In this week’s episode Tamara shares how she went from working 20 years in corporate to helping her daughter build her business from a small homemade hobby into an international brand!…
“Your intuition will lead the way, you don’t need to ask for directions”
01:47: How Tamara went from 20 years in the corporate world, to launching her 9-year olds million dollar business
07:12: Tamara’s big fat failure
11:44: How broke-up with her business partner
17:25: Tamara’s advice for starting a business without a partner
19:52: What to do if you want to let-go of your business partner but don’t know where to start
Read The Full Episode:
Welcome to another edition of the digital business breakthrough podcast. Our special fail forward to success edition. I am super excited today because today’s guest is the wonderful Tamara Zantell.
Let me give you a little bit of background about Tamara, because as an official corporate dropout she helped her nine-year-old daughter turn her kitchen table hobby into a multi-million dollar brand.
She has advanced knowledge in launching an international brand generating revenue, partnership development, and preparing young moguls and families for business success. She is also the founder of “Raising a Mogul LLC” and “Ram Brand Management”.
Tamara is committed to supporting parents as they transition to ‘parent managers’, and learn how to position their children better to explore their vast dreams, establish reputable businesses and build their family legacy.
It’s a fun episode! Let’s get started…
Kara: I love that you help raising muggles. How old are your kids now?
Tamara: Now my kids are technically adults, but I have five children – ages 27, 26, 23, 20 and 19.
Kara: Wow! Well, I would love to know more about your story of how you landed where you are today…
Tamara: I worked for almost 20 years in practice management, consultant consulting, and also in restaurant management. I ended up there because I needed a job.
When my baby, Josaiah, was three months old I actually ended up getting custody of three additional children, my cousins. So, we had eight kids in the house. It was insane.
I was fresh out of college doing, newly married, hunting for a job, trying to take on the world. It was crazy.
I ended up getting a job at a chiropractic office, and a year later I was the manager and I discovered early that I had this passion for building businesses. I loved starting with something really small and watching it grow into something huge.
I learned as I went along. I did go to school for business management, but it had nothing to do with being in the thick of it and watching something grow from scratch.
So, while this is happening, I’m growing in my career, things are going great with my businesses and I started doing some consulting with restaurants.
Then I started paying attention to my daughter Zandra when she was nine. Aside from the sports she was doing, one day she decided she wanted make-up and wanted lip gloss every day. Her father would stop by the store after work and bring her make-up home. And one day he said to her, “how about making your own?”
So she took it upon herself to figure it out. She was melting Kranz and Vaseline in the microwave. And then that’s when I thought wow, she’s really into this makeup thing!
I ordered a kit for her thinking ‘mommy daughter weekend’… And a year later it was a business. Five years later, it was a million dollar business. And then here we are 10 years later and our entire family works for Zandra. I even retired in 2016 to work for my then 16 year old daughter running the operations of her company.
We have a full blown manufacturing facility and fulfilment center. It’s a whole family situation.
Tamara’s Big Fat Failure
Kara: So let’s talk about why we’re here today… What is one big fat failure that you would love to share?
Tamara: Oh my goodness. There are many, which is why I’m so proud to be where I am right now! But the one thing I think is really important is my big fat failure would have been not trusting myself when I separated from the corporate world and decided I was going to do something different after helping Zandra grow the brand. And I decided I was going to launch “Raising a Mogul”, but I was scared.
I had a huge fear that I couldn’t do it. I was transitioning from building brick and mortar businesses to establishing an online business, and it intimidated me.
I was like online marketing, what is this? What do you mean I have to go live on Facebook and I have to do zooms? What? I didn’t trust myself.
I say it was a failure because I knew I had a genius idea. I knew people wanted what I had. I knew that people needed what I had. But I didn’t trust myself enough to do it without help. And that was a disaster for so many reasons.
Kara: So in the midst of the storm, tell me what you were feeling and thinking in the thick of all of this chaos around this failure and for you?
Tamara: When I think about it, because “Raising a Mogul” is literally my baby, it was almost equivalent to me allowing someone to babysit my baby that I knew was not qualified.
And it got worse because I knew that I had what it takes to make the company successful without the partner. So I was disappointed in myself for not trusting myself and not doing whatever I needed to do to make it successful without bringing on a partner. And I knew in the middle of this, that person doesn’t have the passion I have for this brand or to help to serve the people I want to serve. We weren’t an equally yoked personality work ethic.
