Episode Twenty Nine Features Victoria Wieck of HSN And SHOPHQ Fame Talking About How She Immigrated To The US And Started A 500 Million Dollar Jewelry Business
My Key Takeaways:
Victoria was a very interesting lady to interview and it was clear from spea...
Episode Twenty Nine Features Victoria Wieck of HSN And SHOPHQ Fame Talking About How She Immigrated To The US And Started A 500 Million Dollar Jewelry Business
My Key Takeaways:
Victoria was a very interesting lady to interview and it was clear from speaking to her that she prioritized time with her family and yet still managed to build a highly successful company.
To learn more about Victoria, her website is Victoria Wieck | Author, Jewelry Designer & TV Personality - Victoria Wieck and she can be found on LinkedIn and YouTube as well.
Next week we'll have all Sean Moye talking about his invention, the E-Sports Trainer and how it improves muscle memory in sports. Be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.
[00:00:00] Greg Mills: Our guests today went from a penniless immigrant to building a $500 million business by unleashing her passion for jewelry design. Her products are sold around the world and she's had her own TV show for the past 24 years, 20 years on HSN. And in four years on shop HQ, she has a BS in economics from UCLA and an MBA from the university of Southern California.
[00:00:22] She's created the million-dollar passion podcast, help others turn their passion into profit. She's also written two books, shattered sky, a science fiction, novel that's upcoming, and the million dollar hobbies of how to book that will be released in 2022. Without further ado, Victoria wick. Hey Victoria.
[00:00:44] Victoria Wieck: Hi, glad to be here and thank you for inviting me and your.
[00:00:48] Greg Mills: I'm glad you could come now, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world today.
[00:00:57] Victoria Wieck: Yeah. Basically I immigrated here with my parents in my early teens and, to make a really long story short. They wanted to come to America because they wanted there four girls to have better opportunities. Because in Korea, opportunities for girls at that time, it still is today.
[00:01:14] A very, very poor. You're supposed to look for the best guy to marry from minute, you were born. So, after arriving here, my father found out the very next day, actually all his assets were frozen here in America, as well as over there., He had sent some money over to some charitable organizations ahead of time, just so that he could just sustain himself for the first six months.
[00:01:34] And all of that was kind of frozen at that time. So, life was pretty tough. We didn't speak English. Didn't know anyone. We had no relatives or friends and, so we had to start over. As a matter of fact, in 1972 America itself was going through a little bit of a civil rights movement, a lot of unrest.
[00:01:51] So, with that backdrop, my American dream at that time was to have my own apartment that I could pay for myself. I never thought about actually owning a home of my own. My parents like really instilled in me the importance of going to school, getting hyper educated.
[00:02:08] Cause that was the security that, job security you going to need eventually. So I respected that- did everything they told me to do, whatever they recommended me to do, even though in my heart, I just didn't love school. And I didn't think that schooling was going to really advance my life, but , I listened to my parents.
[00:02:28] So I got those degrees that you had said earlier. And then when I grew up and I was getting, decent jobs , better jobs than I thought I would with the degrees that I had. Every time I got promoted, I realized, it came with a little bit of money, but more importantly, about 15 extra hours of Workday, work week, basically.
[00:02:46] So, the thing that to this day, I regret and I wish that I could change it, but I can't is that when my parents first moved here, they both worked two jobs. Per person, for several years, Monday through Sunday. I rarely saw my parents. They went to work at six o'clock in the morning and they came home, pretty much when I was exhausted and ready to go to sleep after taking care of my siblings.
[00:03:09] So when I grew up, I really wanted to make sure that I was present for my children. I took a risk at that time, right about when I was starting a family to start a business of my own. And the only thing I really knew how to do well, was, drawing, painting. Cause that was already in me.
[00:03:28] It was something that I always enjoyed as a child. But when I first came to America and you couldn't speak English, like I had to draw things out to talk to my teachers, there was no English as second language classes back then. I knew how to draw pretty well. Aesthetically, I felt that the American Jewelry market everything looked a little stale, everything was being sold on status.
[00:03:47] They really didn't offer things that, adorned the woman that are heirloom quality. I started with the dream of just, spending 20 hours a week on my business in exchange for like $2,000 a month.
[00:03:58] That was my dream life. I thought, if I really got lucky, I might've been making $3,000 a month in that case, I could actually say whether our money, so for my kids to have at some point. So within the first 18 months, I actually did more than a million dollars.
[00:04:13] I eventually ended up doing nine figures and my business is global. It's something like 35 different countries, over 70,000. Outlets actually to carry my stuff. So that's my story.
