed at 6 figures to multiple 6 figures and eventually 7 figures with your life back.
I believe that most people who are at that critical juncture of six figures are overwhelmed. They work evenings and weekends. They don’t pay themselves enough. They say too often, “One more email, and mommy will be right there,” with pangs of guilt. It doesn’t have to be this way. This is the process that I’ve reverse engineered, and now I teach it to thousands of people around the world.
That’s interesting because I’ve been there. As a daughter of immigrants, my parents told me that you got to get hyper-educated, become a doctor, lawyer or get an MBA, and get yourself a great job with upward mobility. That was your quickest and surest way to reach the American dream. I did all that and did get my job. What I quickly found out was that the higher up I got, the more hours came with that higher pay. I never got to see my kids. You have to wonder, “Why am I doing all this? What’s the end goal?”
You want to provide for your family and all that but you weren’t there. That’s the most important part of what you’re providing for your family, you’re not there. Other people are taking care of your kids and all that. For those of you who are reading this now who are overwhelmed, I talked to many of you quite often because a lot of you live locally here and you see me. You’re doing mid-six figures and you’re overwhelmed. You’re working crazy hours, seven days a week. You got your phone and email system attached to your hips. As you said, “One more email. One more client. One more product to develop. One more thing.”
When my kids were younger, you think, “It’s going to get better when I get the next $100,000 or something,” then that comes with more work. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and not even realize that you’re overwhelmed. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially women, are now working more hours than they did in corporate. You’re making less money than you did in corporate with less job security. You don’t have healthcare benefits. You don’t have a lot of the stuff that comes with the structure of the corporate.
Especially those who have great college degrees wonder, “Should I go back to work because my life might be simpler or do I stick with this?” I love that not only did you survive this, but you’ve come up with a system that other people could follow. I love that The Leveraged Business book goes over the system of how you can economize scale and do all that stuff with small children. Tell us a little bit about the meat of the book. What’s the whole premise of it? What does the reader get out of that at the end?
We are always improving above and beyond positive and loving.
What I realized long ago is the recipe to get to 10,000 a month or get to six figures in the first place requires a lot of digging deep and doing everything yourself. It requires long hours of learning. You’re building the plane as you fly it. Once you get to $100,000 or more in your business, what got you here won’t get you there. There meaning 7 figures with 14 to 16 weeks of unplugged vacations a year. For you to grow from six figures and get your life back, you need to do less better.
I believe there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire in the sense that you cannot do it alone. You need the right people that you can trust so that you can stop white-knuckling it and let go. It’s going from the control enthusiast to the person who can delegate more fully to the people in her care, then it’s about creating systems for everything. Most of us start our business based on our personality. It’s us doing everything.
After a while, the mindset that needs to be adopted is that we become a process-driven company, not a personality-driven business. When everything is documented, has checklists, and runs like a well-oiled machine, fewer things fall through the cracks. You know this, Victoria, because this is how you have been so successful. When you take these two elements, because the right systems and processes are there, you can fully delegate to your team. This allows you to leverage your time. You leverage your team and your systems.
Now, instead of being a doer who has got her hands in everything and becoming a bottleneck for the company, you begin to use your time in a more leveraged way, focused entirely on what we call in the book as EGAs or Exponential Growth Activities. Those are the things where several of our clients will get to $1 million in a year or two because they are using their exponential growth activity days to create way different results and to change.
You leverage your business model instead of working hours to dollars. You’re working one too many and scaling your business. There’s more but if we focus on those first four first activators out of the eight activators, that’s when you can rapidly grow your business. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in or what you do, this is proven to work when you follow those processes.
I agree with you on that. Most people will agree that you can’t do it all. You need some help. I’m going to be a contrarian and ask you a couple of questions because that’s what this show is all about. The first thing is the agreement part. Look at companies that are successful out there like McDonald’s. McDonald’s started here in San Diego, not too far from where I live now. First, it was the owners flipping the burgers, packing them, talking about it, going door to door and buying all this stuff. All the relationships and the know-how were with them.
