Sasha Elaine 30 Days Hustle: I’m the qualified one for this contract

Came back to government contracting business after a short break, Sasha Elaine just needed 30 days to gather herself up and win.
Sasha Elaine in her salon
Courtesy: Sasha Elaine
By | 8 min read

“How long does it take for newcomers to win federal contracts?”

That’s one of the questions get asked the most when it comes to kick off bidding on government contracts.

The first thing is it hasn’t been easy to land government contracts, especially for newbies, applying for government contracts is a long, extensive process. The lead time from finding the right opportunity, to winning the contract can be anywhere from six months to two years or sometimes longer.

However, the contracting game offers no absolutes, it doesn’t apply for everybody that they need to spend that much of time to win their first contract. Sasha Elaine is a typical example here when she has won her first contract in 30 days. Before getting to the part how she did it, let’s look at her background.

Sasha Elaine – From Pink Slip to Success

Sasha started from humble beginnings, growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, and spending time in Anchorage, Alaska. Despite facing struggles as a young adult, she developed a strong work ethic and a passion for business.

With over five years of experience in the banking and finance industry, Sasha became a certified QuickBooks Online Pro Advisor and an IRS Registered Tax Professional. She also worked for three years as a tax professional with a major company.

Over the past decade, Sasha has successfully run several small businesses, gaining practical experience in managing finances. Now residing in Texas, she uses her skills and knowledge to simplify bookkeeping and help business owners maximize their income.

Besides her experience in bookkeeping, she’s also been in the military field for a while.

Sasha Elaine shared that the military has always been part of her background, with her grandparents, father, cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, and even her ex-husband all involved. Her journey spans over 20 years, and she’s been a Government Contracting employee and the GSI for the last 12 years.

Sasha Elaine sitting in chair
Courtesy: Sasha Elaine

She said, “It’s been Healthcare. I mean my degree is in business with a concentration in operations and Healthcare admin. Of course, I jumped in the military as a contractor, transferred over, got my military spouse preference, and then went GS. And then the military field for 12 years now.”

During this journey, she spent her time on working with multiple contractors.

The original employee contractor phase was with an Alaskan Native Corporation, and she has been worked with three different Alaskan Native Corporations on the government contracting side.

Later, she transitioned to GS roles, working in medical administration and nurse case management with the Wounded Warriors, where she managed 32 soldiers who returned from Landstuhl with injuries. After that, she moved to CAMO, where she managed all beneficiaries’ appointments through the appointment line.

Subsequently, she worked in benefits and eligibility, handling DEERS. Eventually, she returned to contracting and remained a full-time contractor employee until December 2023.

However, Sasha received a pink slip, which is common in the government contracting industry due to contract shifts every three to five years. Her contractor lost their bid, and while new contractors usually bring their own employees or hire existing ones, she decided to take her severance for the first time in 12 years.

This break allowed her to refocus on her business side. She learned about government contracting in 2018 through her SCORE mentor and attended an 8(a) seminar but decided against committing to a long-term contract.

Sasha is also a licensed esthetician and partnered with several barbershops, eventually opening her own studio salon for estheticians. After taking a break, she pondered re-entering the industry and decided to go for it, leveraging her experience as a barbershop owner.

“I was like, ‘Do I want to get back in the game? I don’t know. Do I want to?’ And then, of course, since I was a barbershop owner, I work a short fade, and I was like, ‘Let me go for it.’ And that’s how we’re here,” expressed Sasha Elaine.

Take on Hair Contract – 30 Days Hustle and the Taste of Heaven

After taking a break, Sasha has come back and taken on government contracts herself. The special thing about her story is she won her first contract in 30 days. Let’s break it down how she did it.

Learn and Apply – Learn from the Other People

Leveraging social media groups, YouTube videos, and podcasts was crucial to her success in preparing for her government contract proposal. By discovering Kizzy Parks on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, she tapped into a wealth of knowledge and resources specifically tailored to government contracting.

Sasha Elaine and other gov.con winners
Courtesy: Sasha Elaine

Kizzy Parks’ engaging content not only provided valuable insights into the intricacies of the contracting process but also kept her motivated and focused. She took full advantage of the practical advice and step-by-step guidance offered in these videos, integrating them into her preparation strategy.

As she mentioned, “I ate, slept, and breathed your podcasts. One was playing on the TV, one on my phone, and I was working on this for like 30-something days.”

Participation in Kizzy Parks’ social media group further enriched her learning experience. Engaging actively in the group helped her to gain a deeper understanding of the process and allowed her to build a support network.

She said, “Between all of that, I posted 13 times in the group, answered over 97 questions, and received 32 personal DM messages from February when I joined up until now.”

Through these interactions, she learned from the experiences of others, including successful contract winners like Coach Jay, whose story inspired her. The group also served as a platform to share her challenges and solutions, reinforcing her knowledge and boosting her confidence.

