Danette May on Soul Writing Her Way To An 8-Figure Business – Business Lunch With Roland Frasier

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Key Takeaways

  • Authenticity is the #1 key to building a loyal customer or fan base
  • Every morning, Danette sits down to so what she calls a “soul writing” exercise. Here’s what it looks like:
    • Danette will prompt herself by writing, “What would you have me know?” at the top of the page
      • Sometimes it’ll be more specific – “What would you have me know about X?”
  • Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to THINK BIG, but oftentimes asking yourself, ‘What’s the next best move, RIGHT NOW?” is a much more effective thing to do
  • A higher price point is very often the only thing standing in your way of more sales
  • “The entrepreneurial journey is the most spiritual journey you’ll ever take. You’ll learn every facet of yourself: the shadow, the light, all of it… It’s quite fascinating.”
  • A limitation for many in business: not moving forward because they don’t know how
    • You have to push past this and think: “I don’t care that I don’t know how to do X, I’m just going to do X and THEN I’ll know how.”
  • Danette’s favorite travel hack: On the way to the airport, she’ll drink fresh ginger root, lemon, lime, and mint mixed with warm water 
    • It’s hydrating, helps reduce inflammation, and helps with recovery

Danette’s Personal Favorites

Intro

Danette’s 3 Businesses

  • Here’s what Danette is currently up to:
    • She has her main brand – Danette May
    • Then there’s her superfood company, Cacao Bliss
    • And finally, there’s Fit Rise 
  • “We’re scaling so fast… the problem now is, how do we keep the authenticity?”
    • The businesses, as a whole, are generating ~8 figures

Let’s Rewind to the Beginning…

  • “It’s been 5 and a half years. We literally started with $47. I had $47 to my name and then in 5 years we hit the high 8 figures and now we’re crossing into the low 9.”
  • At the beginning of it all, Danette was a personal trainer who mostly took on local clients
    • “I was a single mom, had sold all my furniture, and was sleeping on the floor. I used tinfoil to hold up the antennas on my TV so my daughter could watch PBS at night while I worked on this idea of what I’m doing today.”
      • Danette’s dream at the time – “Inspire women to change their bodies through healing foods, healing movement, and healing mindset”

Making Moves

  • Danette knew she needed some help on the marketing side to bring her vision to life
    • She ended up reaching out to Craig Collins, who’s now the CEO of Mindful Heath, and the two joined forces
  • Craig and Danette began by utilizing Facebook ads, promising a delicious recipe in exchange for signing up to their email newsletter
    • Danette focused on giving away tons of free content via email and being 100% authentic with her subscribers
      • She’d occasionally pitch her recipe book – this generated quite a decent profit
  • But… the early days weren’t without challenges
    • Danette was kicked off (for a short time) both the Facebook and Google ad platforms, both of which she relied heavily on for getting people to sign up for her email list (with regards to weight loss, you have to be VERY careful how you word Google/Facebook ads…. as Danette came to find out)
      • “I feel like it’s important to mention this: this is the grittiness I always turn into… I always know, when people ask, ‘Is this going to work out?’ Of course it’s going to work out. I know I’m not stopping and that’s ultimately the formula.”

Facebook Live

  • The one thing that took Danette’s business to another level – running ads to promote her Facebook Live videos
    • “Me going live on video, just going off the cuff, speaking from my heart… It wasn’t selling from fear or selling from guilt. It was truly me empowering viewers and speaking to them, women to women.”
  • What were the Facebook live videos about?
    • Anything Danette could provide actionable advice on
    • For example – she might talk about something like back pain, provide some helpful advice to alleviate it, and close by pitching one of her fitness programs
      • “We were finding that people weren’t even reading our sales pages anymore. The trust was there.”
  • Danette still does Facebook Live videos, continuing to stress authenticity
    • “I did one this morning at 6 AM with bedhead and no makeup, just being raw and real”

The Product Evolution

  • Danette originally just sold a recipe book via email
  • Then, she began selling a digital detox product (the product contained information on what to buy to facilitate the detox, the workout program to go along with it, etc.) for just $7
    • She’d frequently sell between 3.5-5k a day (wow!)
    • Danette recently brought back this product and gave it a quick “facelift,” updating the content and selling it for $19 this time around – sales increased!
      • Entrepreneurs – take note! 
  • Next, Danette created a free fitness DVD (customers only had to pay for shipping) which she used to upsell another fitness DVD (which she charged for)
  • Nowadays, Danette sells a variety of digital fitness products and coaching programs
    • The coaching programs have various price points:
      • $197 for a 6-week online course
      • $3k/year for a premium version
  • A year ago, Danette got into the superfood space

Stay True to What You Stand For

  • It comes down to this – “I owe other humans my honesty”
  • “I always wanted my email list to know that if I said something, I believed it to my core, I consumed it myself, or I recommend it to my loved ones… That honesty, staying in it even when times were tough, was key to building a loyal fan base.”

