Today I'm super excited to be going live with one of my favorite people - Maria Pesin, CEO and founder of Vibe Consulting. Maria has built multimillion dollar fashion brands and has helped countless entrepreneurs in her career. Today we'll be talking about women entrepreneurs, how to face these crazy times and lots more! Be sure to listen in.
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Hello everybody and welcome once again to another soliloquy from a very secluded soapbox. Today is like all Fridays we have a we have a guest on and today I am so excited because we are going to have one of my favorite people of all times. She is an entrepreneur. She has built million dollar fashion brands she does. She helps women entrepreneurs of all sizes. And today we’re just going to have a conversation and talk about these crazy times. We’re going to talk about women entrepreneurs, we’re going to talk about, you know, the how becoming an entrepreneur maybe now isn’t just a pipe dream. Maybe now people will start realizing that it is a way to keep yourself and your family safe. And so with all of that in mind, yeah, I am going to welcome on. Maria pasen Hello Maria. Welcome. My amazing, wonderful live streams. I’m so happy to have you on today. Well, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be on this. And Janet is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I’ve worked with him over the years. He really knows his stuff. So it’s really an honor to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’re so sweet. So yeah, Maria, you know, I’ve been talking you know, I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about, you know, all this stuff because you’re, we’re, it’s funny, we’re both now. You know, we’ve been talking last weeks and I’ve been in this hotspot world hotspot, you know, in Spain. And now we are both under, you know, in the almost the top two hotspots of the world for this crazy outbreak of being a tough time with it.
Yeah, you’re in New York, I’m in Spain. It’s you know, I take the dogs out and all the stores are are closed, you know that you can still you know, the shop windows are still made up with all the with all the product but you can’t buy anything other than cure. I really like upset I haven’t been able to get there in a month. Yeah, I guess that’s not an essential service there Oh, my toilet paper for a month either good thing I’ve stocked up so crazy I don’t want out of toilet paper I said well then we use paper towels and well what if we run out of that? I said we’ll use leaves. I mean, what I’m saying is you could always buy the newspaper that’s about all the news is worth anyway, never lie. Um, but yes, it’s really a tough time. And what’s really scary is my clients are scared. You know, it feels like everything that they were working on and doing is come to a halt. It’s like, Well, what do I do now? You know I stopped doing what I’m doing, should I pause everything until things turn around because we don’t know when they’re going to turn around.
So they’re really frightened by this, you know, it’s it and they’re frightened with a reason. I mean, this is, you know, and and we’re gonna be talking about, you know, the positive aspects of how to prepare and how to how to come out of this on top. But it is scary. I mean, you can’t you can’t deny I mean, you know, everything’s closed down. People aren’t, you know, and what I keep telling people is that don’t count on things going back to normal. This is exactly this is going to change things. It’s not going to be the same things are going to be different. And we’re going to talk about history a little bit. The bubonic plague hundreds of years ago was a scourge in Europe. I mean, it killed a high percentage of The population and it changed the whole way the world work before that. We had a system of serfs who worked the land, and we were kind of owned by the royalty or the upper class, lords and ladies, and they didn’t have any rights. After the Mubarak plague. Everyone had shortened work staff. So the serfs were more important than they were before. They weren’t a dime a dozen now that they were valuable. So a lot of the serfs found work in towns, you know, learning trades, they left the farms, they had more rights on the farms. So the whole way the world functioned changed dramatically. It was the end of feudalism and the start of the renaissance in in a big way.
And so when you look at it from a historical point of view, and you look at what’s happening now, pandemics like these and while it’s not as Serious is the DuPont plague it is pretty darn serious because it’s affecting global scale in the economics of our lives, and it will change the way things go forward and we’ll have definitely a new normal. And in the case of the robotic plague, the new normal actually was positive. In in Oracle point of view, perhaps this can be positive in a historical point of view. You know, we tell which is a big part of what my stores my clients do, they sell to retail stores. Retail is closed for intensive purposes. All the stores are closed in the United States. They can’t go into a store to shop on let’s maybe a target where they sell food so they have essential stuff and they are open, but most of the Macy’s Dylan’s Nordstrom zero close, so there is no retail business. And prior to this, the retail business has been suffering and Slowly eroding and eroding. And now it’s like, the final nail in the coffin. What does it look like? After the pandemic? What is the new landscape of retailing? What are we accelerating from this happening? And I think that what we could be looking at is to be almost a majority of sales done over online as opposed to shopping in stores, were strapping in stores still was the majority of the sales in fashion. I don’t think we’re going to see that anymore. I think that there’s going to be a lot less stores and will go into force of change much faster than anybody wanted to see happen.
