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Success Story – Natalie Levy

 


Natalie Levy

Natalie Levy

 

“I’ve accepted that it’s tough to be an entrepreneur and that we won’t just succeed because we’re doing important things.”

 

 

Natalie is the type of woman that does more than want the best for others, she actively works to help them push forward. Her energy and excitement for life and humans are, in my opinion, a major reason she has found her successes. More, she is so open and ready to learn, experience, try, and give. I love what she is doing. 

 


 

Tell us all about your business. ShesIndependent.com is a womxn’s empowerment collective covering all aspects of empowerment. We cover the personal and professional, online and off, and connect multi-generational women. Empowerment isn’t just about asking for more money at work but about developing the mindset and investing in skills to empower ourselves in all aspects of life and through life transitions. We’re all about social impact. How can we reinvent and invest in our community and beyond. We care deeply about gender equality and also mental health & wellness. We offer regular in-person events in the Denver area such as rock climbing club, wild woman paint night, and mentorship and office hours. Given the pandemic environment today we are currently heavy on nourishment, connection, and healing via webinar offering restorative yoga, breathwork, sound healing and meditation, and more. We offer community, real conversations and insight, and have an underlying focus on mental health & wellness.

When did you know you would be an entrepreneur? Corporate roles were always a bit of a struggle for me. Being a cog in a machine or not being able to tangibly impact company culture or strategy were frustrating. I enjoyed the golden handcuffs in ways but finally got to the point in my life where I wanted to align with my soul purpose. Following the loss of my mother to suicide I started the journey of building shesindependent.com.

What was your ambition when you started? The initial scope was to invest in an idea and concept. I didn’t have a larger intention of making money but it has been something on my mind, but social impact comes first. My underlying ambition was to positively impact women like my mother to empower them across various areas of their lives. From healing and building confidence post-divorce around being single or in managing personal finances.

How has it changed, and what is your ambition today? My ambition and goals haven’t really changed, per se, but the focus and business impact of empowerment now also more directly speaks to mental health & wellness. Through the journey of exploring various areas of empowerment personally and through our community I realized the importance of areas like nourishment and healing through meditative practices and stepped up our focus on mental health & wellness following the death of another immediate family member to suicide. I now aim bigger. I not only want to try to make an impact but am more dedicated than ever around making real change. I have been bootstrapping (self-funding) this business since inception and am now stepping up investment in marketing resources to continue to build this community.

What is the best advice you ever got about running a business? Fail fast. And learn from it. (have a growth mindset. also – try and learn versus waiting until you feel fully ready or you waited too long) Also. GO. An idea is just an idea. Try it. (regarding starting…)

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a business owner so far, and how did you overcome them? Mindset – Getting started was a big challenge. I had the concept of a women’s empowerment business for many years. Experiencing post-traumatic growth and the bigger life transition allowed me to reinvent this internal narrative that had been a roadblock. Growth is slow. Again it’s mindset. I’ve accepted that it’s tough to be an entrepreneur and that we won’t just succeed because we’re doing important things. There is a lot of noise out there and we are doing the work to establish who we are and our credibility.

How do you define “success” for you? Success to me means making a difference. I feel like we’ve already succeeded in terms of intention knowing some women have opened up and started to heal from abuse after reading our blog posts on the topic. Other women have been mentored and not only received 40+ % raises at work but more importantly developed core skills and understanding of their needs that they will take through life. Monetarily we aren’t yet succeeding as I continue to self-fund the business. Yet, it is intentional and I’m happy to do it today.

What is your secret to success? I think the underlying passion and drive from having lost now two family members to suicide makes this a journey that’s unique to me and our community and means we won’t be giving up anytime soon.

Now, tell us a fun “secret” We started with the story of sex-positivity as a path to empowerment but realized that this is just one of many areas we wanted to address. Pivots and months later mental health & wellness is the core focus. But we still love to talk orgasms and women’s sexual health 🙂

What great advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs? Don’t wait. Try it. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself as it’s an ongoing journey of learning and creating.

What business or self-development books do you recommend? I haven’t read any too recently but I enjoyed Zero to One and Do More Faster a while back. I’ve had a lot of experience and schooling through professional roles so I haven’t done as much reading to catch up. I’ve also worked with several business mentors and friends to ideate and strategize in various areas.

