Secrets of my Success interview series

Interview with Jessica Nazarali: Design a health & wellness business that sparkles

04 15 2014

I’m excited to introduce you to the very lovely Jess Nazarali.  Based in Sydney, Jess is a business coach, blogger at www.livehealthysimply.com and jessicanazarali.com & co-owner of an online health food store with her husband ShopHealthy.com.au.  She started her business while she was working full-time in the corporate world and has created a thriving business so that, earlier this year, she has been able to leave her job and focus her energy and attention on her passions.  Jess has achieved so much in just a short space of time so I’m excited for her to share her story today.  

In this video, Jess shares how she designed a health and wellness business that sparkles:

  • How growing up on a farm sowed the seed for her future entrepreneurial path.
  • What gave her the confidence to take the leap to starting her own business and blog.
  • How listening to her intuition brought about a new business direction.
  • What has driven and motivated Jess to create a business that allowed her to achieve her vision and leave her corporate job.
  • Her top three tips for women who want to get started in business

Jess and I would love to hear what vision you are going to unapologetically strive for – please share in the comments below.

p.s. Here are a few of the resources Jess mentions in her video:

Marie Forleo’s B-School

Institute of Integrative Nutrition

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Secrets of my Success: Meg Biram

03 20 2014

Prepare to be inspired… Meg Biram is a journalism graduate turned multi-passionate entrepreneur. After giving five years to roles in the corporate world with The Observer Media Group and Hallmark Cards, Meg followed her entrepreneurial instinct.  She’d been blogging to curate fashion, interiors and art since 2007 and, four years later, was able to turn her online home into a business.  From there her business has evolved to include a shop, online marketing and social media consulting, speaking and collaborations with brands including Kate Spade New York, Nike and Macy’s.  Meg also co-founded The B Bar – an online ebookshop.  

I’m excited to introduce Meg today as she shares the secrets of her success….

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  What motivated you to start your own business?

I don’t think there’s been a defining moment for me, I just always knew I’d be an entrepreneur. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in my extended family so I grew up thinking it was normal. I did the corporate world for five years and it just further solidified that it was not my thing.

 

How did you go from the seedling of a business idea to ‘open for business’?  How did you get started?  And how has your business evolved (into now multi-passionate!)?

When I started my blog back in 2007, blogging wasn’t really a business for most people. None of us realised that blogging itself could turn into a business so I always thought I’d be doing something else and blogging was just to help market it.  Obviously that changed as it became possible to monetise blogs, but once I left my Senior Designer position at Hallmark Cards in early 2011 and moved to Washington DC that’s when I started consulting seriously, and the rest of my businesses grew from there.

 

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.
I’m always thinking about what’s next. I plan for it and act on my plan, but I allow flexibility and let things evolve and surprise me. I’ve got a lot of things in the works for 2014. 

 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
I guess I’m never not motivated or inspired. It’s just innate for me.

 

What has been your biggest lesson learned?
That even sometimes good ideas I have aren’t necessarily what I want to spend my time doing. 

 

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?
I tend to put myself in a lot of situations that challenge me because I feel like you can’t grow or you aren’t taking enough risk if you aren’t kinda scared sometimes. So I know that as long as I put myself in uncomfortable positions sometimes, I’ll come out of it stronger.

 

[Tweet “You aren’t taking enough risk if you aren’t kinda scared sometimes” – @MegBiram via @EmmaGwillim”]
What do you believe is the secret of your success?
Persistence and hard work.

 

What 3 tips would you offer women on how to follow their professional ambitions and design a life that sparkles?
Research anything and everything about the industry you want to be in.
Talk to as many people as you can that have done what you want to do or something similar.
Make sure that what you want to do is unique to you.  Don’t just copy what other people are doing because you think it looks fun.  Dig deep to find your true passions and work hard to make them original to you.

 

[Tweet “”Dig deep to find your true passions and work hard to make them original to you” @MegBirman via @EmmaGwillim”]

 

Images: Abby Jiu

 

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Secrets of my Success: Magazine editor and blogger Alison Perry

03 06 2014

It’s a first today as the Secrets of my Success interview with Alison Perry is my first video interview…

Alison is a magazine editor and writes the award-winning NotAnotherMummyBlog.com.  As well as being the driving force behind a magazine, she’s also featured in magazines herself such as Grazia and Mother & Baby, she has appeared on Lorraine’s sofa and she’s been a guest speaker at Mumsnet bloggers conference.  AND, last but by no means least, she is mummy to a gorgeous 3-year old daugher.

