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Jamila Souffrant 0:00
You're listening to the Journey To Launch Podcast: How To Package Your Expertise, Create A Profitable Business and Make An Imapct With Maya Elious.
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.
Jamila Souffrant 0:41
Hey, Hey, Hey, Journeyers. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast. As I always am, I'm excited for you to be here. For you to have taken the time to invest in your mindset, in your habits, in your personal finance, and life journey, because that's what you're doing when you listen to this podcast. Now, this week's guest, as I always, I'm excited. I'm excited to talk to. We have Maya Elious on the program. So Maya Elious is a personal branding strategist that teaches experts how to position themselves as the go to authority in their industry, so that they can confidently launch their signature offer. She's helped hundreds of students and clients get clear on their message, increase their prices, and have successful launches. And I will talk more about Maya here in our conversation, how she herself transitioned from making a couple $1,000 back in 2008, to now having a million dollar business. And you'll hear, like, she's very clear on what it takes to have an impact. And I love bringing you information that can help you evolve with your life and finances. And most likely, you have a gift, you have an expertise or talent that you're just sitting on and that someone needs in this world someone needs you to create an offer, a coaching program, or a service to help them get to learn what you know, or get them further along. And so this is something that you're interested in, I definitely think, you know, take notes, make sure you're listening intently on this episode. The other thing that Maya talks about here is she has a live program called Impact Weekend Live. So that happens in the beginning of February. So if you want to check this out, if you want to attend her event, Journeyers are going to get 20% off. If you go to impactweekendlive.com. Enter the code "journey," all lowercase at checkout, you'll get 20% off. Perfect time if you are looking to launch an offer or get more confident and get skills to be able to make money online and to package your skills and expertise into an offer. So once again, you can go to impactweekendlive.com. Enter the code "journey," all lowercase, if you're interested in attending Maya's Impact Weekend Live. That happens in February of next year. So depending on where you're listening to this, February 2022. Oh, and how funny is this? Literally, I call Maya, MayaLicious. Like, she literally says on her Twitter, like, it's Maya Elious, not MayaLicious. And for some reason, I call her MayaLicious anyway, but she was, like, a really good sport about it. She laughed. You'll hear it when we start talking. But I thought it was funny, she thought it was funny too, I thinks and just you know, look, this is Jamila's brain sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But again, I hope you enjoy this conversation with Maya.
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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Okay, Journeyers, I'm really excited to have this week's guest. It's Maya Elious, aka MayaLicious. Hi, Maya!
Maya Elious 5:27
Hey! Thank you so much for having me!
Jamila Souffrant 5:30
No problem. And listen, I'm hoping I can call you MayaLicious. I just see that you refer to yourself as that sometimes. So I love that for people who kind of know who you are, they'll get this joke, but for people who are going to learn more about you, it'll all make sense towards the end of this interview. So, Maya, Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast
Maya Elious 5:48
Thank you. And for the record I 1,000,000% do not refer to myself as my MayaLicious.
Jamila Souffrant 5:55
I don't know where I saw that then. Someone said it to you. Someone online.
Yes, people have said it. So on my Twitter, like, my name on there is Maya Elious and in parentheses, it says, "not Mayalicious."
Oh, okay. My bad. Alright, so Maya, okay. Here's one of the reasons... I mean, there's so many reasons to have my on this show. Part of it. I just love, Maya, your ascent in earning money and becoming a full fledge, like, businesswoman online. So people who followed you for a while, kind of know the story, but I want to help people to get introduced to you realize like how far you come and who you are. So can you just, like, explain what it is that you do? And then we'll go back and start from the beginning?
Maya Elious 6:39
Yeah, yeah. So what I do now is I'm a personal branding strategist. And I'm the CEO of Filter Impact, which is a coaching company for female entrepreneurs who want to master their message and build their own service-based or coaching-based company and take it to six figures. So our specialty is really extracting the genius from our clients, and helping them package up their genius into a high-end offer. And the majority of our clients launch coaching programs, or some of them launch done-for-you services. So that might be, like, videography, agency-style. And yeah, that's what we do.
