Chantelle Adams’ project just blew me away when I first learned of it. This is something big! …and you’re going to watch this rising star. She brings courage and consciousness to a whole new level. Chantelle definitely shows that you don’t have to follow the business “rules” to get your mission out there in a BIG way. I am so inspired by The Courage Collective and I know you will be too!
Read more about Chantelle’s story…
1. What’s your mission? Tell us about your organization/business.
My mission is about women rising up, owning their story and truth while courageously sharing it with the world. I am all about helping bold (or ready to lean into their boldness) entrepreneurs to SHOW UP, SPEAK UP and SHINE because then they give permission to others to do the same. Through storytelling, speaking and aligned creation I help women entrepreneurs turn their message into a movement!
I hit a pivotal moment where I was being called BACK to COURAGE; it has always been a theme in my work (it takes a heck of a lot of courage to speak your truth on online or live stages!) But I have now created the movement… The Courage Collective.
Where women will gather locally in cities around the world to support each other in finding their courage, living their truth and speaking up for what they know is the message they can only share with the world.
This vision is MASSIVE and much bigger than me, it is the movement WE are meant to create together. This movement is just in its infancy but the vision of the Courage Collective is very clear…
I see women stepping up to courageously lead and be a light to women in their local communities and on a global scale.
I see stages around the world with real, raw stories of courage being shared.
I see give back projects that are changing lives in a big way through the Day of Courage and also through giving back a percentage of all memberships and proceeds from events held through the Courage Collective.
I see women around the world gathered together in person to give each other a safe space to be truthful on what they really want, the fears that are getting in the way and to be celebrated and supported as they heed the call in their life.
I see 1 million stories of courage being shared in books and media and a documentary highlighting stories of courage around the world… those stories you would never hear but are so powerful and so real and so touching they inspire you to stop giving into fear in your own life.
I see CourageFest which is a massive event with speakers both celebrity and every day, music, art and beyond fear experiences.
I see women’s voices becoming mainstream on large stages around the world, women finding their voice, their courage and their confidence to speak up and be heard.
I see women living courageously, speaking courageously, leading courageously and giving back courageously.
I see volunteer trips mixed with masterminds where we create aligned abundance so we can make a bigger difference in the world.
This is my mission to empower 1 million women to share their stories of courage with the world and give back $1 million dollars to causes that impact the world in a massive way while helping every woman rise together!
How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your business or organization?
In 5 years I spoke 800 times (yep that is an average of 175 times a year) without anyone getting me booked, I was able to do this because I cared deeply for the work I was doing and the youth and kids I was teaching to have more courage and truly BE who they are in the world. This gift of speaking was what really started my entrepreneurial journey.
But, after the loss of a dear friend to breast cancer I realized that I was alive and breathing but I was not truly living and at the root of that feeling was a nasty four letter word… FEAR. Fear had held me back from really living my life full out and all in since I was a little girl. I had let it dictate my actions and ultimately decide my fate. But no more… I wrote My Fear List and started doing ALL the things I had ever wanted to do but hadn’t because of fear.
The biggest fear I wrote down was jumping out of a plane and that opportunity came (as things that you write down often do) and I said HECK YEAH because I had learned to say yes to those fears and decided that if I was REALLY going to do this I had to make my WHY bigger than my fear and so I created The Courage to Fly Project where I would fall 10,000 feet to raise $10,000 to build a school in Nicaragua and I also invited 60 change makers to co-author a book to give to anyone who donated and Danielle La Porte, Nisha Moodley, Karen Salmansohn and many others joined me in this project.
It was the first time where I had truly felt supported in my vision and we raised that 10k in just 6 weeks… and I JUMPED which was one of the most freeing and liberating moments of my life. This jump was really what helped me start my online business, The Courage Revolution with a desire to help women get their brave on.
