Many entrepreneurs started their journey working in corporate jobs. Realizing they’d prefer working for themselves and not for someone else, they pivot into owning their own businesses. This is a story that is also familiar with Lisa Nicole Cloud, who is now a multifaceted business mogul achieving phenomenal success as a direct sales expert, author, coach, speaker, trainer, clothing designer, and philanthropist. Leaving Corporate America, Lisa went on and pursued her entrepreneurial calling—but not jump ship without a plan, however. In this episode, Lisa shares with us her journey and the hard process that she took to prepare herself in this next phase in her life. She then talks about direct sales, how she got started with it, and the tips and tricks that led her to succeed. Giving not just technical insights, Lisa also inspires aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, to work hard for their goals, to see through it with determination. Don’t miss out on this jam-packed show with Lisa.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Pursuing Your Entrepreneurial Calling With Lisa Nicole Cloud
Lisa, how are you?
I’m good. How are you?
I’m awesome. I’m glad to have you here on Minority Business Access.
I won’t do you justice in trying to introduce you, so I’m going to allow you to introduce yourself. Lisa is a great and awesome person. Lisa, tell us about you.
Thank you for having me on the show. I am an entrepreneur. I’ve been in business for many years. I first started in Corporate America in the pharmaceutical industry, and I realized that I did not want to work for someone else and ended up in the direct sales industry. I built a significant business of about 400,000 distributors worldwide. That’s how I made my money.
When you left Corporate America to work for yourself, was that a hard process? Was it frightening?
I put a plan in place, so I didn’t jump like a lot of people do. I was making good money as a pharmaceutical rep with Lilly. Mentally, I was already an entrepreneur. I did not enjoy working for someone else, being told everything I had to do, then being told I was worth the 2% merit increase at the end of the year. I did not enjoy that and I was their top salesperson on the president’s council. I knew I needed to do something else. At that time in my life, I didn’t know what I wanted to.You don't need to even think about entrepreneurship if you don't want to pay the price in advance. Click To Tweet
Why direct sales?
I always joke around and tell people that direct sales found me, and I say it was God because I accidentally got an email from a gentleman who was successful in the direct sales industry. We both knew each other from other companies and he accidentally sent me an email that was supposed to go to another Lisa. It landed in my inbox and it created a dialogue. We got to talking and he told me about a new technology called Voice over IP and that it was the next big thing. He asked me if I was open to looking at what was happening with it.
One thing I always believe is that a closed mind can be one of the most expensive things you possess because it can cause you to miss out on your blessings and opportunities that could present themselves. Thankfully, I said yes. I got involved early before anybody even knew what VoIP was before there was ever a Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime. I was one of the first minority women in that space to dominate it. We built a national organization and then an international global organization quickly.
Wasn’t that a lot of hard work?
It was a lot of work, a lot of sacrifices. At that point in my life, I was single, I didn’t have any kids and I was hungry for someone to teach me what I needed to do to be successful. If they were willing to do that, then I was willing to work hard. I tell people all the time, “You don’t need to even think about entrepreneurship if you don’t want to pay the price in advance and pull upfront because no one’s going to generate that check but your actions.”
People are looking and people are wondering should they go out and become an entrepreneur? Some of them don’t have any money. Some of them have little to no education. Some of them don’t have a network or have never done sales. You went out and became an entrepreneur. You said you put a plan together and putting your plan together. How much of the fear did it remove? Did it provide you a safety net? What did a plan mean?
When I say a plan, I mean that once I started in the direct sales industry and I started making money, I had a plan on when would be the time that I would cut the cord and go full-time. I had to make a certain amount of money consistently every month. Fortunately, in direct sales, you can make five figures in a month. I had told myself I needed to make that consistently for six months because it can be up and down. I also had to have 1.5 years of my income in savings before I fully jumped out. That’s the plan that I’m talking about where I think a lot of people fail in business because they’re undercapitalized and they don’t have anything to help them sustain as they’re growing and building. Every business has a phase where you’re in growth and it doesn’t always make the big dollars in the beginning.
