#111 Workroom Interview with Desha Peacock
  • Kevin Shabaar Smith

#111 Workroom Interview with Desha Peacock

Updated: Mar 31


FIND DESHA PEACOCK AT WWW.SWEETSPOTSTYLE.COM




Kevin:

All right. We are here with Desha Peacock. How are you today?


Desha Peacock:

I am doing pretty good, pretty good. Thank you.


Kevin:

That's good.


Desha Peacock:

How about you? How you doing today?


Kevin:

We're hanging in there. We're hanging in there. For those of you who are listening today, this is being recorded amongst this big coronavirus thing. Quarantined or not, through the magic of online business, we get to carry on with the podcast as scheduled, so that's great. How is everything going there on your end?


Desha Peacock:

Well, I'm just feeling super weird. I feel all kinds of emotions. Just yesterday, I live in Vermont, the schools were closed, so my daughter's home upstairs. My husband's a teacher, so he's at home. A few hours ago last night, we learned this information, and so part of me is like, "I don't know." I'm so grateful that I work from home and that I can be here with my daughter, and I'm grateful that my husband is home too and that we can be together and be safe and secure. Because of the nature of my work being virtual, my income is not going to change in the foreseeable future anyway. In fact, I feel like my business is really going strong. People are messaging me nonstop like, "Help. Help. How do I get my business online?" and all this stuff.


Desha Peacock:

On one hand, I feel super, super grateful. On the other hand, I do have this empathic energy, and I feel like the entire globe is struggling and all the new problems that are arising, and I just felt it in my body last night. My neck actually clenched up and went into a spasm, and my whole neck and head was just in so much pain. I know it was because of all the stress of just hearing the news and just me thinking about all the problems that other people have with... It's soaking into my spirit and my body, and so I've just been trying to focus on gratitude and really thinking about how I can help and what I can do to be part of the solution knowing that, if I let my body shut down, that that's not going to help anyone.


Desha Peacock:

It's like taking care of yourself while also trying to be compassionate about what's happening and then knowing this is temporary. I mean who knows? By the time this goes live and in a year from now, it'll be a distant memory. I mean probably not such a huge distant memory because this is a big deal, but...


Kevin:

Yeah. We tend to forget things pretty quick or at least the significance of certain things pretty quick as time moves on, but I will say that it's a good example of... In our line of work, we talk a lot about the importance of freedom, and we try to help people find that

freedom and build their business so they can find freedom.


Kevin:

I think, when people first hear that, they're thinking about the villa on the beach and the vacations and the... To a lot of people, I know a lot of people who are listening to this, freedom is being able to have something like this happen and not impact you because you're flexible enough to be able to work from home or to jump online like this and get things done. I think it's a good example of how freedom means different things to different people, but even on the small [inaudible 00:04:03] stuff, it could be very, very important. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I know. I feel bad because I was slightly inconvenienced. Today, I have clients, and my family's home. My office is in my house. It's in the hub next to our dining room and the living room. I'm like, "Okay. Don't turn on the blender. I'm on a podcast." It's these teeny, teeny inconveniences, and I'm like, "Wait a second. This is nothing compared to what..." People are having to decide between child care and a paycheck and all these huge decisions. Again, it's just bringing it back to, whew, I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful that I'm able to work from home and that my income is not impacted and that I'm in control of that.


Desha Peacock:

It's another beautiful thing about having a online business or just being a entrepreneur is that we have the gift of being innovators. It's like even if my business wasn't going as strong as I wanted, then I could think about it, and I could make a decision, and I could say, "How can I serve? What is it that I could do? How can I tweak my business?" I think, right in this very moment, people are either shutting down and crawling into a hole and saying, "Oh, no. My company is shut. I'm at home, and I'm not getting a paycheck, maybe, next month, so what am I going to do?" or they're thinking, "Okay. How can I be of service? What could I do? What could I create? How can I get my business online? How can I continue to do the work that I do but pull it over online?" A lot of people are acting super fast right now.


Kevin:

Yeah. I think a lot of people are just starting to figure it out and just realizing just by being forced to lean into the idea, figuring out that that virtual world that we all talk about all the time is real and significant and valuable and effective. You know?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I don't know about you, but I'm getting two kinds of messages from my clients and potential clients. One is, "I'm so grateful that I'm online." The other one is they're scrambling. They're like, "Ugh. Why didn't I do..." Sorry, I'm screaming.


Kevin:

That's all right.


Desha Peacock:

"Why didn't I do this before? Why didn't I get all this set up before?" That is a wake-up call. Even when we do forget about all this, it's like what is it? How do you want to create your life and what is it that you want to set up, and how do you want to be in the world? What is security and safety? To me, it's like I'm about as secure and safe as I could possibly get right now. You know?


Kevin:

Right. Yes, exactly. Yeah, it's definitely a blessing to do what we do, but I want to talk about what it is that you do.


