Salena Knight | The 5 Pillars of a Successful Retail Business

Adam LeanPodcast

You can fly by the seat of your pants with your business for awhile. But soon it’s time to grow up, says retail strategist Salena Knight, or you risk stalled growth, unhappy employees, stress and overwork.

She’s a big fan of systems and processes, either automating certain tasks or making them very easy for someone to do. That productivity means making more money while working less.

But Salena also advises small business owners on more “intangible” strategies that can cause exponential growth. She’ll reveal what you can do right now to get started. We also talk about…

  • The dangers of being an “isolated” entrepreneur
  • Providing true value to your customers – and gaining authority at the same time
  • Unusual – and fun – ways to generate leads that really work
  • Why those who spend the most money aren’t necessarily your best customers
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Adam Lean: Welcome to P is for profit, a podcast that breaks down business concepts into simple and clear language. This season is dedicated to interviewing eCommerce experts that can help you improve your eCommerce business. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of an eCommerce coaching agency that helps online retail businesses grow. Selena knows what she’s talking about. Because she’s been there. She’s been to multiple online and brick and mortar stores. And she’s on a mission to help other people grow their stores.

So why does this matter? Well, you know how you look at Facebook or Instagram and see everyone else’s great life, you’re essentially looking at their highlight reel while comparing it to your entire life. This, of course, is not healthy when everybody does it. But this is also what happens all the time with business owners. Many business owners feel like every other business owner out there is way more successful than they really are. And that they all possess more business knowledge than you do. This, of course, is not true. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with other businesses. It’s also easy to feel isolated in business.

So you need to surround yourself with people that are in your corner. People that want to see you succeed, people that will give you objective guidance, people that will give you the extra boost of confidence so that you’ll take action. So let’s jump into the interview with Selena and see how she does these things with the business owners she works with. Our guest today is Salena night. She is an eCommerce coach who has owned eCommerce and brick and mortar retail stores. And her passion is to help independent retailers have a profitable retail business without burning out. Salena, welcome to the show.

Salena Knight: Hi, Adam, thanks so much for having me.

Adam Lean: So it is great to talk to an eCommerce coach because you work with eCommerce store owners on pretty much every aspect of their business. And I know we’ll get into that in just a minute. But tell us how you got to this point, how did you become an eCommerce coach?

eCommerce Coaching

Salena Knight: I will jump in and say I don’t generally like the term coach. Because I don’t actually know if I’m the best coach. I call myself a strategist. And the reason I do that is that I do do that coaching part, which is I have total confidence in the people I work with. And I think that’s one of my superpowers is that I can see the potential in people. And I can see just if they just did a few other things that their business or their life would get so much better. And when it comes to brand archetypes, I just did a podcast on brand archetypes. And I’m the hero and the ruler almost equal parts. And the hero is the person who has the confidence, like the hero is like a sports coach. But the ruler is all about strategy and steps. And so I kind of mix the two of them together and I give people the next steps that they have to take.

But in the meantime, I am in the background going you can do this, you can do this. Now how I got into this was I’ve been in this game for in the retail eCommerce game for over a decade. Now. I started my first eCommerce business back in 2007. And I did that because of I just sort of bearing in mind, Facebook was only brand new back then I was on Facebook in 2008. As one of the first businesses, we were still hanging out in forums back then. And we didn’t have the internet on our phones in 2007. So the eCommerce landscape was pretty barren. There are lots of purple and green websites out there. And sadly, I use the Wayback Machine the other day to look at what my first website look like. And lo and behold, there’s the purple and the green.

Adam: What type of website was it?

First Foray into eCommerce

Salena: It was on flash. It had a flash. Lots of you know, before sliders were a thing. We had lots of pictures flashing up. And then we went to OSCommerce. That was our first iteration of an eCommerce platform. And but even before then I didn’t have the eCommerce site, I was actually selling off of the forums, and people would just private message me. So I was selling all things, reusable baby nappies. And so we called modern cloth nappies. And there was a huge market for it because sustainability was making a resurgence. And people wanted to have a lot of impact on a lot of footprint on the globe. And you couldn’t buy these things in stores. In fact, it was almost hard to buy them in Australia.

