Many know Mahisha Dellinger, founder and CEO of CURLS, for dominating the hair care industry. What they may not know is how she was able to maintain her stamina for 20 years when most businesses fail in the first two years. Dellinger doesn’t attribute her success solely to her hard work as a top businesswoman. She will tell you that building the mindset of a millionaire is key. Dellinger also often shares, “To whom much is given, much is needed.” Her willingness to give back in the form of mentorship, sage advice and business coaching is what makes her wealthy – in addition to being a loving wife and mother.
Since its launch in 2002, CURLS’ mission has been to provide natural hair care solutions to its customers. Over the years, Dellinger and his team have continued to align with this mission, resulting in CURLS products being sold at Target, Walmart, CVS, Amazon and other major beauty retailers. So how was Dellinger able to make millions after starting her business with $30,000 in personal savings two decades ago and staying on the shelf?
She has a concrete business plan, continues to learn and makes strategic business decisions.
There is no way to create a business plan
When many entrepreneurs and business owners can become millionaires overnight by selling products or services in the e-commerce space or on social media, it is essential not to skip the fundamental step of creation of a business plan.
When developing a business plan, says Dellinger, “entrepreneurs need to focus on”The four Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Placement and Promotions. You also need to know your competitors and exactly who you are up against in the market. It should also be part of your marketing plan.
Dellinger says there should be a heavy focus on pricing for Four Ps. “Pricing is where we can go wrong. back because they hadn’t thought of all the costs first. Some of these costs are goods, services, and production.
“You have to add them up first. Then add a margin for distributors and a margin for wholesalers. From there, you can calculate your profit margin,” says Dellinger. “You can sell a million widgets, but let’s say those millions of widgets cost you $9 to make and you sell them for $10. You have to ask yourself at the end of the day, ‘What am I doing? ?”
From there, you can develop a plan for growth. “Where do you see your product in two, five and ten years? Document that process, make updates, and review what you’re doing,” says Dellinger. After seeing your written plan, you will begin to see the big picture. From there, you can start focusing on establishing sound financial business practices.
One resource Dellinger likes to share with those just getting started is SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer mentors and business experts.
Millions come with the right mindset and discipline
While it’s amazing to have an awesome idea, product, or service, mindset and discipline are key when starting a business.
“Your mindset as an entrepreneur or solopreneur needs to be strong, resilient and bounce back. You need to understand what it will take to move from today to tomorrow, i.e. ideation to success,” says Dellinger.
For Dellinger, building a mindset that would (and did) attract millions was fueled by his determination to change the trajectory of his life. “I was always driven to have more than where I came from and a strong desire to change the legacy I was meant to step into. According to statistics, I was meant to perpetuate the generational cycle of poverty.
Being disciplined is also key to developing the mindset that will help you earn millions in business.
“A lot of people want success, but don’t know what hustle and discipline go together,” Dellinger says. Yes, that means early morning and late evening. It also means being ready to make wise decisions about how and with whom you spend your time, as well as your money. “You can’t line up with someone who wasn’t going to help you move on.”
With the experience of launching Curls a year before meeting the love of her life who she’s been married to for 19 years, Dellinger says your relationships can make or break what you establish. “If I hadn’t had the husband I have, I wouldn’t have done what I did. I have four children. I had two back to back and then another child after Curls launched. I couldn’t have done it without a devoted and dedicated spouse. So choose wisely who you connect your caboose to,” says Dellinger.
Delayed gratification also pays off
Entrepreneurship does not always result in perceived instant gratification as it may appear online.
“We saw Supa Cent make a million dollars in 30 minutes online. This is not the ‘normal’ path. Don’t expect that. Your path to success could be seven years to success. So , as you climb, fight and struggle to get where you need to be, remember that it only takes this next Yes after being told no a hundred times to get you where you need to be. It was my case. Your mindset should be “by any means necessary,” says Dellinger. Tell yourself, “I’m going to get there and I believe in my product, my service, my brand, my company. »
Emotional intelligence is essential for entrepreneurs
Along with encouraging yourself with affirmations, developing your emotional intelligence is key because entrepreneurship can be stressful at times, especially when you’re in retail.
“When you have products on the shelf, you have to sell at a certain daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly rate. Your storage space can go to another seller if you don’t sell. Or, if you lose shelf space and your units are returned, they will be returned at the price the retailer purchased them at, multiplied by all those stores times all those units. And you get this bill. It’s a lot of pressure,” says Dellinger of personal experience.
“I had a few failures. I had the experience where retailers would accept anything I offered because of my background. I started skipping steps instead of my usual way of doing things. Traditionally, I sold online first and got the demand there. Then my products would be available in retail,” says Dellinger. “I’ve done it twice with two collections, which I shouldn’t have done, and got huge feedback because they didn’t sell out as fast as they should have. Or, like they usually did when I usually threw five to seven million dollars.
Meanwhile, Dellinger says that’s when she realized she had to separate that failure from herself and the company. “What we do as entrepreneurs is attach business failures to our self-esteem. In doing so, we lose sight of ourselves and our ideas of what it means to succeed.
When these moments don’t break you, they help build your character. “Failure is not final. You will become a self-taught and self-motivated psychologist by becoming an entrepreneur! says Dellinger.
Giving back helps businesses move forward
“I learned to give,” says Dellinger.
In 2019, she founded the Black Women Making Millions Academy (formerly Black Girls Making Millions) to help women take their business to the next level. Now, with the support and partnership of Beauty Beyond Imagination (BBI), Dellinger is on a mission to help 25,000 Black women entrepreneurs get the education and resources they need to generate income in their businesses.
“Every weekend we run MBA-style courses that women can enroll in and join ib for free, taught by business leaders. When you add the value of our resources, that equates to $450 million for a year of programming,” says Dellinger.
As a businesswoman, Dellinger’s guiding principles set her apart.
“In life and business, I have to keep the basics, the essentials. My focus has always been God first, family second and business third. I know that if I keep things in perspective and that I focus on what’s important, then I’ll align my life as it should,” says Dellinger.