As I moved forward with my business I got a massive download for Centre Stage after a zumba class (yes shaking your booty can totally help you get clarity on your business) which is my signature program that helps women on a mission to find their voice, own their story, write their standing ovation worthy speech and get booked to share their message… turning it into a movement!
This signature program was launched within 6 weeks of the inspired download with NO list, NO website, NO real sales page, I just posted the info as a blog post on my speaking website and slapped up an ugly Paypal button because that is all I knew how to do. Then I put it out there and asked, “who is with me on this journey,” and I got 11 beta testers when my goal was 10. I even created the program as we went, I didn’t have it completed before but I knew this would help me get it done! From that point on I had my first 10K launch with this program just 2 months later and with under 200 on my list. I launched this program 4 times that year and continued to raise the price and get more women into the program when 1 year later I had my first $100K launch.
I have many other programs I created and 3 live events, Shine Live where I have brought together 120+ women change-makers and thought leaders and from this event there have been 20+ events created, 50+ speaking engagements booked, amazing connections, collaborations and partnerships formed. I realized from this event that I am meant to CONNECT people to each other, I have the ability to create spaces for women to gather where true magic happens, it is the spark they need to go create their most meaningful work in the world. I also deliver Centre Stage Live where 15 women come together to step fully into their message and movement; they get VIP support to craft their TED style speech and they get to come deliver it on stage with 2 days of Celebrity style amazingness… hair, makeup, personal styling, photo shoots, video shoots, speaking on stage, professional demo video, speaker one sheet, testimonials and SO much more.
And all of this has happened in under 3 years!
Tell us about the “start-up scares”: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated quitting?
Start-up scares happened every single time I went to launch something new and the questions of, “will anyone want this, will anyone pay me for this, do I even know what the heck I am doing” would swirl through my head as I pushed the publish button and shared my work. I remember on my 3rd launch my hubby saying, “now Chantelle you know that most likely people won’t buy it the instant you put it out there right?” I think as a creative entrepreneur we pour so much of who we are into our work that it is hard to share your whole heart with the world and wonder if it will be rejected. This has been one of my biggest lessons because some ideas have soared and others not so much and that is ok, you just learn, grow, adapt, change course and follow your own path to aligned abundance.
The time I think I really contemplated quitting, because to be honest quitting was never an option when I was starting out, I had found myself at year 3 having brought in over $600K in revenue for my work and wondering how I could keep it up at this pace, I was burnt out and my body was screaming for me to slow down. I have always been the type who loves doing and creating and was always busy achieving from the time I was young, my mom used to say, “you don’t burn out, you rust out.” Which is true to a point because I do need to be creative and turning my ideas into something tangible in the world, I need to be making a difference and creating change in others lives but it started to take a toll on me. I started to question it all, was I really cut out for entrepreneurship, why couldn’t I just be happy being a mom and wife and staying home to bake fresh bread and ‘hot out of the oven’ cookies while having a spotless home, but that just isn’t ME. Though I had reached a place where things had to change I was able to find my way back to me, I started putting myself on my calendar and making sure I took care of me so I could give back to others in the way I felt called to.
2. Did you ever “fail” or make a substantial mistake in business or organization? Any serious Challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
When I was preparing for my first big 3 day conference style event I started to get worried about selling enough tickets and not going in the hole for the event so I got connected with this guy who promised he could sell out the event no problem with 180 tickets and also sell 1000 livestream tickets. It was a $20K investment to work with him and we were now just 3 months out from the event and I really needed to sell more tickets so reluctantly I said yes. I had put all my eggs in this basket and I needed to change over to Infusionsoft for him (which was a HUGE investment and headache) to do his fancy funnels with up sells and down sells and all kinds of fancy stuff, we launched the video series I paid $5K to create and the content was gold but not ONE ticket was purchased. We revised and changed some things and then re-launched and again not one ticket was sold. Now I was just a few weeks out and I had 60 people coming (all free tickets because they had purchased my online program) but instead of giving up I went back to the way I do business and reached out 1:1, connected with people, sent out personal invitations, asked people to invite their friends and we ended up with 50 tickets sold in just a few weeks with all heart and hustle.