Kevin:

I remember the first time I started looking into your stuff and started learning a little bit about you. The first thing that popped into my mind is, as I talk to my clients, I'll have clients that are like, "Do I want to do this, or do I want to do this?" Some of them are like, "I want to do this and I want to do this." I'm always telling them, "You know what? Focus. Pick one." Granted, typically, it's like, "I want to be an accountant, but yet I also want to be an interior designer." They're just way different. In your case, it seems like you have found a way to mix two things that you really love to do and make it work, and so I'd really love to hear exactly who it is that you help and how you help them.


Desha Peacock:

Okay. Well, I just love this conversation so much. I do feel that, in the online, in the digital world, and in marketing in general, we are encouraged to focus. I don't know if I'm incredibly ADD or it's like the ENFP personality type or whatever, but I'm like, "That is just not who I... I cannot just do one thing." The way that I got around that was by creating an umbrella brand. Instead of trying to go out in the marketplace and look at what's the problem and how can I solve it, I had to change the question for myself.


Desha Peacock:

The two questions I asked myself when I first got started was what do I want to do, and who do I want to do it with? Now, the question what do I want to do? the answer was very long and confusing. I like interior design. I like to work with women. I like to empower women. I like fashion. I like travel. I like anything to do with style. I love one-to-one support. I like helping people figure out what to do with their life. At the time, I was a career coach at a college. The two things that rose to the top were career coaching and interior design. It's almost like the example you gave of... What did you say? Architect-


Kevin:

Yeah. I want to be the accountant and I want to be an interior designer. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah, so how did do those two go together?


Kevin:

Yeah. How do you build that bridge?


Desha Peacock:

How do you build that bridge? What I decided was to create this umbrella brand. I said, "Okay. Well, the top two things would probably be those." At the same time, I happened to get this book deal, and so I was writing this proposal, and I had a lot of these different things mushed in. They said to me, "There is no shelf for this book."

Kevin:

Yeah, right.

Desha Peacock:

It forced me to think through, and what I had to do was... This sounds like crazy advice, but I had to just close my eyes and just pick one thing. I had to reassure my heart and my brain, "You can do everything, but you can't do it all at once or maybe not all in the same book, so just pick something because you're going to be happy with any of these things." Once you narrow it down to, "Oh, I can be happy with any of these things..."


Desha Peacock:

I picked interior design for the book. Then, as I started to write the book... and the lesson here is trust that that was the right decision. I started to write the book and, as I wrote the book, I started to learn about social media, and I started blogging. I started taking lots of classes on how to build a brand, and I did a pretty good job at it while I was promoting the book. By the time the book came out, yes, I was situating myself as an expert by having a book on interior design, but also, people noticed that I was creating a brand, and they started asking me, "How did you grow this Instagram following? How did you get this book deal? How are you doing these workshops? How are you making money?"


Desha Peacock:

Within probably the first year, I invented a title for this thing that I call a lifestyle design coach, which sort of then evolved into a small business coach. Depending on who I'm talking to, I am either a lifestyle design coach or I'm a small business coach, but to me, it's very similar.


Kevin:

Yeah, all under the same brand umbrella, as you called it.


Desha Peacock:

Yes.


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

Yes.


Kevin:

I think it's fascinating. I'm a self-proclaimed coaching geek when it comes to structuring coaching programs and coaching businesses. Every once in a while, I run into someone who has broke the rules, so to speak, I guess is the best way to put it. I always love to see how it fits together and works for them because I don't think there is a one size fits all. We coach people on best practice and what's maybe the easiest way, but sometimes your heart just wants to do more, and it doesn't always fit nice and neat into one box. It is possible to take two different passions and build a business around them, but you have to be smart about it, and you have to take steps. You took very specific steps in doing that, so I think that's a very wise way to proceed with it.


Desha Peacock:

Sometimes it's just a matter of really stepping back and looking at your skills and experience and your passions. For some reason, I'm pretty good at listening to someone, their story, and pulling out and trying to fit them together in a way that makes sense to other people. For example, if an accountant came to me and said they were interested in interior design, I'd be like, "Well, could you be an accountant for interior designers or could you be an interior designer and use your accounting skills in your business?" Sometimes it's just tweaking it a little bit and really thinking about where you want to focus.


Desha Peacock:

I'll tell you one thing that really helped me figure this out was I created what I call a lifestyle intention. I think this is really important for anybody who's out there who's struggling with multiple things they want to do. Instead of saying, "I want to be a small business coach," which I never said, or, "I want to be a career coach," which I never said, or even that I wanted to write a book, I never said that. What I did say is, "I want to have a life where I'm surrounded with beauty. I want to be able to travel whenever I want. I want to make decisions that are not based off my pocketbook but how I feel. I want to be able to work with interesting, creative, smart women."


Desha Peacock:

I wrote out the circumstances of how I wanted to feel in my life. Then I had faith, and I opened up spiritually and said, basically, "Please let these opportunities come to me." As they came along, then I asked myself, "Is this getting me closer to what I would call my sweet spot, this lifestyle design intention, or further away?" If it was further away, then I'd have to be like, "I don't think that's right for right now." If it was close or if it excited me, then I would say yes. Each one of these circumstances led to more synchronicity, which led to creating this thing which I wouldn't have been able to even describe five years ago. Do you know what I mean?