Hmm, yeah, I think you’re right. I mean, a couple of things. I mean, I personally have noticed that you know, obviously, we’re not spending as much money, you know, my family, because we would have anything to spend it on right. You can’t You can’t Go out. You can’t you know, other than a man here Yeah, yeah other than you know Amazon but I mean there’s only so many toaster ovens that you can buy right? But they’re all the sites are doing. Like Yeah, like she’s home from school she’s teacher and she’s home working from her house, teaching them online. And in her spare time she shopping he just sent me like five pictures of sweatshirts she wants to buy because she wants to have new sweatshirts to wear at home because I don’t know why she wants to wear it all the stuff that she bought two out of the five sweatshirts when she needs another sweatshirt, but she needs a hole in her head.
So that just proves that we are we that the virus has not changed who we are. And I was gonna say though I feel like I’ve used this as a lesson as well to kind of realize that a lot of what we spend our money on is is useless anyway. You know, we We’re doing fine, we eat well, we’ve got everything we need, you know, and, you know, lucky for us, I mean, I feel bad for a lot of people that are really suffering right now. But, you know, you don’t you do notice that, you know, you’re probably when this is all over, we won’t go crazy spending money, like, you know, crazy because we’ve realized that, you know, hey, you can kind of get by, you know, this really make that big of a difference in your life. Right? And if you’re spending more spending less understand what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I totally agree. And let me tell you why. What are you going to do after being stuck indoors for 30 6090 days? What’s the very first thing you’re going to do? A nice long walk? Yeah, just a long walk. Okay, what about going to a restaurant going out to eat? Sure. You bet. Yeah. Yeah, of course. You know, there are certain things that you missed that you haven’t had a chance to like.
I’m thinking about You know, should I make my hair cut appointment now because the minute the quarantine zones are crawling up, I won’t get an appointment or my manicure or, you know, going out to a restaurant Am I going to need to make reservations now. So there’s a lot of things that I miss doing that as soon as this quarantine is over, I’m going to need to do it like I keep, you know, keep talking about a manicure, being silly, but I need a nail file. I can’t buy a nail file because I don’t want to go to the store. I mean, those things like the main, you know, the things that aren’t food and toilet paper that I want to have, you know, maybe new mascara, maybe more books than I haven’t been able to buy, you know, different things that I haven’t been able to buy that I’m going to have to buy. So I think we’re going to see kind of an uptick in certain polls. That I hope you’re right, because it’ll be better for all of us. If you are maybe I’m just a little bit more serious. But you are, you know, hey, I’m taking this for that, you know? Just be glad to sit on a rock and watch a sunset, right? I mean, well, you could still do that. I mean, you could, yeah. Wow. And take a walk unless you’re not allowed in your city to take you know, we carry you. I mean, we can’t literally you can’t go out except, I mean, I get to take the dogs down. But, uh, but that’s it and it’s and there’s policemen patrolling the streets saying, you know, Hey, what are you doing out here? Why aren’t you at home? And they know give you a fine though. They’re taking it really seriously here?
Yeah, we’re allowed to go out and take a walk as long as you practice social distancing. So I have a backyard I mean that everybody has that a lot of people live in apartments. So I’m fortunate in that I can just sit on my porch or something and be outdoors. So I do have some advantages. But I just think that you’re going to see a combination of both some people are suffering financially and they’re going to be spending less and some people are not struggling financially. They’re going to be and they’re going to be taking advantage of getting out there and spending again and having a life again. Yeah, and and as entrepreneurs, you know, I’d like to, to talk a little bit about, you know, what we talked about last week, you know how this is even more. And I’m interested in your opinion for women and for women who may be now facing the reality that steady paycheck that they were counting on isn’t so steady and it’s not there anymore. What that means for women especially and how to, you know, is this is this a call to to actually wake up and think that maybe, you know, maybe that risky path of being an entrepreneur is not looking so risky now, as it Did a month ago or two months ago. Yeah. And it’s interesting you bring that up right now, because I just got off a call last night with an old colleague and friend of mine who I worked. I’ve been working with for over 20 years, she was a buyer at Saks and Macy’s, and she’s a buyer out of buying office now, and she was just laid off. And it’s not like she was furloughed and said, when you know, things open up, we’re gonna take it back.
