November 12, 2020
Today we had the honor of talking to the INCREDIBLE Emma Isaacs.
Emma is the founder and global CEO of Business Chicks. She’s a modern-day role model, proving that anything is possible for anyone wishing to strive for more in their lives and careers.
A business owner by the age of eighteen, property investor by nineteen, and millionaire by twenty-three, Emma Isaacs has entrepreneurship and achievement in her DNA. Aside from being the founder of Business Chicks—a thriving global community that operates on two continents in eleven cities, producing more than one hundred events annually, with past speakers including Sir Richard Branson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, and Arianna Huffington, among others—she’s also a bestselling author and mother to six kids under age eleven. She’s literally a rockstar mama.
Emma doesn’t believe in work/life balance, preferring to advocate for a full life where people are in constant evaluation of what they truly want from it. A fearless leader with seemingly never-ending courage to spare, Emma inspires thousands with her boundless energy and ability to see possibility wherever she goes.
We sat down with Emma today to talk about the topic of her new book Winging It. In Emma’s story, there’s a LOT you can relate to! We discuss not knowing what the HECK you wanna do in life, taking random chances that lead to INCREDIBLE opportunities, knowing the difference between a good risk and a careless risk, letting go of unrealistic expectations, and so much more. Emma will inspire the heck out of you today, encourage you to go for it, and hopefully make you feel less alone in your entrepreneurial dreams. Who is ready to learn the art of how to wing it with Emma Isaacs?!
Emma is the founder of Business Chicks, which is Australia’s largest network for women in business. She is a wife and mom to her six beautiful kids. Emma’s journey as an entrepreneur was all she knew growing up, with never having a boss, we can say she is a career entrepreneur. Through her journey, it has taught her so much business-wise but has also carried over into parenting.
When she first went off to college she found herself sitting in this huge cold university lecture theater learning from someone that had never run a business before. After six months she realized college wasn’t going to get her where she wanted to go fast enough, so she quit college.
Not long after she met this woman who had started a recruitment company. This led to her asking Emma to come work for her. Shortly after being hired the owner’s business partner decided to part ways and as he was leaving, points to Emma and says, ‘If you are going to offer equity to anyone in this company, you would offer it to this kid sitting here.’ At age eighteen she found herself a 50% shareholder of this small company that she took from no figures to six figures in seven years!
After seven years though she started to think, ‘Is there something more for me?’ It was then she experienced a Business Chicks event with her girlfriend and was consumed by the magic. Emma is led by her intuition and believes we should listen to what feels right and our gut. For her, that led to at age twenty-five the owner of Business Chicks with two hundred members and has grown it to now reach half a million women over two continents. Her goal is to take the organization to the world.
Firstly, none of us really know what we are doing! There is always going to be an element of having a go at it and trying new things while not appearing like we have it all together. The concept of “winging it” was born fifteen years ago for Emma as she had conversations with thousands of women uncovering what holds them back and what propels them forward. As women, we can be plagued with a unique set of challenges. We often wait for permission, wait to be tapped on the shoulder, and don’t communicate what we want.
Winging it was what Emma wanted to read at eighteen when she was starting her business journey, but couldn’t find it. No one was teaching how to have confidence in your abilities and how to step forth without having a road map on where to go.
Truly the lesson Emma wants to share from all these women is that honestly NO ONE truly deeply knows exactly what they are doing, definitely at the start anyway. Everyone is winging it to some sort of degree.
All winging it is is saying I don’t have the answers or know how it is going to pan out, but I am going to take the first step and gently forge ahead. Try to find the answers as you go and not stop until you do!
What winging it is not, is it’s not being reckless and jumping off the cliff and hoping you’re going to land right. We need to remember our parachute and that there is an art to winging it well in business and life.
There are nine key rules to winging it in Emma’s book, and here are the first three:
The first one is to say YES! Then figure out the rest later. Karen Lamb says, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” Isn’t that the truth?
The second one is learning how to be flexible. Not being so set to a plan that you can’t duck and weave when you need to. We’ve been served up the biggest lesson this year, with the turbulence of Covid-19. We all had big visions on what this year was going to look like, for some it may be elopements to exotic places, large-scale events or maybe even traveling to see family. Let us not be led entirely by plans on a piece of paper but try to be flexible. How quickly can you unlearn what you have learned in the past? This is key to winging it well!
