B2B: W.E. Inc with Melissa Barker

Stacy Smith: Is this thing on?


Erin Spencer: Yes. Hi, I’m Erin Spencer.


Stacy Smith: And I’m Stacy Smith.


Erin Spencer: And this is “Between Two Brokers” a podcast about real estate, business, and life. 


Stacy Smith: Hang in there, we’re smarter than we look.


Stacy Smith: Welcome, everyone to another episode of “Between Two Brokers.” Today we have a wonderful guest, Melissa Barker, with Women Entrepreneurs, Inc., which we are going to refer to as WE Inc. for simplicity. Thank you so much for joining us. 


Melissa Barker: Thanks for having me, this is fun.


Stacy Smith: So I would like for you to start and kind of give us a little bit of background about your business, what you do and how you started it. 


Melissa Barker: Sure. So I am obsessed with women and entrepreneurship, that is my passion. So I’m an entrepreneur myself, I started a couple of companies about seven years ago after almost losing my soul in corporate. So I actually have two companies, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc., which as you said, we call WE Inc. because no one can say, much less spell the word entrepreneur. And I also have a content company called the Show and Tell Co. So those are my two babies.


Stacy Smith: That’s awesome. 


Stacy Smith: So tell us what you do for women entrepreneurs.


Yes. So what I found is that entrepreneurship can be really lonely, especially for women. When I moved to Charleston and started my business, I wasn’t really interested in networking events or like hanging out at a yoga studio, and holding hands and singing Kumbaya, like I needed another woman to pull back the curtain and be like, this is how entrepreneurship is done. This is how you run a business. And so we started with 25 women who kind of felt the same way. 


Now, five years later, we have an international membership. But really, in short, we connect women to other women entrepreneurs because we can be kind of hard to find sometimes, and then we help them become more visible, like the world can’t buy from you, if they don’t know who you are, so we connect them to grants, awards, press, speaking and partnerships, so that they can get more visible and more people can buy from them.


Stacy Smith: And you have an acronym for that, right? 


Melissa Barker: I do. 


Stacy Smith: So like is this a big thing, like, when you join WE Inc, and everything that you promote? 


Melissa Barker: I put an acronym to everything, I’m a marketer.


Stacy Smith: Same.


Melissa Barker: That’s just how my brain works. So it’s GAPPS with two P’s. 


Melissa Barker: So, G-A-P-P-S grants, awards, press, partnerships, and speaking. So you can get visible in a lot of ways, right? Like you can post what you had for breakfast on Instagram, but that’s not the same, right, that’s not going to give you the same credibility, as if you have an award behind your name, or you were featured in Forbes, right,  or like you want to grant now you’ve got some free cash for your business. 


So I like to focus on those five, because I think when it comes to building your business and becoming an authority, and getting people to want to buy from you, those are the things that people look at and say yeah, like she’s worth paying attention to.


Stacy Smith: Yeah, I mean, I think, and what people think they’re doing is marketing is like post, post, post, post, post. So right, you’re talking about, like, they see the breakfast or whatever, or they see a picture of a bird or whatever that you’re putting on Instagram, and you think that you’re reaching people, but when I asked you, we had a conversation earlier this week about marketing and everything and you said, “You call it marketing, I call it visibility.” And it sucks, because you know, I like to lead by example, which is the whole entire reason we have this podcast. 


Melissa Barker: Yes.


Stacy Smith: It’s the whole entire reason we have a video for this podcast, because how can I go in front of my team and say, you know, you guys need to be on video, people want to get to know who you are, they need to see your face, they need to listen to you talk, and then that’s how you build trust, which is what we need in order for. 


Melissa Barker: Right.


Stacy Smith: People buy from us or use us for services. And so I want you to talk a little bit more about visibility. I mean, I think, inherently women, I will tell you, I feel like 90% of the conversations I have, maybe more, women tell me, “I love to be in the background”, and I cannot tell you, this may surprise everybody, but I said that.


Melissa Barker: I still say it. 


Erin Spencer: Really? 


Melissa Barker: Yeah, visibility. Like yeah.


