The episode you were never meant to hear



Salena Knight

For those of us who own retail and eCommerce stores, December’s all about demands and pressures. Plus, so many of us have found 2023 rough… and it’s so easy to let these situations hold you down. 

But what I’ve learned is that while you can visit the misery and the frustration, you can’t live there. 

Visit, sure. Live, no. 

In today’s podcast episode, I will share with you the simple things I do to get through those tough times that don’t cost a thing but could be the hope you need as we reach the end of this year. 

If you’re feeling like 2023 was a bit (or a lot) rough – here are my words of advice… the breakdown often comes before the breakthrough. You may not see the breakthrough coming when you’re in it, but little by little, it’s on its way. 

Tune in to this podcast episode to find that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

** There are 9 strategies I use when helping retail/e-comm businesses move their stock fast so they can reinvest that money into new business. Head over to to know exactly what those 9 strategies are and how I use them.
  • Salena shares her vision for rising up after a challenging 2023 and why she believes next year will be a breakthrough.
  • Hear Salena’s story of the many obstacles she faced this year and how she’s choosing to turn things around. Inspiring lessons for tough times.
  • Learn how making tiny promises to yourself can lead to big changes through increased motivation and self-esteem.
  • Scaling a business isn’t one big change but many small steps forward. Salena shares examples of pivotal moments that shaped her success.
  • An unexpected cab ride led Salena to meet her husband. Hear how seemingly small decisions can profoundly alter your life path.

Salena Knight 0:00
2024 is going to be the Phoenix year. And I know that it is not just me as retail and E commerce business owners. December isn’t up. Look, I’m not joking when I tell you that my tech has just broken, there is something about this episode that was not meant to to go to air. So while I just reach across to my settings, and get them to work, here we go. See, this episode was not meant to work? I don’t know. It’s, I think it’s really good. I think it’s a great episode with lots of great information. Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you’re looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you’re in the right place. I’m Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level. I’ll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action ready to get started.

