Do you dream of truly having time for everything you love, not just a false sense of flexibility? Are you tired of putting work before family? 


Tia McCarthy has some fantastic insights for us on this episode as she is sharing her journey from teacher, to direct sales network marketing, to starting her own business and finally having the freedom she longed for. She is living a life she loves, with the time and flexibility to prioritize family over work.


Tia is a former network marketing leader who was burnt out and not making the money she wanted. She started her VA business in November 2019 in what she thought would be Pinterest and Social Media Management. After a few months she realized she didn’t like bouncing around from client to client in multiple industries, but was ignoring the fact that her favorite clients were network marketing leaders. Because of Serve Scale Soar, she made connections that allowed her to scale and transform her business within just one month, moving from all different genres of clients and making 2,000/m to only working with network marketing leaders and making 6,000/m with a one stop shop offering business and social media strategy and VA services.


Join us as we sit down to talk all about how our friendship began, what our journeys have looked like, and what some of our biggest obstacles and wins have been.

Value Bombs:


  • What it’s like to leave a 9-5 as someone who values safety and security 
  • How having children changes your perspective 
  • Overcoming burnout from network marketing programs 
  • Identifying her false sense of flexibility
  • Transitioning from Pinterest and Social Media Management to helping other women in network marketing 
  • The power of taking on one specific niche 
  • What her highest financial month looked like (even during the pandemic!)
  • Overcoming mindset blocks 
  • The value of supporting and uplifting each other 


Also, I wanted to let you know that I will be doing a live training soon called How to Scale to Consistent $10k Months Without Hiring a Team, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss it!  

I only do this live twice a year and it’s always so much fun! Head to to sign up.  I will be sending exclusive goodies to your inbox before the live training so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out! 


Until next week!




Connect with Tia:

Follow @tia.m.mccarthy on Instagram

Follow Tia on Facebook

Resources Mentioned: 

Episode 7: Struggling MLM Business To Thriving Virtual Assistant Business In 6 Months

Additional Resources:

Don’t forget to sign up for my free training >> How to Scale to Consistent 10K Months Without Hiring a Team 

Subscribe to the Podcast

Follow Brandi on Instagram 

Follow Brandi on Facebook

Read Full Transcript

Brandi Mowles: In today's episode, we are talking with Tia and Tia, used to be in Drexel's MLM with me way back, and she was before even that a teacher. And so she left teaching to then start direct sales to then transitioned to her online business. And now not only is she crushing it and having her highest month, but she's actually living a life she loves and time with her family and not a false sense of flexibility, but a true sense of putting her family before her work. And I'm so excited for you all to get to know her. So let's jump on in.

Welcome to the Serve Scale Soar podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five figure months so they can soar into six figure years, your host, Brandi, is a wife, mom and in less than one year created a six figure business. And now she is spilling all her secrets. So you can to.

Brandi Mowles: Before we jump in today's episode, I have a quick announcement, I'm so excited because I am doing my live training, how to scale to consistent ten thousand dollars months without hiring a team. I only do this twice a year live, so you are not going to want to miss it. So what I want you to is head to Serve Scale f-r-e-e and sign up for the live training. It's coming up in just a week or so. And you are going to want to get all the exclusive goodies in your inbox before the live training so you do not want to miss it. And that is how to scale it to consistent ten thousand dollars months without hiring a team. Head to Serve Scale and I'll see you inside.

Brandi Mowles: Hey, hey, hey. Serve Scale Soar family. Oh, my goodness. I am so excited because today I have my very special friend Tia on here at Tia and I actually know each other from way before the online space and I'm excited to talk about her story and how we knew each other and where her journey has led her now having an online business. So I'm just so excited and I don't want to spoil any of the surprises or your story. So tell my audience a little bit about who you are as a person and then who you are as a business owner.

Tia McCarthy: Ok, well, first off, thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited. My name is Tia. I my background is in education. I was a teacher for 11 years. I taught kindergarten second grade. I have my master's in reading education. And then I started my entrepreneurial journey in direct sales. And I kind of went that route because I didn't know or have confidence in starting something that was all my own. So it is great to have a platform to kind of get my feet wet a little bit and did that for about four or five years, met you through all of that and climb the top of the company, top two percent after starting at about a year in and then really just decided once I had my daughter and was feeling like I was working all the time, I wanted to kind of shift how how my life looked right now, but then also set myself up in my family up for the future as well, because I definitely did not want to feel like I had to work twenty four seven for the rest of my life. And so started my entrepreneurial career as a service provider about eight months ago. Officially, it seems like it was a lot longer than that, but I was like, oh, when did I start? It was November. And yeah, I've just kind of been figuring it out and making things work and moving along with that and absolutely loving the change for sure.

