Get to Know Erica - An Interview With As Told By Women
A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Caitlynn Houser of As Told By Women, a community for all women looking for inspiration, support, motivation and empowerment.
The As Told By Women website is full of inspirational interviews with women from all over the world doing all sorts of different things. I was chosen to do an interview so I thought I would share my interview here!
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hey! I'm Erica. I'm 26 and I spend most of my time running my design business, Big Cat Creative where I specialise in custom web design and brand design! I really love helping women create their dream websites and launch their businesses, so that's the whole heart of Big Cat Creative. I work completely remotely from my laptop, currently living in New Zealand with my partner Neale and heading to Canada next month for a new adventure! I love to travel, adventure, try new things and be creative!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
"Follow your bliss" I know, it sounds like I just pulled this straight from Instagram (I might have), but seriously, this is my favorite advice for a few reasons.
I've always done this, I've always just done whatever I felt like doing and whatever felt right, even if it meant taking a big risk, switching jobs or completely going out of my comfort zone.
I always just thought I was indecisive or just 'couldn't stick anything out'. While everyone else was getting degrees and working their way up the corporate ladder I was traveling, studying something different every year, moving around the country, changing jobs and always had something else that I wanted to try.
Now I'm older I'm glad I had the courage to "follow my bliss" and just do what felt right at the time, because now I am rich with experience and know strongly what I like and dislike doing, because I've pretty much tried all of it, and know more about myself than ever.
So I'm going to just continue doing what feels good, right now that's running my online business, I'm loving it! But if I decide I want to do something else, I won't see it as a failure, I'll just see it as a change of direction.
I think that's what a lot of people need to know, just because you've worked hard at something, doesn't mean you have to do that for the rest of your life. If something else feels better, just roll with it, and don't look at it as a failure, look at it as a new beginning! Because I believe as soon as something doesn't feel right anymore, you're not following the right path or fulfilling your true life purpose.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
Just keep doin' what you're doin' girl! You'll figure it out eventually. And, be nice to people, 16 year old girls can be mean.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
"Collaboration over competition". I think this is important, especially for Women. Everyday more and more women are becoming their own bosses, starting businesses and building empires, and we are changing the way it's done.
We learned growing up that every successful businessman holds his industry secrets close to his chest, if you want something you need to be competitive, or my fav "if you want to be successful, you've gotta be an a**sshole".
But this isn't what it's like anymore, and we're are redefining the ways to become successful. It's all about supporting your "competition" and working with them, sharing your secrets, being a genuine person.
It's tough enough for women out there trying to make a mark, why not support each other and all rise together? I know for a fact my business wouldn't be the same without support, encouragement and collaboration from my fellow "competition"! <3
What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I'm super laid back and relaxed. I work really hard, but I generally don't get stressed and if plans flip on me, I just roll with the punches (most of the time, anyway!). I also love, and am really thankful for, how positive I am as a person. Practicing a positive mindset is always key but I also believe I was just hard-wired with a "glass half full" brain, and I'm really really thankful for that!
Why do you love to travel?
I love travelling because there's so much you can learn, in the history, the cultures, the people. A lot of the time you learn more about yourself, which I think is important. And often you are exposed to situations that make you even more thankful for your life, you take less for granted once you've seen the rest of the world.
What motivates you most?
Being happy! My whole life I've constantly been looking for a career where I feel happy, and in most of them I didn't, so in business I strive most to be just enjoying it.
I was never motivated to make much money as it just never really was a priority for me, but now I work for myself I'm much more motivated by money, seeing everything you do reflect directly into your bank account (apposed to working for someone else where it's just an hourly grind) is super motivating. I know if I slack off, I will see that directly reflect the money I make.
I also love learning, as soon as I start to learn a new skill my motivation gets a huge boost. That's one reason I love working for myself, I can choose when I learn new skills!