As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about strong women leaders who attained success with their incredible ideas, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bri Seeley.
“Nothing can stop a woman on a mission”- Unknown
Awarded as the silver Stevie Award for Coach of the Year – Business and a Bronze Stevie Award in 2020 for Woman of the Year- Business Services, 2020; Bri Seeley is Google’s Top-Ranked’ Entrepreneur Coach,’ helps entrepreneurs in creating complete freedom in their business and thrive.
She is a dedicated coach who knows how to emanate her 14-years of entrepreneurship and the real world to help her clients strive for profit and achieve their aim. Bri holds a 95% client success rate over the last six years of service because of her customized approach to business; she focuses on her client’s needs and understands their business like her own.
Additionally, she is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and the author of the best-selling book ‘Permission to Leap,’ a guest on the TODAY show, Thrive Global, Entrepreneur, Yahoo!, and other significant Business platforms.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and your inspirational journey?
After being raised by a single and entrepreneurial mom, I started my first business (by accident!) at the age of 23. My fashion label slowly grew and grew while I concurrently worked a full-time job as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Five years into that business, I launched my first official collection, and within a year, I was on runways around the country, dressing celebrities, on magazine covers, and more! Three years later, I closed my business and walked away.
Over the course of those three years, I found myself more and more frustrated with my business, dove into my personal development journey, and began to realize that fashion wasn’t “it” for me. The only issue was I didn’t have a Plan B. Once I closed my business, I got the opportunity to work with a coach who helped illuminate the next steps on my journey, which, as it turns out, were staring me in the face for a few years, but I hadn’t been willing or able to see it.
With the space of no longer having a business, I began to realize how many people were coming to me to help them with their businesses. I had always turned them away because I was a Fashion Designer and not a “business expert.” But I decided in April 2015 to simply go for it and see what happened.
A little over a year later, I had built a 6-figure business. It was simply my opportunity to say yes to where the Universe was guiding me.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting stories for me are always a combination of serendipitous events coupled with bold, inspired action on my part. One example of this was my emailing Arianna Huffington after hearing her speak in 2014. I let her know the impact her talk had on me and how I’d be moving forward with a project as a result of her insights. She emailed me back and asked me to start writing for the Huffington Post. Another time, I heard Naveen Jain speak at a conference and sent him a similar gratitude message afterward. We started talking, and he became a mentor to me, who eventually wrote the foreword for my first book.
We live in such an incredible time where we can easily build relationships and communicate with so many different people, and it’s always such an incredible blessing to see what opportunities develop out of such simple connections.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
Not sure if it’s funny or not… When I had my fashion brand, I would send out massive outreach campaigns to bloggers and stylists. I was emailing so many people and wanted to be efficient, which meant I used a copy/paste strategy. I would get going so fast; I would forget to change emails and business names. I had a few people call me out on it, knowing they were receiving a template email. Since that time, I do my best to send individual messages and personalize them. Anytime I’m pitching myself for a story or podcast, it’s 100% unique to the outlet I’m contacting.
I understand the need to save time, but now that I’m on the receiving end of the pitches, I know what bad form it is. I can always tell who is genuine in their messages and who is sending out the same email to hundreds of people. Now I get to educate entrepreneurs on the art of genuine connection, networking, and pitching.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I seek out mentors who are outside my industry and who don’t know the exact ins and outs of my business. The reason I do this is that they give me disruptive perspectives and aren’t limited by what’s been done before.
One of my mentors is Naveen Jain. Naveen’s entrepreneurial experience is in the technology field, which is very different from both fashion and coaching. I love talking to Naveen about business because he approaches things from a radically different perspective than most people in my industry would.
Naveen is one of the first people who helped me see past the title of “coach” in terms of my vision for what I’m here to create. We had a conversation where he reflected me the impact I make in people’s lives. It’s because of Naveen that I’ve been able to expand my business past the typical coaching model.
There is no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
I don’t believe businesses should be based on good ideas. A good idea is a spark. However, it’s not something that can sustain the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. I believe in building businesses based on your core values and your zone of genius. Business is an inside, out experience.
My business was built on the foundation of who I am and my natural, innate skills. I knew this business had to be created differently from how I had created my fashion brand. The first nine months of my new business were spent in deep soul searching, inquiring about the value I bring to the world and listening to what others had to reflect about the impact I’d had on them. Because I knew those were the true foundational pieces that were necessary not only for the success of my business but also for the longevity of it.
What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?
My clients. They are the ones who, whether they know it or not, inspire me to get out of bed, face the hard days and take my own advice. I believe leadership starts with ourselves, and I know a lot of leaders who have forgotten this. My clients are always reminding me that I have to go first. I would never give them homework or advice, which I am unwilling to take myself.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
There’s no such thing as failure. This was one of the biggest lessons I had to learn when I closed my fashion brand. Everything in my mind wanted to categorize the experience as a failure, even though it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had to begin to see life and business as a path and continuous journey rather than a destination. It required me to look at things with more nuance and abandon the simplistic “success vs. failure” narrative. I now trust that whether an experience works out the way I want it to or whether the results are different than I planned, that it’s all working out exactly as it’s supposed to.