Melissa Barker: So I think y’all do a really great job of it, though. I always kind of stop in my newsfeed when I see you and the women on your team. But yeah, I hear that all the time, too. It’s like, we think if we just put our head down and do great work, and serve others, that someone is going to reward us, but that’s not really how it works, like the women that get rewarded are the ones that are willing to be visible, but not just in like as you said, like, “Hey, I’m at brunch, like drinking mimosas”, like nobody cares, that doesn’t give you any authority.


Erin Spencer: Right. 


Melissa Barker: Or like, “Look how cute my kids are,” like do that, fine, but if you’re looking to become visible in the way that matters and the way that builds trust and wants people to list their multi-million dollar house with you, there’s a way that you should present yourself on social media or on any platform. So that’s a lot of the work that I do with women, when I work with them one-on-one is like, what’s your visible? Like, it’s as personal as, like, your personal style. 


Stacy Smith: Mhmm. 


Like when I wear heels, I look and feel ridiculous, right? So like they are just not on the table for me, like wedges and boots, cool. Like I found my personal style. Same as visibility. Like you’ve got to look across all the different ways you can become visible and be like, “What works for me? Like, what feels authentic and good for me?”


Stacy Smith: Mhmm.


Melissa Barker: And then you leverage those and say, “Eff the rest”, Right? If dancing on Tik Tok is not your thing, like, don’t think another thing about it, like, take it off the table. 


Stacy Smith: Right.


Erin Spencer: Mine is making fun of my husband. 


Melissa Barker: Yeah, tell me more about that. 


Erin Spencer: Just how messy he is and.


Melissa Barker: Yeah. 


Erin Spencer: And yeah. I love to pick on him, and he’s not on Instagram, so I can do it without him knowing. 


Melissa Barker: So he doesn’t even see it?


Erin Spencer:  Well, then I show it to him later, after, you know, after a lot of people have commented and.


Melissa Barker: Right. 


Erin Spencer: And made fun of him too.


Stacy Smith: Well, that’s so cool because it helps to get, as it helps- So Erin’s sense of humor is my favorite thing about her. It’s not her looks. And so it’s funny, because like, with my boyfriend, you know, I will always tell stories about her and getting to know her and stuff, but I’ll actually show her posts from show him, posts from her Instagram to kind of convey the message.


Melissa Barker: Right. 


Stacy Smith: Because that’s how you get to know who she is. It’s totally authentic. Like, and by the way, her husband has like, an unbelievable sense of humor, too. So I’m so glad that you can get away with everything.


Erin Spencer: But I don’t post, I hardly post anything real estate related.  


Melissa Barker: Yeah. 


Erin Spencer: Just because it’s like, it’s, I know, when I follow another agent, it’s because I like that person and when all I see is real estate stuff,  I’m like, “Why am I following you?”


Melissa Barker: Right. 


Erin Spencer: You could be anybody, you know? Jane Do. And it doesn’t matter, because you’re not telling me anything about you and I’ll mute them or unfollow them just because it’s not interesting to me. 


Melissa Barker: Yeah.


Stacy Smith: I mean, that’s what I tell the people on my team-is find something compelling. How are you going to add value? What is it that you’re going to say that is different from, you know, they have five best friends that are real estate agents? Why are they going to pick you? 


Melissa Barker: Yeah.


Stacy Smith: You know, in Erin’s case, it might just be like, they have a great sense of humor, and they want somebody that has a great, it’s not something that we see all the time because a lot of times with real estate professionals we see like this whole, like buttoned up.


Melissa Barker: Here are your market insights. 


Stacy Smith: Exactly.


Erin Spencer: Right. 


Stacy Smith: And it’s just like a snooze fest, so I always tell people to stand out in whatever way possible and I think everybody on our team does a really good job of that, but it’s hard.


Melissa Barker: It is hard. Yeah. But I again, like I would compliment you guys, you’ve found a way, to not only show yourselves, but I love how you give voice to the members of your team, you know, because I think that’s another missed opportunity as women leaders, as women, as the boss, like we need to also be helping the women on our team become more visible, right, and build their own personal brand and like what works for them.


