An Honest Discussion on Success with Sally Sparks Cousins
An Honest Discussion on Success with Sally Sparks Cousins
Transcription of Episode
[00:00:00] Ryan Chapman: Hey, this is Ryan Chapman with Fix Your Funnel, and in today's interview series, I'm privileged to have the wonderful Sally Sparks Cousins. Do you go by the full name?
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yes, I do. Some people call me Sally Sparkle just because, but yeah...
Ryan Chapman: That would be your brand, isn't it? What's the name of your company again? It's...
Sally Sparks Cousins: It's called the Sparkle Class Academy.
Ryan Chapman: You've got a really interesting business because you know who your people are. And you're very focused on who they are. Who are your people?
Sally Sparks Cousins: Well my people, they call themselves the sparkle sisters, or the sparklers they are female coaches, consultants, healers and course creators, and we've really created a whole community and they, you know, even though it's called the Sparkle Class Academy, they say, Oh, we're hanging out inside of the sparkle world and we share the sparkle love and where everything kind of revolves around the word sparkle. So yeah, it's been pretty cool. And people are always tagging me in anything that sparkles, you know, sparkling cars and sparkling [00:01:00] shoes.
Ryan Chapman: I think that's really great. Trent and I, my brother, who's also my business partner, we kind of had that with our first company that used Infusionsoft, which was called Short-Sale Genius. And all of the people that were part of our network of real estate, cause we were helping real estate agents negotiate with banks for short sales, which is when the home was worth less than the mortgage. And so they really needed help fighting the banks because the banks were just taking advantage of them. And so we created a network and they called themselves short-sell geniuses, you know, and it was the geniuses. And then the rest are the morons, I mean, that's a little harsh, but you know, that's how they felt as they were dealing with the agents that didn't understand the approach that we taught, because they tended to make the transaction more complicated and difficult. So there was kind of the people in the know and the people who don't, and there was a sense of community. There were phrases that we had that, you know, everybody knew those phrases that were in the network that were [00:02:00] out there. They wouldn't understand that, they think you're speaking a foreign language sometimes. It got picked up when we were talking before we started recording that, you have that in the sparkle network. You have a language that people that are part of your group, your community really understand and it creates a sense of family almost.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it was by design. I do help people with personal branding and so by design, we've really focused in, around kind of starting, it's kind of like the sparkle lingo, or, yeah we share the sparkle love. You hear the term, you know, your zone of genius or your genius zone. We call it your inner sparkle. And, so share your inner sparkle with the world and, yeah. So we've really, really branded everything around that sparkle. And the girls come in and they're like, Hey, sparkle sisters and talking to each other. And it's, yeah. It's really fabulous.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. I think that's underestimated frequently. People don't realize the power of creating that community, that language. [00:03:00] Just having this mission, you're really clear on who you serve, which is really important cause a lot of business owners, as you know, they get lost on thinking they serve everybody.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Oh, I have to say that I have niched my niche so many times. When I first started in business, I wanted to help every female entrepreneur but I found the more niched I got, not just with my, with my audience, but also with the programs that I used that I'm able to serve so much better and attract more higher caliber of people as well.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. I think there's some real value to identifying who do I serve the best, who do I help the best, and just focusing exclusively on them so that your energy doesn't get dissipated with people who aren't in alignment with what you're about and what you can do. And that I think that's so valuable because I think so many people, especially right now, we're recording this as I think we're in like week two of the lockdown in the United States. I don't know how long it's been in Australia, and I know you have clients all [00:04:00] over the world, not just in Australia or the United States.
Sally Sparks Cousins: I'm hearing stories from all different places around the world and and all the different varieties of lockdown from military patrol out in the streets and to other people that are very relaxed with the whole thing's all right. Yeah. I'm hearing all the different types of stories all around the world daily.