What you did, you took a proactive approach to it. You said, “I’m going to replace a portion of my income for a certain period of time.”You have to be willing to treat entrepreneurship like a business and not a hobby. Click To Tweet
I took an approach with direct sales business because you don’t need a lot of capital to get started. I’m not saying that’s the case in traditional businesses, but in the direct sales industry, you can start a business for say under $1,000 and become successful with it. However, because it doesn’t cost a lot to get started, many people treat it like a hobby instead of a business. If you will find the right company, the right products, the right compensation model that works for you and you will work as hard at it as you work at your job, then it can replace your job. You have to be willing to treat it like a business and not a hobby.
When you say treat it like a business and not a hobby, could you explain that?
You have to work it every single day. No one’s going to tell you to make calls. No one’s going to tell you to do a home presentation. No one’s going to tell you to go out and network with people and get their information. You’ve got to be self-motivated to be able to do that part on your own. That’s the work ethic.
I find that to be amazing that sales scared me because that’s what it sounds like. To have to go out and sell, especially selling myself, I can’t imagine leaving a job.
Sales scare a lot of people. Fortunately, I come from sales and to me, everything in life is a sale. You’re selling yourself every single day. You’re selling other people’s businesses every single day. If you refer someone to a restaurant, you’re selling that restaurant. If you refer someone to a good movie, you’re selling that movie. I think what people are most afraid of is not the selling aspect, it’s the rejection, the negative people. When you can reset your mind to not think of it as rejection but as a no and you’ve got to go through the numbers to get to your yes, then you don’t take it personally. I look at every no as getting me that much closer to the person that’s going to say yes. When someone doesn’t see what I see and they don’t believe in the opportunity, no problem, next.
As an extremely successful black female going out there and doing your thing, what do you say to other black women?
What I say and I see it all the time, women that are where I was a few years ago, I see women that are where I’m at now. The thing that you have to remember is that sometimes when we first get into it, we’re chasing that check. We want to grind. We want to get the “bag.” Everybody wants to get the bag. What I think people should think about is, “What’s the lifestyle you want to get?” It’s not so much the money because at the end of the day, if you were to get sick and end up in an emergency hospital, you would not be sitting around counting your money. You’d be thinking about what are the relationships that are important to me? What is my relationship with God? What am I getting ready to leave for my kids?
It’s your lifestyle. It’s your legacy. It’s having that balance in your life. Early on in my career, I had no balance. What I learned is that if I went out and I drove and I created all this success, your family will start to resent you because you’re never around to enjoy the little details of life. If you can have that balance where you incorporate them into what you’re doing. I always used to take my kids to presentations and I would have them sit at the table, teach them how to sell the product and how to fill out forms. I would take my kids to nationals so they could hear powerful people speak like Les Brown or Anthony Robbins. I built them into my world. I didn’t leave and go to work. That made a huge difference in one, the lessons that I taught my kids, but two, me having balance in my life.Everything in life is a sale. Click To Tweet
I know Les. You said, “You’ve got to be hungry.” How much did that help you in listening to all the motivational speakers such as Les and things of that nature?
You’ve got to be not just hungry, you’ve got to be starving. You’ve got to be at a place where you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. You’ve got to be sick and tired of looking at your bank account and wondering if the next bill is going to go through. You’ve got to be sick and tired of going into a job when you hate your boss and you hate what you’re doing, but you make yourself do it because you’ve got to pay. You’ve got to get to that point where enough is enough. When you hit that point, then you become hungry not only for an opportunity, you become hungry for knowledge. You become hungry for mentorship. When I would sit and listen to Les’ CDs, listen to him speak or read his books, I couldn’t get enough of it because I wanted to know what he knew that I didn’t know that I needed to know to get where he was.
Was that helpful?
It was helpful. I tell people all the time, “Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.” You’ve got to be willing to invest in yourself. We are our greatest asset.
