Ep. 84: How Traci Connell Used Divorce and Death to Fuel Her Drive to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Business

    Traci Connell is an award-winning creative entrepreneur whose business sense and design skills are combined with a passion for delivering interiors that are at the heart of a livable style. Formally trained as an elementary teacher, Traci enjoyed the creativity and structure of the classroom but knew she had not found her passion. The big “Ah-ha” moment came in 2000, when a dear friend asked, “why can’t you make money doing something you love?” and after careful consideration, Connell Interiors was born. While working to provide a second income, the first decade was spent developing her eye for design, honing her skill for business practices, holding leadership roles within the Interior Design Society, and completing successful client projects as well as many charity opportunities.
    In 2011, life threw a curveball and Traci became a single mother with three children. Traci realized and accepted that her business was no longer a second income, but it was the sole source of income. Fueled with pure passion to feed her family and realize her dream, the rebirth of her company was established as Traci Connell Interiors.
    During the last eight years, Traci Connell has grown her revenue twenty-fold to over two and a half million dollars, and her net profit grew tenfold. She has gone from running her business from her kitchen table and her car trunk to acquiring a full design studio.
    Here is what we chat about in this episode:
  • Why passion projects are the best starting points.
  • How to find motivation in adversity.
  • How meeting challenges will make you grow.
  • And so much more!
    Where to find Traci:
    • Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/traciconnellinteriors/
    • Website:
https://traciconnellinteriors.com/
    Follow along for more:
www.lessonsfromaquitter.comhttps://www.facebook.com/lessonsfromaquitterhttps://www.instagram.com/lessonsfromaquitter/https://twitter.com/quitterpodcastTranscript:Goli: Hi everyone. Welcome back for another episode! I'm so excited you are here. I hope you are all well.  Sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already and let’s dig in. I'm doing something really special this year. I am having a free coaching call once a month. I'm seeing how impactful coaching can be on your journey because we can't see our blind spots. And it takes somebody to just look at what is keeping us stuck or what is keeping us in fear and holding a mirror up to that to really have some really big breakthroughs. It's not anything more profound than the fact of showing you where your faulty thinking is. And we're having so many incredible breakthroughs in my group program stuck to strategy. I'm absolutely loving watching their journey and seeing how far they've come in under two months. And I know that a lot of people reached out and said that they weren't able to do the program because of the cost.   And I am committed to trying to help you guys in any way that I can. And so one thing then I realized I can do is have a free coaching call once a month where I just jump on Zoom. Anyone can show up and we can talk about anything. You know, why you are afraid of other people's opinions and how to get over that, how to figure out what you should be doing. All of the stuff that tends to keep us stuck, which by the way, it's really only four or five years that we all have the same ones recycled over and over and put on in different costumes. You know, it looks a different way. It's the same thing and so it becomes easier to spot and it becomes easier to call out on it. And so I feel like I can help you in maybe a quicker time frame than you would be able to work through it on your own.   So that is all to say that I offer that free but you only can get the link if you're on my email list cause I send out the email the week before and then the day before and the day out so that to make sure that you don't miss it, if you would like to be on that, you can sign up. You know it's I guess signing up for the coaching, but it's really to get on the email list at quitter club.com/coaching I'll put the link in the show notes, but make sure you sign up and make sure you show up because really there's no excuse now because it's free. I'm there, we can chat, I can help you and you have no other reason not to come. That being said, I am so excited for today's episode. I have the incredible Traci Connell.    Traci started out her career as an elementary school teacher and after six years she left that job because of a move and we'll talk about it and she ended up basically staying at home and doing some tutoring on the side and when she had her third child, she realized that she needed to start making kind of a second income to help save for college funds and things like that.   And so she decided to start her passion project without any experience, without any degrees, without any other stamp of approval from somebody that says she was allowed to start. She decided to start an interior design business because she had a love for it and clearly a knack for it. And she started that as a side hustle out of her house. You know, her kitchen table and car trunk. And what I love about her story is that she did that side hustle for 10 years cause he was focused on being home with her children when they were home from school. And she did this on the side and it worked for their family. And it was in 2011 when Traci experienced, you know, one of many traumatic events that she has gone through and it was the divorce of her husband of 25 years who suffered from alcoholism.   