Ryan Chapman: But people in business that don't have clarity about who they serve and what they do really struggle more, I think, in these situations than those that are clear on what it is they're about. And that my brother and I are planning on doing a little series for the Fix Your Funnel community and talking about things that we learned during the last downturn because we started our Short Sell Genius business in 2007. Well think about what time that was economically for quite a few people we, we discovered some things that really helped us to succeed cause we actually did better then when we did in any other time. It was kind of funny. We launched out [00:05:00] into the stratosphere and so, yeah. You know, I think that can't be understated enough what you've done with your whole branding, your language, creating this community, this group, because that has a much more like long lasting effect than just what you do.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. I think we're really lucky with this community that we've built, especially with everything that's going on in the world right now, because so many people are stuck at home, and the community that we've built is a hundred percent online. So we've been able to continue in business daily. A part from the stories that we're getting coming in from the sparkle world, we're all still together. We get to see each other every single day. Yeah. We're kind of lucky that we've built this model. It was like almost, you know, pre-planning for when everything went online. It's been great.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. You know, sometimes that happens. I think we were pretty lucky with what we started too so yeah. So, but [00:06:00] interestingly enough, you have a background that started in education and now you're still in education, but just a different format, right?
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah, yeah. So I was teaching in universities and TAFEs in different art schools, teaching marketing and communication, design, photography, all around Melbourne and Jalong here in Australia. And what I found when I was teaching,what I loved the most were the students that weren't afraid to come and knock on the staffroom door and in between class ask for help. I always found that those are the students that always had the best results when it came to actually follow through because they weren't afraid to ask for help outside of, you know, your standard class times. So when I created the Sparkle Class Academy, I've taken that style of teaching in a university into an online platform. So like normal courses are, you know, lots of little mini [00:07:00] lessons. And then maybe the course creator might come in once a month and do like an office hours or maybe once a fortnight and do an office hours live to, you know, the entire fleet of people that they've gotten into the course where I've done mine using that university models. So what we have is on a Monday they get a lecture. So just like at university, we get a 90 minute lecture where I lay out the week's topics and then I give them little tasks or mini assessments to do that, or actually actionable tasks that they can implement in their marketing and automation. And then between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM here in Australia, either myself or one of my team members, we actually sit inside what we call the virtual office space or our little sparkle room, and all of the students can come in. And it's like knocking on the staff room door and they come in and they either, they sit in there with their [00:08:00] sound off and their camera on or off, it's totally up to them, but as soon as they get stuck, they can go, Oh, here's somebody there. Can Sally, can you, can you show me where I need to click to put that button to make that integration work? Or you'll hear them help each other like, Hey, is somebody available to go through my funnel and make sure all of my integrations are working? And then as another student might go, yeah, look, I'd love a break. Send me the link and I'll do it for you. So they get to sit in there all day. And I do have set class times where, you know, we have a set time every day where I'm literally just there to answer questions, but, and then they can listen and learn from others. But outside of class time, we have literally somebody there from eight 'til four. For eight weeks that they can come in and just ask, or just sit there quietly and work alongside. It's like sitting in an office environment in little cubicles, you [00:09:00] know? And, and you can just turn on your sound and ask for help. But then on Friday night, you know, sometimes. The wine comes out and we're all sitting around at the end of the week catching up saying what worked and what didn't. So we get to learn about their kids and their families and, and all of that stuff as well.