It’s no fun being connected to someone that doesn’t work as hard as you, and can’t see your passion, your vision, but they’re there to get whatever they can out of the situation, but they have nothing to give.
I was working really hard and I was the only one working really hard. So, I had to grow through that process.
I had to develop my grit so that I could stand up for myself and say, you know what? This is a community I’m going to build. These are the people I want to serve. They deserve to have a great quality curriculum, trainings and information.
“You are powerful, go prove it to yourself today”
How To Confidently Break-up A Business Partnership
Kara: That is so powerful because I’ve had business partners in the past and it really is like a marriage where both parties have to be working together. There are so many dynamics that go on in a partnership. And I know now being out on my own, I would never have a partnership again.
So once you reached your tipping point, so your tipping point, how quickly did you have that hard conversation?
Tamara: I procrastinated. I was scared because I was in this growth process still trying to figure it out and trust myself. So I waited and suffered for a little while. And then when it started to show up outside the business, and it started to affect the way I was looking as a CEO and the community, I decided that was it.
But it never should have got that far.
So now I understand the value of making a fast decision, listening to your gut, pay attention to the signs, and sleeping on it. And if you wake up and it’s still not right, it’s time to have that tough conversation.
Kara: So many people are afraid of hard conversations because let’s be real, they suck! Hard conversations are not fun. So, how did you handle it and deliver what you needed to deliver?
Tamara: The first, the process for me was getting clear on why I was having the hard conversation in the first place.
If you’re going to defend the baby, you need to be clear about how we feel about the baby. You need to get focused on how important this baby is.
I remember my why. And then I also had to remind myself that I was going to approach this situation out of love and respect, but I also had to instil some hard boundaries.
I sat down face-to-face with the partner and laid it out clearly. I relayed my vision and let the person know that they weren’t the right fit.
It’s like when you see a break-up scene in a movie – you say “it’s me, not you.” I didn’t have the intention of telling them that they were a terrible person, it was simply that they weren’t the right fit.
Kara: Amazing. How soon as that conversation was over?
Tamara: Whew. I would say it took a good 60 minutes.
My stomach had butterflies. When you have a partner, there’s an emotional connection too. So here we are, as women building each other up, we understood each other’s families and we had spent time together. So, not only did I lose a partner, but I lost a friend because she didn’t take it well. But after I remembered what I went in for. I had to go back to my why, and I approach it with love. I did it gently, but I was very, very firm and left no room for negotiation.
Once it was over I celebrated knowing that I could move forward with this huge lesson and I could only grow because of it.
“There’s a time and place for partnership. But when we’re first starting out we need to get really clear about
what we want”
Tamara’s Advice When You’re Starting Out in Business
Kara: It’s so interesting because as I’m sitting here listening to you talk, usually ask just one question, but I feel like there’s almost two different types of people who should hear your wisdom right now.
So here’s my first question – for somebody who is listening right now, who might be at the beginning of your journey, where you were lacking the confidence in seeking a partner and they’re feeling the lack of confidence… What would you say to help them realize that they are enough, that they don’t need a partner to have success?
Tamara: Write out your why.
Get super clear about what it is that you’re trying to do. And then also understand that you’re the only person that can bring it to life.
Then find a like-minded or complimentary tribe to be around you, to support you, just you, as you move closer and closer to that dream. We all need community. We all need people around us to help us, to ask questions and bounce ideas off of.
There’s a time and a place for partnership. But when we’re first starting out as entrepreneurs and we’re building our businesses, we need to get really clear about what it is that we want. What kind of mission, what kind of impact we’re trying to have on the world before we bring somebody else in on that.
Kara: So true.
And for the person that might be in the thick of it – they may be in a partnership, it’s not working and they can’t find the strength within them. What would you suggest to them, to help them have that hard conversation?
Tamara: Before the conversation I would definitely say make sure your paperwork is in order and the money is managed so you know you can take care of yourself.
And then, once you realize you can do a clean break with clear evidence that everything isn’t going to fall apart – go back to the why and get really clear about what you want your business to look like.
One other thing I want to add is that it’s important to separate the emotion because once again, partnerships, just like relationships, can be very emotional.
You have to do what’s best for your business.
Thank you, Tamara!
Have you been in a place in your business where you didn’t feel confident to do it alone? What worked for you? What didn’t work? Let me know, I would love to learn from your failures, too!