➤➤ Welcome to the Crazy #MomBoss Series — Inspirational interviews + features of fellow mompreneurs who have started successful side-hustles, or are living the full-time entrepreneur life by growing their online businesses.
Meet Hannah Brooks
She’s a performer turned social skills/networking coach, and founder of The Leading Lady, where she empowers female entrepreneurs to confidently build strong, genuine connections that help them and their businesses thrive.
I first came across Hannah while reading one of her guest articles on a large syndicated blog — I knew she was onto something when reading a blog post made me feel like I was sitting down for coffee with a friend who was able to tap into all of my hidden anxieties in a 10-minute coaching session! 😅
Using the performance skills honed from her professional training as an actor and singer, she helps other women overcome social anxiety and master their connection skills in genuine ways.
I’ve previously featured Hannah as #7 on my roundup article: 10 Inspirational Mom Bosses To Follow in 2018
This lady knows her stuff when it comes to navigating small talk and social skills, and she delivers a healthy dose of wit and sass on the side!
She describes herself as a laughter addict, adventurer, and a gal obsessed with community. She lives in the gorgeous Pacific North West with her husband Spencer, their two-and-a-half year old son Weston, and brand new baby girl!
What was your life like before entrepreneurship?
Oh my — I wore many hats for sure! In addition to building my career as an actor/entertainer, I was a nanny for about 10 years.
After my husband and I got married, I took about a 6-month break from working before diving back into theatre and the nanny gig. We decided to make the leap and move to NYC, but a couple months before our big move, I found out I was expecting our son. We took it as a sign to stay put for a bit and focus on our new family.
After my son was born, I became a stay-at-home mom (something I never saw myself doing)! But my husband and I are big dreamers and doers — When our son was about 9 months old, we decided to sell everything we owned and move to Europe for a year.
Yes, it was crazy, exciting and a huge undertaking, but we loved every second of it. We spent the better part of 2017 traveling and living in new places, covering parts of Italy, Scotland and Spain before heading back to the States.
How did you decide to start this business?
I had started a blog all about my motherhood journey when my son was born, and while it was a great place to learn how to run one, I quickly realized I wasn’t “mommy blogger” material. The style, vibe, and culture just didn’t fit who I was and the dreams I had.
So, about a month into living abroad, I was reviving my dreams of being a business owner. I’ve always been entrepreneurial-minded, so with my husband’s encouragement, I took the plunge and never looked back.
I wanted to use my unique skill set as a performer to empower women. When I realized that I could link my passion for building community with lifting up women who were longing for that, I knew I’d found my sweet spot.
What does being a Mom mean for your business?
Motherhood really was the superpower I never knew I needed in life. It’s taught me so many things, but one of my favorites has been the reinforcement of the concept that, if I can grow, give birth to and raise a tiny human while maintaining the majority of my sanity (HA!), I really can do anything.
What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when you first got started?
Honestly? The biggest thing holding me back was the fear of what others would think. Would they think I was stupid for going down this new road?
While no one said it outright, I felt many people in my life saw me as “playing business” instead of taking me seriously. I believe a lot of women encounter this reaction when they take the entrepreneurial leap, and it’s so unfortunate.
So, I chose to focus on my passions, skills, power and voice. I found that even though I couldn’t control what others thought, I could control what I created. Less talk, more creating. It’s pretty amazing how many people have to shut up and take you seriously when you start DOING. No one can deny that evidence!
Even though I couldn't control what others thought, I could control what I created. Less talk, more creating.Click To Tweet
What was the biggest financial challenge you’ve experienced in your business?
Childcare, hands down! Starting a business usually means low amounts of cash to throw at problems, so you have to really invest your time. Between my husband and I both working to grow our own businesses, we really had to get creative at finding ways to care for our son while we both crammed in the work.
We’re not masters at it yet, but we’re learning that a lack of cash won’t stop you if you’re really serious about accomplishing your goals.
How is your business making an impact on the world today?
The Leading Lady is impacting women in amazing ways. Not only do I have the privilege to write material that educates and empowers, but I get to interact with inspiring, ambitious women. By helping them learn and own community-building skills, we get to create a community of our own, and that’s where all the magic happens!
When it comes to my #1 personal resource, my ability to build genuine connections with others and talk to anyone, anywhere, has unlocked doors I never dreamed it would. I spill all my secrets in my exclusive 36-page guide “The Female Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Small Talk” which you can download for FREE here.
Seriously, my treat. 😉
What advice would you give someone who is just starting their business journey?
Make sure you really immerse yourself in your potential target audience or market. What are their deepest needs, and how can you REALLY solve them? Figure that out before even thinking about launching a site or product, and you’ll be miles ahead of everyone else.
Contact HANNAH BROOKS
Looking for someone passionate about community-building to speak at your event? Want me to run a workshop for your group? Have another idea for collaboration? We just might be a great fit.
Contact Hannah if you’re looking to take your networking skills to the next level!
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