Salena Knight 1:37
This is my fourth attempt to record this podcast and this podcast was supposed to go live today recording this episode has pretty much summed up my entire year. Because like I said, this is my fourth attempt. I have done lots of things this year that may or may not have worked. And I feel like I have definitely been in that position of going three steps forward. Four steps back. And I’ve talked about this a lot. But I am feeling really tired. But I am also optimistic. In fact, I am so optimistic that I am calling 2020 for the Phoenix year. Yep, as you know, Phoenix rise up from the ashes. And so I have decided I don’t care how, what kind of year you’ve had 2024 is going to be the Phoenix year. And I know like if you’re watching this live on Facebook, I’ve got two screens going, feel free to like, say me too, if you feel like this year has just been the world the universe throwing everything at you, girl or guy, I am with you. And I know that even if you’ve had a great year, that as retail and E commerce owners, December comes with surges of people coming through your door, hopefully, and hopefully even more, a complete inundation of orders coming through your website. But with that comes cranky customers that wanted everything yesterday, or postal delivery deliveries that inevitably have disappeared ruining Christmas. I’m currently on that list. I know that the supplier countries think about it. It’s been getting shipped from a couple of suburbs away for the last week. I don’t know if it’s going to turn up. So December in and of itself is this whirlwind of demands and pressures. And I know that I’ve spoken a little bit about how this year has been a complete roller coaster for me. There was the dog, the dog again, maybe having to euthanize the dog, the $20,000 vet bill has been getting caught when there was a shooter in Auckland. I honestly, I cannot tell you the amount of things that happened that you would put together. In fact, actually I cannot tell you actually I did tell you. I went live on Facebook and talked about it and in fact ended up bursting into tears because the whole Yeah, the whole effort and overwhelm and the emotion of what had happened to me. I just completely broke down and I am not a crier, my friends. I do not cry. Like I’m like a once a decade crier and then there was Lana’s whole schooling nightmare. Were the anxiety that her school was causing her was severely affecting her physical and mental health. And we spent months trying to find a solution and that was literally hours of my day. So as you can imagine waking up to your teenager who is in tears about not wanting to go to school. It’s not the best way to start a workday. But just the like my heart hurts that if someone is that stressed and overworked Armed and we are forcing them to do something, it just didn’t seem right. And I would spend hours every single day, not just like dealing with the emotional fallout of that, but calling the education department calling schools, trying to find a solution trying to book in school tours, like all of the things. And that was weeks and weeks of me losing half a day to try and fix this problem. I am so grateful for the fact that I have a business that allows me to take half a day if I need it. And I have a fantastic team who were there to pick up the pieces. And look, I’m super happy to say thank you to a great friend of mine, Eleni Alana has found an amazing solution, she’s enjoying school as much as any 15 year old can. And wife in the school department is kind of okay. The amount of stuff that has happened over this year was something that I would not normally share. But I think it gets to a point in life where it’s, I think it’s different for a product based brand, I’ll just kind of preface this with, if you have a product based brand, you know, you sell stuff to people product stuff, then I think there is definitely a fine line between what you share with your customers, and what you don’t. So if you are struggling to pay the bills, if you are having stuff a hard time at home, I don’t think you should be sharing that stuff with your client with your customers. I think there is something like a supply, supply chain issue or short stuffing, you can share that stuff. But anything that is personal, and is not something that you would just, you know, share someone that stuff should not be shared, because what happens is, you reduce your customers level of trust in you. And they’re gonna be a lot more hesitant to buy from you. If they’re thinking well, are they even gonna be open next year, next week, next month, tomorrow, right now you should be selling gift vouchers, like get those gift cards going. But of course, if you’re telling people that your sales are down, or your last promotion flopped, then no one’s going to want to buy from you, they’re just gonna be thinking, well, if I buy this, I’m gonna just throwing my money away, because maybe the person I’m going to gift it to isn’t going to be open. And that is very different when you are a personal brand, because sharing some of these things with you, allows you to see the behind the scenes stuff, and it does create connection. And so I think there is definitely this balance between what we share what we don’t, and normally, I’m not a sharer, like I will talk to anyone about anything, but sharing this kind of stuff with people doesn’t like it doesn’t feel like it’s right to me. But, you know, through a series of events, you know, things that have happened, it was one of those things that I did not one of those things, there was a lot of those things that I did share with you guys. And a lot of that was happening in my personal life, but it would, to a degree affect my business life. And so sharing that, I guess was kind of good in the sense that it just show you, I’m a real person. And life is shitty sometimes for me just like everybody else. And in fact, I shared, I shared I opened up the our tra live retail Academy live this year, where I talked about how we had been we have been we are scaling the business and actively scaling the business. And here’s the thing that I’ve learned, when you are making a very big concerted attempt to grow your business, life throws everything at you to try and keep you down. And so this year, I was doing all the things I tell you guys, we were putting more processes in place, we were documenting things, hiring new staff, or build a training portal for our team. You know, own cake, taking out legal trademarks, making sure our CRM works so that our emails, you know, we owned all of our data, we installed conversion API with Facebook, so we didn’t get the issues that you get with iOS 15. Like I could go on and on and on for days about all of the things that we implemented in our business. And what I have found and I’ve done this for a lot of for a lot of years now. And what I found is that when you are putting your all in, to grow your business or just to do a thing, then the universe or God or whatever it is that you believe in, will throw everything that it has at you to try and make you really really your No big, but really show that this is the thing that you want, it will throw every damn thing that it has at you, to keep you down to keep you safe, and to keep you playing small. So let me give you a bit of an example of this, when you are looking at growing your business, she gets in the way, right? Like things will always come up that make you stressed make you cranky, overwhelming, you know, people don’t do what they say things won’t happen when they want. And to the outside observer, you are cranky,