I posted this on LinkedIn the other day, and I got a bunch of reactions, so I’ll say it here: 


It’s like the thing that you’re ultimately trying to figure out when you post on social media is what makes you cool, right? Like, if you know what makes you cool, like, if it’s cool for you to like, make fun of your husband and that’s a funny inside joke and people can join in, like, that’s your cool, like, run with that. If you’re the person that likes to learn the dance tutorials and do that, like do that. But like stay in what makes you feel like you’re being 100% you. 


Stacy Smith: Hmm, totally. 


Melissa Barker: Which doesn’t mean you get to stay in your comfort zone.


Stacy Smith: No, yes. 


Melissa Barker: You do have to push it, like this, for me is like a little bit of my comfort zone, but it does mean that like just don’t go off in a lane because someone told you you have to do something in your business. 


Erin Spencer: Right.


Stacy Smith: Right. 


Stacy Smith: Well, and this brings up another good point. So I don’t, look at you. I mean, you’re gorgeous. 


Melissa Barker: Thank you.


Stacy Smith: You have you know, you have a perfect personality, to be on camera to be doing interviews, you have a great tone of voice. I mean, you have everything, yet you hate doing this. And that again, every single time that I meet with a woman, it doesn’t matter what she looks like, I mean, she can be very, very confident and it’s funny because Oprah, my Jesus, no offense to anybody. 


Erin Spencer: No offense to Jesus. 


Stacy Smith: You should be complimented, anyway, but she always tells the story about Beyonce going on stage and afterward going backstage to see her and saying, “Did I do okay?” She’s like “Yeah, you did great.”  I mean, you know, she’s the queen. 


Stacy Smith: Yeah.


Melissa Barker: Yeah. 


Stacy Smith: And so I think that’s what we have to remember as women is, it’s just like all of us, and probably not, it’s probably the same for men, like we’re all kind of second-guessing ourselves, unless we’re egomaniacs or narcissists, right and we’re, everything is uncomfortable. Like when we first did this, we had to have cocktails first. Now it’s, we can do it in the morning and Erin’s very sick, and she could do it. 




Stacy Smith: And it brings up another point, which is, I had one of my male mentors who’s in his 60s, very, very successful, call me up and say, “You need to change your profile and I need to know about all of your success. I know you’re one of the top agents in town, I need you to tell me that in your bio. I need you to tell me about everything that you’ve sold,” and he said, “Stacy, especially men”, and I don’t know about women, “but especially men are going to choose you because you’re successful and you need to tell me that explicitly because I’m going through all these different websites and everything.” And I cringed, I was like, I do not like to brag about myself.


Melissa Barker: Sure.


Stacy Smith: And I feel like most women don’t, but can you talk about that? Maybe, if you know anything about why as women, we, it’s like, we are hiding behind all of this.


Melissa Barker: I’ll talk about that, but I also have to also share a Beyonce quote. So Beyonce was also asked, “Are you excited about being the number one pop star in the world?” and she was like, “I have no interest in being the number one pop star. I want to be a legend.” 


Stacy Smith: Wow.


Melissa Barker: That’s confidence. 


Stacy Smith: Wow.


Melissa Barker: I love, I love, I love that quote. Okay, so I talk to women about this all the time. I, again, I think it goes back to this idea and I don’t know where it came from, but I think because we wear so many hats, and we’re good at so many things, and we’re like the ultimate multitaskers, we tend to just expect that good work gets rewarded. Like, as long as I serve others with everything I’ve got, like, the money will come, the fame will come, the accolades will come. But what we know is, we’re living in a really crowded space right now, like anybody with an iPhone can be a podcast host, right, and can have a platform. So that’s not good enough anymore. Like, and the other thing people don’t realize is that, like, when we were featured in Forbes, hello, Forbes did not call me. I pitched for that, you know, like, I decided I wanted to be featured in Forbes, so I went after that publication. For most awards, no one is like, “Hey, Erin, like, we just want to give you this award, because we think you’re amazing.”  No, as you apply, right, sometimes you gotta get people to vote for you. 


Erin Spencer: Sometimes you gotta pay for them.


Melissa Barker: Sometimes you have to pay for them, right?


Melissa Barker: So like, you’re much more rewarded if you go after these things that you know make you more credible in men’s eyes, or whoever your target audience is for that. So I think for women it’s, you know, you gotta just go out there and get it, like for grants, is another opportunity. There are more grants out there for women-owned businesses, it is not just for nonprofits anymore. Women are just leaving money on the table, like just leaving money on the table because they don’t want to go after and pitch for the grant, but they are there.