She said, “One night, I saw Coach Jay. He shared that his first contract win was for barbershop services, and he made $35. I thought, ‘$35, that’s not a lot,’ but I’d been in the military community for so long it wasn’t about the income. I knew I’d make money because the government always pays. I just needed to get in and bid. Coach Jay’s story touched my heart because I have family members in the FBP. I understood the struggles, like the young lady who won the vending machine contract. These things are a lot of work.”

Highlight All Her Experience in the Proposal

Highlighting her past performance in the proposal was a masterstroke in showcasing her extensive experience and reliability. With 12 years of business acumen under her belt, she meticulously crafted a detailed account of her previous work.

She transformed her skills into a compelling Microsoft Word document, aligning her personal business achievements with the stringent expectations of government contracting. As she put it, “I took the statement of work, what they were asking for, and added to it. I even broke everything down and made a binder because I’m thorough.”

To make her proposal truly shine, she included specific examples from her business operations, illustrating how she effectively managed projects, adhered to deadlines, and upheld high standards. She utilized well-developed templates and subcontractor documents, ensuring they perfectly matched the contract’s requirements.

With a background as a licensed aesthetician and shop owner, she understood the importance of blending technical skills with business acumen. “What people don’t understand is, I mean, like I said, I’m a licensed aesthetician. I work with barbers; I own the shop. Yes, they’re independent contractors, but they lack the business side of things,” she explained.

Each page was carefully initialed, and all documentation was impeccably organized, demonstrating her meticulous nature.

“I was working on everything old school, printing everything, breaking it all down. The pictures came from the points of contact. I asked them a bunch of questions. I was still learning, putting everything together. I took an example from the internet, threw it in a Word doc, and explained the direction we were leaning toward,” said Sasha Elaine.

The Taste of the First Winning Contract

After a week spent meticulously refining her proposal and exchanging questions with the point of contact, she found herself on edge, eagerly awaiting a response. It was a tense moment as she sat down to compose a follow-up email, wanting to ensure everything was in order. Just then, an unexpected notification pinged on her screen. She hesitated, almost afraid to open it, anticipating either validation or disappointment.

Sasha Elaine and a female soldier
Courtesy: Sasha Elaine

With a deep breath, she clicked open the email. Her heart raced as she scanned the words that appeared on the screen: “Congratulations, Sashi Lane LLC has been awarded Shephard Air Force Base’s government contract.” Relief washed over her, followed by a surge of joy and gratitude.

Sasha said, “I just sat there and prayed because it was a 30-day hustle, head down, and it was intense. We went back and forth multiple times, and finally, it all came together.”

She leaned back in her chair, taking a moment to reflect on the whirlwind of emotions and hard work that had led to this point.

Her contract for six months with a rollover for one year. The base has been without a salon for two years, so they had to do all the repairs. Everything is going to be brand new. It’s a two-chair salon with room for three.

“I made a point to bid on items locally so I can jump on the rad. I’m OCD and high-tech, high-touch; I want to know what’s going on. Again, this is my first contract, so I’m in for the long haul. I don’t want anything to go wrong. I made a point to bid on just local contracts in the state of Texas. Shephard Air Force Base is about four hours up the road, so everything will be brand new in there,” said Sasha.

She intends to structure it with one chair rented out for booth rent and another operated on a commission basis. This arrangement aims to secure a steady income stream. For the commission-based chair, she plans to implement the industry-standard 30-70 split, where the stylist retains 70% of their earnings. She anticipates revisiting and potentially adjusting these terms after six months. If things go according to her plan, she expects this setup to yield significant earnings, potentially reaching five figures, and even up to $20,000.

Valuable Takeaways from a Well- Seasoned

Sasha Elaine and soldiers in her salon
Courtesy: Sasha Elaine

As a well-seasoned who’s been in the game for a long time, Sasha is qualified to offer the advices that contractors, especially new ones, need to take note.

Leverage the Social Media Groups

For the ones who are completely new in the space and part of the group, Sasha recommends them tapping into the group’s resources on social medias like Kizzy Parks’ group on Facebook.

“I would say tap into the group. Do the search bar in the group, see what others have shared. Because if you’re just jumping in the group, throwing your questions, and you’re going to confuse yourself, because like you said, the information is already there. We have a beautiful community in that group, and the information’s already there.”

Social media groups are invaluable for business owners as they offer a platform for knowledge sharing, learning from industry peers, and staying updated on trends and opportunities. These groups facilitate networking and connections with potential clients and collaborators, fostering a supportive community where advice, feedback, and encouragement are readily available.

Keep it Simple is Key

Sasha also suggested that keeping everything simple is key. To that end, business owners will be able to manage things and avoid be in caught up in unnecessary situations.

She said, “Keep it simple. I’ve learned from others in the group and stuff that we all have the excitement, goals, and aspirations. But if you don’t have the business foundation set, it’s going to be hard. Entrepreneurship is hard in general, so I’ve seen like there’s so many pieces to it. And it’s just like if you just stop, slow down, and keep it simple, it’s a smooth—it’s easy, not easy, but keep it simple, definitely.”

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