Salena Knight 10:34
you’re tired, you’re overwhelmed, you’re short, you’re not going out with your friends, all of those things. So your friends, your family, your partner, all those people are seeing this from the outside in. And what they’re seeing is your look very happy right now. And so they’re going to say things like, Do you Do you really want this to take a day off? Do you, you know, is it really worth the effort that you’re putting in like you’re not happy, and we don’t want to see you aren’t happy. And even intrinsically, we are designed to keep ourselves feeling safe and comfortable. Like we we aren’t designed to always be throwing ourselves out there into a stressful situation. And so when you take all of those things into account, it is really easy to just throw your hands up in the air, walk away and say that it wasn’t worth it. And your family will be so supportive of that. Because they want you to be happy. They want you to just you to be comfortable. Because that’s when you if things are comfortable, and you’re humming along you, you’re not overly stressed, you aren’t cranky and tired. And all of those things make it look like life is better to the outside observer. But you and I both know one of the reasons we do this is because we love the challenge, we love being the person in charge, we love all of the things that come with owning a business, we love all the ideas, and they don’t understand because not everybody is built like us, they don’t understand that that stuff feels out cop like that stuff. Even though on the outside, we might look cranky and annoyed. That stuff kind of makes us who we are. And I’m not saying that you should always be in that state. What I am saying from my experience is when you are actively trying to grow your business, everything will be thrown out you to see if you really, really, really want it. Because here’s the thing most people don’t, most people will just walk away, most people will say it is all too hard. And you know, for them maybe is but the good. The good thing for you is that that means that your competition just gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller. And sometimes it is the person who lasts the longest the person who is prepared to push through. And it isn’t always like that. You do go through these phases where sometimes life is tough. But then you get to the point where life is good. And then you like ready for the challenge again. And so now we’re going to try something new. And so I know that I am not the only person who found 2023 rough. I mean, I was talking to our social media girl today and she was saying thing, it just feels like the universe has thrown everything at me speaking to clients, even though they’re having record breaking months, just feels like everything I try is like wading through mud. And this is why I am declaring 2024 The Phoenix year. So this year, particularly the last, you know, the second half has been for me really, really difficult. And it is easy for those kinds of situations, especially when they’re prolonged. Like I remember saying to my doctor, I had to have really, really minor surgical procedure and stick that camera down my throat make sure my make sure my stomach was okay. Because guess what I was very stressed. And I remember saying to her, I feel like I just need to get XYZ done. So I’m not stressed. And then I would go back a month later and I’m like, oh, now I’m dealing with your ABC and I would really like to just make sure that when I go I’m not in his you know, hyper stressed situation. And that happened for months. And so it is really easy when you are in these situations when you’re in these periods of life. To feel like you’re being held down. But what I’ve also learned is that, sure, you can visit the misery that upset the anger, the frustration, the denial, the you can be angry, you are allowed to feel shitty, but you can’t live there. You can Is it but you can’t live there, I’m totally give you permission to not always be a shiny happy people. Remember that shows how old I am REM song, we don’t have to be shiny, happy people all of the time, because this is life and the downs are just as important as the UPS. But we have to make the downs transient. Because wallowing in self pity in the quagmire, that is life is not going to help you achieve what you want in life and in business. So, I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I can see it 2024 Phoenix year, and I am making plans for it. And I want to share with you what my secret weapon is ready for it. It is quite simply, this little mantra that I have, what small thing can I do today that I am set up for success in the future? Let me say that again. What small thing can I do today, so that I am set up for success in the future. Now that small thing on a bad day for me might simply be writing an ID on my whiteboard. In fact, I wrote two of them up there today. It’s an idea that I think has merit, but it has merit when I have the time and the resources to sit down and look at it, and think about it and see if I can afford it or resource it and then maybe implement it. If I do it now it’s just a distraction. That simple little thing might be just booking a holiday, or blocking out dates in my Google Calendar for a conference that I want to go to. Even though tickets haven’t gone on sale yet. I quite often do that I just booked the dates out, I booked my if I’m flying, I booked my flights out by the time the travel time, if I’m going to visit someone else on holidays, I might book a week out just something that gives me a step towards what I want. And where I want to be. Because after all, if you are not doing something as simple as blocking out dates in your calendar to go on holidays, or a conference that you and I both know what’s going to happen, you are going to find that when the time comes, other stuffs going to pop up or you’ll feel like you can’t take the time off work. Or maybe you haven’t put the money aside for it. All I’m saying is a simple commitment. And to be honest, a simple commitment doesn’t even have to cost anything. It can just be a promise to yourself. And that promise, writing something in a diary, writing something on your whiteboard, whatever that looks like making a phone call, that can be the change and the hope that you might need when life feels like it is kicking you when you’re down. Now, if I can just kind of like segue here, because this promise to yourself thing was what I was originally going to talk about on today’s podcast, not the one that went wrong three times. But when I was going through and scheduling out, I was going to talk about the how when you I’ll get there in a moment, but how when you make a commitment to yourself, things in your life can change. I sort of felt like this close to Christmas, you guys didn’t need yet another cell telling you to do stuff, although I’m telling you to do one small thing to get you closer to where you want to be. But here’s this clip. Here’s the Cliff Notes on this concept of micro commitments or promises to yourself because I do feel like it is super important. And that is when we tell ourselves that we’re going to do something and it can literally be as simple as putting some dates in your diary or let me give you an example here. I am going to cut back that branch that keeps whacking me in the face every time I walk up the stairs. Or I am going to put my cup in the dishwasher rather than leaving it on the bench. Let me tell you the second one, my family has not made that micro commitment to themselves. Me Yes I have. But when we make these micro commitments to ourselves, and we actually follow through from through with them. What ends up happening is it builds up your subconscious sense of integrity for want of a better word. And failing to keep promises to yourself will probably lead you to feel guilty or ashamed or disappointment or feeling like a failure and all of those things can negatively impact your mental and emotional well being. That is not what We want. So on the other hand, fulfilling promises