Brandi Mowles: Ok, so I love all this and I want to come back to it. First of all, I know who you are as a person. Oh, tell me about you as a person.

Tia McCarthy: So I have to. Yeah, I am married to my husband Justin. We've been married. We just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. I have a two and a half year old daughter. She'll be two and a half next month and going on like sixteen. I feel like she's crazy, but I love her. And that is pretty much what my life consists of. We love to travel. We love to just experience fun things. And I don't know.

Brandi Mowles: Also, I say she lives in St. Pete. She does not live in St. Pete. She lives like in the boondocks.

Tia McCarthy: Yeah,

Brandi Mowles: But Tia and I are near each other and Riley, my little one and Tia's is little one Gemma are three weeks apart from each other. So we were actually pregnant at the exact same time, which was fun and I knew to when I lived in Florida the first time. And then we thought that like our little girls would be best friends. And then I moved back to Virginia when I was 20 weeks pregnant and we were like, oh dang, not friends anymore. And then we moved back.

Tia McCarthy: And we were like, surprised, we're bag.

Brandi Mowles: And now they have a blast when they're together. Oh, my gosh. Gemma asked all the time, I want to go to Riley's house. Oh, my gosh. And for you all who are listening while we're recording this to my daughter is being potty trained currently. And she was just over at my house and she had like all these bags. And here's the difference TIA used to be a teacher, I feel like this plays into it. So she always has like lots of bags, but this is a ridiculous amount of bags. And then, Austin, are the parents who walk out of the house and people like Riley will pee or something. And we're like, oh, crap, we got to change diaper. And then we're like, did you get the diaper bag? And he's like, no, did you get the diaper bag? And I'm like, I can get the diaper bag. And then we end up having to go into the store and buy diapers. And T is like the complete opposite of that. And so she has all these bags at my house. I'm like, what the heck, what do you have, three pair of shoes? Because, Jim, pees, we have to change your shoes. I mean, if she pees and that stuff goes everywhere. And we have not ventured into that yet, and I like this has been a topic in our house every time we think about potty training. I'm like, awesome, we can't get diapers out of the house. How are we supposed to get three pair of shoes out of the house, too? And he was like, good thing she wears crocs. We can just spray them all.

Tia McCarthy: That's right. I know. It's gross.

Brandi Mowles: It's so funny. So now let's jump back into the business. So you're a teacher and you made that decision to leave the classroom to pursue and direct sales MLM type business. So I think this is really important. We all come from different backgrounds. We all have a business before a business or experience in some way. So tell us what that was like real quick on leaving the classroom to pursue direct sales.

Tia McCarthy: It was very scary. I am a safety and security type of a person and I love structure and planning, which is probably why I was a teacher, but my husband was super supportive and his main thing was he just didn't want he wanted me to do what I wanted to do and didn't want it to hinder kind of our not necessarily our lifestyle, because at that point it was just him and I and his hours are all over the place. So I felt like it was the perfect fit. But the scariest thing I think is financially what what is going to happen, I think, in starting any kind of business or anything like that. And so we jumped in. I did it. I was finishing out kind of the qualifications of getting to the next level in network marketing when I decided to step away from teaching. And on paper, the numbers looked great, like everything was going to be quote unquote, OK, and have that security and know that income was not going to, you know, it's going to fluctuate, but not going to be so drastic sometimes. And so I jumped in and had a blast. I loved working. I have always worked all the time since I was 15 and even before that and different sports and extracurricular activities.

Tia McCarthy: And so at first it wasn't an issue of blending that work-life environment together, but then things change when you have children. And so I think that was when I really started to reevaluate kind of what my life looked like. And it was crazy. I mean, bringing my daughter everywhere, going from party to party to party or whatever, schlepping her around. And, you know, she lived in the car, which, you know, start different times is not that big of a deal. But I just didn't really see an end to what working all the time was going to do. And I didn't want that. I didn't I didn't want to work all the time anymore. And and I think in network marketing there there are structures that allow for women to have that freedom and flexibility to be with their family and things like that. But I felt like my interpretation of what was being taught and perceived and and how it was all supposed to look was you don't stop working until you're at where you want it to be. And, well, I feel like you never are going to get to that point. And so then it started to become an internal guilt of not working versus working. And I just that was not OK to me.