So that was my first foray into importing as well. I started importing the fabric to make them from China. And then I also started importing product from the US. And I could tell you a lot of stories about importing. But eventually, I got to the point where that little side hustle was making me enough money to quit my job. And so as a result, looking back, you know, people often say if you could tell yourself one thing, it would be like, do you realize you’re opening a business in the middle of the global economic downturn, probably not the smartest move, but I did, I quit my government job. So nice,   job set hours, holidays, trusted days off in the month, and I opened this retail store, the first one of its kind in Australia. So that was really exciting. The downside of that was someone else did the same thing two weeks later but in a different state.

So clearly, we were at the forefront of what was happening in the retail landscape. Now eventually, I ended up growing that into a chain of stores both on and offline. So we started online, and then we opened up the bricks and mortar stores. And in 2015, I actually sold those businesses because I processed myself out of the business. I was literally turning up at work every single day to play on Facebook. Yeah. Which is great. It’s where every business wants to be. And but for me, the challenge was gone.

The minute that one of my team actually said to me, what are you doing here, like you, all you really do is hassle the customers because you’re bored, and hang out on Facebook. As soon as that became obvious to me because I was in denial, I decided to sell the businesses because it just wasn’t, there was no passion in there. And by this point, my daughter was seven I think at the time, so I was sort of out of the baby world. Anyway, I didn’t have any relevance in it. And so I built this business and ended up just selling it off to somebody else.

Adam: So you created systems enough and processes that sort of allowed other people to run the business? How did you do that? What was the turning point?

Creating Systems and Processes

Salena: Oh, the turning point, I can actually remember the turning point. And it was when we were using all the backend of OzCommerce as our point of sale. Because, even point of sales, they weren’t particularly affordable back then. And so I remember hiring a new person. And after about a week, she was like, I can’t use this thing. Like I’m sorry, I’m just writing this stuff down in an exercise, but when we sell it because it is just way too confusing to go in and start a customer up. And then I have to go to the front page of the website and add all the things that they’ve bought, it’s too time-consuming. And she was like, if you can’t change this, I’m leaving. And that was the point where I kind of realized, you can fly by the seat of your pants for a certain amount of time.

And I guess that’s, you know, I heard this great quote, which was, you can hustle to a million dollars. And I think that’s, that’s probably pretty correct. You can just keep doing things the way they’re doing up to a certain point. But when your staff threaten to leave, because it’s just too stressful working in your business, that is when you know you have a problem. So that is when I started writing out processes on how to do things. And we just had them in either those folders with like the clear pages, and you pop the I think they called display books.

So we just have one of those behind the counter. And every time a new thing would come up, we would write them. But the great thing is when you have great staff, they do it themselves. And so it would get to the point where we ended up moving to a proper point of sale that was a bit of a catalyst thereto we end up moving to a proper point of sale and I would come in and I see now communications book are then had an update, it’s okay, I’ve sorted out the processes and printed in the new ones that in the communications book. That’s great. When people upgrading your business without you being there, you know, you have a great team and you know that you’re a great leader to empower them to do that.

Adam: That makes sense. So sort of a standard operating procedures book that constantly gets updated by the team.

Salena: Yeah, we actually had because we’re quite tech-savvy, we actually had a Google Site intranet. So we had the most common things in the display book. So if you had to do a refund, or if you have problems with emerging facilities, both things you could sort of just get out and follow along by the book. But the more advanced stuff that set in a Google Sites, intranet that we all had access to. And we even had like our roster in there, because everyone could access it on their phones. So before all, before you can buy all this stuff out of the box, and that’s one of the big things that I’ve seen change over the last decade is the stuff we were spending a lot of money on, you can now get for $5 a month. Like, don’t reinvent the wheel guys. This stuff is out there, you just have to pay for it. But it’s only a little bit of money.

Adam: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean, I started my first eCommerce business in 2005. And the just the cost of getting a merchant account, just to accept credit cards was a hassle. So somebody had to actually come out to my office and interview me in order to approve me for a merchant account.

Salena: Yeah, we were the same, we couldn’t get a merchant account until someone came out to a store to verify we couldn’t have it when we just had online, we just use PayPal back in the day. But as soon as we had the physical store, someone had to actually come out and make sure that that physical store exists. And then we got it.