I know for me, being an entrepreneur in business and doing what I do, the scariest part is a minority in business and I tell people all the time is this, the lack of capital. They jump out and they say, “I’m going to start a business,” and they take whatever little resources they have and they get their little storefront, their low equipment and things of that nature. They then have no more money to keep going. They’ve got some business cards and I’m like, “You don’t have any more capital,” and then they’ll have access to capital. I always tell them, “Before you do that, why don’t you look at getting access to capital? Why don’t you look at a particular business, maybe like direct sales and things of that nature?” What would you say to that, Lisa?
I tell people to use direct sales as seed money. The money that I made in direct sales, I didn’t stop at the direct sales business. I took that money and I invested in other businesses. The direct sales business was the vehicle to create capital. Residual income comes in every single month whether you get out of bed or not. Once you build it, it’s there. Take that money and then start putting it into traditional businesses like I started the clothing line. I started a clothing line, the Lisa Nicole Collection, which was another business that found me. I was speaking at Madison Square Garden with Russell Simmons. I came out and as any woman that’s a public figure, we take a lot of pride in our outfit and men too want to look good when we step in front of people. I worked hard at that event. I wanted to shine. When I came out, the air sucked out of Madison Square Garden because the person sitting right next to me had on the exact same outfit, on-stage, Russell Simmons and I’m like, “Okay.” You have to laugh it off and shake it off, but when I got off that stage, I told myself that will never happen to me again. I started making my own clothes and my own designs and I wasn’t sewing, but I would have someone sew what I wanted to wear. As I started wearing my own designs, people would say, “Who are you wearing? I love that outfit.” That’s how the Lisa Nicole Collection was birthed.
You saw a problem and you created a solution.
It was a problem for a lot of women who are public figures. When you are buying off the rack, you often will have that challenge that somebody else may have on what you’re wearing. You want to wear clothes that are not necessarily in department stores or in boutiques, but you sometimes want to get things custom made. Most of our clients for Lisa Nicole, we custom do their garments. We do clothes for women who are powerful, who are businesswomen, who are successful. I have a specific niche. I tell people I can take you from the board room to the ballroom, which is the clothes that we wear as professional women. That’s how the Lisa Nicole Collection was born and has done extremely well. Honestly, I believe that once you can study someone who’s done it, success leaves clues, then you can duplicate it. You can look at their best practices, the things they didn’t do well and then you can improve upon them. That’s how I was able to build a successful clothing line.Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. Click To Tweet
You’re also into health and wellness. Tell us a little bit about that.
I’ve always been in the direct sales industry. Once upon a time, we’re all service-based. As technology kept evolving, the company had to reinvent itself and it jumped into the wellness space. Initially, I was totally against it because I liked the services. I like getting a customer one time and they keep paying the bill over and over again. I had to reset my mindset to products because with a product, you have to keep going back to resell them. What I fell in love with was the benefits of CBD. We were the first in the direct sales industry. We’re the first company to launch in CBD. When we got in, no one was talking about it. In fact, everybody thought when I talked about CBD, I was talking about marijuana. It was not only a process of getting people to try it, but it was also a process of educating people on what the differences were. The effects and benefits were astounding that I fell in love with the product. I realized, “God, you have a sense of humor. Now you’re going to allow me to use all that I used when I was in Corporate America in pharmaceutical sales and put that into play,” because I used to have conversations with doctors for years.
Is it a gift that you have where you can see things and put them together? Is it a skill? How would you qualify?
I think it’s both. My gift is that I’m a visionary and I can see something even before it has come to be a reality. The skillset is that I’m good with people. I’m good at talking to people. I don’t sell people. I have a conversation with people and I can listen to their needs, identify their hotspot, and I can have a conversation with them that will meet their needs. That is the skill that got developed. My gift is that I love talking to people. I’m a people person. I’m a visionary. You can show me something that has potential and I can see the next few years.
You have a genuine love for people wanting to help them.
I do and I believe my success is not because I’m focused on what I’m going to gain, I believe that if you help enough people achieve their goals, you get to your goals by default.