The third key so that we can wing it to the best of our abilities is the notion of self-confidence, self-belief, and backing yourself up. Cultivating confidence can be a life long journey, not all of us came racing out into this world with our arms flung open and exuding confidence everywhere. We need to put ourselves in discomfort so that we can grow in our confidence. Confidence is a muscle that needs to be used OVER and OVER and OVER again. The more we use it the better we can get at being confident. When was the last time you did something for the first time? Maybe today is that day!
The biggest challenge that we having living in the time that we do is the whole notion of comparing and despairing. We look through our social media feeds and it appears everyone has it all together. Perfect houses, relationships, kids, trips, you name it! This can leave us feeling less than and can be a challenge when trying to grow our businesses.
When thinking about expectations, this quote from Michael Singer, “The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it”. As much as we can try to control life, most of what happens, happens to us right? And what we can control is how we react to what happens to us.
Now some expectations can be good in helping us improve our performance. If we set the bar high and continuously try to raise that bar little by little, now that is not a bad expectation. But a lot of them that we have of other people and our situation, can be detrimental and harmful to our progress.
Acceptance is the key to getting over expectations.
It starts with gratitude. What are you grateful for? How can you bring in this practice of gratitude for what is going well? Looking at what you are grateful for and constantly bringing awareness of how well other parts of your life is, is the first step to getting over your expectations.
Stop looking sideways at what everyone else is up to and use that energy and focus on your life.
Ask yourself today, ‘Will this actually matter in ten years time?’.
99% of the time it is NOT going to matter, trust that life is going to unfold in the way it is meant to and you WILL get through this.
Every day we take little risks. Practicing taking risks in small ways will help build our self-confidence and courage. As entrepreneurs, we had to have some level of risk-taking to begin. From here learn that not having all the answers is a beautiful thing, not being so consumed with all the details.
The journey of an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster ride. It is up and it’s down and upside down, we just have to hang on for dear life and ride it. If we knew all of that beforehand, would we have still done it? Take Richard Brandson he went from at age fifteen not having a clue to what he wanted to do. To open a record store, then a record label, to an airline, and now has a space line and is taking people into space!
Getting comfortable with a level of risk-taking and not knowing can be a great thing. Risk-taking without failure is about knowing it’s not all going to turn out but you are going to jump off the cliff regardless. You are going to give it your best shot!
It is about taking measured and calculated risks and being comfortable with answering the question, ‘What is the most I could lose in this moment?’. And if you are comfortable with losing that then go for it.
Doing a one year plan can be challenging, right? So what if we start with a vision of where we want our company to be. For planning though it should come down to a sprint.
Starting planning in three-month slots, it is about looking just far enough into the future while keeping an eye on the bigger vision.
In the day in age we live in technology changes rapidly, competitors can come in and the state of the world can change. Hello, 2020!
Planning in a sprint can bring us a sense of comfort that we can kind of predict what the next three months will look like. But to look ten years ahead and say exactly what the company is going to look like will be very difficult.
When talking about winging it, the action is more important than planning. But more so for the people that are stuck and need to get started. This is not saying let’s not plan and just put it out in the universe and hope something will fall into place.
Hope is not a strategy, we need to be planning.
Keep going, you are on the right path!
Have confidence in ourselves and show kindness to all. Be kind to every single person we come in contact with and people will remember us. Even if we meet someone for the first time and we think, ‘We don’t have anything in common, they can’t do anything for me and I can’t do anything for them. Therefore I won’t invest in this relationship’. Lois Frankel wrote in her book Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, “When you need a relationship, it is too late to build one”. Where can you build a relationship today?
We have got to be permanently building our relationships. Always be kind to others, doing favors, and looking out for them.
See the people around you.
It circles back to just keep going and be kind to everyone along the journey.
It comes back to people. We can all relate to the idea that the entrepreneur’s journey is not a solo one. It needs to be a team sport. Have the right people surrounding us, attract the right people to our team and customers.
Spend the time looking out for those people.
Invest in them. In their development and our relationship with them.
Do the things others aren’t willing to do. Go the extra mile. It is all about remembering the detail and prioritizing relationships above everything else. If we prioritize the relationships then we will find the abundance will flow.
But remember we can’t do anything on our own or without amazing people surrounding us.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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