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Ep. 171: COURTNEY BUHLER FOUNDER OF SUGARLASH PRO & PLUSH AND OAK ABOUT THE LASH AND BROW BUSINESS AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEAUTY ENTREPRENEURS AND BEAUTY ENTREPRENEURIAL

  

There's a BIG difference between being an entrepreneur and being entrepreneurial.

     

A lot of people can be entrepreneurial - they can come up with the ideas and think about the ways that they could be successful entrepreneurs - but not all of them are prepared for what it takes to actually be an entrepreneur. Are you?

I don't think you'd be here if you weren't, babe! ;)

For this episode, I brought on my amazing friend Courtney Buhler - who is also going to be a guest speaker at the long-awaited Pretty Ambitious Summit! She's also the CEO of Sugarlash Pro and Plush and Oak - two brands that are changing the beauty industry! Courtney is the definition of an entrepreneur.

If you want to know what it takes - this episode is for you!

 

 

Here are the episode highlights:

‣‣  [05:53]  First off - who is Courtney Buhler?

‣‣  [11:14]  What makes Courtney unique?

‣‣  [12:58]  What makes an entrepreneur different from everyone else?

‣‣  [16:23]  The best part of entrepreneurship is that it's whatever you want it to be. Creating a brand is like creating your own world.

‣‣  [21:08]  I think entrepreneurs build themselves to be who they want to be. Here I ask Courtney what habits she's taken up to build the entrepreneur that she is.

‣‣  [23:06]  Delegating is SO important - especially as your company grows.

‣‣  [28:23]  Here Courtney explains the Plush and Oak salon beds.

‣‣  [32:16]  What is the difference between a leader and an influencer?

‣‣  [46:45]  What is the difference between being an entrepreneur and being entrepreneurial?

 

 

ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR? (Listen Here) 

Courtney is a FORCE and I'm so happy to call such a badass beauty boss my friend! Follow her on Instagram @sugarlashpro and @plushandoak

You can follow me, Sheila Bella, on Instagram @realsheilabella!

  

Here are the links that were mentioned in the podcast! 

Pretty Rich Bosses

Reels In Cash

Pretty Ambitious Summit

Text me! (310) 388-4588

 


 

FOR MY LISTENER BOSS BABES

You can enjoy this podcast by downloading it on iTunes here.
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FOR MY READER BOSS BABES

You can enjoy a transcript of the podcast here.

Sheila Bella:

Welcome to Pretty Rich Podcast, where you're totally the heroine of your own story. I'm your host, Sheila Bella, and I built a seven figure PMU beauty biz, and a seven figure online biz. Without a degree, without a fancy website, or a sugar daddy. And if you and I hang out on here long enough, you're going to start to believe that you can do it too. How about that for a side effect of listening to this podcast? Because you really can.

 

I know you think I don't know you, I have no idea who you are. But I do. I really, really do. Because I am you, I was you. And I believe we are all in the same journey together. My perfect job didn't exist, so I created it. The job I wanted wasn't hiring me, wanted nothing to do with me. So I skipped the line and hired myself as CEO, just like you can. So consider me your secret beauty biz BFF. In case you need to be reminded on a weekly basis, that power is never just handed to you, you have to take it. Are you ready beauty boss? Let's jump in.

 

Hey babe.

Courtney Buhler:

Hey, I was panicking because, I thought you were going to call me. I was trying to call you. I didn't know what else [inaudible 00:01:38] we did that. We're good. How are you?

Sheila Bella:

I'm great. How are you?

Courtney Buhler:

I'm really good. It was a long day, so I have my evening wine.

Sheila Bella:

I wish.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes, you can’t have any.

Sheila Bella:

Nope.

Courtney Buhler:

Actually I was just thinking about you today, because I was thinking I need fillers and Botox, I'm very shiny. I was like, I need fillers and Botox on this thing and I was like, oh, man, I remember being pregnant, not being able to get anything done. And it's like, forever, but you just have to go without all that stuff, it's not fun.

Sheila Bella:

I know.

Courtney Buhler:

Babies-

Sheila Bella:

And I'm alive.

Courtney Buhler:

Right.

Sheila Bella:

The Botox thing though, I have to say, but it's only stuff that we notice.

Courtney Buhler:

It's true. But we really notice it.

Sheila Bella:

It is. I feel like some of our friends who are into that notice it. They notice so we do it for each other. We do it for our beauty friends-

Courtney Buhler:

You are like fresh Botox, you're looking great.

Sheila Bella:

Shay always knows when I get fresh Botox because Shay's like, "Your eyebrows look lifted." And I'm like, "You're not even here-"

Courtney Buhler:

It's working.

Sheila Bella:

... talk. It's such a compliment.

Courtney Buhler:

[inaudible 00:02:56] eyelashes too. I should have put on strip lashes today. We're in lockdown again where I am. So there's no personal services, I don't have my nails done, I don't have my lashes done. Another-

Sheila Bella:

I know. I had to have my lashes on, I put Sugarlash, so I got to figure this out.

Courtney Buhler:

Bloom on, you're good. Extension, strip lashes, I am not a bias towards any lashes, all lashes are great.

Sheila Bella:

I'm really excited to chat with you today. It's not often you get to sit down with somebody that really knows the leadership role, that not just knows it, but lives it. Most people can explain the principles of leadership, as they can quote it, set boundaries, do hard things, never give up. People can quote it, people can name the things easily. But I think it's also something people can teach to others. They'll make Reels about it or graphics about it. And they'll do it with so much confidence but once they're actually put in a position where they have to apply all of this stuff, execute the principles themselves, they don't know how to apply it and they fail miserably. And so that is why I gravitate towards leaders like yourselves, who is not just a motivational speaker, but you're a motivational doer.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah. It's all about execution, that's for sure. I mean, there's a million different leadership styles, but mine is definitely just put your nose to the grindstone and set the example for sure.

Sheila Bella:

I love that. Okay, so before we get into it, because I have some juicy questions for you.

Courtney Buhler:

Okay.

Sheila Bella:

So I come from the brow world, you come from the lash world, but they are our worlds, make out some time...

