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I first came across Carrie in early 2013 when I stumbled into her YouTube videos. I was absolutely obsessed with finding out more, so I joined the Female Entrepreneur Association’s Members Club. At that time there was around 600 members, and now there are more than 5,500. The community that she has created is outstanding.
Carrie is also the author of She Means Business, which is especially helpful if you are new to the online business world.
And she recently became a mum, which we go into a little, because as any parent knows, everything changes when that little person comes into your life.
On the outside Carrie looks like an overnight success, but in reality she had a strong vision for what she wanted to create, the kind of platform she wanted, who she wanted to help, and she refused to give up.
Carrie started the Female Entrepreneur Association in 2011 after feeling isolated while building an online business. And over the last 8 years it’s grown into an amazingly supportive community full of women who are excited to turn their businesses into a real success.
Carrie consistently teaches her audience about the importance of mindset, something that was instilled in her from a young age. At just 10 years old, Carrie and her siblings were sent on a course about the power of the mind, where they learnt to use positivity and visualizations.
“There was this visualization that we did called The House On The Right Bank. You closed your eyes and imagined going to this house on the right bank of a river. In the house were several different rooms. And one of those rooms was called the Editing Suite. There was a movie screen and you could watch your life essentially, and you could watch movies of the things you wanted to create in the future. It was an amazing concept for me, at such a young age, that you could use your imagination to create your future.”
Carrie continued to use creative visualization techniques throughout her teenage years, including making up mock grade cards and bank statements, pasting her photo into a picture of her dream car, and even selecting a perfume that would represent the scent of success.
“I feel fortunate because from such a young age, I was really clear that I did want to create massive success. And I didn't know really what that meant or how I was going to make that happen. But I knew that I really wanted to see what was possible.”
After running out of money at university, Carrie started her own business unlocking mobile phones. Financially the business was a success, but Carrie didn’t find the work rewarding.
“Having all the money from the success of the business felt so hollow and I just didn't know what to do. I ended up feeling really, really lost and miserable.”
After experimenting with different types of work, including volunteering at animal rescue sanctuaries, volunteering at the Princess Trust as a business mentor, and even management consultancy, Carrie travelled to Australia in search of an epiphany, that didn’t come.
“I just felt really frustrated, heavy and really low. So in 2011, I ended up rereading a book called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, which is a brilliant book. There’s a chapter called Primary Aims. And in this chapter he basically says, ‘imagine walking into a room where your friends and family are sat. And at the front of the room is a box. And as you get to the front of the room, you realize you're in the box and it's your funeral. What do you want people to be saying about the kind of life you lived and the kind of things you achieved and the kind of person you were.’
At first I didn't really know the answers to those questions, but I did know that I absolutely didn't want to be known as the girl who unlocked mobile phones.”
Carrie realized that the key to feeling happy, fulfilled and successful lay in transforming her mindset, and focussing on what she really enjoyed.
“Back in 2008 I'd come up with this idea to create a platform for female entrepreneurs because as I was running my business, I felt so isolated. Every time I went to networking events, it was guys in suits and I just did not resonate the people there. And there was nothing online that was aimed at women who were starting businesses….I thought: ‘I need to create something for this’. But I remember starting the website, setting it up, and then being like, ‘who's going to come to this website? No one's going to come and use this.’....I didn't tell anyone about it and I didn't push it forward.
And so in 2011, I constantly kept thinking about this idea and I was like, ‘maybe it's time to step up and just give this a try, just to see where it could go.’ Not because of the money, not because of anything like that, but just because it could be so fulfilling and amazing.”
This time around, Carrie tackled the project with clarity, knowing what she did and didn’t want, from the perspective of what would make her happy and fulfilled.
“I just started to become more aware of my mindset and what I was thinking on a daily basis. I became aware of how much I was tripping myself up, how much negativity I was tearing away around with myself. How much I was talking myself out of stuff. I realized I have to start talking to myself differently, have to start thinking different things.”
“I would suggest creating your own mission success challenge and paying attention to what is going on internally. What are the challenges or fears or worries or doubts that you find yourself consumed with most often? Write them down and get clear on them. Cause once you're already aware of something, you can actually do something about it. And then I would just immerse myself in success.”