They realized there was more money in franchising and systemizing what they were doing. Now they’re talking about a robot doing it. It’s a full-proof system that they have. There’s nothing that could go wrong in their system. There are 21 steps to make their fries and you don’t skip one so it’s exactly the same.
I agree with you that building a system is critical to growing. You can grind it out, grow and work more hours, but that is not the quality of life that we all aspire to have, nor was it what we envisioned with us working more hours. When you don’t delegate and don’t realize this, all your relationships with your vendors, clients, students and IT person are all with you. That means every phone call has to be initiated and answered by you. You don’t have enough time of the day to do that.
You work with a lot of entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs. We’re very control freaks. This is how we became entrepreneurs. It’s hard to let go of that control. Do you think that it’s because we don’t trust other people and we don’t trust something is not going to go well? Why is it so hard for people to let go of some control? What do you think?
From my experiences, when we open up our own business, very few of us are taught how to hire strategically. What happens is when we are freaking out, working sixteen-plus hours a day, our instinct is to find anybody with a pulse to stop the bleeding. We’re just grabbing the first person who seems sane, a neighbor or a friend. We say, “Do this,” and we’re just focused. There are so many plates spinning in the air that we don’t hire strategically. We don’t use assessments to put the right person in the right seat. We don’t have most of us everything documented so that even a six-year-old could follow the process. What happens is we say, “Do this and I want it by tomorrow.” I’m exaggerating but not really.
I call this drive-by delegating, which is you’re throwing a hot potato at somebody. On the receiving end, that assistant or even a CEO that you hire doesn’t know what to do with the hot potato. You haven’t explained what it’s supposed to look like. You haven’t given examples. You didn’t take into account how much else they have on their plate. You didn’t tell them when it was realistically due. They either stand there frozen.
A lot of them are in fear because they don’t want to disappoint you, but they have no idea how to get it done, or they go down a rabbit hole for three weeks, and then they come back scared and proud of the work. They say, “Here you go.” You look at this and say, “Three weeks into this? This is not at all what I wanted. I could have done it better myself.”
When you have hundreds of women blowing wind in your sales, there is nothing you can’t do.
Do you think that sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we tend to hire the people we like or people we think could do multiple things as we do? Do you think you’re better off hiring a specialist that you are not good at? For example, I’m horrible at IT. I would hire somebody who talks like me, who is creative and all that which would be a real mistake in the IT world for my business. In IT, you want to have a system that works and that you can count on all the time. Do you think that’s one of the problems? You wrote a whole book about it, The Leveraged Business.
What do you think? Are we hiring people that are experts at specialties that we’re not good at? As an entrepreneur, you’re used to doing everything. We expect our employees to do half as much as we do. A lot of entrepreneurs tell me that. The reality is that most people who are going to do twenty things at the same time aren’t going to be working for anybody. They will be working for themselves.
Here’s a secret that I used to get to $1 million. I hope it’s helpful for the people who are here. I’ll talk about the four ways that I’ve discovered to hire the best people. When I started taking assessments early on being a business coach, I realized that I am a high idea generator who loves to start new things and entreprendre. I’m half French so I know this. Entreprendre means to initiate. Many of us entrepreneurs, 95% of us from my recollection, love to start new things but are not also wired to finish them.
The secret that I figured out is that I don’t have to change. I am who I am but I must surround myself with people who are wired to finish things, who are not coming up with sixteen fabulous ideas a day, but more who like to dot the I’s cross the T’s and are wired to follow through. The more you have people like that on your team, the more they can help you discern whether all those sixteen ideas are worth working on. They will basically take whatever you’re working on and make it happen. That’s one of the ways that you get there.