I’m reminded of a passage in the Bible. I know a lot of you people probably out there, I’m sorry for calling you people, but it is what it is. Christ washed the feet of his disciples. I believe he was showing us how to be a servant to other people. When we’re a servant to other people and for sharing our gifts, our skills or whatever it may be, that we end up getting blessed or prospering in return.
I’m a big believer in servant leadership. I believe that the best leaders are those that first served. People ask me all the time, “I’m looking for a mentor. I want to work under someone like you. I can learn much.” I’m saying, “Sure,” but I always tell people the best way to find yourself a mentor is first to be willing to serve. Be willing to do whatever they need to be around them, to see how they are when they’re in motion. There are lessons that are taught, but then there are lessons that get caught being around greatness.Use direct sales as seed money. It is the vehicle to create capital. Click To Tweet
I’m going to use a little parable here, the crumbs off the master table. Sometimes if you pick up those crumbs, they can take you to greatness. When I hear you, what I hear is the passion and the love and the joy for other people. You started humbly. It was a humble beginning. You were fed up and you decided that you had to do something different with your life and take control.
Find a vehicle. My mantra, Les always jokes with me about this is, “Live your dreams. It’s possible.” He’ll say, “You’ve got that from me.” I’m like, “I might have because I did read that book.” It became live your dreams because everybody that I was working with would say to me, “Can I do this? Can I become successful, a millionaire and be my own boss from this business?” I’m like, “You can live your dreams. It is possible. You have to be able to do the work, have the work ethic and be coachable.”
I was thinking about Les. We own a little technology company that controls a lot of the market space. I thought when I was down and out, I heard a voice and I couldn’t recall because you read all these books and things and listen to all the motivational speakers. You couldn’t recall which one you heard. I remember being hungry, “Don’t give up. Don’t quit. You’ve got to keep going.” All of this stuff started coming to me and I said, “Okay.” I’m sitting down, I’m on my last leg and stuff like that and everybody thinking I’m out for the counting. I heard one of Les’ messages and it made me think when I was talking to him, how many people he has touched through me indirectly by his message because I could’ve given up. I wanted to quit because business is hard. It’s not always what you see at the end, it’s all that in between. Can you talk about that a little bit?
It’s like this, I tell people all the time, “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Everybody wants success, but nobody wants to do the hard work and make the sacrifice that is required to have the testimony.” You don’t want to go through all the highs and lows and all the tests, but you cannot get to a testimony unless you go through tests. You have to know what you are in for when you decide you want to pursue entrepreneurship. If you understand there’s a lot of hard work, a lot of long nights, a lot of sacrifices. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, you are the first one in, the last one to go home. Sometimes if you don’t know the business, you’re the last one to get paid. If you’re willing to be that person for however long it takes until you’ve achieved the level of success that you desire, then go for it. Pursue it. I could not stay in a job. I was miserable. I was unfulfilled. I didn’t feel like I was doing what God had put me on this Earth to do. I didn’t have a choice but to find some vehicle that could give me the opportunity.
For my audience, Lisa, I like to tell people to start a business that doesn’t take a lot of capital. You don’t have to have a PhD and things of that nature. You don’t have to know a lot, but you do have to find a mentor, someone who will teach you, train you that business. A business like yours in direct sales or buying a franchise, because I tell people, “Buy a franchise. Get a license agreement,” because the capital is low. You get that instruction. You get that mentorship. You get that someone teaches you. Tell us about that.
One of the biggest lessons I teach entrepreneurs is that success is not a secret, it’s a system. You have to figure out what is the success strategy that the people at the top are doing to create their results. The great thing about direct sales is you have constant training, constant personal development, constant lead people are pouring and sharing into you what they did to create their success. They want you to create success because they have a vested interest in you. It’s the same thing with a franchise. You’re going to buy into a turnkey system that if you’ve got the work ethic, you’ve got the hunger and you’re willing to make all the sacrifices. You can take that standard operating procedures manual, plug into the training of the franchise management company and learn how to make that company and that system successful for you with all the support.
