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 online business owners, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Cilia Antoniou, Founder of Self Expressed Babe! Originally from Los Angeles, California, Cilia gives us a glimpse into her online business journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder, Brand Strategist, Web Designer, and Self Expression Enthusiast of Self Expressed Babe! My mission is to help women confidently step into their leadership and live the life they love.
“I officially launched in November 2020!”
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells during COVID while scrolling on Facebook. The ad was for a limited-time, free 3-Day Find Your Online Skills Challenge. After I completed the challenge, I enrolled in the Tech Skills Course and then purchased the Work Online and Travel the World Course immediately after!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
I was inspired to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses because of their online community of fellow ambitious women! I always wanted to work for myself and once I discovered this supportive community, I knew I would be held accountable to follow through!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Bucketlist Bombshells courses outlined actionable steps I never would have thought of on my own. For example, I began freelancing online before I officially launched Self Expressed Babe. This experience helped me discover what I love helping others with and what my potential clients were actually in need of.
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running Self Expressed Babe, I was managing a real estate office where I wore many hats. I did a lot of administrative work, graphic designing, social media marketing, and accounting. I was basically the boss… without a boss salary!
“I knew that if I could do this for another business, I could start my own!”
A month after completing the Bucketlist Bombshells courses, I ditched my full-time job and went all in on building up my brand!
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
While stuck inside due to COVID, I had a lot of time to reflect and realized that I wasn’t happy working for someone else. The world could go up in flames at any moment, so I didn’t want to waste another minute not following my dream of starting a business!
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I find people or businesses who align with my target market and try to become their online friend first. To do that, I’ll respond to their online posts and answer their questions, providing as much value as I can in order to establish a connection.
I also share educational content on my blog and Instagram consistently. Because of that, I naturally get messages from people I’m already talking to online that ask for my help or services!
“I landed my first client in July 2020, before my official launch!”
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was feeling like I didn’t have enough experience in website design to book clients at the price I wanted to charge. It took me a while to overcome this, but hiring a coach and working on my mindset with books, affirmations, and mirror work helped significantly!
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part about running Self Expressed Babe is that I’m still doing everything on my own. The balance is tough. I get a lot of emails and direct messages, so it’s hard to not get stuck in messaging all day and letting my administrative work slip.
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud that I have the courage to go online and declare who I am and what I offer!
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I would tell my past self that perfection is unattainable! In making mistakes, you’ll gain so much knowledge.
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired by connecting with other women who are also on the entrepreneurial journey.
“I’m so grateful that I’ve made so many motivating online friends!”
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 Self Expressed Babe, every day is different! However, my mornings are non-negotiable. I always take time to breathe deeply, write in my gratitude journal, go for a walk, do yoga, read, and have a healthy breakfast!
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love being able to take a break in the middle of the morning and go for a walk outside before 5pm.
“The best part about being my own boss is that I am in charge of my own schedule!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love watching my clients transform from holding themselves back to confidently sharing what they’re about, doing it in a way that maintains a balance with the rest of their busy lives.
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
I love working in coffee shops! However, I have yet to do so while running my business because of COVID.
I love being surrounded by others who are also working towards their goals. Plus, you never know who you’ll connect with when taking breaks and saying hi to whoever is sitting next to you.
“The smell of coffee puts me in a productive flow!”
Q: What’s your favorite business tool that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love it?
I’m loving ConvertKit right now! I would recommend it to other girl bosses because growing your email list ASAP is essential to growing an audience that is engaged and is immune to algorithm changes.
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I love UnMarketing by Scott Stratten! Throughout the book, Scott addresses that business is all about relationships and how we live in a time where you can connect personally with your clients online. It takes all the seriousness and stiffness out of marketing and makes it fun again!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
You don’t need a website or huge following to start an online business! And in starting this way, you’ll avoid building a business around something that sounds like a good idea but isn’t actually something you enjoy.