Entrepreneur Spotlight: Nikole Stephenson

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we have the awesome content creation & online marketing specialist for solopreneurs, Nikole Stephenson.

Hi Nikole, What’s your business name and what’s your business all about?

My business is Computer Blue Media. I do content creation and online marketing for solopreneurs in the “helping” and “healing” fields–think therapists, health and wellness experts, coaches… that kind of thing.  

My business name is sort of funny….I knew from the get-go that I didn’t want to use my name, although I can’t really articulate why. I had this huge list of possible names, but they all sounded like I was trying way too hard to sound clever and I was also afraid of pigeon-holing myself. My partner was like, “Why don’t you just use something simple like “Computer Love”? I didn’t love that name so much, but I definitely took his point to heart. It made me immediately think of a Prince song I’ve always loved–Computer Blue. I also happen to live in Prince’s hometown so it felt appropriate in that way.

And, because I’m obsessive about the meanings of things, I googled the meaning of the phrase, which first referred to that blue screen you get when your computer crashes, and then, in the ‘80s, became slang for when someone is moving onward and upward from something that wasn’t working for them. I kind of loved that, plus I’m a total child of the ‘80s so it works for me.

 

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

OK, confession time: I completely fell into this entrepreneurial life by accident. I had recently quit my previous job to stay home with my daughter full-time, when a dear friend of mine (also an entrepreneur) asked me if I’d be willing to help her optimize her YouTube videos. It sounded fun and I really needed some mental stimulation outside of motherhood, so I said yes. Then, she told a few colleagues about my work and those colleagues told other colleagues and the next thing I knew, I was filing for an LLC and paying our rent from this accidental business I had grown.

But now that I have my business, I really love to see my clients helping their clients to improve their own lives, and to help them reach more people and make a bigger difference in the world. Ultimately, that’s an important goal of mine–making the world better. I also love the freedom and flexibility it affords my family as well.

 

What lights you up about your business? 

When a client tells me things like they’re suddenly booked up with clients, or that I nailed their copy or design, it’s the best feeling in the world.

I genuinely love each of my clients. I see their passions and am so inspired by what they do. So, to be able to use my creativity (something I really have to be able to do on the daily regardless) and to use it to further their message, and watch them succeed as a result…it’s really incredible. I feel lucky.

 

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5? 

Goodness…can I say “everything”?  I feel like this is the only job I’ve ever had where I really have to apply everything I’ve learned in every previous employment experience I’ve ever had, not to mention my personal and educational experiences. I draw from it all, so I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders now.

Also, obviously, the flexibility I have now would be damn hard to find elsewhere. I can decide to take the day off and take my kiddo to the lake when I want to. As long as I have wifi, I can work from anywhere. If my partner (who is in grad school) needs me to be more present at home so he can focus on his work, I can pivot in my schedule pretty easily. Also, I’m the only one who can determine how much money I make. There really aren’t any limits, except for the limits I place on myself.

 

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

Truth be told, I’m still working on the self-discipline bit. So, my schedule and habits are almost constantly in flux. But one thing I do without fail is an evening ritual: I do a daily review with myself. I mark down all the things I accomplished, the things I didn’t accomplish, what is working, and what isn’t. I do it without judgment as much as I can. I also do weekly reviews on Sunday evenings, and monthly reviews at the end of the month. This really helps me to keep my eye on the prize, so to speak, and refining my methods. 

If I’m having one of those moments where I feel like I’m not crossing off any of the to-do’s I’ve set for myself, I make a list of all the things I actually did do while I was busy not crossing those things off, no matter how trivial it might seem. By the end of it, I’m always amazed at how much I actually accomplished. Like, maybe I didn’t nail that revenue goal this month, but holy cow, I managed to stay on task with that big client project while my daughter was sick and my partner was out of town! That actually is pretty incredible when you really think about it!

I think it’s so important to keep things in perspective. Our business lives don’t happen in a vacuum, especially when you’re a solopreneur and there’s a real blurring of the lines between work and home life.

 

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

I would say yes, but that I’m still working on mastery, if that makes sense. I have the freedom in my schedules and limitless potential to make more income, but I’m still relatively new at this. I’ve only really been in business for myself for about two years. I still make mistakes and I’ve not hit the revenue goals I’d like to reach yet.  But I’d say I’m definitely on my way and that really feels good. There are times when it’s definitely scary–the lack of structure or the ups and downs in cash flow can be panic-inducing if you’re not doing the inner work to withstand it all. But, I can safely say it would be incredibly hard for me to shut this thing down and work for someone else again. I’m in it for the long haul.

