265 Diana House: Know Your Numbers

Melinda Wittstock:         Diana, welcome to Wings.

Diana House:                    Thank so much for having me on Melinda. It's great to connect with you again.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, I know. I'm so excited to talk with you because you had a big year last year selling a company and now you've put on your wings to embark in a whole new direction in your entrepreneurial career. I wanted to start by asking you about what that transition is like? I imagine exhilarating but also maybe a little bit scary.

Diana House:                    Yeah, I think you nailed it on both of those things. This was the second company that I had sold. I sold a company called Colin Parker three years ago. Actually, I was with you on Necker Island, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         That's right. I remember, yes.

Diana House:                    [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:08:42"] while I was on Necker Island so I'll never forget that. Because I got my first LOI that ended up getting signed while I was with Richard Branson on the island with you.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's a lucky island. Doesn't it have an amazing energy?

Diana House:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         When you stand there on that. People like Nelson Mandela have been there, and the Dalai Lama have been there, and all these amazing people. You stand there and you think wow, so I'm standing here. But then it's so blessed.

Diana House:                    Totally. It's such a magical place. This is the company that I held onto way too long. I sold it after having it for ten years but I definitely lost my passion, I don't know, 5, 6, 7 years ago. I held on partly because of fear of letting go, and partly because I had too many other things going on that I didn't have an easy time crafting the space to sell which, I know you're good friends with Steve Little, he's an amazing expert at helping people sell companies, but it's quite an endeavor to sell. It was an absolute crazy journey. I actually did an entire Podcast interview where I went through the whole process and that's on Built to Sell.

When I got to that other side, it felt amazing. It felt like I had literally, to take what you said, found my wings. Because I think a lot of people talk about a job or employment opportunity as sometimes feeling like a wait. I think often times, a company that you've had for too long can actually feel like that ball and chain. Unfortunately, that's what it had really come to with me and this company, and because it had been doing quite well financially, it was really, really hard to let go of.

I had decided I was going to take four months off after selling this company to take a sabbatical. I did do some really fun sabbatical things. I got to go to South Africa with my mastermind, and also [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:10:36"] to get on safari. Then I also did a wellness retreat but realistically, I ended up starting a business a week after selling this company that I did not see coming.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's interesting. You've raised a bunch of things actually about selling because it is a very, very, oh my goodness, it's an emotional process. It's very tricky because the value is going to be in the eyes of the beholder. The tricky thing is also timing because once you've lost the passion, and you're not as in it, it's actually harder to sell. But that's when a lot of business owners decide they want to sell. They decide they want to sell when they've already kind of checked out, and it actually makes it harder.

Diana House:                    You've nailed it. You've nailed it and that's exactly what happened to me and I remember three years ago, sitting with my accountant and asking him, “Dave, when should I sell?” And he said, “A year ago.” I was like, “Oh, no.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, you got to sell at the height. You got to sell when you still love it. That's really kind of a mind–I was going to be really rude there–but-

Diana House:                    I have no issue with being rude but yeah, maybe if you do 13. So there's a great book called Early Exits and I do encourage anyone who is even thinking about maybe they would want to sell sometime in the future, they should read this book because you should often start the seal process much earlier than you think. Working with someone amazing like Steve Little or another business broker, is a great idea because they really help you prepare your business or sale.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. That's interesting too because it's actually even very, very, at the very early stages, particularly for a tech company because the technology and all the systems, everything is moving so fast in our world right now. What's valuable right now may not be soon so your window to sell is probably much, much earlier. There was something that Steve from Zero Limits said to me, which I thought was fascinating.

I think this was maybe his talk at Mastermind Talks as well. Where, as a founder in a business, say for instance you own 90% of it, or 100% of it, or 95% of it and you can sell it for say, 10 million dollars two years in, okay, that's awesome. Or you could raise a whole bunch of money for it, introduce all kinds of risk, and keep raising money, keep raising money until you get diluted down so you maybe own like 2%, or 5%, or maybe if you're lucky, 40%. At the end of ten years, you'll get a check for the same amount of money.

Diana House:                    Right. Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's like, “Wait a minute.”

