How to Create Your Unique Brand with an MLM and Create Space as a Solopreneur
Are you a solopreneur or mompreneur struggling with work/life balance? Do you have an MLM and find it difficult to navigate the online space and grow your business? Learn how to discover and find your audience, how to work with your spouse, how to create a unique brand with an MLM, and how to achieve balance as a solopreneur.
Connect with Mia on Instagram @miacosco
In this episode you’ll learn:
- Should you only brand yourself for other moms?
- The truth on mlm business models and how you can position yourself
- Can you work with your spouse?
- How you can achieve balance, or create space, as a solopreneur
Full Transcription at the bottom of this blog post.
Before you go, I’d love to connect with you and give you some gifts to help you grow your online presence!
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Okay, moms, are you struggling with achieving balance or creating space as a solopreneur, and maybe you’re struggling with your brand and who to market it to? My guest today is Mia Cosco. She’s a branding coach, helping moms like you overcome uncertainty in your brand voice and create a thriving heart-centered business using powerful, personal branding. We chat about a sense of purpose. What limits you might be putting on yourself, how to work with your spouse if you choose to and why you need some cold water exposure. Trust me, this will all make sense. Let’s get to the juicy stuff.
Hello, Mia. Welcome to the show.
Hi, Alison. Thanks for having me.
I’m excited that you’re here now, before we jump into branding and balance, cause you might know that branding is probably one of my favorite topics besides Instagram to talk about on this show. But I would like for you to talk about your background because I took a peek at your bio and you just sound like such an interesting person. And you’ve had a lot of experiences when it comes to being an actress, being in the modeling world, the digital project management space. And then I know you experienced some burnout and then what led you to the health and wellness space? So can you share a little of your backup?
Sure. Yeah, well, um, I was really pleased to be able to, you know, be able to travel when I was a project manager and when I was kind of studying to get my certification and I was really honestly hitting a lot of burnout, a lot of moments where I was just completely flat on my face, tired. Um, I realized that the one thing I wanted to do when I left project management, um, in venture capital was to travel alone. So I actually knew that the, one of the most daring things I could do was travel to a third world country alone by myself. So that’s what I did. Um, I traveled to Laos and it’s funny when you’re thousands and thousands of miles away from home, you begin to get a lot of perspective on the fish full of life that you’re living back at home.
And for me, I found that I really wanted something amazing to come home to and wasn’t necessarily a, it was more so like just a sense of purpose. Like was I part of a team that was building something awesome? Was I leading a company that was doing really innovative things? Um, what industry, you know, when I kind of thought about this for the two weeks that I was away in Laos, which was the country I wanted to go to and Laos is a very spiritual place as well. So there was a lot for me to sink my teeth into in terms of, you know, finding a greater purpose, achieving a deeper mission. And I thought to myself, I want to work for a wellness company when I come home. So I phoned a recruiter of a really well-known aromatherapy brand, um, called stage natural Walnut.
So they’re kind of a competitor to like doTERRA and other sorts of, I guess, popular chromotherapy companies and phoned her up. We had a call, you know, 5:00 AM my time basically. And by the time I had landed back in Vancouver where I live, um, I had a job lined up to work in marketing at a wellness company in Vancouver. And it was one of the greatest, probably the greatest corporate culture I’ve ever been a part of and also made me realize, you know, shortly after a few months afterwards, the contract ended with them and then COVID-19 hit. And then I realized the only people I want to be boosting and marketing in this world are other wellness brands and health and wellness entrepreneurs who are genuinely, you know, putting, putting good things into the planet, teaching amazing principles and values to people and really healing people. So that became, that is still my mission. And that just sort of became my mission as I traveled and learn more about myself and spirituality and yeah,
That is such a cool story and kudos to you for traveling by yourself to a third world country. I, you know, I can just imagine, I’m sure a lot of us have these dreams and goals to go do mission work in third world countries. But when it comes to actually doing it, that is like a scary leap of faith to do. Now. I think it’s so cool that you are into the health and wellness space, but what I like, what you said is you are teaching entrepreneurs how to market and promote, you know, their brand, their mission to help others. And you know, what ever since COVID and this pandemic and everything going on in the world, you know what, lately I look at the world and I always feel that we are focusing on the wrong things. We’re focusing on medicines and stuff like that. And I’m like, why aren’t we promoting like healthy lifestyles health at its core. So I think it’s really cool that you’re doing that. So how does the health and wellness space and branding come together?
