- Why Brandie left corporate law to start an all-female cabinet painting company – and the life-changing lesson she learned while running her first business.
- How Brandie took the leap of faith and embraced the membership model.
- Why Brandie’s desire for a flexible job and lifestyle lends itself perfectly to her membership business – and what’s become possible for her since her launch.
- How Brandie copes with fear in her business.
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- “With the membership, I am now able to help an infinite number of people compared to what I did before. I help women all across the US, who would never have access without the internet and a membership site.” – Brandie Bracy
TranscriptRead The Transcript
Shelli Varela: Brandie Bracy, welcome to the It’s a TRIBE Thing Podcast. How are you, buddy? Brandie Bracy: I’m good. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Shelli Varela: Oh, our absolute pleasure. So, your membership site is called Salon Business Academy and we’re going to dive into what that is and what you do and what you provide for your members. But we would love it if you would start at the very beginning of your story and who were you at the beginning of your journey, and how did you get to the membership site owner you are today. Brandie Bracy: Yeah. So, if I had to think back, I would say it probably started about, well, the original story would be at least eight years ago, when I transitioned from being an attorney into starting a cabinet painting company. And so, ended up in a job that I wasn’t fulfilled in, didn’t enjoy and some life circumstances with aging grandparents and wanting to build a life that I loved and doing things I loved and also to make my time more flexible. And so, the path that God provided me, I ended up with a cabinet painting company. And so, I grew that type company of all women in a male-dominated construction industry in Nashville, Tennessee, and then things took another change. Shelli Varela: I’m wondering if we could go back to the accounting bit first. And here’s why, like, many of our listeners have regular jobs and are, by and large, hearing about membership sites for the very first time. And so, I know it’s true for myself as well, you grow up and you look at what you want to do in the world and what you want to be and sometimes choices are really practical. Can you talk about how you pursued something that, obviously, being an attorney is very high level and lots of schooling and dedication and had to stick with it but what did that look like going from a job that was a little bit more traditional as opposed to like the online space? Or where you transitioned to the cabinet-making? Like, what did that look like from start to finish? Brandie Bracy: Yeah. So, I think the hardest step is always that initial leap of faith. I think most of us have that entrepreneurial spirit or we have something in us that we always know is kind of like nagging at us but I always was the more practical child and the one that grew up to think, okay, I want a good job, a good education, a steady income, something that I’ll always be able to fall back on and want something that’s just like really stable and education was super important to me. And so, I took the path of becoming an attorney but I always had in the back of that, I always loved kind of that entrepreneurial thing but it just wasn’t maybe what seemed like the safe bet or the right bet or the smart thing to do to get because I think sometimes we cannot have the support of whatever it is people around us or family that don’t quite understand something that doesn’t look like a traditional job. Shelli Varela: So, when you decided that that wasn’t satisfying for you and you mentioned you had grandparents at home, what was it about cabinet picking? Like, that’s such a huge departure. And I guess, really what I’m trying to get at is many people will think through the lens of their label, like what they are, what the world told them that should be. And in many cases, that looks like the job we do in terms of a title or a label. Brandie Bracy: Yes, definitely. Shelli Varela: Going from being an attorney to like painting cabinetry, how are you able to listen to your heart and say, this would be something probably most people would say, “Are you crazy? You have this incredible job,” what was it about that that was true for you and how did you follow your heart? Brandie Bracy: Yeah, definitely. I would say probably for at least the first year my parents continually asked me if I was going to go back and be an attorney. So, I think you really have to be rooted in the fact that you know that something better is out there and you have to trust that. I have to trust that it didn’t matter what I was going to do. I had been successful doing what I was doing that I could do that in any industry. And so, it was more about I had the skill set to stick with something to not give up, to think outside the box, and try new things. And so, yes, I had people around me all the time going, “What are you doing? What are you thinking?” And I mean, probably at least for a good year friends and family would say, “Are you going to go and be an attorney again?” And there was just one day that was like, “You know, no, I’m not,” because once you make that initial leap, that jump, that’s the hardest step I feel like you’ll ever make and then after that, it gets easier and easier. Shelli Varela: Why did you decide to go all women in your company? Brandie Bracy: That’s kind of a loaded question. I think women are super smart, super reliable, super dependable, and we have a level of I want to say even precision and attention to detail and we’re really good at juggling lots of balls. And so, I just really wanted, if at all possible, to be able to employ women only. Shelli Varela: That’s brilliant. I love it. And I love that it’s in such an untraditional landscape. That’s amazing. Brandie Bracy: Yes, definitely. Shelli Varela: So, what did you learn as you were painting cabinets that led you to what you’re doing now in the membership site that you’ve launched? Brandie Bracy: Right. So, going off into the entrepreneurial world and in the self-employed business world, there is a realm of things that you begin to learn from websites to Facebook, to ads to online training programs and courses and all sorts of things. And all of that what I got really good at and what I learned and what I was able to use from my skill set and my education, my formal education was able to transfer over into the business to where I really loved the business side. I was a great painter, but I was a better marketer. I was a great painter, but I was a better investigator of how to do things. I was a good investigator of how to gain new clients and keep new clients and build a business. Shelli Varela: That’s fantastic. I love that the point you made about what you noticed about women in that industry is their attention to detail, whenever you’re in a position that you are wired to be a noticer of the things that allows you to not only learn but learn maybe more quickly than some in terms of trying something new. And you did say earlier that this is sort of how you’re wired. So, I’m not surprised that you kind of are reinventing and reinventing yourself. Can