Queen, today you’re in for a special treat! My guest is Natalie Workman, the Vice President of Operations at Cardone Ventures. She’s an expert in leading teams and developing people. Natalie also has a knack for scaling businesses to 7-figures and above.
Today she shares how she and her fiancé met Grant and Elena Cardone and pitched them a million-dollar business idea. She also gives some valuable advice to all you entrepreneur Queens who want to jumpstart and scale your businesses.
We also discuss the mindset of women in business, what can be learned from the guys’ playbook, and how to unapologetically make money.
When a Visionary and Business Operations Specialist Come Together
Natalie and her fiancé Brandon Dawson co-funded Cardone Ventures with Grant Cardone. It’s a management consulting company that works with businesses between two and 50 million in annual revenue. Natalie and the team help them scale and grow their businesses, whether they need expertise in marketing, finance, or human resources.
Natalie’s specialty is hiring people and business operations. She’s one of those superstars who love to talk about key performance indicators and tracking results. Brandon is all about the vision, but it’s Natalie who has the know-how to execute even their biggest dreams.
The Path to Co-Founding Cardon Ventures
In 2016, Brandon had just sold his business for a great sum of money. He and Natalie moved to Mexico and actually thought they would retire! Natalie was 25 at the time and she soon realized she needs more in life than sipping margaritas on a beach.
Still, it was two years before she spotted an opportunity that could propel them forward. She started doing research into social media influencers and came across Grant Cardone. At first, she found him to be over the top, but when she met his wife Elena, Natalie was sold on the Cardone couple.
At the time, Brandon was still in his slow Mexico phase, so Natalie had to take on the role of the visionary and convince him to give the Cardones a chance. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the idea and soon they were buying tickets for one of the Cardone events.
When they got there, they realized the Cardones were the real deal. They were doing real estate and sales, but Natalie noticed a gap in their business component. She and Brandon were experts at business solutions, and so the idea of Cardone Ventures was born. They pitched their idea to the Cardones and that’s where it all started.
Showing Up For Yourself in a Big Way
Natalie and Brandon recently bought a 16-passenger airplane. Talk about doing things in a bold way! The plane is there to help their team come together and show up for big opportunities. The pressure and expenses are great, so Natalie is determined to make the best use of this investment.
What was interesting to me is the mindset around this purchase. Women have been conditioned to run for the hills when they see a big price tag. We always think about cost versus what a great investment something would be.
Natalie has a completely different view, but she also understands the responsibility that comes with investing big bucks. She sees the airplane as the tool to get stuff done. What are some tools that would be useful to you that you’re not getting? If your goal is to have a million-dollar business, you can’t get stingy with a $5,000 mastermind!
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Money on Your Own Terms
Making money doesn’t have to be a goal in and of itself. But if you’re as obsessed with your desires as I am, you know it costs money to make them come true. Be unapologetic about meeting those goals and fulfilling your desires.
Natalie has a revolutionary take on making money. Most people think it’s bad to be financially motivated, but consider this story:
There are two farmers. One plants 12 crops and the other plants 120. The storm comes and the first farmer is left with eight crops, while the second has 80 left. At that point, who can benefit society more? The farmer who wasn’t motivated by abundance or the one who planted enough crops to be able to share with everyone?
Making money is not a selfish thing. In fact, what’s selfish is thinking only about your own needs and expenses. With that mindset, you're forgetting all of the people around you who could benefit from your financial surplus. The schools, the churches, the communities—the world would be such a better place if everybody was financially motivated.
Lessons From the Guys’ Playbook
Men are usually unapologetic about their financial goals. It's important that we women learn how to create wealth based on feminine principles, but we can also learn a lot from men. As someone who’s worked with a lot of crazy successful men, Natalie picked up a thing or two.
The one thing that stuck with her is something Brandon said: “Money is only an issue in the absence of value.” What does that mean?
Natalie’s services start at $30,000. Sometimes a client will push back and say that’s too much for them. But at the same time, they say they want a $5 million business. That’s when you realize it’s not the money that’s the issue for them—it’s that they don’t see the value.
This is an important lesson to keep in mind when you develop your sales and pitching skills. Always aim to clearly present the value of your services. People will pay exorbitant amounts if they can see your services will solve their problems.
Another big block women face when it comes to making money is the belief that they’re not worthy. That’s something Natalie has never heard a man say. So ask yourself: who is worthy? Why is Jeff Bezos more worthy of his dreams than you are?
You weren't born any different. You have incredible opportunities right in your pocket, you can learn anything online. There’s no reason to think you’re not worthy, and you need to get serious about meeting your financial goals. Write down the number you want to make, the craziest number you can think of.
Then, multiply that by 10. Why is that important? If your goal is a $1 million network, you will have to put a lot of energy and effort into that. There are going to be roadblocks and many hardships on the path to success. So if you set your goal to $10 million, you’re going to be much more motivated to push through. Make it bigger so that when you come across those roadblocks, you will be that much more inspired to reach your big goal.
What Needs to Happen for a Company to Scale
Before you even think about scaling your business, you need to be confident in your ability to go back to the thing that made you the money in the first place. If you know how to sell something, you will always have this ability. When you’re confident in that, you can feel good about risking money and investing in scaling. Even if you lose the money, you will know you can always earn it back.
If you don’t have that confidence, it might not be a good idea to scale and grow your business. First, become an expert at whatever you do, become the best person to do that job.
Then, it’s time to think about the team. In Natalie’s experience, every business that they work with has one big issue that’s preventing them from scaling—team dynamics. Many business owners think they have to do everything themselves, especially in that $2 million range.
The first step to scaling a business is for the owner to be able to duplicate what they do. Whether that’s setting up a model or creating a blueprint and documentation, they need to transfer their duties to someone else.
In fact, they should hire three other people to do that same thing they were doing. If you have a business owner who has a million-dollar business, in order to get to five million, they need to hire three other people to replace that income. Then those three people need to hire another three people. A business then has depth and a team.
This financial model pertains to replacing the owner’s earnings. If they have a $1.2 million business, their salaries are probably around $300,000. So you’re not looking to replace the top-line revenue, but your own earnings. When you pay someone else to do your job, they’re not going to be as good at it as you are. Their salary will probably be $100,000. That's why you have to have three people to make up for the one. It's not an expense on the business, but it allows the business to lift.
You also need to keep in mind that to find those three perfect hires, you will have to go through at least 15 potential candidates. And sometimes you will hire someone who won’t work out. Even someone who’s as good as Natalie at hiring doesn’t get it right 100% of the time. People sometimes need to leave, and the business owner has to be OK with that.
If you want to learn about business, there’s no one better than Natalie! Join her Facebook group 10X People Skills and look out for her live stream, every day at 9 pm PST. Visit her website, listen to her podcast, get involved!
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