She and many people in the office lost their job. And she’s 54 years old. She’s a single mom, and she always earned more money, so she doesn’t get a lot of child support. And I was talking to her about the fact that it’s going to be very hard for her to get a job right now because people are laying people off. They’re not hiring people, and the people who may be hiring and probably getting 200 300 400 resumes. So You know, it’s gonna be hard for her to stand out in this market. Also, I mentioned she’s 54 years old because I think that in, especially in my industry in the fashion industry, the reality is they like to hire young people. They don’t like to hire older people, they don’t want to pay for them. They just one, they think younger people are cooler and understand fashion more. They don’t really relish the experience as much. And so it’s harder to get a job when you’re 54. So I was talking to her about starting her own business. I said, this is the time that you have available to you where you can work on starting your own business, you’re going to be on unemployment. So really consider what you can do out there, what kind of businesses you can do. And there are businesses that you can do that have low overhead and you know, no inventory so you don’t have to have big expenses. You just have to think about what that business might be. I said these days, you have no jobs. Security, there’s absolutely no job security.
And in my business, just as an example, as a consultant, when I first started my business, I decided I wanted a business that had no overhead and no inventory. And I came up with the idea of being a consultant in the fashion industry. And from the day I started from the moment I got my first client, I’ve always made money, I’ve never not made money, I make more money or less money, but I always make money. I always have clients, I’m not reliant on one client. I have a host of clients so that I’m not, you know, reliant on one person, if they let me go, I don’t have other avenues of income, I have several avenues of income. So one person might decide that they don’t want to use a consultant anymore and stop using it. And then I have, you know, six other vendors, six other brands that I work with. So I have the Security of that. So I have much more secure job than people who actually have jobs. So even though it’s probably easier to stop working with me, because when you have someone that you are you feel more of an obligation. On the other hand, I just have more more options than someone who works for just one company. I totally agree. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve lived that for many, many years. And, and, you know, it’s, I understand that, that that being an entrepreneur is daunting at times. And maybe for a lot of people it is an uphill thing because there is a sort of a, you have to have a certain inner strength to be able to because it isn’t easy. We were both entrepreneurs.
We know that sometimes the wind comes, you know, the wrong way and you’re battling into the waves, right? And that’s just part of it. You have to learn lots of things that you never had to worry about, you know, you have to learn about keeping your books you have to learn about you know how to hire people or how to manage health insurance. That’s the word. Yeah. Oh, God, you know, yeah, that’s, that’s Yeah, that’s that’s just a whole nother story, right. Let’s not talk about healthcare in the US that riles me up too much. But, you know, in and there is a skill set that you have to master to do it in to do it successfully. And we, you know, it’s not, I don’t want people to think, Oh, yeah, I’m just going to start a business and suddenly I’m going to be rich, but I think it is important, what you’re saying and, and especially in the case that, you know, for some reason, I believe, you know, women often get the short short end of the stick, right? They they’re the first ones that are like, go there. They’re you know, like you said there you know, it isn’t always easy and You know, just like you’re the example you’re giving of your of your friend, you know, you suddenly find yourself that after a whole career of working for somebody else, you know, kind of sitting around thinking now what, you know, where do I go and in a market where unemployment is now, you know, up to the Great Depression levels almost.
We’re getting there, you know, it is I think that, you know, now is a good time to, to be prudent, but not to be hunkering down and thinking, well, I’ll just wait out this storm and then I’ll get a job. I think what you said is really good. Use this time that you have, whether it be because you don’t have a job or because you’re, you know, you’re you’re worried you’re stuck at home more or you’re, you know, whatever it is use this time well to kind of even if it’s just a side gig or something that that can can be a crutch. You know, I think Yeah, that complements because, you know, that gives you a just a, you know, it gives you a little bit more. Like you said, it gives you another option. You know, if you, you know, if you have something to fall back on, you’re suddenly not thinking, oh my god now how do I pay rent? Or how do I make the mortgage payment because, you know, something completely out of all of our control has blown up, you know, and that’s the reality, you know, and, and I think that, you know, it is a wake up call that our society is kind of fragile, you know, it’s not as it’s not as robust and safe as we thought it was. Well, the whole thing is set up on assumptions that we have about our world. And once those assumptions are stripped away, things kind of fall apart. It’s like in the Great Depression when they when the stock market crashed a crash because people were buying a lot of stocks on margin and they owed more than they actually own.