Kevin:

Yeah, I totally get it. I have to admit something to you. I have this thing. Every once in a while, I meet someone or start building a relationship with someone in coaching or something whose name just perfectly fits what they're doing. Your name is like... In my mind, I'm like, "Of course that's what she does. Of course she's going to nail this and she's going to hit it out of the park. How could she not? It's perfect." I have to admit I was like, "It's just perfect."


Kevin:

I have another coach friend who you might be familiar with. I think she's in a same group that we are. She's business coach. Her name's [Krystal Proffitt 00:15:29]. I don't know if you know-


Desha Peacock:

Oh, no. That's a cool name, though. That's a cool name.


Kevin:

Yeah. It was like, the first thing, we had a conversation going on. I go, "Stop. I have to tell you that that name, right there, is built for success in what you do. It's perfect. It's great."


Desha Peacock:

That's right. That's so awesome.


Kevin:

I got a real kick out of that. When I saw your name, I'm like, "Of course, lifestyle design, Desha Peacock. It's just perfect."


Desha Peacock:

Well, I always felt, in my heart, that I was meant to do something unique and something different, and so I feel so sorry for my poor mother who would be like... Even from a little kid, I would be so uptight. I'd be like, "What am I going to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do? [inaudible 00:16:11]." She would buy me these books. Do you remember that book? It's still on the shelf. What is it? The Career Parachute or something about the... your unique... Oh, I can't remember the name. The parachute book, basically. It was back in the day. It was the career book, and it would have all these different careers, and you could look and see which one.


Desha Peacock:

I had to turn to my mom and be like, "Mom, thank you, but it's not going to be in a book. The thing that I'm going to do is probably not going to be in a book." I had this inclination or this intuition that I needed to create it, that it was going to be something that was going to be different. I think you're right. It's like my name. It's different. You know?


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I just knew that it-


Kevin:

So good.


Desha Peacock:

... needed to be something different and something that was unique to me. That's why I feel like people need to hear this message, because they might be like, "Well, I'm so confused. I like all these different things," and they're told that they can only do one thing, but there are certain people who just can't.


Desha Peacock:

I will admit is more messy this way. It is a little bit harder. I think it maybe took me a little longer to get to where I am right now. I struggled for many years trying to figure out what it was, but I'm so glad that I didn't give up or just try to do something just to make money because, as much as I love money so much, I remember even after I graduated from college with Spanish and international relations and all this stuff that I was just like, "I just don't know how I'm going to make money with this." I actually tried to go to medical school because I was like, "I could be a doctor. I will make money." I just couldn't even get past chemistry because it was just like, "No. This is not me."


Kevin:

Yeah. Sometimes it's hard enough, in this industry, to explain to people what it is that we do. When I work with clients, it's like, "Okay. First, let's... No matter how complicated it is, what you do, let's try to simplify the message of it."

Desha Peacock:

Yes.


Kevin:

When you are struggling with trying to put those pieces together, it's difficult to communicate that to others, including the people that we live with and our family members and the people that care about us and things like that. It's really hard to get them to buy in sometimes.


Kevin:

I remember talking to you previously. We were talking about getting the significant others on board and what happens when you can't do that. I think the listeners, the people who are hearing this right now, would just get so much value out of hearing what it is that you shared with me the last time we spoke about... when you communicated what it is that you wanted to do to your significant other and how that went.


Desha Peacock:

Right. I haven't shared this story widely because you do have friends and family who listen, but I do feel like I want to share this story because I do feel like this is probably common, and then how we got through it.


Desha Peacock:

When I was working at the college, which is ironic now because... Well, we'll get into that. Okay, so I was working at the college. I live in a small town where I say everyone is over-educated and under-earning. To have a decent job where I had flexible hours, and I was the director, and I had summers off, it was a sweet job in this small town.


Desha Peacock:

When I decided that I wanted to start a business and that I wanted to take this online program which, at the time, it was $2,000 for this digital program, this was, I guess, seven years ago. I told my husband, I said, "I am going to take this digital course." He's like, "Okay." Then I was like, "Well, you should know it's $2,000." He is like, "What? Why?" We didn't have $2,000 laying around, so it was like, "Why are you doing that?" I said, "Well, because I need to learn this for when I quit my job and start my business." He said, "We are going to lose everything."


Kevin:

Ugh.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

There was a lot of emotion going through my mind and body at that point. For women, I think, especially, it's easy to go from fear to anger to sadness to all the way to, "You don't love me." You know?


Kevin:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

It's really fast moving through these emotions and to not take that personally of, "You don't believe in me," or all those kinds of thoughts that go through your mind. In the moment, I was like, "Okay. I see you have a lot of fear around this, but one thing I know is that I can't let your fear or anyone else's fear stop me from what I need to do in my life. Can't do that. Can't do that no matter who you are."


Kevin:

Yeah, so how did that... before you continue on with that-


Desha Peacock:

Sure, yeah.