I wasn’t trying to go there, but since we went there already, tell us about what you have coming next.
We have launched a new company franchise called CBD Care Plus. Basically, as everyone knows, whether you use it or you don’t use it, cannabis is the modern-day gold rush. It’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen. It is a matter of when. There have been states that have totally shifted their economies because they legalized this natural product. Here’s the thing, we are not saying get into marijuana. That’s not what CBD is. Marijuana has high THC and it’s not legal in all states. CBD has low THC and it is legal now in 48 out of 50 states. The franchise model is a concept called CBD Care Plus. Many people probably already see CBD shops popping up everywhere, but that particular business model is strictly retail.There are lessons that are taught, but then there are lessons that get caught being around greatness. Click To Tweet
What we offer with CBD Care Plus is not only do we give you the opportunity to retail CBD products, but we also position you to take advantage of the booming and lucrative medical spa industry. Every one of our franchises comes with its own medical director that can oversee mid-level practitioners so that you can also provide services like CBD facials and massages. A CBD massage is different from a regular massage because a regular massage is going to alleviate stress. The whole goal is to massage the toxins out of the muscle to relax you. A CBD massage is not only going to do that, but it’s also going to provide you with the relief of pain. If you have a backache or you have sciatic pain or you have any ache or pain, it’s going to disappear from a CBD massage because CBD goes directly into the pores and deals with inflammation.
You’re opening up spas where you’re going to train people. They can own their own business. The startup capital is low. Did I get that right?
Low investment, we have resources in place that can fund a person, a business owner who might want to get into the business. We’re going to set you up to be able to be a retail store with great CBD products. You’re also going to have a medical spa side where you can do medical spa services, facials, massages, microdermabrasion and noninvasive procedures that are holistic, wellness. Other procedures that we have in our medical centers are iLipo, which for those of you who know anything about liposuction is dangerous because it’s surgical, it’s invasive. iLipo is nothing invasive. You put these laser pads on your stomach and it melts the fat away. We have those services. We have services for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction where you don’t have to take a pill. What I will say is there’s a reason why Viagra and Cialis are blockbuster drugs. It’s a common condition that men suffer from and there are state of the art technologies now available for men that will increase blood circulation to that area and make you as virile as you were when you were 18 or 19.
In these spas, because I’m thinking of the traditional spa, my girl likes to have a couple of massages and stuff like that. Do you have that too?
You can do all of that. It’s all of the latest advancements with medical spas. It’s different from a spa though.
Rather than getting a good massage, that shoulder that’s hurting me, I can alleviate that?
You’re going to alleviate pain. That is not just a spa. I want to differentiate the difference between a spa and a medical spa. A medical spa has a medical director, so you are able to do procedures that a regular spa cannot do. It creates additional revenue for any franchise owner to be able to offer these additional services.
Like that fat around my belly, that this running I’m doing doesn’t seem to help.Success is not a secret, it's a system. Click To Tweet
Come into our wellness center and let me put the iLipo machine on. It’s going to feel like a heating pad on you. When you get off of the table, let’s take your measurements again and you’re going to see you’ve lost some fat there. The other thing that we offer is in areas where they have legalized cannabis. Many of the states require if you want to use cannabis, you have to have what they call a medical card. Being that we provide the wellness center with a medical director, they can also be a site for those cannabis medical card exams.
This is mind-boggling. I find it to be awesome. If I wanted to get into this business and get one of your franchises, how do I reach out?
You can give us a call. We have an office based in Atlanta, but you can call us at (404) 475-2602 and express that you’re interested. You can also follow us online so you can see all the latest and greatest things that we’re doing at CBDCareWellness.com. I would say stay connected with me because you’ll see that I’m traveling all around the country in 2020. We’re doing a national tour and we are helping people that want to get into the cannabis industry, whether it’s as a CBD distributor, as a grower, as a dispensary, as a processor, as a pharma who’s got land that you want to leverage. We’re starting to educate minorities and canapreneurs, in general, how to get into this industry because unfortunately, we’re underrepresented in this industry.
