How to Set Big Goals for Your Business with Cheryl Sutherland

Click on the button below to listen to this episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast.

Cheryl Sutherland, founder of PleaseNotes, felt restless and overwhelmed at her 9 to 5. After months spent in coaching, journaling, and reigniting her inner creativity, she launched PleaseNotes.

PleaseNotes features affirmation-filled products that inspire women of color to step into their own power by building confidence, clarity, and creativity. Since it’s launch customers have expanded to reach across the globe, including Spain, UK, Canada and the Philippines. Her products have been endorsed by Les Brown and Monique Coleman.

Cheryl has also been featured in InStyle, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and more.

In this podcast episode, we talk about setting big goals in business and life as well as the importance they’ve played in Cheryl’s entrepreneurial life. She also shares how her Kickstarter exceeded its goal.

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • Cheryl shares her greatest entrepreneurial advice – listen to your gut and don’t settle.
  • She talks about why she’d like to not only have lunch with Oprah but be friends with her.
  • We discuss how to write out specific goals so you actually accomplish them.
  • We discuss why so many people don’t ask for what they want, they don’t get what they want, and they get upset about it.
  • We talk about why you need to be setting big goals.
  • She also shares how she exceeded her Kickstarter goal and the role goal setting had in exceeding that goal.

Cheryl’s Favorite Online App:

(Some of the links listed below are affiliate links, and I will receive compensation for you signing up for service using my links.)

Reach Out to Cheryl:


Note: Transcripts are created automatically and are not 100% accurate. However, they help our visitors find relevant content using our website’s search feature.

Welcome to the show. Cheryl, thank you so much for having me, tell us about yourself outside of your business.

So I’m my company’s please note. And basically what it is, is it’s this lifestyle brand really centered and rooted in feeling amazing in breaking limits, and just doing really cool stuff all the time, which I don’t think that, you know, a lot of people let them zones do how it kind of works is it’s filled with, like affirmations knows the positivity but it’s really designed for you to kind of rediscover what your passions are, help you create a plan to make it happen and then support you with that mindset shift. So you can actually create the things that you want to do through like sticky notes and water bottle decals, like just consistent reminders of how amazing you are.

And tell us how you came up with your business idea.

So it’s funny because I think like most entrepreneurs, you get to this point where you’re just all like, I’m just not about this life anymore. Okay, with, you know, you’re working for someone. And even though it could be like the most amazing job like where I was before, like a great people to work with, and everything. But I was just feeling so stuck in really sad and just, you know, knowing that this was not what I was supposed to be doing anymore. Whenever I like, take a leap. Whenever I take a jump, you know, the universe always supports me. So I’m like, I need to create the space to figure out what it is that I actually care about. What is it that I actually love, because for so many years, I’ve been putting everybody else ahead of me, you know, whatever everybody else needed that I feel like I kind of locked myself so I ended up quitting that job and and taking just in time to like chill and and read and work with affirmations the positivity and and kind of rebuild who was that I wanted myself to be and going through that process of like sifting and sorting and picking out what actually I wanted. And then as a result, like through writing process, I really take out like what I wanted my business to be what my next steps to be. Then I knew I wanted to have a business and I knew I wanted it to be a product based business. And I wanted to help people. So as I was working through the process and realizing that like my first love and like something I felt so strongly about with personal development, personal growth work, it’s just so ridiculously amazing how different a person’s life can be from one day to the next. Because they’ve like done the work or, you know, worked on themselves. And so when I got the idea for Please no. It was like yeah, I want affirmations everywhere. Like how does how can I get that and then, you know, the first thought was like sticky notes and it’s kind of snowballed from there so I’ve got definitely still has a sticky note and I’ve got this amazing guided journal that really takes you through to profit with a different exercises of you building up rediscovering again, what’s what’s really important to you like getting down to the nitty gritty and the stuff like a water bottle, labels, the decal stuff like that, or just allow you to stay in that space. And when you do feel in a not so great moves. Like remind you of who you really are. And like what you’re working towards something like that. You know, it’s funny, I just bought a bunch of sticky notes the other day because I wanted to write things and cut it like all over my desk. And my daughter. Laughter Cena is going to do that.