The Five Pillars of Retail Success

Adam: So you have something called the five pillars of retail success. And I’m very curious about this. So can you explain what these five pillars are?

Salena: I will. And before I jump in, I sound so organized, when I’m talking to you about all these systems and processes. But in actual fact, I run my life from Google Calendar, because if I don’t, nothing gets done, like even my weekly cleaner is in the calendar. So I don’t book in your podcast or something. All of these things, all of these processes, all these structures, the five pillars, all of these have come as a result of being lazy. It sounds so counterintuitive. But I don’t want to have to do something twice. If I can do it, and it works. Let’s just create a process for it. Let’s automate it if we can all let’s make it really easy for someone to take over that job. So all of this is born from being a lazy CEO of my business. 

Adam: Yeah, makes sense. I wouldn’t say it’s lazy, necessarily. But you’re putting systems in place so that you can work on your business instead of having to work in your business all the time.

Salena: Yeah, and the upside of all of this is it really empowers you to it shows them that you have faith. Because if you can just hand something if you can hand a process over and it’s quite a well-written process. This is the joy of getting your staff to do it themselves because they don’t miss steps like they’re following it word for word is they feel so confident, and they feel like they own part of the business as a result.

Adam: Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you.

Salena: Okay, I know, I don’t have an awful lot of time, and I will talk forever. So let’s quickly jump into these five pillars. And they’re quite broad. But essentially, there are five pillars: Money, and that’s going to cover things like and we always put money first. Because at the end of the day, if your business is not making money, you don’t have a business, and you can’t continue to grow. And I’ve got this great saying, which is more money, more impact. And a lot of people start eCommerce and retail businesses because they’re passionate about the thing that they sell, not everybody, but a lot of people do. So what I find is, if we don’t put money first, then nothing else happens. Because you don’t have money to invest in your business, you don’t have money to buy a better product, you don’t have money to advertise, you don’t have money for customer acquisition. So everything that you do, every decision that you make, if you don’t get money, right, comes from a place of reaction. And then it’s also every decision you make is based on fear or stress. Because you’re constantly thinking, should I pay it to pay that supplier? Or should I run $10 worth of Facebook ads or $100 worth of Facebook ads, because I need to make money if I sell it. 

So money is always the first foundational pillar. And then we move into sales, and sales cover lots of things. It’s a pretty big, big bucket. It’s your obvious sales, like the sales, your 30% off. But it’s also promotions. And people get those two things very, very confused. So our promotion is, you know, a supplier comes to you and says we’re going to give you a gift with purchase. Or if you buy two will give you a discount. So promotions and generally done in between junction with a supplier. But it’s also things like events and joint venture partnerships. And believe it or not your product mix. So your product assortment, the stuff you have in your shop because if that is wrong, your sales are going to go down. So sales are important. And a lot of this stuff is made is fear-based, a lot of fear happens in the old retail and eCommerce business. In fact, a lot of it happens in any business. Because all of a sudden, and I kind of just grabbed this quote for you because I think it totally sums up what one of my clients said. She said to me, I was really scared to make decisions in my business and take control because I was so used to other people telling me what I needed to do when I had a job.

How insightful is that? Yeah. And this is so true. Most of us had a job before we went into business. And most of us had a boss. And stepping into this boss mentality is really, really difficult eight minutes your own employee getting out of your own way is really important. So the first one is money. The second one is sales. And the third one is customers. Now, this is actually the biggest pillar of all, because, without the customers, you don’t have the money. And customers covers your acquisition, your retention, and your customer experience.

So your team is in there, the systems that you’re using to enhance the customer experience or your customer acquisition. And what I find a lot of problems in this pillar is that either everything is all manual, or everything is all automated. So for something like customer acquisition, it’s all it’s all manual like somebody is physically looking at email addresses and typing in newsletters, there’s not an awful lot, or there’s not an awful lot of automation in there. And so even if you have a retail store, often this is copying somebody’s email address down. So few eCommerce businesses actually have a great lead capture form. I would say the majority of websites I go to offer me a discount in some way, shape or form. Now, I’m not necessarily a discount shopper, and all that does is put my impression of that brand, it just cheapens my impression of that brand. It’s like really your stuff is not good enough may pay first full price on the first go. That’s my first thought. I got you that desperate for my money that you don’t want me to pay full price.