Kevin:

After you hear that, because I know that this resonates with people because I hear comments and questions about this in probably 9 out of the 10 or so groups that I'm in. After he says that, "We're going to lose everything," I have to imagine that dinner that night, at the table, it was a little bit awkward. How did you digest that and reflect back? How did the rest of that conversation go?


Desha Peacock:

Well, so I'm an Aries, so I have a lot of fire in my chart. I blew up in the moment, and I was just like, "Okay. What are you talking about? Are you kidding? I'm not going to let us lose everything." I think, in a way, I'm a little lucky because I'm confident in myself enough to handle that whereas some people might internalize that and just not even sign up for the thing. I was like, "First of all, I'm not going to lose everything. You need to trust me." Of course, I had my own fears, but it almost pushed me to make sure that I did it.


Desha Peacock:

I got the credit card. I charged the program. I was actually on my way out of town to go to New York that weekend, and I put on Facebook that I was going to do this program. I realized that I started selling this program, so I wrote to the program and asked to become an affiliate. Over the next 48 hours, I made, in affiliate sales, what I paid for the program.


Kevin:

Perfect.


Desha Peacock:

Within 48 hours, I had made that 2,000. In a way, by his saying that, it pushed me to go forward faster.


Kevin:

Yeah, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

Then the second thing that I learned from this is, when I came back, I was in gloating mode. I was like, "Ha, ha, ha. Guess what? I made this money back in 48 hours. Hey, who's going to lose everything? Not me." The reaction was just like, "That's good." Then that was another lesson I learned of, oh, I can't do this for the reactions of other people. This-


Kevin:

Yeah. The expectation must have been like, "That's great. Yeah, we're on the right track. I'm proud of you. I'm so sorry that I said that. Good for you. Let's go." Right?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah. That's what I thought, and then I didn't get that reaction, so then I had to... It was just two lessons in that 48-hour period of, one, no, you can't let other people's fear dictate your decisions, and two, you must do this for yourself and not for any reactions of other people. No matter how big the success gets, it still has to be for me. The reward has to come from myself.


Kevin:

Gotcha, yeah, 100%.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

I think that there's an idea out there that success is the best revenge and things like that. There's an element of truth to that. You want to prove all your doubters wrong, but I think focusing on that could be... I think, in order to use that as fuel, it means you have to carry that with you. I think that that could be dangerous.


Desha Peacock:

I just don't think you're going to get the reward that you wished you could get, and it's not enough to keep you going when things get really hard. You have to do it for yourself. You have to motivate yourself, and you can't really rely on external things.


Desha Peacock:

We're still struggling with this same thing. What I have to remind myself is that, most of the time, people who are not seemingly extra-supportive to you doesn't mean they don't love you, and it doesn't mean they don't believe in you. It just means that, perhaps, they're not an entrepreneur, they don't have the same level of risk taking that you do, and they don't maybe understand what you're trying to do, and they may never completely really understand that.

Desha Peacock:

I know that we still have these conversations. I still have these conversations with my husband. I still have these hopes that he's going to jump up and down for me. He does it in a different way. He is a man. He communicates in a different way than I do, and so what I have to do is remind myself like, "He loves me. He supports me." He's just not like me who gets super excited and pumped up. When my clients call me and something good happens, I am over the top. I'm like [inaudible 00:26:11]. I feel like it's for me.


Kevin:

Yeah, right?


Desha Peacock:

I'm like, "[inaudible 00:26:14]. Yay! Go, go!" The fire alights, but not everybody has that personality. You have to be confident in yourself to be able to go this route.


Kevin:

Yeah. I think it's important to... you touch base on it. I think one of the hard things for entrepreneurs is remembering that everybody's not entrepreneurial. The way we think, as entrepreneurs, is different. It just is. It's different. To expect other people to just easily come on board with our mindset and the way that we think and the way that we process information and reflect it out to the world, it's a difficult task in a lot of cases. I think you're absolutely right about that.


Desha Peacock:

I think it's a great opportunity to find your people and find your tribe, so to speak. You and I can just jump on a Zoom and feel like we know each other. The first time we talked, it was just so natural because we understand what each other is going through, and we can support each other through this. Not everybody can be everything to you. You know?


Kevin:

Yeah.

Desha Peacock:

My husband gives me certain things in my life, and maybe he's not the person that I should go to to get business advice or kudos or whatever. I mean a certain amount, but then I have this whole other community of people. I have two accountability buddies. I've had coaches. I've taken programs. I surround myself with people who do get it, and that has made all the difference.


Kevin:

Yeah, so important to have that inner circle that fills different voids. I don't think there's any one person that can really fill... that checks all those boxes. You know?


Desha Peacock:

Exactly.


Kevin:

That's why we have, like you said, accountability partners or mastermind groups or things outside of our personal circle for that reason, so important.


Desha Peacock:

So much.

Kevin:

You share this with your husband, and you get your money back, and everything's going on the right track. Then you decide to leave academia at this point in time?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

Yeah, and so now you got to get clients.


Desha Peacock:

Right.


Kevin:

I'd love to hear how you went about getting your first few clients.