You can follow me on social media, @LisaNicoleCloud or you can follow the business, @CBDCareWellness. You’ll notice our logo because it’s the cannabis leaf with the medical CBD oil. You’ll be able to find us. See all the exciting things that we’re doing. Stay connected with me so you know the tour schedule because that’s going to be coming out soon so you can learn. A lot of people want to get in, but they have no idea how to get in whether they do it from a home-based business model, whether looking do it from a franchise model, whether they do it from getting someone to consult with you. Get in because it is the modern-day gold rush.
Part of what I’m trying to do is because we are underrepresented in most industries and things of that nature is bring you businesses that you can become a part of where you can get training. Lisa’s business will help you to get the training you need to develop you and to walk you through it. She understands, she’s an entrepreneur herself. She’s successful. She understands the highs and the lows, those valleys that you’re all going to go through. You may not know that you may go through them, but you will go through them. Reach out to her. Give her a call.
You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, @LisaNicoleCloud. You can follow the business, @CBDCareWellness, that’s our Instagram handle and our Twitter. I want to say one last thing. Don’t be intimidated. Even if you feel like you don’t have a lot of capital, we have a couple of different models that we can help you get positioned in. Whether it’s a home business model, whether it’s a franchise model, whether it’s becoming educated and understanding what the laws are saying and the legislature is saying. Get the information because knowledge is powerful. I started in direct sales. I started with no capital. I have done well. They call me Miss Millionaire Maker because I helped 30 other people become documented millionaires in the direct sales industry. Now, I’m passionate about creating more millionaires by teaching people how to leverage the industry of cannabis and cannabis includes CBD businesses. It could include if you’re a chef and you want to learn how to infuse your products with CBD. It could be getting into the cannabis space. I’m going to tell you what the laws say and how to do it. That’s what’s important. Get the knowledge.
That’s awesome. She said something. She’s helped create some millionaires. If you want to be the next millionaire, you better call her because she’s saying that she has a recipe to help create millionaires. Lisa, I want to thank you.
Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to be on your show.
- Lisa Nicole Cloud
- Lisa Nicole Collection
- CBD Care Plus
- @LisaNicoleCloud – Twitter
- @CBDCareWellness – Instagram
- Instagram – Lisa Nicole Cloud
- Facebook – Lisa Nicole Cloud
- Twitter – CBD Care Wellness
About Lisa Nicole Cloud
Lisa Nicole Cloud is a woman of passion, purpose, and vision. Lisa, a true multifaceted business mogul, has achieved phenomenal success as a direct sales expert, author, business and success coach, speaker, sales trainer, clothing designer and philanthropist. Lisa is the CEO of several successful companies. Lisa is proof that through hard work, focus on personal development, and great mentorship, one can truly live the life they’ve always dreamt of.
Lisa received her undergraduate education in Atlanta, Georgia, at Emory University where she was a Psychology/Pre-Med major. She completed her graduate work at Johns Hopkins University where she successfully completed their prestigious Leadership Development Program. Lisa is a former pharmaceutical sales rep who is now known as “Ms. Millionaire Maker” for her accomplishments in the development of MLM Millionaires who have been personally coached and mentored by her! Lisa teaches her mentees how to turn their passions into profits and tap into their greatness. As a result of the success she experienced in direct sales, Lisa launched, The Lisa Nicole Collection, an affordable high fashion, business couture collection for today’s businesswoman. The sleek designs of the Lisa Nicole Collection exude the power, class, and sophistication of today’s professional woman.
Lisa is a devoted wife to Dr. Darren Naugles and is the loving mother of two beautiful children, DJ and Amira. Don’t let her small stature fool you, Lisa is a little dynamo. Dynamic, captivating, charismatic, passionate, and genuine, are often terms that have been used to describe Lisa. Lisa’s mission in life is to help people identify their God-given talents so they can do more, be more and achieve more, and impact our community in a positive way. For more info: LisaNicoleCloud.com and LisaNicoleCollection.com.