Salena Knight 20:04
to yourself, you know, fulfilling these little micro commitments, they, as you can imagine, it’s like you’re adding something to the to do list just so you can cross it off with like the little dopamine hit. It creates this sense of achievement, of your inner peace, of satisfaction and of happiness. And you know what happens when you feel that satisfaction and that accomplishment, your self esteem is boosted, and you feel more motivated, and you are much, much more likely to make better decisions that are positive, rather than just taking the easy way out. Or maybe making a negative decision because of how you feel in the moment, or even worse, just doing nothing at all. And so going back to my tree branch that whacks me in the face every time I go down the stairs, when I recorded this podcast, numero uno time, I remember thinking crap, I have still not cut that damn branch down. And the worst part is, the cutters, the shears that I need to use them are on the way down the stairs in the shed. And so I really have no excuse. And so I actually once I recorded it, I just went outside, and I got that branch and like cut back the hedge that keeps whacking me in the face. Now it took me another day to actually clean it all up. But I had done that thing. I had crossed it off my list. And before I had done that I remember walking up the stairs, getting whacked yet again thinking, Well, you said you were gonna do it. And you didn’t you know, like negative Nancy in my head that internal chatter. So now actually, the difference is when I walked down the stairs, I’m like, you know, I’m so proud of myself for getting that thing. sounds so silly. But something that tiny, can literally change the way we think and the way we act. And so I talk a lot about how things in business, when you grow, we’ll get turbulent. Quite often before the good stuff comes. I know, I usually refer to the breakdown, before the break through. And it is so easy to focus when you’re on the break down when you’re in it. Because they are stressful, and they are painful, and they are hard. But here’s something else that I can tell you with all of my many, many, many years of wisdom. You might not see the breakthrough happening when you are in it. And things are starting to turn these small little things are happening. But little by little a breakthrough will happen. And the breakthrough, I’m getting almost go out there and say it is not going to be something massive. In fact, you might not even be able to see it for months or even years afterwards. When you look back and you realize that there was this pivotal moment or someone said something to you or you thought something or you know, something happened. And in hindsight, this series of small little things, made such big changes. I I met my husband who coming up to 20 years in marriage, I met my husband when I had just gotten a phone call to say that my grandmother who I loved was dying. And she was like my mother, she always looked after me. It was the 16th of December. And I remember my flatmates that was 16 to December. So you’re close to Christmas. I remember my flatmates at the time saying, let’s go to the pub, like let’s drink our sorrows away anything to go to the pub. And so we did. But here’s the thing. We were going to catch a cab to the pub because we’re going to have drinks. And I remember getting ready getting changed at my work clothes and looking out the window and the cab drove off now. Like it’s been a while since I caught a cab. But generally a cab would go beep beep when they arrived and you would shuffle out the door and off you go. But this cab did not go be beat because my my bedroom was at the front of the house. And so I remember looking out the window, just be honest, I opened the curtains after I got and changed and seeing the cap drive off. And I remember thinking, Ah, crap, and I walked out to the flatmates. And I was like the cabs gone. Like if let’s not go, I’m not in the mood. And they’re like, no, no, no, we are going to the pub. And so we did, we ended up going to the pub and you’re having a few drinks. And actually, I only had a couple of drinks because I had to drive to work the next day at six at six o’clock in the morning. And so I sort of stopped drinking and we decided to play pool. And so I remember getting the pool cue out and I’m not a very good pool player. We’re playing along and this guy comes up there’s three of us, myself and my two flatmates and this guy comes up and says, Oh, can I play doubles with you? It was no tall, dark and handsome and all the things and of course we said yes and we got to talking. We ended up going for ice cream, although the ice cream shop was shut at the time. And sure enough, we decided to go on a date that weekend. And because it was a Thursday, so on the Saturday, we went for a date. And we got engaged three weeks later, we got married for months to the day that we met. And we are now going on 20 years. And it was one of those things when you look back and it’s like, but if, if I didn’t look out the window and see the cab driving off, would we you know, we have waited longer before we called the next cab, and it’s a kind of sliding doors moment. If I had drunk more, because I didn’t have to, if it was Friday, instead of Thursday, would I have been too drunk to have a conversation? Hopefully the answer to that is no. But remember, I was in my 20s. And it would have even been there by the time we got there. Like, there are so many serendipitous things that can happen, that you realize that at the time, I did not think that getting if we take it all the way back getting a phone call to say that my grandmother was only had a few days left to live. If I didn’t have that call would I even met my husband. And I talked about this shop incident. And I originally told you about the shop incident in the three previous podcast. But then I just kind of thought about, you know, meeting my husband and how, you know, my whole entire life change. But the same thing happened. Yeah, how I ended up here doing what I do was something that was completely innocuous. I just remember walking into the shop, it was a Saturday morning and Saturday like any other day. And one of the things I realized really quickly was that I didn’t want to work Saturdays because I was leaving my family behind the baby daughter and my husband. And I’d actually another side story, I actually had trained to be a real estate buyer’s agent in my spare time, and I’d done a few jobs and actually realized I hated working on Saturday isn’t, that was why I stopped being a buyer’s agent. But on this one day, I remember walking in to the shop. And just, I don’t know, maybe I’d done stocktake or something that week, I remember looking around and just thinking, if I sold everything in this shop today, like if a whole truckload of people turned up and bought everything, after all my bills and expenses and whatnot, I’d have around $10,000. And that realization for me was, I did not do this, to have $10,000, I am not giving up my Saturdays with my family for a random $10,000. And at the time, it was crashing. And I went into the storeroom safe space into the stock or into the stock room. And I remember sitting on the floor crying my eyes out. And I didn’t know it at the time. But of course now in hindsight, we can see all of these things. But that one thing changed my entire way of thinking in business. And it is what drove me to end up here today sharing with you all the things that work and things that don’t work. And it was actually the inception of the five pillars of retail success. Because even though I didn’t know it four years later, making that decision to change what I was doing, because I had that moment where it’s like, if I keep turning up every single day, putting the key in the door, opening the door and doing the same thing, then what is going to change. And so I made a big decision, I sold my house, I put the investment into the business. And that meant I had to track like a mofo like I had to make that money, make me a return. And I failed a lot of times. But all the things that I did, I realized, like the focus, I had to get to make sure things worked. That became the entire program that we run this business off it. You know, what I learned became scale your store, the way we work with you guys in 90 day sprints is that all came from one moment one breakdown, where I made a choice, did I want to do this thing? Or did I not want to do this thing. And so all of those series of events led me to where I am today. So it’s like I often say scaling a business isn’t some massive change. It is these incremental changes that we implement that when we add them together. They create much, much larger results. And so, so my friends, on attempt number four of this podcast, I want you to ask yourself, What small thing can you do today, to put you on the path to where you want to be a week from now, a month from now a year from now, five years from now a decade from now. Like what is that thing?

