After college, I thought I had it all mapped out, but as I was driving from Ohio to Chicago to start my Master’s in Counseling program at Northwestern University, it hit me: this wasn’t my path. Although I didn’t know what my path was, I followed my heart back to Ohio and officially entered into a quarter-life crisis. The months that followed weren’t pretty, but I stayed focused on that knowing that there was something I was meant to do – something I was meant to accomplish in my life. Something big. It was then that I heard the call of something scary: I needed to move to London. And just a few months later, I moved from Ohio to England with four ginormous suitcases, a little bit of money and nowhere to live. I was all alone and taking a giant leap into the life I’d always imagined for myself. I was scared but did it anyway, knowing I needed to trust in myself…I spent a few years living in a flat the size of a closet, working as a nanny, matchmaker and Virtual Assistant. I was in a holding pattern, just waiting for my life to catch up to my dreams. That Spring, as luck would have it, a friend introduced me to the industry that would become my true calling: coaching. It only took a moment for me to realize that I had finally found my path. It was not long after that, the I Heart My Life brand was born. I made $442 the first month in my business, hit 6-figures in six months and made 7-figures in my first 18 months of business. My spark really came from my own quarter-life crisis. I was miserable and despite knowing I was meant for something big, I didn’t know how to get there. When I discovered other incredible women like Marie Forleo who were changing the world and having fun I knew I wanted to support women who had been in a similar place as I was. I started with life coaching and as more and more of my clients started coming to me for business help I transitioned to success coaching and IHML evolved into what it is today.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I would say the biggest hurdle would be getting clients. I went through a period at the beginning of my business where I had 54 no’s in a row from potential clients. I overcame that through persistence and learning to develop the skills I needed to really go deeper with clients on sales calls so they were ready to invest in working with me.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
The truth is, not everyone gets what I do. Not everyone supports my mission. Some people think I’m only in it for the money. Especially in the beginning of building my business, there were times when experiencing that disbelief was difficult for me...I remember one particular Christmas when I excitedly showed my 84-year-old grandpa my website. I pulled up iheartmylife.com and waited for a proud expression to come over his face. After all, he was an entrepreneur from a young age too. I was devastated when he didn’t get it and literally ran upstairs crying. (In retrospect, why would he get it?! He doesn’t even know how to use a computer and isn’t familiar with coaching!)
But I’ve also had a lot of support and have seen the ripple effect that me going for my dreams has had on my loved ones. For instance, both of my parents have told me I’ve inspired them to pursue new businesses using online business models that they’d never thought of previously (which is a pretty cool thing to hear from your own parents!).
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Trusting my heart and intuition -- these lead me to really focus on the mindset work which has been such an important factor to my success and to invest in coaching and support as I grew even if it didn’t seem to make total business sense at the time.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
That I don’t need to do everything today, and to get help sooner than I think. One of my coaches used to tell me I was acting like I had 4 months left to live. I also waited too long to invest in building my team and if I went back, would do that as soon as I could afford to.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
To be consistent. Success doesn’t happen overnight and your mindset won’t change after reading one book. It takes continued work on yourself and your business to create the business and life of your dreams. Also, always feel the fear, but do it anyway. Fear will always be there but it’s important to make decisions based on desire, not on fear.