Alison shares:

  • What inspired her to start her own blog
  • How she manages the juggle of having a professional career, a blog and a 3-year old daughter
  • How she is motivated by ‘moments of gratification’ rather than big goals
  • An introduction to “phubbing”
  • What she believes is the secret to her success

Now it’s over to you.  What opportunities can you say YES to today?  Share with us in the Comments below…

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Secrets of my Success: Dressipi

10 31 2013

Picture this: you’re trailing the high street for an outfit, the outfit for that big occasion on the horizon.  You start out enthusiastic, excited to find the perfect little number to show you off but, after the umpteenth fitting room disappointment, you start to give up hope.  Nothing looks right…  My guests today have the answer.  You need to know your Fashion Fingerprint®, your unique style DNA.  As super-busy women, Sarah and Donna got their heads together to create a free fashion advice and recommendation service for women who have little time to shop but want to look knock-out.. and Dressipi was born.  Today they share the story of their success…

 

Hello!  Please introduce yourself to The Glitterati Girls:

We’re Donna Kelly and Sarah McVittie, co-CEO’s of Dressipi

 

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

Donna: The realisation that technology was an enabler for creativity. I was a journalist/producer at the time and started to use technology to create non-linear story telling. From there I got frustrated by the limitations and so got involved with building the tools and software. ..it became a passion.

Sarah: Leaving my first graduate job at USB as a Corporate Finance analyst to start my first business.  I have made many mistakes and learnt many lessons but have enjoyed it immensely and never looked back. 

With Dressipi specifically, back in 2009 Donna and I had been talking about doing something together and this was something we both thought was interesting. Donna had been working on a project with a fashion media business which formed the crumbs of an idea around helping women shop better.  I was out in New York at the time working for the company that bought my first business.  I remember going into a really trendy boutique in the West Village.  The sales assistant looked at me in horror and quickly banished me to the changing rooms. He then brought me five outfits, none of which I would have picked myself but all of which looked amazing.  I promptly bought all five and loved wearing them!  This guy didn’t even know me, yet could take one look at me and know what would look great.  It made me realise that there might just be a science to sexy and that technology was now at a point that it was likely to be good enough to deliver a really good service for our customers.  So I resigned and came back to work with Donna on Dressipi.

 

DressipiTell me about your vision/goals for your future.

Sarah & Donna: Our vision for Dressipi is to build a service that gives every woman confidence in what they wear and how they look. That all females carry their own unique Fashion Fingerprint® everywhere with them, on their phone or at home, which offers them personal advice and guidance putting outfits together whether they are dressing or shopping.    

 

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

Sarah & Donna: We have both built and sold businesses before so know the hard work and pressures that are involved but we also know the fulfilment and satisfaction that comes from building something that you are passionate about! 

Although it is never easy, the most effective way to turn your vision into a reality is to have the discipline and focus to deliver on your plan and knowing each day where to put the effort of your team and yourself. Your plan obviously changes as your business and market develops so being flexible to evolution and change is important.

And one of the most critical things is to build the right team.  Accept that you cannot do everything and are probably only really good at a couple of things, then make sure you have a great team of people who share your vision and bring the appropriate skills to ensure the success of your business.  We are very lucky with our team at Dressipi.

 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Sarah & Donna:  Every day is a huge and challenging day in a growing business. It’s inspiring to work alongside a team of people who share your vision. It’s exciting to see the product evolve from nothing to something that people want and love and businesses use.  And nothing beats receiving emails from our members where we have truly transformed their low self-esteem into confidence.

Dressipi is an exciting business and we are starting to get really good traction and results. That coupled with the vision we are starting to see play out provides plenty of motivation and inspiration for the next few years.

[Tweet “”It’s exciting to see the product evolve from nothing to something that people want and love and businesses use” @Dressipi via @EmmaGwillim”] 

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Sarah & Donna:

Starting a business is hard work, there are so many obstacles, and we have made plenty of mistakes and therefore learned many lessons. There is no overriding lesson learned but the key point is that you tend to learn from those mistakes and in doing so get better at building your business. Raising money is hard work but when you believe in something enough you learn that tenacity and passion are two of your greatest assets. We are passionate about technology, data, solving real customer problems and, as women, we also want to look lovely so, for us, it really is the perfect job!

Understanding how to work best together as founders to achieve the perfect partnership is also something worth working hard at. We have different but complementary skills and we are both driven and passionate which means there have been the occasional fireworks! But it is always with the best interests of our business at heart.

 

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

Sarah & Donna: We have no real fears but plenty of challenges.  We are working in a fairly new space defining a new segment within fashion retail.  Bricks and mortar retailers are relatively new to technology and data and are themselves working out how best to fit them in their business structures. So one of our challenges has definitely been how best to structure our partnerships so they quickly deliver results that are in a language that is meaningful to our retail partners right now.

A couple of our challenges include convincing the retailers to work with us and to try something new for their customer base and getting the customer to create a Fashion Fingerprint to get the benefits of the service.  In both cases, these challenges are overcome by keeping the product as simple as possible and ensuring that results are visible quickly.

