Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tracy Hooper

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

This week we have the wonderful, personal stylist, Tracy Hooper.

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

My business name is Tracy Jayne Hooper Personal Stylist. My speciality is helping female entrepreneurs to get the right image to represent their business. I help women show up as the most polished, professional and authentic version of themselves.

Business owners these days need to be visible. Video and Live Video has become a popular way to market yourself online, so it’s important the clothes you wear give the right message to your audience. I’m passionate about giving female entrepreneurs the confidence they need to get out there and be visible.

 

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

My big “Why” is I just love to see women grow in confidence and become all that they can be! I love to see women grow and flourish. Once I gained confidence in my own appearance, that’s when my own business became successful, so that’s why I love to help others do the same.

 

What lights you up about your business? 

What lights me up about my business is the result of my “Why” I guess. When I’ve worked with somebody and see her grow in confidence and status, as a result, I just love it! Although I love to see other women grow and flourish, it also feels great when I do that myself!

 

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

This is quite a tricky question for me as I haven’t done a 9-5 for about 25 years! Before I had my business, I was a Beauty Therapist and I was pretty successful, however, I was working about three evenings a week and Saturdays, as well as weekdays. I had little time for the things I wanted to do…even housework! Now I have more time for leisure, and if I want a day to do something, in particular, I can. On the other hand, if I’m working on an exciting project and feel like just getting on with it, I can do that too. So in a nutshell. I guess the answer is I have the freedom to live my life the way I choose.

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

I’m actually not a great daily habits kind of person. I would love to be, but I’m not that organized or disciplined. The things I like to do on a regular basis, which keep me healthy both in body, mind, and spirit are: exercise to keep my body healthy and mobile and get the old endorphins going. I particularly like the gym and pilates; time for me, which is mainly horse riding. I absolutely love horses and the outdoors, they are both good for my soul. I’m also improving my riding skills, which is an amazing boost as well. Spiritually, I like to spend quiet time with God, either in prayer or bible reading. My goal is to do this daily, but I’m not quite there yet.

 

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

I guess I am living the freedom lifestyle. I get to choose what I do and arrange my own diary. However, I’m a way off where I’d like to be. My dream freedom lifestyle would involve time in the morning to do my morning rituals, and then some exercise before settling down to work for a few hours. In the afternoon I would love to be free to do the things I love to do…time with my horse or family or maybe just relaxation. My big dream is to travel. I’d love to doing all of the above whilst visiting some places in the world I’ve not seen yet. I will get there, but just got a bit of work to do first.

 

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

In two years’ time, I’d love to see my business set up with my courses, packages, and membership group all working well. I’ll be doing my ongoing marketing to keep the work coming in and I’ll be delivering my services to my loyal and wonderful clients, but the hard work of writing the programmes/courses and packages will be mainly done. I’ll be blogging regularly and making new connections all the time through my various networking activities, online and offline.

 

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?

I’d say to have realistic expectations about how long it’s going to take, and that it’s going to take some investment of time and money. When I started up I expected I would bring an income in a few months, but that wasn’t my experience. I don’t believe it’s realistic. So if you know it’s going to take time, you can be prepared for it. It’s well worth the investment, but you’ll need another source of income until your business gets going.

 

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

I have two favourite quotes/mantras. One is “I can and I will, watch me.” and the other is “The fortune is in the follow-up.” Following up is not something I’m great at, so it’s up on my wall where I can see it regularly to remind me.

 

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

You can find over on my website, on Facebook, on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thank you for sharing your business wisdom and vision with us on the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Tracy. Sounds like you have exciting times in front of you. 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

Putting The Spark Back In Your Biz

Fatigue. Overwhelm.

I’ve been there in my business – and I will take a wild guess you have, too.

Maybe you’ve been running ahead doing all the things, wearing all the hats, and assembling things in your business, focusing on sales, on money-making, on looking around the marketplace.

But something feels missing.

Perhaps your voice feels marginalized.

Maybe something just feels out of place, and you can’t put your finger on what it is.

When this happened to me, I began to feel zapped of energy. I’d been busting all the moves to get a specific program launched, but whenever it came to going online and talking about it, I kept finding reasons to delay the launch. Long story short, my reasons weren’t reasons at all – they were excuses. With personal coaching and LOTS of journaling, I found my offering was out of alignment. It was a tough realization, but it freed me up to discover what was right.

When that nagging feeling comes to bite, you can bet you aren’t doing one really simple, essential thing:

Working to your strengths and on things that are really true to yourself.