[00:04:26] Greg Mills: That's pretty incredible. Now it sounds like your parents help instill a very strong work ethic, in you. Was there anybody in your family entrepreneurial besides yourself?
[00:04:38] Victoria Wieck: No, and that's why I'm so passionate about helping other people. I come from a family of teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors. Back home, my family history goes back to year 13, 10. And that's very common by the way in Korean families. Like they have. Papers that go back.
[00:04:59] They record everybody who was, born and died. I come from a very long legacy of people that served pretty much. As you know, teachers don't make a whole lot of money, so, they weren't entrepreneurial. In fact, the society at that time looked down upon people who were merchants, because they felt like you're always selling things or, like you're less than ethical kind of thing.
[00:05:19] So I didn't have a role model. I had to figure a lot of stuff as I kind of stumbled upon mistake after mistake. I didn't have enough money to make big mistakes. So the small mistakes eventually ended up helping me when the stakes are very high.
[00:05:34] When I was doing a hundred million dollars, when I was doing $50 million a year, the stakes are very high and I learned a lot of. What not to do from the early years when I made smaller mistake, that meant so much, I made a about $150,000 mistake, when I was doing a little bit less than $10 million a year.
[00:05:53] And even then. It was a lot of money. It was a lot of money and it could have been catastrophic, but later on down the road, I was able to avoid those types of mistakes. You know, when the stakes were a million, $15 million. The lesson I learned is that, a lot of times those mistakes come to you. Almost as a really great lesson, before the future.
[00:06:18] I grew up in east LA , that's where the riots, you know, that you think about the watch wire. Do you think about the recent riots back in 19 94, 19 92? I grew up right in the center of that and, I never actually ever gave up hope and I never gave up the focus on what I had to do for myself. I didn't depend on anyone and I always thought about, is there like one single thing I could do to help myself ? Cause I, I wasn't born on this earth so I could just starve all day. So what can I do because if I'm still breathing air and I'm still healthy enough to be, whining about something.
[00:06:55] I can still work on the purpose of my life. I looked at the little things I could do. For example, when I was 13 years old, I, didn't speak English and I decided I'm going to learn to speak English. And there was no English as second language, especially for Koreans. I mean, there isn't one now .
[00:07:10] So, my father had an English dictionary, and, before he went to work, he would circle any, random words that were less than five letters. So I could then look them up and it turns out I did about 200 words a day, cause I had a lot of time by myself . American kids actually, high school kids their whole vocabulary bank is like 2,500 words.
[00:07:33] So I was there within a year, I was more than there within a year. It's just an example of, the one thing you can do. Then coming from that background, where I was happy, I literally was not miserable. I was happy, living, on a thousand dollars a month, 2000 bucks a month.
[00:07:50] So later on in my entrepreneurial career, there were a lot of times when you can just look the other way or have a little lower standard or, reduce a quality by just a few little notches so that you can make more money. Cause you know, when you're doing a million pieces of jewelry a year, every little bit ends up in the bottom line.
[00:08:10] Right. And I never had the urge to compromise my morals. I never had that because I was like, if I can survive. Literally in the ghetto and be happy I can survive anywhere. I'm not about to exchange any part of my moral compass for any amount of money. It just wasn't worth it. And when you do that, you're operating with a lot of clarity as to, the purpose in life.
[00:08:38] Every action has a purpose. My mission was to be present for my children all the time. I had plenty of money to have, nannies and drivers and everything by that but I wanted to be there. So I actually drove the field trip, car for both of my kids.
[00:08:53] And if I couldn't do it, they didn't actually go on a field trip .So, I was present for all their, tennis piano, the first day of soccer, all that stuff. What I'd like to say to everyone who is listening right now, is that when you focus on the right things, when you focus on your personal relationships, focused on your health and focus on your moral values. The money actually comes even when you're not looking for it.
[00:09:15] That's what happened to me. I never actually searched for money. I'm not a materialistic person by any means. I really live below my means. I drive a Jeep. I could easily buy whatever car out there is, but, I like my life that way.
[00:09:29] Greg Mills: Yeah, I think at some point you just find, there's only so much that, money can get it. I hadn't planned to ask this, but i'll go ahead and ask it. How did you discover your purpose, your life's purpose early on?
[00:09:43] Victoria Wieck: I didn't. It's really interesting. When you're that young, you have no idea what's happening to you. I used to cry and tell my dad, let's go back home because my life back home, wasn't bad. Our lives were not bad at all. He's foresaw what would happen to me and his four daughters when they grew up.