Courtney Buhler:

Totally. I'm feeling it's softer on, because my skin is so shiny. Okay, I feel better.

Sheila Bella:

I think it looks so good by the way.

Courtney Buhler:

I was like, "Oh, I'm dewy," and then I put the lights on and I'm like, I am very dewy, I'm like a level 14 dewy.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, sometimes dewy can get a little, okay, it's shiny now.

Courtney Buhler:

Sorry to cut you off. Sorry, it's distracting.

Sheila Bella:

For those who may be coming across you for the first time, you're Courtney Buhler and in the last world, you need no introduction. Right? And so tell us about you, your journey, your career, how people know you now. Let's break this up. Tell us about the Courtney Buhler now. Just now and then we'll go back.

Courtney Buhler:

Courtney Buhler right now is a mom of three. I'm in a new ish relationship. We've been together for almost a year, love of my life, soulmate, didn't know what I was missing for years and very happy. And leading a team of incredible staff, we have an 18,000 square foot warehouse that we ship lash supplies and do trainings out of. And we have another 17,000 square foot warehouse that is just about to be started, which is on the coolest street in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, if you guys know where that is.

 

I've been in the lash industry for 13 years, I started as a single mom, out of my parents house in a spare bedroom, grew that into, I never dreamt of hiring my first staff ever. Never ever had the intention of doing that, never set that goal. It just kind of happened that I was working 60 hours a week, and I was miserable. So I hired someone, fired my first hire the first day because she was smoking in my basement. It's just been a bumpy road of growing. And so grew that into a salon, a commercial location and then we were just really well known, the lash industry was very new at the time and so it was a very small group of us that were kind of doing it on a global level, it was just people just trying to find their own way. And so people were always asking what I was using, and if they could come get trained by me. So that's when we decided to think a little bit bigger.

 

So we're seeing a ton of damage in the lash industry at that time and people were like, "I tried lash extensions, and it damaged my lashes." And people didn't realize you just have to be trained properly, you don't know what you're doing. It's like getting a bad haircut and being like, "I'm never going to cut my hair again." But people know, because it's been around for longer that you just need to find someone better. But the lash industry wasn't like that. So I got really scared for my salon and I thought, oh my goodness, I can sit by the wayside and just try and convince Edmonton and my city that we're great, or I can actually try and change this thing from the inside out. And so the plan just got a lot bigger, and we decided to get into training and distribution.

 

And Sugarlash Pro has been around for seven years now. And we're in 90 countries around the world, we have just over 150,000 lash artists using our product. 20,000 some that have been certified through us and just did the deal last year with Ulta Beauty, pitched them, went to Chicago. That's a story in itself. They turned us down the first time. I wrote them a huge email to say why they were making a mistake. And then they said okay, come in again. We put together a pitch deck within a week and our team brought that home. So we're actually just getting them going on a full scale with lash left and then going to get extensions going with them as well.

 

Long story short, yes, here I am in charge of a ton of people doing huge business deals, and I barely have a high school diploma. So it is possible. If you work hard, and you just put yourself in those pain points, learn what you need to learn. I mean that's my story in a nut shell. Just continually learning, making mistakes and pivoting off of them.

Sheila Bella:

That's just the Cliff's notes version, what you've created is super impressive. The life that you've designed for yourself is inspiring.

 

I wish I could tell you that being a great artist or technician is enough. I wish I could tell you that the 1000s of dollars you've spent on trainings and cosmetology school and the hundreds of hours you spent practicing on your craft is enough. You have put so much effort into perfecting your craft, you're posting incredible client transformations but still, your flow of clients is inconsistent. You're overjoyed when you book a new client but in the back of your mind, there's that nagging fear of not knowing where your next client is going to come from. Or perhaps you're inundated with clients. But now you feel like a slave to your business when the whole point of getting into the beauty industry was to be able to be your own boss. So what's the solution?

 

You need to learn sales, branding, marketing, social media, referral programs, team building, mental toughness, you need to be inspired. You need to be within a group of people and learn from people who understand you, who get you, who've been there. So guess what? Pretty Ambitious Summit is basically 1000s of dollars worth of business coaching crammed into three days. It is a hybrid virtual event. It is the ultimate girl power event for beauty entrepreneurs. Tickets are on sale right now, on her speaker list includes Gary Vaynerchuk, Angie Lee, Sara Pendrick, Shay Danielle and so much more. I'm so excited and honored to be able to bring this to the beauty industry, and it's virtual. But believe me, there will be opportunities for in-person events for those who are comfortable. All you need to do is go to prettyambitioussummit.com or sheilabella.com/events to learn more and to get your tickets while they last. And I'll see you there.

 

I always want to ask people what do you think makes you different? I know, we say we're not and we are. What do you think makes you different? Because I find a lot of myself in that story too. I also have just a high school diploma and that's it. So what is it? What is the secret sauce that I think that you have, that you wish you could implant into everybody else? Into your children to continue to believe in themselves, even throughout those hard times and yet to actually execute the principles.

Courtney Buhler:

I actually was just talking, me and Jordan were up till 2 a.m talking last night, and I was talking about how it's really funny because I find myself as a person, I think I'm the coolest obviously, I've got great self esteem. But a lot of people would say that I'm quote unquote, too much. And I'm sure that you get that all the time. And so I was thinking about that, not that I think you are, I don't know you are.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Courtney Buhler:

But it's like-

Sheila Bella:

I get it.

Courtney Buhler:

... there's certain vibrations that people have and there's the certain intensity that people have. And then some people don't have it. And I think that some people are scared about standing out, or rubbing people the wrong way that they stay vibrating at this really low level. Where the people that are a little bit more successful, they're not scared to be controversial or make tough calls and make mistakes. And then there's those people that are super, super extra that I'm like, whoa, those people are too much for me. But those are the people partying with Miley Cyrus and the Hadids, you know?

Sheila Bella:

It's true.

Courtney Buhler:

I'm never going to get to that level because I'm here and they're here and then there's other people that are down here. But I think at the end of the day, I think that entrepreneurism, I don't want to say it's a mental illness. It's not a mental illness, but there is some level of ADD, there's some level of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Sheila Bella:

You're right. It's true.

