Millionaire by 23, Founder of Impact School, Lauren Tickner talks to Emirates Woman about thinking outside the box and scaling using a smart mindset.
What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?
This really depends where I am in the world. Because I travel a lot and my team members are primarily in the UK and USA, my mornings in the UAE look very different to my mornings in South America. When I’m in Dubai, I have 4-6 hours of uninterrupted time when no one else is online where I write, go to the gym, and do deep focused work. When I’m in US time zones, I have calls starting as early as 6am so I do 5-10 mins of stretching, then go out for a walk where I take my calls. Either way, morning meditation (I like Joe Dispenza) is a non-negotiable for me.
How did you know it was the right time to launch your platform and what made you finally take the leap of faith?
If I’d waited until the right time, I probably still wouldn’t have started now! Back when I got started (almost a decade ago now), my single aim was to connect with other people who were working towards the same goals. Through sharing what I was doing on social media, people began asking me for coaching. I was resistant to doing so for three years. But when I did start offering coaching (back then I was in the fitness space), it was only because there was so much demand.
You were a millionaire by 23 years old —canyou expand on how this happened and whatsteps led you to such early success?
No one is as surprised as me. My younger brother is disabled (epilepsy and autism) and althoughhe’s 2 years younger than me, his mental age is 2-3 years old. I saw him have his freedomstripped away from him so I believe the reasonI actually gained success in business isbecause I wanted nothing more than freedom.At the age of 18, I had a job in asset management at a FTSE 250 firm in London. All the people “ahead” of me were miserable, making a ton of money but somehow still broke, and unhealthy. I was literally looking at my future right in front of me. They didn’t have freedom and that was my pathway that lay ahead for me. People online were asking me for coaching (back then I was in the fitness space) and because the job was so drainingand, frankly, boring… I knew then that I needed to start my own business. At first, I partnered up with a friend who had already been doing online coaching successfully and I coached the girls and he coached the guys. From there, I had spent so many years offering free content that when I launched my own services, I was able to generate a huge volume of sales very quickly. It was really only myself and a video editor on the team, so my profit margins were really high.
How did you impart knowledge to support your clients to do the same and are there any particular success stories that are special to you?
Taking feedback from the market has been my best winning strategy. To this day, we survey every single one of our customers every quarter. Since helping people package and sell their knowledge and experience online, what we’ve always done: 1. Test strategies on one business; Get the strategy to work; Make the strategy better; And then even better again. 2. Test the strategy on multiple different businesses of ours (which are in multiple different industries); Get it working on those businesses; Make it better in those businesses; Then teach it to our customers. That way, we know it’s absolutely battletested and will win for them, too. What’s interesting, though, is that I never intended for this to be my business. After a short while of running my online fitness business, a lot of influencers and trainers were asking me how I did it. I honestly didn’t even know there was such a thing as the online consulting industry back then, so I shared what I was doing and the exact “copy and paste” posts with a few of my friends. And they each made more than $50,000 in their first month (they all had 100,000+ engaged followers online). I thought nothing of it for a while, but then one of themshared on their social media that I had helped them and I had a huge influx of people asking me if I could help, too. That’s when I put together a “sell online products” course for $2000 and used the same methods I was using for my fitness business to sell it. In my first week, I generated more than $20,000 and it was only up from there. That meant I had validated that my systems didn’t only work on my fitnessbusiness or my friends’ fitness businesses. But also to sell other types of courses, coaching or consulting online. Can you tell us more about what Impact School does? Impact School gives entretentially preneurs the systems, support and network to sell their knowledge and expertise online. We install the processes that build your audience and authority, convert your audience into sales, and that ensures your product is packaged in a way that delivers value to your customers while creating freedom for you. You can learn more at impactschool.com.
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What is key in social media sales and client acquisition?
Authority. Most people don’t get results because they aren’t seen as an authority figure by those who find their content. Instead of “talking at people,” you need to get them to listen to you first. Adding social proof, testimonials, and sharing your story (with evidence) is fundamental. People will stop scrolling when they see your posts once they know you’re a true authority. From there, you can make offers for them to opt-into things you’re selling or your lead magnets, and they will actually take action.
What’s the fastest way to grow your social media following to build an engaged audience?