you talk more about what you do for your clients now and how you help? Brandie Bracy: Yeah. So, I guess I didn’t know I wanted to have a membership site but I knew I wanted to do something different. And with having young kids I wanted to have, even though I had a flexible job and I was the boss, I wanted an even more flexible job to where I didn’t have to be on site. I could work from home, I could work from my computer anywhere, whether my kids were sick or not. And so, that led me into where I’m today to where I coach salon owners how to grow their clients and their businesses and build a life that they love around what’s important to them. Shelli Varela: So, what does that allow for them to do that that they were not aware of or that they gain access to you? So, they get this area of expertise. How does that change their business? Brandie Bracy: Definitely. So, it helps to, number one, help them learn kind of this online space. Many of my women have been in their industries for a long time, but they have not delved a lot into the online space so that’s helping them to be able to kind of have somebody they trust to teach them those things in a relatable way where they can understand it, and also to help them to grow new clients and to be able to sustain a business long-term instead of having kind of this declining dinosaur model of just walking clients or word of mouth referrals. Shelli Varela: It’s so great to watch a traditional business owner get switched on when they learned about the possibilities of sharing what they know and sharing their knowledge in a way that allows them to scale in a manner that literally is unprecedented. It really is kind of like building a bridge between your hands-on practical tactical skills and being able to offer that to thousands and thousands and thousands of people with really no extra cost or effort. Brandie Bracy: Yeah. It’s amazing. I did a one-on-one coaching call this morning and I was talking to a lady and she was asking about the salon business academy and how that looked and I was like, “You know, I was helping one-on-one people, but I was able, with the membership, I now am able to help an infinite number of people compared to what I did before and it just allows a bigger impact for me and my family and them and their families because I help women all across the US in Texas, in New Hampshire, New York, that would never have that access without the internet and a membership site. Shelli Varela: Yeah. And I just want to put a pin in this for everybody listening. What you ended up doing is teaching what you learn. So, for all of the people out there who are listening, there are many things again, and I’ve said this over and over that you know that you maybe don’t give enough credence to because it either comes easy to you or you just don’t pay attention to it because it’s so obvious. Oftentimes, our gifts are right in front of our face. Can you talk about any advice that you would give for somebody who perhaps is listening to this right now and is thinking, “I have a regular job and maybe a membership site sounds great, but I don’t know if that’s possible for me.” What has become possible for you in your life and in your business as a result of having a membership site? Brandie Bracy: Yeah, definitely. It wasn’t like this overnight quick process but it just happened immediately, but over the past year or so if I was able to go from a business where I had to be on-site every day worrying about childcare, trying to get my kids here and there, having to deal with lots of different moving pieces to going into a membership site that allows me the flexibility to at this point I see it progressing to where I will far exceed the income I ever had before. I’ve got a fun little spreadsheet where that will help me to plan out and see where things are going. And so, I’m super excited about that. It’s just given me more time with my kids and my husband and with my family just to be able to work on my schedule. Shelli Varela: Earlier in the session, you were talking about that you’re the type of person who always sees the benefit and sticks with it and tries new things. I feel like there’s something inherently brave in your DNA just because of your ability to see that and to move forward, regardless of having it all figured out. What would you say to those people who are listening who perhaps feel stuck or afraid or doubtful? Brandie Bracy: I would say find the bravest person you know to be your cheerleader and to keep you accountable to moving towards whatever that is because typically the people I see if you have that in you or you don’t have it in you. Sometimes you just need a little nudge or a little push or someone to encourage you to keep going on that path. Because even though I did it, and I know I had people say, “Oh my gosh, you went from an attorney to being a cabinet painter,” and I see people now and they’re like, “Oh, you coach salon owners. What in the world? You’re a chameleon,” and I’m like, no, I know what I’ve learned. Like you said, Shelli, like what I learn I can teach. And once you do it once, it’s that initial fear and once you can get over that hump and just make that little step or that jump or whatever it is, I think it’s possible for anybody. Shelli Varela: Yeah. It really does come down to doing it scared because the truth is bravery is just fear in motion. Brandie Bracy: Exactly. I mean, I’m scared most days. Even though I have a membership site, I still have moments where I’m scared continually. It’s just I think you learn to notice that feeling and you just push through it easier. It’s sort of like a muscle you just continually work on. Shelli Varela: I love it. What’s the best vision you have for your membership site going forward in terms of the ripple effect you’re creating for the people you serve? Brandie Bracy: God, that’s such a big question because, right now, I get to help 30, 40 women every month and I see that growing to hundreds, if not thousands, but not only my women that are in there but the women that work for them. So, it’s not only one person. It can be a ripple of that one person that being 10 people. So, essentially, touching the lives of thousands of people and helping them more than anything, whether it’s time or money or status or whatever it is that they’re searching for to be able to help kind of give them the confidence to do that as well. Shelli Varela: I love that because most people don’t account for the ripple effect of what you actually create through the membership site. On the outside, it looks like one thing, but if you pay it forward, to your point, it’s like what is this actually offering you? Is it offering you time? Is it offering your freedom? Is it offering you a stress-free life because now you know money’s going to be coming in? So, I just wanted to acknowledge you for the work you’re doing and also for being brave and showing us what that looks like to recreate, reinvent, and be that chameleon. If anybody’s looking for you online, what is the best place they can find you? Brandie Bracy: They can find me at BrandieBracy.com. Shelli Varela: Amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time. We appreciate you. Brandie Bracy: I thank you so much. [END]To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!