When you are looking to hire strategically, what I’ve discovered is you’re looking for four things. The first one is a skillset. Can that person do what you want them to do? The second is experience. Have they done this a lot before? Believe it or not, those two things are not always necessary. If you don’t have a lot of funds, you could hire some 23 years old from college as we did in the beginning, and you teach them the skillset. Eventually, they will have the experience. What is non-negotiable is the last two quadrants or elements, which the third one is wiring. Are they wired for the job? A lot of times, we hire a person to do coding, admin stuff and input, which is very dry. We also want them to pick up the phone and sell. You can’t do that. The wiring is strategic and so helpful. That is non-negotiable.
The fourth thing is culture fit. In my company, we are always improving above and beyond, positive and loving. We own it when we speak up. If somebody on my team is not positive and loving, they don’t own it, and they are just trying to clock in and out, they’re not going to fit with us. They’re not going to fit with our clients.
The culture fit is necessary. Once you’ve got at least the bottom two, which are the wiring and the culture fit. Ideally, you’ve got the skillset and the experience. That’s when with the right systems, you onboard and train them in a certain way that eventually, you let go and delegate safely and show them how to pay for themselves in the first 3 to 4 months. You can then move on knowing that you’ve got the right team you trust. They’re taking non-necessary things off your plate, and then you can go and scale the business.
That’s interesting. I love the word you used there. This is the sweet little sound to entrepreneurs, delegate safely. It’s like your other child when you give birth to your businesses especially those of you who are in that physical business and restaurant business. It’s those hours of grinding. Every single time you serve a meal, that’s your product and consistency going out there. When you delegate, it’s scary because your reputation, future and everything are on the line, especially the perfectionist. I happened to be one who used to be guilty of that.
I had let go a long time ago because my kids were sick a lot. I had to count on some people and let go. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. I love the title here, The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go from Overwhelmed at Six Figures to Seven Figures and Get Your Life Back. That’s what we all want. We want to be able to grow by working fewer hours with less resources because you’re much more efficient and you can scale upwards.
I’ve done the 8 and 9 figures. I can tell you that it’s much easier going from 7 to 8, and then the 8 to 9 almost happens on its own. My daughter is 30. She has a child. She started her own business pretty young realizing, “There was no way I could sustain this life.” Her child was born during COVID. She spent a lot of time at home and then she’s like, “Now I got to go back to work? What do I do?” What advice would you give to a younger you many years ago?
It all depends if the person already knows what business they would want to start. If the answer is no, one of the things that I have people look at is a four-question process that doesn’t need to take more than 30 minutes. An hour is ideal. It’s to answer the four ikigai questions, the reasons for being. The questions are these, “What do I love and what am I passionate about? What am I exceptionally good at, even if I take it for granted? What does the world need? How can I get paid?”
When you ask yourself these four questions, you receive a huge amount of clarity as to what you can do in the world in a way that has you passionate about using your skills so that it lands and it’s relevant to what the world needs according to why you’re here and how you can get paid. When you have those four things, it’s about giving yourself permission to start.
Leverage your team and systems.
The permission train isn’t coming, especially for young women. We’re waiting for people to give us permission. You give yourself permission and you go out there. Self-belief is a huge thing. I know you could say, “Self-belief? is that the secret?” I’ll tell you this. In my communities of women who are from all walks of life at all different levels of business, this feeling of inadequacy among women of, “I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough. I’m too much,” the self-belief changes everything. It’s about learning how to get to $10,000 a month and get to $1 million and more. It starts with that.
I completely agree with you on the whole self-belief thing. If you go into your first entrepreneurship business without fully believing in your business or yourself, and you don’t have a community like Fabienne’s community or you don’t have a mentor like her, what happens is you’re wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? Is this going to work?” You’re spending your time doing that. The first time something goes wrong, you’re going to give up.
That’s because our society and the school system are set up to create workers in factories. The minute you hit a bump in the road, your best friend, sister and even your spouse will say, “Maybe you’re not cut out for this. Maybe it’s time for you to get a real job.” What happens is you’re hearing all these toxic voices, which are creating toxic thinking in your own head. Society rewards the masculine, especially in business. You’ve got these little kids, and then you feel guilty all the time. When you’re working, you’re thinking about them. When you’re with the kids, you’re thinking about work.