And we'll talk about kind of the emotional roller coaster that that was, but she left and found herself in a position where she needed to become the sole breadwinner and she needed to support her children. And her side hustle had not been cutting it at that point. So she'd been doing it for 10 years, but it hadn't grown into a full-fledged business. And in 2011 she decided things needed to ramp up in the last eight years since that has happened. And we'll talk about some of the other traumas that she's gone through and how through every setback she just pushes through. She has grown her business 20 fold. It is now over two and a half million dollars in revenue every year. This company - She's gone from that kitchen table to her car trunk to acquiring a full design studio, having designers work under her, having a full staff.   She has, gosh, over 12,000 followers on Instagram and I mean she has created an incredible business and she is now paying it forward and helping other women entrepreneurs and specifically interior designers kind of cut through all of the mistakes that she did and create businesses that are profitable and are successful and which is doing is amazing. But I think what she's gone through is so inspiring and the fact that she really was able to push through a lot of the mindset stuff that I think so many of us get stuck in when we experienced tragedy when we are in a role that society kind of tells us we should stay in, whether that's a stay at home mom or whatnot. And what she has done is incredible. She has received numerous awards and honors in her field. She's recognized as a leader in the Dallas design community and she's been featured in national publications like Lux magazine, traditional home, and dream kitchens and bath. She is just incredible. So I will stop rambling so we can talk to Traci. Hi Traci. Thank you so much for joining me today.   Traci: Hi Goli, it's great to be a part of your podcast.   Goli: Oh, I am so happy to have you. And I'm so excited to dive into your story cause I, it's not only incredible, it's so inspiring and I know it's going to help a lot of people. So I want to start back a little bit kind of in the beginning. I know you've built this incredible interior design empire now and so, but we want to go back to you started out your career as a school teacher. Why don't you walk us a little bit about what that career looked like and how you started transitioning out of that?   Traci: Sure. Well the reason I actually became a teacher, I know it was really creative, but I actually got married pretty young at 19 and had my daughter close to 20. So at that point, I was looking for something that I could actually maybe be home with her in the summer and have a career as well. And it took me five years to finish my degree because at that point I was following my husband around and he was, had a college football scholarship. So I ended up doing that and getting my teaching certificate and elementary education. And I did that for about six years and I thoroughly enjoyed the classroom, but it was a ton of work. I mean, it's almost like the creativity factor took over in some instances, but I am somewhat of a perfectionist, but I really enjoyed that. About six years in, we, we moved to Plano, Texas with a suburb of Dallas and my second son was born and I knew I didn't want to work full time and so I started tutoring out in my home and et cetera and then did some part-time work for and teaching kindergarten.   And then I was pregnant with my third child. So I thought, Oh my gosh. And at that time my husband said, “Hey, you know, we need to think about a college fund for the oldest daughter.” She was actually 11 years older than the youngest. And so I was like, Oh my gosh, I can't even get back to teaching or I can look at something. Kind of a pivotal moment for me was when, you know, you go on those little play dates with other moms and stuff. I remember sitting there at this farm and our kids are playing and she’s listening to me and she's like, “Hey, wouldn't it be so cool to do something that you love to do and get paid for it?” And I'm like, what? Like a job. Like, yeah. I'm like, well, okay, I wonder what that would look like. So I thought about that and then literally with a neighbor, we created this interior design company. We made business cards and we kind of did our houses and reached out to people we knew and that business was born.   Goli: And that is so amazing though. But I want to know because most people when they are in that position, and let's say they don't love the job and they're looking for something and they think about what do I love? And let's say it's interior design, the immediate thoughts come into, well I don't have a degree in interior design. I don't know how to run a business. Who am I to do this? I'm not going to just start and make business cards. People are going to laugh at me like, how did you even get yourself to a place where you're putting yourself out there and telling people, “I'm an interior designer without any qualifications for it and I'm just going to charge people money and do this work.”    