Adam: So what do you recommend that people do instead of a discount to get email addresses?

Salena: 100%, you have to answer a question that your customer has. So for example, I actually have a really good guide, can I share a guide with you? Can I share a guide afterwards? Yeah. So this guide on five ways to grow your tribe without breaking the bank. And it this is exactly what we talked about. So I’ll just quickly run, what those five things are. And then I can give you a link and people can go and download it for free.

But the first one is just having a checklist. So the biggest opt-in that we ever had in our baby store was the ultimate hospital bag checklist. Now, there are a gazillion hospital bag checklists out there. But if someone has come to your website, and that’s what they’re in the market for. It just moves you into a higher place of authority. And we’re going to get to that shortly. So something like a checklist, a quiz. Millennials love quizzes, we all love quizzes if you can. And this is what I was saying earlier about software. Once upon a time building a quiz would have been like a huge amount of JavaScript and back end coding. Now you can go and buy some quiz software for five bucks a month. Now you can be getting leads for $5 a month, we would say no to that. What’s a video like we all know now in our Facebook feed in our Instagram feed, it doesn’t cost anything to create a video. And some of the best videos are ones that people have shot on their iPhone. So I have this running joke about I cannot tie a scarf. Whenever I want to get fancy with a scarf that isn’t just wrapped around my neck, I have to go and watch a video tutorial. Like I’ve done it so many times you think I should know but it’s just this thing in my brain that doesn’t work. So if I went to your website, it’s winter here in Australia, I went to your website and the first thing I saw was, you know, sign up to get our seven easy fashion videos on how to do this, this and this. I feel like hell yeah, I want to know how to do those things I want to know how to go today tonight with just two accessories. I want to know how to up a level, how to make my jeans fit for my perfect shape.

Like you, you’re good at what you do when you run this business, you know more about your stuff than I do. So just tell me what that stuff is. Um, and the other thing is building a true VIP community. And I don’t just mean asking everybody to come in. Like when I say a VIP community, I really do mean, those diehard loyal fans, I call them boomerangs and drum betas, so boomerang for those people who come back again and again and again and again and again. And maybe they don’t spend the most amount of money, but they are there all the time checking in to see what’s new. And the drumbeat is, they’re the ones who tell everybody else about you. And funnily enough, they may not have actually ever bought anything from you. But they are your biggest advocates. So you can’t you about those people. And so this is where customer experience can get the lines can get a little bit murky because it’s like well, do I just take the people who spent the most amount of money? Or do I just take the people who hit my store the most often, this is where your stats, you have to make a decision on who those people are? I think if you build a true community that isn’t just a whole bunch of people, then that’s when you get that community buy-in. And brands like Lululemon do it really, really well, like you can come in-store and do some yoga, you can be part of their tribe. And that’s what people want these days. I was just at a conference. As I said, I like to talk I was just at a conference last week.

And the purpose is the thing for 2020. If your business has a purpose, you will get the customers. So that’s what I would say is have a think about why you’re in business. And then have a think about those sort of top questions that you get asked all the time they aren’t when is my order coming and give them that because there’s so much more buying than 10% off, don’t cheap in your brand. 10% off is 10% pure profit that you’ve just lost because stats show that the number that you have to discount to get people over the line when they were only thinking about buying. So at 10% off, they were already going to buy 10% off is not enough to make somebody change their mind. That number is 35%. Wow, most people can’t afford to give away 35% of the pure profit.

Adam: They have a negative margin.

Salena: Yeah, exactly. So stop thinking that everybody is out to get a discount. Unless you are 100% a discounter. Don’t give that first impression that my stuff is not good enough for you to pay full price. That’s a little side tangent.

Adam: Where can people get that guy to the five ways to grow your tribe?

Salena: Okay, so I’ll give you the link. It’s And I’ll give you the link because no one ever spells my name, right, and you can pop it in your show notes and people and I go into each one of those in a lot more detail.