Courtney Buhler:

When you just constantly feeling like you need to prove yourself. So my comfort zone and I'm sure is with you, is just being highly uncomfortable all the time. If I feel comfortable, I'm failing as a human being. And at the end of the day, that's not right for everyone. But I guess that's my secret sauce. Is like, get very comfortable being uncomfortable all the time. And then there'll be uncomfortable and there's going to be times but you can breathe a little bit, but stay in that zone of being like, I'm a little scared. And if you stay there, you know that you're progressing. That's just how you grow.

Sheila Bella:

That's such a great answer. Yeah, I love that you called it an illness, because I totally get it. And yeah, I think it should be heard. It's like a disorder, because-

Courtney Buhler:

It is. Sometimes you feel like enslaved to it.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I have fantasies that don't last very long of having a nine to five, sometimes. But it didn't last very long.

Courtney Buhler:

Me too.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, it's like I'm jealous sometimes on my team. Always like, "Oh, you get to sleep. You get to clock out.” Except Laura.

Courtney Buhler:

Totally. I mean, yeah. My executives definitely don't sleep. So Kim, I saw you around here. So shout out to Kim, my executive team also is up till 3 a.m with me, but it's definitely a lifestyle decision. And it's not right for everybody, but some people, it is.

Sheila Bella:

I love that you said my executive doesn't sleep because right when you said that, I said except Laura. "Laura, you don't get to sleep." That's my CEO. "You, you don't get sleep." So, it is a lifestyle decision and I think people don't understand that. So I am of the belief that you can essentially build yourself and it doesn't have to be through school. You can inundate your mind with values and ideas and knowledge and principles to literally build yourself as like a Mr. Potato Head almost, Mrs. Potato Head, of the person that you want to become. And so some of the tools that I use are, it's just positive propaganda. It's a podcast, audio books, joining masterminds, surrounding myself with high vibration people and in situations.

 

And I think all of those things, contribute to this massive obsession I have of becoming the best that I can be. And yes, you can't come down. So I'm glad you agree with that philosophy. What habits have you taken on in the last two, three years, or five years that have helped you build the person that you are today?

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah. It sounds interesting. When you were talking, I was like, "Yeah, that's so true." And I think that the thing that I really took about what you just said was that, the fun thing about business, like you'd go through high school, you go through your life, or even who you are, like in your family dynamic. And it's like, you get locked into this corner. Or you take a job, or you do whatever. And you're kind of like, okay, this is who you are. And the great thing about business and the thing that I like, which is why that propelled me to start another business, which I'm sure we'll talk about. But it's like you as an entrepreneur, and as someone who is kind of making your own way, you get to create this world that you get to live in.

 

And it can be whatever you want. Yes, like you have sparkles and unicorns, and I love that. It's the cutest little, it's actually this world that is your world, like you're the master of it, right? And so yeah, you want sparkles, you want all that stuff, it's like throw that in, and you get to live there. And that gets to be your all your images, and you get to do your Instagram Lives like that. And for me, I like super, I want to live in a Restoration Hardware store. I want to live in a ultra bougie, very monochromatic and so I can create the brand that I want to live in. And when I go home, I'm home. But when I'm at work, it's like Courtney land and you can change it whenever you want. And you can do whatever you want.

 

I think that entrepreneurs at the end are just, we're just rebels at heart. You can kind of get pinned into a corner, and then you're like, "Don't box me in, because I'm going to break out and I'm going to do something crazy as soon as you think that you have me figured out." So are you asking question there that I totally just passed over, but I can't remember what it was.

Sheila Bella:

I don't remember either. I can go back. I'll go back. But I love what you said. Let me just comment on what you said about that is one of the fun things about business, is that it is just your world that you can create and make your own, I don't decorate my house like this but my office, is like this.

Courtney Buhler:

Your love.

Sheila Bella:

And even if I wanted to, I could, but I don't want, do you know what I mean? But yeah, I kind of want to separate that.

Courtney Buhler:

It's so true.

Sheila Bella:

I love that. It's so tied to our identity, almost. It's like you're in this play identity where the lines between play and work are crossed. It kind of is, it's like I'm playing but I'm working. I'm exhausting myself but I'm working. So yeah, that's-

Courtney Buhler:

It brings out this whole other facet of who you are. And it's like, okay, wherever I want to live in now and whatever I want to do, and maybe I'm going to start another business that's going to look glitzy and glamy and all of that stuff too. But it's like, I can do whatever I want and I can live wherever I want and work is such a big part of your identity. I mean for entrepreneurs for sure, it's a huge, huge part of your identity.

Sheila Bella:

Your artistic expression. It's so personal to me. I talked to my therapist about this. It's like, yeah my brand is like, it's like my theater. It's kind of like because I have a musical theater background.

Courtney Buhler:

Me too.

Sheila Bella:

Stop it. We can be best friends.

Courtney Buhler:

I yeah, I grew up dancing and singing. Definitely my strength was a singer but dancing and acting was my weakest but what about you?

Sheila Bella:

Yes, it's amazing. Yeah, the singer, I did Miss Saigon and several times. Yeah, I was an all the shows.

Courtney Buhler:

I love it.

Sheila Bella:

And I did it for several years and then I waited tables, and then I found permanent makeup and my life changed entirely.

Courtney Buhler:

See, we need it. I think it is a thing. It's you're an entrepreneurs in so many times, you're performers and you're like, how do I keep the spotlight on me? How do I do this? Which has caused us to, we're all rebellious, attention whores.

Sheila Bella:

And can I just say too, that people are always performing, whether you're pretending to be just paying attention to your drink at a party or whether you're trying to make somebody laugh, like you're always performing. You're performing, even introverts perform, you're performing.

Courtney Buhler:

It's true. You're reading the dynamic, you're adjusting yourself, there is a certain level of thought that goes into every interaction for sure.

Sheila Bella:

Going back to the question I remembered now, do you have habits that you've created for yourself? Or that you kind of the points that you hit, that you think make you up? Like, build you, something that you do regularly, if not daily.

