Featured Founder: Carol Schulte of Women Living Big
Carol Schulte, Women Living Big
Introducing Carol Schulte — International Speaker, Personal Development Trainer, Creator of ‘Women Living BIG’
What keeps you busy?
What keeps me busy currently is juggling living abroad in a new country every month, wanting to explore and experience and engage all that place has to offer, all while building my speaking career and having a business I love to work on. I’m also currently writing my first book, learning Spanish, and love staying active through running, yoga, and other fitness classes.
Before this, what did you do? How did you become an entrepreneur?
I used to teach Communication at the University of Illinois, before that was an Assistant Manager at Lululemon, and loved doing things like goal setting and team development. And previous to that I was an actor. I mostly worked in theatre – my true passion! But I also did some film and television, nothing major, a few guest appearances on Canadian television and had a major voice over series.
Why did you make the move to Entrepreneurship?
After my Mum passed away, my whole perspective changed, and the whole acting world seemed a tad too superficial. I spent a lot of years traveling and escaping in a way, as I wasn’t ready to face life without the one person who always believed in me. However I always knew I wanted to make a difference, and felt I could do that as an entrepreneur. I wanted to be the champion and cheerleader my mother always was for me, for all other woman out there.
What is your day-to-day schedule like?
I suppose it depends on where I am in the world! I wake up, do my morning gratitudes and affirmations, then some yoga or a workout. I create my daily priorities, and am ready to start with client calls or posting in my groups. I often have a lunch date; I try to meet or connect with one new person every day. After that I’ll spend time doing content creation, shooting videos, or more calls. I like to spend my evenings exploring or trying something new, like a tango class, as this is my time to experiencing the city I’m in at that time. After I’m home I try to get some more work done before bed… if I’m lucky I’ll have squeezed in some time to stay up-to-date with emails and social media!
Where do you find inspiration?
My biggest inspiration comes from people. Meeting people from various places, having in depth conversations with them about their hopes and dreams and fears. Also experiencing things, doing things that scare me like surfing or bungee jumping. I also find a lot of inspiration from being in a community– spending time in this powerful community of women and watching them take action outside of their comfort zones.
For example, I was running a surfing event in Lima, Peru, and there was one woman who was afraid to stand up on the board, however had a goal to get up onto her knees. The instructor taught her a special stance, called ‘the Titanic’ move, where you stand upright on your knees, rather than sitting on them, with your arms high up in the air. Well she did it – and she rocked it. I watched her standing there on the board with her arms stretched out wide, and the look on her face was priceless. I was in tears. I absolutely love watching people conquer things they never thought possible. Even smaller things like getting on stage to sing. At the Woman Living Big – LIVE event, we had women try cheerleading, African dance, juggling, or jumping into a big foam pit! Witnessing women do activities they never thought they could do – it’s absolutely incredible and inspirational.
What are the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
I think the biggest challenge is staying focused on your path, your journey, and doing what makes sense for you. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost when you have so many great ideas but you don’t quite know what you’re doing or where to start. There are so many amazing people out there, and it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and want to be where they are. But you can’t compare yourself to people who have been pursuing their vision for 10 years, especially when you’re just starting out. It takes you off your game, and you start to think things like ‘I’m not ready, I can’t do this,’ ‘Who am I to be doing this?’
Another challenge is that we are truly living in the knowledge economy. We’re in a world where information is coming at us at any any given moment from every direction. And while it can be amazing to have access to a wealth of resources, it can also be overwhelming! I remember when I was first starting out, I’d be watching webinars while listening to teleseminars while researching all simultaneously; I thought I had to know everything before I could get started. We tell ourselves we aren’t ready when really, you’ll learn as you go. It’s a process. You’ll learn what you need to know, when you need to know it. There’s no need to bombard yourself with everything out there all at once.
Finally, time management can also be a bit of a struggle as an entrepreneur (at least for me!) Without a 9-to-5, you do have more freedom, but as your own boss, you have to be super disciplined as well. That means knowing when to buckle down and focus, as well as when to stop. You need work time and play time!
What is one of the most important keys to success in your field?
Being true to who you are. Living in alignment with who you are – your goals, your values, your passions – and also trusting you are exactly where you need to be. Keep going after your dreams, keep believing anything and everything is possible, and be sure to enjoy the ride!
When do you feel most alive and ready to take on the world?
Good question! When I’m on stage, especially when I’m speaking to an audience about what’s possible for their lives. Any time I can look out at the crowd and can see and feel the engagement… I love that. Also, as I was mentioning earlier, any time I get to witness women doing things they thought they could never do, especially as a result of being a part of the Women Living Big community and the support that comes with that. And then personally when I myself am doing things outside of my comfort zone… facing my fears, and experiencing that adrenalin rush… that’s when I feel alive. And I think to myself, ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.’
What was your experience like working with Now Creative Group?
I have to say it was a very positive experience – everyone I worked with was very upbeat, helpful, and working with them felt like a team effort. There was a real sense of community, and a shared dedication to the work. They take an individualized approach, and it felt like joining a family where everyone is as invested in your success as you are.
What is your goal within the next 3 years?
I want to grow Women Living Big to a place where we have communities sprouting up across Canada and perhaps even globally. I also want to continue to speak on global stages and publish my book. Oh, and I want to get married!
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
There’s limitless possibility of what you can do, who you can impact, and how you can make a difference in those lives. That can make it challenging as well, because it’s all on you, but it’s also so satisfying because you get to create your own life. There may be a lot of fear, yes. but also so much freedom and fulfillment. You’re putting something into the world that wasn’t already there, and as a result you’re potentially empowering people to experience significant transformation in their lives. To see what’s possible for them where they never believed it was. You get to live life on your own terms. I’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs say that, but it’s true.
Share some inspiration.
One of my all-time favourite quotes is from Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
After my talks, I’ll sometimes say:
“What are you waiting for? The world is ready for what you have to offer.”
You’re not here to play small, you’re here to play big, to live big, to shine. And you are ready NOW.
Carol Schulte is the founder of Women Living Big and The Tribe. Women Living Big is a community of women who are living their biggest and best life. Through coaching seminars, webinars and live events, Carol inspires her community to get outside of their comfort zone and fully experience their life.
Work with Now Creative Group by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.