Ryan Chapman: Really creates this family feeling from anywhere in the world.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Exactly. Yeah. And the fact is, is like the virtual office space is open 24, seven. So even though I might not be there 24 seven they're in there helping each other. We've got returned students that have come back four or five times and they're further ahead than some of the new students. So like the. The students that have come back four or five times and now, you know, they've got some crazy automation set up. They know how to run fabulous Facebook ads. They know how to, you know, do their pixels and their custom conversions and retargeting ads. And they're starting to understand how to read their sexy numbers cause I love reading people's sexy numbers. That's another thing that I get super [00:10:00] excited about is, looking at what their conversions are and then helping them. So we talk about standard conversion, so what the industry standards are, and then we've got the sparkle standard. So you know, we want them to get 40% to 60% opt in from their landing pages where industry standards of 20% so again, there's our branding fully in there as well. But yeah, that community, it, I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing women daily. Just coming into these podcasts before I came over to see you, I was in a room with three other women and we were just catching up for the morning and yeah. Telling each other what we were going to do for the day and what we were focusing on working on. So yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. At Fix Your Funnel we have a daily morning meeting because we're virtual. We have people in California and Arizona and Utah and we have someone anywhere else. I can't remember, but you know, Oh, Canada. So we just, we kind of chat about, okay, what's, what's [00:11:00] our objectives today? Anything up that we needed to be paying attention to, that kind of orienting. We didn't always do that, but once we started doing that, I saw a huge improvement in the whole business. And so I can imagine even with that group, you know, being able to orient with some other people can make a huge difference. You do something kind of unique. You are on a eight weeks, on, eight weeks off schedule for your courses. So when you have a group of people, you have like a class basically. So they're going through and that cohort goes through the full eight weeks together, and then they have eight weeks off, and then they can decide, I guess they roll into membership and they become a member of the community if they want after that course. And then they don't have the same 24/7 so you know, access they do have one day a week, you know, which they probably is all they need at that point because you've helped them establish their foundation and then they could choose to come into the next eight week cohort if they want it to re-up and coming into [00:12:00] that. So that's an interesting business model. You, you put that together because you've like, what was the inspiration for the 8 weeks on, 8 weeks off?
Sally Sparks Cousins: I think it was a little of that, you know, when you're in university, you have, they do 12 week cycles, you get less than 12 weeks off in the middle. It was really, yeah, you know, the amount of people that start and finish a course are really low compared to the amount of people that sign up.
Ryan Chapman: What's the sparkle number though?
Sally Sparks Cousins: Well, most of them, I reckon we must be up around like 60%, which, you know, 60% to 70%.
Ryan Chapman: That's super impressive!
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. Because what happens is, because we don't see them coming in after a couple of weeks, we're actually getting on the phone and making sure that they're okay and if they're stuck. So I'm also a certified life coach. So what I do is if they get stuck, I book a live coaching session or two with them to help get their head back in the game. So. Yeah, it's [00:13:00] always something to do with their mind that's holding them back. But because we see them every day we're there for them, we're reaching out to them and we're making sure they're okay. And so then, yeah, they usually come back in. To me, it's all about quality, not quantity. And then after the eight weeks, like you said, they do get 12 months in my membership, so people don't always go straight to the school. Some people start in the membership program, which is a monthly membership. But I also write what we call the sparkle maps. So they are a marketing action plan, and it's literally a marketing plan with full automation that I've been using in my business and I template the whole thing out for them. So they then work on a new one every month and they can go and pick any type of map that they like from an automated list building machine to, you know, setting up automated text messaging or messenger bots, or how to run a three day evergreen webinar challenge that there's all these variety of marketing [00:14:00] plans that we've written, and then they just sort of plug them in with all the templates and just as we would say, add your own sparkle to it.
Ryan Chapman: I think that's so great because you know, for many people. It's really intimidating to get marketing going for their business. They have you in this eight week course, walking them through, acquainting them with the terms they need to know, teaching them the concepts that are those core fundamental concepts, and then actually getting to the nitty gritty and offering the support. I don't know that I've really heard too many people doing it that way, but I can't imagine a more perfect way to really create success for your customers and also this great community. Becuase, you know, so often what happens is people want to set it, forget it. They just want to make money on autopilot. And I just, I have rarely seen that really work out well for anybody.