Jamila Souffrant 7:17
Yeah. And I think for me, what is pretty cool about what you do is that you work with people to help, like you said, pull up kind of like this expertise that they have, and help them to monetize it in a way that, like, is really monetizing, and getting paid what they're worth. And I know that is necessary, because with people, the Journeyers, people who listen to this podcast, some of them are working full time in jobs that they don't absolutely love. And they have a skill set that can be utilized and leveraged for their journey to financial freedom. And sometimes they just don't know how to do that. And so I think it's cool that, you know, you have people who help people create courses, and then, like, you're more geared towards like coaching programs. But I think it's just so necessary to, kind of, like, bring the light to what this process looks like for people. Because, guaranteed, if you listen to this, you have something that will be helpful to others, that people will pay you for, that will then allow you to reach your life goals. And so it Maya helps you do that. But before we get to, kind of, more on that, I want to, like, talk about your journey to being an entrepreneur that you are. Because I read that when you first started, in 2008, you were making between 1,000 to $10,000 a year, between 2008-2012. And now, you're, like, running a million dollar business. So can we talk about, like, that journey to where you are now?
Maya Elious 8:33
Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, you're absolutely correct. When I first started out, 2008, I was making MySpace pages in college. And I was essentially making, like, $35 per MySpace page. $50 on the high end. And it's so funny because, like, back then to me, like getting paid $55 for MySpace page was premium, like, I considered $55 to be my premium package, which makes me just crack up laughing, because I'm like, there's nothing premium about a $50 bill, but it was so much money to me back then. Cuz I was 18 years old, I'm in college, I have no bills, I'm living with my parents. So that is money to me. Like, I could make $50 stretch for the week. So yeah, I started out making MySpace pages, and then transitioned into doing websites and helping people with their overall brand and creating their graphics. I was shooting club photography. I was creating club flyers. I was doing logos, business cards, essentially anything that I could design or edit inside of Photoshop, I was doing as a freelancer. So from 2008 to 2012, I was making between, like, 1,000 to $10,000 a year, and then I eventually transitioned into going full time. So I dropped out of college in 2013, which was one of the scariest decisions of my life. But I made it and thank God that I did I always say like, the scariest decision is always our most transformational or our most pivotal decision. And so I went full time as a freelancer. And from 2013 to 2016, I made about maybe $15,000 to $80,000 a year, just rapidly growing, like, if you guys see my numbers, like, I'm usually doubling every year, which is insane to even look at, but I became a full time freelancer. And the real difference between what I was doing as a part timer, and a full timer, is I started to increase my rates. I started to really understand how to articulate my value, and then package up my offerings. So as a part timer, I was doing a lot of ala carte, like, you can get one logo, you can get one business card, and then as a full timer, I had packages, like, okay, get this branding package, where you get your logo and business card, and landing page. And I really started to make money more consistently than I really thought I was like, "the ish," I'm like, "Okay, I'm out here. I'm making money, money. I'm proving my parents wrong. that I can drop out of college and be successful." And then, from 2017 to 2019, this is when I really started to leverage my expertise in the branding space. So people had seen me blogging, people would see me making websites, they see me transform other people's brands. And then now people wanted to learn from me, as an expert. They wanted to see me speak. They wanted me to host workshops. They wanted to sign up for my own courses and memberships. And so, leveraging my expertise, more in from 2017 to 2019, is what helped me go from just a full time freelancer, to a six figure expert. And this is when I started making $100,000 a year and more. And that was just such a fun time, because this is-- I was really leveraging live video during this time. I was leveraging doing live events during this time. And I really just got to show up as an expert. And then finally, in 2020, is when I hit seven figures with my company, Built To Impact. And it was actually just kind of mind blowing, because in 2019, Wwe did $330,000-331,000. And then in 2020, we did about 1.1 million. So that has been the journey from thinking $55 was premium with MySpace pages to now running a we're about to be at $2 million probably within like the next week or so.
Jamila Souffrant 12:32
Wow, that's amazing. And I want to take it back a bit to when you dropped out of college, because I know you're African, right? So, I would assume, and you kind of mentioned it, like, you were trying to prove your parents wrong. I'm sure that did not go over well, because, like, what is it that you're doing? Like what is it that we come to this country for for you to do, right? Like, I know that I wouldn't got that from my mom. But I feel like-- how did you know, Right? Despite what was the influences around you, and, like, for the people that you love the most telling you and looking at you like you were crazy. How did you know that it was time to quit college and do this?