Traci: Well, it was a little bit different back then. That was 19 years or so ago. It was a little bit different, but I guess, it was my mindset because you know, as a really young mom, I really had to think of different ways out of the box to make money. Even when I was in between teaching, I had a wearable fashion, a little company where I did hand, you know, hand-painted clothing, but that was at a necessity. So I thought, okay, I have to do something. I either have to go back to teaching or I have to make this thing work. And so it was, now obviously you have to have a natural skill at it. But even back then I was looking into mentoring, going to different seminars and some training to kind of, really hone my skills even, you know, that long ago. So that gave me the confidence and being more of a professional too, to be able to really start slowly. And this was a second income for our family.   Goli: How much time were you putting into this? Was it a side hustle? Was it, you know, where you'd be working on this full time or were you balancing it while being at home with your kids?   Traci: I was doing the balancing... That is so funny cause I was like okay how can I be the perfect mom, the perfect businesswoman, the perfect wife, the whole nine yards. And it was really important for me to take my kids to school and be there at two 45 to pick them up. So that is what I did it. As I said, it was sort of a side hustle, you know, it was the big thing for me. But I would work at night or really early in the mornings. But that part of the, I guess a family unit was super important so I at that point make it work.   Goli: How long did you work in that kind of capacity? Like as a side hustle? Just kind of growing this slowly on nights and weekends.   Traci: So about 10 years, about 10 years. And I guess about eight years into it is when I moved into a studio space. It was basically another company and there was a tiny little office. So I went in there and could buy direct under their umbrella. So that started getting my mindset going and thinking, you know, this might be able to be a real business for me. I joined trade organizations and got on the board with some of those professional history support groups but really, you know, start going to trade shows and things like that just to really learn because I didn't have the formal education in interior design. So the research part of me, I mean I just was digging, digging, digging for as much information as I could find.   Goli: I love that and I, it's amazing cause what you started, you started the whole side hustle thing before it became this fashionable thing on Instagram. Now everybody has a side hustle, which I actually think is great. Exploring things on nights and weekends, especially now with the internet it's so much easier to do. But I think that sometimes, especially through various marketing tactics for people, people get caught in this like build your side hustle in six months, you know, and make six figures and they think that if it's not happening like that there's something wrong. And I just love this example because when you really take a look at how long you're going to be working for, we put these artificial timelines that were on that. For whatever reason we're behind and you know, I'm not where I need to be. And it's like you're going to work for another 30 years. And at the time when you started your what, like in your early thirties I'm assuming late twenties and so you're going to work for another 30 40 years. If you want to do it on the side while your kids are young for 10 years like even then you're setting yourself up for a foundation of building a bigger business later. And I just, I love that example so much.   Traci: Exactly. And at that time I didn't know I was having to set it up for something really big. You know, it was funny cause I was just reacting to things and that's just the way it works.   Goli: Yeah. And we'll get into that right now because I think that's actually a really great point because you never know what life is gonna throw at you. I think about this a lot with respect to moms in this society and I think the pressure of being the perfect mom and also at working and doing all this stuff. And I just think a lot of times we put all this pressure to get everything done at a certain point and maybe you don't know down the road what's going to happen and maybe everything goes according to plan, which it never does. But let's say it's worth kind of when you're starting things and doing things that fail you up or fulfill you in a way and down the road. As your kids get older and move on or life throws you curveballs, you've set yourself up for something to not then be scrambling. I just think that's something that we don't think about a lot. Like we, we think our kids are young, so I'm, you know, I'm just gonna focus this and that's fine.   But I just think thinking a little bit more long term, like what happens in 10 years? What happens in 15 years? What am I going to do? And especially finding something that you're passionate about and, and honestly, I even still think of it as a hobby and I love doing it on the weekends, do know different aspects. But I think you're right. It's, it is you, you're having to think down the road because you know, nobody, it's like to be an empty nester. I can imagine what it's like not having, you know, something fulfilling for sure. Absolutely. So you're doing this for about 10 years and then in 2011 your world kind of got turned upside down. So can you tell us a little bit about what happened that required you to make this into more of a viable business? Well, at that point I had been married.   