Courtney Buhler:

I think that my answer is not what most people's answers would be. I think tons of entrepreneurs are like, get disciplined, and get this and make sure that you're optimizing your time and time blocking whatever through me, which I don't think is right for everybody. But I'm super rebellious. If there's one thing that shuts me down creatively, is routine. And so the only thing that I have learned over the years is, I cannot be in office every day, I'm not going to work nine to five. Some days I'm going to start at noon and work till 3 a.m. Some days, I'm going to take off. Some days, I'll work 19 hours. There's no two days that are the same, but that's how I need it.

 

So I work my schedule. I have meetings and stuff that obviously they're going to happen. But other than that, I try and stay flexible. And if I'm in a super creative space, I'm like, okay, the day's a right off, I'm going to be up till midnight and that's how it's going to be because my brain is rapid firing. But there's also days where I'm just like, there's just no point to doing this right now. So I'll just message my exec team. And I'm like, I'm taking today off and I'll go dirt biking or go the lake.

Sheila Bella:

You must do something. I'm going to challenge that a little bit and see if we can find something. Because I need routine to me, that's how I scale. Because if it's something that I don't do every day or every week, I think-

Courtney Buhler:

There's things for sure that I do every day. I wake up and for sure I'll do half an hour of emails before I get out of bed and I always look clear as much as I can. And then I'm...

Sheila Bella:

Okay, what is it that you do regularly? If there is something. Do you at least delegate it regularly?

Courtney Buhler:

Oh, 100%.

Sheila Bella:

If you're going to be like this, you have to delegate it.

Courtney Buhler:

For sure. I have a 30 person team that I can delegate out to. If there's one thing that I would say, okay, yes, I do this regularly, I delegate 100% of the things that I can't personally do, like 100%. And even if I delegate it, and I'm like, this will probably get to 80% of where I want it to get, I still will delegate that out. Because-

Sheila Bella:

That's so important.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah, if I free myself up, then I have the space to think and when I give them the space, it's just like, even this week, I can name five things off the top of my head that I'm like, wow, that's a huge audacious goal that came to me because I have the space. So I push off as much as I can. And then I guess my other habit is I work in the bathtub. That would probably be it. If I really need to think, I pour back and I'll be in there for six hours. In my headquarter space that's being built right now I have an office and then I have a bathroom with a bathtub in my office at work. So it is what it is.

Sheila Bella:

As you should.

Courtney Buhler:

Thank you.

Sheila Bella:

That's an important lesson. So important. I hire fast. I don't know maybe that's the secret. If I see work that I can't do, I'll hire as quickly as possible, to a point where even like the first 100k, for example, or the first like, whatever, 500k, you make that money not to keep but to hire.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes, I will agree with that.

Sheila Bella:

Okay.

Courtney Buhler:

And to scale it, I agree. Plush and Oak just to note, which is why I have this is because we've only been open for six weeks, and we just hit over 100k of sales. So me and Jordan have a little bubbly in our wine tonight. I was like, we need to take the time to celebrate because I didn't do that my for first business. It was like, every time we hit a goal, I was just like, onto the next, onto the next, on to the next. It was never, take that time to just be like, "okay, good job. Keep going. Just take a breather." I think if there's one thing I've learned with time, it's that.

Sheila Bella:

Okay, so let's talk about Plush and Oak. Because this is your new business venture. Thank you for sharing your numbers. I love it when people share their numbers. And the reason why, is because it shows everyone listening what's possible. That's why I say "Hey, this is possible for you, did you know that?" First of all, I am obsessed with Plush and Oak, I just wish it came in blush pink. But I would take the top one or the gray one any day.

Courtney Buhler:

We can talk about a pink red for you.

Sheila Bella:

Okay. First of all, it's so nice. When you told me to check it out over the phone, I was blown away. It's so impressive immediately. I sent it to one my best friends and it wasn't even like, "Oh, what's this?" Like, immediately impressive. I immediately like I want one.

Courtney Buhler:

I'm glad you said that. Because it was like, I didn't know if it was going to be a thing. Basically, I met Jordan, he was just this guy that was so non intimidated by me, but like “I love your power, like your power is the most attractive thing to me.” So he was just raising me up and being like “think bigger, what else can we do? I want to help. I want to do something.” And I was like “Kay,” I'm like “there's a hole here in the market. I don't really have time to do it, but if you want to do it, then we can do it.” And he literally was like, right away. He went and got lumber. He's a carpenter. So he just started building the frame in the garage. We got it done. We got it upholstered and it took us from the very inception of Jordan doing that frame in the garage to website launch. I did the branding and everything, and now we've been open for six weeks. And yeah, $100,000.

 

I don't like sharing numbers either. But I think it's interesting because there's a lot of people on here that are like, "Oh, I have an idea," or I have this, but it's going to be so much work. But it's not. If you just have one idea and you just execute it, then you don't know where it's going to go. I mean, we've put no money into our marketing spend. I paid three grand for my website, we did 10 grand of a photo shoot campaign, because everyone misses that. But that's the most important thing. You have to have good visuals and good content.

 

So at the end of the day, that's it. And here we are. And I'm sure it's going to be another massive, massive business. We've had a hard time. We've had so many road bumps. It's like the furniture industry, which I've never been a part of and I don't know what I'm doing, but we're learning as we go. And everyone is so graceful with us. And it's just been such a wild cold ride.

Sheila Bella:

So cool. So Plush and Oak, for those of you who are just tuning in or probably listening to the audio of this, go ahead and explain their lash beds.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes, so lash artists, they're lash beds, or they get used by facialist or brow artists. They're not like, just a one trick pony. But basically, it was like it came from me getting my lashes done. So I'm a mom of three, you're about to be a mom of three. And you know when you go and get beauty services, it's great, you love it. But when you're sitting on a hard, like laying on a hard massage table, it's not enjoyable. I was finding more and more as time went on, I was getting anxiety about having to lay there for so long. And my sciatic nerve would swell so I'd have to like flip over and rotate my hips. And I'm like, this is not fun, but I do want my lashes done.

