Pinch Me . . . Is This Really My Life?
BB Success Story Update: Kristen Ostrander
You may recognize Kristen Ostrander’s name from episode 50 of my podcast, How to Grow a Side Hustle While Working Full Time. On that episode, we spoke to Kristen about her booming business Mommy Income. Almost two years later, her business is doing better than ever, even with her intentionally scaling back.
I love Kristen’s story and how she’s confidently pursuing her version of success. I caught up with her to get an update on what she’s been up to since we last spoke.
Christy Wright: The last time we spoke with you was in 2018. What have you been up to since?
Kristen Ostrander: So many things! I wrote and published my first book, Dream Big, Step Small.
I’ve been promoting the book and speaking about the various topics in the book. I’ve also been busy developing my own products and growing Mommy Income so that others can find the same success I have.
Mommy Income is growing and expanding. We’re teaching others to find success in selling products online. We’re traveling around the country teaching workshops to help others grow product-based businesses on Amazon. We’ve hired a full-time brand ambassador and business manager to help us, as well as a few more team members.
This has given me so much joy to be able to do what I love, travel, and still be with my family. We just returned from a 10-day tropical vacation with 13 of my closest family members. Pinch me . . . is this really my life?
CW: That’s incredible! Tell me more about how your business has grown since the last time we spoke.
KO: Our Amazon sales are growing significantly—still over seven figures. In 2019, our goal was to maintain [our figures] and coast a bit. After years and years of hard work, we decided we wanted to maintain instead of grow. This allowed us to rejuvenate, rekindle our creativity, and relax a bit.
We’ve built a really strong team, and I think there is a falsehood out there that everything has to be hustle and grind all the time. It doesn’t. Once you’re established and have created something sustainable, it’s okay for things to get easier. It’s okay to slow down and enjoy the empire you’ve worked so hard to build. I had to learn this . . . I’m still learning this.
For 2020, we’re focused on developing our unique products and continuing to teach and train others to start and grow businesses on Amazon.
CW: Preach, sister! I love that you’re chasing your version of success—not anyone else’s. What resources have helped you the most since launching your business?
KO: I love podcasts, live events and books. I’m a firm believer in self-education and personal development. I love the quote by Marshall Goldsmith, “What got you here won’t get you there.” If you want to grow and change, you have to be intentional.
I recently attended BizChix Live, a conference for women entrepreneurs, and made so many connections. Connection is everything. Knowing you’re supported and not alone in this path of entrepreneurship has really helped me move forward. I love listening to podcasts like Business Boutique, BizChix, Do It Scared, Don’t Keep Your Day Job, and so many more. I even host a podcast, and it has truly changed my life, both as a host and as a listener.
CW: I love it! And I completely agree. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since launching your business?
KO: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how important it is to be consistent and patient. Your results won’t come overnight—they will come with consistency. You have to make a commitment to show up. Whether that’s daily, weekly or whatever, you have to be consistent. Listeners/viewers/followers will learn to count on your presence, so you need to show up for them.
Also, learn new things and try them. I’m not afraid to fail or have something flop. It happens, and we have to learn from it and move on. You’ve got to be brave in business and grow a bit tougher. Pushing past fear and showing up is what will keep you going. I’ve learned that God has a specific set of people I’m supposed to serve. I don’t want to be everything to everyone. I want to rise to the call God has put on my life. I trust that He’ll provide the people I’m meant to serve.
CW: That’s so true. I love that you brought that up. Your success has been a result of you showing up over and over again and not being afraid to fail. So, what has the success of your business meant for your life?
KO: I’ve been able to have so much more freedom with my time and resources. We love to travel to collect memories and experiences. Because of my business, we’re able to explore new hobbies, travel to new places, and experience life in a whole new way. In my business, we’re all based online except our workshops, so I can work from anywhere in the world with a strong Wi-Fi connection. I’ve also been able to give back and help many people. It brings us such joy to be able to serve and give in new ways.
CW: That’s incredible. Looking back, would you have changed anything?
KO: Yes and no. I believe I’m where I am today because of all the hurdles and mistakes I had to make to get here. However, there are a few things I would’ve done a bit differently had I known then what I know now. I would’ve learned more and invested in education and tools a bit faster. It takes money to make money, even if it’s slow. I started my first business with $100, so I couldn’t afford education, tools or software to help. I was afraid to invest in my business. Now, learning new things, attending live events, and investing in tools and personal development to help us grow is all part of the businesses budget.
CW: You were scrappy, and you learned on the job—a lot of times, that’s what you have to do! What advice would you give someone who’s dreaming about launching a business?
KO: Don’t wait. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to get started. Just start and commit to being consistent. I did my first live broadcast before Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or any of those were ever developed. The technology was slow and laggy, but it was free. I committed to doing a live show weekly for a year—whether 200 people showed up or zero.
Commit to your own dream, and then show up for yourself every day. I kept believing that God gave me my gifts, talents and personal story to share with the world. I wholeheartedly believe that each of us has something to share, and our story might be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison.
CW: I second that! What big dreams do you have for your business in the coming months and years?
KO: My big dream is to inspire more people. I’d love to do more teaching, speaking and writing. I want to give people not just the courage to try, but the actions to follow through. My book is all about small steps and taking action. Seeing other people get the breakthrough they’ve been looking for sets my soul on fire. I love when things finally click, and you see the light bulb turn on when our students or clients finally understand what they need to do. It’s a feeling like no other. I pinch myself every day that I have the privilege to be a part of someone else’s success story. It’s all I ever wanted.
Y’all, did you catch that? Kristen is running a multimillion-dollar business and living the life she’s always dreamed of. Before her business, Kristen was a wife and mother like many of us. She started her business as way to help her husband make ends meet. It was really tough in the beginning, but she was faithful and diligent every step of the way with what the Lord gave her.
Don’t miss this: Kristen wasn’t born with some special business gene, and she doesn’t have a fancy MBA degree. Her story is like many of ours. The only difference is, she was intentional about learning, growing and investing in her business.
Are you ready to do the same?
The Business Boutique Academy is gearing up for its spring open enrollment! If you’re ready to finally invest in yourself and your business (or your business idea), then don’t miss your chance to get the tools and training you need to win in business.
Enrollment will open for a few days on April 6. Here’s what you can do to get ready:
- Start budgeting for the membership (the Academy is $244 for a six-month membership).
- Mark your calendar for April 6.
- Get on the waitlist to be alerted as soon as enrollment opens.
I can’t wait to see you there!