How do you keep yourself motivated and humble throughout the day?
I am a huge advocate for having a personal practice – in fact; it’s the first thing I teach every client of mine. It’s important for me to keep the perspective of simply being the “hands on the ground” for something bigger than myself. My daily practice is a way for me to remember this and a way for me to receive guidance and inspiration through stillness.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.
- Rejection is not a bad thing. Looking back on some of the ‘no’s I’ve received over the last 13 years, all I can think is — thank goodness those things (be it potential clients, opportunities, partnerships, etc.) didn’t work out! I see each ‘no’ as me getting closer to an aligned ‘yes.’ Just this year, I thought I was going to take my business down the path of doing corporate hypnosis, and the one big introduction I received didn’t pan out. I’m so grateful it didn’t because that’s not what the focus of my business is meant to be on. It forced me to look deeper and commit to my business in a different way.
- If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. In 2014 I saw Arianna Huffington speak at a conference, wherein she gave her email address at the end of the talk. The following day I was let go from my job. I was sitting on my couch in a panic about how I was going to make money when a little voice popped in telling me to reach out to Arianna to thank her and tell her about a new project I had begun. It was like in the cartoons where the devil sits on one shoulder and the angel on the other, battling it out until I finally decided to just do it. Her response was to ask me to begin writing for The Huffington Post, which led to me writing a viral article that earned me an interview on The Today Show. None of that would have happened if I had failed to reach out and make the connection.
- Most people want to help you succeed, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth your time. When I decided to take my business growth seriously in 2017, I made a video on Facebook declaring my intention to create a 7-figure business. Immediately following that video, I had people reaching out to me telling me how inspiring and motivating it was. But I also had people reach out, shaming me for how ridiculous I was for wanting to grow my business, and even had a very close friend call me a narcissist. It was a clear and defining moment for me. I walked away from several friendships after this because I was able to see who wanted to be on the path of growth and expansion with me and who didn’t.
- Work on your money mindset and your familial wealth trauma before launching your business full-time. I didn’t even know what a money mindset was when I began my business in 2007. Once I started working on it for myself in 2015, I was able to see very quickly why I hadn’t made enough money in my fashion brand to support myself. I realized how many beliefs I had about my inability to make money, where the money had to come from (an employer), and how my skills and expertise weren’t worth paying for. The second I started changing my beliefs, I started making money in my business. I do wish I’d done that work while I still had money coming in from my job because it wouldn’t have placed so much pressure on me to be figuring out how to make money while I was doing the healing work.
- Don’t waste your time hustling to take all the actions; focus on the inspired actions and let your excitement be your guide. I worked myself to the bone and completed burnout in my fashion brand, and struggled to make ends meet. Now, I work a mere fraction of that time, doing my best to focus on the impactful and inspired actions, and my life is fully thriving. More actions don’t equal more success. The right actions, however, do.
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so, how did you overcome it?
There have been so many of these moments! I actually did attempt to get a job after the first nine months of my coaching and consulting business. I was applying for waitress and barista jobs to have supplemental income, but no one would hire me. Also, I was deemed ‘unemployable’ and ‘ambitious’ by every place I applied. Instead of letting it break me or be a point of failure for me, I took it as a sign that I wasn’t meant to quit.
Every time since then, I’ve even had the thought to get a job; I am shown again and again that is not my path. I watch and listen for guidance constantly. The more I became open to following my intuition and the guidance of the Universe, the less I questioned my path as an entrepreneur. I can honestly say I haven’t had a single “I need to quit and get a job” moment since February 2018. This is the longest stretch of time I have held my vision and trusted in the unfolding of it.
Can you share with our readers how your self-care routine? How did you take time to keep your mind and body thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
- Morning routine – I kick-off (almost) every day with a practice of silence to reconnect to my inner self. It’s a time of journaling, meditation, reading, and an overall opportunity for me to clear my mind and be in touch with my own needs. Generally, I block off the hours of 6 am to 9 am for my daily practice. Without this time, I find myself getting off balance and out of alignment with my vision and compromising my ability to hear my inner voice.
- Movement practice – I remain committed to my physical strength and movement through four times a week workouts. Right now, I’m doing at-home workouts, but once it’s safe enough, I will be going back to OrangeTheory for cardio and strength training.
- Conscious eating – My diet remains very clean (no grains, no sugar, no alcohol), and I purposefully fill my body with food that fuels me from a place of self-love. I know a lot of people look at strict diets from the perspective of denying themselves certain foods, but I look at it from the perspective of filling myself with what my body needs to thrive. It was difficult at first to remove grains, sugar, and alcohol from my life, but it’s been more than worth it.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I want to inspire a movement of entrepreneurs to create impactful businesses and defy the 50% failure statistics. Really, what this means to me is an entire group of humans who can create freedom in their own lives and help others in leading by example, as well as through their businesses. I want to help thousands of people create 7-figure businesses and become financially free.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.