This was a very tough lesson to learn to the tune of $30K once all was said and done but instead of letting it get me down I looked for the lesson and I realized that ultimately no matter what ‘guru’s’ in the industry use someone’s services (this marketing guy had worked for some big names) or how good it sounds or what someone promises you, you have to tune in when making any decisions and listen to your own gut. Also you have to trust yourself to know what is best for your audience and your business. I thought that because I was doing my first big event I needed to do what others had done but what I really needed was to trust that I know what I am doing. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t get support or hire teams or follow others advice but it is to say that no matter what you must always come back to what is right for you because ultimately you know what is best.
3. What’s the most impactful action you’ve taken to reach your goals?
When I launched my very first program I didn’t have it even near perfect, definitely didn’t have it all figured out, wasn’t sure if I could even teach others how to speak just because I had spoken professionally for years but instead of looking at all the doubts and fears I jumped all in and took courageous action. This is something I have applied to my business where I jump before I am ready and I let go of the need to have it all figured out because when I have received the inspiration and I know I am meant to move forward I trust that I have what it takes and I will be supported in seeing it through.
4. What would you tell your younger/earlier self? Any piece of advice?
When I jumped out of that airplane I realized I needed to make my why bigger than my fear, I needed to make it not just about me but something bigger. This truth I learnt through facing one of my biggest fears has helped me achieve true success in my life and business because every time fears creep in trying to get me to give up, play small, take the easy road I am reminded of how I can move through that fear and actually use it as fuel. I drop my ego at the door, dive deep into why I truly want to do this thing and always it comes back to my higher purpose which inevitably is never really about me, its about the difference I have the potential to make in someone else’s life and that right there is all the motivation I ever need.
5. What the best advice YOU’VE ever received about pursuing your vision?
You don’t have to and shouldn’t go it alone. When I was younger and in school I remember always being the one in group projects that would do the majority of the work so we would get the A, I learned to lean on myself to get the job done and done right. But quickly as I grew my business I realized this was not a belief that I wanted to carry forward and I have had many mentors and friends tell me this over and over that I need to accept and receive support not only from my team but from my community, from friends and family, not just professionally but personally as well. I have loved building a tribe of people who see my vision as clearly as I see it now, who want to support me and each other, who are stepping up to lead. It is a beautiful thing to be supported not only by those around you but also those above. I am grateful for the support I now openly receive.
6. Has having success in your business/organization or money changed you? In what ways?
For me I have had this love/hate relationship with money. I have always been able to manifest money into my life with a lot of ease when I am aligned with the bigger vision and purpose but about 2 years in I had reached multiple 6 figures in my business and was setting my sights on the 7 figure mark and had this big ah-ha moment of sitting back feeling completely overwhelmed at what it would take to get there and then asking WHY. Why do I want or feel I need to make $1 million dollars in my business next year? The answer came, because that is the next step, the next target, the next big marker of success. It was then I realized that ego was now in the drivers seat and I needed to get re-aligned with the real why behind my business because though I love creating wealth and giving back in even bigger ways it has always been about something much more important. It is about being the leader behind leaders, I am the woman who brings change-making powerhouse women together, connects them to each other, sparks something in them and helps them to see their brilliance then unleashes them on the world to shine oh so bright. I also no longer focus on the money goals but rather the impact goals which ultimately I do know that the more I make in my business the more good I will be able to do in the world and that is a huge WHY for me.
7. How do you create, innovate or break the rules in your life/business/organization?
I now trust my own vision regardless of what others say, even those I admire who have had a massive amount of success because they don’t know the work I am really called to do, no one does except me. So I create opportunities to get still and listen and when I get those inspired downloads I take action because the time is now. I also get out and have a life whether its dancing Zumba or riding a motorbike, going for a walk in nature or picking up the paint brush, I know that there is power in being creative and experiencing life to its fullest that then always comes back to support you in your business. So do something that scares you, something you have always wanted to do but haven’t… write your own fear list and check those things off one by one and I guarantee you, inspiration will hit.