Often, we don’t even realize we’ve been spinning our wheels out of alignment.

We are so busy in action that the time for reflection takes a back seat.

The key to realizing you need to take stock is that feeling of stuckness; maybe you feel utterly defeated, and just not sure what to do next.

Maybe you’re thinking of hiring a coach – but you haven’t quite got the right amount of money to invest just yet.

Maybe you have a hunch you need to put new systems in place. You know there’s something big that needs to shift within your business, but you’re just not quite sure how you’re going do it alone  – nor what it actually is that you need to change anyway.

So round and round you go.

Getting into a pickle with your business is normal.

But you don’t need to spin your wheels all alone for long.

In my experience, the best thing to do is to invest in support. This will help you determine what you need to figure out; trying to do it all and feeling overwhelmed is so exhausting, and it can actually slow you down for months.

The hard truth is, you can feel the legacy of indecision and stuckness for years.

If you’ve got to that point where you truly haven’t got all of the aspects of your business aligned to who you are, what you want to do, what really makes you tick and what you started the business for in the first place, it’s time for some new motivation.

When you’re flagging – when you’re really, really down and out about your business-  and you’re trying to put on a brave face, what you need most is to feel inspired and motivated.

The first thing that people often do is to look around at what everybody else is doing.

This can be helpful at times, but often when you are in a place of stuckness, it can actually lead to more problems.

What you actually need to do is to look within.

When you feel things are lacking, looking outside of yourself is actually more escapism and procrastination, than a strategy that’s going to lead you to true answers.

When you feel you haven’t got a proper connection with your business, when you feel “out of alignment”, you keep going around in circles.

You CAN get your motivation back and get back in control, when you make time to lift the lid on your business, and discover exactly what’s going on.

It needs to come from a place of deeper meaning for you.

By doing this inner work and evaluation of where you are, you will gain insight into what needs to change.

By doing this inner work you will be able to visualize your business as it CAN be in the future.

When you picture it clearly in your head, and what you need to do to get there, you can truly be in the driving seat again.

That sense of freedom you wanted? The lifestyle you wanted for yourself? It truly is possible when you take a step back and reconnect.

When your motivation and direction are back in place, you can actually start each day with a really strong sense of what you need to achieve. In this way, you can break down an overall goal into smaller chunks.

It’s about lifting the lid on what the problems are.

It’s about finding out, with some help, what is actually going wrong with your business. That’s when you discover what you need to do, so you can bridge the gap from an un-ideal state to the ideal state.

You might not know what the overall vision is yet, and that’s ok.

But when you make time to create your vision, you’ll start to prize out all the wonderful gems, like how you really want to show up in your business, what you’d really like to be doing, and how you really want to work with people.

When you take a couple of steps back, you can take huge leaps forwards.

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How to Mix Business With Pleasure (So Work Feels More Like Play)

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Helen Rebello

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

This week we have the magical, mindful mentor, Helen Rebello.

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

My business is in evolution – I created The Tranquil Path to empower soulful women to find their path to living & working in a way that feeds their soul, expresses who they came here to be, and impacts positively upon the world. I brought the different elements of my work together under my own name in March 2018, so that I can serve more women than I’ve been able to before.

I’ve worked 1-to-1 with hundreds of lovely souls over the last 15 years and over time I realised they all had similar issues underlying their stress. Essentially they weren’t fully honouring who they were or living in alignment with that – instead they were over-giving, pushing, striving and breaking themselves to try and fit into a box that didn’t suit them.

I’ve developed my own signature M.A.G.I.C.A.L process, which takes them on a guided journey to discover who they are, what they’re here for, and then discover how they can create small daily steps towards the life they came here to live.

I like sharing spiritual concepts and self-optimisation solutions in a grounded, realistic, applicable and achievable way. The M.A.G.I.C.A.L process blends my eastern and western wellness training with movement, mindfulness, meditation & mindset tools. There might also be a little extra sprinkling of magic 😉

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

I used to be a quiet, stressed-out, unfulfilled perfectionist and people-pleaser and as a result I followed my head and ‘shoulds’ into a career I hated almost instantly. As a result of not honouring what I really wanted to do, I got to the point where I was so depressed and anxious, I couldn’t face another Sunday night dreading Monday morning – so I created an escape plan.

That escape plan somehow magically evolved into my business. I call myself an ‘accidental entrepreneur’, because I didn’t consciously decide to start a business. I simply started following my heart by first training in Shiatsu… and then further training followed, which helped unlock my inherent gift of seeing other people’s unique light. The business side came much later, once I realised I was missing a few fundamental foundations!

