Pop Quiz, Monday with Lindsey Ellison, Founder at Start Over Coaching, Inc


The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1.Can you please tell everyone your name?

Lindsey Ellison

Photo credit: Lindsey Ellison

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

I am a relationship coach, author, and speaker, with a niche in helping people navigate through their divorce or break-up.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

After graduating from college 20+ years ago and entering the workforce, I was gravely disappointed with what Corporate America had to offer. In college, I was the “master of my Universe,” sort of speak. I was taught that through hard work, you yield positive results. I loved the freedom of being a student and having control of what I learned and worked on. However, in corporate life, hard work doesn’t always yield positive results — in fact, hard work means the same results, the same pay grade, long hours, with little reward. In just one year into the workforce, I knew that one day I would have my own business. However, I had no clue what it would be.

Fast forward 15 years later, I experienced a gut-wrenching divorce and had no idea how to navigate the process, single parenting, dating post-divorce, and the intense emotional rollercoaster throughout. Back then, I only had two options to help me — therapy and a divorce attorney, and both underserved my holistic needs. I became a student on how to heal after divorce, find my post-divorce identity, and find healthy love. Once I mastered those tools, I began to share them with the world via blogging and had the luck of getting picked up by Huffington Post. After a few viral articles on Huff Post, my coaching business was born. That was six years ago, and I haven’t looked back.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

There are different challenges through the different phases of your business. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing so I had much self-doubt. I was a high-paid advertising executive and left it all behind to become a life coach for divorce — many people thought I was crazy, and I had many nay-sayers. However, I thought, the worst thing I could do was try it, and if I failed, I could always find another job. A year into the business I had to figure out how to scale and wanted to make a passive income — that’s what lead me to build my first online course, which was WAY harder than anyone tells you. I hired a lot of wrong people, lost a lot of money, and barely netted income that year. I think one of the hardest things about running your business is where to invest your money and when. I made a lot of bad decisions and went into debt the first time in my life. That loss of money took an enormous toll on my confidence and triggered much fear. However,… it was the best thing that could happen to me because it taught me a lot about trusting my instincts.

5. What do you love most about your job?

The FREEDOM!! When I look back on my former career, I made 6 figures but worked ALL the time. I think one time I looked at my paycheck and the number of hours I worked in a month and discovered I was making $20/hour. Today I make the same six figures, and I don’t work that hard. When money is less, I work to bring in more. When money is good, I can take a break. I’ve gotten good at figuring out ways to make money when I need it, and it’s a freedom I can’t even describe. It also allows me to have balance in other areas in my life — I still find time to exercise, eat well, and be able to pick up my kids at 4 pm (rather than my old life of a nanny doing it, and me not seeing them until 8 pm). I also really love the work I do, and I just finished my first book, so I can’t wait to be able to help people on a larger scale.

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I’m genuinely a ‘solopreneur’ so it tends to get a little lonely sometimes. I sometimes miss the camaraderie of having co-workers and doing team building exercises. So the way I have fun is attending conferences, lectures, or events that help me grow professionally as well as meet other people.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Trust your gut. Trust it to start a business, trust your passion, and trust your big ideas. Stay away from learning ‘how others do it’ because that will only paralyze you and mess with your head. My first year in business was better than my second. In that second year, I ignored my instincts, got some terrible advice and spent money where I shouldn’t have. Today, I truly listen to what my gut tells me.

One more thing… don’t forget to have fun! Don’t worry about failure because you will fail at some point along the way. Focus on the fun and it will come!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Twitter: @startovercoach
Facebook: thrivewithlindsey — https://www.facebook.com/ThriveWithLindsey/

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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