This interview series features inspiring female entrepreneurs who have launched and run successful businesses. Through our peers’ experiences, we can learn practical lessons and insights to empower us on our entrepreneurial paths. Crucially, storytelling de-risks entrepreneurship so we believe it is an essential pillar in closing the opportunity gap for female founders.
Chelsea Cox on…
- Setting up a coaching business for female entrepreneurs
- Nurturing self-confidence
- The importance of knowing your value
Hello Chelsea! Tell us a bit about you.
Hey! I’m the founder of Well Defined, mother of one beautiful daughter, a feminist and lover of a good G&T.
Tell us about your business, Well Defined
Well Defined is essentially a support for women in business , I work with women in business & female led brands acting as a senior support in business planning, making money from existing revenue streams, identifying new revenue streams and making noise through events & outreach
I also offer business coaching to female entrepreneurs to give them clarity & confidence in their business plans. I have recently launched a new division of the brand also, Well Assisted, which offers business & lifestyle support services.
What was the moment that everything changed for you? Describe that moment when you decided to fully commit to your idea and the first few steps you took to make it possible.
I think I have always been destined to have my own business, it’s something I have always thought about and wanted in various capacities. Well Defined was founded at a time that I had lost total respect and love for the corporate world I was in. I needed to be in control of my own destiny, I have always been a very capable salesperson, there reached a point that I realised I could be making this money for myself rather than a board of grey suits!
The first few steps were turbulent for me, I would say that it took me a good 6-7 months to really figure out exactly what I wanted Well Defined to be and more importantly what I wanted to do with my life! During this time I took work from all areas to pay the bills and help me figure out my direction.
What were the initial challenges you came up across and how did you overcome them?
Confidence and self belief, I was always confident within my corporate role but actually having to step out from behind a brand and be the face of it is a whole different ball game. I have always said that I can sell anything but myself, it’s something I have always struggled with to be honest but step by step I’m getting there.
Did you take the investment route for your business or are you self-funded? Can you share some insights on your decision and the process?
Well Defined is self funded, I left the corporate world following an unsuccessful management buy out whereby I had to go through a lot both personally and professionally to secure the investment to enter the bidding process. I was very much in a headspace of not wanting to answer to anyone at the time of founding Well Defined. Investment is perhaps something I would consider in the future when the time is right but for now I have a healthy self funded cash flow!
What was the first win that made you feel you were onto something?
It was when I knew I had truly made a difference to a clients business, she gave me a goal that she wanted to achieve in a year and I put together a strategy that allowed her to hit the goal in 3 months, that felt like a real win to me.
What has been your best investment?
Counselling and Life Coaching – both have been invaluable to me and something I would have never considered before but I am so glad I did!
Have you made any mistakes or faux pas? If so, can you share with us?
Yes! Many! From working with the wrong clients to trusting the wrong people to not putting myself forward for something because of a limited self belief. I like to see them all as learnings rather than mistakes. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them!
What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learnt since starting your own business?
2 things, have self belief even if it means faking it until you become it and stick to your brands value & ethos.
Have you had any role models or mentors along the way?
There are many women that inspire me both personally and professionally in different ways, I am inspired massively by my daughter, my family and my friends. They have all been an invaluable support throughout the ups and downs.
What’s your experience of being a woman in the start-up ecosystem and what in your mind needs to change?
I made the decision to solely work with women in business and female led brands as I felt this is where my support is truly helpful. I find women very supportive of other women in business generally and I have created a real community of supportive ladies all of which I could call on for advice, a rant or to connect with a client.
In my opinion, women are still very much seen as inferior in the business world and I can’t tell you how fucking furious this makes me. I think unfortunately only we can change this by continuing to show what we are truly capable of. Women need to remember their value, I find women struggle with this so much more than men, in the self – employed world there shouldn’t be a gender pay gap, we should be ensuring we are charging just as much as our male peers and ensuring we have the confidence to follow through with this.
What can we do to support your businesses?
Support for me is engagement and connection, connect me to women you think could find my offerings helpful and engage/discuss through social media.
What books, podcasts or resources would you recommend?
- I recently read Vex Kings’s book – Good Vibes, Good Life – it’s the best “self help” book I have read and would highly recommend it!
The Confidence code by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay is another great one!
Brene Brown’s Netflix Special “call to courage” is a must watch.
I love Kat Horrocks podcast – Put Yourself First and adore The High Low
What advice would you give anyone about to start a business?
Know your value and ever let anyone feel that you aren’t good enough. Find your tribe of supportive people who want to see you succeed.
How can readers get in touch with you?
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Website – www.welldefined.co.uk
Instagram – @welldefined_
Thank you Chelsea! – Lara
About the Author
Lara Sheldrake is an entrepreneur and co-founder at Found & Flourish. Lara writes and speaks on the topics of entrepreneurship, motherhood and social media for business. She also hosts the Bossing It podcast, aimed at empowering the next generation of female founders in the UK. Send Lara an email.
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