Making It: How to Be a Successful Online Entrepreneur
Making It Is a Way of Living (Molly Mahoney)
July 17, 2021
This week, we hear from lively Molly Mahoney, a long-time actress who runs The Prepared Performer, a business that helps experts and entrepreneurs grow and monetize their visibility. Molly says, It's really about diving in and figuring out who you are, and then putting that out into the world."
Episode summary: This week, we sit down with Molly Mahoney, a long-time actress who runs a business called The Prepared Performer. In her business, Molly helps experts and entrepreneurs to grow and monetize their visibility using live video, organic traffic, social media, and automation that drives more human connections.

     For Molly, making it isn’t about the money but is more "a way of living than a result.” In this episode, she shares her stories of waiting in line for early morning Broadway auditions, fully made-up and ready to go at 4 AM. She takes us through the "Starving Artist" phase (not her own, but the ones she helped others through), all the way to her trending at-home-cruise photoshoots, as well as sharing the many lessons she’s learned on her journey to becoming an entrepreneur.

“It's really about diving in and figuring out who you are, and then putting that out into the world.” – Molly Mahoney

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
  1. Mirasee


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Music and SFX credits: 

1. Track Title: Pizzenuto
Artist Name(s): Avocado Junkie
Writer Name: S.L.J. Kalmeijer

2. Track Title: Sweet Loving Waltz
Artist Name(s): Sounds Like Sander
Writer Name: S.L.J. Kalmeijer

3. Track Title: The Sunniest Kids
Artist Name(s): Rhythm Scott
Writer Name: Scott Roush

     Hey, I'm Molly Mahoney and you're listening to Making It. I run a business called the Prepared Performer where we help experts and entrepreneurs to be able to grow and monetize their visibility using live video, organic social and automation that drives more human connections. My journey as a performer, as an actor, professional musical theater has had such a huge impact on what I'm doing in business now.

     When I was in New York, I would get up at, I don't know, five a.m. 4 30  sometimes to walk down Broadway to sit on the street for three hours before they'll let you into the building for an audition that ends up happening at four PM in the afternoon, right? You've got to be like fully ready before you walk out of the house in case somehow you get into the audition early and trusting that things are all working out for you. Having faith that this career path is something that is worth following. I think the artist performer journey and the entrepreneurial journey, they're so similar. I feel that the definition of success, the definition of quote making it has morphed which has been really fun. And I remember one of our first big launches, big challenges that we did, her goal was to do six figures with this challenge and I remember sitting with my husband and I was refreshing my computer like Samcart to see what our sales were and we crossed that 100 K mark and I expected like confetti to fall out of the sky, which newsflash, it did not, we crossed six figures for that one little launch and I was like, okay, nothing happened. So what I realized was making it is really a choice that you make every day.

     I love Gay Hendricks and the book “The big leap” and one of the questions that he asks is are you willing to feel good? And I think the sooner that you can decide that you've already made it, and you just haven't maybe caught up to the you that's already made it yet. Yeah, so I'd say making it is more of a mindset and it's a it's a way of living than it is a result. It's more of a way of being. It's really about diving in and figuring out who you are and then putting that out into the world with a little bit of, like I said, an elevated version of it, but you definitely, even though my my company is called the prepared performer, it's it's about living prepared, and it's about showing up, but not in a way where you're doing, you know, this, like, show, it's in a way where you are, you're presenting who you are, and you're connecting with your community, kind of like Mr Rogers. I never felt that Mr Rogers was putting on a show, but the performance idea, it's not necessarily something that's required if that's not the direction that you're wanting to go in.

     Now, if you are someone who likes performing and you're interested in doing like a million Tiktok videos that are all funny little skits, you know, the idea of entertainment as they say, is helpful, if that's your thing, but if it's not your thing, it is most definitely not a requirement. Back in 2016, I had a musical theater coaching business, so it's doing in person coaching, and I was also teaching voice lessons online and career coaching, and in addition to that, I was working 10 different jobs in 10 different locations, and so I knew there was a way that I could make things more scalable. I created a program called prepared performer profits and the tagline was the “cure for the starving artist syndrome”. And no matter how many people told me, I don't know if that's a good tagline Molly because you're calling them starving artists. I was committed because I really wanted to cure this syndrome and we sold 15 spots in a pilot, It was great, people got awesome results and then I went all out expected to have like a $30,000 launch facebook ads, yada yada yada, all the things and we had zero sales, like actually zero sales and having been someone who has, you know, done so many auditions and done national tours and all these things, I was like, okay, you know, how do I recover from this? I had, you know, spent all this money in time on this launch. I decided there's gotta be another way that I can just make a little tweak to make this work. So what I realized was instead of teaching performers how to have a business, I could just flip flop it and teach business owners how to perform. And we had awesome success that first month we did, I think $3,000 in sales had nothing recorded. I recorded it all live for that month. And then the second month, I re-recorded it all again, we raised the price and then the third month we raised the price again because it was going really well. So by the end of the 3rd month, we did $50,000 in sales. It was so cool.

