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

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

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jen Gale

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

This week we have an interview with Jen Gale, an Ethical Business Coach, empowering change makers & environmental entrepreneurs to grow their business AND impact.

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

My business name is simply my name – Jen Gale!

I work with ethical business owners and social entrepreneurs. I use my coaching skills to help them to create truly sustainable businesses and to amplify their impact.

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

I love the “Why” question – it’s one of the things I really dig into with my clients. It’s so important for keeping motivated when things get tough, and it’s a great way to connect with potential customers or clients.

I guess my Why started a few years ago, when my family and I spent a year buying nothing new. What started out as a slightly naïve personal challenge became so much more, and really opened my eyes to the impact our modern throwaway society is having on the planet. It taught me so much, most importantly that as just one person my actions matter. And that by making better, more thoughtful choices, I really can create positive change.

Since then I discovered this thing called ‘social enterprise’ – business that has a positive environmental or social impact, and firmly believe that business should be a force for good. As business owners, we create positive change in the same way we can as individuals, but our impact is amplified.

I believe that ‘good business’ should be about people and planet as well as profit. I want to spread that message and help to create and sustain as many ‘good businesses’ as I can.

What lights you up about your business? 

The thing that really lights me up about my business is working with amazing, creative and inspirational business owners every single day.

I love hearing about the fabulous things that they are doing, and I love how the simple act of asking a series of careful questions can really help to raise people’s awareness of their strengths and their challenges, and that this can then lead them to their own brilliant solution. I love empowering people to take those first tentative steps out of their comfort zones, to overcome their fears and their doubts, and then seeing the motivation and the momentum that comes from taking action.

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

My 9-5 was more like an 8-7 with on call nights and weekends too, as I used to be a veterinary surgeon. One of the things I love best about having my own business is that I can fit it in around my kids, who at 8 and 6 are still young enough to enjoy having me around (I think!). I get to do the school runs, and go to all the assemblies and nativity plays and sports days without having to feel guilty, which is amazing!

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

My biggest daily habit is creating my daily schedule for the next day, which I do each night before I go to bed. I have an exercise book that I carry around with my diary, and I plan out the next day’s appointments and client calls, along with my ‘to-do’ list. It really helps me to feel more in control, and to hit the ground running as soon as I get back from the school run in the morning.

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

I guess I would say I am living the ‘freedom lifestyle’, although it’s my own version of ‘freedom’ that’s constrained by the school run and looking after two little people. But I have the freedom to work when and where I want, and with who I want. And that feels pretty epic!

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

In two years’ time I’d love to be earning a full-time income, working school hours and term-time only. I will have a full client list and be coaching two days a week, leaving plenty of time to be working “on my business” and creating new content, online courses, and podcasting too. My work fits in around the kids, and I get up every morning excited to be doing what I’m doing, and to be in a position where I can help other people to really be the change they want to see in the world.

What advice would you 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?

My one piece of advice for anyone wanting to start up their own business, would be to get really clear about your ‘why’ and your ‘big vision’. Hold onto these and remind yourself of them when things start to feel a bit too scary, or a bit too tough.


And take action. There’s nothing that helps you to move beyond fear more than action. Just one baby step, that’s all it needs. And that will give the momentum to take the next one, and the next one. Don’t wait for the fear to go, it won’t. Learn to walk alongside it and to take action despite it.

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

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.”

~ Zig Ziglar

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

You can find me on my website, where I’ve just launched a podcast that I’m hugely excited about!


And I’m on Facebook and on Twitter.


Do come and say hello

Jen

Loved your interview answers for the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Jen. Your business and ethics sound amazing!

Sending you best wishes for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Linn Thorstensson

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

This week we have the lovely Linn Thorstensson, food blogger and nutritional therapist, with her special heart-centred and mindful twist.

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

My business is a food blog and a nutritional therapy service. I would describe my business as Straightforward Nutrition, Heartfelt Eating and Mindful Living.

My mission is to make cooking fun and creative, and eating nourishing and fulfilling.

I work with people from all over the world on a private 1:1 basis, and also through an online programme, for those who’d rather work on their own.

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

I have many big WHYs… Initially, my own personal story with food, eating, nutrition and healing lead me to study nutrition, but my desire to help others heal their relationship with food, eating and body, and my passion for being my own boss and work on my own terms, are ultimately what keep me going.

What lights you up about your business? 

When one of my client’s has a breakthrough and really “gets it”, and also when they make changes from a place of care and compassion for themselves.

Making dietary and lifestyle changes are hard and it takes courage to change your mindset and habits.

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

I’ve never had a “traditional” 9-5 job, so I don’t know the answer to that really. Working for myself gives me the opportunity to do the things I love as well as make a difference in people’s lives. I love the flexibility of doing different things, which means most days are fresh and interesting.  No time to get bored that’s for sure!

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

I’ve started to be more intentional and consistent with my meditation practice. Being a nutritionist and a foodie, feeding myself well is top of mind. But that does slip occasionally!

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

Yes and no. I love the flexibility and the ability to work a good bit of the time from home. I love that I can take a nap if I need it or take a few hours in the middle of the week to go for lunch with friends and catch up±

The downside is that you can’t guarantee how much money you’ll have in your bank account at the end of the week…

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

Earning me a decent full-time living, with time to travel some and to continue to further my therapeutic skills.

If there was 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?

It takes longer than you think! Don’t be afraid to pivot and change, and embrace ALL aspects of the journey!

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

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

~ Dr Wayne Dyer

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

Here are my hangouts:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

Thanks for having me Sharon!


Linn

Loved your interview for Entrepreneur Spotlight, Linn. It’s wonderful how you are positively impacting and transforming people’s lives. With best wishes for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Sadaf Solangi

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

This week we’ve got the talented Sadaf Solangi, explaining all about her special blend of massage and coaching.

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

My business is Earth Rose therapeutics. It’s about developing Balance and Calm in the lives of women, predominantly through massage and coaching.

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

I was attracted to the glamour of self employment and being a business woman. I didn’t want to feel stressed working for a bossy manager. I wanted to heal and make a difference. And also make some decent money.

What lights you up about your business? 

The fact that I can have a brand like Liz Earle and that, by God’s will, I have a healing touch which makes women’s mental and physical pain go into remission.

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

Wake up when I want. Develop my own brochures. Choose my own working hours. Meet beautiful people. Command my own prices.

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

Prayer and meditation. Intermittent Fasting. Practising therapies which are therapeutic for me. Being plugged into the Profit Pack.

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

Sometimes I do feel that way, however, when I’m unfocused and don’t make a profit in my business, then I lose my freedom lifestyle. My ideal freedom lifestyle involves travelling and holding retreats, a clutter-free environment, eating Paleo foods and being really spiritual. I’d also be making enough money to sustain my freedom lifestyle.

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

A Therapeutic Spa up and running and funding to do my Masters.

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?

Self-care, baby steps, a simple and concrete logo, and perfect your product or service.

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

When the student is ready the teacher appears.

What are you favourite social hangouts, and where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

My favourite social hangouts are:

Profit Pack

Vital Mind Reset

and here’s where you can find me:

Website (under construction)

Facebook

Lily House

The Berkley Clinic

 

Sadaf

Thank you for letting me interview you for the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Sadaf. It was a pleasure to learn about you, your business, and your vision for the future. Wishing you the very best for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...