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: It's just, I'm glad that you've taken that quality direction because that's the longterm success [00:15:00] always attached to that quality of relationship, that quality of education. The fact that you reach out to people who paid you for the course if they start to avoid the course. I mean, that's just, it seems like the perfect mix. So I really have to congratulate you on that and I hope people that are listening, are thinking about their own business and saying, how can I be a little bit more like Sally? How can I add a little more sparkle to the way that I am running my business? Because if you're not paying attention at that level to your customer success, unfortunately it's gonna reflect itself in the bottom line, but it's also gonna make you weaker when challenges hit like a virus outbreak or an economy downturn, if you would like a resilient company, you have to have this community as part of that combination is part of that thing. You know like my brothers like to frequent this, donut place in San Diego. That's where I'm originally from, and it's called Savoy donuts, it's in Escondido. It's a little place, just a [00:16:00] couple. You know, they run it basically by themselves, but they, they memorize everybody's name that comes in. I don't know how they do it, but they remember their names. If you show up, like if I show up cause we moved to Tucson, Arizona, if we go visit, you know the family and we go to the donut shop. They remember my name, they know my birthday somehow. I don't know how they figured that out. You know, and they, they know the kids' names and they ask about the kids. If they're not there, well, where's, you know, where's Emma? You know, they, they really pay attention to those details. And even though it's just a donut shop, you know, quote unquote, they really put their sparkle on it in terms of getting to know their customers. And because of that, I think it builds great resilience for them. Even in times like this where people want to go out of their way to buy something they may not actually want to eat right now just for the sake of supporting them because of that relationship that's been created.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. Well, talk about the whole birthday thing. Like we do celebrate everyone's [00:17:00] birthdays inside of the group as well, but we also give out every year like little ribbons for people who have achieved certain things or if they've created their own calls. So they've gone through and done maps. We also allow the sparkle sisters, because they're coaches, consultants, and you know, a lot of them are helping and teaching through their courses. We allow them to share their inner sparkle inside of the community, and we store the trainings in our libraries, so we allow them to step up and actually teach. And it's a, it's a great lead magnet for them as well, teaching inside the sparkle world. So we'll give them little ribbons to acknowledge them for all the different things that they can do inside the sparkle world. And then we have sparkle-versaires and they get little pins. So we've got like little spirit sparkle animals every year. So every year, once they hit their one year anniversary and two year, there's a different little spirit animal pin that they get sent to them as well. So all of those little special [00:18:00] touches to make your community members feel loved and appreciated. Yeah. Those sorts of things we also do inside the community.
Ryan Chapman: Some of those things can be almost unmanageable if you don't use technology.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Oh, right.
Ryan Chapman: You mentioned it before we started recording, but I'd like you to share, if you don't mind, what is your stack of technologies that you recommend to your group.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yes. So we've niched, and re-niched many times are used to kind of helping lots and lots of different programs. And I still help because some people come in using certain things, like, you know, the basics, like lead pages, click funnels, and all of those things. MailChimp. But we've really niched down to Keap and Infusionsoft. So depending on what level of business they're at, and Fix Your Funnel and Acuity and Kajabi. So there are four platforms, and of course, you know, Zapier to make everything talk to each other. But apart from that though, we've really, we can sit in [00:19:00] there and like, I'll have a client jumping in and I'll sit with them for an hour. Just click here, click there, click here, click there. As they totally build out their funnel. In between those programs. And a lot of the time I find they get stuck with that integration. How do I get them to talk to each other? How do I fire off, you know, this particular type of automation. So those are the four programs we focus on and it works perfectly for, for our clients. Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: That's really great. You can't avoid using technology to grow a business these days. I don't think that that's possible, but so many people get intimidated by us. I really love the fact that not only do you teach the concepts and the principles that they need to grow their business, but you also help them with where the rubber hits the road. Cause often I see that it's either one or the other, you know, they teach the strategies, but they don't hit the road ever. Or they just talk about the road and they never have those foundational strategies in place and so [00:20:00] it's like automation for automation sake as opposed to automation to accomplish an actual end.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. Well, I love it when they come in and I'm like, alright, what are you working on today? Talk it out. And then by the time I'm finished talking to them, we've got a whole list of tasks that they can complete at the end of the day. You know, so they'll have a set number of tasks to go through in the next one to two days. But also making sure everything works because a lot of them just want to serve, you know, they want to be able to get in and do what they're really, really good at. And I'm good at... Exactly! It's not run the software. Like I'll have them come in and they're like, I have no idea what we set up. But it's working. And I'm like, that's fine. Are you booking appointments? Are you getting to talk to your clients? And they're like, yeah, it's fabulous. Like, we have a fabulous one of our maps that we wrote. We call it the Nine Touch Followup System because... you've heard it. The fortune's in the followup right? [00:21:00] We actually, we run everything we put out, we run it in our business. If it's successful, we then create a map on it. And, this one worked so well that we ended up having to put on extra people on the phones. We had to turn off our Facebook ads because we could not keep up with the amount of appointments and phone calls, but we started out manually texting people when they would come into our pipeline. We added Fix Your Funnel. That took off a heap of time, like we were timing how much time it was taking just to send text messages to individual people.