[00:10:00] But when you're, 1311, cause I was 13. My sister was 11 and they were all the way down to about one year. Because there were five of us. He told us basically, if you want to be a great mom, like your mom, I like that to be your choice, not the society choice or anybody else's choice.
[00:10:16] Right. When I came here, I'm still young. And I had no friends because when you speak no English, it's hard to have friends. And, I used to tell him let's go back home. You know, it wasn't so bad. this whole American dream thing is just a dream it's never, ever going to come true for us at all.
[00:10:33] I used to argue with him and he tried to go back and he couldn't cause you know, we didn't have money to buy, seven plane tickets. So we stayed , we had no money . I didn't see my parents, all that stuff. That's when I realized there has to be a purpose.
[00:10:48] In my life, I don't know what that is, but whatever it is, I'm going to have to fulfill it. I'm going to have to go out and do something. Now my grandmother, my mom's mom passed away a few years ago. She was like 104 years old, but she used to tell me, I spent a lot of time with her because my mom had brought a kid.
[00:11:04] So my grandmother, used to come over and help out. And I was the oldest. she eventually joined us here in America. But, when I first left, she said, when you go to America, just remember that, happiness and success, all of these things that your father is crazy about searching for.
[00:11:18] Those things don't come from money. So remember I come from a whole family of people who didn't search for money, but they were comfortable. So she said that, the ultimate happiness, the ultimate success is actually a place in life where you have the perfect health.
[00:11:35] The quality of your relationships are high. Your parents, your children, your siblings, people that are really close to your inner circle and then wisdom, the way she says the wisdom. It's more like moral compass, like understanding what's right or wrong.
[00:11:49] And then longevity of life, because sometimes, tragically or life gets you short. And then you do need a little bit of wealth to have all of those things. I didn't understand what she was saying back then, but now I'm sure you can relate to this, a lot of entrepreneurs over 40.
[00:12:03] There was a myth then in order for you to make more and more money, you got to work more and more hours. And the best thing you could do for your children is make a lot of money so that they could have the things that you couldn't afford. And when you get there, when you actually achieve that financial success, you're going to spend time with your children.
[00:12:20] Well, your children don't wait to grow up. they grow up on their own time. So I actually thought about her a lot and she was with us while I was raising my, children. Basically when you prioritize your family and that's what happened to me, like I decided, okay, 20 hours a week, how do I do this?
[00:12:40] I realized quickly, when I call somebody from California to new. At nine o'clock in the morning, it's noon. She gets back to you, let's say after she comes back from lunch or whatever at three o'clock, when she comes back and if I'm working like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and she calls me back the next day, I can't get ahold of her.
[00:12:57] We can play phone tag forever. So what happened was I used to get up at 5, 5 30 every morning. And between six o'clock to 8 30, I would send faxes like crazy back those days. We didn't have email, to companies in Europe because Europe, eight o'clock in the morning, California time is midday in Europe.
[00:13:18] Thefaxes is what cheaper. We were charged like a 32nd increments or something like this. I could send three or four pages of facts with that 32nd, it's two bucks. So I did that all over Europe and I ended up opening some of the biggest stores in Europe before I actually opened , anything here.
[00:13:34] So I knew that there was differences in international time zones. So I worked from like a six o'clock to eight o'clock in the morning. And then I drive my kids to school, I come back, have breakfast with my husband who was actually quite broke himself. So we had our breakfast, he went to work. He's in a different business.
[00:13:51] Then I worked at time zones into like Dallas, Dallas had, Neiman Marcus, JC Penny's, American airlines, Isaiah's, kay jewelers. I called on all of those people. , I worked on it until about two o'clock my time. When my kids were out at two, I didn't answer any phone calls, do anything from two to nine o'clock at night. I picked them up, did all their after-school activities. Had dinner, did their homework. I put the kids to bed .9:00 PM. California time is, noon in Asia. So I opened up major department stores in Japan, Korea, Singapore.
[00:14:23] Basically I built my business. And then the next thing I knew, I had a very desirable global distribution. And then I got phone calls from TV stations asking me if I could go on the TV networks here. So by prioritizing my personal life, I was able to build a bigger business and a global business that's very secure.
[00:14:44] Greg Mills: Okay. Now, going back to that first job that you had of college, where you were working for a jewelry company. And as I understand that you started in marketing there, is that correct?
[00:14:59] Victoria Wieck: I
[00:14:59] Greg Mills: Okay. How did you kind of transition.
