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April 26, 2023

Episode 41: Growing your dream business with Lisa Macale, Founder of Golden Brands.

by Kristy Pask

Join me for a behind-the-scenes chat with Lisa Macale, Founder of Golden Brands.

In this episode Lisa so generously and vulnerably shares her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, in this episode we also discuss:

✨ The story behind how and why Lisa decided to pursue entrepreneurship
✨ How Lisa started, scaled and sold her businesses
✨ Success, failure, mindset, self trust and confidence
✨ Lisa's biggest lessons as a business owner
✨ Her top tips for starting and growing your own dream business

About Lisa

Meet Lisa Macale, the Founder of Golden Brands. 

Lisa is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a wealth of experience starting and growing now four different businesses. Her journey has been far from easy, but Lisa's tenacity and resilience have helped her overcome obstacles and achieve many goals she never thought possible.

As an entrepreneur, Lisa understands firsthand the challenges and isolation that come with running a small business. This inspired her to create Golden Brands, an online membership community that empowers small business owners to achieve their version of success. Golden Brands provides a space for entrepreneurs to learn, grow, connect, and feel empowered, offering affordable access to support, training, and accountability across New Zealand and Australia.

With Lisa's extensive experience in the world of entrepreneurship, she has created a platform that she wishes she had access to when starting and growing her businesses. She believes in the power of community and understands the importance of support and guidance on the path to success. Through Golden Brands, Lisa is committed to empowering small business owners and helping them achieve their dreams.

Connect with Lisa @ Golden Brands

Visit the Golden Brands website - https://goldenbrandsco.com/

Connect with Lisa on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/goldenbrandsco/

Free business plan template - https://goldenbrandsco.com/free-business-plan-template/

The Empowered Entrepreneur Quiz - https://goldenbrandsco.com/the-entrepreneur-empowerment-quiz/

Episode Transcript

Kristy: Lisa, thank you so much for joining me today, I am so excited to chat with you. To kick things off, would you mind please super quickly just introducing yourself and telling us a little more about who you are and what you do?

Lisa: Yes, absolutely. And thank you so much for having me on the podcast. So my name is Lisa. I run a business called Golden Brands. And we are a membership based platform for small business owners. And our goal really is to empower small business owners to reach success in their businesses.

And we do that for a number of ways like master classes, guest experts, templates, resources, you know, the whole shebang. And this is the fourth business that I've started to date. And this business has come about really based on the other three businesses that I've owned before this, and based on all of the struggles that I had, all the challenges that I had, and recognizing that every other business owner was having those exact same problems and challenges that I was facing. So I really wanted to create a platform and a community where people felt empowered, supported, connected, so that we can all grow successful businesses and support one another to do that. So that's a little bit about, my background and kind of where I'm at now and what I offer.

Kristy: Amazing. Thank you. And I think you're so right in that so many business owners do struggle with what seem be the same issues, like it's same same but different so often. Right?
Like, it presents itself in different ways, but we so often go through so many of the same things. And I think it's so incredible that you've also got that experience of those other businesses behind you that have helped you really identify what you needed, what other business owners needed, and then you can bring that into Golden Brands. So as you mentioned, this is not your first business. I think you have had quite the business journey and I don't know your story and I cannot wait to hear it. Would you mind please sharing with us more on your story, your journey?
How and why you got started? And how you got to where you are today?

Lisa: Yes. Absolutely. So my business journey started back when I was 24 and I had always wanted to start my own business. I never enjoyed working for other people, like I had a series of really bad managers in the corporate world where I was micromanaged and I just didn't feel great about the roles that I had.

And I was working in human resources, which I really, really did not enjoy. I had been in the corporate world for maybe like five or six years at that point. And completely just hating every single day of going to work.

And I got married around that time when I was 23,  and I just kind of fell in love with the whole process of planning a wedding like a lot of people do. And after that journey, it was kind of during the stage of planning my wedding that I decided I'm going to start a wedding planning business. I had no idea what that entailed, how to be a wedding planner.

