357 Jessica Zimmerman: Bankruptcy to A Million Dollar Business

What’s it like to face bankruptcy? What’s it like to turn it all around and grow a multi-million dollar business? And what’s it like to do all that with a toddler, two baby twins and an ailing husband?

MELINDA

I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who says she thought she was doing everything right – until she realized she wasn’t.

Jessica Zimmerman did not give up. Instead she found a way to get a $100,000 bank loan – and she used $40,000 of it to educate herself with coaches, mentors, programs and masterminds, and within 3 years of her near bankruptcy she’d reached 7 figures – profitably.

Jessica is a floral designer, business educator, and owner of Zimmerman Events out of Conway, Arkansas. Her wedding work has been featured in publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, People, and Southern Living. She’s also helped hundreds of wedding professionals and creatives through her course, The Business Behind the Blooms. In it, she shares her personal business journey and equips entrepreneurs to run profitable, balanced businesses.

And before I share this conversation with Jessica Zimmerman I have a special invitation for you…

Now back to the inspiring Jessica Zimmerman.

Jessica is a leading wedding planner and floral designer and founder of Zimmerman Education, a floral design business education company specializing in teaching fellow floral designers the exact systems, sales processes and other tools and techniques necessary to create their own successful 6-figure floral design businesses–and earn a living from flowers, without giving up their lives.

Named a top wedding planner by Southern Living magazine, Jessica’s stellar wedding and floral work has been featured in PEOPLE magazine, Once Wed, Cottage Hill and Style Me Pretty, among others. Through free classes, tutorials, ebooks, mentoring and more valuable tools, Jessica and Zimmerman Education regularly inspires fellow florists who want to profit from their passion and learn how to make money, save time, and grow their team with confidence, hope and courage.

After struggling to turn a profit her first few years in business, Jessica managed to turn it all around and skyrocket the profit in her floral design business from zero to over $70k in just one year–all while raising three small children. A firm believer in sharing her story in order to help other wedding floral designers learn how to work to live, not live to work, Jessica provides a highly-educational, behind-the-scenes look at her multiple six figure floral design business model–from sales processes to proper pricing to proposals–inside her much-raved-about signature course and tell-all business memoir, the Business Behind the Blooms.

So are you ready for Jessica Zimmerman? I am. Let’s fly!

Melinda Wittstock:         Jessica, welcome to Wings.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Hi, thank you for having me.

