Welcome to the Real Women, Real Business series!
Before I left my corporate job, I was so in awe (and still am) of women who had taken the leap and set up their own business. I wanted to know how they came up with their idea and what gave them the courage to finally go for it.
When I set up IWMLBproject I decided to interview women who had launched their own successful businesses. It is so interesting to read about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ from real-life down-to-earth women just like you and me.
Here are the other interviews if you want to have a read!
- Interview 2: Rachel Creeger. A comedian, writer, and director
- Interview 3: Laura Peli. Executive Career Coach
- Interview 4: Monika Wawrzyczek. Mystique Lash Salon, and Academy
- Interview 5: Louise Winter: A Modern Funeral Director
- Interview 6: Georgia Gallone. Digital Marketing Consultant and App Founder
This week’s interview is with a Brand and Business Coach who has two companies, one for coaching businesses and one for individuals.
An interview with Ellie Frost, the founder of EllieFrost.biz and Build Your Legacy
What is your business?
What was your previous job?
I have had my own businesses since 2011, my job before that was a Board Director and Brand/ Business Development Strategist for Jamie Oliver where I worked for nine years.
What made you decide you wanted to leave your corporate job?
My job at Jamie’s wasn’t too corporate as we were a very dynamic company and had a lot of freedom, I was basically an entrepreneur within a job.
How did you decide what business to set up?
My first business was a consultancy for big brands (many corporate ones like Conde Nast, Guardian Media Group). It was awesome as I was playing at a high level but in 2016 I felt a real calling to do more for entrepreneurship and people starting out who don’t have access to great resources, so I set up my online business to help more entrepreneurs with affordable solutions that cut the crap!
Then in 2017, I launched my personal branding agency in LA for the next “Jamie Olivers” – people who are here to change the world in positive ways and build big brands and businesses around themselves. I love doing both.
Was everyone supportive of your idea?
Did you have an ‘emergency fund’ to tide you over while you set up your business or did you start it on the side while still at work?
When I set up my first business I had 3 months worth of money in the bank to pay my mortgage and overheads.
Did you have to get any outside investment to get going?
Did you take any courses or qualifications?
I have done several online courses to see what’s out there and am constantly developing myself – I’ve been into personal development for 20 years and trained as a coach mentor in 2004.
Did you have any particular fears about starting a business and if so how did you get over them?
Yes! Because no-one could understand why I left high flying jobs to do something else and with the online business, in particular, it was new territory.
I got over that by having such a compelling reason, being so compelled by the outcome and objective of helping more people that it was worth it and I’m a coach so I’m a mindset queen 🙂 I can brainwash myself and anyone else into achieving their dreams. Belief is everything.
What was the hardest thing about setting up the business?
Creating a vision only I could see and understand to start with, feeling like a bit of an outlaw but I’ve got used to that!
Did you make any mistakes when you were setting up?
All the time! We all do! I don’t really see them as mistakes though, just times when I wasn’t most aligned with what I felt inside. Biggest one, taking on the “wrong clients” and one staff member I knew wasn’t for me.
How long did it take before you made enough for a full-time income?
Pretty much straight away.
How do you manage your time? Do you take certain days off?
I don’t see clients on Mondays. I prioritise self-care. My business can be location free and has been for the past 6 years so I’ve travelled the world while working.
I don’t have kids but I have a huge zest for life so work and play must go together. I only work with people I love and who inspire me and I make sure I don’t compromise what makes my life feel good outside of work.
There is no point setting up a business for more freedom and feeling like you are in a job.
Do you ever procrastinate and how do you deal with it?
Yes but I’m quick not to. If it’s not an absolute YES, it’s a no until it’s a yes or I let it go. You have to deeply trust yourself.
How do you market your business?
Social media, word of mouth, some PR activities. My first business was referral only and I wasn’t a big networker then (natural introvert turned more extravert) so anything is possible. The key is to do what feels good to you.
What is your favourite thing about having your own business?
Helping people succeed and monetise who they are and their dreams. Creating life on my terms. Being an artist and creator of my own reality.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to women who want to start a business?
Trust yourself, don’t compromise on your ideals, know what they are, lock them in and believe they are possible. Work on your belief more than anything else. The rest will follow when you decide not to do what you think you can, but what you would really really love to.