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ITT 189 – How to Build a 7-Figure Lifestyle Business with No Employees

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Abby Walker is the CEO of Vivian Lou Inc., a single-product company with multi-million dollar annual sales dedicated to helping women look and feel better in high heels. She started her company as a “hobby” business (while being a full-time working mom) after picking up the phone and asking one simple question. Abby has also written her book Strap On a Pair to inspire fellow middle-aged, middle-management, middle-class moms to take the first step—or the next step—toward finding their something more.

Today, I’m sitting down with Abby Walker, who is the founder of Vivian Lou. Vivian Louis a shoe company that focuses on creating insoles for high heels so that high heels are more comfortable to wear. During our conversation, Abby shares some of the fortuitous events that took place in order for her to get her business idea off the ground. The crazy part about Abby’s story is that she started off as a blogger and she didn’t create the actual insoles herself. She found them through a recommendation on a forum, but then connected with the creator of the insoles to strike a deal. Leading her to being an exclusive seller for the product worldwide and growing her business to over four million dollars in roughly four years without any employees.

My biggest takeaway from this conversation is that there are a lot of ways to think about a problem and solve a problem. Problem solving is not binary and we explore Abby’s decision making process so that she can grow and scale her business.

In this broadcast, Abby and I talk about:

  • The origin story of Vivian Lou
  • How Abby initially approached her business idea as a hobby
  • Why Abby had to separate herself from the product and company
  • What the first few months were like when Abby became the exclusive seller of her product
  • What steps did Abby take to make her first sale
  • How did Abby start using Facebook Ads to generate revenue
  • What advice does Abby have for people who want to start their business
  • How Abby has structured her business using contractors rather than employees
  • In what ways do contractors give you more flexibility
  • What Abby thinks about scale (and why she’s hesitant to work with retailers)
  • How to make the right decision for you and why you need to learn to trust your gut
  • The importance of keeping notes during your journey
  • And much more

How to Connect with Abby:

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