What would you choose as your walk-out song (that is, if you don’t already have one)?

Love reading about inspiring women? Check out our past Success Stories!

 

 

An Urgent Truth

An Urgent Truth


 
*** This blog was originally an email I sent out on 3/23/20 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the panic small business owners were experiencing all at once, I got a landslide of feedback that compelled me to share here.*** 
***(I have the best community, say anything different, and I’ll fight you.) ***
 
 

I know there is a lot of worry right now.. Look, guys, I don’t have all the answers for you, no one does. What I do know is that on the other side of this, there will be businesses that don’t survive this; their customers are still going to want those services.  – Will you be ready? – 

Will you take advantage of the opportunities in front of you?  Are you going to spend this time buried in fear? Allow stress and anxiety to take over and shut you down? 

NOPE

Do not allow yourself to be bulldozed by all of this into inaction, negative patterns, bad habits, or destructive behaviors. If you do, you are not going to be ready. You are in charge here, you get to decide how you are going to react to this. Coronavirus is simply another part of the business environment right now; your job is to figure out how you are going to react. YOU. Yes, you, are in control. Do not give away your power to these circumstances. That is how failure begins.

This all may sound harsh. If it offends you, that’s fine. This is an urgent truth. This is how fortunes are made and this is how businesses fail.

Start looking for the opportunities, seeing the timing, creating the strategy to adapt to the current situation, overcome the barriers and gaps, and thrive. Get VERY engaged in your business. If you can’t work IN your business, you sure better be working ON your business.

Remember, this won’t last forever, we will recover, and we will rise even stronger.

Success Story – Denaye Austad

 


Denaye Austad

 

” In my opinion the hardest stuff can lead to the best rewards. So if you want to run a business, if you’re chasing some sort of goal or dream, get ready to put in some time and energy and some blood, sweat and tears. “

 

 

Denaye and I are close. It isn’t by accident. She is exactly the type of human I want in my circle. Check out her answer to “What is your secret to success?”  The success she creates for herself is honestly earned thought incredibly hard work, significant grit, and a level of insight I don’t find in many people. This woman’s generosity is one of her greatest strengths and her ability to find solutions is inspiring. I love her. You will too. 

 


 

What is your entrepreneur story? I don’t think I figured it out until I was already an entrepreneur. I was homeschooled growing up so I had a lot of freedom over when I got my work done and what I did with the rest of my time. I learned to get things done more efficiently so I could spend time reading or playing outside or developing my hobbies. I kind of assumed that life as an adult would look something like that too.

Once I got to the world of corporate America, it was a rude awakening when I found that I couldn’t spend my time the way I wanted, and even if I finished my work early, I couldn’t go home and I certainly wasn’t going to get paid more for being more efficient. So I kind of fell into entrepreneurship by starting in real estate but it still wasn’t a label I really identified with.

It wasn’t until I got into finance that I really started to know what that meant and really embraced the culture. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I run a financial services practice focused on helping entrepreneurial women and small business owners learn more about their money. I help people create a retirement plan that fits the bigger vision of what they want for their life which includes helping them hit their goals and dreams along the way!

What was your ambition when you started? When I got into finance, I really just wanted to get out of the service industry and work in a position where I could start doing something that I felt was worthwhile. I wanted a fancy loft downtown and a brand new car and a wardrobe that said I was somebody important. My motivation at first was very self-focused because I wanted so badly to just be someone.

How has it changed, and what is your ambition today? After working in this industry for a while, I really feel like I’ve become a product of my environment. My company has an aggressively positive office culture, and even though we run our own practices I’ve received an incredible amount of leadership development and mentorship from people who I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The industry hasn’t always been a friendly place for women in finance, and I’ve made a commitment to helping make a change by finding, retaining, and building some incredible women who care about changing their lives and helping other people do the same. I’ll still get my loft and my fancy car eventually, but my focus has shifted outwards to building a community around myself and helping them reach their goals as well. I love presenting and training on a larger scale and I’m always trying to build a platform for myself and others who have a message worth sharing.

