Liz Earle: The female entrepreneurs who inspire us
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, which makes it the perfect time to celebrate some incredible women who are striking out and doing their own thing in the business world.
As a woman running a business that is all about empowering others to live, learn and thrive it was hugely important to me to inspire you all by showing you that there is no set path when it comes to making a success of your passion. So, I approached women who have interesting and varied stories to tell about their experience of running their own business and asked them all exactly the same questions.
Their answers are as unique as they are and give a fascinating insight into what makes them tick as women, and as businesswomen. Some run huge companies with hundreds of staff, others are just starting out on their journey, but I know all of them will inspire you with their determination, tenacity and passion for what they do.
We will be bringing you a different woman every day this week, all of them united in being the very thing we love – they are all on fire!
Liz Earle MBE
Skincare and wellbeing entrepreneur, best-selling author, broadcaster.
Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith for www.lizearlewellbeing.com
Liz began her career as a beauty writer, with a keen interest in complimentary medicine and wellness. In 1995 she co-founded the skincare company Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare which went on to become Liz Earle Beauty Co. Having sold the company and stepped away fully in 2017, Liz now runs Liz Earle Wellbeing, a wellness site and magazine passionate about using trusted research to advise on living well.
1. What job did your parents do?
My father was an Admiral in the Royal Navy and my mother was a traditional naval wife back then, working alongside my father in a supporting role with naval wives, volunteering and generally helping out at home and with social functions.
2. Did you choose your vocation or did it choose you?
I think it probably chose me – I started my writing career as a junior in the beauty department of Woman’s Journal magazine and was fortunate enough to be given the new area of complementary medicine and wellbeing to write about and loved it so much I quickly moved on to writing longer features and eventually books, which then led to a lifelong love of communicating about living well.
3. Who was your role model growing up?
I have never had one role model, but my parents always encouraged me to be the best I could be and have always been enthusiastic supporters, which I now hope I am to my children to as they grow up and choose their own future paths.
4. Who is your role model now?
I am continually inspired by my eldest daughter Lily, who is always cheerful and fun to be around, proving that you can have a light touch to life even when things don’t go so well and times are tricky
5. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you and how did you use it?
I was once told “if it has to be now, it has to be no”. Don’t get rushed into making quick decisions without giving things proper consideration – and at least sleeping on it before coming to a firm conclusion.
6. When did you consider yourself an entrepreneur (and can you spell it?)
Haha, yes I can spell it and all the permutations now we use, such as mumpreneur, olderpreneur, wantrepreneur… just so many different options these days whatever your age or stage in life. I first became aware of the word a decade or so ago – before then, brand builders were more likely to be called business founders or creators.
7. What was your biggest challenge when you started out and how did you overcome it?
When my business partner and I co-founded the beauty company (which we sold back in 2010 – I no longer have any connection), we were initially dismissed as two young women who were just playing at something better left to the big boys of the industry. We had to work hard to prove our concept, ideas and plans – whereas now I think the business world is far more open to exploring future potential of good ideas and good people behind them.
8. If you could go back to when you started and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I think I would say don’t try and do it all on your own. Seek specialist help from a range of consultants and focus on where your skills truly lie. For me that is creating and communication, rather than spend time trying to get my head around supply chains and financials, which I now have a small team of expert specialists to help me with. You have to work to your strengths and not dilute the special gifts you have by trying to do it all single-handedly.
9. What’s your favourite business quote?
Crawl, walk, run – build it slow to build it strong. I love creating things with firm foundations and a strong future.
10. What do you want your legacy to be – what do you want people to say about you after you’re gone?
To have made a genuine difference to real lives. I’d love people to say: “She made a difference by being here – and my life was changed for the better by her presence”.
Look out for more inspirational entrepreneurs this week, we’ll be featuring one every day.