That’s a really good question. And one that, um, you know, people typically ask me about a lot, actually. So you’re not the first person who’s been interested in that bridge for me, I find that like a lot of the people that I’m branding are people on the health and wellness space, like yoga teachers, aroma therapists, massage therapists, um, coaches. So a lot of like lifestyle coaches and, you know, even sound healers. A lot of people especially want to actually be branding, um, like a psychedelic integration coaching business. Like a lot of people are coming online to how, um, like psychedelics are medicine. And so for me, I find that that’s, for me, we find that that’s just something that people are waking up to in a, in a, in a way where they see themselves as service providers as like therapist in that way. And I think that I’m excited for that sort of a change happening in the world because I know that hasn’t always been the case and people are kind of waking up to, to that.
It’s, it’s really interesting. I would say a few things about branding health and wellness entrepreneurs that are different from, I guess, regular marketing and branding advice is like, I’m typically I hold a lot of space and I have a lot of patience for creative entrepreneurs and like creative type. So, you know, people’s creative juices. Aren’t always flowing. So sometimes it’s, I can just say, Hey, let’s, co-create the copy for this? Or let’s, co-create the sales page for your surface? Like, you know, today, because sometimes they’re like, no, no, I need to go and decompress. I need to go and be in nature. I need to be in the forest. I need to do my routine. That gets me to that place. And then I can be creative with you. And I’m like, cool. All right. I’m I have a lot of patience for that because I’ve done it.
It’s not always going to be automatic. And then in addition to that, there are lots of beliefs that I work on with health and wellness entrepreneurs, specifically around money and financial worth and value placed on someone because a lot of healers almost don’t want to attach a dollar figure to what they offer, but this is their lifeblood and they see other people charging for it. So there’s a large conundrum. I feel in the health and wellness space of like what to charge. Um, you know, if we’re, if we’re really kind of tuned into our spirituality and if we’re really concerned more so with the healing impact we want to make on the world, what’s the dollar figure on that. I find that a lot of the times I’m talking with clients about like, you know, like what is the price you’re going to attach to your offer?
Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting. Now I just thought of something, cause I’m sure we have a lot of mompreneurs listening that are in the health and wellness space and they have an MLM company. You mentioned new Tara. I’m sure there’s a lot of other companies out there. And I think probably one of the hardest things for women is to, they are attached to the MLM brand and they don’t know how to stand out and market themselves as the brand. What is your advice?
It’s a really good question as well. I would say that for me, you know, I, I am naturally as hesitant as anybody when it comes to MLM marketing, because it’s kind of one of those areas that can come across as quite salesy, pushy, you know, um, in a way that, you know, we don’t, when we think of success, we have all sorts of different definitions now. And unfortunately, you know, we’re, it’s not, it’s not easy anymore for us to just sort of say, okay, success obviously is when, you know, an older white male in a suit tells us it’s about success, right? And, and then Napoleon Hill foundations of success, aren’t going to be the same for everybody because not everyone looks like resonates with or feels like what Napoleon Hill was talking about. For example. So there’s timeless wisdom in looking at what’s worked in the past, for example, you know, Herbalife, very popular health and wellness, arguably MLM company, people will often point to how it’s a pyramid scheme and MLM is just a term that turns people off.
So it’s really important that people rebrand almost the MLM concept and really be aware of the history that has done MLM dirty, essentially. Um, like a lot of people are coming to me saying me don’t want to start an MLM, but they’re going to call it like brand ambassadors and an ambassadorship or affiliate or influencer model, which is essentially the same thing, but it doesn’t have that weight of Evan MLM, you know, tearing it, dragging it behind. So I hope that makes sense, but that’s kind of how MLM has shifted without necessarily disregarding the fact that there is something important to the MLM model that people do want to preserve because when you have a community, when you have a tribe and you want to get the word out about your product or service, it’s not that MLM is terrible. It’s just that there’s a lot of, uh, I guess greasy sales tactics use an MLM marketing and language that people are pretty turned off to. Unfortunately. Yeah,
You totally answered the question and I agree they don’t have the best track record. It’s just, uh, yeah. It’s navigating through it and how to promote it the right way without being like sleazy about it.
Now should a mom only brand themselves to other moms?
