She had $500 to her name and was about to move back in with her parents. Shanda Sumpter knows what it looks and feels like to be at a breaking point, faced with two options – give up and retreat, or find a new path onward and upward.
That’s the short version of Shanda’s journey to becoming a bootstrapped entrepreneur, growing her brand to 8-figures in the last 10 years and helping over 35,000 clients reach their own next level of business and leadership. Shanda is on a mission to show other entrepreneurs that they can have an incredible personal life, handle pressure better, AND build a meaningful and wildly profitable business at the same time. And that’s exactly what we’re covering in this episode.
Shanda and I talk about starting and growing a business from absolutely nothing, how there’s no secret to creating a profitable business (just a step-by-step system), and even some interesting parts of her personal life, like how she managed to find and marry her husband in 90 days flat.
Her entrepreneurial origin story
Shanda has built a seriously impressive business that she’s passionate about, so I wanted to hear about her early days to get a better picture of how far she’s come and why she’s so passionate about what she does.
She started, “I was an accidental entrepreneur. And I’ve now heard a few people say that, so I don’t feel so bad about not having a vision to become an entrepreneur. I was working the corporate ladder. I’ve done everything from run nightclubs in Las Vegas, which was not my lifestyle, I built a real estate division for Coldwell Banker. I did really well there and I should have been happy, but there was a part of me that felt like I was, I don’t know, off a little bit. Like something wasn’t clicking. My relationships weren’t lining up, and so I knew that there was a better way to do things.”
Shanda discovered the Law of Attraction and started reading scripture, and when she heard a voice that she believes was God telling her that her purpose was to teach people financial freedom, she felt compelled to listen. So Shanda created and launched a financial freedom program with her friend Robert, and after doing so she discovered she truly did have a deep passion for the work. She said, “There were like five or seven people that paid $1,700 to work with me for six months. I was like, ‘wow.’ I felt amazing, and that’s how I launched.”
Finding the right role
I asked Shanda about her relationship with her business and how she’s carved out the right place for herself within her company. She told me, “I don’t try and make my business make me happy. This is actually gonna be the first time I say this publicly because I said it to you before we jumped on, but I have this desire to grow a billion-dollar company and not give up my weekend, not give up my time with my family, and I just wanna show the world you could do it. But it doesn’t come from trying to make my company make me happy. I look through the lens of, where’s my best fit in the company to have the biggest impact?
“I think those are the conversations that you have to have with yourself while you’re building a company. So it sounds just like I’m demonstrating right now. The whole gradual growth sounds just like this, where I start to analyze and go, okay, where is the best place for me? I don’t say, what do I love doing? And what I’ve realized right now, the best place for me is in front of the camera, in front of the stage, and then influencing our coaching and our sales department. And I think then I’ll get out from influencing sales and coaching and then I think I’ll get into really influencing the entire company on our levels of belief.”
I know I mentioned Shanda’s step-by-step system for creating a wildly profitable business, and I can only imagine that people reading are like, give me the steps. I can only share a few juicy snippets of our conversation here, but you can find Shanda’s complete step-by-step system in the full episode of the podcast.
Shanda said, “The step-by-step is always customer acquisition first, then knowing a survey of what it is that they want. I’ll do a very simple survey that just says, what are the top three areas? I always start with a celebration, so what are the top three areas that you think you’ve done really well in your company, and where are the three areas that are priorities for you to fix?”
Later, she explained, “If you’re starting your business, nothing else matters but building your customer buyer’s list and learning how to sell to them. Because money solves a lot of problems. You gotta stop feeling bad about talking about money. And when I said the two core missions of our company are leadership and list building, it’s because leadership is the reason why people are afraid to ask for help.
“And if you wear that badge of honor for longer than 90 days, you need to go focus on your leadership. Because your leadership is the X factor on that list. Monetizing people following you, you having the courage. Like when I hear, ‘I’m afraid to charge what I want for this product because I’m afraid people won’t actually buy it,’ well, that’s leadership. They won’t buy it because you can’t lead it, you know?”
More from Shanda
If you want to learn more from Shanda Sumpter you can visit her website retiremeshanda.com, where she’s teaching you how to create your own financial freedom in 60 days.