Stacy Smith: So how do you, okay, so let’s say I’m a member of WE Inc. 


Melissa Barker: Yep. 


Stacy Smith: Okay. 


Stacy Smith: When we were talking earlier, you said that most of the people, or half of the people that come to you are like one to three years in the business, they are doing their own marketing, their own bookkeeping, and they are like, “Whoa, I can’t do this all myself.” So I come to you now, do you have a database of grants that you are trying to connect them with? 


Melissa Barker: Yes.


Stacy Smith: Or how does that work?


Melissa Barker: Yes, so we really are kind of that bridge between, okay, I’ve been doing it I’m doing everything myself, I’ve got a little bit of success, but I know I can’t make the big leap without pulling in either some other women or some other professionals. So we kind of sit there like ready for you when you get to that place in your business. Once you join our group, one of the first things that we do is we introduce you to what we call the “hot list”. The hot list is my acronym, my GAPPS acronym, and each month we go out and we find, what are the award opportunities open right now? Where the call for speakers open right now? What are the grants available to you right now? So it’s like a vetted list, all you have to do is login to your member dashboard, click on it, spend an hour a month and pitch yourself across these five areas, and then you know, we just we make it easy, right. But you have to do the work right like. 


Stacy Smith: Yeah.


Melissa Barker: Like a gym, you know what I mean? Like you can buy the membership, but if you don’t show up and hit the treadmill, like, you know, can’t get a six pack. So we’re, you know, we’re the same way like we bring you all the resources to get visible, but we are a community of like, go-getters.


Stacy Smith: Well, and that’s the other thing is that I hear a lot of people say that they want, you know, the business that somebody has or the success that somebody has. There is a shit ton, and years and years and years of hard, scrappy work behind that. And I think that that’s something that nobody can deny.


Melissa Barker: Yup.


Stacy Smith: There is no such thing as you know, you hit the jackpot. There isn’t. I don’t care what anybody says,


Melissa Barker: I agree with you. I also didn’t know we were allowed to cuss, so I’m glad that we got that out of the way.


Erin Spencer: Clearly not a listener.


Stacy Smith: It’s okay, we’ll forgive her. Okay, so also talk about some of the other resources that are available when women log in. Is it more individualized? Are there like webinars? Or just kind of talk about what else this is.


Melissa Barker: So this year, we’re doing something a little bit different, because I am over the virtual webinar thing. So we invite women experts to come on what we call, WE Inc. Live. It’s very similar to this except our members are the live audience, instead of this awesome production crew and we get down to the nitty gritty. So it’s not like high level like, “Hey, tell me your story,” because that takes a lot on the audience to like, try to infer how that makes sense for their business. I love that content, but for us, like the one we have coming up is “How to Build an Automated Sales Email Funnel.” Super tactical, yes, you can Google it and try to struggle your way through, but instead, we’re bringing on a conversion copywriter who does these in her sleep and when every member leaves, they’re gonna have like the first draft of their, like, 10-part automated email sales funnel, which is one of those like, gotta have marketing tools. So that’s, that’s the events that we do. And again, it’s like you show up, you do the work, you walk away with something you can implement in your business the very next day. So it’s no fluff. 


The other thing that we have, we call it “The Studio”, so again, the other kind of like place we find women is like, they’re scrappy as hell, like we are so good at like getting things done with like, Canva, and building our own website on Wix and all this stuff, but at some point, you will reach a place in your business where you’re like, “Okay, I’m not a graphic designer, like, I’m not a great writer”, right? Like, you see your deficits, and you’re like, “I’m ready to invest in a professional.” So we have really affordable packages, where we can say, hey, let’s take that DIY Canva logo that you did, and like, let’s get a real graphic design spin on it right and give you something that can last the next five years. Or like your website’s great, but it’s kind of clunky on mobile, like, let’s, let’s fix that up. So we like to work with those women that are, you know, ready to invest, but they don’t have, you know, thousands of thousands of dollars to go out and just outsource everything, right?


