Tasha McCoy of Imperfect Concepts: “Burnout happens when you don’t allow yourself to rest”

Rest. Burnout happens when you don’t allow yourself to rest. Every client or person I talk to says it’s imperative to rest just as much as you actively work. Carve out time weekly not to do work and proper rest. Your company will be there. Actively watching your kid’s soccer game matters more. Being present […]

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Rest. Burnout happens when you don’t allow yourself to rest. Every client or person I talk to says it’s imperative to rest just as much as you actively work. Carve out time weekly not to do work and proper rest. Your company will be there. Actively watching your kid’s soccer game matters more. Being present with your spouses matters more.

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tasha McCoy.

Tasha McCoy is a self-taught entrepreneur who started her first online high-end clothing business at 24. She has now pivoted to being a business consultant, helping others worldwide launch and scale their companies to million-dollar brands.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Over a decade ago, I was sitting in my tiny bedroom in Dallas, upset that a consignment shop only wanted to give me pennies on the dollar for a designer item. At that moment, I decided to start an online high-end resale boutique. For six months, I took the time to learn the ins and outs of running a business online which was interesting because everyone focused on brick and mortar. A couple of years into running my boutique, my customers asked me how I got started. To help them, I started my blog showcasing the behind-the-scenes of business. Then they were like, no, I want to work with you to help me launch. First six months of consulting, I made more than I did with my boutique. I chose to close my online boutique and started focusing on helping women launch and scale their businesses through digital products or consulting services.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

— The aha moment for my consulting company came after hundreds of emails and DM on Instagram of customers asking me, “how did you start your boutique? I want to do the same thing.” Truth be told, I never thought it was hard to start a business because I have always been analytical, and when I have a question, I deep-dive right into it.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

— If you ask my parents, they will say I was always selling my toys and candy to my cousins so I could buy something better. Around thirteen, I knew I wanted to impact my community and do something more significant than what I saw at the time. I thought it is something like owning a financial company that helped others invest. As the years progressed, I knew I didn’t want to work for others, and I wanted to create a better business. Even looking now across social media, it’s always “get an LLC and become a millionaire” it’s never talking about the highs and lows of entrepreneurs or the process in general. I’m heavy on the process when walking clients through their actual launch or scaling of their company. Success is in the details.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

— Throughout college, I spent a lot of time at Mrs. Rae’s clothing boutique in Baton Rouge, La. It was amazing to see someone who looked like me have a successful storefront and doing what she loved. She allowed me to ask a million questions and dig deeper when it came to being creative. Later, when it was time to launch my first company, I would say Brian Cuban helped fine-tune how I saw business. He was always saying, think ten steps ahead, make sure your legal is in order, and understand how you represent yourself online. Both of them drastically different but gave me the inspiration and balance I needed to succeed.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

— I am blunt and don’t sugar-coat it. Most business consultants want to be liked and popular. I want to make sure my clients have a solid foundation to succeed no matter what’s happening. After taking a two-year break from consulting and reopening my doors for clients, a large percentage of my past clients came back and said they tried working with others, but it was fluff. One client stated she had been waiting two years to work with me, and she will be a client as long as I let her. My work speaks for itself, and I focus on serving my clients and making sure they good.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Communication, discernment and being analytical are three traits I believe every business owner should possess. You must be analytical when thinking about all aspects of business, not just the surface stuff. Your discernment will help you understand what truth is and not, and finally, being able to skillfully articulate your thoughts, opinions, and needs through Communication.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

— “Follow the trends of others to grow a following” was the worst advice I took, and I regretted it almost instantly after doing it. I was not genuine to myself nor my brand. My audience had grown with me over time and knew who I was through and through. It didn’t translate for me to be doing what others were doing to succeed. I am a private person, who thrives with being behind the scenes, but I was forcing myself to do lifestyle shoots and more. Once I went back to doing what I was initially doing, I was happier again, and my audience resonated with what I was saying.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

— We know the signs of burnout but rely on our staff to speak up when we have burnout ourselves. Stop waiting for employees to ask for PTO, and give them the tools and resources to thrive. We are living through a pandemic with smaller life-altering events happening in our hometowns all happening at once. Set up meetings with your employees let them know once a month or quarter, they will have a mental health day that doesn’t count towards their regular PTO hours. Throw it on your google calendar and that day shut off all work tools so you can be present at the moment.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

— Be transparent. Since I started my first business over a decade ago, my audience has always said that they trust me because of how transparent I am. I am going to be authentic even when I fail. We have become a society that only shares its highlight reels and doesn’t understand how you fail. It sets you up to succeed. You now have a stepping stone that showed you want didn’t work, and you can take a different path.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

— Sharing with my audience either on the blog, social media or during consultations worked for me and didn’t work. Sharing why I needed to pause was a big thing for me; we have created this hustle mindset with entrepreneurs when we talk about “self-care” as if it’s all bubble baths. Truthfully, it’s pausing what you love so you can take care of your mental health and yourself. That isn’t bubble baths, face masks, or silk Pj’s. It’s doing the inner work and deep diving.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

— Wanting to be the next Facebook, Oprah, Beyonce, Steve Jobs or whoever is at the top. Those people and companies already exist and are thriving. CEO and Founders need to remember why they started and stop chasing unicorn status after six months in. Unicorn status happens because they are magical at a time that no one saw it coming. Companies that become unicorns are focusing on their mission and vision day after day to give their audience what they need. Think about how Skype was ahead of its time, and then bam 2020 happens, and Zoom is saving everyone. They were just operating their business doing what they needed to do daily, and then they became magical with their stock going from almost 60 dollars a share to almost 400 dollars within a year.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

