If the chaos of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how much we try, we can’t control everything. It’s caused us to revisit those big goals we set at the beginning of the year for ourselves and our businesses. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably learned that when you try to do everything in your own strength, it leads to burnout.
I often need this reminder, and I know you probably do too: You have permission to change your mind. Yep–life throws us curve balls, and a goal you made at the beginning of the year in a different season may not be what you need to be working toward right now. Seasons change, and your goals are allowed to change too.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to do some one-on-one coaching with one of our Business Boutique Academy members, Abby Soto-Morales. Abby knows what it’s like to pivot her business goals based on her season and come to the end of her rope. I’m inspired by her hard work, perseverance and faith, and I hope it inspires you too.
Christy Wright: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
Abby: My name’s Abby, and I’m the owner of Jupe de Abby, an online women’s modest clothing boutique located in Rochester, New York. I started Jupe de Abby back in 2011 when I was 20 years old and in my second year of college. I ran my business in a retail brick and mortar location for six years and closed the physical location last year so I could stay home with my newborn daughter and continue to grow the business online.
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Jupe de Abby’s core mission is to help women look and feel beautiful without compromising their modesty. We provide a variety of unique and fashionable styles of dresses and skirts, specializing in trendy denim designs that are available in several lengths, colors and sizes.
Christy: How has your business been impacted by the craziness of this year? I know, like most of us, you’ve had to revisit some of your goals for the year.
Abby: Back in January, I was determined to make this the most profitable year yet. I was tired of growing my revenue sales year after year but having hardly any profit to show for it. I really wanted to reach a state of complete financial freedom—not only in my family's personal finances, but also in my business—and to start paying myself what I deserved. So, at the beginning of the year, I made a personal goal for 20% growth in revenue with a concentration on maximizing profit.
When COVID hit, I told myself that the goal I had set out for 2020 was not realistic, so I started to carve out a plan on how to just survive during the pandemic. After spending the first couple weeks of March stressed out and waiting to see what the economy was going to do, I finally prayed. I asked God for help. I realized that, at some point along my journey, I had taken back full control of my business and had been trying to do everything with my own strength and knowledge. I was burned out. So, I decided to put it all back in God’s hands. I asked God to show and teach me the areas He wanted me to focus on in my business and to help me know He would take care of the rest—and HE DID!
One of the first places I felt Him lead me to was the Academy.
Christy: That’s incredible. I love that you put your business back in God’s hands and that He led you to us! How has the Academy impacted your business so far?
Abby: When I joined the Academy, I realized I had to face my guilt about making money again. When it came to giving discounts, I never fully implemented the concept of pricing my products at the correct margins when running my brick and mortar store.
I was confronted with the reality that the reason that my business’ revenue grew year after year—but my profit had not—was because my pricing was well below industry standard. So, I finally began implementing everything I learned. The first thing I did was raise my prices. I also worked on my customer service strategy, email marketing, social media marketing, Facebook ads and product photography. I also added a customer review app on my website, which increased consumer confidence when buying.
Christy: Now that you’ve shifted your goals and worked on pricing, have you met your goal?
Abby: In the beginning of May, we had approximately $42K in business debt, not including what we still had left in our personal debt. By the end of June not only was our business debt-free, but our family also became 100% DEBT-FREEEE!!!!!!
Our monthly sales have increased 100%, surpassing my original goal of 20% increased revenue. This has also freed up our cash flow and has given us the ability to operate the business with significantly reduced financial stress. Plus, this growth has given me the freedom to pay myself a salary and not feel a sense of guilt about it.
Thanks to you & the Academy, after nine years in business, I’m now able to pay myself a minimum salary of $75,000 and not feel guilty about it or feel bad about increasing that as the company grows! I know it took me a long time to break through the guilt I felt when it came to making money, but I can truly say it was your Holy Spirit-led coaching that helped me finally overcome it!
Christy: That’s amazing Abby. I’m so proud of you and your family! What encouragement can you give to someone who’s just starting out in their business?
Abby: The most valuable piece of advice I would give someone starting a business would be to first find peace within yourself about making money and understand that, in order to bless others with your products and services, you have to be financially responsible with the business God has entrusted you with.
Business Boutique Academy Open Enrollment Starts October 5
Y’all, never underestimate what God can do when you invite Him into your business! He can take your goal and multiply it beyond your imagination. And I’m so excited He used the Academy to help Abby get there.
If you’re nearing burnout with your business, give it over to Him. And if you’re looking for a community of business owners who are making money doing what they love, the Academy is for you. You’ll be inspired, trained and motivated to dream big and find your version of success.