Brandi Mowles: Yeah. And I think there's probably a lot of people that agree and all network marketing programs are different in everything. But even from being inside of one, working with clients who are inside of that, it's very much like a hustle, hustle, hustle mentality. And you're right, like I used to. It's so crazy. We used to do what we called power days and we would get to our studio at like 9:00 a.m., sometimes even earlier than that on Saturday and be there until like eight o'clock at night. And it was all day that we would be working Saturday and Sunday and then nights. And that was totally OK when we didn't have kids. And both of our husbands work very odd schedules at the time. Justin, Tia's husband is in the grocery industry. My husband was in the restaurant industry so very like random times. So for us to work on weekends and nights was not a big deal. But it was it was very like I feel like it was always we were going after a goal, but like if we missed it, it was the end all be all there was never like and people would say, you can change your date and everything, but you were literally starting over every single time. And it's so interesting. I learned so much from direct sales network marketing, but also I also learned what not to do, which is very important as well. OK, so you did direct sales, you love teaching direct sales, then you decided you were going to start an online business. What did that look like?

Tia McCarthy: I think I was sitting in your office that was like, Brandi, you really think I can do this? I was like, I got to do something different. I don't want to go back to teaching. Are you sure I can do this? Because I don't really consider myself tech-savvy or anything. I mean, my husband had to teach me how to hook up this mike before we started the podcast. I just I just I need to get better, and that's fine. But what I am great at is serving others and and wanting to help them reach their goals. And so I was like, OK, well, let's let's get started. We were like, well, I have this thing called Serve Scale Soar. So I was like, all right, let me let me get started there. And and that I think just having that foundation I mean, I was doing all of the stuff already that I was doing. I was making graphics, I was teaching strategy on social media. I was doing email and text campaigns. I was doing the things that people are looking for a need, but didn't ever consider that a business. And so I decided that I was going to start with really I say social media and Pinterest management. But really, I was like, OK, to take anybody, hire me at that point. And in I think September, I started Serve Scale Soar. I went on a cruise in October, which was something that I earned from my network marketing business, and then was like that was like our kind of recharge moment to come back and kind of hit the ground running with my business.

Tia McCarthy: And so in November, I started like actually marketing myself. And in December I got my first two clients. I think I made like a hundred and something dollars in December. And so my first goal really was just to say or feel like I had a full client load and I didn't even know what that looked like really, because I hadn't done it yet. But to me in my head, I was like, I just want ten clients. Ten clients is a full workload and I'll be good. And so by the end of January, I had ten clients and then all pretty much in different industries, but focused on mainly social media and Pinterest that I realized I didn't necessarily like doing that all the time and trying to figure out how to niche down and what my ideal client was going to look like and everything. And then in mid-May, someone from Serve Scale Soar commented on a post I had made back in January, and it was about network marketing, and she asked if she could reach out to me. So I was like, sure, and not really knowing what she was reaching out to me for. She wanted to get me in touch with her client, who's a coach specifically for network marketing. And so her and I chatted. She was like, have you thought about working with clients in network marketing? And I was like, well, it's always been in the back of my mind, but I was really kind of telling myself, I can't do that because I left network marketing. And I mean, my experiences in network marketing were my choices and my kind of poor decision making.

Tia McCarthy: And really, because I didn't know any better, I didn't know business finances. And there we were. So hustle, hustle, hustle that there wasn't really time to sit down and learn that. And so I don't have anything negative to say about network marketing as a business and everything. I love my clients that I work for now, but I was like pushing it away like, no, no, no. And so then I was like, you know what? Why not why not just try it out and see if I don't like it? A couple of months I could change that. And so I bought her like five or six clients within two weeks of a time frame, which I now know not to do again in May. And since really the end of May, because of that one connection that my business has completely changed, I've tripled my income from working as a Pinterest manager and social media. And although I'm doing a little bit of everything still, I like doing a little bit of everything, but I don't really know what's going to happen next. However, I do love working with my my clients that I have. I love their their top women in their industry. They are working their industry because of their family. And I just feel like the values of why we're working our businesses kind of align. And so although right now I'm kind of all over the place in what I'm doing a little bit of everything, I feel like because of that alignment, it works and I love it. And yeah, I mean, that's basically.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. And so in May what what was your financial month.

Tia McCarthy: That was my highest man so far at fifty eight hundred.

Brandi Mowles: Oh, my goodness. So from January to May, she went from one hundred dollars to almost six thousand dollars in the magic happen, not because of all this time marketing. It happened the minute you started taking on one specific niche. And there's so much power in that. One thing I teach in Serve Scale Soar is how to niche. And there's three types of niches you can take and one of them is niching by who you serve. And that's exactly what you've done. You'll figure out the combo approach eventually.

