© 2019 by Ballentine Entertainment.

Hustling, Struggling, and Showing Up with an Open Mind

June 7, 2016

 Today, I want to share more about my store of hustling, struggling and showing up with an open mind! These are some lessons that I’ve learned throughout my career, and I hope they’ll be helpful for you!
 

Looking back on my life, I've never been afraid to dream big. I always wanted to have a career in entertainment, and although I was able to tour the world with my band, financially my career really blossomed with sales. For some reason being an entrepreneur and focusing on business is where things thrived for me financially.
 

Fortunately, I love business as much as I love entertainment, but it wasn't exactly my childhood dream. Entertainment is a long game, and I know that. I am an artist through and through, but there's no reason you can't be an artist and also have a head for business. Entertainment is my passion and I enjoy having an artistic outlet, but you have to be open to where life leads.

Let me break it down. By day, I sell super luxe cars. I really enjoy the skills I've developed as a salesperson and entrepreneur. I’m good at listening to people, and I love helping them figure out what exotic car works for their lifestyle. On the flip side, by night and as an entrepreneur with my record label, I’m stoked to help new artists build their careers and to share with them experiences that I’ve learned as a musician to ultimately help them accomplish their dreams faster.
 

Outside of selling super luxe cars, performing in my band, being a record label executive, and developing my pin-up brand, I continue to dream big. My ultimate goal is to build a global brand and take it public. I would love to create numerous jobs and products. I can envision something so much bigger than where I am right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for where I am now! I’ve hustled, struggled, and worked very hard to get here. I’m in a very good place, yet I can see it going further. I could never be satisfied just quitting now! I’m going to hustle and struggle all over again to get my ultimate dream. Maybe I’ll get there, maybe I won’t, but I really believe that this is something that isn’t being done. There aren't enough powerful women out there that are inspiring other women. With sales, I’m definitely a woman in a man’s world. I’d like to inspire others who want to do something on their own, be an entrepreneur, start a business, or whatever it may be. So at the end of the day, man or woman, I believe my story can do that. Now let's get specific so you can take what I have to offer and make it your own.


Struggles

I'm no stranger to struggles and challenges. Almost every dollar I make is re-invested into building my brand. I’m working on social media, on creating content, booking speaking engagements, writing a book... There’s always something to do. It takes time, and a team that I trust, and most importantly they have to 'get' my business and ultimately me. All of this costs money. Some days I think ‘am I crazy? Should I just pack it up and live my life and stop trying to do this?’. It rarely happens, but second guessing yourself does happen occasionally and that's when you have to rely on the team you've surrounded yourself with and your gut. You can’t do everything yourself. You have to have help. In the last year or two, I’ve improved with relinquishing control, which is hard when you have the upbringing I had by a military father. Learning to trust people and relinquish control is a big thing I had to overcome. That might have been the biggest stuggle of them all, but it's too early to tell.
 

In everything I'm doing, I have to accept that there are risks. Risks have to occur to build awareness and followers. By taking risks, I think that’s where I’m going to be able to take things from the red to green, and I’m aiming to do that within 12 to 18 months. I know there's appeal with what I do, being a chic surrounded by exotic cars doesn't hurt....but it's still going to take work. Fortunately, people find what I do interesting and I want to continue to entertain, to intrigue and to challenge people. That’s really exciting to me. It takes time, it takes a strong team, and it takes financial backing, which I’m willing to risk at this point. I've realized that in entrepreneurship, if you’re not willing to risk it all, then don’t do it. You can't expect to succeed if you're not willing to put it all on the line.
 

When making the jump and committing to a project, it’s not always easy. Sometimes you just have to stick your heels in and just go for it! I’ve always been a risk taker. I won’t gamble in Vegas, but I’ll gamble on myself for my projects. I've seen time and time again, no matter what business it is, it’s going to take 3-5 years to get things going. It takes balls to do it, and you just have to commit. And you can’t second guess yourself every day or with every dollar, you’ll go insane. Put a realistic time limit on it. Make logical decisions and watch the stats and figures. If it’s been 5 years and you’re still in the red, maybe it's time to re-evaluate. Notice I didn't say quit, the most successful entrepreneurs have failed at least a few times, or started over time and time again to finally hit the jackpot!
 