And when when it crashed, they lost all of their money plus, and that’s what caused the depression because it was all propped up on air. It wasn’t real, there wasn’t anything really holding it up. And the same thing here, you know, this all works because we all agree that we’re going to, you know, hire people going to pay them a certain amount. We’re going to have hospitals and roads and, you know, food that’s accessible. Once all those you know, once one or two of those assumptions are stripped away, the cards start to fall. Yeah, what’s actually happening? So, you know, one of the reasons I in the beginning when we were learning about the Coronavirus, I kept wondering why everybody was so afraid of it because the rate of people dying was more Not much higher than the regular flu. You know, people I like, it’s 10 times higher though the reality is 10 times higher. It just we didn’t know much. Yes, but it’s three and a half percent is the mortality rate and the fools like 2%. So it’s not No, the flu is point 2% though, Maria, that’s my mistake, because in my reading, it’s an I was mistaken, but I thought that I really don’t think that and so I thought it was 2% and guess I was wrong. I missed the point. And that was more often, but Okay, so it’s tired. But I thought at the time, I didn’t think that so I was thinking, you know, why are they so nervous, and the reason that there were nervous is not just the mortality rate of this virus, but it was because they were afraid that the whole world would be overrun, and that things would affect us. They’re things which would affect other things, and the whole world would kind of crash. And that’s exactly what happened.
Yeah, that’s what happened. And even to make it worse, we didn’t even prepare, we didn’t even get ready. And now we’re running like chickens behind the without a head. Right. But, um, so, Maria, what would you you know, I think, you know, what did your friend say? What was your advice for your friend about opening a business? What did she say to that? How did you know? How does that Well, actually, she kind of didn’t think about that until I suggested to her and she thought, oh, that might be an idea. You know, how, what would I do and what kind of business would I make? And so she’s kind of thinking about that and how it could relate to what she did before. I said, you know, the online business is very strong right now. And she was very familiar through her buying experience with online businesses. So she was very knowledgeable about that, and maybe, you know, that could be a job that she looks at developing consulting for online businesses. But it can be anything you know, look at what your passions are, look what your expertise is, for example, let’s say you’re an accountant and that’s your expertise and you’re laid off because they don’t need you right now and people are canceling you know their, their businesses with you so you don’t have you laid off. Well, what if you start accounting doing accounting for smaller businesses and had like a slew of clients and then maybe you hire some people to help you so you can leverage the amount you can make so you’re not working dollars for hours, but you make money on other people’s work as well and you start to build something.
It could be anything you know, you just have to think outside the box and, you know, do a lot of research online. What what are options? What are possibilities? Maybe you do a licensing agreement. Maybe you have you open another McDonald’s, I don’t know what Exactly looks like for you, you know, you have to look at a combination of what your skill set is what you’re good at. And it doesn’t just necessarily need to be professionally driven. You don’t need to be an accountant or a lawyer or nurse or something to start a business, you can just have knowledge about teaching. I there are teachers online that have online businesses where they make line plans for other teachers, the teachers buy and use in their classrooms, and they have whole businesses around that. There’s a million ways to skin a cat, you just have to really think about what you could bring to the table. Maybe you’re a very organized person. And you could be have a virtual assistant company that you start, and you have clients and you work with them and you’re their VA or you can increase you know the amount of clients you have and hire people to work with you and to help you and again, leverage Their work as well. So you could look at that there’s a million ways to do this, but get online. That’s the wonderful thing about computers. You know, I’ve lived kind of a long time.
And I’ve been around for many years before computers were even a thought. And I have to tell you what you can do now. You don’t have to leave your couch, you can do you know, online, you can find out anything you want to know. So look into that. And I think that we even if you go back to work for someone to have a side gig, that will bring you a little bit extra money each month that maybe you could put into retirement savings, even at a minimum that could be very valuable, even if it’s just $200 a month, you know, whatever it is, but think differently, and that’s what I think the Coronavirus is teaching us is that we have to look for the opportunities and the challenges and I tell you this all the time Yeah, you know, where’s the opportunity here? Yes, you close shop for the next three months. Or you could say to yourself, well, the online business is really strong, I’m going to up my marketing dollars, I’m going to do more marketing, and I’m going to grab market share when everyone else is not doing anything, because there’s so nervous, they want to save money, and their businesses will close, and I’ll get an increased market share. So look for the opportunities and the challenges and there are always opportunities in every challenge in your life. And this is probably one of the biggest ones you’ll ever face. So you want to come out of this stronger than before, or weaker than before. And that’s, and it’s about totally agree.