[00:15:02] Victoria Wieck: yeah. I have to tell you a funny story. I didn't like school. I didn't want to go to school, but my parents kept telling me, you gotta be a doctor, a lawyer or whatever.
[00:15:09] I didn't see myself being either once I got my MBA and, within my MBA, I thought, once I started it, this is pretty good. the marketing part of it. It's really interesting because that involves a lot of creativity. In terms of visual, all the ads and also ad copy.
[00:15:25] I thought, this part of, the education. I think I can handle well. So I majored in marketing and my marketing professor at Southern California said to me that I wasn't going to be very good at marketing because I didn't understand the nuances of language and, I didn't understand.
[00:15:42] The marketing environment, because I was just so boneheaded about transparency. For example, when they would say something like the most effective in marketing is the word free. And I said, but it's not free. And they're like, but it works. And I'm like, but it's not. You're lying to people and they used to tell me, , you can't be in marketing.
[00:16:00] Okay. So, he recommended that I get something that's more finite, more absolute. So I got my degree in finance. So with, double duo, MBA and UCLA, I got all that. Offers to go to east coast. I didn't want to leave my family back home because my parents still couldn't speak English and does all that stuff going on.
[00:16:19] So I took a job in a jewelry company. That, wasn't my ideal thing. But I did it. And I told my boss, he just recently passed away, by the way. You're not with new friends for pretty much all hives, but I told my boss at that time, this isn't my dream job. I didn't go to school to, become an entry level marketing person.
[00:16:36] I'll do this while I'm looking for another job. He kept on looking for people as well, but eventually, I took this company from 150 million to 400, $450 million with my marketing direction. I did some designing work for him as well. So. One day I was standing in traffic and I think I had an hour and a half drive.
[00:16:57] It's a 90 minute drive from, Burbank to Santa Monica where I lived. It's the three worst freeways in the world. I had take all of them to get home. So Friday night, I said to myself, already six o'clock and I have another 90 minutes to get home and I can't see myself sustaining this life with my children.
[00:17:19] So I basically said, I'm going to have to find a different way of making a living. That's when, I gave him my notice. I think like in April, I left there, like in August, , kept asking me to stay like two more weeks and two more weeks until I did that. Eventually I thought, , I know enough about. The jewelry design part of it. I have a pulse on what's going on out there and by the way, my boss was just an amazing marketer. He really had a pulse on the American public as well. So we got along really well and he trusted me. I really made a lot of mistakes on his dime. so I started my company. He was a chain.
[00:17:53] He did mostly no stones just, jewelry chains and charms that are all pure gold. So I made a promise to him that that's the one thing I'll never get into. My designs were, diamonds, gemstones and things like that. If I ever got into that business, I'm not going to ever compete with him directly.
[00:18:08] To this day, that's the stuff I don't do. I basically started the company thinking that. If I could make 2000 bucks a month. I worked out the numbers too. Like the direct mail response rate was like 10% response rate and then Osaka 2% of the people would actually buy anything from you.
[00:18:27] I typed out these letters, everyday like 50 letters. thinking I didn't need to make millions, like he did. I just needed to have like 50 people respond to my letters. 50 people a month is what I was looking for. My response rate was quite high, because of the way I curated who I was writing to and how I personalized, the letters.
[00:18:48] I usually would include a hand drawing of something that they're not used to seeing. So I had a very high response rate and I had a very high conversion rate and that's true today. My conversion rate is. Somewhere between 60 to 80%, which is kind of unheard of. Like I said, I'm very transparent, very direct and very focused. I don't tell people I do everything. Even in the design world, there's stuff I'm not comfortable doing, I'm not good at it. I just let them know that, I don't do certain type of things.
[00:19:16] Greg Mills: Have you ever heard back from any of those professors and you're in your marketing?
[00:19:20] Victoria Wieck: course. Yeah. It's funny. Cause, the first time I was on TV, I think he. Contacted me from Facebook. And he said, , I should take credit for all your success. And I said, why is that? He goes, because I probably pissed you off enough where you just decided to prove me wrong. The word free, I've always had a problem with that because I'm lucky to you're building all this stuff in the American public today. No instinctively. Even if that one thing is free, that they're going to be bombarded with, more advertising or what, there was something in it for you.
[00:19:48] And if you are not going to be transparent about that, their relationship journey as a customer with a little bit of skepticism. And it's hard enough when they trust you a hundred percent. Like if you keep going back to the same store for groceries, they trust you a hundred percent. They still have to figure out, do I really need this today? Is this the best price? So if they start your relationship, already with, oh, this guy's a little shady or, they're known for bad, stale produce. You're not going to go there.
