Sharon helps parents protect their children’s legacy and have peace of mind for their future by educating them on the tools for creating financial freedom and a healthy mindset. Helping families create stability and a wider range of choices for their lifestyle is her passion. She also love working with entrepreneurs to set up retirement accounts that never lose, have a tax-free distribution and pay for life.
Q: If you could explain yourself in a couple of sentences, how would you do that?
A: My passion is integrating our faith, our finances, and our health to be at optimal performance. So basically, I believe if any of those are out of whack, then we're going nowhere fast. And so, having all of those connected and in a great place really does make a difference in our lives and in our way of living. So I try to integrate all of that by mindset and nutrition coaching, and then financial coaching and financial resources that can help, especially women entrepreneurs who maybe got into this with a little bit of not sure where they're going, what they're doing. But I just kind of provide a way to get all of those things that they want in place, to where they can actually maybe retire someday from having their own business, and also protect what they're building.
Q: So tell me more about your role as a founder?
A: So it's really funny to think of myself as that, as a founder. I really didn't think of myself as a founder until a couple of months ago as I'm building this brand and doing this work, and my friend Sheridan actually said, "Oh, well, you are the founder of your company." I'm like "Yeah, I guess I am." So, and really all that means, it's a title, but it also is freedom. It's freedom to build that legacy that I want to leave for women that come behind me that want to build a business, and my family. And so, because I'm the founder of a business, I get to have a say in how I brand myself, and how I build it, and how I interact with people and build those relationships, and to me, that means everything.
Q: How did you get into this business and the moment you decided to do it?
A: Wow. I have done a lot of different things in my short 35 years. My undergraduate degree is Piano Pedagogy and Performance, and that's what I went to school for and got a scholarship for. I don't use that anymore, because it became more of a drudgery than a passion, and so I decided I needed to step away from that. And with that, my life was in absolute shambles, my health was a mess, my mental mindset was a mess, my finances were a mess.
And so, I began a journey to better myself and to better my mindset, and through that work and that consistent forward movement, I realized that I actually have a story in all of this that can maybe help others. And if I can do this, I know anybody else can do this, even if it's just getting themselves in a healthier mindset, or saving for their future and their children's future. There's really a lot of resources and help out there that I just want to bring to people and help, especially women, because we are the hardest on ourselves when it comes to putting ourselves first, putting our visions and our dreams out in the forefront and speaking them, because we want to put everybody else before us, and that's just how we're wired. And so, I want to change that.
Q: So what was your first year like?
A: Well, I'm still in it. I've only been in business, I guess, as a brand since February, and then COVID hit, and so things are just, they're slow, but I can tell you that no work that I have done in the past six months, has been in vain. Everything that I have done has been for a purpose, and I am finally starting to see that consistency payoff, and that people, when they think of entrepreneur retirement accounts, they think of me. When they think of a nutrition mindset, they think of me. And so, it's just been really exciting here in just the last month to see that come about. And so, just kind of staying persistent and keeping going has been hard, but I definitely think that there is a lot that needs to be brought out and spoken about, whenever it comes to our mindset and our finances. It's kind of a taboo subject sometimes.
And so, I just want to have that conversation with more and more people, and I have been, just in the past really, the past couple of weeks. It's been amazing to finally see that growth.
Q: Was there anyone in particular that inspired you or encouraged you to become a business owner?
A: So many. So especially here in Montana, there's so many entrepreneurs, and it really is inspiring. I've always had that mindset of I don't like working for other people, and I've worked for a lot of people my life and really, I think it was whenever I moved to Montana and I had started working for someone else, and it wasn't that it was a bad company at all, it's a great company. It just wasn't how I wanted to do things. And so, in that experience, finding out that I could do something else that was very freeing.
And then here in Billings, there's a group of ladies, and Sheridan, who I mentioned before, Sheridan Cotrell, is the founder and CEO of The Legacy Creative, and she's been hugely instrumental in pushing me forward in doing this business, because she's a badass. She, she knows what's going on, and she just kind of puts it out there like, "Hey, you can do this, and there are ways that people want to help you, and here are the ways." So she's been very influential in keeping me going. And then my mom, she passed away in December, and she really encouraged me to do whatever I needed to do to make myself feel my worth, because I've always been pretty hard on myself. And so, just having her inspire me as well has been awesome, and even though she's not here, I know she is.
Q: That's great. So how do you define success for yourself both personally and as a professional?
A: Well, for me, success has almost always been, in the past, about money, and just in the last couple of years on this journey that I've been on, that hasn't necessarily been driving me because I know that for one, I'm not there yet. For another thing, it's not consistent, it's not always there. And so, I've always thought that successful women are the ones that are confident in their skin, confident in themselves and how they present themselves to others, and they're also willing to lead, but not just lead, lead maybe from the back, not necessarily be in the forefront, but lead from the back. And so, I've always been attracted and drawn to people like that, because as a performance major, I realized really quickly that the spotlight was not for me. I preferred to be backstage kind of doing things, telling everybody what to do. And so, I find that success is if I can successfully lead from the back and communicate my vision, well, then I think that that's successful.
And I think that can be applied to personal life as well, because I'm a mom, and my two kiddos, they are both boys and they're high-strung and crazy, and everything is just amplified in their world. So if I can lead them and mold them into leaders, that they will be able to have that vision and convey that vision, and go for whatever they want to go for, then I feel like I've succeeded.
Q: What has been the most important skill that you've developed to run your business?