Ryan Chapman: It would be inoculus right? Oh, no big deal, we'll just send the message out.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yep. So with the Nine Touch Followup System, literally, they come in, they hit the, booking page. If they haven't booked an appointment, within half an hour of that, we have an automatic text message. And an email that goes out that says, Hey, we saw you went to book an appointment, but you didn't get it out. Was there not a suitable time? And [00:22:00] the conversion rate just with hitting them within that first hot 30 minutes has been astounding. And then the girls get on the phone and they call, we've got a, you know, one of our benchmarks are, you must make a phone call within 24 hours because that's when they still remember going through your funnel. You know, leaving a message, but speaking to people that human to human connection, like that's huge for us.
Ryan Chapman: I didn't prepare you for this, but I'm gonna ask you some questions. Hopefully this doesn't put you on the spot too much.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Oh, that's all right. Yeah, go for it.
Ryan Chapman: You Just mentioned three mediums that you're utilizing, email, texting, and phone calls. What are the rough percentages that you actually get response or interaction with people for each of those.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Well our, our email, because they've just come through the funnel, we're definitely getting a better 30% open rate because they're still quite warm on our emails.
Ryan Chapman: Are they just clicking through to the appointment from . So they may have started the [00:23:00] process, but then kind of faltered on it, the email, reminds them, and so you get 30% are clicking through, or is it 30% opening?
Sally Sparks Cousins: Sorry, it's a 30% open rate and then half of those usually click through, but we've got a series of emails, so they don't...
Ryan Chapman: So in that first half hour about 15% you end up recovering. That's great!
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. It's fabulous.
Ryan Chapman: What about texts?
Sally Sparks Cousins: And text messages. I haven't actually tracked the numbers because they just come straight into our phone with Fix Your Funnel and the girls just automatically start a conversation backwards and forwards. So I haven't reviewed the data from what's actually coming out.
Ryan Chapman: Do you find the people reply to your emails or they just go do the thing that you asked them to do?
Sally Sparks Cousins: So there's a couple of different versions of emails we send out. Most of them just click through. So we have a separate, like they go to a page with a little video to say, Oh, great, you know, you've got the time down. Yeah. And they can book their appointment. But then we've also got ones where it says. Do you need help? Just reply yes. [00:24:00] And then we'll get a few of those just yeses back. So we make it, we make their call to action really, really simple, but we make sure also there's only one type of call to action in every email. So, in that Nine Step Automation process, we've got six emails and three text messages. And, yeah, the various ones, one of the text messages is a direct link straight back to the booking calendar. And another one is the reply yes. And that's where the girls started conversation backwards and forwards with them. And yeah, so it varies just to, I guess, see where they are comfortable.
Ryan Chapman: Sure everybody's a little bit different. And so somethings people are gonna respond to and others they won't. So you have to communicate to those four. In a recent conversation I had with the gentlemen actually out of Egypt, which you know, does it show up on your radar very often, but he was talking about how there's, there's four different types of people. There's those that feel, those that are very process oriented, those are very [00:25:00] logical, and then those that just act from their gut. I feel in gut, you know, I had to explain that one to my wife cause she was like, well, I'm not sure, those sound the same. But one is, you know, it's more about the feel. The other one is that feeling they have in the gut, which is a little bit different, but that's what he was explaining. I thought that was interesting that you have those different types of.... and people aren't just one. They're usually a mixture of all four with two being more dominant than the other. But when we communicate with people in our marketing, you know, you have the open ended question, you got the more direct go do this thing, and then you've got the, just tell me if it's yes. You know, simplifying it down for those people that are struggling in some way. I love that variety.