Tia McCarthy: Yes.

Brandi Mowles: Scale even faster. But just niching down to that is so awesome. And I also think it's so interesting that you didn't think that you could serve network marketers even though you had all this experience like, what, six years in networking?

Tia McCarthy: Yeah, I really honestly, I thought my niche was going to be teachers and like, I still am in all these teacher groups. And but I just there's definitely a need there, too. But I don't know, like it's just I think because I got burnt out with teaching, I got picked out when they were marketing. But I think teaching gets me a different kind of passionate because there is politics involved. All this other stuff, like I feel like as a teacher I want to go out there and protest with people, but as my niche with network marketing. Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I feel like because I think it's still entrepreneurial mindset and growth and and things like that. Yeah. I did not think I could do it because I don't know why. I just was telling myself I couldn't.

Brandi Mowles: That's so interesting. OK, so you've niche down now you know who you're serving now you're just figure out soon, like how exactly you're going to serve them so you can create those systems. You had your highest month, super exciting times and you're doing this right in the middle of a pandemic, which I think is like even cooler that you're having your last month wearing that that just shows others that, like the online space is like thriving right now, which is so fun and so ideal for us service providers. Not that there's a pandemic, but the fact that we have businesses that are like thriving right now. And I know that's not the case for all service providers, but those who are working with online people. It is like an amazing time. And I think that there's a lot of power in that. And so I also want to talk, what has been the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your business so far?

Tia McCarthy: Oh, I don't know. Not so much as far as like the business stuff, but I think it's definitely a lot of mindset for sure, probably balancing knowing that I don't have to work all the time to make income, not feeling guilty, doing something with my daughter if I want to.

Brandi Mowles: And like, I just cannot wait to see where your business goes, because I know this is something Emily talked about in her episode leaving MLM for Service-based business and holding that up in the show notes as well.

Brandi Mowles: But coming from that industry, and I can attest to this, too, is we just left with a lot of baggage and we have to work through that. And now we get to create another business that allows us to work through that and allows us to succeed through that and truly put our family first. It's no longer the hustle, hustle, hustle. We got to get this done. And then family will be at some point and I will reference a story because now it's just so different how we can have perspectives. And I remember being told by someone and it was like this proud moment that they celebrated all the time. And this is the difference in mentality that we're having to overcome is I remember someone top in the company that we work for talking about how she decided that she wasn't going to go on her yearly family vacation because she was finishing up a big goal in network marketing. And she got so much flak from her family because she didn't go on this vacation. And the other person that was helping her said there will be other family vacations, but you're going to hit this goal.

Brandi Mowles: So she chose to stay back and accomplish the goal and she did accomplish the goal, but she missed that family vacation. And I remember all of us like being like, yes, that's amazing. And that was the mentality. And now I'm looking back and I'm like, oh, man, I will postpone and get rid of any launches if it means that I get more time with Riley and Austin and we talked about this in mid-May and April income report. What can we do even if it means less revenue for me to have more time with my family? And that's the difference in the space that you're in now, do you then the one that you're coming from and I just want to commend you for making that adjustment because it's hard and now you get so much more time with Jema. And that time, who cares about the revenue? It's all about that relationship right now. I know that this was probably a difficult. Topic, appreciate you opening up and what do you think's been your biggest win so far?

Tia McCarthy: I mean, hitting hitting the revenue for sure, kind of releasing the emotion of work to my quality of life and really just the people that I do work for in network marketing. You have, they say, the volunteer army and it is emotional. You can't you can't not be emotionally attached to to that because you know that they're your friends. They're the people that you spend the most time with. And so when they don't do something to where you feel like you think they should do it or leave or quit or whatever you are tied to, that you're your business is tied to that. And I mean, I've had clients leave and I've had to let go of clients myself. But it's business and it's strictly business and that's OK. And I'm friends with the people that I no longer work with, but also that revenue is a lot more steady and we're able to do more things. And I don't have that guilt of, you know, it's monthan to do. I go on a vacation or do I push through and and hit that next mark or whatever just to start back at zero again on the first. So that's probably been the biggest win for me is that freedom and flexibility, truly.

