Fresh Start Nominations

Nominate yourself or a woman you know who deserves a Fresh Start!

News4Jax and She Is Fierce!, a global women’s network based in St. Augustine, are partnering to transform the lives of women in North Florida with our brand new ‘Fresh Start’ series.

We know there are countless women right here in our community working hard professionally, building businesses, doing double duty as moms and caregivers and giving back every day.

Two women will be selected through our nominations process, closing Friday, May 3rd, to be featured in our upcoming ‘Fresh Start’ Series.

 

This could be perfect for you if you have a big dream related to:

  • Starting or growing a business
  • Building or scaling a nonprofit or service in the community
  • Stepping into that next level in your career and making a difference

Winners will go through She Is Fierce’s foundational ‘Impact & Influence Intensive,’ and get life and professional coaching.

They’ll be connected with mentors who will help them clarify their ideas and make a plan for success.

Plus – they’ll win a makeover, an annual membership to She Is Fierce!, and the opportunity to share their “leap of fierce” and get support from our whole North Florida community!

Nominate yourself or a woman you know who does everything for everyone else but is now ready to step into HER potential right here!

Finalists must be available to be interviewed at News4Jax between 8am-10am on May 14th, and be available to film during three Saturdays in May and June and regular video diaries.  They must also be committed to spending time working with coaches and mentors on those three days and on additional off-camera days throughout the transformation period.

Winners will also be featured on stage at the She Is Fierce! Summit on September 19th, 2019!

 

Featured Interview: Marie Forleo

 

Watch the full video below:

 

 

 

Read the Interview Transcript:

 

Kelly:                        I am so grateful to Marie for joining us and being a part of today and our B-School promotions and for sharing your wisdom with us Marie. I am just delighted to have you here, and I’ve been getting so many messages from women in our community who are ecstatic who are also followers who’ve been probably following before She is Fierce! even existed.

I just think the enthusiasm, and the excitement in our She is Fierce! community to have you here is just through the roof. So thank you for spending a little bit of your time with us in this precious period of your life. I’m very grateful.

 

Marie:                      Oh of course, thrilled to be here.

 

Kelly:                        Well I want to just take a moment, I know we’ll have lots of people will start joining us on Facebook, but I want to take a moment for those of you I’ll be shocked if you don’t know who Marie is, but if you don’t I want to just take a moment to make sure that you know how amazing this woman is that we’re speaking to.

 

Kelly:                        Marie is the founder of B-School, which you guys have probably heard a ton about, from me and from everybody else who is a successful online entrepreneur in the last few weeks. It’s something that you can see just by how enthusiastic pretty much everybody online is. I think that might be your experience Marie, is about this program and about what Marie has put together. You know, with B-School and then also I think all the amazing free resources that shared throughout the year that kind of builds up to this incredible program.

 

Marie:                      Yes.

 

Kelly:                        Yeah, and I feel like, you know, I can personally attest to the success of B-School. I’m a 2015 alum, yay, and I’ve shared my story with so many women in our community in the past, but B-School was the very first thing that I did when I started my business. I mean, the day I made a choice, I had a baby on my lap, I had a two year old, and I’m like, I’m gonna do this. I have this big idea, and what do I do next, right? I knew I had the talent or the capability but I had no idea how do you actually create something, which is the hard part.

So really just by fate, I came across your program right at that time and signed up. I just knew right away that it was something that I felt could be transformative, and I’ll be honest, I have tons of really mindset and practical questions for you. But for those of the women in our community who haven’t gotten to experience that, yet I have to say that I have a background in media, and I thought oh maybe I’m signing up for something, and I already know how to produce TV, I already know how to do these things, and is it really gonna be worth it?

For me, it was transformational. It was an experience that allowed me to get really clear on what I actually wanted to do, ’cause there’s always 1000 different paths you can take. So I want to say thank you to you Marie.

Yeah, and welcome you into our little She is Fierce! world. Those of you, yeah, who are watching for the first time, Oprah called Marie the thought leader for a new generation. She’s been on Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, has taught more than 44,000 entrepreneurs around the world, which is absolutely unbelievable, and is my personal guru, whether you know that already or not. You’re the person I turn to when I’m like, what am I gonna do next? I’m sure a lot of people say that, but it’s true for me, and I’m super excited to have you on today.

 

Marie:                      Oh thank you, I’m so honored by your words and by what you shared and I’m super grateful to be with all of you guys today. And we can dive in to questions, anything that you want to talk about. I want to make sure that everyone’s time is so valuable and that they get a ton out of our session.

 

Kelly:                        I want to start with the thing that I think is the core of your message, which is this concept of everything is figureoutable, right?

Marie:                      Yes.

 

Kelly:                        Can you talk to us about what that actually means for you in your life and how that translates for women in your community?

 

Marie:                      Yes. So this notion that everything is figureoutable, is bedrock belief. It’s a conviction that has allowed me to really tackle every single obstacle, problem, pain point, disappointment, conundrum that I have ever faced my entire life. You know when I was in high school and I was actually in a physically abusive relationship, it was the thing that helped me extract myself from that and understand all of the mechanics and then heal myself from that situation and do better next time.