Like, I had no experience in that type of thing. And everyone at the time told me that I was completely crazy because I had spent all this time and money like getting degrees to be in the corporate world and to start building my career in human resources. And I was prepared to kinda just give that all up because I wanted to be a wedding planner. So no one was really supportive besides my husband, and I think that was just because he wanted me to be happy. Like, he's just like, go for it. That's gonna make you happy. Just do it. And the more people that told me that I was crazy and I shouldn't be giving up my career or it wasn't going to work. Like, the more people that keep telling me all of these types of things just kind of put like that fire inside of me like I'm gonna prove them all wrong. I'm like I'm going to make this such a success And I'm gonna show all these people that don't believe in me and that actually really motivated me.

So although at the time it was really crappy to go through that, that was really the drive that I needed to to make that business really successful. So that was my first business and that was in Brisbane and was called Willow Tree Creative, a wedding planning, and styling business. In the first couple of years, as you can imagine, I worked pretty hard because I had no idea what I was doing. But I constantly showed up, took action. I took every piece of advice people gave me, I went to all the events, the networking events, so I did everything to get that business out there.
And it grew quickly, after the second year, I started to grow quite quickly. And then I started to be recognised as a top wedding stylist and planner in Australia from all my favorite wedding publications and blogs and I even got contacted by the Vogue at one point, which I couldn't actually afford at that time to be in Vogue magazine because it's really expensive. But just being recognised and found was a huge deal.

So that was kind of how I got into business. And I learned so much over those four years that I had that business. And I'm just, like, so grateful for that time that I had. But I also realized, like, three, four years in that planning weddings for other people is incredibly stressful. And I got a lot of anxiety around it. Even though I was confident in what I was delivering, you know, I was so worried I couldn't sleep the night before every single meeting because I was so paranoid that something would go wrong. I would stuff up the most important day in someone's life. And that really actually started to take a toll on my stress levels and on my mindset. And I was just starting to get over it, after doing so so many weddings. And I ended up selling that business and that I think was about four years after I started it. I was really lucky that I was able to sell it because selling a business is not not the easiest process to go through.

And around that time, I started a stock image based business with my friend Christine. So that was a partnership. And out of all of my businesses, this is the one that didn't work out. And I think looking back now, that was because we went into that business with no clear strategy. We just thought between the two of us, our business knowledge, I connections, we had a great product that it would just sell and that we didn't really need this strategy and plan behind us.
And, like, it did did okay, but it was never gonna work long term. There just wasn't the profit margins there to to keep that business going. So we ended up closing that business. And around that time, I had my first son and I moved back to New Zealand. So be closer to family like a lot of people too after they've been living in Australia for a long period of time.

So I moved back to New Zealand and I knew straight away, I'm like, I have to start a new business, like ASAP, like, I need to have an idea. And so we moved back in November. We went traveling around the South Island. I think it was in January. And on that trip, several of my friends told me you've been really good at social media in the past, like, you should do that. 

That's how you grew your wedding business. You're just naturally, good at growing an audience and engagement and all those things. I'm like, okay. That's my idea. I'm just going to start a social media management business. So I launched that business really quickly. I had an event in Nelson where I live to try and build a bit of awareness around this new business starting. I was quite fortunate at the time that there weren't a lot of social media management businesses in New Zealand. I kind of got in, I think this must have been 2019.

And that business grew really, really quickly. Like, before I even had the launch party, I had ten clients doing social media management. And then I realized like, I was already at full capacity and I was launching and I couldn't even really take on any more clients. So I had to hire staff really quickly. Everything kind of started to move quite quickly for that business? 

But then, also, I realized I didn't actually particularly enjoy social media. One really big problem with starting a social media management business. And tried to change up the business from doing management to more coaching and strategy, which kind of solved the problem in the meantime, I also was pregnant when I launched that business. I just found out a week before I launched that I was pregnant with my second child. So it was a really rough, you know, kind of 12-24 months. My husband chose to take parental leave so that I could continue to grow the business. And I thought, having a newborn baby and just carrying on would be fine, I could manage that. But having a three year old, a newborn baby, that business that's growing really quickly, it was just kind of a recipe for disaster in my life at that time. 

So I actually ended up selling that business. And again, very lucky that I found someone local who wanted to buy it. And then 12 months after that, I decided to start Golden Brand. So, yeah, that's kind of what you know, from day one to kind of where I've got two now.