Diana House:                    There's many paths.

Melinda Wittstock:         And it's kind of, “Wait a minute. I didn't have to do all that work? What? What?”

Diana House:                    Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         It completely changed my thinking about exits and also about just really, just operationally, even if you never want to sell. At least going where you're driving the most value. So this is interesting. I wanted to ask you about the emotional thing about that. Especially for women, I think it's true for men too, but it's kind of like our businesses are our babies. So to sell them, it is just like, “What?” It feels like maybe selling a part of yourself. I know with one of mine that I sold, I felt that way. It was really hard. It was this kind of weird trauma and emptiness at the end, and all of that, because I wasn't in the right mindset for it at that time.

Now I would go about it totally differently.

Diana House:                    That's a great question.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, so how did that emotional part of it, or the mindset part of it go for you?

Diana House:                    Sure. Unfortunately not well. The first time around, I listed it August 2016. I was pretty confident. I had five people in my network that I knew were probably potential buyers. After putting it out to them, I did get multiple offers, and one was an exceptional offer. Often times in e-commerce you're kind of looking at three times multiples, that's three times on earnings. One of the offers was about six times. It was an outstanding offer and it ended up going down the path with this amazing group of people who I'm still friends with to this day.

I think you probably know them Melinda, so I won't say too much. After three months of due diligence, the deal fell apart. I literally stopped sleeping. I had a few really, really rough health months after that because, I guess two things, I think I had a very codependent relationship with this company. It had been my first business. I had started this company from really a place of survival. Throughout that journey with the company, actually shifted out of that financially but still internally, it felt like it was tied to so much survival.

I also wanted it gone so badly because it felt so out of alignment for so long. Just all the stress of due diligence, which you know people are looking at every single think you're doing within the organization for months at a time. Our sales weren't really roaring or anything like that at the time. So very stressful time. Emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, it was really, really tough, and after that deal fell apart, it took me a few months to regroup and really refocus on my health.

I attempted to sell it way more times. I think I had 10 or 15 deals fall apart. It was a very rough road for me and, even at the end, I decided, when I woke up August 1, 2018, I decided that this would be my last month operating this business and, even though we were profitable, we'd been profitable for the whole time, I decided had I not sold the company by the end of the month, I would actually close it down because the price of my lack of alignment had been too expensive for too long. It almost felt like I had to draw a line in the sand or I'd be doing this forever.

It took me years to sell. The cool thing is, I closed on the business August 31, 2018, that last day. I literally took it to the finish line. It was pretty much a miracle. I'm a Christian and I feel like it was all God. If I hadn't had that deadline, I feel like I literally would still be operating the business.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my goodness. Isn't that interesting how the universe conspires. When we kind of let go, or surrender, miracles happen. I find that I always, if I'm in my kind of left brain, or ego, or data, I end up constraining things. When I get all focused on the how and stuff, it's so easy to miss the opportunity. Just letting go, and really just like, okay, I'm going to just ask the universe for divine inspiration. It will kind of work out, and trusting that process.

Whenever I actually dare to do that, things work out.

Diana House:                    For sure, and it's a cool thing. I mean, you nailed it with the ego thing. I think my attachment was I pride myself, as part of my identity, is being a successful entrepreneur. I feel very tied to that. I was like, “Okay, if i shut down a company, that would be opposing how I see myself in the world.” That was a very painful thing. I had to get to the point of knowing that my alignment and my freedom were more valuable than my ego.

Ironically, I sold it in the end but I had to get to that place.

I think the most challenging part for me on the ego side, which was definitely a real barrier for me, was I've always identified personally as being a ‘successful entrepreneur'. In my head, I would never have a loss. I would build only very profitable, successful companies, and I would sell all of them. As I went through this journey of two years to not sell, I started to realize that the cost of that story, and my ego attachment to that, was actually causing me a lot of pain.

I had to fix the place where I was okay in ‘failing' and potentially closing down a profitable business because the expense of staying was much, much higher. It's a cool story. I remember about a year before that, a girl in my Mastermind, Denise [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:19:30"] Thomas, she said to me, and here I am having a company that's worth over seven figures, she was like, “I think you should just close it.” And I was like, “What? Why would I do that?” She's just like, “It's just so out of alignment for you. It doesn't make sense for you to battle through this.”

