From Starting to Selling: How to Grow a Business with Erin Smith

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On this episode of Rhodes to Success, I interview Erin Smith, who is a serial entrepreneur and has built and sold multiple businesses. She is the woman behind The Starters Club podcast and the author of Master the Start. During the show, we discuss motherhood and business, building business to sell, investing in real estate, delegating and getting out of your own way, and lessons learned from writing a book.


Main Questions Asked:

  • Talk about your perspective on motherhood and business.
  • How do you prepare yourself mentally and logistically to sell?
  • How did you finance your real estate investing?
  • How much time is spent managing property investments?
  • What is your advice on how to brand your business?
  • Share your wisdom around hiring people.
  • Tell us about your experience in writing your book.


Key Lessons Learned:

Working Yourself Out of a Job

  • As an entrepreneur, your goal is to ‘work yourself out of a job.’
  • Get yourself to the point mentally where you can build your business so you get out of it.
  • Trust and hire the right people so your business can continue to grow without you.
  • In order to set up your business so it will run without you, a good test is to go on a vacation and see what happens.
  • There is a difference between having a ‘business’ and a ‘service.’ If you are away and nothing happens, then it’s a service.


Real Estate Investing

  • Erin uses property management companies for her out-of-state properties.
  • The best things Erin ever did were manage her own properties and having a handy man on her team whom her tenants can contact for repairs.


Branding a Business

  • Deciding on whether to go with a business or personal brand is a balance and a decision as to where to put your marketing dollars.
  • If you are promoting your business and your brand, then sometimes it’s best to separate the two as a person and as a brand.
  • If you want your business to be sellable, it’s best to go with the brand and not the personal name.


Hiring and Outsourcing

  • When hiring, go with your gut.
  • Any employee should be bringing a return on investment, which should be reflected in their paycheck.
  • Make sure employees are qualified and make them do some kind of test before hiring them.
  • In the job description, write very specific instructions to test that the applicants are reading the directions.
  • Take your time in hiring, otherwise it will cost you far too much to train someone who leaves after a few months.
  • If your trust is broken with an employee, then get rid of them.


Lessons from Writing a Book

  • Writing a book is such an ‘inner game.’
  • Just because someone else has had the idea for a business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means the business model has already been proven. You have to find an ‘in’ and do it better.
  • We limit ourselves by the notion on what we grew up with and our own mindset of what we are capable of.
  • Everything is a matter of ‘how bad do you want it?’


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The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at 


Links to Resources Mentioned

The Starters Club

Master the Start (book)  

The No B.S. Management of People and Profits (book)


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Are you working yourself out of a job? Find out why you should w/ @thestartersclub @JessRhodesBiz

Are you running a business or a service? Find out how this distinction impacts you w/  @thestartersclub @JessRhodesBiz