And I had the idea for Golden Brands like a whole year before I actually started it, but I put it in the too hard basket. I'm just like, don't know anything about a membership. I don't know how to get contributors. I don't know how to edit videos. Like, I just thought that that was just this big beast that I couldn't manage.

And then, randomly, one day, because I actually was so desperate to find that next thing to do. I went to see a psychic and he told me that I was going to start a membership site, and I'd already had that idea. And I'm like, okay, this is the recognition from the universe, given me this idea that I need to actually push forward with this. So it just kind of gave me that motivation I needed to to start the business. And I'm so glad that I have now, we launched in November last year. So it's still very early days. But, yeah, I'm glad I've just you know, took action that day and have started taking those small steps every day to to build up to where we are now. 

Kristy: Amazing. Gosh. I can't believe that you went in and saw a psychic and they said to you that you're going to launch a membership site. I mean, if that's not a sign from the universe, you know, someone that you've never met, that you've never spoken with before, that has no idea, like, you know, what it is that you do. Like, if that's sort of a sign, I don't know what it is. That's incredible.

Lisa: Yeah. I was like, I'm like, should I bring it up or not? But it was really the actual thing, like, the day that I had had that meeting, was the day that I purchased the domain. I registered the business name. Like, that was the day that I took action to actually start Golden Brands. And I think someone else just needed to confirm that idea in my mind. Like, this is actually what you need to do on that. This is gonna work. And even if that is a psychic kind of, you know, I didn't necessarily believe in that, but it was the thing that I needed on that day to take action to start this.

Kristy: Absolutely. That is so cool. That's such a great story. And you've had such an incredible business journey and to hear like that evolution as well like how one thing kind of flowed into the next pretty seamlessly. And I guess it kind of made sense.

One of the things that came to mind when you know, we were talking about Brands Co being your 4th business… I think so many people go into their first business. Or wanting to start their first business believing almost that, like, they have to get it right. They have to get all of their ducks in a row. They need to know exactly what they're doing, you know, before they can start.
But we don't often realize that the first business that we start with isn't necessarily going to be the business that we end up with, like, there is that natural evolution. What were the thoughts and feelings and things that came up for you around making that decision to close a business and to move on from that business as well or to sell a business, I should say, as well.

Lisa: Selling my first business was a very, very difficult process to go through. And I think because I had put every thing of myself into that business, like, all my money, all my time for four years, like, I'd sacrificed so much to grow that business. So when I was handing it over to someone else, I felt like I was handing over a part of me to someone else. Like, that was my identity and was that business.

Like, it was just such a big part of my life. So it was really hard. I was actually quite emotional around the whole process and after I sold it, I actually had to unfollow all the social media accounts because I just couldn't see it anymore. Like, I needed to distance myself from it.
So that was definitely the hardest one. 

Closing the stock image business, we both realized that that's just what we needed to do. Like, I was planning to move back to New Zealand and it just wasn't working after that point. And I think, like, being in a partnership too. There's a lot more things that you need to kind of navigate as two people rather than just on your own. So that kind of just happened naturally. And then selling my social media management business. So, again, this was kind of like a bit of a crazy story. I put it up, in New Zealand, we use TradeMe rather than Gumtree to sell things.
So I put it up on TradeMe that I was selling my business. And then that night that I put it up, I got a message from a local marketing company that I had met once before. Saying, Lisa, is this your business and can we buy it? And I was like, yeah. Yes. You can buy it. And, literally so it happened, like, within a week, they had committed to buying it.

And then I had to do a handover and and all of that, but it just happened so easily that it felt like this was a hundred percent meant to happen, like they were the perfect people, they've been able to just continue to grow it from strength to strength. And it's so funny now they actually have an office space like behind my house. So I see the signage and the owners, like, every, you know, every time I go out to the shops. So that was actually a really easy transition.
And I sold it to just the most amazing people that could continue to grow across the point that I could.

