In Conversation with Julia Pimsleur of Million Dollar Women
Describe your business in a few words?
We help women entrepreneurs scale up their businesses via our signature program, Million Dollar Women Masterclass, and our summits and events. We also have a non-profit arm, Million Dollar Women Fund, which provides scholarships to ambitious WOC entrepreneurs so they can access business training, coaching, and mentorship. Our mission is to help one million women get to $1M in revenues.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I grew Little Pim, my language teaching business, from a $30,000 investment into a multi-million dollar company. All the belly flops and sleepless nights I had along the way inspired me to help more women learn what successful CEOs know so they too can scale up, make more money, and have more freedom.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I was a documentary filmmaker and then a fundraiser for nonprofits.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I thought I wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. Making docs taught me to work with a tight budget, manage teams and have a big vision and execute on it!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
We tried everything under the sun! Print ads, handing out die cut panda cards in parks in NYC, doing cross promotion with other brands, getting PR, blogging, social media… We experimented constantly. The current company, Million Dollar Women, mainly uses FB and IG ads for marketing, along with my books, blogs, podcast, public speaking and teaching workshops.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I have two: first, we have reached over one million women with our lessons about going from “doer” to “leader” via our summits, newsletter, social media, books, workshops, and online courses.
And the second is creating our non-profit, The Million Dollar Women Fund. At Million Dollar Women, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to create a profitable, scalable business, and we know that depending on your gender, race, age, sexual preference, or where you live, you might experience higher rates of discrimination, sexism, and racism. We want to counterbalance those obstacles. We created the Million Dollar Women Fund to provide scholarships for WOC entrepreneurs specifically who face substantial, systemic obstacles in growing their businesses. Women of color run businesses were making an average of $25,000 – $50,000 per year before COVID-19 and the pandemic has made these businesses even more vulnerable.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We are an online business so we kept running much as before but we work with small business owners who are some of the most heavily impacted by the pandemic, so we have been working overtime helping them stay in business, make pivots and keep growing. Many have brought their brick and mortar businesses online and we are proud that our women are supporting each other and finding ways forward together.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We recently launched a Million Dollar Women coach certification program over the next 12 months, which we are really excited about. We just graduated our first class and have another one starting in November.
We also plan to grow our enrollment by 10x growth by 2025.
Additionally, this year is our five year anniversary! We are excited to celebrate with our community and invite new women in. As part of that, we plan to host 500 women at our annual summit in April 2021.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Mindset is everything.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Grit and hustle are not the answer. Learning what successful CEOs do and doing that is the answer.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I love my boys and my business and am so grateful that being an entrepreneur allows me to spend so much time with my family, go on far flung trips and be the kind of mom I want to be (see my free ebook “Million Dollar Moms” at juliapimsleur.com)
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a Padi trained scuba diver. I love the underwater world. When i am down there, it feels like walking on the moon!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Do the hard things first. Always be asking yourself “Is this something only I can do?” If it isn’t’ delegate it. Take naps.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Living a bold, unapologetic and abundant life — and empowering other women to do the same!