 

And so we decided to do those ergonomic curves. And so we're like, is this going to work for everyone? Is it going to be good for short people, but not good for tall people? Anyways, we literally from the first there was lots of revisions that got done but we kept going back to our first one. And so it's got the ergonomic curves to take away all the pressure points, almost guaranteed lash naps and then over and above that, there's a flathead rest so that clients' heads can be totally flat. It's very short so that the clients head can come right to the edges as their lash artists need them, and then a wide workstation.

 

But then over and above that for lash artists, they've been straddling awkwardly massage tables for so many years trying to get into position, killing their pelvises, killing their back. It's very well known that the average lash artist has five to seven years in the lash industry before they have to move off of the service, because it's just not sustainable. And so it has the full leg room underneath for you to just work however you want, keep your posture, all of that stuff. So I really do hope that it helps lash artists with their posture and their careers, but also that it just gives them an edge up on the competitors.

 

I want people, I want clients to be like, "You will not guess the bed that my lash artist has, I fall asleep for two hours," because you're not going to get anxiety going for a nap. There's just no way. You're going to look forward to that appointment and be like, I'll get a nap in the middle of the day and it's going to be fun. I mean, everything that I do, whether it's Sugarlash Pro, and we're doing lash supplies and training, or Plush and Oak, it's just like, I just always want to give people the leg up on the market.

 

There's so many people that are in the lash industry and the brow and PMU and all of that stuff. And it's like, if you can give someone, yes, we can focus on the service all day, we can focus on training, and we can drill it down your throat, that you need high quality product or high quality training. But at the end of the day, there is so much more to an appointment than the service itself. That's like the experience that you can create just like creating a brand.

Sheila Bella:

I love that your products are, for example, take Plush and Oak, it looks like you think it's going to feel. Plush and Oak, you see it and it looks like you think it's going to fill. Sugarlash, it looks like a capable, competent, professional product. So even visually, you're already telling us how this is going to act for you. And I think that's why I'm so excited for your talk at the Pretty Ambitious Summit on product development.

Courtney Buhler:

I'm so excited.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I don't I have announced this yet. But Courtney Buhler is going to be a speaker at Pretty Ambitious and she's going to teach us how to develop a product, a profitable product that's blaze. Because I'm just so impressed with who you are and what you're doing.

Courtney Buhler:

Thank you.

Sheila Bella:

Okay, question for you. What do you think the difference is between an influencer and a leader? And is there a difference? If they are different.

Courtney Buhler:

I think the stronger of a leader I become, the less of an influencer I become. I think that influencer, I don't know, I think that this could be the wrong answer. I think that when you lead, it depends who you're leading to, if that makes sense. So for me, I can definitely spend two days a month of my time doing Instagram photos, looking about captions and all of that stuff. And I'm not against anyone who does do that. Like for you, you put so much effort into content. It's amazing content. I always love watching you dance around and you're, you know what, I knew you were a dancer too, because you get the angry dancer face.

Sheila Bella:

It's crazy.

Courtney Buhler:

You're like, "She's the dancer." But yeah, I feel like the better of leader I am for my team, my team is so large now. They need me more than Instagram needs me, if that makes sense. And so I put a lot of effort into the strategy of the business and I pour a ton of energy more so than I ever have in my life into my family and being a leader there. I think for 12 years of my life, I missed so much with my kids, so much. And then you know what, it's just going to happen. It's not a bad thing. It's just you have to decide, I tell everyone who's starting a business. I'm like, there is trade offs here, you're not going to have it all, you're not going to be this perfect mom who's going to cook dinner every night and going to read them stories every night and be there for everything. If you want to start a business, there is a little bit of a trade off.

 

But you know what, I don't know if you saw my Insta Stories, I just got a card from my son. And he's now 12. And he literally was like, "Every smile and every laugh I have is because of you and the hard work that you do. And I don't know who I'd be without you. But I know that I'd be not as well off as I am and thank you.” Basically “thank you for all your sacrifice." And it's like, oh. Just as you're raising them and you're missing stuff and you're traveling and you're doing the stuff and building your career and building your business, you just hope that you don't think that you're choosing your business over them.

 

You're like this is for you. But do they get it when they're young? Probably not. But you will have to push through that and now they're coming to that age and it's like, thank God. Thank God this was for something. You see the hours that I put in. Thankfully, I have such an amazing team, I now can say that I do cook dinner most nights and I do those things. Jordan puts them on a bed most nights because I'm doing whatever. But like, you know what I mean? It's just those sacrifices are going to be worth it, as long as you are committed to knowing your why. And you're like, I'm doing it for them, even when they don't see it, you have to know that you see it, and then it's bigger than that.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Oh, gosh, so many things, you hit today. I'm triggered.

Courtney Buhler:

It's hard.

Sheila Bella:

I am really now in that position to where I'm now able to take them to school consistently, because typically, it was like, Oh, I can only take them two days a week. And then I'd do pick ups and everything. It would be like a routine. I take them to school and pick them up every day. And so for most people, that might be something typical, but I wasn't able to do that for a very long time. I have the time to have breakfast with my son leisurely. I'll hop on a Zoom call for 15 minutes at the table, maybe. And then I'll get off and then I'll have breakfast with them and I’m able to do that. And it's been a really long journey really, really long. And the thing is, I missed so much. I did. But I could just say no.

Courtney Buhler:

You do and you almost have to go through, like I remember this year, we had some stuff, actually, I'm going to do a crazy live. And this week, I've decided, Kim, if you're on here, I'm doing a crazy live this week, I want to just blow everything off. This happened last year. And it was, I've done the biggest business deal that I've done in Sugarlash Pro this week, but I can't announce it yet. But with that said, it has been a year from hell with COVID and there was other things going on. And I just remember thinking, man, was this all not worth it? Did I miss everything for nothing? And whatever. And it was this moment of mourning where you're like, you think you're making the right decision and are you making the right decision.

