Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Claire Collis, Founder of The ELT Skills Academy! Originally from Paignton, UK, Claire gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder and Managing Director of The ELT Skills Academy where I teach EFL (English as a Foreign Language) businesses and teachers through training, mentoring, and support.
I focus on helping individuals find the teaching niche that they love and discover how to make that path work for them in a way that supports the life they want to live!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
A while back, I saw a short video of Cassie and Shay working at Dojo, having coconuts on the beach, and heading off for a massage. I remember thinking that I wanted to live that life, but never thought it was actually possible.
In the midst of my career as an English Language Teacher and Learning Technologist, I realized that I needed to make a change. I so strongly desired to have the flexibility and freedom to travel while continuing my passion of teaching!
So, I left my job, booked a flight to Bali, and took a few days to decompress. As I sat on the beach with a coconut watching the sun go down, I remembered Cassie and Shay’s video of them doing the same.
A quick internet search later and before I knew it, I was enrolled in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Work Online and Travel the World Course helped me realize that I already had loads of experience and skills that could help people! Before this course, I never realized that I already had marketable skills that I could use to start my own business!
The Design Skills Course and The Tech Skills Course gave me the practical skills needed to get things done! The courses and the communities that came along with them truly helped me make my venture visible through social media.
“The courses gave me the confidence to actually begin creating the life I had only dreamt of!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running The ELT Skills Academy, I was tied to my desk designing in-house online courses, running teacher training, and teaching English as a foreign language.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
I quit my 9-5, sold all my stuff, and began traveling. I had a super limited budget and a decent laptop, so I hustled pretty hard. While continuing my MSc in Digital Education, I worked about 40 hours a week setting up my business.
“After two weeks, I landed my first client!”
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
Self-doubt has definitely been my biggest setback. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve been able to meet and become friends with several communities of women. They have helped me overcome and push through my negative self-talk and imposter syndrome!
“Having a community who knows and understands what you are going through is SO important!”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
While at my previous job, I was in a conference room about to present a huge industry report to a bunch of older men who all outranked me. Before I began, one man decided to take notes on the whiteboard as I presented, so he said, “Claire, go fetch some board pens.”
I was the only one in that room with the knowledge and expertise on the report, yet, there I was, climbing over chairs and people to get from the back of the room to the front door just to grab some pens.
In that moment, I realized that I deserved to be treated better. I so strongly desired to be valued and respected.
“So, I fetched the pens, presented the report, and handed in my notice.”
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
Now that I am running my own online business, my day looks like whatever I want it to. Plus, every day is always different!
I can work until noon and take the rest of the afternoon off to spend time with my family by the seaside or celebrate in London with a client at a conference!
Some days, I work from home and hang out with my cats. Other days, I head to local co-working spaces or am off traveling and scuba diving!
This year, I also found the confidence to write my first novel! So, I spend the first hour of every morning writing!
“I wanted to build a flexible life and am making the most of it!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
Being comfortable with my online visibility and social media presence has been the most challenging part of running my online business. I still find this hard at times, but it is definitely getting less challenging over time!
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired by keeping in touch with others who are along the same journey; I love my tribe!
“Picturing my goals and dreams, journaling and meditating, and making time for the things I truly love keeps me motivated!”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I’ve found a lot of client connections through Facebook groups and LinkedIn!
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love seeing people reach their goals!
“I get to be a part of someone else’s journey, and it rocks!”
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is the flexibility that I have. I can work whenever and wherever I want! Plus, my income is far greater than my 9-5!
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
My favorite destination to work from is Bali, but I also love working from home! Since working remotely, I’ve been able to spend more time with my parents. My time with them has been so priceless!
From learning photography with my dad to sitting in a coffee shop by the sea with my mum, I never would’ve imagined that I would have this lifestyle!
“If I would have stayed with my 9-5, I would have missed out on all of these precious moments with family by my side!”
Q: What is one travel item you can’t live without when you’re working and traveling?
I can’t live without my Bose noise cancelling headphones!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
TED Talks Daily Podcast is absolutely incredible!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Find your people and take the leap! Having a tribe you can message when you’re not feeling good enough or need help with the latest Instagram algorithm is worth its weight in gold!