There are so many toxic voices that have you question whether you are cut out for this. Get yourself in an intentional community, not an accidental community, meaning neighbors, people at the club or whatever. Forgive me, gentlemen, if you’re reading this. Many women benefit greatly from being in an intentional community with other women in business. Why? It’s because we are wired differently. We are wired to need to talk ideas through.
We don’t need everybody to fix us. We need the bonding chemical oxytocin. We need to feel elevated by other women, not women who will compete with us or try to tear us down. It’s a community where a rising tide lifts all ships. There is extreme generosity and encouragement, “If you can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it.” However cheesy this sounds, when you have hundreds of women blowing wind in your sails, there is nothing you can’t do.
It doesn’t sound cheesy at all. I’m old enough to have been born at a time of working women. Very few of them actually worked as an entrepreneur when I started my company in 1989. When I was working in corporate, women were often the people that would compete with you and compare. It’s time to stop competing and comparing and start to lift other women and collaborate.
Everything you said resonates with my own story. You talked about passion and purpose. I wrote a book called Million Dollar Passion. It’s about turning your passion and purpose into a dream business. One thing we didn’t get to talk about here is that Fabienne is a mother of three children. She has built this incredible business and community, and lifting thousands of other women with her children being a full-time mom. That’s the real jam. It is possible. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and we both know a lot of other women who’ve done it. You can all do it now.
You have to take a deep breath, scale back a little bit, and figure out what you’re best at and what your passion is. We all do things we don’t want to do. I hate selling. I go on TV and sell. I hate being pushy. There are a lot of things that we don’t like doing. I have other people who do the selling for me. Figure out what you’re best at and what your passion is. Focus on that and delegate the rest. If you are scared of delegating or don’t know how, there’s a great book that Fabienne wrote, The Leveraged Business. I suggest that you check that out. Fabienne, how do people connect with you if they want to learn more about this fascinating subject?
One of the best ways to find out more and even get the book if this speaks to you is to go to BoldHeart.com. Put your ear to your heart and then boldly go and do the thing. The book is free there. You just cover $2.95 in shipping. You can read hundreds and hundreds of stories of other women who have gone from being overwhelmed into creating businesses with little kids at home. I invite you to watch those videos and read those stories so that you can increase your own belief in yourself. If others do it, there’s no reason why you can’t put the same resources.
You can’t put a value on that. I’m sure anybody has done it. The road is not smooth. It’s full of landmines, sharp turns and some disappointments. It’s how you handle those. When you connect with other women who’ve been there, seen things and have experienced things that you can’t see now, there’s a lot of value in that. Unfortunately, when I started my business, I didn’t have mentors. We didn’t have online communities. There was no Facebook and internet. Microsoft was formed in ’89. That’s how far that goes. There was no community of online people that I could connect to or mentor.
I didn’t even know there was a mentorship program or anything like that. I went to USC and there were some mentorship programs, but they were in real estate or something. I design jewelry. Talk about having people tell you, “You need to get a real job. Let me tell you something.” I got that a lot. The best benefit of living nowadays if you’re a Millennial mom is having that online community and other people. The internet has opened a lot of doors, mindset and free books. It’s amazing. Take advantage of all of it.
As we close, I want to remind you, please stay happy and healthy. Happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. If you have not subscribed to the show, please subscribe and share it with at least one person so we can amplify our voices and help more women out there. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to help other people succeed because, in my culture and family, you are not successful until you help other people succeed. I’m here paying my dues. Thank you so much for coming to the show, Fabienne.
Thank you, Victoria. Thanks, everybody.
About Fabienne Fredrickson
Fabienne Fredrickson is a beloved mentor to thousands of women in business. As founder of The Leveraged Business program, Fabienne has reverse-engineered how she scaled her business to several million annually, while remaining powerfully feminine.
Her book, The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go From Overwhelmed at 6-Figures to 7-Figures (and Get Your Life Back) is the definitive roadmap showing women how to increase their income and impact with heart. Find her at Boldheart.com.