 

But at the end of the day, we saved the course. I didn't give up, no one on my team gave up everyone was like we're fighting through this, we're going to win this battle. And we did win it. And I will tell the whole story at some point. But it's that realization and when you have that moment where you're like, okay, really, if this ended today, was this worth it? And if the answer is yes, most of the time, then you're doing okay. And there's going to be nights where you're sad. And the mom guilt, it is one of those things. It's like, guys just do not deal with it. They just don't have it. And it's intrinsically tied into our DNA.

Sheila Bella:

My husband does.

Courtney Buhler:

Does he?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, he does.

Courtney Buhler:

I love that.

Sheila Bella:

He's such a dad.

Courtney Buhler:

I need to be there. I love that. I feel like lots of men, they wouldn't think twice about traveling and they wouldn't think twice about missing that and I'm like-

Sheila Bella:

Not my husband.

Courtney Buhler:

Well, you've got a good one.

Sheila Bella:

I have a fatherly one. Because that's what I was attracted to. I was attracted to dads when I was dating.

Courtney Buhler:

Like older men, dads?

Sheila Bella:

Oh my gosh, you're a dad, not just dad.

Courtney Buhler:

You wanted [crosstalk 00:38:27].

Sheila Bella:

But no, I got it. Mine was childless at the time but I was, you guys are going to thank me later. Do you know that Instagram, Dilfs of Disneyland. It's so funny. And it's so awesome. It's just hot dads at Disneyland. That's it.

Courtney Buhler:

Okay, I will check it out. No, I love good dads too. And honestly, I have Jordan who has never had kids before is like dad through and through. He makes me the parent that I've always wanted to be. And has just stepped in with three kids like it's nothing. And I mean, with this all said, when I was married, my husband at the time, he did stay home with the kids. And that was what he wanted to do. And he wanted to be there for the kids. And I loved that at the time. But he would get so much flack for it. And then vice versa, I would get so much flack from being away and I'm like, this is all so backwards. No dad should be ashamed for wanting to prioritize their kids, nor should any mom be shamed for wanting to prioritize their business. There's just a balance and some couples are different and it's all good.

Sheila Bella:

It is so complex.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

My husband works too. He just loves his job too. So yeah, it's a dance and you guys, when you first get married, you don't know who you're going to be with Kids and work involved.

Courtney Buhler:

It does change you.

Sheila Bella:

It changes because when I met my husband, I was a loser.

Courtney Buhler:

What do you mean?

Sheila Bella:

No, I was poor. I had nothing. I didn't have a job. I was just like, "Hey," I was his groupie, basically. And then so I started becoming successful and then he over the years, and we're already married, he's like, "Oh, you're a workaholic," so you just change and you evolve. So that's been the lesson in itself.

Courtney Buhler:

No, agree.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, going back to sacrifices, though, I think people don't realize how much it takes to really build a business to this degree where you are not sacrificing income and time to have both to finally get there. I don't think people realize how much sacrifice it takes. And I don't think people realize that it's attainable. Because my kids are still young, and I'm here. And your kids too. So I think it's important to talk about both. [crosstalk 00:41:20] to a young mom, that's trying to hustle and grind it out so she can have a lot of time and a lot of money.

Courtney Buhler:

So it's interesting, because I just went through this with Jordan, my boyfriend. It sounds weird to say boyfriend because he feels more than that. But anyways, he was like, "I want to start a business." And I was like, "Do you want to start a business?" And he's like, "Yes, I want to start a business." And I'm like, "Okay," I was like, "You have another full time job and I have another full time job with Sugarlash Pro, so if you want to start something, you have to be okay." Like I said, "This could destroy your relationship, it might destroy our relationship with the kids, it's definitely going to highly disrupt any kind of functionality that we have on the daily. And if you're okay with that, and if you're okay, that when shit gets tough, you're going to pivot and you're going to put him asleep in a slicer, if you're going to do all that stuff, then yes, we'll do it. And if you're not okay with that, then let's not do it."

 

And so there has been so many things, like with Plush and Oak because it's a start up. It's two months old, very much a startup. And there's roadblocks all the time. And it's like, this happens with shipping, or we get something that's damaged, or there's a delay in foam, or there's a lumber increase, and there's been so many things. And he goes, "Oh, when is this going to get easy?" And I'm like, "Babe, it's not." It just doesn't get easier. There's never a point that you're going to feel like content or happy or comfortable, the entrepreneur life is living with a rock on your back. If you're doing it, right, not a bad rock. We liked the rock.

Sheila Bella:

You're just numb to it. It'll pay you.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah. It's just you're just carrying a backpack all the time. When you sleep and when you wake up, it's the first thing you think about. And you're right that you look at people with nine to fives, and sometimes you're like, "I wish that was enough for me." Because it is a nice, it's nice being an employee. There's nothing wrong with being an employee, but when you're rebellious and when you're hungry for more, and when you're hungry for rapid growth and rapid results, then you only have one option. I'm not even an entrepreneur by choice. I feel like I'm an entrepreneur just because I'm mentally ill with the sickness of the whole thing.

Sheila Bella:

I love. I will always think of you. I'm like, I can't stop, I'm sick.

Courtney Buhler:

Literally, it has to be a thing. I feel like they need to run DNA on all people that are very entrepreneurial.

Sheila Bella:

We can't stop. It is like OCD almost. It's like, nope, got to do it. Yeah, it's funny. When we were chatting on the phone a couple of weeks ago. I think you and I were talking about, it was like a fresh week. It was a fresh week and every Monday, my COO and I'm like, "Alright, it's a fresh week, everything's going to be great. There's going to be no glitches in the algorithm. Everyone in our team is going to co-operate, it's going to be great." And then come Friday, we're like, "Oh."

Courtney Buhler:

Every time.

Sheila Bella:

Every time and so you start off the week fresh and I think you and I were talking because I was like, okay, it's Monday, who's going to shit on our week [inaudible 00:44:38].

Courtney Buhler:

Is it going to be you?

Sheila Bella:

Is it? Who is it going to be?