Stacy Smith: And explain how the membership works.


Melissa Barker: Yeah, so it’s a yearly membership, we used to do monthly, and then I realized, listen, like no one can build a community in a month. So we asked for women to make a one year commitment with us so that they can get in, get, you know, get the help that they need, and hopefully recruit other women. So the process is easy, you should go to our website. We don’t let you.


Stacy Smith: Which is what?


Melissa Barker: Entrepreneurs, one of the most difficult words, to spell. 


Stacy Smith: You can Google it and figure it out. 


Melissa Barker: I realize. Yes you can Google it. We have a great SEO. Yeah, we don’t vet you, but we want you to vet us, you know, so go to our website and see what our resources are and if those are gaps you need to fill in your business, then, you know, what are you waiting for?


Erin Spencer: And how many members do you have? 


Melissa Barker: So we have just under 400 members, and then we also launched something new last year, which is a speaker network. So you mentioned a lot of our women come to us in that first one to three years of business. We have another segment of women who are like total badasses and they are to the point where their business is super sustainable and now they’re looking at moving from being like a consultant or a service provider to a thought leader, right? They want to speak, they want to write their book, they want to, like launch their online course and have passive income. So those women, we cobbled together in our speaker network, and those are the women that get like really curated help, to build a strong personal brand.


Stacy Smith: So, do you have to write a book?


Melissa Barker: I’m writing one, because it’s like, I feel like when you get to that place where you feel like your head is overflowing, y’all are probably that way with real estate, where you just know so freaking much. I feel like putting it in a book is really therapeutic, right? Even if no one reads it, I’m just like, I just gotta get the shit out. Right like because I know so much about you know, marketing and being visible.


Stacy Smith: I’ve heard that writing a book is the most difficult thing that anybody’s ever done professionally. From athletes to doctors and stuff. 


Melissa Barker: Really?


Stacy Smith: Yep, I’ve heard that from everybody.


I feel like I’ve done way harder things, but probably some things that are easier to others are very hard for me.


Stacy Smith: So you just enjoy it?


I do. Yeah. Cuz like I said, I think you get to this point where you do feel like you’re an expert in at least a couple of areas and here’s the other thing is, at this point in my life, I’m thinking about, like, my legacy, like, what will my kids think about the work that I’ve done? And so when you can create tangible artifacts, right, like, my business will not always be around, like, it’s some point like, I will sell it, or I will sunset it or whatever, a book or an online course or a killer, you know, TED Talk. That’s a way to make, you know, all this hard work, you’ve put in like live on way past you. It’s like your legacy.


Stacy Smith: So did you start just writing or did you do research on how to write a book?


Melissa Barker:  So we actually, this is the fun part about leading WE Inc, is that I bring in the speakers that I need, right? 


Stacy Smith: Yeah. 


So last year, I brought in a woman from self-publishing school and she actually taught us, like, here’s how you do a mind map, here’s how you sort through your ideas, here’s how you lay out your chapters. 


Here’s the other thing she taught us, which was cool, is if you write a book, you’ve just written your social media content calendar and your email content calendar for 365 days.  Your table of contents is your content calendar, so it’s really worth the effort to get it all out of your head, you know, and out of your like sitting on your desktop, right? And then your random notes on your phone, put it in one place and then if you did want to outsource social media or something, like, here you go, right.


Stacy Smith: I think it’s brilliant and I think everybody should write. I mean, I think it’s a great creative outlet and Erin and I both get the opportunity to write for our business in different ways and I mean, I think it’s fantastic and even, you know, extremely successful authors who have made it a career, have all kinds of unpublished work. 


Melissa Barker: Sure. 


So I don’t think there’s any, I don’t think you have to think of it like that. And I think for the audience, I want you to talk about, you know, you basically created this business out of need. You hire or you get speakers to speak out of things that you’re excited to learn about. The audience is obviously women entrepreneurs, but are you, like this is therapy? Is it for yourself? I mean, are you the audience? Are you writing for what you would want to hear? Or are you writing for somebody else?


Melissa Barker: Yeah, that’s a good one. I think I’m writing what I wish I would have read when I first started my business. 


Stacy Smith: totally.