When I was in college it’s what allowed me to get into the classes that I wanted despite not having the right pre-requisites and not having everything all together. It allowed me to secure work study positions that were really difficult to get to help pay my way through college. It’s helped me get every job I’ve ever had, it’s helped me figure out how to start a business when I was 23 and had no idea what the hell I was doing and was so insecure and so afraid and tens of thousands of dollars in debt after college, like many of us are.

So this one bedrock belief and conviction has literally been kind of the meta transformational key that has unlocked everything valuable in my life. Helped me save relationships, helped me rebuild when I’ve hit a wall, and so how it’s helped our community is really transferring that conviction that each of us have a potential, a whole range of potentials that we’re here to activate and to actualize.

When you believe, and you know in every fiber of your cell that everything is figureoutable, all of a sudden you can step into the unknown, you can step into industries, fields, new opportunities where you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and you can trust that, hey, I’m a beginner I’m a neophyte I’m completely inexperienced here, but I can figure it out. One of the most beneficial kind of by products, I think, of this belief is that it gives you the ability to always be a student, and always willing to learn. You’re never in a position of like no this can’t be possible, or I already know this, or this isn’t gonna work, which is a very closed down position.

Everything is figureoutable allows you to step in to whatever you want to do next, and go hey, I may not know what the hell I’m doing, but I can figure it out. Someone who’s either figured it out, and I can go, kind of type into their wisdom or their roadmap. Or if it’s completely new, I can piece something innovative together because everything in our world, the way that human history has changed is that someone thinks something is figureoutable. So at one point women didn’t have the right to vote, and then someone said nope, this is figureoutable, this should change.

Then after 100s of years of women working towards it, it finally happened in 1920, right? At one point in history we didn’t think that people could fly, they wanted to fly. It’s like someone is gonna figure it out, and eventually the Wright Brothers, you know, they made that breakthrough and then forever changed the course of our culture.

So, this notion that everything is figureoutable is kind of the bedrock of everything, and it’s especially applicable to us in our careers and our businesses. So if you have that idea in your heart, it means you already have what it takes to bring that dream to life.

 

Kelly:                        I love that, I keep that kind of close to my heart as I’ve been building a business. Of course, we, no matter what you’re doing in life you come up against roadblocks, right? One of the things that I really love about what you teach is following your purpose. Creating something that is profitable, right, as a business. Being an intelligent business owner, but also bringing the sense of purpose into what you’re doing. Can you talk a little bit about what that means for you as somebody who does it from a business perspective?

Marie:                      Yes. So I think that what we human beings crave almost more than anything else is meaning and connection. Right now there’s a statistic out there, and it’s been true for a few years, the trend has been roughly 70% of us, at least here in the U.S. are unhappy at work. Disengaged, miserable at what we’re doing day-to-day. And we’re spending the vast majority of our adult waking lives working, so that’s a problem. When you start to peel back that research a little bit, what you discover is that what people want sometimes even more than a very high salary is meaning.

We want to know that what we’re devoting our lives to each and every day is making some kind of difference, a positive difference in the world. We want to feel connected to ourself and others. So the way that, that has come about for me and our business specifically, when I first started I knew that I didn’t just want to make a ton of money because I wanted material things. I wanted to be comfortable, and to not have to stress over money, but I never wanted to have like a ton of fancy shoes or jewelry. I’m just not into that, and it’s fine if you are, it’s just not my thing that makes me happy.

But what does make me happy, is creating possibilities for other people. Just seeing the state of the world that we’re in, and understanding the vast income and equality and how many problems there are that frankly financial resources can help to fix. I mean, we have to fix things on a level of consciousness as well, but there’s also other pieces that we you direct more resources in that direction you can actually see some positive change and some growth.

For me, since I started my business I always wanted it to have a greater impact than just even the change I was making in peoples lives, to help them make, through my coaching. I wanted it to have an even bigger ripple effect. When B-School came about, 10 years ago, I realized that most of the people that I was talking to and that I was attracting through my work had similar goals and values. They didn’t want to just be successful just to have a ton of cash sitting in the bank, or to have jet planes or fancy cars. My folks tend not to be into those things quite as much, but what they really wanted was to make a difference in their community.

Or to make sure that their kids had an education and then their kids, kids had an education. Or they saw some issue on some other side of the world that broke their heart, and they wanted to be able to go over there, or write a check, or devote their idea capital or their time or use their platform to help make positive change.

B-School, or tag line is “Make money, change the world.” What we focus a lot in the program is how to teach people to use their unique gifts and strengths to not only grow a business that makes sense money wise, meaning that it’s actually profitable, but it’s meaningful. That it has a deeper purpose and that purpose is up to you. We had one B-Schooler come in it was earlier on in her business, she’s been around for a while, so I’m thinking of her.

She was a nutritionist at this time, and she loves trees, and planting trees and the environment. Through the program she’s like oh wow I didn’t really realize that not only could I do all of this raw food nutrition work but that I could also support and plant more trees and have it connected. She didn’t really see herself as a philanthropist, because she thought she had to be much further ahead and be making all this more money before she was able to actually tie purpose into her business.

