I recently had a chance to chat with Carrie Grace, a motivational speaker whose client list ranges from Target to Jack Daniels. She has been featured in USA Today and Huffington Post, and has been a pro on Thumbtack for two years. She was kind enough to answer some questions specifically for the Thumbtack Community ranging from how she thinks about risk to the importance of community building for independent workers. Enjoy, and thanks again to @Carriegrace!
Q: You’re a motivational speaker… what inspired you to get into this line of work?
Carrie: I have always been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I used to tell made up jokes to my family growing up, so I had a side of me that was a bit of a performer. And, I love inspiring people and watching them grow as humans. I have a background in teaching, which I went into in order to impact lives. So, I still get to impact lives, I’m just no longer in a classroom.
Q: A lack of confidence can be difficult to overcome when just starting out as a business owner. How did you gain the confidence to start and what keeps you going when things aren’t going your way?
Carrie: I always tell people to count their yeses. We get bogged down in all the things that didn’t go our way that we forget to celebrate the little wins. If you can start small and build up, you’ll get confidence along the way.
Example: ask for something you know will likely be a yes, and then work your way up to things that could possibly be no’s. If things aren’t going your way, keep your eyes on the end goal. Never lose sight of where you want to go, that’ll always keep you on the path there.
Q: Do you remember any early milestones that felt like exceptionally big wins to you?
Carrie: I’ve had a lot of wins along the way. I remember telling people that I was going to go into speaking full-time and I remember people telling me that it was about time! I was happy when I created my first website that was totally crappy, and thrilled when I got my first paid speaking gig. I try and celebrate every little win even to this day because you’ll always have setbacks along the way. I find as a business owner the more you can focus on the positive, the more room you leave open for more positive things to come your way.
Q: How do you think about risk?
Carrie: I view the world as an experiment which makes risk way less hard to stomach. It’s either a success OR a lesson I learned. This way I’m able to take fear out of the equation and grow as a human. I think taking risks are fun because they lead you to places you’d never dream of going.
Q: You host events for local entrepreneurs in your area. Why is it important to you to maintain a sense of Community while working independently? Does it give you a competitive advantage?
Carrie: I host two masterminds in my home for businesswomen to connect each month. I find that two heads are better than one. We all share tips, tricks, and ideas with one another. We also act as a support system for one another as we go through bumps along the way. I think it gives you a competitive advantage simply because you are tapping into a larger network, more resources, and supportive people.
Q: What is one thing you wish you would have known when you were just starting your business?
Carrie: I wish someone would've told me that things never turn out the way you plan for them, but to keep running anyways. Owning a business is a lot like a marathon instead of a sprint. It’s easy to look on social media and watch other people get opportunities. So, I wish someone would've told me that it’s way harder than it looks, but way more rewarding than you could ever dream of.