[00:20:20] So why start that journey? Just, let them know about. What they're getting, what they're not getting. Right. And I've always done that. I've always just told people, I don't do anything for free. I'm not the cheapest, I'm the best. And you're going to pay a little bit more money for it,
[00:20:33] So, they did call me and they have invited me several times to come and speak and all that stuff. For many years I actually was a mentor for incoming students and, helped out some of the kids that, graduated, you wanted to start a shoe company or this company, so I was kind a sounding board because I do believe in paying forward you know,
[00:20:51] Greg Mills: I'm going to ask this question anyway, and you may have just answered it, but you said that in your bio, you've got an MBA from the university of Southern California in marketing and finance, but claim that you had to unlearn it in order to innovate, elevate, and evolve to continuously, up-level your business.
[00:21:09] Victoria Wieck: That's absolutely true. I would say that my degree in. Undergraduate, the economics degree was very useful in my journey. The MBA, not so much it took me several years to kind of unlearn that, I got my, little template for doing my business plan. I got my template for, setting goals. I was a good student. I was on a scholarship. So I'm so armed with all these things.
[00:21:31] I'm going to have a leg up on things, but I realized, okay, well, wait a minute. Why am I doing this, business plan? Who's going to see it. Because I'm not looking for like knowns or anything, you know, so I thought to myself, okay, so a business plan. I suggest everybody to. Just do one because it is good for you, but the way they teach you to do it, and this is not just USC, it's every MBA program.
[00:21:58] Their programs are designed in such a way that you graduate from their school. You plug into a giant, company where you could become a vice president or CEO, if you're really lucky eventually, but a vice president manager of a department. And so what happens is. You're supposed to plug into this system and make their system. So goal-setting, for example, if you're an entrepreneur right now and running a business and you're doing $5 million a year, let's say, and you want to go to 6 million, okay. You set your goal to 6 million next year
[00:22:33] you realize, okay, well, how am I going to get there? I'm going to need a couple more people to help me. I might need a bigger restaurant. If you're running a restaurant chain, if you're running a chain of dry cleaners or whatever, you might need a couple more people. , your expenses go up.
[00:22:46] And because you are investing in that future, right? so COVID hits and, let's say instead of, increasing your business by a million dollars, your business goes down by 3 million. I'm just making up numbers here. So what happens is, if you. A, marketing director of Hilton hotels, or if you're marketing director of whatever, you know, you could just go to your board and say, look, I was COVID.
[00:23:07] I couldn't do anything with it. And as a matter of fact, everybody else's, down 90%, I'm only down 60%. Hey, you might even get a promotion for that. But the small business owner, that's how to invest their money and put everything that he owns on the line every day. Now, all of a sudden, instead of $6 million, You are now doing 2 million.
[00:23:29] Okay. And you have a heart and you don't want to lay off your employees. They've been like family to you all this time. So now what do you do? Well, there is nothing in the MBA program that tells you, so the point I'm making is, you know, in the MBA program, when they tell you how to do all this stuff, you're literally playing with everybody.
[00:23:48] Else's. So there was no emphasis on risk management in any of those plans. Whereas in a small business you got to manage your risks. That's a huge, huge part of your journey because every time you lose money, every year you lose money, it set you back, right? And so if you don't want to take. Unnecessary risk financial or reputational risk. How do you then continue to innovate and elevate and how do you continue to test? So like when I have a show, in fact, I'm going to, that's why I told you today. I had to get off in 15 minutes because I actually am going to be going on a live show, my TV show on shop HQ.
[00:24:29] So every hour, um,
[00:24:32] Greg Mills: out.
[00:24:34] Victoria Wieck: Every hour that I'm on, for example, I have these shows sheets, and we have, for example, things that I know, we reordered for like three years now and we can count on it. Like every time we put it on, we can count on selling, 250 minutes in three minutes.
[00:24:48] Okay. So we can count on that money. So, instead of just counting on the things that, you can sell and just airing that to death until nobody buys it anymore. What you do is you say, okay, why is it selling? And what else is selling? Because you're first selling, yellow diamonds and pink diamonds, maybe all color diamonds would sell, maybe bring in some blue mint.
[00:25:07] If we're selling, for example, things like. 50 bucks, to a hundred dollars. That's a sweet spot. Maybe we bring in other styles that are, is it a price point? So we can basically test in the environment I told my show hosts today.
[00:25:19] If we sell these four items out of the 16 items that we have to air today, we've met our goal. We've made all the money. That doesn't mean, we just chill out and relax. That's the time when we can bring it up.