Melinda Wittstock:         I'm so excited to talk to you. I know that at one point, you were staring bankruptcy right in the face, which is everyone in businesses' worst fear. And yet, you came out of it, and you have this amazing seven-figure business now. What happened?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Oh, goodness. It has been quite a journey. So, I basically, I always knew I wanted to own my own business, because I wanted to be in control of scheduling my own time. I didn't care what that business was. I could've sold knives for all I care, I just wanted to own my own business. I got the opportunity to buy a wedding and event rental company. And so, I purchased that business. And I immediately went into, I was 28 at the time. And I immediately went into, “How can I make this better?” Instead of, if I could go back, I would say, “Leave everything as it is for a year. For one year, just leave it, and make a list of the improvements you want to make. Find out what it costs to do those improvements. And go from there.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       But I genuinely, with all of my heart … and I think that so many women entrepreneurs, this is a common thread. We go into these with the best of intentions. No one goes into the path of bankruptcy intentionally. We all go, we all think we are doing what is right for our business, and I certainly did. The business that I purchased was a 20-year-old business. It had not been updated with logos, or the website, I don't think anyone had looked at that in five years. And so, I immediately went into, “I'm going to get a logo, I'm going to get a new website.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       The business was currently renting a building downtown. A building across the street became available for purchase, and I purchased it. And so, my monthly payment almost doubled in that. And again, I'm thinking, “This is a very smart decision, because I'm paying a mortgage versus renting,” which, yes, absolutely, that's true. But I didn't know that my business couldn't afford that at the time. I didn't even really look at the month-to-month numbers. I just really wanted a business. And when they said, “We'll sell it to you for this much,” I thought it sounded like a good price. And so, I just kind of went in with feet first, hands all in, head, I mean everything. I just jumped in.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And then I started doing things like thinking, “Oh, these products, or these things that we rent, they're not really up-to-date. I'm going to go to market, and I'm going to buy all new product.” And yes, these were all great things. But what happened was, we grew very quickly. And while we were bringing in 30,000 a month, we were spending 30,000 a month. I didn't know a thing about a budget, or costs, or whatever. I didn't know how many people I should have on my team, what I should be paying them, any of this stuff. So at that point we were growing so fast that anyone who would help, I was like, “Yes, come in.” Okay. “Oh, you would rent that if we had 10, but we only have eight? Okay, I'll buy two more for you.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And that's not the way that that should be done at all now, looking back. I basically, exhausted myself. And I continued that position where it then, got to a point where it was, “Okay, we are bringing in 30,000, but now we are spending 31, because I needed more help.” And we grew too fast, and I wasn't able to keep up with it. And so, I had my daughter, and I was basically, here 18 hours a day, because it was it was the only thing that I could do to stay afloat, was to do the work myself and not have to pay people overtime and all of those things.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And one day, my daughter was about six months old, I went home. And I reached for her … My Mom was watching her … and I reached for her, and she did not want to me. She didn't want to come to me. And I thought, “Well, of course she doesn't. I'm never here.” And I remember that moment so clearly. I could get choked up thinking about it. But I just remember thinking, “The whole reason why you wanted to be a business owner is so that you can have as much time as possible with your family. And you have got to figure this out. You've got to make a change.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And for me, at that point, that became such a huge motivation. But at the same time, if I am being completely honest, there was a little bit of ego involved in the fact of, “I cannot fail.” It didn't even matter so much at that moment to succeed, I just couldn't fail. It wasn't an option to me. And so, about a year later, I ended up having twin boys, which was a huge shocker. I mean, just like, “What happened? I don't know how that happened.” I mean, I know how it happened, but it's … there aren't … There were no fertility drugs involved, twins don't run in our family. It was just like, “What in the world?”

Melinda Wittstock:         It sort of feels like the universe saying to you, “Okay, you want more time with your family, so we are just going to put a little challenge here for you.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         Make sure you actually, you're really going to get what you're asking for.

Jessica Zimmerman:       100%, 100%. And about six weeks after my boys were born, my husband got very ill, very, very, ill, to the point where we were in and out of the hospital for a couple of years. And at that point, it became very clear to me that … Because up to this point, I had never brought home a paycheck, believe it or not. I was working 18 hours a day and not bringing home a dime, and in fact, losing money every month. And when I look back at that, I think, “Oh, my gosh. What a crazy, insane person.” But the truth is, I thought that I was doing everything right. I thought, “Well, this is just how it is to own your own business for the first five years. You just have to kill yourself, and then it will all come.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       But the truth is, there was no plan. There was no budget, there was no anything set in place. And it wasn't until my husband got sick, and I really was forced to go, “Okay, not only is he probably going to lose his job, and he's not going to be able to support us anymore, this is all on me now. For the first time in 11 years of being married to him, I am going to have to support this family. And you better figure this out, and you better figure it out quick.” And the thought of going to a 9 to 5, or working for someone else, or a corporate job was crippling to me. I mean, you might as well just end it now for me. It just sounds like the most debilitating thing for me, personally.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I thought, “Okay, I've got to just step away from my business for a minute and figure this out.” And that's what's so crazy is, I knew I was a smart person. I knew I was capable. I knew I was one of the hardest working people I know. So, I couldn't figure out, “Why is this not working? My drive, my intention, everything is there. Why can I not figured out?” So, I took a minute, and I went to the bank. And I said, “Listen, you have zero reason to give me this loan. Zero reason. I mean, I get it. Look, I'm two days away from having to be bankrupt, just about. You've no reason to give me this loan. But I need $100,000.” And he looked at me and was like, “Are you out of your mind?” And I thought, “Yeah, probably, but hear me out.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I basically, had figured out that I needed about $60,000 … If I were to walk away from my business for four months, I would still need $60,000 to keep it afloat, just to keep the mortgage, and the insurance, and my employees paid, and those things. And then the other 40,000, I wanted to take to educate myself with consultants, and mentors, and go to workshops, and read books, and listen to podcasts, and do whatever I could. And it was more, buying me time.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I told him my whole story, and by the grace of God, this man gave me a loan. And I took it, and I did more than I said I would do with that. And I learned it, I learned it quickly. And it's just amazing how, if you can … That's when I stopped and built the foundation of my business. And if we can do that at the beginning, or even if we get to a point where we are starting to feel like we're on a hamster wheel, don't wait until you've got three babies in diapers and a husband in the hospital to figure this out. Stop now, and figure out how to make the foundation of your business work.