I was like no, you can actually do this now. Starting small doesn’t mean thinking small. So one of the things that we walk people through in B-School are all the different ways that you can connect your business to your deeper purpose, and it provides so much meaning and inspiration and creativity when people start to link these things up. It’s just not something that we talk about, and you don’t have to be a social entrepreneur per se to do it, and you don’t have to be a non-profit or for purpose business to do it. You can do it as a for profit business. There are so many different iterations of that and it’s really, really fun when people start to realize how much power they have right now.

Kelly:                        I love that. I have to say that I brag about you to people when people talk to me a lot, they ask oh, are you a non-profit? Because they assume because we’re doing a lot of things that are of service, because we work with a lot of non-profits that we are a non-profit. For me, I feel like that’s been a really powerful message that you can create something for yourself, right, you can do something that’s beneficial to you and you can have this greater impact to everybody else. I want to talk about potential.

 

Kelly:                        That’s certainly what I’ve been talking about to women in our community, I know your sharing that with all the people in your community right now. I heard you say something recently that I just loved, and it’s a simple thing, but it’s just “Take yourself seriously, and then do the work.”

So what does that actually mean to you? I think that’s the biggest challenge, right, we have all these people that are probably watching right now thinking I have this big dream, I have all this possibility, I know I have all this potential, but what is it actually mean for me to translate that into something?

 

Marie:                      Yeah, so taking yourself seriously, and I didn’t hear the second tail end of it.

Kelly:                       “And then do the work.”

Marie:                      Yes. It’s really about ownership, and owning these gifts that you’ve been given. So, one of my other beliefs is that every single one of us is on this planet for a reason, that there’s no extra people. That you have been given a unique set of gifts and talents and strengths. You have a unique perspective, unique stories, unique quirks, personality, and there has never been and there never will be another you. This unique expression that you are on this earth you have to do everything possible to share these gifts, ’cause that’s really why were here is to give to others.

Owning that and taking yourself seriously means putting this flag in the stand to say I am here to contribute and to create and I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m gonna do everything in my power to get those things out there in a way that’s aligned with my values and my heart. Doing the work, it’s not cute all the time. It’s hard, it’s gonna be difficult. You’re gonna bump into resistance, you’re gonna feel afraid, you might even feel like, oh I don’t know if I’m doing that right, but I think what’s so lovely about B-School Kelly, is that when you put yourself in this environment in this program you are surrounded by people who are stepping up to be more courageous.

You’re surrounded by people who are taking responsibility for their gifts, what they want to offer the world, and putting it out there. So they’re experimenting, they’re gonna try certain things that will work and they’ll try certain things that don’t work. But when you’re by yourself, kind of off in your own silo, it can get really lonely. You can get swallowed in what I like to call a Tsunami of self doubt where you pull back.

But doing the work, and I think doing the work in community, meaning your doing the work by yourself, ain’t no one gonna come and sit down at your table and hold your hand and actually make you, you know, take your pen out, do the exercises.

 

Kelly:                        You’re not gonna do that for me Marie?!

 

Marie:                      I’m not gonna do that for you, ’cause it is a group coaching program. Honestly, I think it does people a disservice. It cuts off how powerful they really are. It’s not just about one extreme or the other, you don’t have to be this lone wolf. You have to do your work, you have to show up every day, but you can also show up in community with people. So that when you hit these tough spots, and we all hit them. I still hit them to this day.

But you have other people to connect with, to reflect with, to get some perspective, ’cause you all know, right, when you get into a funky place and we all get to scared funky places, you can kind of talk yourself into a tizzy and into this scared place. Someone will go, oh wait hold on a second, we need to get some perspective here. Let’s just get grounded in what’s reality and what may be a story, and then let’s refocus our energies on what we can do and what can be productive and what can move us ahead.

I think that’s one of the most powerful pieces of B-School. So, yes, you do have to do the work. You have to take yourself seriously, you have to take ownership of this and there’s been no better time in history for us to do this especially for women. Obviously what we teach in B-School is not based in gender, I just happen to attract a large proportion of powerful women and I think that’s many of us need ’cause we haven’t had many role models like that for most of our lives.

And to put yourself in the kind of community like that were people are generous, they’re supportive, they’re kind, they’re positive, they want you to win, there’s no backbiting or cliquey kind of stuff, no competition. It’s like, no there’s more than enough to go around. It’s amazing Kelly, how that can propel you even further than you would have gone on your own.

 

Kelly:                        Yeah, I love what you are sharing, and I have to say that, that is a huge principle that I took away from B-School and that we definitely bring into She is Fierce! community and to all of the different people that we partner with. I will be honest though, I did not come into entrepreneurship thinking I want to be an entrepreneur. I thought, I have this amazing idea I want to elevate woman stories. My background’s in media so I know there’s a way to do it. I want to bring this to life, but I’m not sure what that looks like. I had asked lots of people for permission and had been at lots of big international networks and not gotten permission to do it.