Desha Peacock:

Okay, so the first few clients. Well, before I quit my job, I did a couple of things. I took that digital program while I was... I didn't quit from that moment we had that conversation. I didn't quit for a full year. During that year, I started group programs in my living room and invited over, I think, 10 women who had come on Sundays. I would even make cookies and tea and charge really low prices at first. I started with that, with a group program. I actually used a book by Danielle LaPorte called The Fire Starters. It's all about lighting that fire and figuring out what your passion is.


Desha Peacock:

From the beginning, I've always been super open about my process, so it was like, "Hey, everyone. I want to grow personally. I want to start a business. I'm interested in this topic. How about you? Are you interested? Let's do it together." I started this group not as I'm the leader, but I'm part of this group, and I'm the facilitator. I feel like that's still how I am even today in my business. I am a open book. I'm like, "This is what I've done. This is what I haven't done. This is where I've failed. This is where I've succeeded," because I just feel like that helps people learn. That's what I did. At the end of my first group session, one of the people who was in the group asked me if I would be their coach one to one, so I came up with-


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I'm like, "Do I tell you you're the first person?"


Kevin:

Yeah, right.


Desha Peacock:

I feel a little lucky because my job, at that time, I had worked as a career director for four years where I was coaching people, but this was the first time someone said, "Can I hire you for this?" That was my first client. Then, from there, I worked with her, and then some other people from the group asked me, and then I started growing online. I did get a coach who taught me sales. I think that was really, really important because she taught me... I realize now that I had a super duper hard time with charging. I mean I think-


Kevin:

Very common, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

In the beginning, I live in this small town in Vermont, and I was like, "Ooh, people can't even pay $75 for a six-week program with tea and cookies?" I mean $75 to $125 sliding scale. Now, for six months of coaching, at the time of this recording, it's $7,000 for six months. That's a big leap in your mindset to get to through that, so I did-


Kevin:

Huge, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I did have a coach who helped me see the value of what I was offering, which helped me. She also taught me to raise my prices every six months. As a coach, every six months, I raise my prices by $500. I don't have to think about it or worry about it. I just do it. That's been helpful as well.


Kevin:

Yeah. One of the most common things that I see is the fear of doing just that. The sales process, yes, just getting comfortable with selling and charging, but then being comfortable to elevate the value of what it is that you provide, I think that that's super, super important because you think if you get stuck down there... Anyone who's listening to this, I hope that you're listening to what she's saying because, if you get stuck in that, you'll start to believe it.


Kevin:

If you get stuck in that hearing, "I can't afford that. I can't afford that. I can't afford that," from people that you're selling to or that you believe are your ideal clients and you keep hearing that and you keep accepting that belief, you'll start to believe it yourself. The next thing you know, you'll start telling yourself, "My program's too expensive. My programs too expensive." Next thing you know, you're cutting your prices instead of elevating your prices. I think that that's super important.


Desha Peacock:

What helped me get over that is that I was in a Facebook group, and I saw that there was this post, and there was this woman who was charging $500 for an hour for copywriting. All these people were jumping on, and they're like, "I'm signing up. I'm signing up." I was like, "Who pays $500 for an hour of copy?" Then I was like, "Okay. I need to know what she's doing. I need to know what she's doing to charge this much," so I got out my credit card again, and I purchased an hour from her to see exactly what she was doing. Then, all of a sudden, instead of saying, "Who in the world pays this much?" it turned to, "I pay this much."


Kevin:

Yes.


Desha Peacock:

Then, all of a sudden, I was able to gain confidence in what I was charging because I was paying it. I think that is a really important thing. If you're saying to yourself, "No one can afford this," what you're really saying is, "I can't afford this."


Kevin:

Yes, 100%. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

Right? So-


Kevin:

Yeah, yep.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah. Have you had that [crosstalk 00:33:59]? Yeah.


Kevin:

I went through the exact same thing. That's how I came to the same discovery you did, actually. It was in a mastermind group. Well, mastermind groups, what is it, 50 bucks a month or something like that? I don't know. One of my former mentors had this mastermind group going on, and it was $2,000 a month. I was like, "There's no way, no way people are paying $2,000 a month for a mastermind group."


Kevin:

I had this other coach/mentor of mine, and I was telling him about this. I'm like, "There's a mastermind group out there that's like $2,000 a month." He looked me like, "So?" I'm like, "That's a lot of money." He said, "Well, compared to what?" I was like, "Well, I don't know." He's like, "It's all relative. It's all relative." I ended up joining this mastermind group. After 60 days in this thing, there was nobody that wasn't charging premium pricing for what they offered because they saw the value in it.


Kevin:

I think what you said is very, very important. I think it's a key takeaway from this portion of our discussion. I totally believe, like you just said, that when you're asking who would pay for it, what you're really saying is that, "I, in my current mindset, wouldn't do it." I think that that is a key distinction. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

100%. Yeah, so it's like challenge yourself. If you're thinking that and you're wanting to charge more, you want to set yourself up as a premium product, then you may have to go and be uncomfortable and pay for something that you think is really good and see how it works for you. Then you'll have the confidence to do that.