I just was like, “Oh no, that's just like that's too elitist of an answer.” Funny enough, on the other side, I was like, “She was right.” I probably would have made more money, had more health, more happiness, and literally been more successful in my other areas of having closed it back then. I think the price of alignment is so high, and if your ego is in control, I don't think you can win.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's funny how, when I first started meditating, I used to be all about trying to quiet my mind, I couldn't quiet my mind. It was this incessant talk. Now, over time, it's gotten to the point, and this happens gradually, where literally every morning I now am looking up at the universe, or God, or whoever, and saying, “You know that I know that I don't know. So please show me, give me a divine download.” What should I be doing? What are the opportunities for me today? How can I act in alignment with my true essence, or who I truly am?

The more disciplined I am in doing that, the more my business gets into flow and I feel like I'm less in the hustle. I'm sort of rejecting that kind of hustle thing where I'm like, “Get it done, get it done.” Right? And more in that flow state. I used to hear so many people talk about that, and I'd be completely like, “What?” It's all about hard work. Now, I was kind of dragged kicking and screaming trying to get out of that kind of mode and much more into this flow mode, and it works so much better. But you do have to trust.

Diana House:                    Totally, and it's funny because I sent myself an email yesterday where I said I'm retiring from hustling. I think there are seasons where hustle is not just important but necessary. I think there is then a leap that happens at a certain point where you're like, okay, I've actually hustled to the point where I have a very strong foundation. I am out there. I have momentum. I can now actually downshift into something more sustainable because the hustle is not sustainable forever.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. It's not. It's not for women. This is the interesting thing too. How many female entrepreneurs end up in the kind of adrenal burnout, and all kinds of health issues.

Diana House:                    Oh yeah. Oh, for sure.

Melinda Wittstock:         If we'd been in that kind of masculine pursuit, I joke on this Podcast that if we try and go out and slay the Wilde beast and drag it back over, and over, and over again, we burnout. We weren't designed to do that.

Diana House:                    That's why I stopped sleeping. I think partially my adrenals were so burnt out that as soon as I had some space to exhale, my body was like okay, now you get to deal with everything that you have been avoiding in your physical body. I totally relate to that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my gosh. Now, in this new year, as you completely pivot and change your focus, you've moved away from e-commerce, and now you're doing something that's so important. Especially for women, but all entrepreneurs. Is helping them know their numbers. It's amazing how many people in business don't know their own numbers, or don't follow them, don't track them, don't set out in an intentional way to figure out what their margins are going to be, or know any of these things. I've been seeing you lately, just post a lot of really helpful stuff on Facebook Diana, that is so important and I'm always stunned by how little many entrepreneurs actually know about the number side of business.

Tell me what inspired you to go off in that direction and what your big plan is?

Diana House:                    Sure. I have to ask, are you one of these people that loves their numbers?

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, I didn't use to. I used to be one of these very–I'm very intuitive, I was all about the idea, and the relationship, and the execution, but I wasn't very good at the numbers part to begin with. Really, I wasn't at all and I think I had this old thing in my head that I'm a girl, I'm not good at math. I had all kinds of weird limiting beliefs around it.

Diana House:                    Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Really, as a serial entrepreneur, I've gotten good at it, and now I love it. I want to know where I am. I want to pre-purpose my outcomes. If I'm having a Wings event this year, which I am, I want to put the profit margin at the beginning of the planning.

Diana House:                    Amazing.

Melinda Wittstock:         Not as an after thought. I want to live intentionally in all aspects of my life. That applies to numbers too. It's been a transition, or like all entrepreneurship is, you just learn all this stuff because you have to.

Diana House:                    Yes. I love your answer. It is so in line with my personal experiences. I don't think you wake up–well, you might wake up as an entrepreneur but you definitely don't wake up as an entrepreneur who loves their numbers and knows how to read them. It's definitely as skill that you need to apply. I had a feeling that you were an I love numbers person because you've been so successful. You know, you've sold, I think you sold one business or multiple businesses?

