I can't quite recall how I initially came upon Cara Alwill Leyba's work. I think I just finally got the "hint" after seeing a few entrepreneurs I respect sharing that her books are gold. And so I followed her on Instagram and then I followed her on Snapchat (dude, she's the QUEEN of Snapchat - check her out there as @glittergutsglam), and then I devoured her books. Girl Code is my favorite, and it's a must-read for you women entrepreneurs of service. Cara is also a Master Certified Life Coach in addition to being an author.
Cara's current businesses grew out of her blog, The Champagne Diet. The blog -- and the lifestyle she's championed -- got their name from a conversation Cara had with a friend who told her champagne was the best thing to drink if she was going to indulge while on a diet because there are just 100 calories in a glass. She explains the Champagne Diet in more detail in her book of the same name.
She's gone from blogging during any free moment while holding down a full-time job at MTV to living a life of freedom and joy running her own coaching and book publishing businesses and making a 6-figure income from her books alone. She's an inspiration to me, and that's why she's the first I'm featuring in a series of interviews I'm calling Lady Boss Inspiration, where I ask the women entrepreneurs who inspire me to answer the same questions. Read on...
Cara Alwill Leyba, Lady Boss Inspiration, Answers Questions on Life & Business
Why are you in the business you're in?
Because I want to wake up every single day and know that I am doing meaningful work in this world. I want to know that I'm utilizing my talents and gifts and not wasting a second of time on this planet. I don't know if we get to do this again, so I want to really do it, you know? I want to soak up every ounce of my life!
Do you have a team? If so, what have you delegated to others?
Nope! Just me! And a great family & friend support system who is available via text message all day - thank God! My business is more of a solopreneurship right now. That may change one day, but I like being independent.
"I make a To-Do list every morning, and a 'Celebration' list throughout the day where I check off what I've accomplished."
How do you manage all the stuff you have to get done in your business?
Lists on lists on lists! I make a To-Do list every morning, and a "Celebration" list throughout the day where I check off what I've accomplished. That celebration list not only helps me keep track of what I've done, but it creates a sense of pride and accomplishment which gives me momentum to keep going. And email folders. I color-code my emails to help me keep track of what is a priority. Also, tons of coffee.
What was the last goal (big or small) you achieved?
I just released the audiobook version of Girl Code and I am currently negotiating international book deals for the print and e-book versions.
How do you define success?
To me success is synonymous with happiness. If I'm not happy, no matter how much money I am making or how good things look on the outside, I don't consider myself successful. Success is loving what you're doing and feeling gratitude for it every single day.
How has your mindset had to change to allow your success?
In so many ways! First, I have to believe that I have been given my gifts for a reason, and that is to impact and inspire others. It's not about me. Getting out of my own head has been the single biggest shift for me. I also have to constantly remind myself to feel abundant. As an entrepreneuress, your financial success is entirely dependent on you. As soon as you start getting nervous about money, its a downward spiral. I stay far away from a lack mindset and remind myself that it always works out. And it does!
Who or what resources have helped you grow the mindset that enables you to succeed?
I am an avid student of the Law of Attraction. That has hands-down been the biggest game changer for me. Read The Secret if you haven't, and practice those philosophies daily.
What does your life look like now?
My life looks like a dream - seriously! This doesn't mean every day is perfect, but I have truly designed my dream world. I get to travel, be creative, work out, drink champagne in the middle of the day if I feel like it, spend time with friends and family, and help change lives.
"I don't think it gets much better than that. To be in full control of your world."
How is it different from your life when you started your business?
There is a sense of peace now that I am so grateful for. When I first started out, I felt like I had no clue what I was doing. I was watching everything and everyone and I felt like a fish out of water most of the time. I'm in more of a groove now, and I feel confident. Confidence has been the biggest blessing. But it takes time to build it. Be patient with yourself, and be consistent in your mission, and it will come!
What matters most in your life? How do you make time for what matters most?
My sense of self. It is important to me to feel grounded and guided by my intuition. You have to have a really strong relationship with yourself to do this right. I maintain that by working out regularly, nurturing my spiritual practice by meditating and practicing positive mantras and thinking, and spending a lot of time away from the black hole of comparison. I rarely look at what's going on in my industry. I feel like it clouds my creativity.
"It is important to me to feel grounded and guided by my intuition. You have to have a really strong relationship with yourself to do this right."
What do you like to do in your "downtime"? How do you give yourself space to be away from your business?
SoulCycle is my world! I ride about 4x a week and that time is precious to me. A dark candlelit room, music, and the energy from my instructor really keeps me centered. Its like a moving meditation. I don't know where I'd be without it.
Make sure you check out Cara's website: CaraAlwill.com
And her four books:
Did anything Cara's shared here stand out to you? And what women entrepreneurs inspire you?
Photos of Cara by Angelica Glass, and photo of Celine bag by Cara Alwill Leyba. All used courtesy of Cara Alwill Leyba.