Maya Elious 13:05
Oh my gosh. I knew because I had been battling with this decision for, like, years. I feel like I probably knew in 2011. So around the time when I'm 21 years old, I probably knew in 2011. But I was way too scared. Like I did not have the guts to be able to tell my parents, "I'm gonna drop out of school." Like, "Are you absolutely insane? Have you lost it?" So I definitely did not have the guts. But then I think it was kind of like, year after year just having this feeling of like, "Man, I feel so uncomfortable at school," like I'm not paying attention. I wasn't doing well. My grades were not that good. I was just not performing well in school and my mind was always on what I wanted to do for my business. And I remember, my boyfriend at the time, we lived together and it was really hard for me to sleep, it was really hard for me to focus ,and he was like, "I think you're, you're dealing with depression a little bit." And I had no inkling of really, like, anything with mental health besides just, like, the negative stigma of it. So I'm like, "Oh, really? Is that what depression looks like? Is this what anxiety looks like?" And so, you know, I realized, like, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety trying to be in one part of my life to please my parents, but when I really want it to be in another part of my life to please myself. So that was one of the toughest things that I dealt with. I'm 100% a recovering people pleaser, and making sure that I had my parents approval was a top priority for me. But it definitely caused a lot of stress.
Jamila Souffrant 14:37
Yeah. Did you have college loans at the time that you were in college?
Maya Elious 14:41
I had a little bit of college loans. I don't even remember. I mean, my parents, kind of, paid for it. But I did have some in my name. By the time I graduated, I think, I maybe was in $12,000 in debt. Like nothing serious. Thank god.
Jamila Souffrant 14:57
Okay. Well, I'm asking that just because I know like that sunken cost fallacy. That when you're, kind of, like in it, you're feeling like, "Well, I kind of already have this debt and these expectations, I might as well just stick it out." And I know for a fact, a lot of people have just grit their teeth and got through it that way, or are currently doing something, maybe it's not college, maybe it's a job, or even a business, that you're just doing because they had the expectation. When you think you put so much already into it. Maybe you're in debt because of it. But it's like, literally, it's time to stop.
Maya Elious 15:28
Oh my gosh. Yeah! we do this with relationships. And like, yeah, it's like you're in debt- debt with your relationship, sis. Like you're going backwards as a result of this relationship. And it's like, that's a word. Like, sometimes we go even deeper in debt with something, because we refuse to let go. And it's like, well, the sooner you let go, the sooner you can recover from it and get the ROI and learn what you need to learn. So I feel you on that 100%.
Jamila Souffrant 15:53
Yeah. All right. So Maya, one of the things that I think we talked about, obviously, it's, like, you transitioning and making more money. And this is a personal finance podcast. So I do like talking about the money side of things. For you, how have you changed in the way that you spent and/or manage your money as you began to make more money?
Maya Elious 16:14
Yeah, I think I've actually always been pretty good with money in terms of, like, saving, but it's just, I'm learning so much more about money as I get older, and like, learning about money as an adult is interesting. So as I mentioned earlier, I was like, "What? I have to give the IRS money? Like, what's happening!?" So learning about taxes. I did not do well in accounting when I was in college. So just really learning about how money works, how money can work for me. And it's also interesting, it's kind of like, the more money that I make, the more I want to save, because I'm like, "Wait a minute. Like, I want to make sure I can hold on to this." So it's not even that I'm like, greedy with my money. I really actually like giving out a lot of my money. I like pouring my money into other people and to creatives and to black women. I like knowing that I'm building wealth for myself, and finding different ways to put my money into avenues where wealth can be created for me. And I always used to just assume that in order to make money, I would have to do the work in order to make it. Not really understanding how investing and interest worked. So, I'm still learning a lot about money as I continue to make it. But it's been a learning experience for sure.
Jamila Souffrant 17:31
Yeah. Well, it's-- I'm curious, like, do you budget? Like what your personal, like, way of managing money is. Do you budget? And do you have, like, a financial advisor, that helps you figure out what to do with your money?