I’ve lost two people in my life that died too young. This taught me that life is too short to spend it living in overwhelm, heading unaware to a destination you didn’t consciously set – and this started my mission to help 100,000 women live a fulfilling life they love.

What lights you up about your business? 

I love giving people lightbulb moments – it makes my heart smile I also love creating a calm, safe space that enables women to explore, find deep connection, inspiration, and clarity within themselves. I love being a catalyst to help people see how awesome they are – helping them see their unique brilliance by holding up a virtual mirror to them that projects their potential right back at them.

I love the transformation that occurs when you work with someone that knows they’re destined for more, but have no idea where to start accessing it, and they suddenly see the potential and possibility within them. Once the light has been switched back on, they can’t go back – and then you simply sit and watch as their whole world opens up for them. It’s an incredibly rewarding thing to be able to do.

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

I get simple pleasure from things like having my hair however I want it (in the NHS my hair had to be ‘sensible’!), wearing yoga clothes all day, drinking coffee when I want and being able to make a fresh smoothie at lunchtime. I get to go out walking in the hills whenever my day allows, write, indulge my creativity, use my intuition when I work with clients, say yes and no to things as I choose, and construct my day as I want to.  I surround myself with positive, uplifting people and rarely have to deal with angry or aggressive people!

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

Meditation is my number one positive daily habit. I’ve also been doing morning pages since November 2016 and I cannot recommend this highly enough, especially for creatives. It really keeps your mind focussed and it also ignites inspiration and ideas for posts, videos and courses.

I also do daily EFT and positive affirmations. I try to move my body daily – but if I’m honest, this is still a work in progress (even though I’m a trained yoga teacher!).

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

I would – and having spent years working shifts and on-calls, I am hugely grateful for it. It took us a while to get here; both my husband and I are workaholics because we’re passionate about what we do, and not being able to have kids means we have no limits on our working days if we’re not careful. Consequently, we’ve now redesigned our work around what we want from life, after we both boxed ourselves in with too much work in the past. A year ago, we sold our house, his business, and relocated away from my 1:1 practice to live in an area that we both love.

We still work hard so that we can take big chunks of time off to travel each winter, and we also try to take short breaks throughout the year. We keep our lives as minimal as we can, so that we can go away when we want to, and we endeavour to design our working day around things that nourish us and keep us productive.

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

I’d like to create a body of work, books and an online sanctuary space that helps women worldwide to live their lives wholeheartedly, with lightness, self-compassion, awareness, presence and joy, and do work that lights them up. My business will be location-independent and all being well, I’ll be co-teaching workshops and retreats alongside my lovely husband, as well as sharing my voice and messages as a speaker.

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?

Firstly, make sure that they are building the right business – one that makes their heart smile – because if they are, they can trust that they’ll find the energy, patience and resources they need to succeed. They will also attract more clients when they’re working congruently.

They can test this by closing their eyes, placing their hand on their heart and asking themselves: ‘Am I on the right path?’ Our energy system knows what is right for us, so there’s no need to overthink this. If the answer is yes, they will feel a sense of expansion – if no, they will feel tightening or compression.

The right foundations are crucial – and they start with being true to yourself and what you want, before listening to external advice. Once you know you’re building the right thing, then you start getting the other pieces in place… but give yourself time and patience because it doesn’t happen overnight!

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

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”

~ Marianne Williamson

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

You can find out all about me on my website or through my social media links:

Facebook and Instagram are my favourites and I love connecting with other heart-centered women!

YouTube

Twitter

Thank you Sharon for all that you do

Thank you so much for taking part in the  Entrepreneur Spotlight, Helen. Can’t wait to read your forthcoming book, which I’m sure will be a great success, My very best wishes to you for the future, Sharon xoxo

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 Mix Business With Pleasure (So Work Feels More Like Play)

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

~ Marc Anthony

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to run a business which is deeply connected to your passions? Sounds idyllic? Outlandish even? The kind of thing others do, but not you? My mind conjures up images of artists, photographers and writers living the bohemian life waking up at 7am to write “morning pages”, to capture the landscape as it awakens, or nomads traveling the world with laptops, indulging in their passion for freedom, adventure, and exploring different cultures and landscapes.

While doing what you love sounds amazing and romantic, running a passion-fuelled business may also seem unrealistic or daunting. Lack of time, limiting beliefs, confidence, and not knowing what or where to start, are often the reasons why people don’t place their passions centre stage of their business. Passions dissolve into “dreams” or hobbies, or at worst are never discovered or totally neglected.