     I feel one of the biggest mistakes people make when they're looking to launch a business is they're trying to emulate what other people are doing. And I like to say, don't emulate… elevate, right? So take this stuff from inside you and bring it out rather than trying to change who you are to be more like somebody else, because that's just going to be exhausting when you have to continue pretending to be somebody else. I find that I've started to become more of who I am and become more accepting of who I am and learn how to celebrate more of who I am and the more that you can do that and really confidently own that I think that's when real success starts to come to life.

     If there's anything that I could say to my younger self, I would say really like for real for real trust because when you freak out, when you, you know, react to something that seems like this is the end of the world, this is so frustrating or I've got to go, you know, freak out and fix this thing. That energy doesn't actually help you get any closer to making it. So if you can really trust in the fact that everything is working for you and that yes, you may need to make an adjustment. You may need to handle something. You may need to let a team member go. You may need to, you know, do some things to fix things. If you can just trust that it's gonna be okay, you're going to get there much more quickly. I have really trained myself to see events like mistakes as things that happened for us and really find the lesson in all of it.

     Yeah, During the pandemic, I had a Disney cruise that I was going to go on and it's obviously got canceled and I was super bummed because we had been planning on at some point doing this Disney cruise for years and rather than be like Disney, they should give us whatever be angry about it. I decided I was going to take myself on my own pretend cruise. So I started posting pictures of myself with tiki mugs in the backyard and creating my own experience. Well, the pretend cruise thing has totally taken off in our community. You know, people will reference the pretend cruise. People are going on their own pretend cruises. I had a bathing suit company reach out to me which at first I was like, wait, I don't think you realize that I am not actually a bathing suit model. And they were like, no, we love women of all sizes and like we love what you're doing on social. So by leaning into the issues that I was having, turning it into a celebration, and then putting it out there. It's a way of creating entertaining content because it comes from a real-life situation.

     Recently I got a new car. It's a 2,018 Volkswagen convertible and it makes me really, really happy. But if I posted, um, and had 9000 miles on it when I got it, which was like a magical unicorn. But if I posted, I bought a new car, it's cute. It probably would have gotten some response, but that's not what I did. I pulled out the journey because this is the first car that I have ever bought on my own. It's which I think highlighting that as much as we've had, you know, several million generated in revenue. There are still things that are scary for me and when I celebrate that and the journey and staying committed to what you really love, what you really want. The journey of this car. I had so many people message me like, oh I had a VW in high school or you know whatever, sending me pictures, like I saw a Volkswagen bug today and made me think of you, but it's really, it's about pulling out that journey and sharing it with people along the way.

     I do think there are humans in the world who are not comfortable sharing as much as I do publicly. So if you are thinking okay, like this all sounds great, but I, you know, for whatever reason if you have a very private profile, maybe you're not even really active on social media. There are other ways that you can still incorporate the human element, it doesn't have to be that you're sharing pictures of your kids or whatever, things that I know that some people are legitimately and maybe rightfully concerned about. So I get that not everyone is as comfortable as I am putting things out there. And you can still tell stories like there's still, you can tell other people's stories, you can you can reference pop culture in a way that brings people along.

     This is Molly Mahoney and you've been listening to Making It. You can find me at molly dot live slash make it. If you head over there, you'll be able to grab a video content planner so that you can share more of your own awesome with the world.
Molly… M O L L Y dot live slash make it.

     This episode of Making it was assembled by Geoff Govertsen. Cynthia Lamb produced the episode. Danny Bermant is our associate producer and Danny Any, that's me, is our executive producer. If you liked this episode, you might want to check out Just Between Coaches, the podcast that explores the really tough issues that coaches face every day. So you don't miss the really great episodes that are coming up on Making It go ahead and subscribe on apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you're listening right now. And if you like the show, please leave us a starred review. It's the best way to help us get these ideas to more people. Thank you. We'll see you next time.