[00:25:30] A few of this, if you have that to see which one of those things that we're testing is going to be the next big star. So, in the MBA program that there's nothing like that, that actually will teach you that. So now why I say you have to unlearn it. your teachers tell you you're a great student. It should work. That works. And it works for Coca-Cola. It works for JP Morgan. It works for all these companies. And then you're like, who am I to sit there and say it won't work. I'm not gonna argue with the success of the Coca Cola.
[00:25:59] I'm not gonna argue with the success of JP Morgan. I'm not going to argue with Wells Fargo. So they must work what they don't for a small company. I think of the word new and improved. Cause they were saying that's the second, most effective word in marketing.
[00:26:12] So I had to think about that. How can something be new and improved? Because if it's improved, it's not new. I would ask that and then my marketing, Patricia told me I was crazy, but it's a fact, I would say being transparent, it turns out I did, , sell over 10 million pieces of jewelry, but out of need, at the time I started my company, I only need 50 people to buy, two things. I don't even need millions of people. I want 50 will people who is going to actually really like my designs for whatever reason I designed it and will be willing to pay a fair amount of price for that.
[00:26:45] Greg Mills: More to your point about the NBA and, you know, trying to apply marketing principles that help Wells Fargo or Coca-Cola,
[00:26:55] Victoria Wieck: It doesn't work for
[00:26:56] Greg Mills: Yeah, those brands have been beating their advertisements into the American public for, almost centuries.
[00:27:04] Victoria Wieck: If you're a small business owner listening to this podcast right now think about this. Whatever category you're in, if you're selling, if you come up with a new type of flavored water or if you came up with a new type of, dishwashing, detergent, whatever.
[00:27:17] You've got your version of the giant in the marketplace, right? Those giants are never going to. Feel like they're your neighbors. They're never going to feel like they're lovable kind and caring. They're not evil.
[00:27:33] What I'm saying is you as an individual entrepreneurial, whether your branding is you being folksy. Whether you're branding is you being straightforward, honest, hardworking mom, that's who I am, who happens to have a skill and, my customers, like when I go on TV, they all know that, I have kids, and my family matters a lot to me cause I do that part on my social media.
[00:27:53] So they understand that, I'm relatable. I'm vulnerable. And that, I bought with my imperfections. I try my hardest to please them and I'm not going to get it right all the time. It's okay. And I'm very open about that. I think that when you're a small entrepreneur use the fact that you're small, that you're not perfect, that you are evolving and that you try harder and that you are better at.
[00:28:19] Elevating that experience, , think about like, Starbucks before Starbucks was a huge company. I remember going to Seattle, like when they were just opening their first couple of stores, they took a simple thing, like coffee that everybody drinks and, it was like 39 cents everywhere.
[00:28:34] And you got refills forever. They are now charging up to $5. Basic a cup of coffee because they elevated that experience that you get it your way, it's kind of chic the stand in line, you know, have a conversation and do all this stuff at Starbucks. So now they're a huge corporation.
[00:28:48] There's a lot of mini Starbucks happening all over Southern California now, but the point. That, use you your personal story, your personal journey, your imperfections, and, ask them to help you improve your product, improve your service. What can I do to make it a hundred percent?
[00:29:06] What can I do to, make it a home run experience for you? Americans love underdogs. They love people that are straightforward, honest, and they'll cheer for you. They'll tell 10 people about you. And that's how I grew my business from nothing. I was looking for like 50 people and, you know, I ended up selling somewhere between 10 to 15 million pieces of jewelry in my career.
[00:29:27] It's just because those people who loved my product told 10 more people. And those 10 people told a hundred people and it just went into millions.
[00:29:36] Greg Mills: Yeah, that's a great story. Now, let me ask you this. If say I'm a, an inventor or an entrepreneur. How could I get one of my products on to onto either shop HQ, HSN, whatever, you know, whatever have you.
[00:29:53] Victoria Wieck: There's many, many ways you can do this. , It's tough to just invent something. I get it there. these TV stations have huge liabilities, if you invented like a cosmetics item or something like that, you're going to need, a lot of, trials and studies and everything . Luckily I'm selling jewelry and not something that actually is a skincare or ingestible.
[00:30:13] I could say I'm selling rubies. What happens is if I'm selling 10,000 units on that day, and one piece, just one piece, the Ruby's were mixed in with the ones in Africa or Brazil or whatever, or just the one piece instead of it being two carriage was 1.9, seven carrots. They will actually shut you down. So what happens is when you're inventing something, you can't just go , Hey, I'm venting something, are you interested?
