Who Is Marie Forleo?
As someone taking on a new challenge in life, having a role model who you can look up to can be immensely beneficial. A role model in this case may be someone who has managed to excel in the field you wish to pursue and has probably faced similar challenges. In the world of online business, Marie Forleo is a perfect role model for any aspiring online entrepreneur. Marie is a successful female blogger, life coach, author and motivational speaker. She also hosts the popular web television channel Marie TV.
Marie Forleo was born in 1975 in New Jersey, USA. She was an academically gifted student who was keen to pursue a career in the financial world. She completed her undergraduate degree in business finance from Seton Hall University at 22 years and immediately landed her first job as a trading assistant in the New York Stock Exchange. Working in the NYSE failed to provide Marie with the deep sense of satisfaction she yearned for, so she quit this job and went in search of a new challenge. She quickly landed another job as a writer for a New York-based magazine. This was a well-paying job that Marie enjoyed doing, but she still felt something was missing. It was around this time that she stumbled across an article on Newsweek magazine talking about an emerging practice in business called life coaching. She immediately fell in love with the concept decided that this was what she wanted to pursue.
In 2001 Marie Forleo quit her magazine job and started the journey of building her dream business. She launched her own newsletter and began offering lessons as a life coach. It took a while before she gained subscribers for her newsletter and regular clients for her coaching business. To make ends meet, Marie went back to being a bartender and occasionally worked as a dancing instructor. She barely had time to rest as she worked on her business during the day and as a bartender during the night. Her hard work eventually paid off and she gained thousands of subscribers and clients for her coaching business.
Marie Forleo’s Business Empire
From her humble beginnings, Marie has gradually built a massive international coaching network. Her popular YouTube channel and her website marieforleo.com have a combined following of over 700,000 visitors from all over the world. She is also the founder of B-school, an online business school which provides specially tailored learning programs for entrepreneurs seeking to kick-start their businesses.
Marie Forleo’s success in business and her commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs has won her international acclaim. She has earned the admiration of other equally successful individuals such as the celebrated talk show host Oprah Winfrey who has called her a thought leader for the next generation. British billionaire investor Sir Richard Branson has even invited her to mentor youthful entrepreneurs at his entrepreneurship school in South Africa.
Her Advice For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
There is a lot to learn from Marie Forleo’s journey to success and her story can be an inspiration especially to women. Here are some of her tips for success;
1. Once you find your true calling, don’t look back
When Marie Forleo quit her job to start her business, most people who knew her felt that she was throwing her life away. These reservations were further compounded by the fact that she was still very young and had no prior experience in running a business. At some point even Marie started having doubts about her decision to quit her job. She forged on anyway and she is now grateful that she made this move.
Pro tip: Take time to do a self-assessment to determine where your strengths lie and the activities you enjoy doing. This way you can figure out where your true calling is in regard to business.
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2. Be patient and focus on your long-term success
Marie Forleo launched her newsletter and her coaching business immediately after she quit her job. Her expectation was that this business would start bringing in profits right away. She was wrong. Several months after launch, subscriptions for her newsletter were still very low and her coaching business was not doing so well either. Most people would have thrown in the towel at this point, but Marie wasn’t ready to give up on her dream. Instead, she applied for a bartending job to be able to pay her bills and she continued to market her business during her free time. Her patience eventually paid off. She admits that success takes time and that anyone determined to succeed must have the resolve to carry on through the tough times.
Pro tip: You may have to keep your business running for a long time before it becomes profitable and you have to be fully prepared to survive this lean period. It is advisable to set some funds aside to cater for the operational costs of the business for at least 6 months after launch.
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3. Never underestimate the value of networking
Marie Forleo confesses that her business would not be as successful as it is without the support of her friends and contacts she acquired through the years. Marie is an easy-going woman who tries to maintain a close relationship with the people she meets in her line of work. Through these interactions, she has built a large network of contacts which she uses to market her businesses and to seek counsel. She even admits that her first clients during her earlier years were the people she had met while working as a bartender.
Pro tip: Not everybody is socially gifted and face to face interaction can be a tedious affair especially for introverts. Thankfully, you can nowadays do most of your networking on social media and networking sites like LinkedIn. Maintain active profiles on such networks and use them for networking and advertising.
These two books are good read. I liked the Big Networking Ideas especially.
4. Take time to learn more about your business before you make your move
Before she started her coaching business, Marie Forleo signed up for a 3-year online course to learn the basics of what she wanted to do. Nowadays, Marie always ensures that she has at least 5 books at her nightstand. She is constantly seeking to gain more knowledge on how she can run her business and improve on the services she provides. She believes that having a deep understanding of any business you wish to start will give you an edge over your competitors and will also help you avoid making costly mistakes due to ignorance.
Pro tip: There are plenty of free learning resources available online for almost any field. You can use these resources to increase your knowledge without paying a cent or having to attend physical classes.
5. Focus on providing value and you will reap the rewards
Many business owners put too much focus on making profits when starting new businesses and fail to invest on creating a strong brand. This is usually a short-term strategy that fails to achieve consumer loyalty. Marie Forleo
advises anyone starting a new business to focus on making their brand a consumer favorite first by consistently offering excellent service. This way, consumers will associate your brand with quality and will therefore be willing
to form long-term partnerships with you.
Pro tip: When starting a new business, ask for feedback from your clients and let them offer suggestions on how you can improve on your service. This will enable you to create tailor-made products designed to provide exactly what your customers need.
Marie Forleo isn’t the only aspiring woman making her mark on the internet. Who is your inspiration? Let us know by using the comment box below.