Maya Elious 17:41
Mmhmm. I do have somebody to help me figure out my money. Which is, like, how privileged is that? It's like, I have so much money, please help me figure out how to use it. But I do have someone, because I just want to make sure that I am being a good steward of my money. I can't say that I have a budget. I think, you know, years ago, I'll say like, early on, like, honestly, instead of me thinking in terms of budget, I thought in terms of, "How do I make more money?" Like, I'm not going to keep trying to save and nickel and dime myself, I'm going to make more money. So, I had that thought process. And then I remember seeing somewhere like, "You can't save yourself to wealth, like you have to make more money. That's the only answer." So, that's the answer I've been using for myself and it's been working quite well for me.
Jamila Souffrant 18:28
Yeah, I think it's interesting. Like, I definitely agree with that you can't save, like, literally, save yourself to wealth, meaning in a couple ways, like, there's but so little that you can cut back on. But your income is, like, limitless. And then the other side of it, like practically also just saving, like just putting your money in a savings account, is not going to bring you wealth, because you can't beat inflation in a save-- a typical, regular savings account. And so you have to invest that money. As you start and you're helping, you know, other women and people make more money. I think they're probably realizing themselves, like, these next levels of dealing with wealth, and how do they actually build it? Because having a million dollar business doesn't mean, one, you bring home a million dollars, personally. I always feel like I need to say that. Just for people who sometimes don't understand that yet. And then, even if you are bringing home, personally, a couple $100,000, because that's what you choose to pay yourself. If you have such a thriving business. Like spending it all without investing and growing it, doesn't like bring you ultimate wealth. So, I think, that's, like, one of the things where, I'd be curious, like, how your audience, especially the people that you've helped and they started to make more money, what they've been challenged with, in their own finances. Like are they getting ahead? Are they paying off the debt? You know, like, is that something that you discuss with them?,
Maya Elious 19:39
Oh my gosh, absolutely. Because, you know, that's my ultimate desire with Build To Impact is, like, how do I help my clients build wealth as a result of leveraging their expertise to build a highly profitable brand? Like building a coaching business is extremely profitable. And, like, one of my clients, I sent her a DM and I'm like, "Okay, What are you doing with your money?" Right? Because she's like, "Well, I'm just staring at all of this money in my Stripe account." She's done, I thin,k almost a quarter a million in eight months. And I'm like, "Well, what are we doing with it? Like, one, do you have an accountant? Two, are you investing? Three, what does your debt look like? If you have me as a coach, I'm going to be in your bank account, because I want to make sure that you're not just making money and not building wealth. Because being able to build wealth is such a privilege. And it's like, you need to be able to, you know, take advantage of that opportunity. If you're making over six figures, and it's highly profitable, how are you now building wealth so you can set yourself up? So you're you don't feel like you have to constantly work? You shouldn't feel like you have to constantly be in your business to make money.
Jamila Souffrant 20:44
Yeah, yeah, I love that. I love that you're doing that. And that's the focus. And I just think for a lot of people who are starting to make money for the first time, whether it's, like, you're the first in your family to earn six figures, or first have your friend circle, or just immediate circle, it's very important that, hopefully, you are using that money to fuel you further. Not just in the moment kind of spending and almost all saving on to it too much where you don't do anything with it either, right? So I love that that's what you focus on. Last thing before we kind of get into more about where people can find you and more about your, your impact weekend program, is what's that thing you would tell someone, like, the Maya that started out who didn't know that this was like gonna be possible for her-- I'm assuming you didn't know you were gonna have a million dollar business few years ago, right?
Maya Elious 21:28
When I started? Absolutely not like.
Jamila Souffrant 21:31
You didn't have no clue.
Maya Elious 21:32
Yeah, I used to look at income reports. And I would be like, "How are these people making so much money?" Like, it's interesting, because it's like, I understood that people could be millionaires. But I did not really grasp the breakdown of what that looked like. And so when I used to see income reports of people doing $30,000 a month, $40,000 a month, $120,000 a month, I'm like, "But how, though, but how, can somebody explain this to me?" And now that I'm living it, I'm like, " Oh, okay, yeah, this is how you do it."
