I’ve wanted to interview Marie for a long time. I was happy to hear her whole back story and get to know her better and I’m delighted to introduce her to you. I haven’t met her in person, but I know that when I do we’ll be friends instantaneously. :) I LOVE MarieTV. Her weekly videos are fun and clever, and to top it off Marie is incredibly business savvy. Want to see Marie for yourself? Check out her latest videos here. – Michelle
Name: Marie Forleo
Location: NYC, Los Angeles, Sag Harbor and worldwide
Education: Graduated Valedictorian with Business Degree, Seton Hall University
Professional Background/Brief Summary of your Start Up:
My journey started out on the floor of the New York Stock exchange as a trading assistant on Wall Street. I knew in my heart that I was meant to do great things in the world, but I didn’t know exactly what “job” that was. My only clue was that I was passionate about business, and I was very creative. I got gigs in publishing - on the advertising side of Gourmet Magazine and then on the editorial side of Mademoiselle Magazine.
While I was grateful to have work, I was also deeply unsatisfied. One day, I stumbled upon an article about a new profession (at the time) called life coaching. Something inside my heart lit up. But I was afraid because who in their right mind would hire a 23 year old life coach?! Immediately, I signed up for a three-year intensive training program to learn life and business coaching. I kept my day job at the magazine, but studied coaching at night.
About six months into my coach training, I got a job offer from Vogue. That was my proverbial fork in the road: do I keep my safe job in the fashion publishing world or quit and start my own business? I quit and have never looked back. Here’s a timeline that makes the rest easy to follow.
- 2001: Quit my publishing job, started my coaching business
- 2003: Kept coaching, but also became an MTV hip-hop choreographer/producer
- 2005: Kept coaching, also became one of the world’s first Nike Elite Dance Athletes
- 2006: Kept coaching, wrote and self-published my book Make Every Man Want You
- 2006-2008: Created 4 top-selling fitness DVDs
- 2007 – 2008: Created my first digital training programs, sold my book to McGraw-Hill (now in 11 languages)
- 2009: Launched the first Rich Happy & Hot Mastermind, Virtual Coaching Program, and Live Event
- 2010: Tony Robbins interview released; starting to experiment with video blogging, launched Rich Happy & Hot B-School (online business education & mentoring program)
- 2011: Flew to South Africa with Richard Branson to work with Virgin Unite, partnered with Urban Zen for RHH Live, launched MarieTV.com
- Today: We’ve built a multi-million dollar company, our team has grown to 10, we have a community of over 50k women entrepreneurs and the sky is the limit.
What you wanted to be when you grew up:
I was always multipassionate! I wanted to be an artist, animator, dancer, actress, writer, fashion designer, teacher.
What you are:
I often say if Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah and Jay-Z had a love child, it would be me.
That’s because I’m part business strategist, part marketing maven and part spiritual ass-kicker with a side of hip-hop swagger.
Through a bestselling book in 11 languages, tens of thousands of subscribers in 188 countries around the world, 4 top selling fitness DVDs and a weekly online show called MarieTV that’ll make you laugh so hard you’ll snort your soy latte, I help people dream big and back it up with daily actions to create measurable results.
My fancy bio:
Marie Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert who inspires countless individuals to live Rich, Happy & Hot™. She reaches over 50,000 readers in 188 countries worldwide with her weekly videos and newsletter, and leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life.
Marie was recently interviewed by Tony Robbins for his DVD program The New Money Masters and mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Center of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Her bestselling book, Make Every Man Want You: How To Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself is published in 11 languages. Through Marie’s Change Your Life, Change The World® initiative, each for profit training program is tied to a non-profit partner who supports women, the environment and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured on Oprah Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Glamour Magazine, Self Magazine and The Rachel Ray Show.
With loving yet wisecracking advice, Marie inspires tens of thousands to take charge of their success and happiness by boosting their business skills, shedding BS excuses and injecting massive amounts of fun into each day.
What inspired you?
I started my current business for three reasons:
1. There’s a huge gap in the market for modern online marketing and business training that’s both hard-core effective and hard-core fun.
2. I believe the world will fundamentally change the more women become economically empowered. When women live rich (in every sense of the word – financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually) everyone wins: you win, your family wins, your community wins, and the whole world wins. I want to help make that shift happen.