Okay, so that’s the big customer, that’s the big pillar, then we get into marketing. And what we just talked about was a bit of marketing as well. So you’ve got your paid marketing, your organic, which is your social and your word of mouth. But also you have in store and website marketing. So this is where a lot of stuff just gets overlooked because you forget that your website is actually a billboard. And so there are really great brands who do this. Well, people like the iconic over in Australia, they’ll have like, promotions inside of each category page. So once you have your homepage, when you hit categories, you’ll see other promotions as well. And even if that promotion is just a look book, or you know, shop, shop winter, the winter edit, it’s still a promotion. And so I think that’s kind of the missing link quite often when it comes to marketing is using what you already have space you already have. Because if you’ve paid for somebody to get to your website, then you need to market the bejesus out of it when they get there. So that’s probably the big one. And it’s there’s a lot of under look like overlooked places when it comes to marketing. And the biggest one, which I’m sure we’ve talked about loads of times Adam is just retargeting people because you’ve already paid for them in some way, shape or form, you’ve already paid for them to hit your website. So go back and sell to them because it’s going to be so much cheaper.

Adam: Yeah, absolutely.

Salena: Alright, so the fifth pillar, the fit for Adam hasn’t gotten a word in edgewise. Do you have something that you want to ask me?

Adam: I was just going to add that, you know, I don’t know what the exact stat is. But the average conversion rate of an eCommerce store is something like one and a half per cent. So that’s, that’s 98.5% of all people that come to the store that don’t buy. So you have to re-target and try to capture them in some way.

Salena: Yeah, and you can’t be offended if they don’t buy on the first time. Because not everybody does. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I just happened to open up a when I was closing down things for this podcast, I had a browser open. And it was on a cart page. And I had completely forgotten that wanted to buy that thing. Just sometimes life just gets in the way.

Adam: Yeah, absolutely. But yeah, so so the fifth, the fifth pillar.

Salena: The fifth pillar is my favourite. And the reason it’s my favourite is that it can exponentially grow your business. And I’ll throw in a few examples in a minute. But the best part about it is, it doesn’t actually cost anything for the most part. If you do this, well. It doesn’t cost anything. And I call this the next level pillar. But essentially, it’s these esoteric things that most brands are too scared to go after. And that is things like entering awards. Now notice, I didn’t say winning awards, entering awards is good enough, getting PR being featured in the local paper, being featured. I mean, we don’t have to talk about being in vogue.

If you’ve been on your local TV station, I’m fine with that. Because automatically you have authority. So this next level is a lot of authority building, being that later, like putting the videos out there putting content out there, all the stuff people are telling you to do, and building that brand awareness. But there’s also another part in here that is really, really close to my heart. And that is having support, having a community around you in whatever form and we could talk about that in a minute. But I just want to tell you a story about this lovely lady called Sarah. And she runs this business in Australia– it’s a subscription business called Box for Monkeys. And her subscription business is every month, you get a box of educational games for your child, and they’re not gender-specific. So they’re gender-neutral. And they’re in age groups. So they might be like a three to four, or five to eight and then an eight to 12. And they delivered to your door every single day. Now, doesn’t mean… it’s a kind of good concept. But the thing was Sarah really, really quickly. So she’s been in business about four years now. She was one of the first people I interviewed on my podcast, she really quickly decided that for this to work, because subscription businesses were still kind of new back then she needed to let people know.

And she said to me yesterday, you know, I thought “Damn it, I’m just going to apply for an award because this is a pretty innovative idea.” And she applied for an award. And she won it. And the thing was since then she has been on, I don’t know 50 or 60 panels when it comes to eCommerce businesses and how she’s built her subscription business. She now talks about things like how I know the steps that I have to take to import from China, she has so many different aspects of her business. And this is the thing when you run your business, you’re learning these things. As you go, you probably know how to import, you probably know how to find a great product, you probably know how to make deals with suppliers. And other people want to know that too. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a leader in your customer’s eyes. Or if you’re late in your industry’s eyes. The fact is if you can say that I’ve been featured in all these places. Then, instantly you have what we like to call social proof, right? You’ve got street cred, and Sarah’s business has grown exponentially, like stratospherically all because she gets up and speaks at events. She is on panels. She writes articles for businesses, she’s been featured in some really high profile magazines. Sure, she can get paid for it. But now she’s one of the leading speakers all around the world on subscription boxes.