 

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

Sarah: Hard work, tenacity and building a strong network

Donna:  On a personal level, a passion for looking at problems in a new way, the persistence and adaptability to see them through and a belief in the possible. And behind every success has been a team of great, talented people.  

[Tweet “”Behind every success has been a team of great, talented people” @Dressipi via @EmmaGwillim”]

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

Donna:

1. Do the thing that you are truly excited and passionate about – it will give you the best chance of success
2. Do your homework on the market, talk to people who will help inform your view then, regardless of what anyone says, if it feels right go ahead and do it
3. Be excellent, be adaptable and be authentic

[Tweet “”Be excellent, be adaptable and be authentic” @Dressipi via @EmmaGwillim”]

Sarah:

1. Make sure you are solving a real problem.

2. Make sure you believe in and are passionate about what you are doing.

3. Go for it!

 

What book has most inspired you?

Donna: So many, I am a reading fanatic…. Most recently The Team of Rivals, an absorbing study of how to form and manage a team of rivals for a greater good

Sarah: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

To find out more about Donna and Sarah’s business, you can check out their website or say hello on Facebook or Twitter

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Secrets of my Success: "Best Wedding Cake Designer" Rosalind Miller

10 17 2013

If you’re in the market for a wedding or celebration cake, prepare to fall in love with the prestigious Rosalind Miller Cakes.  Simply put, Rosalind Miller is the creator of edible art.  Rosalind’s background as an artist and designer, and former Graphic Designer at the feted Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design, is celebrated in each of her gorgeous designs.  Gracing the pages of leading glossy magazines and popular blogs, and a recommended supplier to Blenheim Palace, The Waldorf Hilton, The Dorchester and The Four Seasons Park Lane, Rosalind’s award-winning success is unquestioned.  I’m delighted to share Rosalind’s secrets of success…

Cakes-3

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

The first time I really thought about making cakes for a living was when I went to New York and visited Magnolia Bakery. The cupcake trend was just taking off and I noticed that whilst the cupcakes tasted great, they weren’t particularly adventurous with the decoration. That inspired me to start being creative with cupcakes and that then set me on the path to making wedding cakes.  Probably the defining moment in my wedding cake business was when I won the Wedding Industry Award for national ‘Best Wedding Cake Designer’ in 2012. This helped me gain more recognition for what I do and, since winning it again the following year, has really propelled the business forward. I think now I am where I am because I have been recognised for my own style of cake design.

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

We are moving to new premises very soon and hope that with the move we will be able to expand our offering, especially the Masterclass side of the business. I’d like to continue being able to design unique wedding cakes and not have to dilute the brand. However, saying that, I’d also like to be able to have my weekends back at some point in the future!

Cakes1What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

The most effective thing has really been sticking to what I’m good at.  I haven’t tried to replicate styles that I don’t like in order to appeal to a wider audience. This has enabled me to become better at what I do and allowed others to recognise my style. The wedding industry – the suppliers, organisations, and media – is a really supportive industry, and forging good relationships within it has also really helped. From the awards, to recommendations from other suppliers, to press contacts and coverage, the good relationships really give you the support to build your brand.

[Tweet “”I haven’t tried to replicate styles that I don’t like in order to appeal to a wider audience” @RosalindMCakes via @EmmaGwillim”]

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I love designing something new and when I’m thrilled with a finished design it really keeps me motivated. I also love exciting projects to add variety to what we do. We recently had to design ‘the most expensive cupcake in the world’ for a Food Network event and coming up with something completely different to what we normally do was really enjoyable.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Always rely on your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right it’s probably for a good reason.

[Tweet “”Always rely on your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right it’s probably for a good reason” @RosalindMCakes via @EmmaGwillim”]

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is to keep coming up with new designs. It’s a challenge I love but some days the inspiration just doesn’t come to you! If I’m having one of those days I have to take a break or sit and discuss it over a cup of tea with my daughter. She always tells me if she does or doesn’t like an idea and we usually come up with something good in the end!

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

Probably my background in art and design has been one of the  most important factors in helping me get to where I am today. I’m a trained designer and so this obviously really helps when designing cakes as the principle is the same. I have also tried my hand at a lot of different things, from teaching to running my own web design business, which has given me a broad perspective. I haven’t achieved everything that I want to achieve yet by a long stretch, but I know that I have the patience and resilience which I think is vital for growing your business long term.

Cakes2What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

–       Being in business can be lonely – don’t feel that you have to do it all by yourself. There is no shame in enlisting as much help as possible from professionals and family and friends.

–       Stop thinking that everyone else is doing more/better than you. This can stifle you and prevent you from achieving your best and thinking of new ideas. A lot of people who have started businesses did so because they were good at what they do, not because they are business geniuses.

–       Never underestimate the value of good personal relationships within your industry.