A: There have been so many. So many. One that I'm still learning, but I've made leaps and bounds of improvement since I've begun this journey, is probably consistency. I've done a lot of starting and stopping, starting, and stopping, and that has kind of been a theme in my life and not just in business, but in personal things as well. And so with this, I kind of just told myself like, "This is it. You cannot start and stop this. You are all in." So I kind of talked myself into that before I even began this. I was like, "No, you can't do that this time. This is real. You have to advocate for people, and you have to be there and be consistent." And so, that's been probably the biggest lesson I've learned since beginning this. And time management, time management's huge, and when you're a mom trying to work at home, kids are here all the time, it's a lot.
It's kind of hectic and crazy, but at the same time, it's why I do this. It's why I've chosen this path. I could very well go off and work for somebody else and build their dream, but I want to build my dream, and I want to build my time with my kids. And so, that is what is pushing me to succeed because otherwise, I'm going back to the nine to five, and I get to see them in the evenings and on the weekends, maybe if I don't get called in. So I don't want that. I don't want that life choice there.
Q: So have you ever thought about quitting? If so, can you tell us the story?
A: Yes. Multiple times in the past few months. And really, so I'm a licensed insurance agent and in order to get licensed in Montana, you have to take this really intense, really hard, really confusing test. And so, I have my bachelor's degree, I graduated with a 3.4. I'm not a stupid person, but that test made me feel like I was an idiot. And so, I went in the first time and I was like, "Oh, wow, this is..." So I studied my butt off. Studied, studied, studied, had this whole course that I paid a lot of money for, went in, failed it. Now, this is all like... Also, I think I failed my first test in November. So November, and then I took another one, I think right before Christmas, failed that one, and then the new year came, took it again. Long story short, I failed it five times, and you have to pay to take this test every single time.
So I failed it five times, and I was so mad. After the third time I called Elizabeth, my mentor, just bawling in the car. I just sat there, I was like, 'Elizabeth, I don't think this is for me. I don't think that this is going to work, because if I can't pass this test, I can't have my own business and agency." It's just a paper that says you can. So I called her after the third time I failed it again, and was just, "This is not going to happen." And she said, "No, no, it is going to happen. This is what you're meant to do."
And so, I gave it another whirl and I failed that one, called her again. I was crying because I was this close, I was one question away from passing it that time. So yeah, that was really a low point, because I had already been having appointments at that point. I had already been telling people and helping them with their finances, and getting them signed up, and protecting their assets and things like that. And you can do that with a field agent if you're a field trainee, you just can't do it on your own. And so anyway, it was really hard mentally for me to go one more time and take that test, and by golly, I passed it with flying colors. That's the last time, but it was so difficult to get in that mindset of, "I'm going to do this," and it helped knowing that I'm not the first one that has failed it multiple times because it's a hard test. But anyways, yeah, that's one story. I have more, but I think it's just a roller coaster.
Q: So kind of trailing off of that, what do you do when it feels hard to be a business owner?
A: I hang on to the moments that I think to myself, "This is why I do it." Being able to get people things like living benefits in their life insurance policy, in case something happens, being able to help women plan their monthly budget so that they can get paid that month from their business, versus just putting it right back into their business, which is what we tend to do as business owners. And also, just keeping a circle around you of people that are going to constantly encourage you and be like, "Hey, I'm there. I'm there. Where you are right now, I'm there too. Let's be in this together, and then let's keep on moving." Just having that connection is huge for me.
I don't know if you know the Myers-Briggs personality test, but I'm totally an ENFP. So I get energy by being around people. And so, this whole quarantine thing has not been good for me. And so I'm just having people that you can reach out to on a consistent basis that are moms, business owners, we're all doing kind of the same thing, has really helped in this time too. So summer's been rough. Summer's been rough.
I'm ready for this next year. I'm ready for 2020 to be over, actually, and then let's start a new year. We're going to just blow all the way to the top, so.
Q: Yes, and that is also a good segue into my next question. What does the future of your company look like?
A: So the future, my company, it's so exciting to think about because like I said, I help women entrepreneurs mostly. And so, I love being able to connect with them and not only that, but have that conversation with what they do, what I do, and that mesh and that partnership is what I just crave, and I really thrive in that space. And so, being able to in the future, connect with these amazing women who are just killing it, it just really excites me and makes me so optimistic for the future.
And then eventually, I would really love to scale to six figures, is my big goal for 2021. I don't know if that's going to happen, but that is my end game is. Well, that's not my end game, that's my first step, and then we're going to just keep on building from that. But I've got six figures in the... Like I said, not everything that I do points to money, but it's kind of a barometer as far as how you're doing. And so, and like I said, money is such a taboo subject, people don't even talk about it. And so, I want to change that dialogue and how we talk about it and how we look at it. And You Are a Badass at Making Money is also a great book that I've been reading, so some of that is coming out too in that if you want to scale to that six figures, just having that in your mind as a goal is huge.
Q: Perfect. And also, kind of going off of this a little bit, what would you want to learn from a community of other women business owners?
A: There's so much to learn. Whenever we all come together from different walks, different experiences, different journeys, there is so much to be learned, from systems, to dialogues, to segues, to all sorts of ways of doing business, but the most important is, as I've said before, is that connection. It's knowing that there is somebody else out there who has been down the road, or is on the road, or maybe they're somebody that you aspire to be like, and so they're inspiring you to keep on going because you see them and you're like, "Okay, they've got it. They've got it, and I want that too." And so just having that, I firmly believe, like it says in the Bible, "Iron sharpens iron," and so having that support system of women in place to where we're all just kind of right there, just sharpening each other and we're going up, and we're going up, and we're just getting better individually, we're getting better physically, spiritually, and eventually, it's going to spill over into our finances too. And so, that is really why I love groups like this.