And she’s not Harry’s, you know, she’s not doing $20 million. But she’s built this cult following. And everybody wants to share that they’re part of her success. And that’s what your customers want to. And this is where the community comes into it. Because one of the other things that Sarah was saying to me is, there were so many times that I was lonely, that I was so lucky to have this community of speakers that I could go out to and have these conversations with. And this is like, I’m really passionate about this, because I’m seeing it more and more and more with eCommerce businesses, we sit behind a screen, and we might talk to customers, and maybe you even talked to your team. But if you don’t have someone to talk to on the same level, it can get lazy and just get stuck in a rut. And when that happens, you make really poor decisions, you stopped doing all those other four pillars really, really well. Because you’re just like, my sales are growing, can’t be bothered to do a marketing campaign or Facebook ads don’t work or are my staff suck, they’re so bad that you really should get rid of them. If you don’t have someone to have that conversation with, like, you know what, I’ve got this person, and they’re really, really lovely. But when it comes to customer experience, you know, they answer the phones when I get my returns, and they just did brash, and I’m getting a bit of feedback that the customers don’t really like it, but their butts but but Jane’s a really nice person, I really don’t want to let it go. You know, at the end of the day, you are running a business and customer experience has to be at that key. And if you don’t have other people to talk to, at your level or above.

So I’m not saying talking to your stuff about this stuff, you need to be talking to other people who are doing the same thing that you’re doing. Because when you don’t, that is when your business is stagnant. And the reason I wanted to talk to you about this like I said, I can give you a gazillion strategies. But this is this podcast is about profit. And I see eCommerce and retail businesses profits plummeting when they’re isolated. So just quickly, in with another example, the gorgeous Jane Gill, she runs a business in Australia called mountain bikes direct, very high seven figures just about to hit eight-figures. And she got up and talked about how this was really important for them as a business in they joined a coaching group. And they said, We just wanted someone who we could talk to about the plugins on our website, or, you know, a customer experience thing that we were having problems with or what we needed to do, she said that they had, they wanted to move away from their email service platform, and just having people who are doing, who are doing eight figures, having those people to talk to men, that they could make really educated decisions on where their business could grow. And that didn’t, you know, that cost them because they got coaching with it. But this doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. You can go and join a peer group, you can make your own peer group. But you have to be okay with opening up.

And like I said earlier, I probably said it about 20 times so much fear is involved in running a business. And we don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to say somebody “I netted $250,000 last year,” when the person next to you did say 750k you feel inferior. So I think getting past that is so important. Because if you did 250 and the person next to you did 750, go and ask them what they did explain where you’re at right now and say, and what would you recommend? Maybe it’s as simple as adding a plugin to the website. I love the Zippify for product landing pages and product up-sells like product upsells is the bomb. If you’re not doing product themselves on your website, I reckon what you losing 30% of your revenue. Or you could beat No, that’s the opposite, you’re missing out on 30% more revenue, if you’re not, not marketing. And I’m not making all these stats up, if people want to go and have a look as a great website called customer, they do a lot of retail analytics. So if you’re not doing email marketing, well, there’s another 25% of the revenue that you’re missing out on.

So all these little things that you could be implemented, you know, that exponentially give you a return on investment. But what I see, especially when you’re like I said earlier, you can hustle to a million dollars. So what I see is in that up to a million dollars is people are juggling all the things. So short, you might have a couple of staff members. But you are still responsible for everything, you are responsible for the people who are coming in the door or to the website, you are responsible for HR, you’re responsible for looking after contractors, if you’ve got them, you’re responsible for choosing the right product mix and making sure it gets up on the website correctly. All those things are still new. So if you don’t have a group of people that you can talk to that says “ah, if you just did this, you could get 12 hours of your month back.” And I’m sure you could come up with 20 things right now, Adam that people could implement in their business, or take out of the business that would give them this time back. But I’ve discovered that being busy is a badge of honour. 

Adam: Right.

Salena: Do you reckon? Do you think?

Adam: Yes, absolutely. being busy just means that you if you’re too busy, that just means you don’t have control over your time.