Melinda Wittstock:         I have sold one business and then now, with the latest one, it's growing really, really fast but it's very much about looking at my numbers in terms of [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:25:36"].

Diana House:                    So good. I feel like there is hobby entrepreneurs, and then there's the entrepreneurs that get really real with themselves and say, “I am going to be a serial entrepreneur for my whole life and in order to be the most effective business person, I actually need to master this area.” That was actually my experience. I started out as a creatively minded entrepreneur, I pledged marketing, I looked at development, I looked at creative problem solving.

My first year of finances entailed a clear sleeve full of receipts.  I didn't know how to read a profit/loss statement. I never went to business school. No one had ever taught me this but I realized, I think it was probably 12 to 24 months into my first company that I for sure wanted to be a lifetime entrepreneur. I was going to do many things, have many ventures, buy companies, sell companies. This is literally the language of business.

I knew that I was going to hang out in business so I needed to master the language of business. I did this through reading a ton of books, having a lot of meetings with different accountants, befriending CFOs, asking a lot of questions, and just spending time in the numbers, is really how it happened. I realized that it's very much an epidemic. Visionary entrepreneurs are often the ideas people, they're good at selling, they're good at creating products, and they're often good at marketing.

That can actually lead them to a certain level of success following around the numbers. There is always a threshold that is crossed where it's like if you really want to step in to mastery, and being what I would call a serious business person, you either need to have a CFO that you know and trust, and at that point you probably have at least a five to ten million dollar company, or you need to at least have a high level of understanding of how to steer the business or steer the ship from your finances.

Melinda Wittstock:         So Diana, in the people that you're working with so far, where do you see the biggest gaps in knowledge? Where are entrepreneurs making the biggest mistakes where if they fix those, they would kind of transform their businesses?

Diana House:                    Sure. The biggest one is often mindset. It is a belief that they don't need to understand their businesses finances. A belief that they are not smart enough to understand it. Even you said a sentence that I've heard a hundred times this year which is, I didn't think I was good enough.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right.

Diana House:                    Literally, after my consultations, I send out an implementation email and I was sending one out this morning, and I literally had that in quotation marks because this email founder had said the exact same thing. The level of math that you need is so basic. If you can divide two numbers and find a percentage, you can do everything that you need to do to run the business finances of your company. You don't need to know Pythagorean theorem. I don't even know what that is.

Things that you're learning grateful of math, I don't even know. It's very, very basic and that's actually a mindset thing that they connected reading the story of the business through the finances as a math thing, and it's really not. It's understanding the story. It's almost like reading a book and it requires very little mathematics knowledge.

That's one of the mindset things that comes up for people a lot. Often it's things like upper limits where they never thought they would be making this much money before and they almost self sabotage. Different things like paying their team more than they pay themselves because they don't want to look greedy. Sometimes it's just straight up lack of education. Once the mindset pieces are dealt with, then you kind of go down to organization.

What I always say to entrepreneurs is, with their profit and loss statement, someone should be able to read their numbers and their profit and loss and income statement in five minutes, even if they were dumb or drunk. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but that's how simple they should be laid out that if I looked at your numbers, I could tell you right away, this is the business you're in, this is the business you're really in, this is what your profit margins are, this is where you spend your money on, this is what your profitability is.

I would say 95% of people's profit and loss statements are not organized in a way where you can even tell what's happening. The first days after mindset is we always kind of go to that profit and loss statement and really organize it so we can see what is really happening, and from there we can decide, “Okay, what do we actually want to happen and how can we architect the business in a way that's in lined with the goals?” Not just having a revenue goal, most entrepreneurs have a revenue goal, but they don't often have a profitability goal.

You can say, “Oh, I want to make a hundred million in revenue,” but if you have a hundred million in expenses, who wants that business? There's just a few missing pieces around profitability that need to be brought to the forefront before we can [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:31:27"] do the work.

Melinda Wittstock:         Amen, amen because I see so many posts on Facebook. Everybody's talking about topline revenue. If you maybe made a hundred thousand dollars in a Facebook ad funnel but you spent $99,999 to get there, you made one dollar. So the profitability, putting profitability ahead is so important.