So I thought, I’ll just try this on my own. But one of my biggest fears speaks to what you are talking about, which is, if you become an entrepreneur then are you in competition? So I love what you’re sharing about this idea of it’s about collaboration it’s about being with like minded people. I know certainly my experience with B-School members has been absolutely about that. Watching other people rise, and instead of thinking, uh I’m down because I see their success, you think what is the ‘possibility’?

 

Marie:                      Yes. One of my other beliefs is there’s more than enough to go around. Meaning there’s more than enough opportunity, there’s more than enough clients, there’s more than enough customers, there’s more than enough money, there’s more than enough love, there’s more than enough creativity. [inaudible 00:36:02] people are like, oh I’m gonna run out of ideas for my free content, what am I gonna talk about on Instagram, or what am I gonna talk about in my email newsletter, what I am gonna talk about on my show or my webinar or whatever it is that folks share for free in a new world. I’m like, honey don’t worry about that ’cause that’s coming from a scarcity mindset as though you’re gonna run out.

You have a well within you. You are tapped in to complete infinite … you can’t run out of the juice that’s inside of your heart. ‘Cause you’re connected to something greater, and when people really shift that paradigm, everything opens up. Especially around competition. [inaudible 00:36:35] that way. If you think about it, in terms of cookbooks, sometimes when I’m interested in a new type of cuisine or a new type of eating, I don’t just buy one cookbook. I buy all the cookbooks, right? So that maybe, quote un quote competitors in a certain [inaudible 00:36:52] but they’re not. I’m buying this one, I’m buying this one, I’m happy to take it in. Same thing in self-help and personal development.

When you’re interested in a topic, let’s say it’s productivity, you’re not gonna buy just one productivity book, you’re gonna buy all the productivity books, ’cause you want to get these different points of view and these different perspectives and they’re all rich and beautiful in their own unique way. For someone starting a business or thinking like, oh it’s all been done before, it’s like, nope scarcity minded not a great place to come from, and it’s just factually not true.

 

Kelly:                        Yeah, I think that principle is at the heart of successful online entrepreneurship, because if somebody is out there just trying to do it all by themselves, you’re stuck in a little bubble, and you don’t have this potential. One of the other things that I wanted to ask you about, and I know you share some insights on this often, but I know we’ll have people that are watching right now who are thinking, well that’s all very well for Marie, she’s amazing look what she did. Or that’s all very well for Kelly, she was able to turn it into something, but I’ve been trying, and I’m struggling because I’m trying to find the people that will buy what I have to sell. Or I’m trying to figure out what … where my next paycheck is coming from, which is a tough thing to be in. It’s a tough place to be in.

 I really love, and I know I tried to ascribe to this, that you share, which is about finding a way to add value. Can you talk a little bit about how to get out of that scarcity mindset and start to think about how you’re adding value?

Marie:                      Absolutely, so there’s a couple components to this. The underpinning is always making your business, and your life frankly about what you can give not what you can get. It’s a complete paradigm shift where you’re always looking for how you can be of service. How you can help, how you can add. Now someone understandably be like, look I don’t have enough myself I just need to get, get, get right now. That energy is part of what holds the whole back.

Now I’ll say this, for most of us again we’re not independently wealthy, which I was not. When I was starting out, I needed to keep my side jobs, which was bartending, waiting tables, being a personal assistant, cleaning toilets, I do so many different things to have money coming in so that in my coaching business what I could put out was a generous energy.

Because I wasn’t worried about keeping a roof over my head, or having enough money to buy my little mac ‘n cheese in my Kraft boxes, because that’s what I was eating a lot of at that time. I could coach clients from a place of abundance because I wasn’t relying on them for my income. I was letting my income come in through other sources and when I could build up my confidence, also build up my rates, you know what I mean? So you have to do what have to do.

There’s actually a study out, American Management Journal, they tracked about 5000 entrepreneurs over 14 years, and they found that those who kept their day jobs while starting a business were 33% less likely to fail. I thought that’s an interesting-

Kelly:                        I believe it, absolutely.

 

Marie:                      So for many of us, right, there’s some people that are built like this if they burn the bridges, and they’re like, I must make money. That’s how they rise, they’re just unique souls that, that’s where they come to life, and they make it happen. That’s how their DNA is built, I’m not like that, I’m more risk [inaudible 00:40:07]. If you need to keep a roof over your head, you can start your business on the side. You can start small, you can do it a few hours a week, you can dip your toe in the water, B-School will help you do that ’cause it’s a take it at your own pace kind of program.

We’ve had many, many people … no one comes into B-School, quite honestly Kelly, with I got 10 hours a day, I’m just gonna hang out and do nothing and just absorb all this B-School. No, we’ve got kids, we’ve got families, we’ve got full-time jobs, we’ve got illnesses, we’ve got a whole host of challenges and things to navigate.

Frankly, some of my most productive time in life is when I’m the busiest. If you want something done, give it to a busy person. That’s right for a reason, because you’re very structured about your time, so you don’t waste a lot of it. If you have a pocket of an hour or two you’re gonna spend it on something that really makes a difference and moves the needle ahead.