Courtney Buhler:

No, 100%. The only option that you have is to learn to love it. Learn to love those curve balls. Because if you can't learn to love them, and you just get this mentality that everything needs to be perfect and everything needs to be structured, and there's never going to be any hiccups, it just drags you mental. And I've been there. I've 100% been there, where it's like, what am I doing wrong? Why isn't this easier? Why haven't I streamlined this? Why isn't this highly systemized. And it's like, there just comes a time where it's just, it does not matter how systemized you get, or how efficient you get, because you're constantly evolving, and you're constantly adding this chaos to the fire yourself. Because you're evolving, and you're evolving the company. The people that are really the movers and shakers.

 

And so you have to just learn to laugh at the curve balls. It is fun. When we were talking on the phone, we were like, "Oh, I had a free day today." But then, no. It ends up being eight meetings and a lawyer meeting and you're talking to your apartment lawyer and you're, like the warehouse is burning down and you're just like, "It's okay."

Sheila Bella:

I hired a new lawyer today. And I was like, another one.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah, 1000% and you just learn to love it and you learn to embrace the chaos and be who you are. And yes, your life is messy. And yes, your life is stressful. But at the end of the day, could we work for someone else? No. So you just suck it up, and you just do it, you just get to work?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, you have a really good understanding I think in a way and in my language, that I can understand of what entrepreneurship is really like one of those rare humans that I can actually level with about it and talk to about it. Because it seems like your understanding of it is so spot on. You know it in and out because you live it.

Courtney Buhler:

It's like people are like, "Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit?" And I'm like, I was just born with it, but I didn't even know. There's people who asked me who I listened to or whoever, I'm like, I just live it, that's just how it is. But I don't know if you're familiar with Michelle Romanow from Dragon's Den. She's on the, it's a Canadian Shark Tank. And she's so amazing. And she started Clearco. I'm sure you're familiar with Clearco of Clearbank. They do like e-commerce funding. And she's started this new model. And it's keeping businesses and founders hands and just instant approval for hundreds of thousands of dollars. And it's just such as like a new model.

 

And so I met her, I was speaking at a gala, called Woman and Wealth Gala. And it was just me and her. And it right away, she was like, "You're it, you're an entrepreneur, you're legit." And I was like, "Thank you, because you're super legit. And I feel the same way. But you it is the certain gene that people have." And I guess in closing, I think that there's so many people that want to be entrepreneurs, or they want to be entrepreneurial, I think that you can be entrepreneurial, or you can be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is like you're going to do it, regardless of what happens because you have to do it. It's in your DNA, like you have to eat and you have to sleep, you have to be an entrepreneur, you have to create and you have to boundary push and you couldn't solve if you tried.

 

Like you can't stop breathing, you're not going to stop eating, like you're an entrepreneur. And then there's people that are like, "I want to be a business owner, and I want to be entrepreneurial. And maybe I'm going to buy a franchise, or maybe I'm going to do whatever with is systemized things." Which is also entrepreneurial. But I think that they're different skill sets. And so being honest with, I kind of like who you are and who you think you are.

Sheila Bella:

I like that. So, entrepreneur versus entrepreneurial.

Courtney Buhler:

Yeah. There's lots of people, I feel like everyone wants to be a business owner and I get it, you want the freedom and you want the flexibility. But there's a lot of when you're an entrepreneur, you don't get any of that stuff either. It's funny because you start off being like, I don't want an employee or I don't want to be an employee, I want to work my own hours and I want to work when I want it to be on my terms. And then when you're entrepreneurial, you kind of get that.

 

You're like, I own the business. I'm going to work a nine to five, these are the structures in place, this is whatever but when you're entrepreneur, you also don't get any of the things, you don't get a nine to five, you don't get any stability. You don't get any sleep you don't get any rest. You're working 60 hour a week, and that's how it is. And so there's the spectrum of things.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Courtney Buhler:

There's nothing that's wrong with any of it. You don't have to be, like I'm not Gary Vee. There's so many people that I'm like, I probably will never get to that level. But if I really wanted to push extremely hard, I could, but I'm very comfortable being moderately to highly uncomfortable at any given point. And then there's the next level, which I'm like, that's not for me. Does that make sense? But you have to be honest with yourself. I'm probably never going to be worth $200 million, and that's okay with me. But I know that I'm pushing myself as hard as I can with still having some life balance in there.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. So important to be self aware. And to know, just decide what you want and just to know, what the price is of that life of that dream.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

And I guess that's what we're trying to say here. Is that-

Courtney Buhler:

You can't have it all.

Sheila Bella:

You can't.

Courtney Buhler:

And I think the other thing actually, I just didn't encounter in our conversation. But I think, the biggest mistake, so when I talk to people in my family, or friends or whatever, they're so money motivated. And like, it's just the wrong way to do it. The money I was saying about to Jordan last night, because there's all these hiccups. And there's all this stuff. And it's like, yesterday, we made 100 grand, there's bottom line where we want it. No, it's not. But there's so many efficiencies to be found. But your driver is money, it's not sustainable, because you're going to get the money, and it won't be enough money and then you're going to need more, and it'll never be satisfying. But if you can find a production, or a cool product, or something that's going to actually just add value to people and you can focus on that value, then the money just comes. But if it's your focus, you've already failed before you started.

Sheila Bella:

It's second.

Courtney Buhler:

Second, every time second.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I agree with you 100%, you have to love it, you have to actually just love the process, get addicted to the risk, get addicted to just creation and serving people, period. And then money comes second.

Courtney Buhler:

And a 100%. If you can feel good at the end of the day, if you feel like you're pedaling to get money, that doesn't feel good. But if you feel like you're like, I'm getting money, because I'm really adding value to people's lives, then you go to sleep so easy being like, I'm winning, they're winning, everyone's making more money, everyone's doing better and feeling good about themselves. But it's like, the driver is just so important at the end of the day.

Sheila Bella:

You are so wise, totally. Whenever I have calls with people who want to join my program, Pretty Rich Bosses, which is a mentorship program for meeting entrepreneurs. So when I get a new student or something like that, or let's say somebody who's looking into it, and the first thing they say, "I want, I want to work from this part, this time to this time, I want to make this much money. I don't want to have to do everything." They start with the parameters.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

I already know they're not going to make it.

Courtney Buhler:

Yes, I know exactly what you mean.

