I’ve known Robin for 2 or 3 years and when I started thinking about this new series she’s one of the first people who came to mind.
Partly because she is the first person I talked to about the how differently we think. But also because she’s pretty amazing. She has come farther in just a few years than most people do in their whole lives. Everyone absolutely loves and respects her.
She’s a great role model for those embarking on this stage in their lives. And she’s a great inspiration to those of us who are already here.
When did you start your online business
I started my online business in 2016.
What did you do before?
LOL – so many things! After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in business management and marketing, I worked at several tech startups. Initially, I did tech support, but I eventually moved into managing customer relationships (they call them Customer Happiness Officers today).
I decided that if I was going to work 80+ hours a week, I might as well do it for myself. So I bought a restaurant in a small town on the coast of North Carolina and ran it successfully for 8 years. During that time, two unexpected things happened: (1) I got married, and (2) I was diagnosed with lupus.
The lupus diagnosis meant I needed to sell the restaurant and do something that required fewer physical, emotional, and mental resources. The fact that I was married and my husband’s family has a very long history in the small town I called home meant I wasn’t moving to a place with more job opportunities.
Online work was NOT an option back then – we still had dial-up internet where I lived. So I went to work at a law firm where I could punch a clock and heal. It took some time, but I was fortunately able to control my lupus. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize the law firm was not where I wanted to be.
Once my health was in a more stable place, I plotted my escape. Fortunately, by then, the online world had grown and blossomed – and was full of opportunity. I started my business as a side hustle in 2016 and left my job in 2018 to fully devote myself to my business and clients.
What do you use in your business, from your past life?
Oh, gosh, everything! My tech startup jobs taught me what (1) bootstrapping looked like as well as giving me, (2) to embrace tech and figure sh*t out instead of being intimidated, and (3) what good and bad customer experiences looked like – and how to have more of the good and less of the bad.
My restaurant experience taught me how – and how not to – run a business. That covers everything: operations, employees, payroll, taxes, marketing, advertising, inventory, and more. Even that’s an oversimplification. I could write for hours about all of that.
My law firm experience taught me to understand when you really do need legal advice, what goes into the legal side of setting up businesses, and the ugliness of business litigation (and litigation in general). It also showed me how to listen to myself and my instincts and that I didn’t have to do what everyone else expected or thought was right (“why would you leave a safe job with benefits?” for example).
What is the hardest thing about starting a business after 40?
This is an interesting question because, in a lot of ways, starting my business after 40 was easier than starting one at 29. I’d say that the most challenging part after 40 was that it was hard to find support and advice from fellow Gen Xers. The loudest and most visible people offering online business and marketing advice were millennials, and their ways didn’t always suit me. I did what Gen Xers have done all their lives, and that’s take advice meant for others and adjust it so it worked for me.
Online business and marketing strategies for grown-ass women are different than strategies for millennials and Gen Zers. We’re experts, we have different priorities and goals, we know what we want our lives to look like (and not look like).
That’s why I am so passionate about helping Gen X women build, grow, and scale successful online businesses that they love using results-based strategies specifically developed for us.
What do you want To share with People who are feeling what you felt before you left job?
It’s never “too late” and you are never “too old” to learn or try something new. You have plenty of time. You don’t want to look back and say “if only if I’d tried….” And you aren’t alone, even though I know it can feel that way. There’s plenty of women over 40 in the online space who are doing things their way, and you can be one of them. We’re waiting for you to join us 💛
What do you think is the most important thing Women Over 40 need to do, feel, or understand in order succeed?
You don’t have to have it exactly right or perfect before you try or take the next step. Taking the next step is what helps you get outside your head and test what works and what doesn’t. That gives you real data and information and helps you make better decisions about what to do next – as opposed to relying on what you think might happen – which can keep you stuck in a place of inaction.
What do you do now?
I’m a business coach who helps Gen X women start, build, and scale successful online businesses.
I’ve coached hundreds of entrepreneurs in offer development, funnel strategy, launching, and more.
What I truly love is helping Gen X service-based experts grow their businesses like the grown-ass women they are.
Where can people find more info or get in touch?
You can get all of Robin’s details here, on her website.
Please come and tell me what you think of this series. You may think I don’t read my messages, but I do – every one of them!
And if you know of someone who you’d like me to reach out to for this series, please send me a message here.