Q&A with Entrepreneur, Nicole Faith
Nicole Faith is a location independent entrepreneur that crafts online service businesses (niche, packaged services, website, copy, tech, + e-commerce) for aspiring digital nomads in just 1 week so they can work with clients as they travel the world at 10 Carat Creations (https://10caratcreations.com). By helping freelancers turn their expertise into a five star business, they can inject sanity, flexibility and profit to their own location independent life. She also founded the Digital Nomad Business Directory (https://nomadbusinessdirectory.com), the first and only directory of location independent businesses.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I was the girl wearing the rainbow in school because fashion is expression! I lived for Teen Vogue and devoured fashion blogs as sustenance. Thinking I wanted to be a fashion journalist, I had four internships in the fashion industry while I went to NYU for communications. It took me that long and a career panel to realize you can be good at fashion and not work in fashion. Eureka! I went on to work at Squarespace for three years where I helped entrepreneurs build their online business. Eventually, my body told me what my mind already knew- I wasn’t meant to work for anyone but myself.
What inspired you to start your business?
I didn’t see anyone offering to build your online service business from A to Z with an emphasis on professionalism. I know that so many people want to quit their job or stop struggling as a freelancer so they can travel the world while they work. I can practically see their desperation seeping from their pores. I believe everyone deserves the freedom to travel and work on their terms if they have the skills to back it up. My business is not for the so-called experts, but the actual experts in their field who just need some help putting it all together. The digital nomad movement is full of hype but I’m here to talk about reality.
Where is your business based?
Everywhere there’s wifi!
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
My business started with an idea. I knew I wanted to work with aspiring digital nomads who were the best in their field. I envisioned the vibe I wanted to give off- professional and upscale. I brainstormed names and words as I scoured the thesaurus. Words like sophisticated, concierge, premier and elite graced my list.
I created a loose draft of my packaged services (Concept Concierge appointment & The Tycoon’s Box) and the process I wanted to follow. Giving your products a name makes them more real, but boy is it a journey coming up with the perfect name!
Once I nailed the name and product, I designed my website.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Getting consistent press has been a nice surprise that’s boosted brand awareness for 10 Carat Creations. LinkedIn outreach has also worked wonders. I understand better than most people that everyone has a different timeline for their goals. It’s not easy to drop your job or your clients and start a business today. I think my respectfulness towards people’s unique situations has hopefully earned me a place in their hearts so when they are ready, I’ll be here to help.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
When I started freelancing, I made a website. I thought this meant I had a business but I was so wrong! I thought I had a business before I actually did. I freelanced for clients who needed web design, technical tutoring and copywriting, always feeling like they didn’t respect my expertise. I chased after clients, continually negotiated my rates, had no focus and couldn’t even get a testimonial out of them despite doing amazing work.
I was royally fed up with being treated like crap, the hallmark of a strung-out freelancer. I knew I was better than the work I was doing, the clients I attracted and the treatment I received. I backed away from freelancing to package my services while re-branding my entire business.
I think the biggest challenge for most people who quit their jobs to freelance, thinking it means freedom, is realizing a website is not a business. A business has processes, boundaries and focus. A website is just one piece of a business. You feel so official when you throw a website up and call it a business, but it’s anything but.
How do you stay focused?
I naturally focus when I’m feeling creative and the ideas pour out of me. When I’m distracted or not in the mood, I walk away and do something else. Forcing myself to stare at the computer and complete a task I don’t want to do isn’t productive. I don’t have a set routine in place but I definitely work in bursts. I get 99% of my work done in 10% of my time.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
Everyone tells you what to do if you want to quit your job, build a business, and travel the world. But it’s fluffy generic advice like “Pitch clients on Upwork or fiverr all day and live on poverty level in a cheap country!” Plus, no one actually does it for you.
As far as I know, I’m the only one who crafts an entire online service business in just 1 week so you can take on clients immediately.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Using LinkedIn strategically and writing articles that resonate with my audience. I like to connect with freelancers who have one foot out of the 9-5 grind but are still stuck in a vicious cycle of looking for work.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
You learn everything as you go when you’re an entrepreneur, so if you know you can teach yourself anything then just do something. Start. There’s no perfect step to start with. On the flip side, if you aren’t motivated by anything other than money then it will be hard. Everyone wants more money. Few people want to work for it.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
App: Bear, a simple writing app: http://www.bear-writer.com/
It’s very clean and lets me focus on just the words.
Blog: I like Teachable’s blog: http://blog.teachable.com/
It’s such a comprehensive resource for entrepreneurs at all levels.
Book: For pleasure, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It’s a touching story about individuality.
For Business, The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. They really make you question the importance of every single thing you do and it’s helped me narrow my focus.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Typinator- a text expander: http://www.ergonis.com/products/typinator/
It saves me a lot of time re-typing or copying and pasting responses/phrases/descriptions I use frequently. I couldn’t do email without it!
Who is your business role model? Why?
I don’t have one, and I think this is how I’ve been able to consistently improve myself and my business. I like to learn from a lot of people, but I find too many wantrepreneurs put successful entrepreneurs on a pedestal and then re-quote them to death. I don’t blindly follow people’s advice, and I wouldn’t want anyone to look to me as anything other than a working example. Idolizing people prevents new ideas from breaking through. I admire and respect many people, but if anyone is my role model it’s me. Be your own hero.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
#1 Working with clients who buy a Business With a Bow™:
They are original pre-made online service businesses. Many people want an online business, but can’t visualize a concept. I do 99% of the work and they just fill in the blanks.
#2 I’m also writing a book on building a five star business so you can travel luxuriously:
How can our readers connect with you?
Please connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolefaith/ and introduce yourself! Don’t be shy.
If you want an inside look at my methodology for crafting five star businesses, sign up for my email course at https://10caratcreations.com/#exclusive-email-course.