Sheila Bella:

What can I get as opposed to what can I give? I want, then you have the other type of students like, "Okay, I want to give this, I want to create this, I want to scale this, I want to be able to provide opportunities for people and then I want to create this awesome thing that people are just going to love and not ever want to let go." Yeah, this person is going to be rich. Yes.

Courtney Buhler:

1,000%.

Sheila Bella:

But you know, it's like that mentality of what can I get? And they start with what can I get? How little do I have to work? For us it's like, what can I give? And how hard can we go? Oh, my God, it's so important. Great. It's such a [inaudible 00:53:47].

Courtney Buhler:

It's so true. It's such a mindset thing. I don't know if there's a way to shift people that aren't true, true entrepreneurs into having that like full hustle bone. But with that said, because you have a coaching and your program, I did a some program with, it was called Lash PRO Accelerator, and it was taking lashes out of it, and how are we going to brand your business and market it? And how are we going to do Instagram ads and do all that stuff? But more importantly, how are you going to create the life that you want through lashes? And so we launched that program. We're not running it right now, but it was a nine month program. A very intensive program. And definitely we marketed it.

 

I remember marketing it and being like, do you want to make more? Do you want to do this? And there's nothing wrong with that because everyone does want to make more but it's like there has to be more to it, where it's like, what's the value? What's the life you're building? Who's the person that you want to be? At the end of the day, what do you want people to say about you when you die? How did you impact them? There's those, you need to just level up your thinking a little bit. For me, if I was going to talk to someone about getting the lash industry, I touched on this before we kind of had our technical difficulties. But you'd be better off right now in the lash industry, launching one product, and this is what I want to talk about it, at the conference, you'd be better off launching one amazing radical product that is going to change people's lives that no one has thought about, than doing the same model that's been done already.

 

And I have a full product range. And I have a full online academy, and we've won awards, and we're in all these countries. But am I going to stop? No, I'm going to keep evolving it because it's never enough. And I always have to be doing something innovative. And there's been businesses that I've had in the lash industry, competitors, I guess, but just really just colleagues that they launched one tweezer. It's the best tweezer you've ever seen in your life. You can pick up whatever you want with it.

 

It's super cool. They'll do $4 million in revenue just on one tweezer opposed to pouring in, 200 grand into launching this full range that's just like everyone else's range with your logo on it, which doesn't have a standout. There's no USP which is unique selling proposition, there's nothing that's going to make it stand out and at the end of the day, you need to just stand out, that's the game. You have to stand out and you have to bring value so it's going to mean thinking outside the box. So get out of the system that you think exists because it doesn't exist. It's whatever you want it to be.

Sheila Bella:

Coach me Courtney Buhler. Coach me right now, that was [inaudible 00:56:34].

Courtney Buhler:

I will.

Sheila Bella:

I love that.

Courtney Buhler:

I've been learning so much from your page too. I'm like, can you do Tik Toks for us? Because I just want you're angry dancing face on my page.

Sheila Bella:

A Reels course is coming out tomorrow by the way. Shameless plug, Reel In Cash launches tomorrow. I'm so excited for it.

Courtney Buhler:

Okay, I want to take it.

Sheila Bella:

That's awesome. Yeah, I mean, Reels is like the easiest way to grow right now on Instagram. It's just like, here you go, followers here you go, engagement, visibility here you go.

Courtney Buhler:

I love it. I seriously, I suck at Reels. I need to learn how to do all the things but I'm busy.

Sheila Bella:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Where can we find you for our audio only listeners? Where can we find you? How can we work with you?

Courtney Buhler:

Okay, so if you would like to learn more about lash supplies, and training for lash artists, our handle is @sugarlashpro. If you would like to learn more about plush and oak beds, brow beds, facial beds, all those things. It's just @plushandoak. And then if you want to see my crazy life, highly unfiltered probably not the most professional page, but very come as you are, my handle is @courtbuhler. And yeah, you've been warned. It's not that glamorous, but I kind of gave up trying to be perfect a year ago and it's real and it's raw and it is what it is.

Sheila Bella:

I love it. Thanks for hanging out with me girl. And I can't wait to give you a real life hug at some point in the future. Thank you.

Courtney Buhler:

I'm very excited. Let's do this conference and I cannot wait it's going to be amazing, the most amazing one I've ever had, the privilege of being on the panel for and I cannot wait to join you.

Sheila Bella:

So excited you guys, so for that go to prettyambitiousummit.com It's a virtual hybrid summit. It is the very first beauty entrepreneur girl power event for brow and lash boss babes. So check it out Pretty Ambitious Summit. Check out Court Buhler. Thank you so much. Bye, you guys, have an amazing night.

Courtney Buhler:

Thanks, everyone.

Sheila Bella:

Hey, thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Pretty Rich Podcast. If you want to continue the conversation longer, check me out on Instagram. It's my favorite place to connect with you guys @realsheilabella. I'm happy to answer any of your questions or simply to chat and get to know you better. And if you end up doing something super awesome like screenshotting this episode and reposting on your stories, that would put the biggest smile on my face. Don't forget to tag me.

 

I appreciate every share and love feedback from my listeners. Also, do you have my number? Do you have my number? Because if we're going to keep hanging out, you should probably have my number so you can actually text me. That's right. You can text me at 310-388-4588. And if you're sick and tired of doing business alone and you're interested in accelerating your success by hiring a business coach or joining our mentorship program called Pretty Rich Bosses, go ahead and just apply, why not? Check it out. Go to sheilabella.com/apply and we'll schedule a free strategy session with either myself or one of my advisors. And of course, I got to include my kids. So here to send us off, are Beau and Gray.

 

Gray, say share with your friends.

Gray:

Share with your friends.

Sheila Bella:

Please review my mommy on iTunes.

Gray:

[inaudible 01:00:24] iTunes.

Sheila Bella:                                          

Thanks for listening.

Gray:

[inaudible 01:00:28] for listening.

Sheila Bella:

Hey, Beau, can you tell everybody what our family motto is?

Beau:

Yeah, I can do hard things.

Sheila Bella:

I can do hard things. Good job, buddy.

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