We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Seibold and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
One word comes to mind when I think about why I started my own business. That word is FREEDOM. I was tired of the 9 to 5 and not at all feeling alive. I was tired of corporate politics, office gossip, limited vacation, a strict schedule, and limited input or creativity in the projects I was working on. I am very grateful for my 4 years as a paralegal at the law firm that I worked at, as well as my time as a project manager at Harvard University for 5 years. Without my experience in those two jobs, I don’t think I would have had the confidence or skills to start my own business. But I had a feeling in my gut that it was time for a change and I knew it was time to leave.
I gave Harvard a year’s notice and decided that I would leave and travel the world, or leave and have a home base in a warmer client. I left in September of 2018, packed up the car and moved from Boston to Miami. I officially registered Freelance N’ Freedom as my business and have never looked back.
I started my business as a Virtual Assistant. I helped businesses in the health and wellness industry with social media, project management and admin projects. After about 6 months, I felt like I was meant to do more. I became certified as a life/business coach and created my 8-week Virtual Freedom program. Now I coach men and women on how to open their own virtual business so that they can live the life of freedom they always dreamed of.
In my first year as a business owner, I was able to truly embody the freedom that I had been longing for. I traveled to 12 new countries, all while running my business. I was able to live my dream life of working from various places all over the world. I was able to make my own schedule so that I could be balanced and see the new places I was visiting. I was able to go home and visit family at the drop of a hat whenever I wanted to.
Some tips that I will leave for those who are thinking of leaving their jobs to start their own business:
1. Make a plan. I recommend getting a few clients part-time on the side to make sure you like what you will be doing when you leave your 9 to 5 job.
2. Find a good accountant. They will help you organize your business finances which will save you a lot of stress in the long run and at tax time.
3. Save some money. Before I moved, I got rid of all of my debt and had some backup funds in case my business did not go as planned.
4. Do work that makes you happy. Life is too short to work in a job you hate.
5. Just start. There are so many things to do as a business owner and the work never ends. Just start with one task, one call, one post and you will learn as you go and get to where you need to be.
What should our readers know about your business?
I would say what sets me apart from other business owners is my drive and my discipline. If I want something, I get it done. I don’t stop or go astray until I find a way to reach my goal. I show up daily and consistently and help others at the same time.
I am most proud of how far I have come in my 2.5 years as a business owner. I have done speaking engagements, finished writing my first book, Blondie Without Borders (coming out in September), shared my story to help other women know their worth, and I help women learn the information and skills they need so that they can be strong enough to start their own businesses. In January of 2020, I also started a women’s community of entrepreneur women in Seville, Spain called Femprendedoras. I grew the community and kept it going, even during the pandemic.
There isn’t much about entrepreneurship that is easy. The hardest part to learn for me, aside from technical skills, was setting boundaries with myself and my clients. Learning how to say no to clients and jobs that weren’t for me and not feeling bad about it. Learning how to take breaks, exercise and eat heatlhy when I am working from home next to the refrigerator. Learning how to ask for help and put my ego aside. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t imagine going back to a 9 to 5 job.
I want the world to know that it is never to late to start your entrepreneur journey. Life is too short to be unhappy working in a job that you hate. I want women to know that they are valuable and worthy of putting themselves first so that they can be happy and healthy.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would first take them to the beach. I love Miami Beach and the beautiful color of the ocean. Then I would take them to brunch at Nikki Beach. Then we would head over to Wynwood Walls and stop at MIAM for a coffee and a snack. We would end the evening at The Versace Mansion for an amazing dinner.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out The Miracle Morning book by Hal Elrod. It talks about the importance of having a morning routine that works for each person individually, or some kind of self-care and self-development program built into our day. He created the SAVERS, which stand for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.
A community all around the world has grown and practiced these savers every morning for the last 10 years. I started doing them over a year ago and they have changed my life. Practicing the SAVERS has helped me lose over 50 pounds, finish writing my first book, be able to turn inward and learn about myself, pause before reacting, believe in myself, and live a more balanced lifestyle as a business owner.