I think the other thing that a lot of women do, I think that I see, is that sometimes we play too small. I was at a Mastermind last year where we were all going around the room and being asked to name our number for 2019. It was a revenue number. All the men were in the seven figures without blinking an eye. I was in the seven figures. There was one other woman but every other woman was, oh, maybe a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand?

I as like, “Wait a minute.” I actually said something about it. Come on, all of you, you're playing too small. Why? It was interesting because when each one of the women said their number, all the guys, one it particular, would be like, “Okay, so what makes you think you can make that number? How do you know you're going to make that number?” But the men were never questioned.

I think there's a lot of dynamics going on there. On one hand, we were being kind of tentative, weren't necessarily playing big enough. But then we were also falling in the trap of allowing ourselves to be questioned about what it is we want. So what's that about? I mean, it comes back to mindset, doesn't it? Do we play too small?

Diana House:                    For sure. To be honest, mindset is not my zone of genius. I do mindset work with my clients but that's almost not the thing. If they had a ton of mindset things that they need to work through, I actually refer them to some other resources, or a therapist, or things like that. Mindset stuff takes time. That's very deep work, where I really have fun is kind of helping entrepreneurs turn into the CFE, which is the Chief Financial Entrepreneur. I'm much more tactical in the numbers, coming up with the strategy, and figuring out how to literally, I call it architecting profit, because it's looking at how is profit created within this company right now.

We look at everything. We look at what industry are you in. What's your current business model. What is your pricing. What is your cost of goods. That is, for people that don't know what this is, that is the direct cost of what you are selling. Then we look at, we analyze everything from routine costs, to different expenses, to is there bloat, and where are people spending. Is there redundancy in [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:34:25"] and things like that.

One of my favorite stories about the goal setting is that, something that I shared recently on Instagram, it has to do with profitability goals. The question I get asked the most by people is what percentage of profit should I be at. I remember my mentor, I was asking him this question about nine years ago, and he would not tell me. I was so frustrated. I was like, “Why wouldn't you just tell me the number?” And he kept saying, “It's whatever you want it to be.”

I was like, “Okay, but what do I want it to be?” I had just such a lack of vision as an entrepreneur to really know what kind of profitability I was really targeting. I came up with a number and, looking back on it, it was a pretty high number, and I achieved it. I didn't really think much of it until I found out a few years ago that my seven figure e-commerce company was doing more profit than most of the eight figure companies because I did not have a target and created a target that was much more aggressive than other people believed was possible.

This other story that I've recently heard, and I don't know if this is true but let's just pretend it is if it isn't, this person went to their mentor and asked that same question, “What percent of profit should I be at?” And he said, “18.” Off she went and she worked on this business and a year later, they have a meeting and she said, “I'm very disappointed. I didn't hit the target. I only got to 75% profit”, and he said, “You got to 75% profit. I said 18.” And she's like, “I thought you said 80.”

I feel like that's just an interesting story to tell you. If A, you need to have a goal, and even if you have a goal, is your profitability high enough?

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. So we all go where we're looking. They even do little tests. If you look to the right and you try and walk in a straight line, or you look to the left and you try and walk in a straight line, it's impossible to walk in a straight line either way.

Diana House:                    True story.

Melinda Wittstock:         Literally go where our eyes are looking, and that's so true with the numbers, it's true with intentions, it's true of everything with our business. If we can see it, we can do it. So with numbers, I think it's so interesting, is to really visualize what those numbers actually mean, and have an emotional connection, I guess, to the number. So if you want to make, really make it to seven figures, and here's an amazing statistic, only 3% of women founders, and women owned businesses, make it to a million dollars. Only 3%. So that's really got to change. That's a big mission driver for me, is to just kind of what does it take to really get women past there.

Part of it's aiming big enough. Part of it's things like asking for help, delegating, you know, not trying to do it all. All that kind of stuff. To really think and imagine what does a million dollars really mean? What do you have to earn each month? What do you have to spend to be able to earn that much? What do you have to do? Oh, you can't do it all? That means you have to hire.