[00:30:39] You really do need to have all your documents in order. then that's just the beginning of it. If you want to, contact them, you just basically have to show them how you can make them money and you have to have a plan. Okay. How you can make the money.
[00:30:53] I was on, Japanese TV for, many years until I actually gave that. I didn't want to have to fly all over the place, but at one time, on the network I was on, I was doing 50% of their total joy business. They had 40 people, 40 designers going there and I was doing 50%.
[00:31:07] So when I went to Korea and other places, I tell them. I go to the network in Japan, four times around doing their fit, 50% of their business. If you want to talk to me, here's my number. That's different than, Hey, I'm vented this, where you want to put me on. So I think that, you have to talk their language.
[00:31:27] You have to make sure that your product works and make sure that it adds value to other people's lives. Because ultimately as entrepreneurs, there's only two ways you make money is , you really have to add value to other people's lives and you have to actually, make sure that you can bring it to a lot of people.
[00:31:45] If you are sure that your product either solves problems or saves time, saves money, all this stuff, then, the TV networks are really great because they can get it out. They can get, 10,000, a million pieces out in a very short amount of time.
[00:31:59] Greg Mills: I know we're coming up, very close on when you need to leave. So this will be like the last big question. And you get to pick, we can either talk about your podcast or about your upcoming books.
[00:32:13] Victoria Wieck: Yeah. So, it's the same thing, because I created a podcast , to really market the book. Now my legacy is to create, to help create 1 million millionaires with the information that I have, all the things that I've learned. I don't hold anything back in terms of, the skills that you need to master and what it takes for a modern entrepreneur, with no money.
[00:32:38] I actually recommend that even if you have money, don't spend your money. Don't don't risk it. Cause you don't need to. There's a million ways you can test drive your business, concept, your samples, your invention long before you spend any money. I took the six key. Skills that you need to, , build an empire and I give free webinars. When they, your listeners can come to the Victoria with.com site and sign up to any of the free webinars,. One of them has to do with our storytelling. Negotiating is a huge thing. If you're dealing with TV networks or department stores, airlines, duty-free shops, and I've done business with all. So negotiating is a huge, key pillar, , building a brand, understanding the difference between building a brand versus building a business that there are two very different things. And then how do we actually build a customer centric company? Like how Amazon did theirs.
[00:33:28] So there's six different key factors that you really need to map. Before you can really look at that first a hundred million. And so I do that on my podcast where I bring in people that, went from nothing to something. I think almost all of them that I've interviewed were more than millionaires.
[00:33:46] I mean, some of them go to a couple hundred million and most of them do not have a college. Several that are in fact of the most successful ones that I've had, don't even have a high school degree. It wasn't like they just locked out. It's just, you keep on building, you keep on having that policy and focus and, uh, and basically run a business that's purpose-driven.
[00:34:07] So I like to invite everyone to come to the Victoria vic.com. They can listen to the podcast. The book is not out yet. It's actually being. Shopped at many of the publishers, it's going to be published in 2022.
[00:34:20] Greg Mills: Well, I definitely want to have you back on, I've got a ton of other questions, but let's get ready to wrap this up. Has there been anything that I have not asked that you'd like to cover?
[00:34:30] Victoria Wieck: No, I don't particularly love talking about myself. I think America is an amazing country coming in here as an immigrant. All those years I used to tell my dad went, let's go back home. if he were alive, I'd take that back.
[00:34:41] For me, the American dream is very much alive and, it's really a shame that the so-called experts in all these areas are either marketing something, selling something, or they're not being very truthful about what you can do, how you can reach the American dream.
[00:34:59] I think right now is better time than ever before to find your niche and build your dream. , in the middle of COVID, everything is shifted. We are our way of living, make making a living, going to work or how we travel, how we shop, where we shop, all of that has shifted and we're going to continue to shift.
[00:35:18] And with those shifts come a lot of opportunities to, for a savvy entrepreneurial to come in and meet the need. And make a little bit of money. If your goal is to spend more time with your family and along the way, make money, I'm the living example of that. And, I took care of my parents.
[00:35:37] I actually eventually put both of my parents back to school. My father became a doctor here, after age 50 something, my mom, wanted to start her own little business and I still got her back into school as well. I think that everything is possible and, you just have to be willing to do it.
[00:35:55] The good news is everything is possible. The bad news is it's all up to you.
[00:36:00] Greg Mills: What's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our listeners.