Melissa Barker: Right, There were a couple books that changed my life as an early entrepreneur, the E Myth is one of them. And if I can, like you said it best, like there is no silver bullet, there is no getting around the hustle that comes. But if I can help a woman, like, if I can spare her some of the pains that I went through, when I first launched my business, like that’s worth the time for me to step away and write this book. So it is very much the book I wish I would have read. And also, here’s the other thing. I have women that I really want to work with and really want to work with me, but we can’t make the numbers work. Because sometimes in your business, like a Starbucks is expensive, that’s just what it is. And so writing this book is my way to say, hey, like, maybe you can’t afford my services right now, but like, here’s a $29.99 book, right? Here’s everything that I know.


Stacy Smith: That’s so cool. 


Erin Spencer: What did the visibility of the Forbes feature do for your business?


Melissa Barker: It was everything and it’s what made me fall in love with this idea of visibility. Because I’m not an egomaniac. I don’t need an award on my wall like I didn’t need a Forbes feature, but all of a sudden, I really started to realize like, the women that I was looking at that I felt like were my peers, but their business, they were here and I was here. I was like, wait a minute, what do they have that I don’t? Oh shit, like, third party validation, someone other than them saying that they’re cool, right? So, and then I started to dissect it more. I’m like, okay, like they go after grants, it’s free money. You know, and PR buzz, they nominate themselves for awards. They’re pitching to press, they’re building partnerships. And all of these things, if you’ve got Google, you can do for yourself. So when I made the decision that I was going to be a more visible leader, because I hid behind the we inc. brand for years.  You will not see a picture of me on our Instagram account for four years, and then all of a sudden, it’s like the Melissa show, because I realized, like I needed to step into this role and be a more visible leader, so when we got that feature, what happens is you go from chasing people, like pay attention to me, to messages coming in on every channel. And we have, I get three to four speaker applications a day, and we only have 20 events a year. Right? So it’s this awesome place to get in your business, where you go, “Wow, leads are coming to me, what a, what a concept,” you know,  and all because I took the time to say, “Hey, I’ve got a story worth publishing in Forbes.”


Erin Spencer: Is there a topic or a speaker that sells out quicker than most? Like what are women most, like one, two and three? 


Melissa Barker: Yeah. 


Erin Spencer: What are they most interested in?


Melissa Barker: It’s always marketing. Like, we have one coming up and it’s “Ask Me anything about women entrepreneurs on Tik Tok”, because I know it’s top of mind for everyone like you’re supposed to be on tick tock, supposed to be on tick tock, right? So we’re gonna have a tik tok expert and she’s gonna come in and we’re going to break it all down. So it’s always, it’s always marketing. 


I wish, however, I wish, the events that sold out were “How to Legally protect my business”. 


Stacy Smith: And we talked about this on the phone this week, trends, versus, you know, things that are evergreen, so Tik Tok is a trend.


Melissa Barker: Yeah.


Stacy Smith: I find that everyone is looking for the next shiny new thing in life.


Melissa Barker: Yes.


Stacy Smith: In life and business and home decor home design, like we were going to do an episode on the design trends and stuff like that. I have scrapped everything surrounding that. I don’t believe in it, I don’t chase it, I don’t care. And I think that it’s a shame, I mean, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Tik Tok, Tik Tck is great, and a lot of people have had success from it. 


Melissa Barker: Yes.


Stacy Smith: But if you’re, you know, ADD with your marketing, and you’re constantly going after the new thing, and you don’t have consistency with a platform that works for you, or something like that, then I think it’s just a waste of time and I think we just need to be very careful when it comes to trends or new ideas. I was listening to a podcast with a personal trainer who trains a bunch of celebrities and athletes in LA,  and he’s like, you know, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I have the same exercises,”


Melissa Barker:I bet, right. 


Stacy Smith: “Same exact exercises for my personal workouts and that I have my clients do” and he’s like, “It sucks because I have to come up with different, fun ways to be creative on Instagram,” so I kind of make jokes, but he’s like, “I’m not doing some stupid Instagram move that no one can do”. 


Melissa Barker: Right. 


Stacy Smith:: And he was talking about all these like young personal trainers on Instagram, showing these moves that are really cool to look at, but not functional. Also, no one can do them. 