Sally Sparks Cousins: From, from the teaching background, it's that, you know, that kinesthetic learner, you know, the one that wants to touch and do. Then you've got, you know, your auditory, the one, and then you know, and they're the same. They're all either logical or the feelings. I want to know the story. Some people are just like, give me the numbers. What are my conversions going to be? So we try [00:26:00] like through all of our automated stuff is to hit each of the different learning styles as well, the way people think.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, I guess that's probably the benefit for you coming from a teaching background is you learned how to teach in each station. So a lot of us don't have that benefit, so we kind of have to fill our way through the discovery, okay, so I interrupted you and we didn't get to the phone call. I was curious about the phone calls. How many people actually answered the phone?
Sally Sparks Cousins: 20%. Yeah. Most of them are voicemails. Pretty much like 80% of them have voicemails. We know that much. That's one number we have tracked, but it's definitely worth it. I think it's that human voice, but also hearing, you know, the three most powerful words people will hear. One is the word love. Two is the word home. And the third one is hearing their own name. So the girls ringing and actually saying their name as well makes it that personal touch. Like, wow, there's a real human [00:27:00] behind all of this advertising and videos and things. So yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, that's a great personification of who you are in your business, which is really, I think the goal that we ought to all be going for is how do we make our business more human. How do we allow technology to facilitate the expression of our humanity as opposed to shielding it? And I think you've done a great job based on everything I've heard. Really enhancing the humanity of your business. That connection, that network, that nurturing of your customers so that they feel like they've got a place where they can get answers to the questions that challenge that. I know that that puts, you know, there's also this cold kind of financial side of the business that sometimes we think of as being cold, but that really is all built on this warm side of relationship. So if you want a successful business, if you want a longterm business, I really hope that you paid attention to everything Sally was saying because, well, she just laid out for you [00:28:00] guys that are listening. You gals that are listening a really perfect formula for creating a really solid longterm business that will actually create a legacy because people, even with our Short Sell Genius, we weren't as good as you because it was all a bunch of men. I just don't know that men have the same nurturing natural talents that women can have. Now, obviously not all men and women are exactly the same as some, but we just were not that way that we weren't raised that way. So, you know, I'm the oldest of 13 but there's nine of us that are boys. So there was a lot of testosterone. We weren't exactly the most, you know, touchy feely group. We did have a good team member that helped us to enhance that. He was a man too, but he was better at helping us cover some of those bases. But because of that community that we created with those customers, even though that business was one that we shut down because [00:29:00] short sales weren't going to last forever, we knew that was going to shut it down. We still get reach out from those, those individuals that we help with fond memories of that time when we served and we worked and we battled together, so to speak. Yeah, know what you're doing.
Sally Sparks Cousins: It's fabulous. You know, you talk about B to B businesses and B to C businesses H to H, you know, human to human. And you were talking about, you know, the cold word of, you know, money and selling. We don't even talk about it like that inside the sparkle world. Selling is helping. If somebody can buy your product, we can help them solve a problem or create a transformation. I mean, we're all, we've all got an inner sparkle or a zone of genius that's there to connect with others, to help it uplift each other. So if we can sell our product, then we're helping other people, we can help, you know, and leave a legacy behind as well. So selling to us is a [00:30:00] beautiful word. Selling and marketing gets me so excited because I know the more I sell, the more I can help, yeah.
Ryan Chapman: I think that's really important too. Cause, we all have these different frames that we use to interpret the world around us. And a lot of people have kind of a messed up frame around selling and money. And because of that, they'll sell sabotage. And I'm sure that life coach and. Yeah. With all the work that you've done with your ladies, that you've developed skills to help them recognize how to reframe that based on what you just said, that that's a perfect frame. That's kind of how I always had to look at it because I'm not like a cold person, I don't think. And so I, for me, I always look at it as if you're not helping somebody really helping them with their problems, then, yeah, you don't deserve any money, but if you do, you definitely deserve what it is that you ask for because you're really creating value for those folks and really making a difference in their lives and making it easier for them to reach their [00:31:00] dreams and all that. So I think that look, that focus, that perspective on things. In fact, did you ever get a copy of my book, The Messaging Connection.
Sally Sparks Cousins: No, I did not.
Ryan Chapman: I'm going to send you one right after this.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. Fabulous.