[Tweet “”Being in business can be lonely – don’t feel that you have to do it all by yourself” @RosalindMCakes via @EmmaGwillim”]

What book has most inspired you?

It was Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain. I found it a really inspiring story and it gave me that extra bit of confidence to just take the plunge and go for it.

If you want to find out more about Rosalind’s business, visit her website or connect on Facebook or Twitter

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Secrets of my Success: Image-maker Sarah Ancalmo of Public Persona

10 03 2013

Earning her stripes presenting to fashion and beauty industry bigwigs. directing major commercial shoots and building websites for rockstars like Madonna, Sarah Ancalmo’s career got off to an envious start.  The inside story was a little different: Sarah quietly doubted herself and her place in her glamorous environment, and her confidence took a knock.  With a little soul-searching and drawing on her creative flair, Sarah took on a new design project: herself. With a new, authentic image, a new confidence was born… and with it a business idea.  Sarah now utilises her brand and design expertise alongside her knowledge of fashion and style as the founder of Public Persona, working with women entrepreneurs, in-person and internationally via Skype, to help them discover their unique, iconic brand style and image.  I’m so excited that Sarah is today sharing the secrets of her success…

 

Hi Sarah… Please will you introduce yourself to The Glitterati girls:

I’m Creative Director, stylist, designer and entrepreneur at Public Persona

 

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

I’ve been a Designer and Creative Director in NYC for the entertainment, advertising and beauty industries for about 13 years.  For the first few years, while I felt confident and comfortable behind the computer, I felt incredibly vulnerable whenever I stepped out in front of it and represented myself, my work and the boutique design group I was working for at the time.  I was under the intense scrutiny of high-end, multi-million-dollar paying clients and I felt I looked like a kid with a baby-face.  Imagine how I felt pitching a video at VOGUE headquarters. It was a bit like a scene from The Devil Wears Prada and I was Andy, pre-makeover. 

I remember the sensation of being looked over, from head to toe. My heart would sink and the confidence would slowly drain out of my body. I felt like an imposter, and I was convinced my clients thought so as well.  I realised there was a very real disconnect between my high-level skills, my physical appearance and my confidence levels.  Whenever I felt judged, self-conscious, or uncomfortable about my appearance, I projected that: “Hi, I’m Sarah. I might have knowledge, experience, and talent, but I’m totally lacking in confidence so don’t listen to a word I say.”  I was self-sabotaging myself. 

I finally grasped that I needed to feel confident about what I was putting out there first, before other people could have confidence in me.  Not the other way around. I did some soul-searching to determine who I was and applied my intuitive knack for creative design to redesigning me—from my clothes, to my hair, to my makeup, to my body language and, in turn, my confidence grew.  The results I experienced from that point forward were AM-A-ZING.  It was my ‘aha’ moment, my experience, and embracing my own identity that led to me formally studying fashion and style and weaving that together with my creative direction and design experience to create Public Persona.  My business helps successful entrepreneurs to curate what’s incredible about their personality and business, and turn it into a noticeable, unforgettable, consistent image; one that shines through both their business brand and their personal style.

[Tweet “”I finally grasped that I needed to feel confident about what I was putting out there first, before other people could have confidence in me” @PublicPersona via @EmmaGwillim”]

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

If the sky’s the limit: I’d LOVE a private jet and a walk-in closet the size of Texas filled with all the latest-and-greatest. But seriously…  I’d absolutely love to be able to offer an online course that teaches women (and men) how to brand and style themselves in such a way that it’ll magnetise their ideal clients. I’d love to begin a video series of interviews and style tips.  I’d even love to teach live workshops. Secretly though, I’m extra-nervous about speaking in public so to conquer that fear while helping others look and feel amazing both on and offline would be a winning combo for me in the next year or so. 

 

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

Three things: 

Good old fashioned brainstorming whether it be alone, with a friend, or a committee… the momentum from that always gets me revved up for a new project.  

My instincts. I’ve found that the best idea is typically the first idea.   

Not waiting until I’m ready, just jumping in.  Going in head-first always yields the best results in any creative endeavor. I think we always underestimate our ability to figure out the strokes as we go along. 

 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I thrive on experiencing and seeing new things. That’s perhaps why I’m so addicted to Pinterest. Seriously addicted.  Here’s my board.  I feel like I’m always on a quest to create something new or different, that’s what keeps me motivated more than anything.  I find that everything from modern home interiors to film noir stills to an architectural stiletto inspires me to look at and approach things in a different way.  And to mix two totally unexpected things? The unique juxtaposition is heaven for me.  If I’m really hard up for motivation and inspiration, I tend to take a field trip to an international newsstand and Toys R’ Us in Times Square. Without fail, something about looking beyond the walls of my comfort zone and then revisiting my childhood helps to reignite my creativity. 

