Congratulations Natalie MacNeil, Featured Successful Established Woman Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Hi Natalie. Thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to interview with me. I admire your work and thrilled to talk to you. Tell me about yourself and your business?
Natalie: My name is Natalie MacNeil and I am a media producer and consultant and I’ve worked on a number of online, interactive media projects for some of the world’s biggest media companies. I am the creator of the award-winning blog, She Takes on the World, which was a finalist for Blog of the Year at the Stevie Awards in 2009. I was featured by Forbes.com as ‘Twenty Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women.’ She Takes on the World has established me as a leader in entrepreneurship for women and I am frequently quoted and interviewed in the media and featured on blogs and radio shows discussing women in business and building an online brand. My strong online presence has led me to appear in top media outlets including Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, Examiner.com and Financial Post.
Sylvia: You are an award-winning blogger. How do you find or choose blog topics to discuss and write?
Natalie: Well, I’m fortunate to have a whole team that contributes to She Takes on the World which helps a lot because it can be very difficult to write about new topics all the time on your own. I find the most inspiration from reading other blogs and articles, reading business news, and visit sites like Business Exchange.
Sylvia: I am a blogger as well and I find inspiration just as you do to create good content. In fact, I have a file with article ideas. How have you incorporated social media into your business?
Natalie: I use social media in every aspect of my personal brand, blog, and business. My favorite tool and the one I’ve had the most success with is Twitter. I tweet about things that my target audience would find to be insightful and practical. I use Facebook fan pages, Delicious, and I have got a considerable amount of traffic through StumbleUpon. I also monitor all my brands across multiple social media platforms.
Sylvia: Why are the charitable organizations that you work with important to you? What significance do they hold?
Natalie: It’s important for me to give back and I spend a considerable amount of time volunteering with the not-for-profit that I co-founded as well as many other organizations. My philanthropic platform focuses on three pillars: entrepreneurship, education, and empowerment. All of the organizations I work with fit into these platforms. I especially love working with other entrepreneurs and helping people reach their full potential.
Sylvia: Tell us about the Women’s Business Academy.
Natalie: The Women’s Business Academy [http://www.TheWomensBusinessAcademy.com] is a sister site to She Takes on the World. It provides valuable courses and business training for women. Courses are delivered online by qualified instructors who are enthusiastic about the success of women entrepreneurs. It is brand new so be sure to check back often for new courses that are currently being developed!
Sylvia: What does success mean to you?
Natalie: Success to me is being able to make a living doing what I love and inspiring others to do the same. I measure success in how many people I can reach and inspire.
Sylvia: How do you create work-life balance?
Natalie: I’m asked this question a lot and I’m not sure that work-life balance can really be achieved. I like how Marcus Buckingham explains it in his book, Find Your Strongest Life. He discusses strategically creating imbalance that plays to your strengths. I like this principle because I think women cause themselves a lot of angst trying to create a perfect equilibrium between work and life. Even if you can achieve that balance, it usually doesn’t last and it’s not worth stressing out about all the time in my opinion.
Sylvia: I am going to invest in that book. That is an interesting way of looking at it. What steps are necessary for a woman entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Natalie: Have clear goals in mind and create a solid plan to achieve them. My personal strategic plan alone is over fifty pages and it really helps me to focus my days and visualize what I’m working towards. THINK BIG! As long as you have a plan, any goal is within reach. Also, surround yourself with mentors and successful entrepreneurs that will hold you accountable to your goals and cheer you on.
Sylvia: What advice do you have for women just starting out?
Natalie: Right now, small businesses have huge opportunities to build strong brands online using social media tools. These tools and platforms allow small businesses to compete online in big ways! Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside your comfort zone. Most of our greatest accomplishments in life happen when we step outside our comfort zones.
Sylvia: Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our members and subscribers. Please let us know how we can contact you.
Natalie: You are very welcome.