Jessica Zimmerman:       When I really sat down and looked at it, it made zero sense for me to have a rental company, zero sense. It made way more sense for me to be a floral design studio that also offered wedding planning, because that was by appointment only. And even though we might have only brought in at the beginning, 10 grand a month, guess what? We were only spending four.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jessica Zimmerman:       You know? I mean, these things were so amazing to find out. And within that first year, I mean, I learned how to book seven-figure brides, and everything. My biggest dream was to only have to do four weddings a year, and in 2018, that's what I did, and brought in over a half million dollars with that. And once I figure that out I thought, “You know, there's so many women that probably are in this same exact situation, as far as, ‘I feel like I'm doing everything right, but nothing is working out.'”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I just remember that exhaustion so clearly, and I remember the time that it took away from my family. And I see how wonderful life is now, that I have to share this, and I have to share it completely. Not give people 60% of [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:28:28"] and tips and keep 40 of them to myself, but give them everything. And so, I wrote The Business Behind The Blooms, and people just salivated over it in the wedding industry. They just were like, “You have told us everything. My business has changed.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       When I first released it, I think I had, I had zero people on our newsletter list. I had less than 3,000 followers on Instagram. I mean, there was no reason why anyone should listen to me. But they appreciated the honesty, and the candor, and the tough love, almost. And they just appreciated someone telling them what to do. And that's what I wanted, is, I was like, “Will someone just tell me what to do? Because I know I can do it.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And when we first starting getting those first rounds of testimonies back, and you'd hear people go, “I now get to pick up my daughter from school.” “I now get to have a date night with my husband because of what I learned from you.” That is when it became very clear that my business has to pivot, has to shift, and this is what I'm now meant to do in this chapter.

Melinda Wittstock:         So, Jessica, there are a bunch of things that I want to follow up on in what you said. And I'm going to start with the numbers. Because I see so many entrepreneurs making this mistake, going for the top line revenue number, but not thinking about margins, or profitability, or how to bake those numbers, profitability in your business right from the start.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         How to put revenue ahead of cost, which is a very elegant way to do it if you can pull that off, which a lot of businesses don't. But I see a lot of women really with a block about the numbers, not wanting to be on top of their numbers on a daily basis, or on their cash flow, or whatever those KPIs are. What was the block? Because I heard you kind of say you went into it, and you weren't really looking at the numbers.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Why? What held you back from looking at the numbers? And what do you think makes women shy away from that?

Jessica Zimmerman:       I don't think I was ever taught to look at numbers in any sort of capacity other than what is being brought in every day. What is the revenue. And I think it's one of those classic cases of, when we know better we do better. I didn't know, I didn't know I was supposed to have a budget. I didn't know I was supposed … I didn't know any of that. And once I learned those things, everything really shifted, as far as just this confidence. And once you are able to know, like for example, I think it's a pretty general rule of thumb, now that I've talked to several consultants, and mentors, and financial advisors, and all of that, I've talked with several.