[00:36:04] Victoria Wieck: Get help, get help early. I'm not saying you should come to me for help. I'm saying that It's time to stop competing. It's time to start collaborating with everybody you're seeing, because even the people that are not famous, that didn't run a huge business by somebody who had the gumption to start anything.
[00:36:22] Even those people who failed miserably. If you can get them to talk, honestly, with you about their experience, how they failed and what it would have taken for them to succeed. You're going to have such knowledge base. You're going to be, you're going to be so much better off, because those people have seen the landmines that you still can not see right now.
[00:36:40] You shouldn't be able to see them yet, but I mean, do you mean. Blow up your limbs before you realize what's going to happen, or do you want to learn from other people? Who've seen it. I think that get help early. I didn't have help. In those days we didn't have internet. We didn't have Google. The online learning experience wasn't there, but , Greg show here, , entrepreneurs over 40, , my show, you can listen to all kinds of podcasts where people just like myself.
[00:37:05] Who have done it, who haven't lived our life, just coaching for the sake of coaching. It's just like a masterclass. Every episode is like a masterclass start learning and, and also tune out the noise. Just be aware when, somebody wants to, give you a little piece of advice and then they invite you to a masterclass.
[00:37:24] Just be aware of that. There's a lot of free information out there. Especially for those of you who are current entrepreneurs. When I coach, My specialty is taking people who are already doing seven figures to eight. Cause they have a very different challenge, they're very different stress levels.
[00:37:40] A lot more money is at stake. It's just a lot different, but if you're currently running a business, that's not seven figures, that's six figures. And you're you feel like you're working more and more every year to make the same money? There's so much free material completely free. and you're going to learn some amazing things, so I would say get help, help other people. The other thing is whenever I've helped people, I've learned about their businesses, about their challenges, it makes me a better person. It makes me a better teacher.
[00:38:10] Some of them actually has helped my business just because. Some of the things you're used to doing all the time, you don't see, where other people do, , I'm like, oh my God, I should have thought about what you do all that time. , it's a better place when you, share ideas and, I just think that everything is possible in America and it's more possible today than ever before.
[00:38:30] Everything that I used to spend money on Greg, like, my first. Big expense was a computer that was like 256 megahertz. Okay. And was black and white. They used to crash on me every five minutes. I have to save the thing and it was $4,000. My fax machine was at $400 today. You know what?
[00:38:48] I used to have a Sony camera. And I couldn't, produce catalogs, it was too expensive. Take pictures with my camera. Today? Your iPhone takes better pictures than almost anything. All the information you need is on Google, on podcast, everywhere else, calendar, all this stuff is free.
[00:39:02] So you know what? You just have. Get your mind, in order your priorities in order, figure out what your purpose is. And when I say purpose bigger about what your purpose is in life and how that aligns with, helping other people with the similar purpose, right. Cause that's your target audience and then it's just a matter of connecting with them and offering what you have because.
[00:39:25] Surprised you'll be amazed at, the response from your target audience. They love people that try hard, that's got a new idea, that's got a new dream, , because you're kind of like part of them is your success, like part of their dream. So, just don't ever under sell yourself.
[00:39:44] And by the way, I know. Podcasts as over 40, but at any age, it's never too early or too late to build your dream because if you're working for somebody else right now, and you're not working on your own dreams, chances are you're working to build somebody else's dream for very little money.
[00:40:01] And that that's a poor deal.
[00:40:04] Greg Mills: Yes. Ma'am what is the best way for people to check you out and get in touch with you, Victoria?
[00:40:10] Victoria Wieck: Come and check out the toilet with.com. Uh, Victoria, w I E C k.com. And you sign up for any of the freebie, the free webinars. I only do them once a month because I don't have a lot of time. I do them once a month. I do a lot of free speaking engagements for us. If you're like a charity or a women's empowerment.
[00:40:29] Come to that. I am the co-director of the global society of female entrepreneurs. So I do quite a few speeches there and I am working on a program for creating 1 million millionaires. So I'm actually looking at building some scholarship programs for people that can't afford , some of the. I mean the classes that are going to actually have to take. Cause not everything is going to be free.
[00:40:50] For example, if you want to build a website, I don't do that myself. So, that's my mission in life now, which is to build my legacy. Cause I think God's blessed me with it just so much and things that our team would ask for.
[00:41:02] So I feel like I do have some obligation to, perpetuate. To other people that deserve it.
[00:41:09] Greg Mills: Well, we thank you for doing that. And that's a wrap. Thank you Victoria, for being a guest on entrepreneurs over.
[00:41:16] Victoria Wieck: Thank you.