You should know by now that I’m obsessed with interviewing women who break the traditional rules for success.
So as you can imagine, I was super geeked to get into the mind of a woman who not only built an 8 figure business from the ground up but she also juggled the demands of being a new mom and wife while doing it.
Psyche Terry is the founder of UI Global Brands, LLC , a portfolio of brands that includes apparel and skincare solutions. Reportedly, the company is evaluated at $10 million dollars.
Prior to launching UI Global Brands, LLC , Psyche launched Urban Intimates, a plus size intimate apparel and beauty company sold in 5000+ stores across the country including Macys, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Ross, Target and Sally Beauty.
I interviewed Terry exclusively for Black Enterprise Magazine, here are my 4 key takeaways:
LESSON 1: RISKS AND SETBACKS ARE A PART OF SUCCESS. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
During a prior interview with Black Enterprise, I learned.
In 2009, Psyche launched the lingerie company with her husband. They signed up for the Coors Miller Light business plan competition which offered winners a $50,000 prize to help fund their start-up.
They lost the competition twice.
Then she entered the “Workshop at Macy’s, an exclusive retail vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority and/or women business owners the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.
To get feedback about the lingerie line from Macy’s she traveled back and forth to New York from her home in Texas BUT Macy’s continued to say NO—you’re not ready for the big leagues.
So she figured she needed to learn more about the wholesale industry.
“I found a lady that was a small boutique wholesaler out in Kansas and I opened a credit card, and cleared it to pay her to mentor me for three days. I bought a ticket to Kansas with my three-month-old son and we slept in her basement with her dogs and learned about lingerie and the practice of how to run a lingerie business,” she said.
Then, Terry needed to find the right manufacturer.
So she used another credit card to pay for a trip to meet with manufacturers in China. Her hubby and one-year-old son traveled along as well.
“We met in China with a handful of manufacturers and through them, we took samples and styles. We didn’t speak any Chinese, Mandarin, or Cantonese. ”
“We used Google translate to make sure we knew how to say ‘how much’ and ‘how to get to the bathroom’” Terry says. “And though it was another expensive trip, it was worth it. It wasn’t easy. We had some people that cut us off and dropped us back at the hotel because our order quantities were way too small and they were like, ‘Why are you even in China? Go back to America. What are you talking about? Get out of our office.’
“We met with Macy’s a few more times—BUT they accepted then retracted the offer because we needed to make more changes. “Finally, like three months after the disappointment of having the rug pulled out from under us, we got a sensible meeting with them and then, incredibly, they said ‘We are going to launch you in ten of our doors,’” Terry said.
LESSON 2: MANAGE YOUR MONEY, DON’T LET YOUR MONEY MANAGE YOU.
“In the beginning, I didn’t watch my current cash flow every day. I would just be more of a salesperson for our business. I knew I worked, so what was the point of “checking in” to see if my hard earned money was there? I took a class that helped me read my financial statements so that every day when I get my quick books reports I can quickly follow to the line item what is or isn’t happening.
Before we raised money to grow the business we were living check to check, credit card to credit card and I was spending money constantly on new product ideas, shipping, and marketing. Once I realized the ins and outflows and timing and check cashing and bill paying seasons of our months, I was able to help our business be more strategic.”
LESSON 3: OLD WAYS OF THINKING WON’T OPEN NEW DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY.
To grow an 8- figure business I had to change my money mindset from “I can’t to I will someday.”
I have my goals posted in front of my desk on the wall next to my kids’ art. The goals say to have a higher profit margin and to have millions in sales. I’ve had that same goal up for years when we were barely making $100,000 a year.
But having a mentor changed my mind into thinking “why not me?” She helped me understand that if I see myself at the table then I’d start acting like I’m just patiently awaiting my invitation. When your mind changes your expectations change. When your expectation changes your behavior changes. When your behavior changes – things start to move into place.
LESSON 4: FEAR NEVER GOES AWAY.
“I moved completely out of the apparel business to grow my beauty line. I was afraid all over again just like a brand-new business owner.
I was afraid that I made the wrong choice or maybe all of my beauty businesses would shrivel and not respond the way they have been over the past 8 years. I also had a fear that I wouldn’t be able to use my love for fashion and trendy product creation anymore. I realized that every season in beauty there is still something new and different to test and that I get a chance to add my fashion flair to everything I do every day no matter if it’s in a beauty business or keenly dressing my kids for daycare.”
So, I’ve got some questions for you.
With 2018 right around the corner, it’s time to activate beast mode:
- What are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals?
- What bad habits and thoughts do you need to drop so you can reach your financial goals?
- To reach the next level of your life and career, what new skills do you need to learn? What actions can you take today?