Traci: I actually got married in 1986 and I married an alcoholic and didn't know at that point. But over the years, obviously, I mean, I knew something wasn't quite right. So about five or six years before, let's see, 2011, there were definitely times of, you know, my husband checking into rehab, coming out, going back in, losing jobs, et cetera, where I literally being an optimist thought that, okay, this is, this is going to be fixed because I am this, you know, go get 'em girl and I am going to fix this and my family is worth it and how, you know, how could he really give this up? So it was on and off and there was a lot of counseling and it was, you know, unfilled attempts to, to really keep sober for him. And it was a life for myself and my three kids that was extremely unpredictable on the outside and we lived in an, you know, a vague home and no, we were both very involved in their sports night activities and their school and my husband at the time was a very functioning alcoholic and so everybody thought on the surface it was just fantastic.   Finally, after the third attempt at rehab, I mean, I just knew I was going to see a counselor by myself at that point because he had stopped going and I just kept saying, when is it, when is it going to be the right time? Is there gonna be a right time? When is going to be the right time? And I remember one thing he said to me he basically looked at me and said, look, you can continue to be on this roller coaster with him or you can step off and watch him ride. And I thought, Oh, well you don't have a choice to get off of this. You know, and really, but it was hard. I mean, you are scared to death to make this decision and move on. I mean, like I said, I had a side hustle I didn't have, that was really a viable income force to provide for my family.   He was not someone that I could count on. So living this life was hard. And basically on our 25th wedding anniversary is when I left with my two younger children (At that time). And the dog, they said that was a pivotal point where it was almost by, he left it wide open for himself to fail. And I, you know, definitely found some alcohol in the, in the car, the car that we were going out on our date with. It's almost like, why would you do this? So at that point, I left with the kids and I had no idea what we were going to do and couldn't get back there. It just wasn't a situation that we needed to be in.   Goli: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing that. I know how difficult that must be and I think that obviously there's a lot of people that go through things like this or similar, you know, and we don't talk about it a ton on this podcast. I think we tend to focus on just the work aspect. But so many of us deal with addiction in our families or mental illness or you know, so many other things that make, you know, life, life and it makes it hard. And I just want to point out though what you just said that is so profound. At eight we get so lost in this. And when you said that you realized that you had a choice even though it was very hard, like you had a choice. And I think so often we don't realize that we're playing a victim in our own lives.   But so often we feel like we just have to kind of accept what's being thrown at us. We just have to go, you know, this is what it is. And I just have to go on this roller coaster. And I think the most powerful thing that we can do is realize that we have agency with everything. And yes, that's not to say it's easy. That's not to say it's not gut-wrenching or terrifying or everything else, but it's like you have that choice. And I think it's so profound to be able to realize that and, and to make the really tough decision to put yourself and your children first.   Traci: Exactly. But I mean, I am the first to say that I was paralyzed with fear or I didn't do anything for a while. And that's the part where, you know, when you, when you're faced with a setback, it's almost like you do nothing. And I got really good at getting stuck. Like, what am I going to do next? What am I going to do next? Because everybody, you know, really looks at fear and everyone says how horrible fear is, you know. And the way I look at fear was, you know, of course, there's forget everything and run or face everything and rise and they actually became a friend to me because every time that I would say, Hey, I'm going to take a risk, then that little voice of fear or that feeling of fear would kind of be inside my stomach. And that feeling I got used to say, okay, if I take the risk, then, you know, it may all work. And so it was almost that motivator for me to kind of feel that uncertainty and take that next step.   Goli: I love that. I love that. And I think that that is such a crucial piece in this puzzle because I see a lot of people that are stuck in situations that they don't like. And the reality is, sometimes you have to give your brain evidence of the thing that you want. So taking that step in fear and realizing, Oh, it's not as hard as I thought it was or I survived, or you know, I can figure it out. And I think the more you can start doing that, the sting of it or the weight of that fear becomes less, but it's sort of like you can't get there until you start taking those steps and proving to yourself that you can do it.   