So the answer that question, it’s about that underpinning of energy to make it about what you can give, not about what you can get. When you come from that space of generosity it’s an intangible energy that people sense and two, if you need to work out the money thing, it is fine to take it slow. Studies show that you may be actually giving yourself an advantage because you can take care of some of the core financials without having that neediness in your business at first.

 

Kelly:                        I honestly love that advice. It’s something that I did not do myself, so I can’t speak from experience. I had two small children, and I was like I can only balance these things. Yet, the advice that I give to everyone is, keep another income stream coming so that you can find that value in yourself more quickly. So I just love that.

So I want to ask you, as we kind of are coming to a little bit of close, just to talk about what I think everybody struggles with. At some point, no matter how successful you are, or if your kind of just at the beginning or your journey, we all come to these upper limits or these mental blocks and we have this fear of failure or sometimes a fear of success. I know I’ve heard you speak about this before, and I know that you, I’m sure, have been through many different barriers like this.

I was wondering if you can share some of your tips and tricks for people who are just starting out and thinking oh my gosh, I have this big dream and then for people who … people like me who are like wow, I’ve been able to turn it into something, how do I get to that next level and overcoming those challenges?

 

Marie:                      Yeah, so I think one important identifier is we all fail. We are all gonna flop, we’re all gonna face plant. I’ve done it, I still do it, I will continue to do it. It means that I’m trying new things, it means that I’m innovating, it means that I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. So you have to know, that it’s not a glitch in your journey, it’s a feature, it’s a must have feature if you are going to do big things in this world.

Honestly, I’m actually writing about this in my book right now, failure, it’s a first attempt in learning. It’s a faithful attempt in learning for many of us. So if we can reframe that and just see it as hey, we’re learning, we’re trying something it’s not permanent. We had a brilliant woman named Judge Victoria Pratt on the show, she’s incredible, and she said something great. She’s like, failure is an event it’s not a person and not a characteristic.

It helps us depersonalize this and recognize that it is something that we all experience, but you don’t have to stay there. So that’s on that side, so just realize if you’re fucking up, that’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing, ’cause it means you’re putting yourself out there, and you’re learning. Now on the flip side, like the fear of success, I think when it comes to that fear it’s like you have to drill down. One of the biggest challenges around our fears is that we let them remain vague and amorphous in our minds.

Actually take the time to write down what am I actually afraid of and why. What’s the worst thing that could happen here? You don’t just think about it, you articulate it on the page. What you do is you give yourself a chance to objectively look at it, to A, evaluate what’s the likelihood of this actually happening, ’cause most the time it’s not very likely. And two, how would I deal with it if this fear did come true? How would I recover, how would I get back on my feet, how could I mitigate against it happening in the first place?

So there’s magic that happens when we actually take the time to address our fears on paper, not from a place of hysterics, but from a place of just calm expression and inquisitiveness and curiosity. That’s how I would suggest on a tactical level to tackle those things and then just to remember if you are making progress in your life, if you are doing new things, yes are you gonna fail, quote un quote, you’re gonna have a flop, you’re gonna have a misstep. All it means is that you’re growing and learning, it’s actually a positive sign.

 

Kelly:                       I know we are coming to the close ’cause you have got so much going on right now. I want to just ask you, is there any … on our She is Fierce! stage we’ve had all these amazing women who come on stage, and I always ask them, you know, after they share their story, what is the one message that you hope that the women in our community can just take to heart? I know we have so many people who are watching or engaging who are looking for just your inspiration. So what would you say to people who are like, ‘okay this could be my chance, let ME do something.’ So what would you say to them?

 

Marie:                      I would say, if you have a product, a service, or an idea that you believe in your heart of hearts can help change another person’s life that you know this needs to be out in the world, please for the love of all things holy, learn how to market and sell that idea. Otherwise, you are stealing from those who need you most. There’re people like that out there right now, with pain points, with dreams and aspirations that you have a solution for. Or you have a product or service for that could help them get to that next level. If you play small, if you hold back, if you stay in your fear, you are literally stealing from them.

So whether you learn from me, or you learn from someone else, these are the skillsets of the future of being a modern creative of participating in livelihood in a way that is aligned with your heart and your values. Obviously I’m biased because I’ve been doing B-School now for 10 years, we’ve had 44,000 people from over 564 industries go through the program from over 139 countries. So the reason I say that is its battle tested, it’s proven. We know that it works, if you resonate with our style come please join us, but even if you don’t commit to yourself to learn these skills because it is what will help you share your gifts with those who need it most.

 

Kelly:                        Thank you so much Marie, I am so grateful for your time and so grateful for you just being a part our world, and I know the women in our community are as well. So thank you and good luck. For those of you who are dying to get into B-School, I’ve been getting a lot of emails from people asking questions, you can find our link it’s above us on Facebook, or I’ll send out an email right after this and check out our bonus, you can get one on one coaching with me, you will get Marie’s phenomenal wisdom, which I didn’t even have time to go into some of the incredible things that I learned in B-School. I will do that separately, and Marie thank you again for joining me!