 

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Be yourself.  I LOVE what Judy Garland so wisely said: “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.”  I think I spent way too much of my life and career thinking that I had to be everything to everyone.  I found myself a watered-down version of what everyone else wanted me to be/look/sound like. Finding and owning my own identity and embracing my own tastes, thoughts, ideas and uniqueness not only set me free but I’ve also found that it encourages others to do the same.

 

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them? 

Aside from public speaking nothing gives me a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms more than the thought of losing momentum!  I have a tendency to try to get too far ahead too fast.  Sometimes I feel like starting and growing your own business is a lot like running an ultra-marathon with a moveable finish line.  It’s as though I keep meeting the milestones but then fifty new ones pop up ahead. It can be so challenging but, just like the tortoise and the hare, I’m learning that sticking to the old adage of “slow and steady wins the race” is the best way to go.

[Tweet “”Starting & growing your own business is a lot like running an ultra-marathon with a moveable finish line” @PublicPersona via @EmmaGwillim”] 

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

I don’t think I’ve truly achieved success yet but I think I owe my progress to three words: vision, strategy and drive.  The quote “vision without action is merely a dream” comes to mind as I say this.  Throughout my commercial career, I’ve pretty much reinvented myself from being a print designer to a web designer, to a motion graphics designer and fashion blogger, to a Creative Director and stylist for beauty and lifestyle brands, and now to working with amazing individuals.  When I think about what led to each of those shifts, the seed was a vision… you know, that BIG dream of where it is that you want to go. I could see it, I could feel it, I could taste it.  I would daydream about it. It felt real.  Then came a pretty clear strategy on how to get there and, of course, then the consistent drive to constantly take me one step closer.  Funnily enough, I do realise that I’ve often been described as a dog that won’t let go of a bone no matter what when it comes to achieving my goals.  I guess my mandibular death-grip pays off.  That said, I think success is not really a destination but rather a pitstop on a journey.  It seems as though each time I make it to my goal, another goal appears down the road. I think this will probably continue infinitum for me as, good or bad, I’m never totally satisfied. 

 

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

  • Keep things fresh…nothing kills inspiration like stagnation. Try to do something each and every day that pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. 
  • Jump in, you’ll figure it out.  
  • Always, always, always be yourself.  Be Y-O-U-nique. 

[Tweet “”Always, always, always be yourself. Be Y-O-U-nique” @PublicPersona via @EmmaGwillim”] 

What book has most inspired you?

So many! I think Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach might be my all-time-inspirational fave.  It’s a great quick read about stopping living on autopilot and moving to self acceptance, inner strength, and happiness: “you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way“.  This has always resonated with me which I now see has a clear correlation with what I do with women: helping them to feel great about themselves and confident, by bring their inside to the outside so that everyone can see them like they want to be seen.  Isn’t it funny how we tend to teach the things we need to learn ourselves? 

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Secrets of my Success: Camille Styles

09 26 2013

The path to Camille Styles’ business seems destined: from working as a fashion PR to event planning for a top catering firm to the tea parties she threw for her (impeccably dressed) dolls as a child, her experience was the perfect grounding for what has become a revered and desirable lifestyle brand.  Offering creative design and event production, as well as a gorgeous lifestyle blog to inspire her worldwide readers, Camille Styles is synonymous with creative design and inspiration.  Today, Camille shares the secrets of her success…

 

What is your title/position:

Founder & Creative Director of CamilleStyles.com

 

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

There have been SO many little defining moments through the years, and I love looking back and thinking, “ahh, so THAT’S why that happened!” Working in fashion PR introduced me to the world of events, taking the plunge to start my blog as a creative side project, meeting a friend-of-a-friend who became my book agent and set me on this new path as an author. I really don’t have any regrets as I look back on previous experiences because it all really does have a purpose in the end.

 

camille styles1

 

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

My biggest goal for the immediate future is to make my book the most creative, best work of my career so far. And always, to continue to grow the blog, making it a more innovative and beautiful place for our readers to get inspired on a daily basis.

 

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

Surrounding myself with smart people who encourage me, but also share wisdom and tell me the truth. Writing down my long-term goals AND the practical little steps to help me get there. Being unafraid to reach out to much more successful people for help and friendship.

 

camille styles3

 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Discovering beauty, whether it’s on Pinterest or at an art museum or in the design of a restaurant, never fails to inspire and excite me. Also, taking some time to define my vision for the future of the company and setting new goals always makes me motivated to get to work on Monday morning!

 

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

As an entrepreneur, confidence in who you are and what you’re doing is your biggest asset. If you truly believe in your heart that you’re offering something of great value, others will see that too and want to be part of it.

