I had this idea a while back to start a series on my blog where I would share the ins and outs of what it really is like being a small business owner, so I started The Hustle Project. My intention is to share what I have learned, what I am learning about being self-employed and to have conversations here that I normally would have with clients or friends over coffee – talking about business, tricks of the trade, travel, food and of course life and how we meld it all together. I am so excited to share with you my first Coffee Date! Meet Carrie Green, the CEO and founder of The Female Entrepreneur Association. We met after being placed as roommates for Designer Vaca last year. Her sister (a designer) was supposed to go, but then last minute couldn’t make it and since Carrie was living in the States at the time, she filled in. We had an epic road trip, got really good at drinking margaritas by the pool and scheming over business goals and dreams. She is one of the most driven people I have ever met (she recently received the 2014 Great Britain Entrepreneur Champion of the year award, interviewed Gabby Bernstein & Mastin Kipp recently (as in 3 days ago!) and has grown a community of over 200,000 female entrepreneurs in just two years) so needless to say I am thrilled to have her be the first in this A Coffee Date series…..
GOOD MORNING, CARRIE! NOW THAT I HAVE MY CAPPUCCINO AND YOU HAVE YOUR ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA, IN A NUTSHELL, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?
Good Morning! I’m Carrie Green and my business is the Female Entrepreneur Association, which is an online platform for helping women from around the world to build successful businesses.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WORKING FOR YOURSELF AND WHAT WAS THE TIPPING POINT THAT MADE YOU DECIDE YOU WERE REALLY GOING TO GO FOR IT?
I started my first business in 2005, after running out of money while I was studying at university… it seemed like a way better option than selling sweets at Cirque Du Soleil (which was the only other option). I started with an idea, but zero clue how to turn it into a reality, so I asked as many questions as possible to people who I thought would be able to help me, I also read books and took courses and took massive action to figure it all out. In fact I’ve spent the past 10 years fiddling around trying to figure things out!
SO THROUGH ALL OF YOUR LEARNING AND QUESTIONING, WHAT IS ONE SKILL OR TOOL YOU’VE SEEN DIRECTLY LEAD TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Facebook. It’s an amazing platform. I know people talk all the time about how you shouldn’t waste time growing your Facebook fans, because you don’t own them and you should focus instead on building your email list, and I agree to an extent, but the power of Facebook is the ability to target your perfect customer. I spent years building up a big following and now whenever I have anything I want to promote I can make sure my audience see it by posting about it and advertising to my fans. It converts insanely well.
YES! I LOVE YOUR #FOLLOWFRIDAY THAT YOU DO ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE…I HAVE MET SOME AMAZING LADIES THERE. HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY NETWORK AND HOW CAN OTHERS DO SO ONLINE WITHOUT COMING OFF CREEPY?
By adding ridiculous amounts of value. Focus on what you can do to help other people, rather than thinking about what you can get. It’s about building relationships, friendships and trust. Be authentic, be caring and go above and beyond to delight people and I’m telling you now, you’ll build up an audience of raving fans.
I LOVE “GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO DELIGHT PEOPLE.” AHH, THAT’S SUCH A GREAT WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT. YOU HAVE DONE AN AMAZING JOB AT BUILDING UP A LARGE, LOYAL FOLLOWING FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND YOU HAVE CONNECTED SO MANY ENTREPRENEURS, BUT I AM SURE YOU HAVE THOSE MOMENTS WHERE THE LITTLE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD TELLS YOU SOMETHING LIKE, “YOU SHOULD PROBABLY GET A REAL JOB ALREADY” AND OTHER LOVELY THINGS LIKE THAT. WHAT DOES YOUR DEFEATED VOICE SAY TO YOU?
Haha, where do I begin?! That negative committee in my head tell me a lot of nonsense frequently… why’s it taking me so long? What if people think what I create is stupid? Who am I to write it/create it/say it? … the usual really!
WHAT TACTICS HAVE YOU FOUND WORK TO GET THE NEGATIVE COMMITTEE TO QUITE DOWN SO YOU CAN KEEP GOING?
By making a conscious decision to take control. It’s the only way. What I focus my thoughts and energy on is my choice, so only I can stop those negative thoughts. Sometimes I will literally say “stop” in my head if the negative thoughts are taking over. I also like to condition my mind for success by doing visualizations, meditations, reading and focusing on being grateful.
I THINK THAT IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT THING WE ALL NEED TO DO MORE OF…REMEMBERING TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES…HUGE! DURING THE READING, FOCUSING, VISUALIZATION TIME, DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
The biggest source of inspiration for me are the people who submit their story to FEA for us to publish or the people who are in our Facebook group – I love reading their updates about what they’ve managed to achieve, it’s incredible.
OKAY, HONESTLY, WHAT DOES YOUR DAY LOOK LIKE IN REAL LIFE, AND WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE IT TO LOOK LIKE?
I’m a bit of a workaholic and a night owl, so I find that I wake up later than I should and I work until late at night!! Some things I do consistently are writing in my journal at night, thinking about 3 things I’m grateful for before going to sleep and doing visualizations and meditations. Also spend a lot of time working at the weekends, but I think it’s because it doesn’t really feel like work! I love what I do and I’m excited to work on developing it all. That being said, I want to start focusing more on self care, doing more exercise and allowing myself to take time away from my business.
I PERSONALLY DON’T BELIEVE IN REGRETS AND LOOKING BACK AND WANTING TO CHANGE THINGS, BUT I THINK FOR LEARNING PURPOSES IT’S HELPFUL, HA. SO IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY WHEN YOU WERE FIRST BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?
I’m not really sure. I guess I could have started to proactively build my email list sooner, but I think everything else evolved at the right time.
YEA I LOVE THAT, ‘CAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT TIMING. HOW DO YOU PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
I’m always thinking about how I can grow and develop things. I plan to make my ideas happen by getting really clear about what specifically I want to make happen and then I break it down into doable steps. I make a big plan for the year, then I plan for the quarter in more detail and then I set my goals and intentions for the month, the week and the day. Each week I create a business timetable for myself, so I know what I need to do and when I need to do it. I would be all over the place without it!!
OKAY LASTLY, WHAT IS YOUR LIFE MOTTO?