 

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

I’d love to see Computer Blue grow into an agency model. I’d like to have a virtual team working for me so I don’t have to do everything. There are so many incredibly creative and talented people out there and I really feed off of that kind of exchange. In my ideal mind, I’d love to see Computer Blue become worker-owned also, but I’m in no hurry to make that transition. Those relationships have to be forged organically I think and I really need to make sure that everyone involved really jives together.  

I’d also love to establish an online academy-style online marketing membership and establish some sort of giving-back program, be it via donating funds to organizations or establishing a mentorship for other would-be entrepreneurs, but I’m still fleshing out those ideas in my mind.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected, what would it be?

Leap before you feel ready and operate out of a genuine interest in helping others.  

I didn’t even have a website for my business until a couple of months ago. I did just fine with a Facebook business page and my LinkedIn profile. You don’t have to have everything figured out or all the pieces put together before you launch. Just get going and do the work. Wow your clients.

Old-fashioned word-of-mouth is by far the best marketing you can ask for even in this crazy digital age, so do right by your clients and they’ll pay it forward for sure. I think it also helps to have a certain amount of obliviousness to the possibility of failure. In the beginning, I never once thought about what would happen if this gig didn’t work out. It was going to work because it had to, plain and simple. I didn’t have time for what-ifs.

 

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” ~ Marie Forleo

You’re never going to miraculously have an a-ha moment by stewing over it or waiting for it to tap you on the shoulder. This is equally true in business as it is in life. Not sure if that someone in your life is “the one”? You’re never going to know by just sitting with your indecision. Not sure what you want to offer in your business? Start somewhere and refine as you go.

On a related note, I also love, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” ~ Pablo Picasso

 

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

You can get more info about my business on my website Computer Blue Media 

And, I love making new friends on social:

Facebook

Instagram

Thanks Nikole, for sharing your business vision and mission with us on the Entrepreneur Spotlight. All the very best for your ongoing and future success, Sharon xox

If you want to grow your business, check out this blog post: How to get the mix right for your winning business recipe

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Nadine Rohner

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we have the lovely, location-independent, social media strategist, Nadine Rohner.

Hi Nadine, What’s your business name and what’s your business all about?

My business is Nadine Rohner. I help small businesses and female entrepreneurs to rock their Social Media.

I also have a travel blog Blonde Seashell where I mostly blog about Bali because I am based in Bali.

 

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I’ve been working in Social Media for over six years, but always for bigger companies. Since I was living in Bali and growing my own Social Media and travel blog pretty fast, I got asked by a few smaller businesses if I would help them with their Social Media. That’s why I came up with the idea to start my own business.

 

What lights you up about your business? 

What I love about my business is the mix of Social Media and helping others. When I see a client being successful on Social Media after working with me – that just makes me happy. I love to research and find new ways to be successful on Social Media. What I love the most is to share my knowledge with others.

 

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5? 

Now I can decide where and when I want to work. I can work from everywhere in the world as long as I have a computer and good WIFI. If there are days when I don’t feel motivated to work, so instead of dragging myself into an office, I go to a yoga class instead. Then the next day I work double. I don’t have to sit in front of my computer all day. I work when I feel inspired.

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I love having a fresh coconut at the beach. This is a habit I can allow myself every day because I can take my work with me to the beach – if I want to. I don’t have a daily habit really. The most important thing for me is to have the freedom to choose what I want to do every day. I really love my work and every morning I get up and want to work. So my new habit is doing the work I love to do, something I never felt before when I was working in corporate.

 

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

Yes, I am definitely live the freedom lifestyle. Of course there are deadlines with clients – and if I didn’t do their work I also wouldn’t get paid! But, no one tells me when and where I have to work. If I want to do my work sitting on the floor in my pyjamas, with my coffee – then I just do it. The results are much more creative than when I was working in a boring office.

 

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

In two years I see my business being much more successful. I want to run a membership club in a year, so I can help even more people. I want my business to be settled and to work with different people from all over the world (as a VA ), so that I can start my own family.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected, what would it be?

The advice I give myself everyday: Don’t give up just because it is hard sometimes.

I always think about Walt Disney who go rejected so many times, before he was successful. If it was super easy, everyone would do it. So get up every day and try again.

 

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

I don’t have a mantra, but when I am not motivated or scared I just listen to my favourite podcasts or read my favourite book, and then I am in the right mindset again. I love Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert and Marie Forleo’s podcast. Powerful women inspire me to be powerful myself.

 

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

You can find out everything about my services on website

Check out my Social Media Rockstar course. On this course you’ll learn how create a social media strategy, and how to create, plan and design content, with tips and tricks to grow your business on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. PLUS there is an extra module on Facebook Ads! This course is easy to follow and action-focused with videos, workbook and checklist!