 

 

Obstacles to Overcome When Starting a New Business

Obstacles to Overcome When Starting a New Business

Mompreneurs, business ladies, women with ambition, or simply those who just have an idea waiting to be realized – you know the many troubles of kick-starting your own business in this modern-day climate. It’s fast-paced, hectic, and very crowded when it comes to competition, so in addition to being original and true to your values, you need to come up with a whole slew of solutions to preempt problems in the first place. While some of them are simply common-sense, others are known only to those who’ve already dipped their toes in the entrepreneurial pond of innovation.

However, if you’re not familiar with the current business eco-system, keep reading to get up to speed and prepare yourself in order to overcome those obstacles with more resolve and knowledge!

Master the art of funding

Women-owned firms tend to have a harder time finding investors due to prejudice, but this doesn’t mean you should EVER give up. On the contrary, when you start hunting for the perfect source of funding, you should widen your net and keep it diverse. From angel investors, bank and independent loans, all the way to crowdfunding platforms, make sure to do your homework and look for various ways in which you can give your business a stable financial backbone. You can even talk to your friends and family and see if they’d be up for pitching in until you start turning a profit.

Get practical with your budget

Once you’ve found the best possible way to fund your business, you need to allocate your budget wisely in order to support optimal growth. For starters, that may mean you need an office space, and to cut costs, you can work in a shared office space instead of committing to a more costly rental contract. On the other hand, you can consider working remotely with the rest of your team.

To add to that, you may need to be on the go very frequently to conduct meetings, presentations, reach out to clients, and work with your partners such as manufacturers or web developers. In that case, finding cheap car hire options can make much more sense for your budget than purchasing a vehicle of your own. You’ll save on maintenance fees, upkeep, and various unforeseen issues that tend to pop up.

Stay healthy

One of the most common issues so many business folk face in the early years of their journey is balancing their personal and professional life. That’s a difficult task even with a steady job, let alone when you’re struggling to find clients or deal with a website crisis every week. Who has time to think about cooking or hitting the gym, right?

Still, by investing time in essential self-care, you’ll actually invest in your business, too. You’ll have much more energy every day, fewer sick days ahead, more confidence for those tough negotiations, and better focus to muscle through those difficult tasks.

Find the right teammates

A one-woman operation is an excellent choice as long as you can handle the workload without it affecting your wellbeing. As soon as you notice your life is literally turning into work, you should take a moment to see which tasks you can delegate, and which portions of your business (such as bookkeeping or SEO campaigns) you can outsource to experts.

Whether you want to expand your local team or you’re open for working with freelancers from all over the world, you need to be careful to find people that will match your values and your brand identity. They might be an excellent hire from a professional perspective, but if they don’t have the soft skills you need to keep building your company, then you need to look further.

Keep growing

On that note, much like you need your future employees and business partners to be able to keep up with the market changes and customer needs, you also need to make room for personal growth. In fact, you need to invest in yourself in every way possible as you build your business, so that you can always have an innovative edge with your brand.

No matter how busy your life may get, take some time to develop your own interests, visit conferences, take courses, learn something new, or talk to new people. You’ll transfer all of that knowledge into your business mindset and allow it to utilize your skills in all the best ways!

 

 

Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She writes as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.

 

 

7 Ways to Mentor Female Entrepreneurs

 

7 Ways to Mentor Female Entrepreneurs

The concept of ‘girl code’ has applications in the business environment too. Who is better placed to know the challenges faced by a female entrepreneur than a female entrepreneur?

The playing fields are not always even. Despite much progress, there is still a great deal of male privilege in many industries. Having someone who understands the challenges, offering mentorship is a great advantage. For established female entrepreneurs, the opportunity to share expertise and soft skills are greatly satisfying.

A competent mentor can make the difference between success and failure for emerging female entrepreneurs.

Here are some examples of how female entrepreneurs can mentor budding businesswomen:

Encouraging the female entrepreneur to take the risk

Jill Griffin’s post speaks a lot about taking risks when it comes to business. Many women have great ideas. A lack of courage or an unhealthy dose of self-doubt often causes women to give up without trying. Entrepreneurship requires taking large risks to seek larger rewards.

Griffin’s book, Women Make Great Leaders, tells the story of many women who took the leap of faith. Mentorship is essential prior to the launch of a business. Women must be encouraged by successful entrepreneurs to take the risk.

Risk means a chance of success with an equal possibility of failure. Griffin feels that while success is the goal, failure along the way also serves as a series of valuable lessons.

Mentors should be proactive in their approach to mentoring young female entrepreneurs

Female entrepreneurs achieve success after a lot of hard work. Seeing other women trying to succeed, the established entrepreneur need not wait to be approached for mentorship.

Offering to mentor someone might be an answer to prayer. Many people are too afraid to ask for help. The fear of being rejected or ridiculed is high.

Women who approach others seeking success and offer to mentor them can make a difference. Proactive mentors seek out women who might need guidance. Indicating an open-door policy could encourage a woman to seek help from a mentor. That opening move creates an opportunity for a mentoring relationship to begin.