Kristy: And I guess, like you said, if you didn't sort of have that passion, you know, to sort of do social media management and things like that. I guess it was probably a nice feeling as well to be able to move on from that business. But I think also like you said, recognizing that you don't love it and it's not serving you and it's not making you happy. And I think that that's a really big thing as well. Like, so often, we push through or we try and push through, we try and keep going when something you know, when we we don't love it, but we feel like we have to and that kind of, I guess, this the way that we restrict ourselves and tell ourselves that we can't change and, you know, we have to keep going down this path even though it isn't really the path that we wanna be on anymore. 

Lisa: Yeah. And it is tricky too of course, when money is involved in like, you've got something that's actually working and is profitable and need to think, like, I can't do this anymore even though, you know, you need that income coming in. That obviously makes it a little bit hard. But, yeah, you definitely need to have some type of joy in what you're offering. Something in it that brings you some joy. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. And I think it's so much easier as well, like, to sell your offer to sell your product like whatever it is when you do have that love and passion behind it as well as it does. It can become a bit of a slog, I guess.

So you've had such an incredible journey and you've had so many brilliant experiences And I'm guessing that you've had a lot of big lessons that have come your way as well. Would you mind maybe please sharing some of your biggest business lessons or things that sort of came up that you weren't expecting that you had to navigate and what that all looked like for you. 

Lisa: So one, like, kind of an all surprising thing that came up quite early in my journey, and I thought this was just me, but now I realize that a lot of people have this problem too or, I guess, challenge is that, other people don't see your business vision as you do, like… it’s not that they don't don't care, but they don't have that same level of interest, excitement, and that if you have friends and family in your life that don't own businesses, the chances are they never ever ask you about your business. I've found this, and I noticed that other business owners have found this as well. And, you know, that's quite a little bit upsetting in the beginning to think, why is no one else interested in what I'm doing? Like, what need to do to get them interested. Do I need to be like in the local newspaper so that my parents will be like, look, here's my daughter in the newspaper. 

So I think like and I've realized now, like,  my mom, although she's tried to ask a couple of questions recently, you know, that's probably the first question she's ever asked me in, like, ten years of running businesses. And it's just because she doesn't understand what I do. She thought when I had my social media business that I did websites, so it was just yeah.

So just to kind of get, like, not disheartened by that if you've got people in your life that, you know, and not showing you that support that you had hoped for or that just that interest in what you're doing. 

And I've also realized that you just can't do business alone. You can't do this by yourself. You need to get help. You need to invest in yourself. And the quicker you do that, you know, the quicker things start to happen for your business. And I know that that's hard when you're starting out and you probably have limited funds and you're trying to do everything social media, your branding, your website, your, you know, if you have a product based business, you're trying to get this product created, you're trying to be like, there's just so many hats still in business. But the sooner that you can realize that it actually pays to get experts on board as early as you can. And even if there's just one person, like, you can get an accountant from day one or you get your website designed or developed by a professional. Just, you know, one thing at a time that you can focus on and invest in will make such a big difference.

And to stop worrying about what your competitors are doing because this is something I struggled with when I started my wedding planning business. I was basing all my pricing on what my competitors were doing. I was feeling disheartened when they were growing quicker than what my business seemed to be growing. And I was just getting to a quarter up and what what's happening in their businesses and not what's actually happening in my business. So sometimes it just really pays to stay in your own lane and tune out from all that noise that's happening around you and so you can really just focus on what you're doing and being really authentic in your business. 

And I think finally another, like, lesson for me is that you have to actually believe in yourself there's no one else for, like, you you have to take control of that and, you know, work on growing your confidence and just your obviously mindset is really really important and that's something I didn't realize when I started my business to say hard it would be and I thought like, that wasn't an area that I struggled with. But, you know, in business that's a roller coaster, you go for so many up, so many downs and you have to actually believe in yourself and stay true to your vision and just keep moving forward and taking action even on the really crappy days and you feel like giving up and throwing your computer out the window.

Kristy: I think we've all been there. I love those. Thank you. And they're all, like, I can I mean, I myself can relate to every single one of those as well, you know? And it's so easy to see what your competitors are doing through social media. And when you see what they're doing, it's so easy to then, like you said, begin to doubt what you're doing.
And you really do need to have that really strong sense of belief within yourself that, you know, so long as you stay on your own path like you said, that you will get to where you wanna go. I love all of those. Thank you so much. I can so relate to every single one of them. 