No one remembered the TikTokker who blew up overnight. I’m honestly not the best person to ask about growing a social media following fast. My belief is in playing the long game:
1. Share value (when building an audience, I see “value” as giving without expecting anything in return). 2. Segment your audience into three groups: a) Those who don’t know you yet; b) Those who know who you are but don’t know what you sell; c) Those who know what you sell and love you. Each week, make a minimum of three posts, and in each post, speak only to one of the three groups at a time. 3. Copy and paste the posts onto every platform. I don’t understand why people don’t do this. It takes about two minutes more and can help you reach 100,000s more people. A lot of people will take this advice and then continue to write super salesy/corporate captions and content. Organic is meant to be that: organic. People are on social media to be social and to see what their friends are up to. If you look at my socials and model what I’m doing for your brand, it will really help. Do you feel more drawn to the creative or the business side of your brand and how have you grown the team to support this? Every month, I do a two week “revenue review”. This is where I list everything I’m doing in 30 minute increments and then next to each activity, I write: 1. $ if it’s a revenue generating task; 2. + if it gives me energy; 3. – if it takes my energy Anything which takes my energy and isn’t revenue generating, I delegate immediately. This often means offloading it to someone on my team or creating a new role and hiring someone for that role. Anything which takesmy energy and is revenue generating, I create a 1-3 month plan to offload it because doingsomething just because it makes money is not healthy in the long run. Personally, my zone of genius and passion is in marketing and content creation. That’s how I started all of this without ever imagining it would become a business! Finding a “right hand” who is literally the Yin to my Yang has been so important for me. Every visionary needs someone who can provide the structure and organization to make the dreams happen!
You have clients the globe over – what are the most common mistakes you have seen in business?
Businesses who don’t know their numbers. It’s shocking. You may see $50k in sales but then there’s actually $40k in marketing, delivery, and operational costs. So you spend an extra $30k and now you’re actually $20k negative. As soon as businesses really know their numbers and make decisions based on cash flow versus accounts receivable, everything
changes for them.
What is your trailblazing approach to business and how do you support others to transform their mindsets?
Something I learned early on is that you cannot convince the un-convincible. After getting really frustrated when people (who were clearly in need of a health upgrade) would not listen to my advice, I decided to focus only on those who are ready to hear what I have to say. That said, my belief is truly that you never lose, you learn. Every hardship in life is simply personal development packaged up in a real world example.
What have been the biggest challenges to date and how did you overcome them?
The more you have, the more you have to lose. There are people who were once in my life who have tried to sue and blackmail me to get money from me… People I’ve known for years. The thought still hurts but I got over it fromspeaking to a group of entrepreneurs I’m in and hearing they’ve had the same happen to them. It’s rough but I think sometimes when you know other people have been through the same thing it makes it easier to get through. What tips would you give to anyone wanting to launch their own business, is it all about scalability? In the launch phase, doing “scalable” things is where most go wrong. You don’t need to focus on “scalability,” you need to focus on getting cash in the door and making your customers happy. In the beginning, you have the ability to do the unscalable which ultimately sets you up to scale way bigger in the long run. Examples include: sending personal messages to anyone in your phone book who could poentretentially be a good customer; reaching out to all of your customers and getting on 15 minute calls with them to collect feedback; sending a message to anyone who’s commenting on your social media posts – these are the activities which allow you to know your ideal customer better than anyone else which allow you to scale in the long term. But it requires a large amount of effort so most people won’t do it. And that’s how you can win.
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How do you scale without compromising on quality?
First, it’s all about hiring the right people. In our hiring process, we make sure every potential team member shares the company values. No matter their skill, if they don’t share our values, it will not work out. What we look for is that our team members would make the decision I’d make when I’m not in the room. Second, we survey all of our clients every quarter to find out what they want that we’re not delivering on. That way, we can be proactive and ensure we’re delivering the best experience possible. Third, systems. We have systems set up for anything and everything. That way, the system makes the decision rather than a person needing to make the decision.
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out?
Advice I would give to my younger self starting out: 1. Relax more, it won’t hold you back; 2. Be very careful with trusting people: you never know their ulterior motives; 3. Always be testing: trying new things in business allows you to innovate and come up with more efficient ways to do things; 4. If there’s someone who’s done it, you can too. Don’t let your imposter syndrome hold you back; 5. Confidence comes with success: get some wins under your belt early on and it’ll set you up for your future success; 6. Hire the most experienced lawyer who understands your industry.
This is The Trailblazers Issue— what does it mean to you to be a trailblazer?
Being a Trailblazer is about showing what’s possible for other people. It’s about taking your failures and extracting the lessons, and empowering others to follow the path you’ve laid out for them. To be a trailblazer requires a level of leadership most are afraid to take on. But when you do, believe me, there’s a new level of fulfillment and happiness that will unlock for you. Get out there and show the world what’s possible.
September – The Trailblazers Issue with Amira Sajwani – Download Now
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