In a past life, Christine Innes, founder of The Corporate Escapists, was a corporate queen, earning the big bucks & working her way up that ladder. From the outside, she had it all, yet felt completely dead inside. It wasn’t until she hit rock bottom that she really discovered what was missing from her life. She realized she had no idea who she was. What lit her up, what was setting her soul on fire – what was her passion and purpose in life.
After a not so gracious exit from the corporate world Christine Innes started sharing her own personal story and from there created a global platform helping people design their best life. Christine went from being broke, broken, leaving a toxic and unfixable marriage to creating the life and business of her dreams.
Christine is also #1 international best selling author – “Yes I Can!: 16 Success Secrets of Inspiring Women from Around the World”
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Christine Innes: In 2015 I had a not so gracious exit from the corporate world. I was lost, I was broke. I was broken and I needed to find myself again. I realised that the key part of my life up to this point was my identity was so attached to my corporate career. So who was I without a career? After soul searching and learning about the real me I decided to share my personal story to help inspire others.
From there I have created a global platform called The Corporate Escapists and helped people from all over the world find and follow their passion and create a life and business they love.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Christine Innes: Made. I think we are all born with the entrepreneurial spirit within is yet it is life events that will bring this out and make us into entrepreneurs.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Christine Innes: Visionary, goal setter, action taker and betting on myself.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Christine Innes: The Corporate Escapists started as a web tv show on Facebook with interviewing people from all around the world sharing their stories to help inspire others to follow their passion. Once I saw the impact it was creating I knew that the business was to be more.
A business to help inspire people and give them the tools from them to find themselves – to let go of their corporate identity and be their true self and also to show them how to start a business. With this vision we created a podcast and YouTube channel and then launched our global magazine last year.
As the world is changing people need inspiration, encouragement and the tools to guide them. To let them know what is possible.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Christine Innes: Great question. I would say they need to assume that they need to be their biggest cheerleader. Friends, family, even colleagues may not understand why they would pursue a business and the judgement, their advice will be given and for you to continue on your pathway and back yourself.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Christine Innes: Yes. Everyone would get what I’m doing. I still remember when my son last year asked me when was I getting a real job. This was hard to handle however now it has made me be more resilient and also allow me to be my own cheerleader.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Christine Innes: Be kinder to yourself. Starting a business is not easy and as the business grows so do you personally. You are constantly learning about yourself.
Things you like doing and things you will procrastinate over as you don’t like. For le that is the accounting. Learn what you like and then the things you don’t like and find a way to love them or hand it over to an expert.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Christine Innes: It was “take it from me…”. So many statements starting with this and this is coming from people who have never had a business or been in management.
Learn from this as you will be given so much advice and it is up to you if you take it on board. Remember it is your business and seek the advice from people who have done it well.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Christine Innes: I think covid has looked all entrepreneurs to think outside of the box more and allow their creativity to flow.
For myself as a entrepreneur it is opened more doors yet I know it has hindered so many businesses expecting the retail sector.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Christine Innes: It is hard work. Well, it is yet when your WHY is soo big then it t doesn’t feel like you are working.
When the time comes and it will that you feel overwhelmed, that sales are not happening and you want to walk away. Go back and ask yourself the question. “Why did I start the business?” This will give the motivation to keep going.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Christine Innes: I believe that the most important quality/trait is that you know yourself.
It is also important to know your values, your goals are clear and that your why – the why you started your business is outlined.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Christine Innes: I think all aspiring leaders should learn from history and see what has worked and what hasn’t. Find someone they aspire to be and read their books, watch their interviews etc.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Christine Innes: A writer. I love sharing stories that inspire people.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Christine Innes: Oprah.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Christine Innes for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Christine Innes or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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