From Corporate Sales to Digital Designer: How One Female Founder Built a Remote Branding Studio
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 Charel Elberse, Founder of Tsaroo! Originally from Amsterdam, Charel 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 of Tsaroo, a remote branding studio where I define, design, and build brands for changemakers. I offer branding and web design as well as social media strategy and management.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
I studied Visual Art and Design Management and was working in Corporate Sales at a publishing company. The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy gave me the tools to find my passion and strengths!
“I had always known that I needed to do something creative with a focus on strategy and sales.”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
After going through the Tech Skills Course and the Design Skills Course, I discovered that I enjoyed designing websites and brands the most. While building my business, I also found a passion for helping my clients find their niche and increasing their sales revenue!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
My first full-time job was working in Corporate Sales at a publishing company in Amsterdam. One day, I woke up and realized that there was more for me out in the world.
“So, I quit my job, canceled my lease, and booked a one-way ticket to Sydney, Australia.”
Once I arrived in Sydney, I landed a freelance social media management gig. However, I wanted to be around people again so I went back to the corporate world. In one year, I worked as a Marketing Assistant for a solvency company, Executive Assistant for an investment company, and eventually ended up at Amazon as a Sales Coordinator.
“I knew I wanted to travel the world while helping aspiring entrepreneurs build their brand and sell their story.”
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’m super impulsive, so I didn’t plan on quitting my job the day that I did. Right after I quit, I enrolled in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy and worked full time on the courses while also learning Spanish.
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
Before quitting my job, I had my ‘aha’ moment while reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. It made me realize that I wasn’t the only one who believes work doesn’t have to be a 9-5 or just a way to pay the bills.
Moving to Australia without a plan, landing my first freelancing gig, and finding new, amazing jobs taught me that I could do so much more than I had originally let myself believe. It gave me the confidence I needed to start my own business!
“I realized that I could build the life that I had always dreamt of… I just needed to do it!”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
Once I officially launched Tsaroo, I offered my services for free to three clients so I could test and improve my process while gathering testimonials. Afterwards, it took me a couple of weeks to find my first paying client, who I’m still in touch with today!
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I’ve found most of my clients via Facebook and referrals. However, I’ve recently started to focus on my Instagram sales funnel!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was when a website crashed that was almost finished and due. I felt so guilty that there was a delay in the project and thought the client would be really disappointed. However, the client knew how much I cared about her project and was confident that I would deliver great results. It all worked out well, and she is now one of my main clients with a yearly contract!
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part about running an online business is giving myself credit and recognizing how far I’ve come. Also, it’s so easy to feel like I’m not good enough when there is a small setback.
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I would tell my past self to not spend so much time building a portfolio and setting up a client on-boarding process. With two branding projects in your portfolio, you are ready to find work! And when you absolutely have to have an automated client on-boarding process, just find the best one.
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired by my vision board and my clients. Whenever I feel unmotivated, I look to my vision board and remember my goals. Also, I never thought I would say this, but I absolutely love the people I work with! Together we continuously try to find new ways to grow their business.
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I wake up around 7am without an alarm, write in my diary and workout outside. Afterwards, I have breakfast with my boyfriend if I don’t have any meetings planned in the morning. During breakfast, I also answer emails and check my clients’ social media.
If I live in a city (I’m currently in Auckland, New Zealand.), I’ll head out to a co-working space or library to work. If I’m not in a city, I usually work from my Airbnb. I get all of my small tasks out of the way and then work on a task that requires my full attention for a couple of hours.
After eating my homemade lunch, I’ll continue working on my big task or move on to another one until 3 or 4pm. Around this time, I’ll go outside for a walk, swim, surf or go grocery shopping. I’ll take my time to cook dinner while listening to a podcast or webinar and have dinner with my boyfriend. Then, I’ll review the main tasks that I wanted to complete that day and work for another two or three hours on smaller tasks.
Before I go to sleep, I’ll watch a movie or listen to a podcast in bed. I have to take my mind off of work otherwise I’ll dream about colours, shapes or fonts!
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is being able to plan my own hours and work from anywhere in the world.
“Continuously changing my environment keeps me inspired!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love that I am always thinking about how to grow my clients’ businesses. Online marketing is constantly changing so there is always something new to try and learn!
“There is always room to be creative and innovative!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
I love to work from libraries, surrounded by books and people in the quiet. So far, my favourite place to live is San Pancho, Mexico. It’s close to the ocean, surrounded by lovely people and nature. However, the internet isn’t great since it’s a remote town.
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
Dubsado is my go-to Client Relationship Management System. I love that I have all of my contracts, proposals, and communications in one place.
When I struggle to get through a project or if I feel unproductive, I use a Pomodoro Tracker.
I love Transferwise for getting paid and taking money out. My clients are all over the world, and I have a personal bank account in Australia and The Netherlands. With Transferwise, you can set up a free borderless business account so you can get paid in different currencies. The fees of transferring money from one currency to another are super low and their customer service is great!
Q: What’re your go-to favorite podcasts that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
I love podcasts that cover inspiring stories, share helpful tips and give real examples of success and failure. Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- The Goal Digger Podcast
- Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo
- Ctrl Alt Delete with Emma Gannon
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Just do it! Without a doubt, you will have highs and lows while building and running an online business. Remember that every girl boss that you look up to has had times where she doubts herself. The only reason she continues to grow is because of the resilience she has built from her previous failures.
“Overcome your fears and let your failures make you stronger!”
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
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