And you've obviously like, you've been in business for such a long time now. How do you think you've grown as a business owner? What do you think like you do differently now that perhaps you did, you know, to when you started, things like that. Yeah.

Lisa: Well, I think their confidence has definitely grown a lot. When I started, like, I am quite introverted, shy. I had zero confidence when I started. Like, I would never like, Instagram stories wasn't a thing back then, but I would never have been able to do that to show up on stories and talk, absolutely no way could I do something like that.

And I've done events recently where I've actually had to get up and speak in front of a group of people, and that's like my biggest fear in the whole world is public speaking. So I think pushing myself out of my comfort zone often, has really helped me to grow my confidence. And then the more I do it, obviously, it starts to get a lot more natural. And then, you know, it just helps to grow as a person as well. Like, the more I do these things outside of my comfort zone, then I know that I can keep breaking through, like, the next step in business and, you know, push myself a little bit further.

Kristy: Yeah. Absolutely. It's so true, isn't it? It's Amazing. Sometimes I think when you can look back and go, you know, than me five years ago, something like that even ten years ago when you said it. Like, I would never have done something like that.

So to actually look back and see the growth is pretty cool as well. But then I think it's really important to pay attention to that because then something else comes up and you still feel that same sense of maybe fear towards it and you forget how much you've grown, but, like, there's always gonna be, you know, the next thing as you keep going. 

Lisa: Yeah. And it's important, like you said, to really recognize that and to celebrate and to like, something really little like showing up to do a reel like actually celebrate and recognize like that was actually a huge step for you or you know, what that means. Now you can move forward to the next thing after that, the next challenge that you wanna overcome

Kristy: Absolutely. And you're a pro on Stories now. I feel like I see you on Stories all the time.
So you've obviously nailed that one, so that's awesome. And it's so cool that you're jumping up and doing that speaking in front of those people in the event. And it's great to see as well like the event are going really well and I love that you are, you know, you're able to bring business owners together, you know, and share your experience and get them to share theirs and really helping them grow their businesses. So before we wrap up, is there any last thing that you would like to share with people, a piece of advice. Anything that you would like to leave us with?

Lisa: I would just say for anyone like who's, you know, starting out in the first few years of business just to really work on growing your network, joining a community, you know, don't underestimate the power of meeting other business owners and what impact that can have on your business. I was like, really quick when I started my business here in Nelson to kind of dismiss all the local business owners because we live in a very small town. But when I actually started meeting them and connecting and building my community, you know, the referrals that came through and how clearly my business grew from doing that, which is incredible, and it had such a bigger impact than social media or ads or anything else that I did. And now, like, with the events that I'm running, I've noticed that too, like, how quickly that has helped to grow my business and even other people's, through, like, those collaborations and connections that are made. So, yeah, that's my one little thing. Work on growing as much visibility as possible and grow your community.

Kristy: Amazing. Thank you. And I absolutely again, I can so relate to that. I know when I first started my business in 2019, one of the first things that I did was joined I actually joined a membership.
And instantly, like, I'm still friends with so many of the women today that I met through that we chat all the time. We sort of you know, trade information and it really, really helped me grow. But it also made me feel like I was a part of something, which, when you're an online business owner, it can be quite a lonely space, you know, sitting in your spare room or in your living room. Running a business every day. So it is so nice to connect with people. So thank you so much. And thank you so much for joining me today. I have absolutely loved hearing your story and hearing everything that you've had to share. I am going to put all of your links to your social media to your quiz as well, what was your quiz?

Lisa: So it's called the empowered entrepreneur quiz and it's to help you identify the roadblocks that you're experiencing in business and how you can overcome them.

Kristy: So good and so useful. Thank you so much. So I'll share all of those in the show notes. If you are not already connected with Lisa, please head over to Golden Brands Co, and I will pop all the links in and connect with her and join her community because it is brilliant and it's definitely one to be part of.

So thank you so much, Lisa. 

Lisa: Thank you so much. This has been great. It was great to meet you and connect to. 

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