That’s it. Yeah, it is. And and, you know, I think that it’s important that we’re talking about this because it is the entrepreneurs it is the the business people. We’re the ones that are going to in the end we’re going to save the day. There’s there’s no question about it. I mean, we’re the ones that Like a superhero like Wonder Woman. Yeah, yeah. And I get to be I don’t know. Can I be a man? I’m always like a man. Yeah, yeah. She’s tough. I have a thing for dolphin. So yeah, yeah. So you’ll be out for man. That’s right. Man, Maria, Wonder Woman Maria. That’s it. And you know, but it jokes aside, it’s true. I mean, this is what is going to get things going again, once we can, you know, once this kind of calms back down, it’s going to be the entrepreneurs that are holding the fort and like you said, are gonna come out as strong as possible? You know, we’re the ones that are going to hire people were the ones that are going to get sales going. Again, we’re the ones that are going to, you know, kind of get the balls rolling again. So I think it’s really, really important that you know, we’re that entrepreneurs right now. Don’t be thinking just About hunkering down. I totally agree.
You have to be thinking about how can you be resilient but how can you take advantage as well? I mean, like you said, right now, the cost per clicks on Facebook has gone down. Right now you can get more traffic for for less money, because people are pulling back it’s an auction, right? There’s less competition, there’s less people fighting for the click. So why not, you know, if you have an offer that is still in, you know, is is a good offer, then now is the time to be promoting it. But with a different message. I really think that every business right now needs to be analyzing their their messaging. You know, you can’t be saying the same things you were saying a month ago. It won’t work because the world is different in your in your audiences in a different place. It doesn’t matter if you sell to giant enterprise companies or to you know, to individuals that live in you know, on on farms. So it doesn’t matter who you sell to, they’re all changed. Everybody’s gone through this change. And we’re going through it. So you have to adjust what you’re saying. So that it’s still relevant. And it really talks to the reality of your audience, you know, otherwise, you’re gonna be irrelevant. Nobody’s gonna care. You know, if you’re, you know, if you’re making the same sales pitch that you were making a month ago, then you need to stop and think about it because it’s not gonna work. Right. Absolutely. Right. So, this is as a marketer, this must be an interesting opportunity for you and your clients. It is Yeah, I mean, we it is.
Obviously, a lot of business owners that one of the first places they naturally turn to to to hit with the axe is their marketing. It just seems like an easy place to cut costs. doesn’t mean it’s a good place to cut costs, but it is an easy place to cut costs. So, you know, like every business owner, we’re not, we’re not I’m not gonna say we’re growing and having you know Bonanzas right now. But the companies, the clients we have that are really thinking things through, they’re continuing and they’re they’re upping their game because they can see that they’re, you know that this is the reality. So, Maria, tell us a little bit about what you do. Tell us about vibe consulting. Tell us about you know, women entrepreneurs and how you help them and how you can help anybody that’s out there listening because it’s your moment to give a talk about talking about you. Well, I’ve been in the fashion industry for over 30 years, and 25 of it was spent launching and building multimillion dollar brands for many years with responsibility for everything down to profit and loss down to p&l and about 16 years ago, I started my own consulting business. And I work with startups and small businesses in the fashion arena, and help them get their businesses started and profitable and creating sales from the beginning. And I look at every part of their business from logistics to profitability to Merchandising, and product plans, marketing the whole kit and caboodle.
And the thing that I like working with women and I like working with startups, because they’re so passionate, you know, a lot of them this is their dream. They want you to do this their whole life. They may come from different other fields. They may come from accounting, they may be lawyers, they may be doing I had one client that was an actress, you know, I have clients that have done all sorts of things, but they’ve always had this dream in the back of their mind that they want you to have a fashion business and they don’t necessarily know about the business. So they need someone who does know the nuts and bolts and how to make it successful. So I saved them a lot of time and money by preventing rookie mistakes that they might make not knowing the business and help them to create something that’s long lasting and profitable. And it’s my passion. I actually like this better than anything else I’ve done. So there you are. That’s great. And you know, that’s, that’s you can’t ask for more than that. So that’s, I think that’s why you’re one of my favorite people. So Oh, thank you, Maria. It’s been fun. I have been a little over half an hour now. That’s about that’s that I think. I think we’re good. Thank you very much for being here on the today. And yeah, we’ll be pushing this out and we’ll be sharing it and I’m sure you will be as well. And stay safe. Take care of yourself. And thank you very much for being here. Thank you and it was a pleasure. Have a good day. You too. Bye. My wife