We had the good fortune of connecting with Roxie and Lucas Francis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roxie and Lucas, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I Heart My Voice was started to help people find their voice and make an impact with it.
We wanted to build a business that would actually help singers live their dream; not just by receiving world-class vocal coaching and mastering the industry’s best vocal techniques, but also by teaching success, mindset and a bulletproof career strategy.
We wanted them to be able to explore the uniqueness in their message, in their brand and in the impact they’re meant to make as a singer, as an artist and as an influencer for the unique tribe of people that they’re meant to inspire.
We’re dedicated to making an impact, one voice and one song at a time. The heart of our company beats on love and the passion for what’s possible when we live our dreams every day.
And that’s why our tagline is find your voice, make your impact and amplify your career.
Both of us went to top music conservatories, too, with the goal of having an amazing career in music. And we got the training for our instruments, but we never got the training for the business or to be able to create the impact and the income doing what we love in music. So we created a company where singers, musicians and artists could get all of that education needed for true success and true impact, doing what they love in music.
How does your business help the community or the world?
Every time you give yourself permission to shine, you give others permission to do the same. And by helping singers be visible, share their message and make their impact, we’re creating that ripple effect of empowerment and confidence and belief for others to go after their dream, whatever it is.
We’ve also built up a strategy to help musicians achieve financial freedom. And the more musicians that have the strategy and know how to do it, the more that our community of creators can impact even more people.
For so long, artists have been fed lies. We’re fed the ‘starving artist’ myth: that there’s no value, worth, sustainability or functionality in pursuing the craft of using your voice and music–-and it’s completely a lie. There are now thousands of artists who are independently creating six figures and beyond and shifting their focus onto seizing opportunities that were never here pre-internet, pre-social media, pre-YouTube or pre-Spotify. So we’re being a voice for creating your own economy, which in every other industry is an acceptable thing to do, yet in art, it is looked down upon and discouraged so often.
When I was in high school and we had to pick our job career path, there was no option for singing. And that really bothered me. So I spoke with the teacher and said, “well, where’s that option? And they said, “Well, that’s not an acceptable option.”
So we help the community by empowering artists to know that there is a pathway for them so that they can continue to keep music alive.
Risk taking: How do you think about risk and what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
What we’ve learned is that the real risk is not doing the thing that you are uniquely meant to do on this planet. The real risk is going through your life and getting to the end and saying, “Wow, I didn’t actually do that thing. I missed the opportunity. I thought I was playing safe, but the real risk was I never did the thing that I loved most.”
We have singers call us up in their 50s, 60s and 70s who never pursued their singing dream. And what happens is that the fire didn’t dim. It actually kept growing the entire time and ate away at them until they finally did it. So the real risk is losing your one shot to do the thing you’re meant to do and to make the impact you’re meant to make.And you have to be willing to do whatever it takes and take every single risk.
If you study the most successful people in the world, they risked it all for their dream. And we love the movie Whiplash because it’s a great example of that: of truly being willing to risk everything, so you could have the one thing that meant the most to you and that’s what it takes.
Once we started taking risks and realized that it was about being uncomfortable and going into the unknown, our entire life and career shifted. Our success doubled and tripled and continued to go in the direction we wanted only by way of learning to take risks, not by playing it safe.
What we’ve learned in the way we make decisions is the greater the risk, the greater the potential win. If you play small, you win small. If you play big, you win big.
It’s about being willing to sacrifice things of a lower nature for things of a higher nature.
What is the most important factor behind the success and the success of your brand?
The most important factor behind our success and the success of your brand is having mentors, receiving coaching and asking for help. You want to surround yourself with people that have the results you want and are a thousand steps ahead of you, because success leaves footprints.
How do you know whether to keep going or to give up?
One of our core values as a company that we share with our team and our clients is to never, ever, ever give up, period. That’s the answer.
There’s no such thing as failure because there’s no path to success that doesn’t involve failure. The only path to confidence is through confusion. We have to try things. We have to learn what works and what doesn’t so that we can double down on the things that do work and move forward as quickly as possible. The only true definition of giving up is when you actually stop. As long as you keep going, you’ll keep moving forward.
Work life balance – how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
When you’re doing what you love, your work and your life are the same thing. There’s never a time where we ask ourselves, “When is it going to stop? When am I going to be done with the work?”
If you allow yourself to think those things, you’re going into a very dangerous place. Our approach to our work is always “How can I do a little bit more?”
We just finished watching Billie Eilish’s documentary and there is absolutely no work/life balance in what she’s doing. You’ve got to know what your goal is, you have to know where you’re starting and where you want to go. And if you want to be up there with stars like Billie Eilish, check out her documentary to understand that work and life are the same thing when you’re in your purpose.
How do you define success?
We define success in two ways:
The first way is once you’re paying your cost of living by doing what you love, you’ve achieved success in life. You can grow it and scale it from there. But that’s the threshold for success.
The other definition of success is there is no finish line. We set tangible goals, and every time we reach that tangible goal, there’s a new higher level. There’s a new level, new devil. There’s a new terror barrier. Success is having a feeling of gratitude and fulfillment while on the journey to your greatness. While our goals are tangible, the journey is a spiritual one. And as long as we’re on that journey every single day, living our dream, following our hearts, and moving forward and growing–that is success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At I Heart My Voice, we focus on all aspects of what it means to find your voice and freely express yourself.
Many voice studios only focus on techniques and drills, whereas we focus on defining what makes a singer unique and helping them grow the confidence to share their voice and message on the world stage. That’s at the forefront. We help singers make an impact with their voice, not just sing and do a bunch of scales.
Why? Because when a singer steps into their big vision, it gives others around them permission to do the same. And we need more people doing that.
The journey to finding your voice is a challenging path that will keep pushing you past your comfort zone. We’ve trained indie artists to viral success, as well as Disney, Nickelodeon and major label artists. Along the way we learned that big success comes with making a whole bunch of mistakes, and getting way more no’s than yes’s.
The only way that we and our rockstar coaches who are top finalists from American Idol and The Voice overcame our challenges was to fail forward and fail fast. It becomes easier when you follow your heart and stay in your area of genius. Our favorite motto here is: no one is ever going to be better at being you than you, and that is your gift. And that’s what our whole brand I Heart My Voice is about.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of our favorite venues for live music is Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. We love the intimate performance space that features both incredible major label and indie artists, such as John Mayer, Adele, Damien Rice, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, and Ingrid Michaelson.
Vibrato in Beverly Glen is nice for hearing super high-level pros doing the American songbook paired with a lovely atmosphere and great food. We also love Nobu in Malibu for an amazing beachfront sushi experience.
Other favorite spots for that organic plant-based LA experience are Café Gratitude and Sun Cafe in Studio City.
For nature, we love the Malibu Lagoon, which is a really remote, beautiful area in Malibu. And walking along the unpaved part of Mulholland Drive near Topanga for the views. For hiking, our go-to spot is Malibu Creek State Park. That’s where we usually go to talk about our big vision for the business. And then we’ll head over to Malibu wines or Rosenthal wines on a Sunday for great live music and outdoor wine.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We’d like to give a shoutout to David Neagle for helping us step into our big vision.
Caroline White, Jessie & James Photography, Julie Zorrilla