Yeah. So the reason why I, I love thinking about this and talking about this, cause I work with a lot moms who are in the health and wellness space is, you know, so commonly assumed as we get off the bat brainstorming about clients and who they want to serve, like deeply, truly who they want to serve. They’ll typically say I know other women and when I questioned them on that, they’ll yeah. Say, yeah, moms and I’ll, and I’ll really, I’ll really challenge them there really lightly. And just say, you know, do you think that your service or product is only for moms, do you think that it’s only for, for women and they typically have not ever been asked that before, which is curious to me because I think wow, I’m might be the first person that’s really asked them to think outside of the box in their business or brand, because I believe already in the beauty of their vision.
And I think sometimes if you are especially a single mom or like you’re a mom with kind of an idea that you’re struggling with, um, you know, onboarding other people to, you know, sometimes you lose hope and the beauty of your own vision, where you may have been inspired once before, but there’s been so many naysayers and so much contrary research and so much just in life, that’s kind of weighing you down or taking you, distracting you away from obviously your business or brand that, um, you, you stop, you stop believing in the beauty of your own vision. And that’s kind of where I come in and I say like, no, you know, you want to, you know, be a sound healer and use the harp and a studio to, you know, heal people and bring people to calmness who have, you know, who are on the autism spectrum.
Like that’s beautiful, that’s a beautiful vision. And I want to believe in that with you. So let’s make it happen. Like I’m already enrolled, let’s do it. And typically that’s when they realize, okay, I don’t just need to be marketing to women like me. I can, you know, if there’s a lot of people coming to, to the, to the, to the business woman, mom, and they’re not necessarily other moms, maybe they’re maybe they’re, you know, adolescent boys or maybe their adolescent girls, you know, um, or they’re just, they, they fall outside of the mom category. Then listen to those people too. Like those people want healing and health too. And, um, it’s important to find your niche. And if your niche is not with, with women that are just like, you listen to that, that’s okay. You know, you got to find your tribe and sometimes your tribe doesn’t actually look or sound like you, they’re just people who, who are greatly inspired by what you have to share, because you’re just that different perspective that they need.
I love that. And you said something too about find your tribe. And I think some of the mistakes that we might make as an entrepreneur is we immediately think that we have to niche down our audience. And sometimes that’s not the case. Sometimes you have to go out there and explore and find, you know, who exactly you’re meant to serve. Cause how do we know who we’re meant to serve, getting out there and serving different audiences.
So true. So true. And for sure, it’s like, it’s kind of like, you know, when people tell me and I want to have a hands-off business and I say, well, in order to have a hand-off business, you have to be really hands on in the beginning, then you can happy.
It’s kind of like having a toddler. You got to be hands-on when you’re potty training, if you want them to, you know, be body drained on their own in the end. Exactly. That’s a really good way of looking at it too. Yeah, for sure. I hear that another question, Mia, can a mother work with her spouse.
So I always love addressing this question because I have worked with myself. Um, so I have been informal relationships where I’ve started businesses and nonprofits with former spouses. And what I want to start off by saying, with, to answer this question is that, you know, not everyone is bill and Melinda Gates, you know, and even if you think that maybe you could, you know, a couple like say bill and Melinda Gates doing the foundation work is, you know, in an interview, they, they answered questions about how it was like to work together. And Melinda said, um, who’s just an absolute, like, so, so wise, like she’s such a smart woman, obviously. Um, she said that the reason why they work together so well it’s because they have strengths that are complimentary and they stay in their own lane. Like they do their own thing. So for example, if both husband and wife or both spouses are like, they’re, they’re not quite sure where their lanes are or they’re not quite sure what their roles are important to know, because it’s kind of like when you’re hosting, you know, a dinner party, it’s like, okay, someone’s on the front end and someone’s on the backend, right?
Like there’s, there’s, you know, maybe the husband or wife is doing the greeting and doing the hosting and entertaining. And the other partner is doing the food prep and making sure that everything is like set up for the front end to be supported. Well, so it’s, yeah, it’s like front of house, back of house, kind of, kind of thinking if you want to make a relationship work in the workplace. And for me, where my relationships have floundered in working together is when, uh, number one, we’re working from home. And so the bedroom becomes an office. The bedroom should not become an office. A bedroom is for sleeping or sex. It is not
And it really, it needs to be a really firm boundary. So if there’s people who are trying to make it work by doing everything in all corners of the house, um, there just needs to be literally those physical boundaries there too, with the space, if you’re working from home and two, there needs to be like roles and expectations that differ from the two of them and, and it needs to complement their strengths and skillsets. So, you know, if you’re, if you’re an artist in the accountant role, I mean, it’s just going to be one it’s going to, it’s going to zap the fun out of that relationship. Cause there’s going to be complaints. It’s going to be just like mismatch. And you know, I, you know, I’ve been, I’ve worked in situations where I’ve been in roles that previously did not suit my skills. And I beat myself up for a lot because I was like, Oh, I should be good at this. But it’s like, no, I actually should not be good at this. This is just not my thing. And I can learn it and I can love it, but it’s really important to know our strengths and our weaknesses. Um, so we can get the help and assistance we need if we test don’t know at all, which we often will not. Um, so that’s, that’s, that’s a bunch of bunch of stuff I would say about people working together.