Kevin:

Yep, 100%. When I asked you how did you get your first couple clients, one of the reasons I love to ask that question is because a lot of the people who listen to this are just getting into the coaching business, and a lot of people who are just getting in the coaching business are getting in on the ground floor doing it online.


Kevin:

One of the reasons I call this podcast Ugly Business is to help tell people that it isn't all glitz. It's not all glamor. You don't wake up one morning, decide you're going to be a coach and, next thing you know, you're on a yacht, south of France, just chilling out with your laptop making seven, eight figures. Right?


Desha Peacock:

That's right, yeah.


Kevin:

So often, it does start. Matter of fact, the vast majority of the time, it starts ugly, so to speak. It's, "Hey, can I get a couple people to show up in my living room just so we can discuss success and I can add some value in whatever way I can?" That's how you start. That's it.


Kevin:

I think we get on social media and we see... People who are listening are probably getting so sick of me saying this, but when I started on Instagram, for example... I'm still not a huge Instagram person, although I'm getting a little bit more into it now. The reason why I was so slow to jump onto it is because of that aspect, the vanity appearance of what coaching really was and what was valuable about it, and not that I minded the people doing it but the way that I saw it affecting other people's beliefs once they were seeing it. You scroll, scroll, scroll, and all you see is John on the beach, John on his yacht, Amy eating cheese in a fancy restaurant, the whole thing. All that stuff is great, but it just doesn't reflect the 99% of what is reality when you're starting and building a coaching program. I wondered if you see the same thing or have seen the same thing out there in your experience.


Desha Peacock:

Absolutely. That's why I wanted to be on this podcast, because I wanted to say my story is not welfare to millionaire. That is not my story. This is my seventh year in business. I will tell you the truth. My first year in business, I was like, "I am going to double my income from this academic job in my first year, and I know it's possible because I see all these people doing it," because that is the story that we hear. It's like, "Look at me. I made nothing. I was on welfare and now, six months later, I'm a millionaire now. Follow my step-by-step program, and I'm going to show you how to do it."


Kevin:

Right, [crosstalk 00:38:51]-


Desha Peacock:

You're like, "Well, gosh. If all these people can do it, like geez. She's on welfare. I'm sure I can do it. I have a master's." You start comparing yourself and you're like, "Yeah, I can do it." Then I didn't do it. I did not do it.

Kevin:

Then you feel like a failure because you didn't do what it looks like that person did.

Desha Peacock:

Then you're like, "Well, man, I must really suck way more than I thought. I tried everything. I followed your freaking step-by-step program." You know?


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

"So there must be something wrong with me." I did that my whole first year. Instead of doubling my income, I made half my income, half my income. At that point, most people would be like, "Ugh. I am not an entrepreneur. I'm done for." I was still really optimistic. I'm like, "Well, let's keep going." That's what people need to hear. I feel like they need to hear the reality of the 99%. Who freaking knows?


Kevin:

100%, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

I mean I've now worked with people for six years. People don't jump that fast. It's like they work, and they work, and they work, and they'll get a little bite. If that little bite is enough to get them to the next step to the next step to the next step, it's... There's not many people out there who are really jumping that fast. There are some, and I'm not saying it can't happen. It's just not my experience. It's not my story.


Desha Peacock:

As I told you before, even in year two, I did not increase my income from year one. It was $2,000 more, which was not much, okay, also in year two, but here's the thing. Year three, day one of year three, I did a one-hour webinar. I made 10,000 in sales.

Kevin:

There you go. Yep.


Desha Peacock:

Okay? I was like, "I'm in the money. Woo, this is good. I did it. I made it, and I'm not going back," and my income just went up from there every year. Now, it's dipped. It hasn't been a straight line either. It has gone up and down a little bit, but since then, I've always made significantly more than I did in my academic job, so that's my scale to myself.


Desha Peacock:

Of course, I do look at all these seven-figure businesses, and I'm like, "Why can't I?" But then I'm like, "Look, girl. You are making more money than you did in your academic job." I hinted at this before when I started this story of when people were like, "Are you crazy for quitting your job? There's no jobs, and you're quitting this one." Well, guess what? That college that I worked at is obsolete. It closed down this year. Everybody who had these academic support jobs who weren't the professors all got laid off, every single person. If I would have been in that job, I would have been laid off, and I would have nothing. You know?


Kevin:

Yep.


Desha Peacock:

I'm like, "Let's talk about job security." You know?


Kevin:

Yeah. I think that the road isn't always like this. I mean, if you look from 10,000 feet, it might look like that, but in actuality it's like this, [inaudible 00:42:08]. It's a bunch of peaks and valleys. What I tell people all the time is you're always going to have these peaks and valleys. You're always going to have them. The difference is the valleys get a little less deep, and the peaks get a little bit more higher. Right?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

As you go through, you're always going to have them, but the difference between those two levels becomes smaller and smaller and smaller, and your ability to rebound and come back from the dips gets a little bit easier. Yeah.

Desha Peacock:

That's right. That's right. Last year, I did have a dip. This year, it's looking like it's going to be the best year ever.


Kevin:

Nice.