 

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

As a blogger, there’s a constant comparison trap with others. There are always going to be bloggers that are more popular, wittier, more talented and successful than you so I’ve definitely had to make a choice to stop the comparison game and just focus on doing my thing to the very best of my abilities! When I stop looking at what everyone else is doing, I find that I’m freed up to do something new, and most important of all, to stay true to myself.

[Tweet “”When I stop looking at what everyone else is doing, I find that I’m freed up to do something new, and most important of all, to stay true to myself” @camillestyles via @emmagwillim”]

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

Focus and passion for what I do every day.

 

camille styles5

 

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

(1) Your endeavor has to start from a place of passion. As a founder or business owner, there WILL be days throughout the journey when you want to give up, but if you have a real passion for what you’re doing, you’ll be able to push through those tough times.

(2) My husband once told me that, when quoting a price to a new customer, “if you don’t cringe a little bit, you’re not asking enough.” As women, we’re often afraid to price ourselves or our products at what they’re really worth, so keeping this in mind has really helped me make our company profitable.

(3) Find a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, bloggers, designers, or whatever it is you do. Having a support system of people you can go to for advice, or who just keep you inspired and on your toes, is invaluable for continued growth.

[Tweet “”Having a support system of people you can go to for advice, or who just keep you inspired and on your toes, is invaluable for continued growth” @camillestyles via @emmagwillim”]

What book has most inspired you?

In my cooking, Alice Waters’ biography. In my mothering, Bringing up Bébé.  In my personal life, the Bible. In my professional life, Blink and Today Matters.

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Secrets of my Success: Nitika Chopra

09 12 2013

Through her online magazine Bella Life, Nitika Chopra is doing her bit to encourage people to make happiness a habit and, to coin her mantra, to “let go and live big“. And she’s a living testament to that mantra. Nitika excitedly shared her story with me, how the concept for Bella Life was born and how her big dream of having her own talk show has become a reality. Ahead of the premiere of Naturally Beautiful, which airs on September 24th, Nitika shares the secrets of her success…

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

So, four years ago I started trying to figure out where my passion lay.  I realised that I really love to take care of people, I really love to be creative, creating new concepts and ideas, and I also really love the camera and expressing myself through film.  I tried to figure out how these three things came together, how they might become a career.  What I really uncovered, through a lot of meditation and working with a coach, was that I really wanted to have my own talk show.  It felt like an ‘out there’ dream but I decided that I wasn’t going to give up.  I decided to take my dream and work out what I could do with it, what I did know.  I realised that I could create the concept, that I could have guest interviews like they did on the talk shows I aspired to and I could be on camera with my own YouTube channel.  I asked God to let someone see this concept as a show one day.  I started with no idea really of what I was doing and I did it anyway.

[Tweet “”It felt like an ‘out there’ dream but I decided that I wasn’t going to give up” @YourBellaLife via @EmmaGwillim”]

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

I have this video called ‘The Girl Who Cried Entrepreneurabout my experiences of starting Bella Life as I had been searching for a long time for my passion and what my future might be and I kept trying a lot of things.  It felt like every week I was having a new epiphany of what my future business was.  I look back now and I have compassion for that part of me because I did all this to work out what my passion truly was.  To the outside world it looked like I wasn’t really doing anything – I would create business cards and invest money in different ways but I would never actually do anything with these ideas.  So when I started Bella Life I made a promise to myself to not invest a single cent for a year.  I told myself if I could focus for a year, do the networking, do the research, work on the business for a year without spending any money on it and still want to do it then I’d allow myself to invest and go for it.  And I did it.  I spent my time researching the format, looking at what I liked and didn’t like about other websites, and looking for the person that was going to build the site for me.  I was really starting from scratch.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I lean towards positivity more than some people.  I realised at a young age that you have two choices: you can either be miserable or you can be happy.  I know being upset and miserable affects my health – my body is my biggest teacher and so when I get upset I know within 24 hours that I’ll have a physical manifestation of that.  So, although things obviously upset me at times, I choose to listen to my body instead.

How do you deal with fears, challenges and obstacles, and how do you overcome them?

My approach is to have massive compassion for myself.  I know we can have a tendency to go straight to problem solving – get it done, get it figured out and deal with the feelings later… but I really don’t agree with that.  I believe all those feelings will show up in your body, in your conversations, in your spirit eventually.  I try to have the courage to go to the real problem, to the root, to choose compassion.  To do that I usually ask myself: “what is really going on here?”.  I look at what’s triggered me, what’s really bothering me.

[Tweet “”I try to have the courage to go to the real problem, to the root, to choose compassion” @YourBellaLife via @EmmaGwillim”]

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

Oh my gosh, it’s really big.  It’s hard to say out loud.  When I had the vision for a TV show, I also had a vision that Bella Life would become a global lifestyle brand – a brand that women go to for happiness, positivity and healing.  At the time I put it on the backburner as it felt too big a vision, the TV show was big enough. I’m still formulating what the brand really could be and how it could be different to what’s already out there, and still be true to who I am.  I’m still unfolding the vision…  And, of course, I want my future to involve lots more television.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

I am one determined little sucker.  My dad used to tell me I was really determined – if I had my mind set on something I just wouldn’t shut up!  When I get passionate about something I cannot NOT work on it, I can’t let it go.  It takes over me.