Salena: Ah, bingo, you got it in one, I think that is 100%. True being busy, to me is actually it’s like the opposite. It’s saying I have a successful business. Because if I had a successful business, I will just be able to outsource this or delegate this or automate it. So I think being busy, we’ve got to stop using that as this badge of honour so that other people think were successful. That’s what it is. It’s like if I’m busy, I must be successful. If you’re too busy to do these other things that will next level your business when actually you’re not successful. Well, you’re not as successful. Sorry, I’ll take that back… that’s quite negative. you’re not as successful as you could be.

Adam: Yeah, I mean, you got to work on the business on the most important things that will move the business forward. I agree with you, a lot of people spend their time doing low-value tasks, just so that they can have that dopamine hit of crossing something off their tasks to do this.

Salena: Yeah, yeah. And, and this, so as I said, there’s so much judgment, because you look at these businesses that are everywhere. And I have this gorgeous client, Rebecca, and I’ve been working with her. She’d been in business for 10 years, and we’ve been working together for about 12 months. And I made her start going out and doing awards, I pushed her out of a comfort zone, she didn’t win the first five or six. But what she did was she started to get recognition because she was a finalist in all these awards. And that’s all you need to be even a nominee in an award is fine. And then she runs a skincare business. And then all of a sudden, she was being featured in magazines. And then on top of all of that her skincare line got picked up as the preferred brand for a movie set.

I mean, sometimes you have to pay for an award, $100 or $200. Actually, those are the ones you should go in because that’s all the tire kickers get weeded out. So she didn’t spend an awful lot of money, a couple of hundred dollars here and there. But the brand recognition came with it. And so I think one of the biggest things is one of the biggest takeaways from what I’m going to say today is stop getting in your own way. Go and find a community of people. Now whether that is one on one coaching, or whether that’s group coaching, or whether that’s we’ve just built this thing just recently called the collective, the retail collective. And it’s really dirt cheap, it’s $1 a day, and you do get some training. But mostly what you get is the community you can have these conversations, or go and start your own. If you’re at that point in your business where you don’t have the extra cash, go and find three or four other business owners that you look up to and say, hey, let’s meet once a month for a mastermind. And don’t just meet for a chat, have an agenda to make this a business decision. And stop lighting fear of everything ruin your life, and those businesses that you’re seeing in the paper.

And like I’m not the expert in how to get PR. But what I do know is if you put yourself out of your comfort zone, and you look at those other businesses and you emulate them, that is when you get this what I like to call exponential growth. So there’s linear growth, which is 30% year on year growth. But there are businesses that go from 250,000 to a million all because they put themselves out of their comfort zone.

Adam: Yeah, I hundred per cent agree with you.

Salena: You’re a very different podcast for me. I’m so used to giving you five steps to do something. But honestly, I’m just seeing people crack. I’m in Facebook groups, and people are like, I’m in tears because of this. And maybe that’s not a guy thing. But I’m stuck. I’m paralyzed. I can’t even make a decision. Because now I’m second-guessing myself on find somebody else, a sounding board so that you can grow your business.

Adam: Yeah, I 100% agree with you. I mean, we could talk about this all day long. Because I 100% agree with everything that you’re saying. And I love the five pillars of retail success. Where can people find you to learn more?

Salena: Okay, so you can find me over at And that is Or on the bringing business to retail podcast. And if the collective sounds like something that’s interesting, you can find it on the Saena Knight website, but it also has its own website, which is

And there is one thing you should never do. You should never give people three calls to action. So let’s head over to And then you can see the podcast and everything else that goes with it.

Adam: Yeah, okay. Well, we’ll put those things in the show notes as well.

Salena: Fantastic, and I’ll make sure I’ll give you a link to that download as well.

Adam: Oh, yes. The five ways to grow your tribe. Well, Selena, this has been very, very helpful. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Salena: Thank you for having me. And thank you for letting me do a whole bunch of talking. I feel like I didn’t let you get too much of a word in edgewise. But I’m really passionate about helping people scale. So hopefully you can take something away from today and implement them. And of course, let me know like DM me on Instagram or Facebook or something if you got something out of this and it makes a difference. I love to hear results.

Adam: Yeah, actually, I will put all that your contact info in the show notes as well. Thank you so much, Salena. 

Salena: Thanks.