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118. Everything’s a Win: Turning the Fear of Failure on its Head, with Kathy Cruz

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Meet Kathy Cruz

Kathy Cruz from the Savvy Shopkeeper is sitting in the cozy pink chairs with us at the Mompreneur Co. Studio this week! Kathy is a retail business consultant for brick and mortar store owners, sharing what she’s learned from nearly a decade of balance, profit, and growth at her own home decor boutique.

We talk about how much has changed since we met in 2017 when Kathy was gathering up the courage to leave her job as a detective and go into business for herself.
Back then, she said the fear of failure motivated her to keep her steady paycheck rather than trying to take the leap into entrepreneurship. And ironically here she is today talking to us about how she embraces failure as a core piece of her strategy.
“If I try something new and it doesn’t work, it’s a winner because I learn what my clients actually need from me for the next time. Instead of getting stuck on it like I used it, it’s an opportunity for me to ask what else do they want? How else can I serve them?”
Plus, as a shopkeeper herself, she talks about the call to share what she’s learned with others and how valuable it is to speak from a place of practice & proof rather than talking in theory. And she shares a quick story about the surprising overlap between her business and her past detective career.
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
(02:07) 2017 Feels Like Forever Ago
Meg and Kathy talk about how much has changed since they met in 2017. Meg was driving around the Style Foundry mobile boutique for her wardrobe styling clients (Kathy was one of them!) and Kathy was gathering up the courage to leave her job as a detective and go into business for herself.
(05:44) Doing Then Teaching
Kathy shares how once she figured out her shopkeeping strategies for herself, she just had to share with others. She talks about the value of speaking from a place of practice and proof instead of from theory, and how she believes it inspires action over procrastination because the results feel more within reach. Plus she tells us about the wholesome community in her mastermind group, bonded together by their niche.
(10:03) Putting Her (Literal!) Detective Skills to Work
It took Kathy several years to realize the surprising amount of crossover between her coaching business and her detective career. She tells us the story of her “aha” moment after a full-day in-store intensive with a shopkeeper in her group, comparing to how she used to listen to witnesses, keep a case file organized, and piece together the story.
(13:51) “And That’s How I Know This Is Where I’m Supposed to Be”
“My driving force is the feeling I get to give other store owners — sometimes it’s relief, sometimes it’s inspiration, and sometimes it’s just accountability. And that’s how I know this is where I’m supposed to be.” We get a little philosophical for a sec here! And then Kathy goes into detail about her headline-worthy fearlessness towards failure. She embraces failing since it helps her figure out what her clients actually need. And the side effect is that she becomes virtually fail-proof: if she tries something and it works, it’s a winner because it works. If she tries and it doesn’t work, it’s a winner because she learns for the next time.
(16:58) Mom Life
We look back at the support and encouragement Kathy is so grateful to have from her husband, mom, and sister; how it made her feel comfortable trusting her intuition and taking the leap to be more present with her family. Plus we look forward at what’s next for Kathy… which includes a lot of calendar color-coding!
Learn more about Kathy & Savvy Shopkeeper:


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Turning the Fear of Failure on its Head with Kathy Cruz
Kathy Cruz
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