Jessica Zimmerman:       If we can keep our costs at 40% or lower, meaning whatever we are charging for our time, or what it costs us to make our product, or whatever, and that doesn't mean that other 60% is in our pocket. That's what's going to go to pay maybe, our rent, or our mortgage, or our payroll for people, all of the overhead, right? And hopefully, with taxes. People don't think about taxes. Oh, my goodness, I used to … Oh, my goodness. I could go on and on. But I'll just say really quickly that in the State of Arkansas, you are not taxed for a wedding until after the wedding happens. So, if you are planning a wedding for someone in January, and their wedding isn't until December, every payment that they make you from January to December, I was just, I didn't reserve the tax money.

Jessica Zimmerman:       I didn't take it over and put it in a reserve account, and then in December I'm taxed for the whole thing, and so I have it. I didn't know to do that. These are simple, simple things that you just don't know until someone tells you. And that's what those few months were for me when I took that 100 grand loan, was just going to anyone who would listen to me, and reading every book, and listening to every podcast, and just saying, “What am I not understanding?” And that was something so simple, that was like, “Okay, you've got your business account. Now let's open you a second one that's a reserve account. And then every time you make a sale, whatever they paid you in taxes, you just move right over.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And it's a 30-second step, a 30-second step to do. And then you're taken care of. And that was a super … That was just one example, and it was several things like that. But if we now know to reserve that tax money, and that that 60% is, the tax money is coming out of that, and the mortgage, or the rent, or the utilities, and the payrolls, then it helps us to be confident in knowing, “I cannot go any lower on this price or I will lose money.” And when you know that, and you've seen it on paper, you can become confident in educating people on why your prices are what they are.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. Well, it leads to confidence. I mean, knowing your numbers-

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         … leads to confidence. And I just wonder if there's something in our psychology somewhere, the whole thing with girls and math, there's a certain point where girls decide, “Oh, I'm not good at math, or I don't know numbers, or that's not my thing.” I am wondering if there is some sort of deep underlying subconscious belief there that stops women from digging into it.

Jessica Zimmerman:       I don't know. That's a really good question. But I know that once I learned that, it really changed everything. And I mean, I'm not … Listen, accounting is not my favorite thing. I have a bookkeeper, and my bookkeeper, my CPA, and I, we meet once a month. That's something super important to me, that I don't want to be plugging in the numbers. That's something I need to outsource. That's not my strength. But it is my responsibility-

Melinda Wittstock:         To be on top of them.

Jessica Zimmerman:       … as a business owner-

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, to be on top of them.

Jessica Zimmerman:       … to know every month what came in, what went out. Are we on budget, how are we towards our sales goal. That's my responsibility. And as a business owner, if you don't know that, then that's a problem. And that's why I just now feel so passionate about sharing these things, because they are not out there a lot in our female entrepreneurial world. And I actually have a course coming out in January that is teaching this. So I'm excited about it.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that's fantastic. Well, actually, I wanted to pick up on that with the coaching piece.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         That you took $40,000, roughly, of that loan, and used it to educate yourself. And everyone listening to this, this is so important. I have not yet met a successful entrepreneur who doesn't have coaches, mentors, who does not specifically invest in themselves. And I mean real money. Like, I know-

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         I didn't really turn the corner until I started doing that for myself in my businesses. I always want to be in a mastermind, or I always want to feel like I'm a little bit the dumbest person in the room-

Jessica Zimmerman:       Agreed.

