Entrepreneurship is the New Black: Why Being a CEO is Suddenly Chic



Ever dreamed of going out on your own? Pursuing that dream that keeps you up at night? Our friends Jody and Stephanie at Chic CEO did just that when they decided to create their website as a resource for the amazing women who either didn’t know how to implement their ideas or were too afraid to take the plunge. They focus on providing easy to understand, easy to implement business knowledge in its most basic form and a thriving community of like minded women. Thank you Felena of Hera Hub for introducing us to these two incredible ladies!

How did you two meet? What made you decide to go into business together?
Jody and I have been good friends for many years. After I launched Chic CEO, Jody was so enthusiastic about it, so supportive, and so IN LOVE with it, that I just knew she had to be a part of it. It’s not too often that you find another person that loves your business like you do, so I was so fortunate to find a partner that not only loves the business, but takes ownership of it and brings a lot of brilliance to the company.

Chic CEO was recently recognized as one of FORBES Magazine’s Top 10 Entrepreneurial Websites for Women. What inspired you to create a website about entrepreneurship?
That was a very exciting nod for us and a nice validation that we are bringing value. Chic CEO was really born out of frustration. I was in grad school, working full time, and training for a triathlon. I was exhausted! I wondered where I could go to find all of the ground level information I would need to start a business. Then I noticed that all of my girlfriends were starting small businesses and they weren’t finding answers either.
I started my search for an aggregate website that gave the starting info you need in an easy to understand, easy to implement manner. I couldn’t find it! Everything I found was either too complicated, cost $300, or only focused on one certain aspect of business. I wanted something that was not only informational, but really fun to engage with.

Why did you want to cater the website specifically to women?
Women are starting businesses 2:1 over men right now. They need a trusted resource and a place they can go to not only get the info they need but to connect with other female entrepreneurs. Women have different ways of thinking, speaking and collaborating, so we thought we could definitely add to the space with Chic CEO.
Together, you have built Chic CEO into a successful brand. What is the dynamic of your working relationship like?
I am a really big thinker and I tend to think big picture rather than operational steps to get there. Jody specializes in not only bring me back down to Earth, but in operationalizing the steps to get to any end goal. We both have the same vision for the company, so making decisions is always relatively easy because everything we do is to support that vision. When I have my hands in the air saying, “Think BIGGER!” she can map out the steps to get us there.

Who are some of the entrepreneurial women who inspire you?
We have a lot of entrepreneurial women that inspire us! Sarah Blakely, owner of Spanx – for her sheer tenacity and drive. Marie Forleo, owner of MarieForleo.com – because she isn’t afraid to swear. Robin Chase, owner of Zipcar – she built a global brand with just 4 cars.
There are so many women who attend our monthly networking mixers who inspire us as well. They are just starting up, they are hungry and driven. Being able to just chat with them not only lights our fire, but gives us great ideas for new and useful content.
What makes a woman a “Chic CEO”?
We believe women are changing the face of business. They are running million dollar businesses from coffee shops, co-working spaces and home offices. They want to be stylish, fun and sassy – and they want their businesses to be as well. Women gravitate to Chic CEO because we talk to them like they are our best girl friend. They know they can do it, they just need to know how.
Where did you learn all about entrepreneurship?
Jody and I both have owned small businesses in the past and I have an MBA. Even so, we don’t claim to be experts in any way. What we are is tenacious – we will find the answer, we will do the dirty work, we will do our research. That’s the premise behind Chic CEO – providing the ground level information you need to get started. We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. The feedback we get from our users is so incredible, the information we provide is exactly what they have been looking for.

Chic CEO has already grown so much. What are your goals for it looking forward?
It has been a pretty incredible first year! As always, we will be adding new content as much as possible to round out the experience of using Chic CEO. In this year, we will be focusing on raising funds and creating partnerships. We hope to add some conferences, workshops and seminars into the mix as well.

If you could give just one piece of advice to young women who want to start their own businesses, what would it be?
We ask our entrepreneurs this all of the time and what we hear most is “just start.” It’s really the truth. It’s never going to be perfect, it’s never going to be right, you just have to get started. There is absolutely no way I could have predicted the twists and turns that Chic CEO has taken this year, and if I waited and tried to figure it all out beforehand, it still wouldn’t be launched!
Just get started. Tweak and tighten as you go.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss?

There are so many things that are wonderful about being my own boss. I love that I get to make my own mistakes and I don’t have to answer to anyone but me – no one can make me feel worse about my mistakes than I do! But at least I can focus on what I did wrong and how I’ll change it next time without the guilt and worry of working for someone else. I love that I can bring my puppy to work with me. I love that because we are so small, we can be nimble in our decisions. I love that I can make my own schedule (even though I work more hours now!). I love that I get to see my best friend everyday.

Most importantly, I love that I can never be laid off again.

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