Salena Knight 29:55
And he’s here? I want you to if you’re watching this live because I’m streaming into Facebook Put a comment below. And if we can give you a resource or some help 100%, we’re going to do that if you’re listening to this on the podcast, I don’t care if you’re listening to it when it goes live, which is probably going to be in a couple of days time. If you’re listening to it, after Christmas, if you’re listening to it from two years from now, you are listening to this, and you need help with that small thing that you can do today, send me a DM, slide into my Instagram into my Facebook, comment on a post, like reach out. And I promise that we will help you any way we can. We will help you on that smoke, we’ll give you a resource, we’ll give you a referral. What can you do you get on a call with my team and have see if we can help you if that’s what you want. Or maybe we can just give you a couple of action items that will put you on the path to where you want to be. Because that would make me very, very happy. If you just move that little step closer. And, and you you get on that path for what you want. So coming up to Christmas, we won’t be disappearing over the break. If you’re going to take some downtime over the holidays or and your binge listen to the podcast, here is what I have done. I went and actually I did not do this job I did this job went and pulled 35 of the most popular episodes from this year. And I’m gonna be honest, they were not what I thought that they would be. And it’s like social media posts, right? You put it out there, you’re like, oh my god, this is brilliant. And nobody likes it. Sometimes it happens with a podcast as well. So there were five that you guys really, really loved. And I picked three of those that were relevant for you over Christmas moving into the new year, maybe they will help you take take that one step closer to where you want to be. And I’ll be running those over the next couple of weeks. Which means that my team and I will be on a break. We will close down for two weeks we’ll be around for any support emergencies. But essentially, we would love to have a break. I’m sure you would love to have a break. I wish you the merriest of Christmases if that’s what you celebrate. If not happy holidays, I want you to be safe. Relax, definitely be merry regardless of where you are and what you celebrate. And I will see you back here ready to rise up in the year of the Phoenix. Don’t tell me it’s not the Phoenix. It is my phoenix year 2024 Already, thank you so much. And I’ll see you next year. Bye. So that’s a wrap. I’d love to hear what insight you’ve gotten from this episode, and how you’re going to put it into action. If you’re a social kind of person, follow me at the Selena Knight. And make sure to leave a comment. And let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it’s a win for you. A win for your community, and a win for your customers. I’ll see you on the next episode.



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