Melinda Wittstock:         … because then I'll learn so much more, right?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         And so, I'm always, and my learning is never, never, never done.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Never, never. I'm the same way. I'm the exact same way. I continually, am learning. I'm continually investing in my own education for this business. I mean, every year, I spend thousands and thousands of dollars on education, because you can never stop learning. You can never learn too much. And everything that I learn is somehow translated and put into my business, that makes me more money. And I just think the truth is, is when we pay money, we pay more attention. And I think so many people, they just think, “I can't invest in that. It's selfish of me to do that if I have these two children at home.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       No, it's selfish of you not to. You need the education. If you're serious about being a legit business person, you have to educate yourself. The faster you can educate yourself, the faster you can have real money in the bank. I mean, I started this business in 2011. And in 2018, I became a seven-figure business. And I didn't know my numbers and know all of that until 2015. So really, just in three years, it was going from nearly bankrupt to seven figures. So, the sooner you can educate yourself, the sooner that money can be a reality for you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I think that's right. I mean, I think it's leverage, right?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         Because investment, you can invest in real estate, or you can invest in all these different assets, right? You have to invest in yourself first. So, what were some of the initial courses and things that you did? What did you turn to first?

Jessica Zimmerman:       I went to a workshop. It was just like a floral workshop in Atlanta. And it was wonderful. I remember, I really went there just to kind of learn the flower part. She had done an amazing arrangement that I'd seen on Instagram and stuff, and I thought, “I want to learn,” she was the first person I'd ever seen who did floral arrangements that weren't what I call just a Roundy Moundy, traditional, like, “Here's just some hydrangeas and some tea roses.” Her floral arrangements looked like art. And I thought that I was going to really learn how to do that.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And what I learned more than anything was, her business sessions. When she taught her business sessions, that's where I learned that 40%, 60%. I mean, that's where I learned about having a different tax account. And then I went home, and I would meet with a financial advisor who said, “Yes, we absolutely have to have a different account for taxes, absolutely.” And I hired a CPA. I paid her thousands of dollars to create a spreadsheet for me that could really show me how to project a year's sales goal, how to project this, and a budget. And we actually worked on this most of last year. We really perfected it. Because now, a lot of business owners, we have more than one stream of revenue.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I was originally just working off of a spreadsheet that was just basing it on one stream of revenue. And I thought, “This is no longer accurate.” And so, keeping up with those things. But I did, I went to workshops, and I read books. I listened to podcasts, I'd go to seminars. And I just learned so much. I would just soak up everything. And of course, not everything that you hear is going to apply to your business. But there's always something that you can take. And one of the biggest things that I learned is just reading. There's a book, and I always forget the name of it, but it's something like The Seven Secrets, or The Eleven Secrets, or something like that, That All Successful People Do, The Habits, or something.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, The Habits Of Successful Be- … I think it was Stephen Covey, right?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Yes, I think you're right. Yes, yes, yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Jessica Zimmerman:       But they all wake up early, they all have a set time that they leave their work, and they go have their life. They all exercise. They all have a capsule wardrobe. And I just started doing these things. And it really did make such a huge difference. And then, being honest with yourself, I think, and realizing when it's time to shift. If you're no longer into a business that you're doing, and you want to shift into something else, to be completely honest. I just wanted to own my own business. I remember there's plenty of times I was working with brides and their moms, and while they are the loveliest of people and I enjoyed them, I didn't necessarily feel this passion or love for creating and designing weddings. It's not my passion.

Jessica Zimmerman:       I've honed a craft for it. I can do it pretty well. But it doesn't light my fire like teaching a woman how to change her daily schedule so that she can be present for her family. That is what I am meant to do. But I could never, ever have gotten there if I hadn't gone through all of that. And I think that's something you have to keep in mind, is that this life, it really is a journey. And we cannot … What you're doing right now is for something better. And if we can kind of keep that in focus.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, that's a great point. I think that businesses that succeed, and entrepreneurs in particular, who succeed have a mission. There's more than the transactional value of the business. I mean, yes, we want to make money, you want to do all those things. But when we have a real purpose that's bigger than ourselves, and is-

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         I don't know, I believe that it keeps you motivated in those times when you have a challenge, because you're doing it for something bigger, for a bigger purpose. I mean, when you look at your … Sorry, I'm just going to pick up there. Jessica, when you think about your mission, or your purpose, or why you're here in an earth suit right now, and where you're taking your business, what's the vision? Where do you see yourself taking it?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Right now, and I can only look at my business a year at a time. I really can. I mean, if I try to get too … Because, I don't know if you've ever taken the StrengthsFinders' Test.