Mentoring in a group is a good idea

One-on-one contact can be very intense and might be intimidating. The idea of having someone so successful focusing 100% on her might make a woman feel overwhelmed. Group mentoring sessions could prove more successful. A mentor can create a platform where women can meet. The women may be experiencing similar challenges.

The mentor plays more of a facilitating role. She starts the session, gives advice and guidance, and then opens the floor to discussion.

The mentees have valuable time to network and gain strength from others having similar experiences. The mentor is also able to share valuable information with more than one person at a time. This helps the mentor to reach as many women as possible.

Give honest feedback even when it’s negative

One of the most important aspects of a mentoring relationship is feedback. Mentees need to learn from their successes and mistakes. Having a mentor who shies away from pointing out shortcomings is not doing the mentee any favors.

In the relationship, successes must be celebrated. Failures must also be discussed, and advice is given on how to proceed.

EssayOnTime project manager Jen Atkins says that her mentor was never shy to tell her where she’d gone wrong. “Her honesty and constructive criticism gave me the tools I needed to succeed,” Atkins declared. A mentor should share with a mentee some areas for development for the purposes of learning and improvement.

Formalize the mentor-mentee relationship

Carol Rodz writes about mentoring as a way to help an entrepreneur and suggests making the relationship official. She writes, “In order for a mentor relationship to grow and evolve, it must be formalized at some point.”

This is sound advice for mentors and mentees. At first, the discussions may be informal. The mentor and mentee can establish a sound relationship.

The mentee can ask the mentor to make the interaction official. Alternatively, the mentor might offer to do so.

Formalizing the relationship allows both parties to discuss mutual expectations and schedule regular sessions. The mentor and mentee can decide on a comfortable mode of communication and set objectives for the mentorship process.

Share real-life experiences as part of the mentorship

The mentoring process is not about theory alone. Women want to hear that others have had similar struggles and get advice on what to do. Sharing gender-related frustrations is an essential part of the process.

The mentee should feel free to ask questions about overcoming these obstacles. The mentor can tell the mentee about encountering similar experiences and triumphing.

Gender-related issues are still a struggle for many female entrepreneurs. Despite gender equity legislation in many countries, women still struggle. Male-dominated industries are hard for women to break into. Women have traditional responsibilities like housekeeping and childrearing to contend with while climbing the ladder to success. Discussing how to balance it all will give the mentee strength to persevere.

Empathic mentoring is an effective approach

An empathic approach is helpful for female mentors seeking to guide and help female entrepreneurs. The approach requires a mentor to show the mentee that she can put herself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathic mentoring makes the mentee feel reassured and secure in the relationship. Feeling safe in the space created by the mentor will make the mentee more likely to share everything instead of holding back.

Empathic mentoring is an approach known to create a long-term relationship. The skills needed for this approach may not come naturally to the mentor. They can be developed with time and patience. This makes it a worthwhile skillset that a mentor can, in turn, pass on to a mentee.

To Conclude

Mentoring is a great responsibility. Mentors can learn much from the process as well. Sharing expertise and skills is vital as these will help the mentee succeed. Many mentors use the opportunity to mentor to foster self-growth and rediscover themselves in the process. A female entrepreneur who has felt a need to mentor someone should take the leap of faith and do it. Those who might not have should consider doing so. Another woman’s life may be forever changed by it.

 

Serena Dorf is a content writer in Los Angeles. She is passionate about writing, personal development, education, and marketing. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.

 

 

 

Dare to Ask Yourself the Big Questions

Dare to Ask Yourself the Big Questions

 

For as long as I can remember, I have tried to follow the “right” path and take all the “right” steps. I took school (very) seriously. Never got in trouble. Filled my plate with extracurriculars.  Everything society tells you is important was important to me. Maybe too important. This led to a lot of accomplishments but concurrently, a life of anxiety and stress…and not necessarily happiness.

 

I kept myself busy, always going, always moving forward to the next thing – college (4 years), grad school (4 years), then the next logical step, pursuing licensure…another 2 years minimum. Passions of mine like dance and theatre got pushed aside because they weren’t realistic options and the opportunities weren’t there where I grew up in Florida. Plus, I was good at school.

 

Upon graduating with my M.A., I was offered an incredible full-time job at Rollins College, my alma mater and dream school. No way I could pass that up. Additionally, I was offered part-time work at my counseling supervisor’s private practice where I could begin accumulating hours toward licensure with supervision included. I’d be crazy to pass that up, right? And just like that, my schedule consisted of a 8:30am-5:00pm full-time job, rushing to see clients at the private practice (almost running over Paul McCartney but that’s a story for another time) from 5:30-9:00pm, shower, maybe an hour tops to unwind…and up early for 7:00am boot camp if I wanted to get a workout in.

 

It was too much. But I had essentially been working like this since birth. Told that hard works pay off. But when? I had a lot going for me but I was not happy and started to question what I was even working toward anymore. Lost site of my end goal. Pushing forward without asking questions had just become second nature. When I finally stopped to breathe and ask the big questions, it dawned on me…life is short. I didn’t want to get stuck. We only have one life to live and I wanted to fully experience mine.