3. Many female small business owners have a negative association with marketing. They see it as slimy, non-ethical, aggressive or pushy. This mindset keeps women earning less and struggling.
I see marketing not only as a vital skill for small business success, but more importantly as a vehicle to create art, connect deeply with and serve others, and to make the world a better place.
I want to change how small business owners, and women in particular, think of and feel about marketing. It not only helps women get the results they want, but marketing brings out our best human attributes: true listening, compassion, honesty and a spirit of service.
How long have you been in business?
The early parts of it were started back in 2001.
How did you fund it?
Hustle, drive, and many jobs on the side! And getting the word out about my business was all word-of-mouth. My goal was getting everyone (dogs & grandmas included) on my newsletter list. I was a bartender at night to fund my business, so when anyone asked me what else I did, I told them about my business and got them on my email list!
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)?
I have incredible respect for one of my mentors, Richard Branson. We all know he’s a brilliant business person and philanthropist, but what impressed me most happened out of the spotlight, when I spent time with him in South Africa. I was there to work with Richard and Virgin Unite by mentoring young entrepreneurs at The Branson Center of Entrpreneurship. During our down time at his African retreat Ulusaba, Richard spent time just hanging out. Not once did take out his Blackberry. He was fully present, warm and open. He treated each and every person, from his guests to his staff, with the same level respect and care.
Current Business Challenge?
Wanting more hours in a day.
What are you doing about it?
Honestly, we’re pretty efficient with our time. For our team it’s just about managing growth and being extremely selective about what we say yes to.
Favorite motivational quote:
It’s my own Everything is figureoutable. That motivates me and inspires me to solve any problem because I know a solution is out there, or can be created.
If so, how do you balance it all?
It’s all about scheduling and realizing when you’re creating something massive, the idea of “balance” is unreasonable. I’m big on NNT or Non-Negotiable Time. As long as I maintain that, I’m good.
The War of Art and Do The Work, both by Steven Pressfield
What do you do to relax?
Ride roller coasters, walk my dog, go to the movies or order in great food with friends.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the results and real change our company creates in other people’s lives. When I hear about women breaking from from their own limiting beliefs, creating more income and revenue than they ever dreamed possible, and living life on their own terms – that makes me proud.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?
Hustle, have patience and don’t quit! If you have to take on side gigs to fund your business – DO IT. Focus on long-term success, not a short-term ego trip. It’s often hardest to persevere in the beginning, so don’t compare yourself to others. Stay focused on creating outstanding products and services for your customers and, most importantly, commit to mastering the tools of modern entrepreneurship: online marketing, content marketing and word-of-mouth via social media.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?
The Google- it’s the world’s best (and free) research assistant!
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?
Hmmm, I think I’d rather design a ring or a necklace than a tiara! I’ve got a lot of hair so anything else is overkill.
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business?
Our brand is one-of-a-kind for five key reasons:
- Our heart and genuine desire to serve. We’re maniacal about customer service – whether you’re consuming our free content or investing in a paid training. Our market can feel how much we care about their success.
- Collaboration with leading entrepreneurs and organizations to make an impact beyond profit. Richard Branson is a mentor and we work regularly with Virgin Unite to make business a force for good. Russell Simmons, hip-hop mogul and philanthropist, spoke at our Rich Happy & Hot LIVE event, held at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Center in New York City. We’ve built a well with charity: water and have an ongoing lending team with Kiva.org Through our Change Your Life, Change The World® program, every for profit program has a non-profit partner. Learn more here: http://marieforleo.com/giving-back/.
- An overwhelmingly positive and highly engaged audience. Over 32K Twitter followers, 13K on Facebook and a global community of over 50K women in 188 countries who love to talk and connect on our blog.
- Our passionate dedication to building truly creative, world-class products. We believe that business training and personal development should be hip, fun, and gorgeous to engage with.
- We show women how to fall in LOVE with marketing. Most women think marketing is slimy, sleazy and scammy and that mentality can put them out of business. We teach a modern approach that’s classy and personal. It’s about genuinely understanding and connecting with your customers on an emotional and psychological level to help them lead better lives.
Learn more about the Rich, Happy & Hot B-School go here.