Inspirational Woman: Claire Mitchell | Founder of The Girls Mean Business

Claire Mitchell - slide
I set up The Girls Mean Business 18 months ago, following more than 15 years working in marketing. I wanted a forum for business women to vent their frustrations or share their worries about work.

The idea is to inform and inspire, to show that there is a better way to do things. It’s about sharing our knowledge and knowhow, about creating more successful women owned businesses and helping more women to realise their vision. I offer free advice and resources on TGMB Facebook page, plus coaching programmes, products and events for female business owners. Today there are more than 14,000 followers on the Facebook page – it’s a wonderful community of like-minded women.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Gosh, good question! Well since starting The Girls Mean Business I think my biggest challenge has been keeping up with the way the business is going. In a year I’ve had to master webinars, live speaking, running my own events, creating a whole bunch of new coaching programmes – but I’ve been very lucky that I’ve found the most amazing group of ladies who are now my virtual team.

I really couldn’t run this business without them and they give me the support and the time to do what I’m good at.

What’s been your greatest achievement personally?

My greatest achievement has been to grow a business, that was never intended to be a business, into a huge, much loved, supportive community for women business owners. In the space of 18 months I’ve built up an FB page of almost 14000, plus another 3000+ female entrepreneurs and women business owners. I spend my days doing what I love, coaching and mentoring these women and I get immense personal satisfaction seeing them blossom and step out of their comfort zone with amazing results.

I have a 5-year-old daughter and it’s been lovely having the flexibility to run my business around her – I’m incredibly lucky because my husband and mum are very supportive and I never struggle with childcare. She’s starting to understand a little bit about what I do (although she thinks Daddy being an engineer is way cooler) and I’d love to think that she might want to run her own business in the future, but she’ll make up her own mind.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine doing anything else to be honest. If I wasn’t getting paid I’d still be running The Girls Mean Business (in fact I did run it for several months at the beginning with no intention  of turning it into a business).

I’ve tried being in the corporate world and it wasn’t for me. I’m very happy as I am.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

The women I work with and my coaches. In the early days, my first coach Karen Rutter was the one who asked me why I wasn’t doing anything with The Girls Mean Business. I took a leap of faith, put her fees on my last credit card and she helped me to turn TGBM into a serious business. 18 months on and she’s now a regular speaker at my events. My current coach, Canadian Kim Duke inspires and motivates me all the time – she’s hugely successful and very down to earth and I’d love to achieve the kind of success she has. And every single day I go onto Facebook or check my emails and see one example after another of amazing, courageous women striving to build their business despite naysayers, lack of funds, ill health, juggling childcare and other jobs and I defy anyone not to be inspired and moved by what these women achieve.

What does the future hold for you?

Where do I start? Well we’ve got our inaugural annual conference The Girls Mean Business Big Event taking place on 14th September in Covent Garden, where we’re launching The Girls Mean Business Awards. I’m flying my amazing coach Kim Duke over from Canada to be our keynote speaker because the girls over here will love her. I’ve got a series of Girls Mean Business Roadshows kicking off in November again after we ran two successful roadshows in June, so we’re hitting Glasgow first and then touring the UK. We’ve got international Roadshows planned too and Perth, Australia is first on the list.

Apart from that I’ve got a full calendar of coaching programmes and webinars for female entrepreneurs and women business owners. And in the Autumn I’ll be writing my first book although I have about six scoped out! Lots of family holidays are also on the books and they are usually when I get my inspiration for the next TGMB development.

The future is definitely bright but I’m loving the present too.

For information on TGMB Big Event visit www.tgmbbigevent.com. To keep up-to-date with TGMB roadshows visit www.thegirlsmeanbiztour.com

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