Desha Peacock:

It's like, wow, while I thought that I had failed in certain areas of my business last year because I did invest, I did take a risk... Actually, in 2018, I took a big risk with this mastermind, and I spent six months working on something, and it didn't seem to pan out because it didn't really work with that particular idea, but I used that what I learned for other ideas.


Desha Peacock:

Now, a year and a half later, it's like I am seeing the results of that learning. It's like you really have to get comfortable with pivoting, and you really have to get comfortable. I don't know. For me, anyway, it's like it does take a while for me to see the results of my work. I have to hunker down, work, work, work, work, work, have faith. Then sometimes you'll see an immediate little jump, but oftentimes it's usually sometimes six months to a year later where I'm really seeing the fruits of my labor.


Kevin:

Yeah, right. I think sometimes you have to take advantage of the dips because I think that sometimes we label success or achievement only in the business lens. I know that, one time, you were talking about when your business was down one year, you took the opportunity to travel with your daughter. Is that right?


Desha Peacock:

That's exactly right.


Kevin:

Yeah, tell me about that.


Desha Peacock:

That was last year. That was 2019. My income dipped in 2019, and I was all upset about it at the end of 2019, but then when I reflected, and it was like, "I took six months off with my daughter." I pulled my daughter out of school. We went to live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, this absolutely gorgeous place that I love, that my heart is attached to. I put her in a private bilingual school. We lived in Airbnbs. We stayed in mansions. We had cooks. We had people taking care of us.


Kevin:

What a horrible year.


Desha Peacock:

Okay, so how stupid is that that, at the end of the year, I was like, "I'm a failure. I didn't make more money this year"? I'm like, "Girl, you lived out the dream that you had wanted to do." The seeds for that dream had been planted maybe 10 years before when I wanted to go to... 10 years before that, I had gone to Mexico and walked into that city, and my heart was like, "How can I get back here?" That was when I only had a couple weeks of for vacation or whatever, and it was like saving your pennies to get there. I was like, "How can I spend more time here?"


Desha Peacock:

It took me a long time to get to the point where I could do that. Then I did it, and we lived really well. We had a beautiful time and an experience that I couldn't trade for anything. It was priceless, that experience. That's the lifestyle intention. I was able to create that through the work that I do. I was able to work there and provide this experience for my daughter and myself, and it actually helped us in so many ways. I mean being away from my husband for six months actually brought us closer. He came to visit twice, and it was like, "Oh, I miss you. My gosh, I love you." You know?

Kevin:

Yeah, right. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

People are like, "Wow, what's going on? Are you guys getting separated? Are you falling apart? You're separating for six months. This also isn't normal." I'm like, "Actually, I highly recommend it. Go on vacation for a little while and give yourself a chance to miss each other and see how you really feel about each other." You know?


Kevin:

Yeah. It's experience that your daughter will never forget. I think that that story provides a good perspective because you get in... at least most people get into this business, yes, to make a high level of impact on your clients, but it's also, again, to find that freedom. I think we have to define it in other terms other than just the commas that are in that annual revenue statement. Right?

Desha Peacock:


Yeah.

Kevin:

It's what kind of life did that allow me to live? I think that that's a great example of that. Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

That was the goal. That's what I wanted the whole time when I started my business. I wanted to be able to do stuff like that, and I did. You got to remember that that is the main goal. That was one of the main goals for me. That happened and then to just remember like, okay, that was a really amazing experience, and maybe the number went down, but it didn't go down that much to where it messed anything up. Really, it was just me being really ambitious about those numbers but then having to remind myself the reason why you want those numbers was to have that experience.

Kevin:

Yes. Yeah. I think the reason why many entrepreneurs, myself included, who remember the early years when there's zero, we don't want to feel that ever again, and so whenever there's a little [inaudible 00:47:55], it's like [inaudible 00:47:56], that little entrepreneurial paranoia just slides right in. I don't think that ever goes away, and it's kind of a good thing that it's there. Yeah, we feel it. You know?


Desha Peacock:

That is exactly right because it's just that scenario I was saying of from my husband like, "We're going to lose everything," when he says that, to me going straight to, "You don't love me." You know?

Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

It's like, "Oh, the numbers are dipping." Your mind, it's fear-based, immediately goes to, "Wow, if this continues on this track next year, oh, well, I'm screwed," You start to think everything is going to go away. Then I have to remind myself of what we started with of like what if it all went away? Like, "Girl, you know how to run a business now. Take one of the other 100 ideas you have and work on that one." You know?


Kevin:

Yeah. That's an awesome point because, no matter what your goal is, it's not really about the goal at the end of the day. It's about the change that you see in yourself on the way to achieving that goal. As long as you change inside towards being a business person, then everything can go away, and you can do it again and again and again and again because you are the person now who can build a business. Right?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

It's not necessarily about getting everything that comes with being a successful business person. It's the person that you became along the way. It's all about the basics. Once you learn that lesson, you can apply those lessons over and over and over and over again. You know?


Desha Peacock:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Kevin:

If everything, for me, were to go away tomorrow and I had to start this all over starting next week from zero, I would skip all the fluff and all of the social media overkill, and I would just build my email list.