Ryan Chapman: It'll be the digital audio version, so you can just listen to it if you want one.
Sally Sparks Cousins: That's good. I'm a, I'm a total listner podcasts and audible. I fall asleep, as soon as my husband starts snoring, the headphones go in and a podcast goes on, or a book goes on and that drowns out the sound.
Ryan Chapman: In one of my first chapters, I talk about how you see people, it changes everything. Because, you know, for us in the messaging connection, I'm talking about texting and how important it is and how powerful it can be. But if you see people as moneybags as opposed to real humans with real problems trying to get somewhere in their life, it will mess up all of your messaging. So even though the mechanics of sending a text message gets better visibility, and you know, we know all the advantages inherently, cause we all text with other people. [00:32:00] But those are to no avail. In fact, they'll accelerate your demise if you see people the wrong way. One of my first chapters is you have to start seeing people the right way, which is as humans, just like you. And that adage that you talked about, that heart to heart. I thought you could say heart to heart cause that's how I think about it too, which is the same thing, right? Until you connect with the heart of somebody you really haven't connected. So you can connect on the money side. You can connect on some, you know, fear side or something like that. But that's not really a connection. That's a temporary hold. Someone's still so you can talk to them, but until you connect at the heart level, you're really not there. And the best way to connect to the heart level is really to be sincerely concerned about the wellbeing of another individual.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah, a hundred percent a great one of our brand values, we have, we've got a few brand values, but one we hold really, really dear is good karma is treating others the way you want to be traded. And you know, we do give a lot away inside the [00:33:00] sparkle world. I actually did a whole year at one stage where I practiced good karma for my, communication design side of my business when I was doing lots more design and I kind of lost my passion for designing and decided that I was only going to give away design work and have people donate to a charity of my choice, to have design work done and just by giving and sharing. I ended up winning these huge award, in front of thousands of people for serving others. And then a year later I'm like, okay, I did the year of good karma. I'm just going to go live now. I went live for 365 days straight. Teaching stuff to people, anything like you could literally, if you wanted to spend, you know, half a lifetime going through all of my videos online, you could piece together everything that I teach, but just not in, you know, it's not in the right order, of course, like you do inside a course, but for a whole year [00:34:00] every single day I went live and shared something to help others. Now, that alone grew from, I had 2000 followers at the start of that 12 months challenge. By the end of it, I had over 70,000 followers on social just by giving and serving, and I think we're now over a hundred and something thousand followers, but it all came from that place of serving first about giving and, in return, you know, those that, you know, do want to pay, they get that extra bit of love. But we know like every time I would go live, I would tell myself I don't care if they buy or not. As long as I take something away and take action to change their lives, it just spread around...
Ryan Chapman: Where did that perspective come from? Because that's not just something that happens. You know what I mean? Where did, where's the, what's the Genesis or the seed?
Sally Sparks Cousins: So I've been through a lot. I've [00:35:00] got a lot of stories. I think my biggest one, my biggest story and one of the hardest stories I had to share, which I can now share without getting upset, was we lost a son. And, he made us realize how life is so God damn short, like it is so short. He was a fleeting. He was here and he was gone. And, it really made us appreciate life and the feeling of giving. And like, I don't want to leave these world and not feel as though I've contributed to the world and to society. Now, his very, very short life, and I'm not after a pity party. I'm not that type of person, but his short, beautiful life was enough for us to celebrate the beauty of life. And what he left behind was his own little little legacy to our family. And both myself [00:36:00] and my husband both work from home. We both do what we love to do. Like we could have taken the easy road and had a higher paying job and all of that, but we chased what it was that made us happy by choice and we want to give that to others. We want other people to experience that as well. So he was our defining moment. Prior to that, we both worked in corporate. We both worked, you know, I worked in a government department prior to that, after that, he resigned where he was. I couldn't work for a while and, you know, I'd always been an entrepreneur, but I was like, from then on I had to do what I loved. And yeah, that was sort of the defining point in our lives where we started to really chase our dreams and our passions and we celebrate him. We celebrate him every year. Like he actually last week he would have been 16. And, every year at Christmas we go out as a family and we shop [00:37:00] together. We go and buy a Christmas present for a boy who would have been his age, and we donate it under a wishing tree, in his name to give and to pay that forward. So he's our little angel and he's to be celebrated and not mourned. Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. And again, thank you for sharing that. That's a very personal, intimate thing you shared. I know that means a lot.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Yeah. He makes our world sparkle.