 

I started thinking about where else it might be exciting to live. Apart from a small stint in London for a semester study abroad in college and that time my family almost moved to Belgium when I was 8, I’d never lived anywhere other than Florida. I didn’t want to live a life with regrets, never knowing what could have been. That sounded much worse to me than any alternative so, I leapt. I gave notice at my jobs, cleared out the apartment I’d lived in for 10 years (including all the awards I’d racked up and thought were so important over the years), packed up my (small) car with whatever I could fit, and drove to NYC, without a place, without a job, without knowing anyone there. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

 

I made the move with a lot of unanswered questions and blanks to fill in (and spoiler alert, though I don’t want to say too much because there’s a whole book on this to come) but it all came together, one day, one step at a time. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life and I experienced all of the stages and emotions but it was worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears. People will think you’re crazy. You will start to think you’re crazy. But don’t let that stop you. Grab ahold of your life strongly with both hands. It’s about more than your job, your house, your car, your possessions. None of it means anything if your quality of life isn’t there. Is something missing? It’s never too late. Sure, it’s scary. I get it. But that’s half the fun. You will figure it out, I promise.

Angela is an actor and influencer in NYC. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Angela toured the U.S. as bassist and vocalist for alternative rock band SMB Project and is passionate about advocacy and activism. She is a lover of fitness, music, the beach, breakfast, traveling, and thrift store shopping. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @angelabelcamino

Cozy up Your Reading Nook – A Book Lover’s Dream

 

The reading nook. Every home deserves to have one in this chaotic day and age. When the day is done and the stress of the outside world starts to slowly dissipate into the unknown, the last thing we want to do is to try to relax by once again staring at a smartphone screen or watching TV. Instead, you need to rest properly on an emotional, physical, and psychological level.

 

A good book can help you achieve this and so much more. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon just for you, or a quick reading session before you turn in for the night, letting yourself go to the comfort and serenity of a romantic reading nook with a book in hand can be a truly restorative experience. Here is how to create such a setting in your own home.

 

 

Start with the lighting

 

Aside from mere illumination, lighting in interior design is used to set the mood in the room, accentuate certain features, and help the right kind of vibes imbue the space with that romantic homey vibe. When it comes to designing the perfect reading nook, lighting will play a vital role.

 

You could just read under the base overhead light that’s already in the room, but that would be a terrible waste of your riding nook’s aesthetic potential. Instead, turn off the chandelier and introduce dedicated lighting for this area. When you’re reading in the daytime, natural light should gracefully fall onto the seating area without making it too hot and without producing a glare from the windows and the surrounding decor, so be sure to balance the light beams with beautiful curtains or natural blinds on the windows.

 

The setting area is your focal point

 

Of course, the main spot in the reading nook is the seating area, and this can be anything from a cozy armchair with an ottoman, or even an entire couch other family members can enjoy with you. No matter the arrangement, this piece of furniture should be designed for maximum comfort – meaning that it should not only be fluffy, but supportive as well.

 

Choose sturdy leather upholstery for skeletal support, and then accentuate with throw pillows and cozy blankets later on. Complete the seating area with a wooden side table where you can lay down your book and other reading necessities.

 

Cozy up the setting with layered rugs

 

They are key to creating a reading nook of ultimate coziness (go ahead and write that in stencil on the wall behind it), lies in leaving no surface uncovered, especially the floors. There is a distinct difference between a reading nook with bare hardwood flooring, and one that enjoys the cozy vibe emanating from the fluffiness of the surrounding carpets.

 

With that in mind, consider positioning your armchair and ottoman on a soft Moroccan, and then layer strategically by putting accent round rugs right beneath your feet to create a cozy landing spot. It’s little accents like these that will make a beautiful, romantic reading nook come to life.

 

 

 

Surround yourself with books

 

Whether or not you will be able to truly surround yourself with books will depend on the amount of space you’re working with – sometimes, a reading nook is just a chair, a free standing lamp, and a corner. Nevertheless, there is always a way to strengthen that “intimate oasis” feel.

 

For instance, you can mount floating shelves on the walls next to you and put the books on your reading list on them so that you always have a good read close at hand. If you have plenty of space, on the other hand, then go ahead and position your seating arrangement right next to a grand bookshelf.

 

 

Don’t forget about pillows and throws

 

Now is the time to add the finishing touches to your romantic reading nook. Your lighting scheme is spot-on, the upholstery is not too soft or to rigid, the floors are radiating coziness, now you only have to add pillows and blankets to the mix.

 

This might seem like a simple task, but bear in mind that these additions can easily clutter up the look, so be frugal in your approach and only add the pieces that will enrich the reading nook in aesthetics and comfort. This can be a single chunky-knit blanket complemented by two accent pillows – one to support your lower back, and one to support good head posture.

 

The reading nook doesn’t get the praise and recognition it deserves in the modern household, and it’s time we brought this amazing restorative piece back into our daily lives. With these tips in mind, you will have no problem creating a romantic reading nook the entire family will love.

 

 

 

 

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”