Moving from working 10-15 hours a day as a credit card processing business owner into my creative world of music, art, and fashion has been quite a journey! I wasn’t born with dreams of being a credit card processor, it just happened to be the vehicle that showed up to take me on my path to do what I really did dream of as a child. And that was singing country music on the big stage! Let me tell you, it hasn’t been a cakewalk, yet it’s given me the freedom I needed to begin creating what I love.
But first, here’s the backstory on how it all began…
I had been working in the credit card processing industry for two short years when I began toying with the idea of starting my own business.
At the time, I was an independent contractor for a company that sold and leased credit card machines. The gig was a straight commission, and in the early 2000s, this was the industry norm to make fast money. Now, even though the money came quickly, it was hard work. I was knocking on 10-15 doors a day, knowing that maybe one or two of them would maybe lead to a sale.
Additionally, many prospective clients had a bad taste in their mouths from unethical sales reps who came before me. It wasn’t uncommon for business owners to feel hoodwinked into equipment leases, only to never hear from the sales rep after the transaction. They were pissed off and rightfully so. It took many stops to find a business owner to that I could sell equipment (saving them money on the rate to justify the equipment sale) all the while trying to get them to trust me with their business needs.
But I knew this job wasn’t sustainable long term. I was exhausted every night and fell into bed just to get up and do it all over again the next day. I was generating a very substantial income for myself and for the company. I knew I could work just as hard for myself and make twice as much, or work half as hard and make the same amount. What a no-brainer! I also knew that I would have a much higher close ratio if I could sign every client that had a credit card processing need that I could find a solution for.
The dot-com boom had just exploded and many companies, like the one I was contracted with, were struggling to adapt to a new way of doing business online. I knew there had to be a way to get paid off for the processing volume, not just the equipment sales.
All about working smarter, not harder, I wanted to take care of my customers and get paid for it. I knew there was a world in which I could build relationships with my clients, provide processing services long term, and change the mindset that the business owners felt regarding processing credit cards. I wanted to give them a different experience that made processing credit cards FUN and EASY for the customer.
Read More: The Story Behind Eye of the Tigress
And then it clicked. I was going to start my own credit card processing company, Card Diva.
Early on in my career, my clients had given me an industry nickname that stuck: Credit Card Diva. I was a proud transplant to Texas, and I loved dressing the part. Picture this: lots of rhinestones and fringe (check out my shop here where you can also get some fancy merch inspired by my music). I never ever in my life dreamed of being a “Card Diva”, but I did dream it up and make it happen and I knew I could do exactly what I had been trained to do working independently and running my own sales office. I didn’t have overhead, and I already worked from home, so I had everything I needed to go out on my own.
In 2006, I launched Card Diva.
Finding the freedom I was searching for…
I have always worked towards freedom: freedom to run my own business from anywhere in the world and get paid over and over again for my efforts. And that is exactly what I built. Since Card Diva’s inception, I have continued to support the lifestyle I set out to build 20 years ago when I found the credit card processing industry. From there, I started recruiting other women who sought the same kind of freedom and lifestyle to come and work with me.
Being a creative soul locked in a numbers world was very challenging for me. But in the same breath, it’s what has allowed Card Diva to reach the success it has. I named my company and created my logo to be fun and different. I designed my Card Diva characters and then dressed up in different outfits targeting specific industries I wanted to work in. I white-labelled wine bottles and baked pumpkin bread then delivered them to my clients every Christmas. I was making great residual income regardless of the state of the world’s economy, but making money wasn’t enough anymore. I was burnt out, lonely and single, and needing a break from the grind of seriously being a workaholic.
In 2013 at a business retreat, my weekend was slated to be one of growth for Card Diva. It took a drastic turn toward my passion and creative side: writing music. I had no idea what would transpire next, but, as usual for me, when something strikes me, I roll with it.
Watch for my next blog about how I started my creative destiny, Candy Country!