Soul Writing | The Journaling Practice Danette Credits for Her Success

  • “We’re evolving humans. What you believed yesterday you may not believe today. I have certain rituals that I attribute to my success internally and externally.”
    • One of those rituals – “soul writing” in the morning
  • What does this journaling exercise look like?
    • Danette will prompt herself by writing, “What would you have me know?” at the top of the page
      • Sometimes it’ll be more specific – “What would you have me know about X?”
    • Other prompt variations she might use:
      • “What is my truth?”
      • “What do I need to know right now?”
    • This practice helps Danette stay focused on the present
      • Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to THINK BIG, but oftentimes asking yourself, ‘What’s the next best move, RIGHT NOW?” is a much more effective thing to do
    • Danette does this exercise in the very early hours of the morning when her house is still quiet 
    • “I write without questioning, without judgment… whatever comes out, comes out”

On Meditation

  • Meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting down and closing your eyes for 20 minutes
    • “Meditation can be making love. Meditation can be walking. Meditation can be eating an amazing meal. Make love with life. Be who you’re meant to be. To me, that’s a meditation.”

Danette’s Biggest Business Challenge

  • “Absolutely employees”
    • She now has 65 full-time employees
  • Two things Danette likes to ask potential hires:
    • “Do you have a silent time or a meditation practice?”
    • “Are you constantly working on your belief systems?”
      • Danette adds – “I don’t want to bump up against this idea that we can’t be a $150 million or $300 million company because my marketing director is like, ‘Woah, that’s not possible.’ It’s a big deal that potential hires are actively working on their self-development.”

Building a Company Culture

  • “The biggest thing I want for my employees is to try the programs. Then they’ll feel, on a cellular level, what we’re doing for people.”
  • Everyone in Danette’s company works remotely
    • The leadership team is U.S. based and tried to get together quarterly for a 3-day meeting

Acquisition

  • Danette is currently setting the company up for acquisition
  • What’s going to happen afterward?
    • “I don’t ever see myself stopping. Things just may take a different shape… I love what I’m doing, it just might look different.”
    • Danette plans to double down on public speaking and perhaps follow through on a book deal
      • “I’ll still create content, just in a different format”

Where does Danette get her inspiration?

  • Every morning while she gets ready, Danette will either listen to a podcast or a random inspirational video on YouTube (she’ll often just type ‘inspirational’ into Google or YouTube and play what comes up)
  • “That’s my superpower: I’m not going to stop. If I feel committed to something, it’s going to get finished to the end.”
    • Danette’s a fan of this famous Will Smith clip where he says – “The only thing distinctly different about me is that I am not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked period.”

Enjoying the Journey

  • “The big thing for me right now… looking at this life we’re living, is figuring out how we can really juice and suck up all the joy out of the journey”
    • “As an entrepreneur, we’re always looking towards the mountain. We’re like climbers… we just go, go, go because we see a destination, but can we notice every single thing with each step that we’re taking?”
      • It’s easy to find stress in the challenges of everyday life, but spin things a different way:
        • Not – “Oh man, we have to do all this. This is so stressful.”
        • But – “We GET to do this”

A Quote to Ponder

  • “The entrepreneurial journey is the most spiritual journey you’ll ever take. You’ll learn every facet of yourself: the shadow, the light, all of it… It’s quite fascinating.”

Danette’s Favorite Travel Hack

  • On the way to the airport, she’ll drink fresh ginger root, lemon, lime, and mint mixed with warm water 
    • It’s hydrating, helps reduce inflammation, and helps with recovery
  • Danette travels with a mini handheld frother (which she also uses every day at home)
  • Another must-have: a Sleep Crown over-the-head pillow
    • “It’s not an eye mask, but it feels like heaven on my eyeballs”

Additional Notes

  • Roland brings up the fact that businesses tend to experience challenges when they reach sizes of 1s and 3s (1k, 3k, 10k, 30k, 100k, 300k, etc.)
    • Certain employees tend to only be functional through at most 2 cycles (and usually only 1 cycle)
      • For example – The current marketing director or CFO can only “see” 100 million from 30 million, but they can’t see 300 million
  • A limitation for many in business: not moving forward because they don’t know how
    • You have to push past this and think: “I don’t care that I don’t know how to do X, I’m just going to do X and THEN I’ll know how.”

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