Thinking with that number in advance, feeling the gratitude for having achieved that number, whatever that number is, but really bringing the number to life really, really helps. That helped me, certainly, to be able to do it in that way because otherwise it was just kind of theoretical. It had no meaning to me.

Diana House:                    Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Knowing where you want to go. So how much of it is really just understanding too, it's not just the number, it's understanding what it takes to get to that number. What is it that you want to be doing to have the number that you want to have in that kind of correlation? Do you think entrepreneurs really understand that?

Diana House:                    I think … Are you asking kind of tactically, what do they need to be doing on a monthly basis?

Melinda Wittstock:         Say for instance, if you say, “I really want to be making a million dollars a year, or I really want to hit a hundred thousand a month”, or whatever that target is. Or I want to scale, I want to create a ten million dollar company, or I want to create a billion dollar company. Whatever it is-

Diana House:                    For sure.

Melinda Wittstock:         …understand what that means.

Diana House:                    So my zone of genius is less de-revenue scale side, and it's more the if I'm making two million dollars, or five million dollars, how to I be profitable?

Melinda Wittstock:         How do you be profitable? Right.

Diana House:                    It's amazing how many people run multi million dollar companies that are not profitable.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. Just add more zeros to the same problem.

Diana House:                    The revenue side, to be honest, is very specific to what company they're in, what industry they're in, what is the current marketing opportunity in that niche. Is it a wholesale business, is it a retail business, and so on, and so on. There's multiple ways of scaling depending on what industry you're in, what your zone of genius is, is it going to be easy for you to see.

On the profitability side, what I tell all of my entrepreneur clients is they have to be looking at the numbers on at least a monthly basis. Once they're organized and they're looking at them, what I see happen is popcorn [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:39:44"]. If you sit an entrepreneur and their business numbers beside each other that are organized in a clear way, they know exactly what to do. They are like, “Oh wow, we need to double down on that marketing channel. It's actually doing really well. Why aren't we pouring more money”, or, “Oh wow, we need to fire that person. They're not being effective”, or, “We have redundant stock ware.”

They're not even sitting down to analyze it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, so if you're not looking at it, how do you know? You're blind without that. It's almost like you need your numbers dashboard. What are your metrics going to be? What are you going to look at?  [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:40:22"] Every week, every day even if it means it. It's funny because when I started to get into with Wings of Success, and actually understanding the affiliate marketing game, and that was interesting because you really had … It's all about metrics.

It's all about what's your cost per click, what's your earnings per click. How much traffic are they bringing? How much traffic are you bringing? It gets really, really numbers based. You can see immediately who's performing, who's not performing, what's working, where it's out of whack. It does guide your actions for sure.

Diana House:                    On the dashboard, I mean a dashboard sounds so dashboard. What I just tell all my clients to do is have their bookkeepers, and every entrepreneur should have an accountant to do their year end. If you are doing your own year end, please stop doing that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Stop it, yeah, just stop it.

Diana House:                    There's certain things that fine, you can do in your organization, but learning the tax code in whatever country you're in, and maximizing your year end, it's a horrible idea. You need to have a great accountant, they need to do your year end, and you need to do your tax planning. Then I would argue that, unless you're way just starting out, you really should have a bookkeeper to do your bookkeeping, whether they're in-house as a finance administrator, or external.

What I train all my clients to do, is to empower their bookkeepers to create an email system for them, which is either a weekly or monthly system, depending on how often you want to see the numbers. Where they send you an email with those high level dashboard numbers that you're talking about. Which trigger the entrepreneur that it's time for them to step into their Chief Finance Entrepreneur hat, and Chief Finance Entrepreneur time, and look at the business for 15 minutes and start seeing how it's performing, and what they need to do differently for the next week or the next month.

Melinda Wittstock:         I love it. This is wonderful. So Diana, you have started coaching people kind of one-on-one, and I know that scale is in your heart as well, and we're talking about numbers, and so tell me a little bit about your future vision for your business. Because this is so important. Every entrepreneur needs to know all this stuff. What do you have planned? Are you going more into the online coaching side of things, or info products, or what's next for you?