Traci: Exactly. Yeah. I read a quote, but basically it says so far you have survived 100% of your worst day and this too shall pass. And when I read that, that's what my mom used to say to me growing up. She always would say this too shall pass. And I mean really it, it does, it passes, however, you know, things don't just fall in your lap. Right. I mean there are things that I did, steps I take to kind of, you know, I had to get out of it. And you can't rely on other people. You first have to take those steps.   Goli: Yeah, I mean that's the key component. I think I read a quote recently that was saying that if you take action, there's no guarantee that there will be happiness. But I can guarantee you that there won't be happiness if you don't take action. And there is no way around that. There's no, there's all the wishing and hoping. And so by the end of the day, if you're not going to put that one step in front of the other and then nothing will change. So, so you leave in 2011 at the time. I mean you do have this side hustle and so I know sometimes with that fear though comes a little bit of a panic of like, well, I should just go back and get a real job or I need to get something that's going to pay me more now. Or what if this doesn't work as a real income stream? Did you ever think, “Maybe I should go work for a design company or work for somebody else?”   Traci: I did, but I knew though. I mean I guess I had become a little trained in my year of just all the grit that I went through that honestly at that point it didn't even cross my mind. I knew that I could do it. I went through it already. I mean I had the thought was way worse than just growing a business and I think that comes with that internal struggle, struggle and that motivation and the confidence. For some reason I have confidence through all of this and I think it's because I knew that I hadn't done anything wrong and I gave every single bit that I had to make a marriage work and I had to at that point, you're right, you did make that decision was easy for me, but then it was decided to, okay well that's all great and I looked at it as an opportunity then, not that this was going to be super in the end.   I likened it as an opportunity to flip it on his head. And the first thing I did was hire a business coach and I knew I had to make decisions based on my finances. So that goes back into, Hey yeah, do I get a real job or do you think I can make this work? And you know when you're going through a divorce or is that time of discovery and thing and, and you know the funds, they're frozen. So I, I have the short window that I need to figure out, right. What I'm going to do and hiring a business coach to take a deep job with me into my finances at that point. Yeah, my revenue was $154,000 you know, all my sales. Granted that wasn't going to be enough to support my family, but that's where I was headed.   Goli: But 154,000 is good revenue for a business. You know, obviously it depends on what the profit margin is, right? But I want to touch on what you just said because so often finances is the thing that we're kind of struggling with and saying, you know, especially going into an uncertain situation and realizing that you already don't have enough to support yourself. People get to the place where like, I don't have the money right now to invest in a business coach. Like I have to use this money, you know, for my family. So what was it that you realize that investing that money, it was going to have a greater return to you than holding onto it?   Traci: Actually, it was a recommendation from a friend of mine, another designer at that point. And all I heard her say was that her revenue troubled a year. And I thought, eh, okay, so you know, and that from that point on to today, you know, I always look at the, you know, ROI never turned out on the best and everything. And I thought, okay, well right now what I have to do is increase my revenue, increase my profit and you know, those are the quick tips and trips, you know, that that really helped me and I still use them today when I get in a bind. And so I just knew that that was what I had to do, the beginning and an Ethan because there are so many online options now and you know, some way I want to give back too. But there are ways to do it that you're right, doesn't have to be something private, but the tools and the formulas and the steps to get out of that crisis mode fast when you are Aston stack.   Goli: Yeah, absolutely. Now there are way more options, which can sometimes be good and bad. Cause sometimes it's more confusing to realize what's good and what's not. You're kind of overwhelmed. But I think that when I see people when they're weighing the decision to invest in themselves or invest in like a, either a course or a program or coaching and they look at like, Oh, it's, you know, X amount of dollars for, you know, X amount. So let's say it's like $5,000 for three months, or whatever it is. And they're trying to figure out if it's worth that amount of money for the amount that you're getting. And it's like what you're not realizing. And I think a lot of this stuff when you're looking at the ROI is how much time that saves you.   