When it comes to making ends meet, you’ve gotta keep enough to get by. In my case, I don’t live in excess. I have a focus, and I’m investing in my brand and in my future. Sure, I could go on vacation and buy a few things here and there, but what’s that going to do for me in the long run? Sure, I’ll have a few memories, but I’d rather create an empire and I'll always know that I did it, that I created jobs for others, that I inspired people, and that I gave back.

It can be a struggle to make everything work. My clients expect the ultimate in service, so I've got to be able to give, give, give. I’m also developing my own brand and my own side projects. I really had to learn to find a balance. Balance is so important so don't overlook it. I started doing Pilates, which is a great stress relief. It’s time for me to breathe and to

get out of my head. I started putting a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee every morning, which is supposed to help give you mental clarity. It seems to really help me think clearly. I make sure I get enough sleep. I've discovered I need a bit of 'white noise' to really sleep soundly. Maybe it's because I'm going full throttle all day, but don't be afraid to invest in a few things that help you embrace balance and really take care of yourself. It's like a car, without proper fuel, it's not going to run. And most importantly, at night, I do my best to make sure to turn my phone OFF. It’s hard to turn it off, in fact it's like a sin with sales, but if clients really want to deal with me, they'll be there in the morning. You’ve gotta take care of yourself!
 

Show Up and be Open Minded

This point is about as simple as it gets, but you'd be surprised how many people blow off opportunity and don't even realize it. For example, I have a great story about how I almost missed a huge opportunity, I'm talking career changer! It came down to an important decision that's had a big impact on my life as a sales person and entrepreneur. It was a day that would ultimately change my life forever....And I almost didn’t show up for work! I was feeling sick and just thought ‘I don’t even want to get out of bed’, but for some reason, I decided to drag myself into work. I was there, it was dead, and outta nowhere this guy walked into the dealership. He kind of looked like a hipster kid... he had a shaggy beard and he was sporting cop style Ray Bans, dirty camo pants and steel toe black boots. You just wouldn’t have thought he was anybody special by glancing at the way he was dressed and boy would that have been the wrong assumption! My coworkers didn’t even acknowledge him, but after a few minutes of observing him, I went up and started chatting him up. At the time, we had a Black on Black Murcièlago Roadster in the showroom, and he was interested in it. He asked me the best price that I could do, and I answered him. He said ‘Okay, I’ll be back in an hour with cash’. I kind of smiled and laughed, thinking ‘yeah, okay buddy’, and then an hour later, he came strolling in with a handful of cash and put a deposit on the car. We delivered it to his house in a few days and since then he's become my best client. In this past year alone he’s spent over $5M with me. He constantly has me source cars for him and if I come across something that I know is a rare collector piece, he's my go to guy. We've even become friends and started to invest in an entrepreneurial project together....and to think back....‘I almost didn’t go into work that day!’ But the point is...I went. I dragged myself in, I showed up, and I met one of my best clients to date. What if I hadn’t talked to him? He’s young and humble, not the type you'd suspect is capable of the types of purchases he's made, but I DID talk to him and hence started a long lasting relationship that still going today. That just proves that you never know what’s right around the corner. If you can, just show up because you never know what’s coming your way!
 

Another example, to keep in mind is allowing photos and social media. In my day-to-day work, I really try to keep an open mind toward this type of thing. My previous manager wasn't keen on people taking photos in the dealership before I came. However, the way I look at it...If a teenager comes and takes a photo and loves something, I guarantee he’s going home and talking to someone about it, and that someone might be able to afford it. You just never know! I also don’t keep people from driving because of their age. A lot of people won’t let someone test drive because of their age, but a good 25% of our clients are under 25 years old! I learned early on selling luxury exotics that you’d be surprised who has the money to afford them. Don't get me wrong, I qualify each and every potential customer, but you really limit yourself if you’re closed-minded. I've had buyers come in wearing shorts and flip flops or even pajamas. They don’t work for someone where they have to wear a suit everyday, so why would they? Once in a while, I’ll have a client that dresses up, but it’s very rare. Most of them are very casual.
 

So to sum it up, be open to the hustle, understand there will be struggle, and most importantly keep an open mind and show up ready to accept what the day brings. You'll be surprised how these three simple tips can change your life, especially when you least expect it!

 

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