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MAY, 2018

Business Development

Arches National Park Entrance Stateion, Moab, United States

Photograph by Dino Reichmuth via Unsplash

Perhaps you’ve been working all the hours in your business, have sacrificed weekends and social engagements, and then found yourself cramming in as much as you can (housework, trips to see family, and the shopping included). Before you know it, it’s Monday, and the cycle starts all over again. Perhaps you started out knowing what you wanted from your business, but months (or years even) down the line, the vision and reality don’t match up. You feel trapped in an outdated business that no longer suits you and, quite frankly, is too much like hard work.

You wonder what life would be like if you changed your business offerings, but the fear of making the wrong choice holds you back. You don’t know what else to offer, or what people really want from you anymore. In fact, it feels like you’ve pretty much lost sight of the shore. And what about those passions you have (or had)? You know the ones you half imagined could form part of your business? You just let them fade away into the background, while you bumbled along forcing everything else (you aren’t that passionate about) into place, getting further and further away from your vision, and even further still from the happiness your business was supposed to bring.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ….. you start to realize that you‘re capable of far more than you imagined.”

Here’s the thing, “Working all the hours” and forcing things into existence, holds you back from your true potential and success. When all that keeps you going is striving to make enough money in order to pay the bills, then it’s time to reassess. When you’re disconnected from your passions and the deeper value and meaning your business holds, like what you really care about, then your business can feel like a chore. Every day you go through the motions, subconsciously self-sabotaging yourself with negative self-talk and lack of self-belief. Gay Hendricks talks about this is in his brilliant book, The Big Leapwhich I highly recommend for you to read, if you want to explore your false fears and beliefs, and start to break down your barriers to a better life and business.

If you’re saying, This sounds like me. Where do I even begin to resolve this? I want you to close your eyes and imagine you’re observing yourself from afar. What do you see? Then, imagine turning away and looking into the distance, at the horizon. Take a deep, calming, breathe and imagine yourself living a more freedom and passion-filled life. Once you’ve taken a few minutes to really indulge in this moment, take a journal and write out what you imagined.

This exercise helps us to connect with who we are at our heart-centre, to our authentic self, to our desires and passions, where everything is possible, where there are no boundaries, self-imposed or otherwise.

The truth is, when your focus is on surviving and striving – to make make 5, 6 or 7 figures, to show up all the time and elevate your status, you end up sacrificing the time and energy you need for your flow state. That state we are in when we are at total ease with ourselves and when we take inspired action.

If that sounds like you, then you can be sure you’re not alone.

But the fact is: you can still have a business you love, you can still rediscover the passion you had at the start and learn from what you’ve done so far to get you exactly where you really want to be.

You can even start doing that work today, All you need to do to start this off is a little brainstorming and visualizing, deep-rooted commitment to changing your current situation, and a willingness to take calculated risks. To think outside of the box. To take actions, perhaps, that feel a little scary at times, to take a chance on yourself. Only when you give yourself the permission to enter this state of flow and connect with your higher self, will you be in a position to receive all there is for you.

To start off you could brainstorm your Personal Passion Project. 

For this you’re going to need to set aside an hour or two of uninterrupted time. You could go to the park or a coffee shop, and take along your favourite journal and pens. The important thing is to find a quiet nook, and allow your mind wander.

I want you to imagine that money is not an obstacle for you, and that you have enough to get by every day and even have a little extra for fun and treats. And, essentially, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your days. In your journal, make a list of all the things you’d do with your time if you were able to spend it however you wished. What activities do you imagine yourself doing? How do you feel? The most important element of this exercise is to not censor yourself and really allow yourself to explore what pops into your head, without having to consider if money is an issue or how you’d ever achieve it, or if you’d be good at it, etc. You’ll end up with is a list of possibilities, rather than a realistic set of business opportunities. At this stage, it’s all about brainstorming so you can return to your ideas later and make sense of them.

This visualisation process is one of the methods I use with my clients, to help them to connect with their core values, imagination, creativity, and inner wisdom. It’s hugely successful in helping you to bring ideas and dreams to the surface, to tap into what lights you up, and spring board you into taking inspired action.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.”

With the right focus and determination, your passions can become the fuel for future happiness in your life and business. If you enjoyed this, then you’ll love my guided visualization and workbook, which takes you on an even deeper journey, to explore the lifestyle and business of your dreams. It’s an excellent first step for growing a more passion-fuelled, online coaching or service-based business.