[Tweet “The secret of success? “I am one determined little sucker” @YourBellaLife via @EmmaGwillim”]

What tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

There’s a part of creating your dreams where it’s brilliant and beautiful to not have a plan.  I didn’t know how I was going to get my own TV show.  Hold your vision and go with your gut instinct, your intuition.  But don’t be foolish.  I only stopped working in my full-time job in January when I started filming the TV show.  I’ve been holding down a full-time job and building my business at the same time – it was exhausting BUT I knew that I was going to be fed and pay my rent so all my creative energy was not weighed down by the pressures of my daily life.  I think there’s a balance: be free and follow your passion because that’s what you’re meant to do BUT also give yourself a secure foundation to do that.

[Tweet “”Be free and follow your passion because that’s what you’re meant to do BUT also give yourself a secure foundation to do that” @YourBellaLife via @EmmaGwillim”]

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Secrets of my Success: Natalie MacNeil

08 22 2013

A David Guetta song may literally have changed the course of Natalie MacNeil’s path to success.  The Emmy award-winning founder of Imaginarius, best-selling author and “chieftess” at She Takes on the World shares her inspirations, fears and motivation, as well as that Guetta-inspired ‘aha’ moment  that inspired her to start an online business…

divider-02 EG greyWhat is your title/position?

Chieftess at She Takes on the World Inc.

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today? 

I was torn between starting a business and getting a ‘real job’ after university. I was on a trip in Europe to give myself a change of scenery and the space to decide what I really wanted to do. I was visiting the Czech Republic and listening to a David Guetta song called The World is Mine when suddenly I drove by a giant globe that was two stories high that said The World Is Yours. As crazy as it may sound, that moment gave me all the courage I needed to follow my heart and start a business. It’s also where the seed of inspiration was planted for She Takes on the World, now listed the last three years in a row on ForbesTop 100 Websites for Women.

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

My signature plan is called the MAP (Master Action Plan), which I walk people through in my book and in The Conquer Club, a hybrid in-person and online community for entrepreneurial women on my website.

My MAP combines goal setting with vision boarding and strategic planning. It’s a business plan for those of us who are creative and like visuals. I look at my own MAP every day, morning and night. It’s my guide. In my MAP Sessions I help people get clarity on what they really want, define their perfect customer, slay the dragons that get in the way of success, set bigger picture goals and milestones, and a whole lot more.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I find inspiration everywhere. I travel a lot and the change of environment and scenery keeps me inspired. I’m also very motivated by all the emails I get from my readers around the world, hearing about how my book or blog or work has inspired them. I always read those emails on the entrepreneurial down-days to pick myself back up and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. Entrepreneurship can be a crazy roller-coaster ride.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Trust your gut. Always.

[Tweet “”Trust your gut. Always” @NatalieMacNeil via @emmagwillim”]

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

I had a lot of fears around writing my first book. When I finished it I was afraid of what people were going to think, especially because you can’t change it once it’s out there. I held my breath when I got my first review and breathed a sigh of relief after reading it. It’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes and I think we all care, at least a little bit, what other people think about us and our work.

To release my fears I have a meditation that I do. As part of the meditation I write the fear on a little piece of paper then burn it and watch it go up in smoke. It always feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

I think the people you surround yourself with – employees, mentors, friends and family – make or break you. I don’t allow anyone to bring negative energy into my business or my life and that makes all the difference. I think there is a lot of truth to the Jim Rohn quote: “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.”

[Tweet “”The people you surround yourself with – employees, mentors, friends and family – make or break you” @NatalieMacneil via @emmagwillim”]

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this?

When I was starting out with my first business I had no idea how to move forward but I MOVED FORWARD, and I figured it out as I went along. If you keep taking steps forward you will always figure it out. No successful entrepreneur has ever felt 100% prepared; I guarantee it. So my advice is to just start, seek help from mentors and experienced entrepreneurs, then launch and learn from your mistakes.

[Tweet “”So my advice is to just start, seek help from mentors and experienced entrepreneurs, then launch and learn from your mistakes” @NatalieMacNeil via @emmagwillim”]

What book has most inspired you?

I read a lot of entrepreneurship and business books that feed me with new ideas and inspiration, but Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love and The Law of Divine Compensation have probably had the biggest impact on how I view my business and my purpose. 