Jamila Souffrant 22:03
Okay, and so that is what I want. I know, we have so little time left, but I want us to bridge that gap. For someone who is listening and saying to themselves, "I want to be there. Like, I want to earn more. I have something that I can, like, offer the world." What would you tell them? And what's that, like, almost advice you'd tell yourself, back then, when it comes to making these, like, small changes and big leaps to get to where you are?
Maya Elious 22:27
Yeah. I would say to set a standard for yourself, in terms of how much money you want to make and how much money you want to save. I think just starting there. Like, don't even get, right now, likely isn't even the time for you to even get caught up in the whole, like, wealth mindset and all of that. I want you to think about how much you want to make and how much you want to save, because those were my goals. I had clear revenue goals, and I had clear savings goals. And I remember I use the Mint app to, like, to look up my money. And I had all of my accounts on there. And I could see what my net worth was. That was my first understanding of what net worth was. And so I used to screenshot my account when I had a total of $10,000 amongst all of my accounts. I was like, "Oh my gosh. In case I never see this much money again, I'm going to screenshot this." And it felt so good knowing that $10,000 was my new basement. Like $10,000 became my new broke. And so I want you to have a standard of, what is broke really mean to you? Because you should not be at $0 at any point ever, in the history of you making money, right? So I want you to increase your standard of broke, right? So maybe right now $1,000 in your savings is really great for you, and then you increase it to $1,500, then you increase it to $3,000. keep increasing that. But you're also going to need to think about how much money you want to make. And so when I went full time freelancing, one question that I had to ask myself was, "What is the minimum amount of money I want to make per client?" Right? Because I went from ala carte to packages. So I went from making $55 per client to making $300 per client. And that continues to increase, as my expertise got better and my level of value got better. So those are some of the things that I want you to think about in terms of growing your money, because once you see your money grow, everything becomes more possible. At one point I did not think having $10,000 saved was possible until I raised my standard and hit it and then once you hit it, keep raising and increasing that level of possibility.
Jamila Souffrant 24:41
Love, love, love that. Okay, so Maya, please tell everyone more about where they can find you. More about Impact Weekend. What it is, who it's for, and then if they're interested, where they can get tickets.
Unknown Speaker 24:51
Yes, so Impact Weekend is my three day live event. I'm so excited for this, because right now our coaching programs are shut down for the rest of the year. Our goal is to get people to Impact Weekend, because it's such a life-changing event. It's definitely going to shift your business. So Impact Weekend is my three day live event. And this is where I help you get super crystal clear on your message. I help you really dive deep into your expertise. I teach you how to articulate your value, raise your prices and create high end offers, so you can attract quality clients. This is the best thing that I have ever created. So if you have the opportunity, make sure that you are in the room. It's February 4-6 2022 In Atlanta, Georgia. We do it once a year, and leading up to the event, we are connected through our attendee Facebook Group, where you'll get access to live master classes from me and access to some of my online courses, which will help you build your brand. So I hope to see you in the room. If you're interested in learning more, you can sign up at impactweekend live.com. And as a special treat to the listeners, if you use the code "journey," at checkout, you will get 20% off of your ticket.
Jamila Souffrant 26:11
Wowzers. Thank you, Maya! And where can they follow you online? Your Instagram, Twitter, all that?
Yes. So you can follow me everywhere online @mayaelious. That's M A Y A E L I O U S and it's Maya Elious and not Mayalicious.
Yes. I was about to say, "Not Mayalicious, guys. Maya Elious." Love that. Thank you, Maya for this. This was great. Thank you.
Maya Elious 26:35
Jamila, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it so much.
Jamila Souffrant 26:42
All right. I hope you enjoyed the conversation with Maya and you got inspired to do something with the talents and gifts that you're sitting on right now. Chances are you're most likely an expertise in something. And if you're looking to make money on the side and/or transition from, maybe, what you're doing now to something different, perfect opportunity to learn more. And if you wanted to learn more about the Impact Weekend live event that she has and you want to attend, you can go to impactweekendlive.com. Enter the code "journey," all lowercase, and you can get 20% off the ticket if you attend.
Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.
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