 

Go here to >> create your own winning business recipe

 

How to Mix Business With Pleasure (So Work Feels More Like Play)

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT

How to Ditch Your Hot Mess of Self Doubt & Reinvent Your Biz

Imagine this:

You’ve been loading your plate with more and more To Do’s and finishing work at “stupid-o-clock” for a while now, leaving you little time or mental bandwidth to figure out how to grow your business or create your freedom lifestyle. 

The 101 business ideas (and the resulting confusion!) each day have resulted in missed fitness classes, writing out never-ending To Do lists, another chocolate-wine-Netflix-frenzy, and long walks to try and unbox your brain of the endless chatter and uncertainty.

Attaining the life and business you dream about looks more like an uphill climb in the Outer Hebrides, than a passion project.

Self-doubt can show up in many forms and wreck havoc with your dreams. It’s your job to work on your mindset. You can’t create a life you love when your mindset is off radar.

Here’s what happened: You made your business your priority, yet deep down you know you’re sabotaging your full potential for happiness.

Like many others building a business, desperately avoiding having to go back to their salaried lives, you worry about paying bills and maintaining your status. But instead of facing the uncertainty these challenges bring, fear keeps you routed to the spot, doing the same things over and over in your business that are not producing the results you desire.

You’re scared you’ll fail, and you’re scared you’ll succeed (yes, really) and feel like an imposter either way.

So? You you coast along with what you know, wearing all the hats, even though it’s the bane of your life.

Or you blame others.

It’s not your fault your business hasn’t reached the dizzying heights of success yet, because…(insert external factor).

Sound familiar?


Well, the truth is, you’ve told yourself lies over and over again. And now? You believe them.

Excuse me while I get a bit tough with you here, but…

 

The only thing that’s holding you back from building a successful business, is you!

 

And while that might sound rather grim, it’s actually pretty good news.

Because it means you can change.

You’ve gotta take stock of where you are if you want to make your dreams happen.

You need to get so clear on your vision, because having a strong vision for your dreams will pull you forward.

So, if you want to attain your dreams and gain the clarity you need to start taking inspired action, then take out a journal and brainstorm your answers to the following four questions. Really dig deep.

  1. What business dreams do you have?
  2. What do your dreams really mean to you?
  3. How would they change your life?
  4. What are you prepared to do to make them happen?

Have your answers? Great.

 

So why do you think that up until now, you’ve been telling yourself you want X, but doing Y? Why have you been depriving yourself of the happiness and fulfillment you could have, if only you took action?

I’ll tell you why: Self doubt.

Luckily, self doubt isn’t a ‘forever’ diagnosis. Below, I’ve created a list of five (easy) action steps you can take to finally rise above your doubts.

1) zone into your dreams – create a vision board (on Pinterest or a self-made one on your notice board), write out your business ideas and goals (try this handy goal journal), and read magazines and books on related topics

2) create your superpower persona – write a list of all your positive attributes/ strengths/ passions into a journal and ask yourself how each could tie into your business offerings

3) use positive affirmations – notice negative self-talk about achieving your business dreams and turn each one into a positive affirmation – I love these Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay

 

4) assess your current signature business offerings – how do you really feel about them? Do you feel passionate about them? Do they motivate you? If you’re looking to spice up your signature offerings, take a look at what your competitors are doing. How can you differentiate from them? What’s your special sauce that will help you to stand apart from them? (look back at your super powers established in step 2)

And above all, 5) remember that growing a business is a voyage of discovery, asking yourself smart questions, and taking some calculated risks. What questions do you need to most ask of yourself now? Do some soul searching and tap into them. What would you most like to do in your business, if you could be sure you wouldn’t fail?

Completing these questions will help you to tap back into your passions and purpose.

Go in search of your treasure. And what better way to start than by reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. The book that transformed my own life, and inspired me to follow my dreams. 

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

PAULO COELHO

Once you’ve got clarity from these questions and steps, it will help you to stop focusing on the fears and doubts which have had you delaying and procrastinating, and instead you’ll have created a space for inspiration within your heart and mind. From this space, you’ll be ready to take the “inspired action” which feels authentic and connected to your dreams.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you decide to purchase the item. Rest assured that I only promote products and services which I love and have used myself!

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Finding Freedom From Your 9-5

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How to Connect With Your Passions & Change Your Lifestyle

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Could Your “Money Personality” Be Sabotaging You?

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