After re-committing to the FEA project Carrie developed a Wordpress website herself, then turned her attention to generating traffic. She tapped into LinkedIn, inviting other women who were building businesses to ask if they would like to share their stories.
Carrie was aware that saying no to others and herself had been holding her back, so now she was saying yes to everything, and began to attend as many networking events as possible.
“Saying yes opened the doors to opportunities I could never have foreseen. I was invited to be a judge for a business award for students.
On the judging panel was a guy called Michael Hayman and we got to know each other and we kept in touch. He then nominated me for this award he was running, called the Change Makers Award. And I ended up winning. And then as a consequence of that, I got to have an advisory board with some incredible entrepreneurs like Laura Morgan, Lord Bilimoria people building businesses that were worth millions. And so I was getting to spend time with these people and learn from these people. And it all came from just saying yes and opening myself up to seeing what could happen if I just put myself out there.”
That Summer, Carrie hosted her first FEA networking event in Manchester. Sixty women attended, and the event even made it into the Manchester Evening News. Something which affirmed to Carrie that her concept would work.
Initially Carrie found it hard to believe that her online business mentors were making the kind of money they reported.
“Back in 2009 I remember being on webinars with people like Frank Kern and some of these old school people and they were talking about how much money they made. And I was like, are these people lying? Like how are they making this much money? It just felt so ridiculous.”
But having already established a successful phone unlocking business, Carrie knew it was possible to make money online, so she committed to taking small steps towards building the FEA.
“There is no difference between me and anyone else. It's just that I took steps... It didn't all happen overnight. It was a lot of hard work and dedication….
“...I always say success is not an accident. No successful person has woken up and been like, wow, how was I creating this success? It just doesn't happen that way. It happens because you have to create it on purpose. And when you get into that mindset of ‘how am I creating success, what does success mean to me?’ And immersing yourself in success, it's like you're a magnet and it starts to attract to you until you bring it into your life.”
“Most people are programmed for failure, conditioned by our fears and doubts and worries. And that's what controls so many people. Oh, that's not very realistic. I can't make that happen. You know, people think the idea of maybe making 50,000 a month or a hundred thousand or 200,000 a month is, is absolutely crazy. But it's not. It's just about getting your head around the fact that you can make that your reality and you just have to start where you're at and take steps to make it happen.”
Although Carrie continues to work on her mindset every day, there is one shift in thinking that stands out.
“It was the end of 2009, I started this website called Mission To Make A Million. My goal was to make a million in 365 days. And so I started this website and I blogged every day about the journey...And on day 65 I remember writing about how it was really a struggle…. I was so focused on trying to figure out how I could make the money. It just felt like pushing water up the hill. But when I switched and built the Female Entrepreneur Association, it wasn't necessarily me thinking like, how am I gonna make a million? It was me thinking how can make a difference? How can I just add value? How can I create something incredible? And when I switched into that mindset of giving instead of trying to take, it changed everything and everything then began to flow.”
It wasn’t without challenges. Previous financial success had created money blocks
“With my first business and creating so much money and creating so much success and financial freedom, I felt pretty empty. I was almost repelling the idea of money. So when I started FEA I was like: ‘I just want to give, I just want to make this amazing. I want to create something incredible. I don't want to think about the money.’ And in my mind I thought if I focus on the money, it's going to change the actions I'm taking and therefore it might knock everything out of alignment and it wouldn't be what I want it to be.”
By Christmas 2012, Carrie had run out of money. All the money made from her previous business had been re-invested into the FEA, which wasn’t yet generating revenue. She didn’t even have money to buy Christmas presents for her family.
Realizing it was time for a mindset upgrade, Carrie recorded a financial abundance visualization track.
“Within such a short space of time a series of things happened so randomly that led me to doing a like joint venture webinar with Amy Porterfield…. I remember I had a glass of wine beside me that I had to down before it started because I was so nervous. So many people signed up and then so many people bought her program... And not only that, they then messaged me to tell me how grateful they were and how amazing it was and what a difference it was making. And I think for me at that point, I realized that actually creating products and services that you can sell means that you actually get to add more value and be of more service to people.”
For Carrie, working on her mindset has been crucial to helping her overcome challenges and get onto the next level, over and over again.
About 18 months ago, Carrie realized the FEA needed some drastic changes in order to keep growing. Making those changes hasn’t been straightforward.