Brandi Mowles: Oh, I love that. And I can so relate to that. I love this Tia. I love watching your business grow. And one thing that we didn't talk about that I will just address really quick is and I talked about this enough. So with Emily is Tia and I were friends before this. Emily and I were friends before this. And I did not say, like, you should leave your Direct Sales company and come starting online. That does not serve anyone, does not get your result. What you can do is if you know someone who's been like a corporate job or maybe they hate what they're doing and you know that this could be a better way for them. You can't come at it. Just telling them what you can do is show them what you're doing and show them how much time you're getting with your family and show them like, oh, my gosh, have you ever thought about doing something like this but never letting you tell them that they should do it? It always has to come at the perfect moment when, you know, they're ready to listen, because if you tell them at the wrong time, it will not go well in your favor. And so if you know someone who's stuck at that dead-end job, if you know someone who's just, like, hates what they're doing, instead of telling them like, oh, you should come do what I do, just continue to share what you're doing. Even if you think that it's falling on deaf ears or deaf ears, I don't know what the thing is, whatever is necessary. And so that is definitely one advice that I have because I've seen it go bad for other people.

Tia McCarthy: Well, and I feel like because I am still friends with people in our network marketing industry. And I think that I mean, they're going to think what they want to think. But knowing that we're friends and knowing now we're kind of doing the same thing in their eyes, but not really at all, it is hard for them to understand, I think, a little bit because of that emotion is there for sure. But, you know, you are always super supportive when even when you left the network marketing world, you were always supportive of me and my business. We always shared wins with each other. You shared about what you were doing with me and our what you were doing with your business, with me. And so I think that, you know, people are going to say what they want to say. But it's I feel like it was really good as far as our relationship as friends respecting each other and things like that to that it was never Tia do this Tia what are you doing? Why are you still there? Leave like I did in all of that. So I appreciate that because I wanted it to be my decision.

Brandi Mowles: Yeah. That's why I never think that what we do should ever be tied to who we are. And so I have Brandi and company. Yeah, course creator podcast, whatever, but that's not who I am. And that's why we always start these podcast episodes with who are you as a person, because that's actually what matters, not what you do. And so I think that's really important too. So thank you to this was so great. Before we pop off, I do want to do some rapid fire with you. Are you ready?

Tia McCarthy: Yep.

Brandi Mowles: OK, so what's your favorite part of your business?

Tia McCarthy: Working with the women that I get to work with.

Brandi Mowles: I love that. OK, so what is your favorite software tool that you can't live without?

Tia McCarthy: I have a love hate relationship with it, but I'm going to go with Click Up. I keep going back and forth between Dubsado and Click Up but I feel like click up helps me be very productive every day.

Brandi Mowles: I just have a love, love, love really.

Tia McCarthy: It's just so massive. I need to take time to figure it out.

Brandi Mowles: OK, what is the best conference, virtual or live that you've ever been to?

Tia McCarthy: Well, I've only been to one live conference, and that was the women in Power X, and I think that wasn't really necessarily a huge, like, aha take away type of a conference. But just to see that there were so many women business owners outside of network marketing who also need my services, like just to see a different entrepreneur world, really, because all I ever really knew was network marketing.

Brandi Mowles: That was a good one for me too. I got to speak. But the only thing I think it was the same thing with me. I was like, oh, man, look at all these business owners because I just moved back to Florida and that was not the case back where I was living. So it was really cool to see that. OK, so tell me your best piece of business advice you've ever received.

Tia McCarthy: Oh, probably. You don't need all the bells and whistles to be successful and that it's OK to give your permission to slow down. So that's two pieces of advice, but I love that.

Brandi Mowles: And then what is your favorite part of being in Serve Scale Soar?

Tia McCarthy: The community. I mean, that's where I that's where my business has gotten the most connections. So for sure.

Brandi Mowles: I think that that's such a missing piece. And the online space, you can't get the kind of community that we have inside Serve Scale Soar and a big free Facebook group or even some other paid Facebook groups. It's such amazing, curated group of people and they're just freakin awesome. So thank you so much Tia. Where can my listeners connect with you if they just want to say hey and reach out and learn more about you?

Tia McCarthy: I am on Facebook Tia McCarthy or Instagram Tia.M.McCarthy. I don't go on very much. I'll be honest. I am there.

Brandi Mowles: I love this so much. Thank you so much. And we'll chat soon.

Thanks again for tuning in to the Serve Scale Soar podcast with your host, Brandi, if you loved our podcast. Please be sure to leave a comment or review and be sure to tune in next time.

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Meet Brandi

Brandi Mowles is the host of the Serve Scale Soar podcast which is a podcast dedicated to helping service-based entrepreneurs scale their online business to five-figure months so they can soar into six-figure years. Brandi is a wife, mom and in less than one year, created a six-figure business.   Now she is spilling all her secrets so you can too.

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