You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your life and go after your dreams. Just go for it!
Christina Meade spent 16 years in education as a teacher, trainer and curriculum writer. What she enjoyed most about her career was being a problem-solver and helping others. In 2011, she stepped out on faith and entered the business world. She quickly caught the entrepreneurial bug! After working with her husband to launch his successful videography business, Christina decided to follow her passion to educate, empower and inspire women and girls. Now she is living her own dream and motto to ‘Do Something That Matters.’ What does that mean? For Christina, it means the limiting beliefs of others can have a huge impact on what we believe about our own abilities. All it takes is one person believing in you and saying ‘you can do it’. Her mission is to bring that encouragement to women and girls by helping them develop into strong leaders and businesswomen.
Her company, Nerdy Girl Success™, provides women and girls a safe place to explore their talents, flex their leadership muscles and learn from women leaders.
Where did the idea for Nerdy Girl Success™ come from?
That’s not necessarily an easy question. The Nerdy Girl Success™ didn’t come from just one idea or one day. It’s a lot of little things that just kind of piled up over the years. It’s from growing up hearing my mom tell me what things were like for her growing up, seeing that repeated in my own life as a teen and adult and then watching it repeating for the girls I taught. All in varying degrees but the same story. Finally, I thought “Enough! I want to be a part of changing the narrative.” You can be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. By doing nothing, I felt like I was perpetuating society’s views so I decided do something and be part of a solution.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I don’t think I really have a typical day. Every day is a different. One day is working at home creating content for social media. The next is a networking day and then the weekend is an event that I’m hosting. But they each start and end the same. The day starts early with reflection over what the goal is for the day and reading. Day ends with reflection over the day and pre-planning what needs to get done the next day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Having a support network around you is so important! I’m very fortunate to have an amazing advisory board and two focus groups who really help out a lot. They’re very creative and supportive. When I have an idea, like the Summer Business Camp for Girls for example, I take it to them and they help me work through ideas on how to pull it off. What will work and what won’t.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me the most is pretty much a no-brainer. It’s the movement towards the empowerment of women and girls. It isn’t just because that’s what my business is about. It’s the fact that society is waking up to the fact that, while great strides have been made towards women’s equality, there is still a lot of improvement to be made. When women and girls do better, so does the country as a whole.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A lot of time is spent in front of the computer. Whether it’s doing research, making graphics, working on content or the curriculum, I’m in front of the computer a lot. I’ve found turning off notifications from email and social media as well as turning off the phone helps keep me focused on and task.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t wait to be given permission. You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your life and go after your dreams. Just go for it!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
This is going to sound simple and possibly strange but so often we don’t do this one thing. Ask for help. It’s okay to not know everything but we’re afraid that if we ask for help we’ll look weak or unsuccessful or whatever. Get over it! You’re definitely not going to be successful if you’re stuck trying to figure out something that could take you 5 minutes to learn if you just asked.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Being willing to take a risk on myself. You have to be willing to take risks if you’re going to grow. If you’re not willing to take a risk on yourself, why in the world would you expect anyone else to?
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I actually had a very recent failure. I was part of a business competition. I spent three months pretty much ignoring friends, family, even the business to concentrate on everything that needed to be done to participate and complete the competition. The first part of the failure was being told I wasn’t moving on to the presentation portion. The second was receiving the feedback on my submission. It was a big reality check and I felt very defeated at first. It was like adding fuel to the flames of any of the doubts and fears I had been having. But then I realized I had two choices. I could let the feedback stop me in my tracks. Or I could use the info given to make improvements and make sure I succeed in my business rather than just winning a competition.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An idea I had before Nerdy Girl Success was an online learning experience for people who are entering in to the business world from corporate or some other background. There’s so much to learn and to know that you don’t even think about. Cash flow, breakeven, marketing, etc. When you’re getting started, you don’t know what you don’t know. Most likely, you’re the only person in the business so you have to have some knowledge about everything. Even if it’s how to find the right people to help you. So the online membership was going to be taught by professionals in the different areas. Unlike an online class, these videos would always there as a resource when you needed it,
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Best $100 was on a great day of pampering. Mani/pedi and then hanging out with girlfriends. Just taking a break from the grind and hustle helps refresh my spirit.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Visuals are so important with your social media these days. It used to take me forever to create a short video or a quote graphic. I would spend so much time on creating those and not have time for other tasks. Adobe’s Spark Video and Canva are two great tools that are also easy and free to use. I can quickly make a graphic or a short video and get on with the rest of my To Do List for the day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The book I’m reading right now that I’d recommend to others is ‘No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven’t been told about leadership‘ by Susan Colantuono. It’s an amazing book that teaches what she calls the ‘missing 33%’ of the leadership equation that doesn’t get shared with women. It’s a great read for women to learn what they need to help get ahead in their careers. It’s also a great read for men, especially those who might be mentoring women, to see what they might not be showing their female mentees.
What is your favorite quote?
“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend feeling sorry for themselves.” ~ Barbara Corcoran. This has become my business motto. There are always going to be things that don’t go our way in our businesses. You can’t let it stop you.
- Don’t wait to be given permission. You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your life and go after your dreams. Just go for it!
- Being willing to take a risk on yourself. You have to be willing to take risks if you’re going to grow. If you’re not willing to take a risk on yourself, why in the world would you expect anyone else to?
- “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend feeling sorry for themselves.” ~ Barbara Corcoran. There are always going to be things that don’t go our way in our businesses. You can’t let it stop you.
Nerdy Girl Success on Twitter:@NerdGirlSuccess
Nerdy Girl Success on Instagram:@nerdygirlsuccess
Nerdy Girl Success on Facebook:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.