No, that was a really a great explanation. And the whole having hosting a party at your house was such a great example and yeah, I mean, you’re right. The, the mother and the husband cannot wear the same hats in a business because it just would never work. You’d be all over each other’s feet. Yeah. Yeah. And when you said the artist and the accountant, I just pictured myself because there would be no way I could do the accounting part. If I was working with my husband, he would be the bookkeeper behind the scenes and I would be the creative. No, I do have one last question for you. How can a mother achieve balance or create space as a solopreneur?
Yeah. So, I mean, I want to, I would bring it back to the basics if she’s just sort of starting out creating, creating balance. Um, you know, I would start with the breath, you know, how is she breathing from day to day? Um, it does look it, you know, I don’t expect people starting to achieve balance working from home by just going and meditating an hour a day. Um, cause that’s typically just not something sustainable for the beginning meditator or the beginning work from home, or who’s trying to achieve balance. I would say honestly, the best thing you can do is to, you know, just take a pause and take a breath whenever you find yourself like running around and just trying to do more than two things at a time. Um, I would also really highly recommend cold water exposure. So, um, you know, before you start your Workday, even if you don’t shower in the morning and you shower in the afternoon, like that say we’d done a workout or something, I recommend still doing some cold water exposure at the beginning of your day, just to sort of, um, actually literally feel a sense of accomplishment before you’ve even done your work.
So it’s really nice to feel so accomplished before you start your Workday so that you approach your work already from a place of fulfillment. Um, because if you’re starting your work from a place of scarcity, you’re going to be running yourself ragged and that’s just not fun for anyone. So, um, literally having a little bit of a cold shower in the morning, like two minutes, that would be, that would probably be a good way of doing it. Um, also like getting your heart rate, getting your, getting your, um, you know, your blood going and going for a workout is a really good way of stimulating yourself and strengthening your immune system, um, to achieve balance as well. Um, and just remember to get outside, you know, get skills, go for walks, ideally in nature. Um, but honestly just as long as you’re getting outside, you’re going for a walk like just 10 minute walks either, you know, with your pet or just, or with your, with your child. Um, or even just with yourself, great way to kind of reset yourself in between calls or meetings. So those are the kinds of a bunch of things like really basic things that can just be that, um, lowest minimum threshold of achieving success and success I think is, is achieving isn’t, it’s having really healthy relationships in your life. And, um, it starts with having a really healthy relationship with yourself.
And I think too, it comes down to having that awareness when you feel that your balance is off or where you feel that your space that you’re trying to create is crowded with distractions.
Yes, yes. And I can tell that, you know that too, because we’ve, we’ve been in those places where we have been stressed and we have been burnt out. And so we know what it’s like to step out of that. Um, and we know what it’s like to step into that mode of being, or we’re just running around like a chicken with our heads cut off. Right.
And I think too, the biggest lesson being an entrepreneur is learning the art of saying no, which is really hard to do as a mom, because I think in general women and mom, we are givers and we want to please our family and our children, but that the art of learning to say no is hard at first, but it can be really powerful and actually help you create space, trying to be a solopreneur and building your business and raising your family and creating the life that you really want.
Yeah. Oh, so true.
Mia, this was an awesome conversation and I know some of our listeners are going to definitely want to check your stuff out. So where can they find you on social?
Yeah, for sure. So I’m on Instagram @miacosco and very responsive to my DMS. So, um, and I post a lot of content about branding. So people want to learn about branding. Um, learn about me, learn about how to achieve balance as well. Uh, in your end, looking on your online business or just your business in general, um, connect with me there. Yeah. And basically that’s, that’s I also linked to my YouTube channel there as well. Um, when I post weekly videos, uh, going more in depth on topics I address on Instagram
And I will make sure that your information is in the show notes. And thank you again for being on the show.
Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to talk to you. And so great to just have this moment where we could come together and talk about what really matters, which is, um, really catalyzing, you know, wealth building with, with wellbeing and talking to moms is such a, such a joy. So thank you.