Like how much that speeds you up because somebody is teaching you what they learned over years and years distilled down into three months or whatnot. And so I definitely agree with you. I mean I've heavily invested in, when I was doing podcasting, I got a podcasting coach and in two months he taught me everything I needed to know about podcasting and I had it up and running and you know, I had everything I needed all my ducks in a row. Sure I could have figured it out on Google by myself, but maybe that would have taken me a year. And so like I saved that time. And I think it's something thinking about like the programs that you want to invest in is thinking about how much time is this going to save me? How much quicker am I going to get to that end goal?   Traci: Well, and what I do want to teach an offer are those really quick tips and strategies because you can go in the long run. But I mean, I know what it's like to be in crisis mode and what it feels like. It was like, I've got it, you know, definitely do something quickly. And so yeah, during that time, you're right after 2011 and the divorce was in 2012 but I really worked on getting my finances in order and really creating a game plan to get more clients.   Goli: Yeah. And you guys in eight years have now grown your business to over two and a half million dollars? That's unbelievable.   Traci: Yes, yes. And again, this is just something again that just lit a fire under me and another setback was my ex-husband had actually passed away that year. From cirrhosis of the liver. And I think I knew right before that, but I was going to be the sole income provider for my family, just deep down. I'm reacting to my environment, which I had done. Even somebody asked me, I don't know what it was… A couple of years before, like, what's your favorite color? I'm like, I have no idea! But from that point on, after my husband had told me, Oh, you're going to live in a trailer park with the kids, you know, and I thought, well alright you know, that's all you need to tell me.   So yeah, it just catapulted from, from there. And again, I mean it took a lot to get to that revenue number. I feel like, you know, the first thing... I'm talking about in the house that necessity is spawning my why. And my why was actually my kiddos and everybody says that. But for me, it had to be a passion for what I love to do and then getting help. And then, you know, the big part of it was putting the work in and that's the thing you have to put the work in, right? I mean, I'm an early bird, you know, four o'clock I mean I was up just cranking away. And again, like you said, it was a lot of research. It was searching for marketing strategies and trying to figure out what my profit margin should be and how to charge because this industry is so finicky with a thousand different ways to charge and how to market. But I definitely put the work in.   Goli: Yeah, I mean that's incredible. And what do you think it was about your mindset or maybe you know, your confidence personality that a lot of people in these times of crisis and these times of setback and you know, dealing with divorce and dealing with death and obviously it's the, you know, death of your children's father and so that has such a huge impact on your children and all this stuff. It's like a lot of people get really stuck and paralyzed. Like I'm kind of stuck in that crisis and have a really hard time because it's so much to deal with. It's emotionally so heavy. How was it that in that time it's like when you've been able to grow this business and, and push yourself kind of,   Traci: Yeah, I really had to compartmentalize my feelings because I didn't have the choice to sit in the bed and feel sorry for myself. You know, I had gotten a lot of that feeling sorry for myself out of the way during my marriage. But I always, I mean it was hiding so much from my kids and in the world and I just knew where to take all of this. Put it to the side and keep going and that is a lot of mindset work for sure. I can do that to this day because when you are faced with, you know the fact that there was no other option because if you do that, you know definitely turn it around and think, think differently. So I think that attitude and that training of like always walking on eggshells really helped me get out of this. Yeah, no, this, this paralyzed state of fear.   Goli: Yeah, no that, that I think that makes a lot of sense. And so now where is the company at now? Tell us a little bit about what it looks like, the kind of work you guys do, how many employees you have?   Traci: I have two full-time interior designers. I have part-time business managers twice a week, I have another gal that helps marketing social media. She's part-time and then just a part-time office manager and what really… what we have in our firm that's different than a lot of interior design firms: We have the systems and processes and I developed all of this while being a single mom because there was no way that I was going to be able to run and elevate this business while I was raising them alone. And so I feel like having the processes and systems for the way that we run a business and work with our clients, et cetera really has helped me even step back a little bit so I can analyze the business a bit more and be a little bit less in the weeds.   