No, it’s perfect. Like, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen being Mary Jane. But it’s crazy. Because like she put sticky notes everywhere. Like her house is basically like all glass walls on everything. It’s sticky notes with, like, quote or affirmations or just positive messages and its people use sticking up a lot for different thing.

Yeah, and I bought some real time anyone’s and I am just opening them right now. Because I hadn’t and you just reminded me I need to think what’s your greatest entrepreneurial challenge. I feel like my greatest entrepreneurial challenge is definitely not getting ahead of myself. I’m really good at being hard on myself. And thinking that things should be different than what they are. And really not taking the country enjoy the things that I’ve created so far. So even with this business, like like I if you were to compare it to where it was last year, and even taking a look at how I’ve even grown as a person like leaps and bounds however, and even if you take a look at like the people that have gotten to me and interact with and like that are aligned with the brand stuff like that, like that’s really super cool. I really have difficulty allowing myself to just like kind of relish and because of this whole mentality and working hard and like, you know, not getting stuck on like, you know, on things so that’s definitely something that I’m working on flipping and just allowing myself to relax a little bit and aside from not wanting to work for someone else and aside from your family What is your why what is my why I think I where was it there was this book that I was reading and it’s like you’re you’re calling isn’t really about you it’s about the people that you’re here to serve and i think that you know first I was like yeah this is really cool and I think other people will like it and it’s helped me and and it can do the same like just hearing from other people how they use these products are just seeing who they are or you know just like the little things have I used to wake up so exhausted into so tired to be going to work every day and then I wake up first thing in the morning and I see one of your decals be like you know what No, I’m deciding today is going to be that day. So, you know, allowing people to just have that things and the personal power and to build that. I mean, that’s so fulfilling.

I love that and what advice you have for someone that’s just getting started in business. Um, listen to your gut. I mean, there’s been so many times listen to your gut, and don’t settle.

There’s been so many times where I’ve gotten into deals. And I’m like, you know what, I’m just like, I was doing it from a space of I have to do this, or I feel like I have to do this was my only option versus just chilling out and being like, you know what, the very things going to come and same thing when it comes to settling. There’s a lot of times where I’m like, you know, this isn’t exactly the way I want it. But so I’m just being overeager Oh, blah, blah, blah. And realizing that if I just played it, or if I had been more clear on what I wanted that the outcome would have been so much better. So don’t like not having the judgments of yourself around that too. So important.

If you can have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be? Oh my gosh. Okay. So I’ve written it out a couple of times.

Totally having lunch with Oprah. And like, you should see it. So this is one of the exercises that I love. It’s just writing out like a snippet of time that you want. So mine was I was in Oprah’s like backyard where she’s films like super soul Sunday. And we’re having this amazing conversation and Les Brown was there and we’re talking about like, please. No, it’s also more importantly, like, what is it that I want? And and just to be like, friends and have like, really cool people to talk to that are in that same wavelength that appreciate the understand. So yeah, mean Oprah new best friends. I’ve just recently decided this. I don’t think she’d gotten my carrier pigeon informing her that however, I’m sure that she’ll get it soon.

But yeah, I would love to pick her brain. And he would that look like I love that. So you’re going to be are you replacing Gail? Or you’re like going to be three Bessie?

Oh, no. There’s there’s so much room for everybody. I could have five Dr. Save five best friends. Like you can be the super frame.

It’s really interesting. Because I when I write down like things that I want to happen, like goals, I’ll write it down more like a statement. So I’ll write down people that I want to meet. And I will put I won’t put that I want to meet this person I put down like, I want to be friends with Gary Vee or Beyonce.