Desha Peacock:

Yes.


Kevin:

That's it.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah. Yep.


Kevin:

Right? That's it.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah.


Kevin:

I tell people all the time, "Don't overthink it. Don't overdo it. Just build relationships. Build your email list. Just do that."


Desha Peacock:

100%. If you only had to do one thing, that's exactly what I'd say. Build relationships, build your email list, stay in touch, be authentic, and just think about how you can help people. Now is a great time because there's more problems than ever, at the moment, with this coronavirus. There's new problems, and there's all kinds of people who need help, so it's like just think about how you can help people tap into what they need that aligns with your sweet spot. You don't have to overcomplicate it. You really don't.


Kevin:

Yeah. That's it. See social media as a vehicle to do that instead of... If you don't use it for something and you haven't set your mind on exactly what you're going to use it for, it just can get so expansive that you just get lost in it. If you know that you're using it to make connections, build your email list, then use it for that and then get out. You know?


Desha Peacock:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Kevin:

Don't get sucked into the whole comparison and, "What do I do?" and searching through til you find that one magical answer to the universe, because it ain't coming. Right?

Desha Peacock:

No. Yeah.


Kevin:

Yeah, just build your email list. That's it.


Desha Peacock:

Build your email list.


Kevin:

It seems oversimplified, but I think only in comparison to the way that we overcomplicated it. Right?


Desha Peacock:

Yeah. I mean I have taken programs where it's like the list of stuff that you have to do to grow your online business is so much that you're just like... I really start to think that people complicate it because they want to sell you this big, expensive program. It's like, whoa, it's so complicated that most people can't even do it. It is like, right now in these times where it's like, "Okay, how can I just get my next client? Where is my client coming from? What is it that I need to do? Do I need to get on the phone? Do I need to offer a free 20-minute clarity call and make a sell from there and take a one-to-one client?" Whatever you need to do and then grow from there. You know?


Kevin:

Yeah, yeah. You don't need the bells and whistles. You don't need all of the technical toys that are out there nowadays. Those are all great. I don't want to dissuade people from using them, but if you're just starting or you're starting over, I think that that's something that you always just have to remember. Keep it as simple as humanly possible, build your email list, build out those relationships, and offer to help.


Desha Peacock:

Yeah, and don't spend six months building a brand and creating a beautiful website and spending thousands of dollars on a website designer and on your fonts and your logo.


Kevin:

Right, yeah.


Desha Peacock:

Make a sale.


Kevin:

Yeah.


Desha Peacock:

That's what I say. You're not in business until you make a sale. You've got to go make the sale. Focus on that. Focus on your profit. Then, once you make money and once you know your idea works, then you can invest in those things.


Kevin:

100%.


Desha Peacock:

I think a lot of people have it backwards. They're like, "Ooh, I have to have this perfect online presence, and I have to build out all this stuff and create my whole course and all this," and then they're like, "What's wrong with me?" when they're not selling, but it's like, "Yeah, but you didn't really verify that your idea worked by getting money for that."


Kevin:

Yeah. It's like you want to build the mansion so you feel comfortable inviting people in. Don't worry. They'll come to your house as it is as long as there's value in there for them.


Desha Peacock:

Right.


Kevin:

Just give the value, and then you can build a mansion later and not worry.


Desha Peacock:

Exactly, yes.


Kevin:

Yeah, yeah. Desha, if people want to work with you, how can they go about doing it? What's the easiest path from A to B to get value that you provide?


Desha Peacock:

Well, so you can go to my website, www.sweetspotstyle.com, and you'll see a Work With Me button. I do work with clients one to one for six months, so that's the one coaching program. Speaking of email list building, I do have an email list building mastermind that I run a few times a year.


Kevin:

Nice.


Desha Peacock:

That's also on my website. That's at a lower cost because it's a group program. That's specifically focused on building that email list. It's basically the six things that I've done. I've gone back in the back end of my email building software and I've looked at all the different things that I have done to grow my email list which, by the way, it's not super big. It's about 4,000 people right now, but it's been enough to create this lifestyle and this business. Don't be scared by it. Don't think that you have to have 10,000 people or more on your email list. You really don't.


Kevin:

It's about quality.


Desha Peacock:

It's about quality, and it's about building your targeted email list of your ideal client. That's what I teach, and I share the six things that have gotten me the most of my ideal clients. Then we have challenges, and we go through those challenges together, and we have a support community, and it's small. That would be the two main things, right now, that I'm working on.


Kevin:

Great. If you're out there and you're listening to this, look Desha up. She's amazing. She's a real deal, so go ahead and look her up, and she'll lead you in the right direction.


Kevin:

I can't thank you enough for spending the time with me. Thank you very much for being here. It's always great to chat with you, so thank you very much.


Desha Peacock:

Thank you. Thank you so much, Kevin. This has been really fun.


Kevin:

All right. I'll talk to you soon.


Desha Peacock:

Okay.


Kevin:

Okay.

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© 2018 Kevin S Smith | Leaderstone, Inc.

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