Melinda Wittstock:         I have, yes.

Jessica Zimmerman:       My number one strength is positivity. My number two is futuristic. I always look ahead, always. And my team laughs at me, because I'll be like, “Okay, we need to be thinking about six months from now, when da, da, da.” And they are like, “Yes, but you're teaching a webinar in an hour, and I think you need to be thinking of about that.” And I'm like, “Oh, okay.” I just am naturally, futuristic. But, when it comes to my business and it comes to, just things like where we are going to live as a family … Because honestly, we are in the position now that we could move anywhere. We could live anywhere. And that's very enticing to me. I would love that.

Jessica Zimmerman:       But I just have to be able to look at it a year at a time and go, “Okay, in 2019, this is what we are doing with the business, and this is where we're living, and this is where my kids are going to school.” And then, every November, I kind of take the whole month to plan for the year ahead, and to really ask myself, “What went well this year? What didn't go well?” and all of those things. And I kind of, have to do that.

Jessica Zimmerman:       But, to answer your question, right now, my purpose, the reason I am here, is to be a wife and mom to my family. The way that I'm going to be the best at that is to fill myself with meaningful work. And what is most meaningful to me is to help other women create the life that I have been able to create for myself. Not an identical replica, but to help them define what the life is that they want to live, and to give them these super-simple tools that allow them to achieve it. I'm not saying it's easy, but it is simple. They are just simple steps.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Now, they take time. I mean, going to an attorney to get a contract written, that takes time. But it's a simple step. And those things, I love teaching those, because in such a short amount of time … I mean, I just remember one of the first testimonies I got, it said, “Two days after finishing your course, I booked my first $15,000 wedding.” And she had never booked anything, and this was just for flowers And she had never booked anything more than 1,000. And I thought, “This is going to change her life. It's going to change her life.” And that makes me so happy.

Jessica Zimmerman:       When I am sitting down at my table with my family at night eating dinner, and I know that just four years ago I was here at the studio until midnight or one in the morning working, it makes me so happy to go, “Okay, not only did you figure this out for yourself, and you're able to have dinner with your family, but think about how many hundreds of other women are having dinner with their family right now because you were willing to share what you learned.” And it shouldn't have to cost everyone $100,000 to learn these things.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. You learned it so other people don't have to, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I think what's so important where we've been talking about this a little bit off and on through the interview, time, the concept of time, where women think, “I don't have time to do that. I don't have time to invest in myself.” Or, “I don't have time for self-care,” or, “I don't have time for,” whatever. I've found in my own life, the more that I invest the time in that, the more time I actually have, that time doesn't have to be a scarce resource. What was the epiphany that allowed you to basically, work less and have more?

Jessica Zimmerman:       I set boundaries. I set very black-and-white boundaries. I sat down and I said, “If I had all the money in the world, what would I want my days to look like?” And it was, “I want to take my kids to school. I want to pick them up from school.” So that became a boundary. So, it was like, “Okay, they are dropped off by [spp-timestamp time="7:30"]. I have to pick them up by [spp-timestamp time="3:30"].” So, 8 AM to 3 PM are my business hours. Anything that has to get done has to get done during that time. There's no exceptions. These are black-and-white boundaries. And when I made that a clear boundary, it then forced me to get really efficient with those hours. Because I'm only going to have 30 hours or less a week.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And so, how can I grow this business and do well, and be able to bring home a six-figure salary for my family and all of these things … Because when I get home, I still have a sick husband have to take care of. Not today, but back then. I still have a sick husband I need to take care of. I've got three tiny children. And I've got to be totally present for them. So, that's when I really studied about efficiency and productivity. I learned so much about emailing, and how that is such a responsive thing versus a productive thing.