What is the best advice you ever got about running a business? One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison, and it says that, “Opportunity is missed by most because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I’m a firm believer that you only deserve what you’re willing to work for. I feel like so many people give up on their dreams because it gets hard. In my opinion the hardest stuff can lead to the best rewards. So if you want to run a business, if you’re chasing some sort of goal or dream, get ready to put in some time and energy and some blood, sweat and tears. I don’t think anyone running a successful business would tell you that it was easy. The flip side of that though is that you can’t make yourself miserable. Work hard and take care of yourself and the rest will come when it’s supposed to.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faces as a business owner so far, and how did you overcome them? Most of my biggest challenges have stemmed from my own self-doubt and sometimes even struggles with mental illness. When I’m confident in what I’m doing and who I am, nothing can phase me. That wasn’t the case when I started. I didn’t think I was smart enough or that anyone would do business with me or that I was a leader worth following. I had to spend a lot of time building up my self talk to a place where I believe that I can do everything that I want. Also, mental health is way more important than anyone wants to acknowledge, and I still really struggle with down cycles of depression and anxiety that in the past could derail me for months. I really had to focus on the discipline of taking care of myself and building a support circle of people around myself so that when I start to go downhill I have people and systems that can bring me back. I had to get very vulnerable and accept that I need help every once in a while but that doesn’t take away from all the positive and amazing things about me. I honestly think that it’s helped me be more empathetic to my clients and partners as well.

How do you define”success” for you? Success for me is not having to answer to anyone else when it comes to my time and my money. I love nice things and an incredible lifestyle, but I also want to give without question when someone in my life needs my resources. I want to spend time with my amazing partner, Cameron, and the rest of my family, and I want to help make their lives incredible. I’d love to have a business that I could pass down to my nieces and nephews or even my own children someday.

What is your secret to success? There’s no secret. You just work hard, do the right thing, surround yourself with the right people, get over yourself, and don’t quit. I think that’s pretty much it.

Now, tell us a fun “secret” I’m like really good at jump-rope and hula hooping. Those are the skills that I developed while I was homeschooled. I also know how to make balloon animals but I don’t advertise that.

What great advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs? Surround yourself with people to grow with. If I was going to attribute my progress to one thing it would be finding people that I could follow and people that I could run with. I have an amazing clan of entrepreneurial women that have absolutely changed my life and gotten me through some really hard stuff. Don’t wait for the exact right time. You’re never going to be less busy, life isn’t going to stop throwing challenges your way. If you want to start something, just do it and watch your life change. It’s not always going to be easy or fulfilling but it will change you for the better.

What business or self-development books do you recommend? I love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Atomic Habits by James Clear, and See You at The Top by Zig Ziglar.

What would you choose as your walk-out song (that is, if you don’t already have one)?

Love reading about inspiring women? Check out our past Success Stories!

 

 

Success Story – Amy Hicks

 


Amy Hicks

 

“Every second that you are working hard to get to where you want to be, never forget how grateful you are for what you have already achieved.”

 

 

This woman has a spirit of doing for others that is undeniable. The more you speak with Amy the more her passion, grit, intelligence, and savvy comes out. Shs is grace, humility, love, and drive. 

I got to sit down with Amy in a small coffee shop on a snowy day, it was the kind of quiet that only comes with those snow days. We sat and chatted about our lives, journeys, future plans, and everything in between. It is easy for the rest of the world to fall away when you engage with Amy. Her energy envelops those around her – no wonder she is so fantastic at her work, no wonder her life is dedicated to helping others feel better and live better lives.  I left feeling super inspired. I hope you get one ioota of that from her story here.

 


 

How do you define “success” for you? Success for me is always loving what I am doing. If I get paid for it than that is just an added bonus.

What is your secret to success? Consistently moving out of my comfort zone. Someone like me really should have never succeeded in business. Before this year, I was uncomfortable talking to anyone I did not know outside of a one-on-one setting. All of a sudden I am excited to consistently present in front of multiple audiences.

Now, tell us a fun “secret” As I child, I was so painfully shy that I almost never spoke.

When did you know you would be an entrepreneur? Truth is, I still do not see myself as an entrepreneur. It is a role I never previously aspired to. I simply saw a need for a simple, affordable, evidenced based approach for people to heal their bodies naturally.

What is the best advice you ever got about running a business? First just say yes and figure out the details later. I am a chronic over thinker. If I worked out all the details first, The Better Weigh would never exist.