Melissa Barker: Right. 


Stacy Smith: You know, it’s like my whole thing, the thing that I preach over and over again, is you have to keep it simple. And you know, your thing with marketing, simplistically, is like getting noticed. If Tik Tok is what does that, great, but like, if you are not going to be comfortable doing the shenanigans that you have to do on Tik Tok to get noticed, like don’t go to that seminar. Right? 


Melissa Barker: Right.


Melissa Barker: Yeah, it’s okay to say no to those types of things if they’re not in alignment with you.  I have two thirteen, or I have two stepdaughters, 11 and 13 and so like trends are everything, right, they’re in middle school, like fitting in is like the name of the game. 


Stacy Smith: And their brains are not formed guys, they’re not totally formed. 


Melissa Barker: Not there yet. 


Stacy Smith: So these are the people that chase trends, 11-year-olds and 13-year-olds.


Melissa Barker: and 13-year-olds. 


Stacy Smith: You’re a grown-up.


Melissa Barker:  And I get it, like, I totally get it, you want to be cool. So I tell them this all the time when it comes to fashion trends. 


Stacy Smith: Yeah. 


Melissa Barker: Like, if it looks good on you, and you feel comfortable in it, rock the mom jeans, like wear the blazers. But if you don’t, like, then don’t. Right?  Like it has to look good on your body, you’ve got to feel good in it. So, I feel like it’s the same with these marketing, and the GAPPS.  If like, if public speaking scares you to death, not like, “Oh, I’m kind of uncomfortable with some practice that could be better”. But like, if it makes you want to cry, forget it. Like there’s other things you can do. But you have to have the bravery to say like, “what is like, what am I going to pursue? And what am I going to purposefully say no to?”


Stacy Smith: Yes.


Erin Spencer: So what was the legal topic you wished more women were interested in?


Melissa Barker: So legal, and finance, I can’t sell seats to those. We’ve had them and no one shows up because it’s dry and it’s boring. Also, like, health care. You know, like, that’s a big one for entrepreneurs. Like these are dry topics. But I feel like in the world of everything being about marketing and social media, it’s probably like the last, it’s the last, thing. 


Erin Spencer: Priority. 


Melissa Barker: You think of, right? But if you’re at that place in your business, where you’re making money, you better be managing it. If you’ve built any sort of success, you better be legally protecting it. So I do wish there was a little bit more love for those topics and so we do bring them in, we’ve just found a way to do it that’s not during a live event. We do office hours with experts. 


Stacy Smith: That’s cool.


Melissa Barker: So you can meet with them one on one.


Stacy Smith: Well, and you’re exactly right. The other thing is I think people are just generally obsessed with making money. So they want to do the thing that is going to be income generating and they don’t think about the thing that is going to protect it. 


Melissa Barker: Good point.


Stacy Smith: Or like, even let it grow, they’re just like I just gotta sell the thing, sell the thing, sell the thing. 


Melissa Barker: Yeah, I never thought about that, but you’re right.


Stacy Smith: Tell the people.


Erin Spencer: Plug your stuff.


Stacy Smith: Tell people how to get in touch with you. 


Melissa Barker: Follow us on Instagram, speaking of social media, I say that because that’s just the best way for us to pop into your newsfeed and let you know Who We Are.  You can meet the women that are in our network and decide if we’re right for you, maybe attending an event. But entrepreneur membership, if you’re a woman entrepreneur and you feel lonely or you feel like every event you go to people are trying to sell you something and you just want other women to pull back the curtain and be like, this is how this business thing is done, we are for you. 


If you’re a woman that has a very sustainable business, and now you’re looking to build your legacy and create something lasting like a book, join our speaker network so that we can coach you through that process.


Stacy Smith: Instagram handle and website one more time.


Melissa Barker: Yes, and Instagram is women dot entrepreneurs dot inc.


Erin Spencer: So if a man reaches out.


Melissa Barker:  Bye. 


Stacy Smith:  Not for you. Just to be clear. 


Melissa Barker: Love you, I am married to a man, but we are for women by women, unapologetically.


Erin Spencer: Love it, love it. Thank you for being here. 


Stacy Smith: Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your time. 


Melissa Barker: Thank you

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