…Like who you work with. We spend so much of our time at work that having to deal with disgruntled employees is a big no for me. I have built a family-like team and this is a huge success for me. My dearest friend since 1977, Wendy, stepped in when my sister passed. She had already been helping out part-time, but she totally helped keep the business running after that. Diana has been with us for 4+ years and has basically grown up here. When she graduates teaching college in 3 years, her students will adore her!
Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.
As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Roberta Perry.
It was 2005. Roberta was suffering from skin that was dry, itchy, and irritated, so much so that after scratching her elbow she was leaving droplets of blood on her papers. Roberta discovered moisturizing exfoliating products but none were completely satisfying her needs, so she decided to make it herself. Roberta’s late sister, Michelle, joined her and in 2006 ScrubzBody Skin Care was born. Roberta offers her customers permission to pamper themselves. It just happens to come in jars and bottles. ScrubzBody Skin Care was the highlighted business on the Season One finale of Sell it Like Serhant on Bravo TV.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?
Losing my grandmother to a mugging–the kid pushed her down on the ground while grabbing her purse and she suffered a heart attack–when I was 23 and then losing my sister, who was not only my best friend, but my business VP, in February of 2017, were both crushingly defining moments of my life. When my nana passed, it shook me completely. It was the first time I had lost anyone, and the way she passed was all over the news, because they were looking for the mugger. It was truly surreal. But the morning before she died, we had had a disagreement. It went round and round until I finally said, “Nana, we are not going to agree on this, so let’s just end it now. I love you!” She agreed, said I love you too, and we hung up. Knowing that those words and not some silly argument words were the last she and I heard has given me peace throughout my entire adult life, let alone it burned into my soul the fact that I have to tell the people I love how I feel and say it often. My sister passing was a whole other level of grief and life experience. I had to restructure my business while I was grieving and I moved my shop from one location to another. I appreciate every little moment more now. I have more patience for people. I have more empathy. I do more and never say no to actually enjoying life as best as I can. Both of those situations changed my life. I took the grief and flipped it to love and gratitude as best I could.
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
Having only monetary milestones. With a husband who is a CPA, this was very easy to do. It was great when I was having a good month, but really disheartening when I had a slow one. I kept failing to appreciate the growth and the mini-successes I was having. I later learned that while making money is of course a fantastic goal and one we definitely need to remain in business, it’s not the only metric. Customer love, customer loyalty, and the lifestyle I have been able to build are now very much included!
How has your definition of success changed?
My definition of success shifted as I grew my business to one of joyfulness on top of earning. I was learning new things, expanding in different ways, and meeting incredible people. I was building a brand and mentoring others. This is a happy and enlightening path for me.
The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?
Gratitude. Hands down it is the single best thing we can do for ourselves, our businesses, and our society as a collective. Thankfulness for what we have, what we have built and what we can share. Respect for the differences in one another is another change that needs to happen which leads to appreciation for what others bring to the table. Collaboration vs competition is my favorite business model!
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
For me it was more family time. Especially at dinner. We would talk longer and share more because we weren’t running to the next thing outside the house. It also made me appreciate my mom more and how precious our time with loved ones really is. It made me grateful for having my own business so that I could figure out the best and safest way to work and reopen without all the big business constraints. It made me appreciate our healthcare workers even more than usual–my DIL is a nurse practitioner so we already appreciated them–so I donated thousands of wellness packs to 29 area hospitals and first response units. I have some amazing new customers who came in to thank me for donating to their unit after that. It felt so good.
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways to Redefine Success Now?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Appreciate that money is only one way to gauge success.
The relationships, friendships and lifestyle I have built are as equal to me as the money I earn. And somehow every year in business I made more than the year before anyway. Happiness and great customer service tend to do that. Which leads to…
- Let your customers/clients know how you feel about them.
Customer Service is really the icing on the cake and the sprinkles on the cone! Being grateful and thankful for the money they spend with your business is really important. These happy business family members will then bring family and friends to your store and also remain fiercely loyal. They will become your brand ambassadors! The key is EXTRA! Extra attention, extra care and extra gratitude.
- Grow your business around the life you want.
If that means hiring the right people so you can take time off to travel, do it. If it means hiring someone to do the work you don’t want to do to free you up to do the work you do, go for it. It’s yours and so it does not have to follow any other pattern.
- Like who you work with.
We spend so much of our time at work that having to deal with disgruntled employees is a big no for me. I have built a family-like team and this is a huge success for me. My dearest friend since 1977, Wendy, stepped in when my sister passed. She had already been helping out part-time, but she totally helped keep the business running after that. Diana has been with us for 4+ years and has basically grown up here. When she graduates teaching college in 3 years, her students will adore her!
- If it is not working change it.
No entrepreneur should remain static. This will create additional success as you pivot.
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
I feel like it keeps the “keeping up with the Jones” mentality in check and removes feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome from the equation. It allows for a whole package of success vs just one single thing, which is usually money.
What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?
For most people it is fear of failure. Or fear of what “others” might say or doing it the “wrong” way. I say if you fall 100 times but get up 101 times, then you have succeeded!
Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?
I looked to my mentors, Donna Maria Johnson of Indie Business Network, Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project, Peter Shankman and Marie Forleo. I recently found and adore Luuvie Jones, too.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.
Ash Ambirge! I already reap so many benefits from her courses and her book. I would love to do shots of tequila and eat some bodacious vittles with this incredible human!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I can be found at scrubzbody.com and @scrubzbody or /scrubzbody across all socials.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.
My pleasure. I appreciate the chance to share! xo