And my friends think I’m weird for doing that. But I’m like, Why? Why just put that I want to meet them. Right? And, and on top of that, if this is your fantasy, this is something that you’re bringing to life. Why not go for what exactly you want? I feel like so many people just don’t ask for what they want. And then they don’t get it. And then they’re upset about it. Or they get like a leftovers. Like why not ask for the big deal. Why? And and this is something again, even just with women that we don’t step up an enough because just over time, we’re just so used to playing small or being a smaller version of ourselves, right? So no, you gotta dream big. You got to play big. And then what’s the worst thing that can happen? You get exactly what you want. Or you don’t know. It’s not that big of a deal, right?

Yeah. And you know what? Sometimes I found that I think I haven’t been thinking large enough and nothing happens. And then I just got like, I wouldn’t say upset but I’m just like, Whatever. I’m just gonna write down some ridiculous goals. And those start happening like right away. And it’s just like, I think the reason sometimes why you’re not getting the little things you’re asking for is because you’re asking for too little. Mm hmm. So so you’re not going to get more than what you think you deserve. You’re not going to get more than what you asked for. But you might get a little bit less that’s how you gotta go you know reach for reach for the stars and maybe you’ll hit the moon on the way or something exactly like it’s so funny. Speaking of that, like with my Kickstarter that I did so the goal that I had with 10,000 and my super secret not so secret goal with 63,000 because I was like I could do this like that and I ended up hitting 15,000 which is still amazing but like like if I hadn’t have stretched or like attempting to get more or even just decided that I wanted to have more than I probably would have hit the 10 and then you know been okay with that oh that’s really cool how long did it take you to raise that my Kickstarter actually man for 30 days so that was the most interesting 30 days like what did you do to hit your goal there was definitely a lot of free work involved so I was was calling people I was texting people I was seeing if people were interested Academy the lineup so many failed, or as many sales Becky before the actual launch. And then doing the video scripting fat. letting myself be vulnerable in my video like that was really difficult and letting people see like, you know, a different side of me men just email newsletters, and just lead magnets like it’s intense. Like anybody you see, a lot of people do a Kickstarter and they’re just like, yeah, I’m going to put a picture up here and be like, you guys buy my stuff, and then just expect to get like thousands of dollars will and realistically is a very heavy lift. And there’s a lot of steps involved, especially if you’re doing it on your own. So just be aware of that. And then, you know, make sure you plan accordingly for Kickstarter. Do you get any of the money as it’s coming in? Or do you have to wait until it’s over? It is all or nothing so if you don’t you your goal, you get the zero so you so with the Kickstarter, I ended up getting the funds from that I think like two weeks after the campaign and then which is perfect because I had to go ahead and buy all the stuff and get everything handled.

Okay. So you have to actually fund the ads and promo that you want to run to Kickstarter before huh? Yeah, you don’t have your money. So okay. So you got to get real creative with that. If you’re trying to raise money, good money, very clear and make the money otherwise, all of your marketing efforts were for no reason because they’re not going to get any of it.

Exactly what’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier. Ooh, my favorite resource or app I would want to say I really love can but I don’t know if you ever use it ca n A ca n b a camera dot com. Really amazing PR creating graphics, business card stuff like that in especially if you’re not familiar with Photoshop, or you don’t want to like invest in that or or play with that. Like it’s so great for making really clean, crisp graphics that you can use for your social media that you can use for your website. Yeah, and it takes a lot of the stress out of in the learning curve out of creating music, good product in asset so where can listeners find you online? what’s your website? Where can we connect with you on social media?

Yeah, and so you can definitely connect with me on my website so please note dot com pleases and please and thank you note to the notes of love. I’m on social media as well. So Facebook and Instagram. And if you send me a message on Instagram, I’m all over that bad boy. So I would love to connect with you and love to chat if there’s any questions or concerns or anything like that. Yeah, if you reach out there, okay. Well, awesome. Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.