Ryan Chapman: I think if there's a principal that really is deep in that is the principle that those things that we can interpret as major tragedies and they are in many ways, could be defined that way, also can, if we turn our heart the right direction, become inspiration for so much good that laid dormant within us, but could only be squeezed out through the agony of these challenges that we face.
Sally Sparks Cousins: Some people could go one of two [00:38:00] ways, and I think if you, yeah. One thing that people can't, you know, lots of things can happen in your life, but nobody can change your thought processes. You know, it, whatever you choose to think is your own reality. That's not woo hoo. It's not all but what it is that you think is your own reality. It is what you create for yourself. You know, there are people out there who will blame others for them not being successful or make excuses or, you know, but at the end of the day, it's what we think. And then what we turn into action because of those thoughts and feelings that we have that will define us as who we are. So I truly believe that that's one thing that people can't take away from you is, is our thoughts and what we do with them.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, I agree. Yeah. In front of my front of me, on my desk, I have this little, it's a little ink drawing of a cow with this big old bell hanging around its neck, it was crumpled up and [00:39:00] it's a little ripped on the edges. The actual original picture, this is a photo of that, and this was a, little ink trying that a friend of mine found. Yeah. When her friend committed suicide. And yeah, that friend of mine ended up committing suicide. And so I keep in front of me to remind me of that truth that you learned with your son, that life is so short. There are people that need hope. People need someone to point them in the right direction when they're having a moment of challenge. And where things are really hard is, we're all in this together, and if we are willing to be that light to point people in the right direction. Everything else you do will be fulfilling when you do that. And the world needs people to step up because there are some people that don't have the energy to do it right now. They don't [00:40:00] have, they don't have it in them to find the hope on their own and they need someone like a Sally sparkles. They need, they need somebody out there that is willing to shine. That is willing to point them in the right direction to offer them some hope, give them a hand. You know? And that's really why I do this, this interview series, is because there are so many great people doing hard and good work. And as, as you listen to this, hopefully you get inspired to, to be a little bit more like Sally. So to shine a little bit brighter, to think about those things that drive you to do the things that you do in your business. Being in business on your own can be lonely. But, you know, joining a network that is like Sally's, like if you're a part of Sally's people, you probably should talk to Sally. If you're not in Sally's a group, there are groups out there for you. You know, find that group, get that support cause as an entrepreneur. Yeah, [00:41:00] I'm fortunate. I have four brothers that work with me once, my partner two that worked with my team, and then I have my son that works with me. So I'm fortunate I have that kind of that community just within our own business. And I've got my team members and they're like family to me. So we have that kind of built into our business. But if you're one of these solo-preneurs or your small team, sometimes it can feel really lonely. So get one of those networks, give yourself some people that can be, or people that can, you can lean on, that you can ask questions. I wish to God that there were more Sally's out there creating these little communities that could support people because there are way more people that need them than there are communities that exist. But if you happen to be one of Sally's people and, and you feel like I could use some help, I could use someone to point me in the right direction, I would strongly encourage you to reach out to Sally. So what's the best way for someone to get ahold of you?
Sally Sparks Cousins: So Sally Sparks Cousins on Facebook. That's kind of where we hang out most of the time. And then also Sparkle Class Academy is our online [00:42:00] website, but we're always on Facebook and we've got a free community group that any female coaches, consultants, and healers and course creators can join. It's called Sparkles Suite. And I run free coaching in there every single week, and we do a lot of pro bono work and that as well. So I always take on a handful of pro bono clients, every, every six weeks as well. So yeah, lots of paying it forward.
Ryan Chapman: Thank you so much.
Sally Sparks Cousins: You're welcome. Thank you so much. It's been so lovely chatting with you. I've really, really enjoyed it.