The only reason you know I could make this grow in scale was to duplicate myself. And that is what I did through these processes. Other ways that we made at scale, actually this, this is just for interior designers, but I created a co-op back quite a few years ago with another designer for buying furnishings at wholesale pricing and stocking dealer. And so now I own that company myself, but it offers my clients better pricing I can offer to them. Yeah, it's definitely an advantage for them. And then I revamped the way that I look at my offerings and you know, and thought bigger, you know, multigrain projects and only instead of small ones. So I feel like the way I revamped my life during the time I was single is when I was revamping my company as well. And I kind of niched it as ease of glamour, you know, it was like it needs to run sort of, you know, on autopilot look good, right. Be low maintenance because I can't have that crisis anymore around.   Goli: Right. Absolutely. And I mean everybody will, we'll link to it in the show notes. I think everybody should check out not only your website but on Instagram, it's Traci, Connell interiors and your works are beautiful, impeccable. And, and people can work with you online too, like through online design if they're not in your area.   Traci: Absolutely. And that's a great program for clients who don't want to do full-service interior design. And that was actually another income stream that we created probably eight years ago.   Goli: That's incredible. And are you now starting to teach other interior designers or teach people online? Like how to grow their own businesses.   Traci: I am, I am. I feel so passionate about mentoring other women who had been in my position and whether, you know, I just felt like these and get back up and setbacks and get back up that it's, it's been really important to me. And I've always said, you know, there's not the right time, there's not the right time. And honestly, I had my, one of my third biggest setbacks about two years ago, I don't know, about a year and a half ago with my new has been an I purchased a house. We were in about five months and we had a major house fire. And at that point, it was another setback in my business. I thought my thigh, am I going to crawl out of this? Well, I did. So now I'm like, all right, I'm going to teach other women how to do this. And I mean, obviously, whatever the vehicle is, you know, the story is that, you know, I grew in this interior design business, so it's so great for interior designers, but any other female entrepreneurs that it's like, man, you know, whatever the crisis is, it's like I'm just stuck. And like I said, my goal is to teach quick strategies and practical tips. No industry fluff because we need action really fast and right. So I am going to be offering some strategy days while we're building out the online course.   Goli: Wonderful. And where can people find that if they want it? They're more interested in finding more about that.   Traci: Sure. So the website is just Traci, connell.com. It's Traci with an I and an Instagram also Traci Connell and yeah. So I'm excited. I'm excited about helping other women so that I can do it. They can do it too.   Goli: Oh, that's, I love that you're paying it forward and helping other women. I'm sure that you're going to help a ton of people and people should definitely check that out. Traci, thank you so much for joining me. Your story is unbelievably inspiring and I'm really honored that you took the time to come talk to us.   Traci: You are welcome. I am just so pleased to be able to chat with you too.   Goli: How amazing is Traci and her story? I loved chatting with her and here are my three takeaways. [inaudible] There are no timelines. We make up these rules or beliefs about where we should be and how far along we should be and how fast we should be there. And we compare ourselves to other people and we great get these crazy ideas that like if you can't build that business in a year and then it didn't work and none of that's true, you're just literally making that up regardless of where you are. It is perfect. You're not supposed to be anywhere else and it takes you as long as it takes you. And even if that a year or five years or 10 years, that's fine because that sets you up for the next thing you're going to do and the next thing, and fortunately or unfortunately you got a lot of time to work.   Two, you always have a choice. This one's a really tough one. I think we don't realize that we are giving up our agency, but so often we fall into this mentality that or just stuck in a situation and you're not ever stock. You always have a choice. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it could be gut-wrenching. Yes, it's terrifying, but as long as you remember that you have that power, it can change your life and three, invest in yourself. I hear this from everyone. Honestly, the majority of the people that I talk to are the people that are out there doing things that you want to do is they are spending that money to learn. If you know where you want to go, find someone that has done it before and pay them to teach you how to do it. It will save you so many years, so much frustration and you don't have to reinvent the wheel, so   Start investing in yourself. I hope you guys liked this episode and I will see you next week for another interview. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at quitter podcast. I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you in the next episode.