Melinda Wittstock:         It is, it is. And same thing with social media, as well.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right?

Jessica Zimmerman:       Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's other people's agenda’s-

Jessica Zimmerman:       Yes. It's, you're doing-

Melinda Wittstock:         … rather than your own.

Jessica Zimmerman:       You're doing the work of other people. And when I really learned those things, that was so, so helpful. And I share those for free. Your listeners, if they're listening, they can text Wings Podcast, W-I-N-G-S Podcast, to 44222. And I share all of those productivity and efficiency tips, and email, eliminating all that stress for free in that. They can get that. But that's just a game changer. And it's such a game changer for me that I just want to give that to people, because it will change your life if you can learn how to not look at what other people are doing, not focus on other people, get what you need to get done first, and all of those things.

Jessica Zimmerman:       So, once I did that and I saw, “Oh, wow, I can still have this life outside of business, and how rich my life is outside of my business when I really do completely shut off work at 3 o'clock.” And I don't know, I think there's something in … I don't mean to sound all spiritual and everything, but I think there's something about when you have your priorities in line, things start to work out.

Melinda Wittstock:         Things line up.

Jessica Zimmerman:       They do.

Melinda Wittstock:         When you have your priorities in line, everything lines up.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         It's true. I know this to be true. In fact, on this podcast, we talk a lot about the links between personal growth and business growth, that they are basically the same thing.

Jessica Zimmerman:       They are, yeah. Totally.

Melinda Wittstock:         So, with all the successful women entrepreneurs that I have on this podcast, all of seven- eight-, nine-, even 10-figure businesses, the spirituality comes through more and more with each conversation. And I think of all the people I've been mentored by have had this experience, as well. You can have a business that feels like pushing a boulder up a mountain, or you can have a business where there are all these seeming coincidences and synchronicities, like where the right people show up at the right time. It's kind of one of those things that comes with alignment. And it's hard not to feel that there's something spiritual going on there.

Jessica Zimmerman:       100%, yes. Absolutely. And I think so much of that … We aren't going to get the things that we really want until we can shut the door on the things that we no longer need. No one needs to be working 18 hours a day, and never seeing their family. And once you can really take a hard look at that, and you can … I mean, that was a very hard decision. The rental business that I purchased was a 20-year-old business in a small town in Arkansas. I mean, everyone was like, “Well, guess she went under. She had it for a couple of years and went under.”

Jessica Zimmerman:       And it wasn't that, it was that I shifted it to where it was just floral design, and we were by appointment only. And when I started to do that, I was able to start bringing in the higher-end clients, because I had the time to focus on that. I wasn't dealing with a basically, kind of a retail space where people were working in all the time all hours of the day, and asking to use my bathroom, or asking for directions, or all of these things that were taking the focus away from what I really needed to be doing.

Jessica Zimmerman:       And I give this example a lot of two doors, of people standing in between two doors. And the one in front of them is kind of open, and the one behind them is kind of closed. But they can't open the one in front of them and go through it until they've fully closed the other one. And I feel like so many women, they're just sitting in that little hallway, just sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there because they are fearful to make those decisions and to be very clear cut, black and white with what they want and what they don't.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, gosh. So beautifully said. So, Jessica, how can people find you and work with you?

Jessica Zimmerman:       So, you can find me at Zimmermanevents.com. I have a course that is The Business Behind The Blooms, and that has been the course that's transformed so many people in the wedding industry, and their lives and their profit, and all that stuff. It's basically, my entire business model. And you can get information about that at Thebusinessbehindtheblooms.com. And my Instagram is @JessciaZimmerman_. So, there you go.

Melinda Wittstock:         Wonderful. Well, I just want to thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.

Jessica Zimmerman:       Thank you for having me. I've really enjoyed it.

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