“In my quest to figure it out I've joined a ridiculously expensive mastermind, I’ve bought tons of books, I’ve spoken to loads of different people… I've just looked to hire people that can actually help me and I've made really bad hires and I've made really good hires, it’s been such an emotional journey….it's all about learning….Give yourself permission to be where you're at and for it to be a struggle.”
“The quote that I've always leaned on to get me through is, ‘Successful people hang on when everyone else has let go’. So no matter how challenging it's been over the past 18 months, so many times, I've had that sinking feeling of can I do this? Can I keep it going?...it just really keeps me going and just makes me think, well, you know, I can do this because I can hang on, I can keep learning, I can keep connecting with the right people who will help me to uplevel. And as long as I keep doing that, I'll be fine.”
In the beginning Carrie found it difficult to focus on work, when her whole day was taken up with caring for baby Casey. And then once work crept in, it slowly took over.
“I managed to take about two and a half months off where I really didn't have to think about the business, which was actually the most incredible thing. I was so grateful to myself and for the team for being in the place that I could actually do that. And then when I started to get back into work, it just crept up and all of a sudden I was just working all the time and I started to take calls with Casey on my knee, trying to play with him or watch him and being on my phone and responding to like a million messages that were going on.
Now I’ve tried to create more structure where I take Wednesdays and Fridays as Casey days, so I can be more organized. And then the other days I have Casey in the mornings and then from like 12 till five or six, I then work. And then obviously when he goes to bed I can work again.”
Becoming a mom initially left Carrie feeling confused, because both the FEA and Casey were so important to her, it was hard to decide what to focus on when. Until Carrie decided that continuing to drive the FEA to further success was setting an example to Casey of what was possible.
“I think if it wasn't exciting me, I'd be in trouble. How could I give it time with Casey for something that doesn't really excite me.”
Carrie leans on the teachings of Viktor Frankl: that anything in life can be taken away from you except for your freedom to choose how you respond.
“When you have a baby, your life totally changes and your time isn't the same anymore. How do you choose to respond to that? ...I’ve got Casey and I want to be the best mom to him, but I've got the FEA and I want to be the best entrepreneur I can be...so how am I gonna choose to respond to this situation and make the most of it?”
According to Carrie, to be successful you need clarity around what you’re trying to achieve, what your mission is and who you’re serving and relentless, discipline and the strength of mind to keep going.
“I think you need to be absolutely relentless and disciplined and have the strength of mind to keep going... If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But it's hard, you know, because you've got to push through so much discomfort to be able to create success. Because it's not easy to do something you've never done before…..
….It's just having that mindset and holding yourself accountable to it because it's too easy to make excuses. It's too easy for life to get in the way. For the day-to-day stuff to interfere and for the weeks and months to go by….
For me it comes down to that ability to have the strength of mind so that you do stay committed to your goals and your dreams. And you keep taking those little steps because those little steps are different for every single person in business.”
“The thing that sets the people apart who actually make it happen and those that don't is the fact that they get wake up every day and they get to work and they work hard..
It really drives me mad, there’s a lot of people out there that are like: ‘you don't need to hustle. You know, you need to work smart. You know, it's not about working hard.’ And I think, what are you saying to people?’ It makes me so angry because I think those people who are saying it, they're already up here. They've already achieved success. I bet if they took a look at their first few years, they were grinding away trying to create success. So how can they turn round to people starting out now and be like, don’t work hard. You don't need to hustle.
Like I get it. Don't burn yourself out. But let's be real, it's takes so much hard work to create success, in anything in life, like if you want to be at the top of the game of anything, you've worked bloody hard to get there. And I just think, that's fine, but let's own it. And let's work really hard so we can create these incredible lives for ourselves because it's not a walk in the park.”
“We have got some amazing things in the plan, in the pipeline that literally terrify me.” Plans include an expanding team, with some full-time hires, a new office space, another Inspired Vacay in 2019, and a big UK event in 2020, and an Ambassador program to encourage existing members to bring new members onboard.
“I'm really excited to just keep doing all I can to reach as many women and impact as many people as possible to help show them what's possible.”
And that’s a wrap.
A huge thank you to Carrie for being so generous with her time, wisdom and her story.
She Means Business - Carrie Green
The E Myth - Michael Gerber
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