Tell us about your business journey! When I first started many years ago, I simply helped people who approached me looking for a better way to address their health challenges. I then was given the opportunity to work with more people as they sent their friends and family members who wanted the same results. 

The Better Weigh was created help people achieve optimal functioning through proper nutrition. We deliver an individualized approach to achieve any health goal. Many people come to us to obtain their optimal weight, eliminate medications or simply become an energy powerhouse.

It was not until a few years later that I realized this could actually become a business. That was when I decided that everybody benefits from assistance in nutrition and lifestyle in some way and I want reach people all around the country with the tools of how to have confidence in your body and your health.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faces as a business owner so far, and how did you overcome them? My biggest challenge was letting business interfere with home life and home life interrupt my business. When the two worlds blend together, you are never fully present in either. It took a while to learn that the person in front of me, whether it is a client or my family, is the most important person at that moment.

What great advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs? Never define any non ideal outcome as a failure but instead as a learning opportunity. When things do not go as planned, simply ask yourself, what did I learn and what will I do differently next time.

Every second that you are working hard to get to where you want to be, never forget how grateful you are what you have already achieved.

What business or self-development books do you recommend? The Confidence Gap – Russ Harris

Lastly, What would you choose as your walk-out song (that is, if you don’t already have one)? Survivor -Eye of the Tiger

 

To learn more or contact Amy please check out thebetterweigh.net

Love reading about inspiring women? Check out our past Success Stories!

 

 

Success Story – Dafne Tsakiris

 


Dafne Tsakiris

 

“Consistency Compounds”

 

Dafne is one of those people who have something very special about them. You can’t quite put your finger on it at first, but soon you realize that you are sitting in front of a power-house woman who brings incredible things to anyone she knows.

We worked together in the beginning stages of her business and she has gone on to break … no, DEMOLISH, every success measure  she has set for her business. 

I hope you are as inspired by her as much as I am …

 


What is your secret to success? Working “on” my business as a non-negotiable part of my week. Also, time-blocking is not a word you throw around for fun, it is something you do and stick to if you really want to succeed.

When did you know you would be an entrepreneur? When at 5 years old I told my dad I wanted to grow up and be a boss – ha! Also, I realized as I entered the corporate world that I loved to figure things out, which has proved to be a very common trait among entrepreneurs.

What was your ambition when you started? To build something on my own.

Tell us all about your business. At Launch Point we are Operations Optimizers, Strategists, Project Managers, Fractional COO’s, and Process & Systems Builders that help small to mid-sized business reach their goals. We provide them with solutions to operate at the most desirable and greatest possible level of efficiency, speed and productivity. Too many small and mid-sized businesses are held back by operational bottlenecks and lack of strategic direction and implementation. As business owners and leaders we are often too close to the problem to find a solution or we are so tied up in the day-to-day operations of the company that we don’t have the time and capacity to address the issues. We are driven by finding the perfect solution for each and every business we work with. We help them optimize your operations, claim a strategic direction and ultimately reach their goals.

How has it changed, and what is your ambition today? It has evolved to also show others that they can achieve their dreams and I want to inspire as many people as possible on this journey.

What is the best advice you ever got about running a business? Consistency compounds and you really can figure anything out.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faces as a business owner so far, and how did you overcome them? How to structure your time as an entrepreneur and how to keep yourself accountable. Overcame by working with a coach 😉 [Megan: Yeah, that was Me, so proud to know this woman], surrounding myself with people that are further ahead than me and treating working “on” my business as a non-negotiable part of my week.

How do you define”success” for you? Loving what I do. Having a flexible schedule that allows me to be there for my kids. Getting to inspire and uplift other entrepreneurs, especially women.

Now, tell us a fun “secret” I was on a kids TV show in Sweden as a back-up dancer. I still cringe when I watch the tapes lol!

What great advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs? You are so much greater than you think you are and give yourself credit for. Always remember that – and charge like it!

What business or self-development books do you recommend? Everything is Figureoutable – Marie Forleo   Start with Why – Simon Sinek   The 12 week Year – Brian P Moran

Lastly, What would you choose as your walk-out song (that is, if you don’t already have one)? Currently it is Juice by Lizzo

 

Learn More About Launch Point Here

Love reading about inspiring women? Check out our past Success Stories!