Diana House:                    I'll just tell you my high level goals in general, not even just [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:42:50"] to this, because I think it's helpful to hear how entrepreneurs kind of do this. We just did this last week. For 2019, this year my number one goal is actually to apply for commercial real estate properties, additional commercial real estate properties. My why is that even being a successful entrepreneur with operating companies, when I recently did my net worth statement to get on the eventual millionaire podcast, I didn't realize, this is so crazy. So much of my net worth is actually in real estate.

Even though I operated successful companies and also had a few exits. When I think about what 2019 is all about, it's one, doing that task that's actually going to create the most net worth. The second one is, we have a private lending company where we do private mortgages and our goal is to do a hundred million mortgages next year. I'm kind of telling you this first because I want you to kind of see a level that I'm thinking and playing at.

With my finance consulting company, I'm not actually trying to build a consulting company, or a consulting job for myself because I'm actually an introvert. I need a lot of alone time and downtime, and doing work with clients is very intense. Even the time that you're not spending with them, you're thinking about them constantly. You're doing research, you're doing additional stuff. It's a tougher model to scale.

My intention with this work is one, to position myself as a leader in the business finance space, and really be known as the go-to business finance expert. Then also, I'm current building, me and my team, a more scalable program. Right now, my beta name, and we'll see if it launches with this name, is the Profit Accelerator. What that will be is a group coaching program that really gives people everything that's in my head, and that's in my framework, in a very kind of easily consumable way so that they can really bring this education into their team and into their brains, so that they can fully run their business from that financial perspective.

So that will be likely launching in the Spring at dianahouse.com.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that's fantastic. I love it and I love the emphasis on real estate too, where it sounds like, you know, you've got some passive income streams going along as well. Right?

Diana House:                    For sure. I think every entrepreneur should have like two businesses. Their operating business and then the passive income stream business that they are building. So you can do that through real estate investment. You can do that through doing private mortgages. This is one of the things that I actually help my clients with as well because once they get all this profit, they're like, “What do I do with it?” I'm like, “Great. That's when you start your personal investment vehicle business.” That's almost a second business that you need to be having because that's the business that makes money whether you're doing anything or not.

Melinda Wittstock:         What a delight talking with you. Are you going to be heading back to Necker Island any time this year, or more adventures with Richard Branson?

Diana House:                    So, funny enough, I am. My Mastermind, we're going in, I think, the Spring. We were supposed to go last year, or maybe it was the year before but the hurricane struck Necker. I'm not sure if that was actually last year, or two years before.

Melinda Wittstock:         I think it was last year. It completely wiped it out but I think they're rebuilding pretty quickly. I know our Maverick group is going to be there in April.

Diana House:                    Which is such a great trip. That was my first trip to Necker, and I will definitely check out [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:46:26"] in that group because it was fantastic. I can't wait to do that. That is always just such a magical experience. In general, being in Mastermind, doing things like going to your Wings event, but this is truly where you up level, when you're rubbing shoulder to shoulder with other amazing entrepreneurs.

Melinda Wittstock:         No entrepreneur ever succeeded by themselves!

Diana House:                    Totally.

Melinda Wittstock:         We all need mentorship, time with our peers, I mean just the cross fertilization of ideas, or just being with other people that are like you because entrepreneurs are weird compared to most people.

Diana House:                    100%

Melinda Wittstock:         So you need to be around others like you. That's been a total game changer for me as well. So I am so excited about the year ahead and this amazing Wings event. I will have more details for everybody listening about that, and for you too Diana. I hope you will come along as well because we're going to be doing some amazing things as we kind of co-create and collaborate with each other to really game change the ecosystem for women in business. I am so excited about the power that we're all, the empowerment rather, that we're all stepping into.

I think we, as women, can do great things solving a lot of the world's big, big problems right now with out feminine power. I'm so excited about this. It was so much fun to fly with you today.

Diana House:                    Thank you so much for having me on that, and yeah, I would love to be at that event. It sounds like it is going to be amazing.

Melinda Wittstock:         It is. It truly is. So lots of love to you. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom and insight Diana, and good luck with everything, and thank you so much for putting on your wings today.

Diana House:                    Thanks girl.

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