Follow the Interviewee on Social Media:
Website: Boss Mom
A Boss-Mom with a passion to help other mothers balance their business and family life.
Elevator Pitch: Who is Dana Malstaff?
Dana helps mom entrepreneurs start businesses so that they can change the world. By doing this she wants to show children that following your passion can actually be a sound decision.
She has always worked for small startup companies and enjoys the challenge they bring. The last job she had she worked with a consultant who saw potential in her and suggested that she starts her own business, specifically as a consultant. Having a mentor to guide her through the process really put her at ease. Immediately after starting her own business she fell pregnant. Dana jokes about her becoming an entrepreneur and parent at the same time. It was never her intention to be a stay-at-home mom; she wanted to run her own business. She wondered whether that made her a bad mom or a bad entrepreneur. She wanted to be good at both. During that time they also moved to be closer to Dana’s family. Coincidentally California was also more conducive to her business. She found it easier to connect with other entrepreneurs. Dana approached a book coach in her mastermind group. She wanted to write a book about the guilt she felt for wanting to run a business instead of raising her son at home. The book Boss Mom was born. She despised the fact that society tried to make her feel bad for wanting to excel at both.
In Dana’s first business she worked as a content strategist, but the business was slow to grow. When you run a business that’s based around services and products it’s a slow growth. However, if you decide that your brand is to be more than the services and products offered, according to Dana that’s when the magic starts to happen. When Boss Mom was released many people could relate to Dana’s situation. After that she started a podcast and group coaching programme to help those in similar circumstances. Boss Mom evolved from a book to a business, seeing rapid growth. It helped her to hire great people to brainstorm with her. They challenged her to think past the obvious and to come up with excellent ideas. Dana really sees the value in surrounding yourself with an amazing team. Only around two years into her own business Dana started to make good money.
Dana offered business coaching where she helped moms run their businesses better. From the coaching she gained the knowledge that she would eventually combine in a course, Raising Your Business.
When she first started working for herself and things were moving at a slow pace Dana attended a conference. During the course of the conference she learned that you should establish what it is that you do best and leverage that. She identified that she had a particular gift for content strategy and helping all the pieces of a business fit into place. Dana outsourced the parts of the business that didn’t align with her gift and could subsequently start to scale the business.
Dana finds that routine simplifies her business. She has dedicated days for interviews and other days where she sees colleagues. Fridays always involve people, usually in a networking sense. Weekends are spent with her family. She also teaches her clients to batch tasks together.
Making Mistakes and Learning From Them
Even if you have a mentor you’re still going to make mistakes. The hardest part is being decisive and a good coach helps you to overcome that obstacle. Your objective shouldn’t be to not fail but to recover as quickly as is humanly possible after failure.
Multiple Income Streams
Initially Dana made her money from one-on-one executive facilitations. In her second year she built some coursework on Udemy and Skillshare to generate more revenue. Dana mentions that for every additional direction your business expands into, your expenses go up, so you could be making more money, but not taking more money home. As soon as she started employing people her expenses went up, but she saw it as a challenge to generate more income. Between increasing her passive income and increasing her prices slightly Dana’s income currently sits just below $30k per month.
Increasing the Sales
They utilise various methods to increase their visibility – Dana hosts talks, she’s feature on podcasts, they use Facebook ads – because they feel visibility is the scaling factor. As soon as people sign up to the email list they enter their sales funnel. From there they are introduced to products that would be meaningful to them, but financially beneficial to Dana – it’s a win-win situation!
Tools and Systems
Dana and her team use Trello, a free project management and workflow system. They also use Zapier to integrate different apps and tools. This allows for consistency in the process. Voxer, a “walkie-talkie” tool for their phones keeps the team in touch with each other. It allows for rapid-fire questions and answers. Acuity is the scheduling system that they use. Google Calendar integrates well with everything else. They also make use of Ontraport to create sales funnels.
Source your Team
Dana is a firm believer that your team should consist of your ideal client. She sources them from her community so she knows they are already familiar with and fond of her brand. Only her videographer and audio technician are men who don’t have children, but she either met and had a really good connection with them, or they were referred to her by someone whom she really trusts.
Reset Button: If you had to start over in a different industry, what would it be and why?
Is she had to start over, Dana would prefer to do exactly what she does now, but go straight into consulting with companies. She would help them brainstorm to develop their products and services. She doesn’t regret going the route that she has, but she now sees how she could’ve make a lot more money much quicker.
Dana is a firm believer in the 80/20 rule. You’ll find that 80% of the time things won’t work, it won’t be fun and it may be challenging. There’s nothing wrong with that. You need to recognise the 20% that is working and pool your resources into leveraging that. Secondly, Dana stresses the importance of an excellent team, because she feels that you cannot scale the business by yourself.