And my travel advice for Bali on my blog.

My daily pictures I share on Instagram and my tricks for social on Pinterest. 

It was wonderful hearing about you and your business on the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Nadine. Thank you for sharing with us, and my very best wishes to you for the future, Sharon xox

Note: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may earn a commission if you decide to join Nadine’s social media rockstar program at some point.

If you want to grow your business, check out this blog post: How to get the mix right for your winning business recipe

How to Stop Repeating Mistakes in Your Business

Making mistakes and learning from them is all part of business.

But when those mistakes become a cycle that you can’t get out of, it takes a toll on your life.

If you aren’t feeling full of joy, or you are working all the hours so often that you resent your business, it’s time to take serious stock on where you are; it’s time to look at your actions, decisions and opportunities through a loving, strategic lens.

At the heart of making the same mistakes over and over again is usually a simple mindset shift that needs to happen.

When we look at what inner blocks you might have, which beliefs are holding you back from truly leading your life and business in the way you want to, we can start to create incredible change.

Shifts happen when you do the inner work.

 

Business is so much more that spreadsheets, strategy, and the nuts and bolts of a profit and loss sheet.

The inner work starts with you, and it makes all the difference.

When you delve into your subconscious patterns and beliefs, you can create your business from a true place of alignment – and that’s when you start to see real traction.

Maybe you are stuck in the pattern of trying to make your biz work and keep some money flowing.

But here is the hard truth: it’s YOU keeping the biz where it is right now.

Ouch.

It’s YOU that didn’t create the opportunities, didn’t put consistent content out, didn’t figure out how to show up and what to say.

In short, you didn’t do the work.

And it’s ok.

You might feel that you have been working really hard, but the inner work is the place to really move the needle.

When you fully listen to you yourself and get behind what you are, who you are, and what your genius truly is, you can create a business you really love.

When you have done the work you can dare to take chances, because they feel aligned.

In those leaps we find the biggest gems.

When you get stuck in processes, you lose sight of your own power, energy, truth and purpose.

(Hands up who has been there?)

 

Pure passion, pure love and creativity is a great recipe for business.

These are assets of a great entrepreneurial mindset.

Set yourself free; allow yourself to go into the state where you take time to listen, to explore your inner self and take more risks.

When you fear less about failing and feel a sense of intrigue about everything that you do, you see possibilities rather than fear.

Know that your mindset is the key to all the magic that you create, and all the energy that transpires around you.

Do the inner work – it’s the missing ingredient to your success.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Amber Phillips

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we have the lovely Amber Phillips, who offers design and print for creatives, crafters and small businesses.

Hi Amber, What’s your business name and what’s your business all about?

My business name is simply Amber Phillips Design. I wanted to start a personal brand and eventually build a community around my business so it seemed right to use my own name!

I’m a website designer for creatives, crafters and solopreneurs. I also offer other design services like branding and print design, and can actually offer printing too.

 

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I hated my last job. It felt like groundhog day, driving an hour or more to work, sitting at my desk ALL DAY, driving an hour home, sleeping and doing it all over again. I was miserable and realised that the corporate world was just not for me. I was doing design in my job but not design I enjoyed.

One night, I confided in my family about how I felt there should be more to life than this. We had a long chat and I resigned the next day!

I didn’t start my business as a side hustle and then quit my full time job like most people do. I quit my full time job then started my business. Crazy! It worked out for me, because I have a super supportive family! Without them I’d be back in my rubbish job!

I love design and anything creative. In my old full-time job, I always knew I would do better on my own, working with other small creative businesses and building a brand I love, and I’ve proved myself right.

 

What lights you up about your business? 

I love being able to really connect with my clients and create something amazing for them! The way I work is not formal or corporate, I connect with clients on a more personal level. We feel comfortable working together and I get to really understand what they need.

In previous jobs, creativity was always lacking. I had to be a certain person, not myself, and the work that I was doing was a lot more formal. I love being able to be myself, work with inspiring people, build relationships and go on one big adventure building my business!

 

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5? 

I make my own rules! If I feel like I need time off to have a rest, then I can spontaneously have a day off. If I’d like to have a break in the middle of the day to visit friends and family, then I can.

The other day I went to a crochet class with my mum and then worked in the afternoon and evening. Doing things like that is great and being able to be flexible does wonders for my mental and physical health, as well as being able to learn new skills and have fun!

 

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I make time for my health. Not always daily, but it should be really! I take time out from working to go for a walk, do yoga, make a healthy meal, go to the gym or read a book. On the days that I think I’m ‘too busy’ to do this, I end up doing just as much, if not less, than on the days I take decent breaks. Giving your mind a rest enables you to jump back in with extra energy!