— The moment you decided to start your journey of being your own boss, you are stepping onto a path most people choose not to take. It’s a path with a twist, turns, forks in the road, valleys, and peaks compared to individuals who have a 9–5 job that can map out to climb the pivotal career ladder. The saying goes it takes ten years to become an overnight success, but now it can indeed be a year, but you need to sustain that success. I watched friends hit million in sales, and then they were like, why aren’t customers coming back and drop down to low six figures in 18-month span. Your day-to-day will be drastically different depending on what your company is roadmaps. In addition to that, the things that keep you up at night are different than what would keep up your employees. You, as the Founder, need to handle taxes, payroll, hiring, firing, product development, road mapping, company projects, and Linda in accounting, only focusing on doing quarterly profit and loss sheets. Linda is worried about the crockpot meal she is making for your family. The stress of, you know, has 30 employees is no longer you, hits different.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

— Almost seven or eight years ago, I set up my workshop for Texas Style Council to speak on Kick Start Your eCommerce. I was excited to talk to these amazing women from all over who planned to attend this conference, and I just knew it would be small and intimate. Seventy-Five women packed that small space, sat on the floor, and stood in the hallway to hear me. It blew my mind in a way that I never thought it could. You see, when I get to help others forge their own path, teaching tools, resources, and provide insight, I get in this zone where I can’t stop talking mainly because it’s the about subject matter I am passionate about. I remember first starting and needing help and guidance. That room kicked off my start to writing ebooks. I promised a room of women a book on Kick Start Your eCommerce that I hadn’t even written, but I had one month to deliver, and I did.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

— Six years ago, I dealt with more prominent names in my industry, stealing my content and passing it off as theirs. It was a constant battle of shouting from the rooftops and looking bitter, but knowing I had receipts of them purchasing stuff and passing it off on their own. People would say I was resentful or unhappy because I didn’t have so and so success or following. It was frustrating doing all this legal stuff to protect my company and fight these people. It was the time I learned that every product I put out needed to be copyrighted and names or phrases needed to be trademarked. At a time, I should be happy because I was making 20K dollars a month in digital sales but spending thousands on legal. It was dark and gloomy. I was mad I didn’t have the “success and followers” of people who stole from me, but at the same time knowing I didn’t have to lie and cheat to get there.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

— I focused on what I was doing for my audience and myself. I started consulting to help women like me who didn’t know where to start, and I would channel any anger and frustration into product development. It gave me the fuel I needed to understand what I wanted in business and life. Ultimate to remain true to me and know that hard work has gotten me here, and it will keep me here.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

Determination. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and even if it does, you need to be determined to do the work daily. Understand that some days will be better than others, and you are determined to put your best foot forward each day.

Rest. Burnout happens when you don’t allow yourself to rest. Every client or person I talk to says it’s imperative to rest just as much as you actively work. Carve out time weekly not to do work and proper rest. Your company will be there. Actively watching your kid’s soccer game matters more. Being present with your spouses matters more.

Grace. One thing I learned from the start of my career is I need to extend myself grace daily. Especially when you’re jumping feet first into a new industry or path, there will be tough days, and you don’t need to beat yourself up about it. It would be best if you extended yourself grace in those moments.

Community. Your group of friends and family are there for you through thick and thin. I always bounce ideas off friends and getting their feedback. They tell me when I am wrong or right; they aren’t, yes, people. Find a group of people you can count on to be in your corner no matter if you’re walking in the valley or scaling the peak of the mountains.

Routines. Creating a routine around your day-to-day life will help you push through on the bad days and keep you going on the good days. Knowing no matter how hard my day was at 5 pm, I lace up my running or workout shoes and show up for 45 minutes. It’s the same on my good days. My routine keeps me focused on what I need to do to succeed in life.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

— Personally, everyone in the last year has shown resilience to me. They have shown up day in and day out during difficult times to help their neighbors, family, friends, peers, and more. We are bouncing back from hard times. Someone resilient will keep showing up and stand up during the hard times because they know there is better on the other side.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

— My parents divorced when I was in middle school. My mom suffers from schizophrenia, and it wasn’t healthy for us to be in that environment at all. When my parents divorced, I watched my dad move us into a one-bedroom apartment, pay off debt, and work two jobs so he could give us a better life. Never did he complain or make us feel less than. A year after the divorce and living in that tiny one-bedroom apartment, he bought a four-bedroom home with a massive backyard for us. I saw what can happen when you at the bottom with no one to help pull up can do. Every day, my dad showed up for himself and my two siblings. He has taught me what resilience is and what can be done.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

— I am super optimistic about how life is. I know what a life of struggle looks like, and I know that I have a great one. Every day, I start my day with prayer, setting intentions, and stretching. I call my day blessed and know that I need to show up for myself every day to get where I want to be in life.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

— People feed off your energy that you give out. If you’re always talking down on yourself or your products, your clients, peers, and more read into that. Saying “no one is going to like it’ or “this such a stupid concept” will get into your subconscious, and you doubt yourself. You have to create the mental space you want to be in. You have to tell yourself that you are made to do this, that everything you touch succeeds, that you have your client’s best interest at heart.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

— “Behind every successful woman, a tribe of successful women cheering her on” is one of my favorite quotes that I live by. My tribe consists of Keisha, Brandi, Carrie, Erica, Jessica, Kristen, Liz, Tiffany, Lauren, Joanna, Priscilla, and many more who show up for themselves daily and me. They push me when I need to be the push. They assure me it’s okay to rest. They inspire me when they don’t even know I am looking. They are a community of brilliant women who I don’t know where I would be if they had not come into my life at the right time.

How can our readers further follow you online?

They can find me online via www.Imperfectconcepts.com and they can find me on social media Instagram @tashasmccoy or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tashasmccoy

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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