8. Tell us about your most successful launch. What was it for and what really moved the needle for you to make it a success? (If you’re comfortable, please share if it met your goals/expectations or if it earned 5-, 6- or 7- figures.)
My most successful launch came just last year, I set my goal of having a $200K launch and to be honest every financial goal I have made in my business in 3 years when I have been really clear has happened. Let me share with you the beautiful process I go through every time. I sit down with a notebook and envision what I want this launch to look like then I pick a financial goal I want to hit. Now comes the fun part, I whip out my favourite turquoise calculator and work out the numbers, I get super clear on HOW I can make that revenue goal. I am always clear on what I feel is possible and then I stretch it just a bit. Next I get out the big flip chart paper, post it notes and sharpies to map out the strategy and timeline to make it all happen. In this particular launch I went back to what always worked, the simple Facebook Challenge which was low tech, high touch and had low overhead costs. (I had tried all the latest launch strategies but nothing seemed to work as good as the simple challenges) I look at what things I most enjoy doing and focus on that in the execution. I actually had half the team on this launch and my expenses were cut in half from when I had my $100K launch the year before. The difference was that I was trusting myself more. Instead of relying on all the big promises and shiny objects I stuck to what worked and what lit me up and ironically it was the simplest to execute.
Now every time I launch I am clear and confident on my end goal and the strategy to get me there, I launch, I over deliver, I give amazing value and connect in a real way with all the people who are joining in on the fun. When I open the doors I always have amazing bonuses and this launch was no different so I had quite a few sales right away but there always comes a lull time in the launch when the sales quiet down or stop all together and that is when I start pushing and freaking out a little, this is normal. After a little time spent in the downward spiral I always inevitably come to place where I snap out of it, stop pushing and let go. I let go of the plan working out exactly like I had planned, I let go of the need to have the specific amount of people join, I let go of the HOW. In letting go I always find my way back to immense gratitude. As I sit in the gratitude for every single person who has joined, who is ready to share their story and has had the courage to say YES to their message, I am filled with such peace that no matter what, it is working out exactly as it needs to. And then a funny thing happens, in the surrender I find the spark of creativity and a new found energy and excitement where the pressure is not on but love takes the lead. You see when you know that the work you share with the world truly has changed lives then you can’t help but share it and when it comes from a place of genuine care and just a sweet invitation, no more pushing or striving that is exactly when the right people find you. I remember at the let go point I had reached $30K and was halfway through my launch and then just 1.5 weeks later I had reached $203K, just over my goal but in a completely different way than I had planned instead of filling up the lower end program I had sold out the high end program, Centre Stage Live so had less people than I thought I would need to reach that goal but in the end I trusted, let go and it all worked out just like it was supposed to.
9. Stevie Wonder or The Beatles? (this, I must know.)
Oh man, they are both incredible with beating the odds, following their own path and doing it their way to achieve massive success. But I must say The Beatles have my heart.
Note from Jen: ONLY because Chantelle is so incredibly amazing am I ok with this answer! 🙂
Chantelle Adams is a Professional Speaker, Speech Stylist and Courage Igniter. Throughout the past 5 years she has delivered over 800 speeches and added more than 6 figures to her business through speaking. Now she teaches women entrepreneurs how to own their story, write their signature speech, rock the stage and get booked while adding more clients and cash to their businesses through speaking.
Chantelle is also all about helping women get their brave on in life and biz. She definitely walks her talk as she recently jumped out of an airplane and fell 10,000 feet to raise $10,000 to build a school in Nicaragua while getting 60 change makers to co-author a book, The Courage to Fly, and share their stories of courage with the world. If you are ready to get your brave on then come join The Courage Collective! www.thecouragecollective.com and www.chantelleadams.com