 

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

I definitely think I’m getting there. Ideally the freedom lifestyle for me would involve being able to work anywhere and also to have a consistent amount of income every month. I’d love to travel and work wherever I can get an internet connection! At the moment my income isn’t secure enough, but my business is improving every day and hopefully I’ll get to work towards my ideal freedom lifestyle.

 

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

Being run from a beach somewhere! I hope two years from now, I’ll be able to travel and work before settling back in my lovely little home town. I’d like to be selling courses and products as well as doing website design. I’d also like to build more of a following around my blog and actually write more regularly.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected, what would it be?

Keep at it! There are far too many posts online about ‘overnight success’. It doesn’t exist! Sure, some people may be lucky but for the majority its a lot of hard work over a long time. You’ll make mistakes but you’ll learn from them and build a stronger business because of them.

Also, don’t be afraid to run your business on the side while working a full time job, or to get a part time job to help support you. After a few months of working solely for myself, I decided to get a small part time job at a fabric shop to help me get secure and regular income. My business has greatly benefitted from it. I find myself doing the work that NEEDS to be done rather than what I want to do because I’ve got limited time available, and also it’s a lot less stress because if I have a crappy month I have another income stream to rely on while I’m still building my business.

 

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

I have got tons of motivational quotes, but my favourite is “if you can dream it, you can do it” by Walt Disney.

 

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

My website has all the information about me and my business, as well as lots of blog posts aimed at helping small businesses succeed. I also spend time on Facebook and Instagram where you can see all the latest news as it happens!

Thank you for taking part in the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Amber. It was wonderful to hear all about you and your business. All the very best for the future, Sharon xox

If you want to grow your business, check out this blog post: How to get the mix right for your winning business recipe

How to Get the Mix Right for your Winning Business Recipe

Your business is unique – as unique as YOU are.

Every ingredient, every element needs to be calculated, lovingly crafted and mixed to your very own, bespoke recipe.

Why? Well, if you have ever looked at a sunken cake and felt about your business the same way, you know you need to go back to basics.

The good news is, going back to basics gets you further, faster.

Here is what happens time and time again:

  • We buy a recipe book from an expert.
  • We weigh the ingredients carefully.
  • We are diligent in getting the right blend, the right temperature, only for it to fall flat, time and time again until you want to give up.

But here is the secret: that recipe worked for THEM, and you are a totally unique human being.

When we examine where you are right now, and ask some key questions, building your own mix become easy, and most of all, it feels like YOU!

That’s where the magic ingredient truly is.

 

I work with my clients to help them ask some key questions:

  • Where you are now?
  • What’s going wrong?
  • What don’t you feel aligned to?
  • What are you doing that’s not converting clients?

Too often we become so disillusioned that we lose the energy and the willpower to look at things with a fresh perspective – the deflated feeling takes over, we feel like a failure, we want to give up.

I want to reassure you that you aren’t alone.

You aren’t the only entrepreneur to feel this way.

Following formulas and recipes works to a certain extent, and for some people.

When you get creative and do something fresh that you call from the deepest parts of you, the secret ingredient becomes obvious.

You see, YOUR business recipe has you at the heart of it.

 

No-one on this earth has your unique blend of skills, perspectives, experiences and outlook on life.

YOU are the secret ingredient that was missing all along, and those so called “failures’ are just a disconnect from what’s truly possible.

The magic is that alignment between what you love, who you are, and your ideal clients.

So, what can you do to resolve that disconnect?

It starts with getting in touch with your passions, and re-align yourself with why you started this journey in the first place.

Fall back in love with your business so the energy that goes out is from the right place, you serve the right clients, and it all becomes easier (and yes, it’s ok for it to be easy!).

Let me tell you a story.

Recently, I put out an offer for a new product. I felt from my very soul that this was something my ideal clients needed, and I fell in love with the work I was creating.

Rather than struggling with sales funnels, scripts, templates and clunky moving parts, that offer flew off the shelf. It sold out within hours, and it felt amazing.

You can go beyond the recipes and formulas when you work your own way, and when you plug back in to what makes you so beautifully, uniquely, YOU.

 

When your recipe has the magic, missing ingredient, anything is possible.

That constant cycle of testing, trying, creating, hustling – it stops.

That feeling of throwing spaghetti at the wall and wondering why this isn’t working for you? That’s gone too.

It’s all about the energy behind the offer. When you are in your full, powerful alignment and flow, the buzz attracts clients to you like a magnet.

That sweet spot between what you love and who you serve, baked into the offer and your energy is what makes your business recipe a success.

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