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Secrets of my Success: The fierce, fabulous and free Nisha Moodley

08 15 2013

Nisha Moodley describes herself as a student of freedom.  While, she says, its easier to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing, Nisha’s own path has seen her shake off the shackles… and has created a business that encourages women, “change makers”, to do the same.  In this week’s interview Nisha shares her definition of success and her personal formula for turning her big, bold dreams into reality…

What is your title/position:

Nisha Moodley.  I’m the founder of Fierce Fabulous Free

What has been the ‘defining moment’ that set you on the path you’re on today?  How did you get to where you are now?

After overcoming years of struggling with emotional eating, I feel a deep desire to help other women do the same. I decided to study nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and created a thriving practice helping women find freedom with food.

One day, a few years into my practice, I was really struggling in my marriage and in the midst of an argument with my then-husband (we’re now divorced), I threw up my hand and said “I don’t have time for this, I have work to do”.  As I sat down behind my laptop I had a painful realisation that I was using work the same way I had used food, to avoid uncomfortable emotions that I didn’t think i could handle.

I knew something had to change. Unless I was going to make my message about the virtues of being a burnt-out workaholic, I was going to have to change my life to align with my message of freedom.

What I discovered is, as my joy, satisfaction, pleasure and sense of purpose has expanded, I have been able to give and love and serve in a bigger way.[Tweet “”What I discovered is, as my joy, satisfaction, pleasure and sense of purpose has expanded, I have been able to give and love and serve in a bigger way” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

I now support women entrepreneurs in stepping into the space of supportive sisterhood, so we can explore an expansion of our own freedom, aligning us to make a bigger difference in the world.

The world will be set free by women who are free.  Sisterhood is key.

Tell me about your vision/goals for your future.

My vision for the future is to live in a world where women take incredible care of one another and themselves, enabling us to make a bigger difference in the world.  My goal is to do my part to ensure that it becomes normal for women to experience their own self-worth and have supportive sisterhood in their lives.

I’ve got a few books in the works, and will continue to run my business in a way that feels really aligned with where I am in my life and the impact I want to make.

[Tweet “”My vision for the future is to live in a world where women take incredible care of one another and themselves, enabling us to make a bigger difference in the world” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

What has been most effective for you in your achievements so far, in turning your goals/visions into reality?  Where do you start?

The most effective tool that I’ve used is my Freedom Formula: Appreciation + Intention + Aligned Action

Here’s what it looks like:

Appreciation:

            – Write a gratitude list of everything you appreciate about your life now.

Intention:

            – Craft a detailed description of your vision.

            – Visualize what it will look, feel, smell, sound and taste like to “succeed” (I call this a Future Memory)

Aligned action:

            – Create momentum by taking an immediate action that takes fewer than three minutes.

            – Find support to create a plan of action.

            – Savor every step; if the process is pleasurable, you’ve already won!

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I wake up every day and mediate on my “why” – the bigger vision I have for the world.  This grounds me in my mission, making all my daily actions worthwhile, even when they’re challenging.

I also give myself plenty of downtime to enjoy all that life has to offer, indulging in my hobbies and interests and taking plenty of time with my friends and family.

What has been your biggest lesson learned?

Oh, so many lessons.  I suppose the biggest lesson has been that when we focus 100% on our businesses, we sacrifice our relationships, health and feeling of being truly alive in the world.  When we nurture our lives, including our business, we have the stamina, energy and focus necessary to move mountains.  Life is happening now.

What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

My biggest fears have all had to do with ‘haters’.  It’s still a challenge for me to stomach negative feedback, but I focus on the difference I’m here to make, and that makes it all worth it.  I remind myself that the more impact we’re making, the more public we are, the more attention we receive, both positive and negative.

What do you believe is the secret of your success?

While there’s plenty I’m still striving for, I love my life and feel thrilled with the work I’m doing.  To me, that’s what “successful” looks like.

The secret of my success is that I define how success feels, and choose to live that way now.  In this way, success is always available to me, and I am relaxed, calm and focused as I take my daily actions.

What 3 tips would you offer ambitious women reading this? 

1. Don’t be so ambitious that you forget to live.  Go for a walk everyday; smell flowers; throw dinner parties; travel with your girlfriends; read fiction.  It will only make you more able to rock your mission. 

2. Wake up every day and connect with your vision for a future where the thing you work so hard for, your “Why”, is solved.  See the world as you wish to see it when you take your last breath.  It will make all your daily actions worthwhile, and will keep you doing what it takes to see your dream come true.

3. Take care of the woman behind the business: you.  If you let your health and relationships fall apart, will it really be worth it?  Furthermore, will you be leading by example, walking your talk?  It’s time we step up and “be the change”.

[Tweet “”Don’t be so ambitious that you forget to live” @AskNisha (via @emmagwillim)”]

What book has most inspired you?

Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions came right on time for me, and completely changed the way I do business…for the better!

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