The first time I met Geraldine Carter, I watched her stand on a stage and tell the story of the night she spent in the cab of a stranger’s tomato truck during a solo bike trek in southeast Asia.
She was noticeably pregnant and didn’t need a microphone. She had a presence.
Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to become Geraldine’s friend and colleague.
I say good fortune because Geraldine is a business coach for women entrepreneurs. At Focused Business Coaching, she helps her clients find clarity and focus on what matters, something she knows all about. In 2008 she co-founded Climate Ride, a charitable biking organization, and helped bring it to seven-figure success.
Now Geraldine’s a mom, an entrepreneur, and has a badass podcast called She Thinks Big. She talks the talk and walks the walk and regularly gives me and many people I know straightforward, gold-standard advice.
Here she is to tell you how she moves the world:
BB: Geraldine, you created a podcast called She Thinks Big. Tell us what we’ll hear in your upcoming episodes.
GC: You’ll hear from amazing women who are at all stages of business and success, from spark, to screw up, to success. Some episodes are interviews with entrepreneurs who have made it, some are just in the early phases and doing Kickstarter, and others are just honing their idea.
Listen to She Thinks Big here.
BB: You’re a business coach who focuses on women entrepreneurs. What led you to work with women?
GC: Men get enough help. It’s harder for us – we had fewer role models growing up, we aren’t expected to be in business, we aren’t invited to play golf, and sometimes we’re not welcome at the table. Women need a place to turn where they can just be themselves and not have to worry about being man-splained to or shut out of the conversation.
BB: What is it like helping women entrepreneurs create their professional identities?
GC: It’s the best ever. There is so much latent potential just waiting to be tapped in women and it’s a joy to tap the well and watch the success spout high.
BB: What challenges do you think are particularly common for women entrepreneurs?
GC: Most women I hear from have deep levels of self-doubt running below the surface. Above the surface, it may not be apparent, but once we get into it, there are all kinds of topics and areas they avoid because of a deep unconscious belief that certain things — [like] numbers, business, negotiating, etc. — aren’t for them.
BB: The first time I met you I heard you give a presentation about a night you spent in the back of a tomato truck in a foreign country. How has your adventurous spirit served you in your work?
GC: After years of traveling around the world, I know that the fear of exploration precedes the joy of discovery. In travel, there can be real danger and real risks that one need pay attention to, especially as a woman alone.
But in business, what’s the real risk? Embarrassment? Losing some money? Those are just ego and/or first-world problems. I take the fear along with me and go exploring anyway, because there is the joy of discovery on the other side.
BB: You’re a mom to two adorable kids, Hazel and Remy. What can you tell entrepreneurs who are considering balancing kids and work?
GC: Scale back your expectations or risk making yourself nuts.
BB: You and I have spoken about what it’s like to go through IVF (in-vitro fertilization), you on the recipient side and me on the donor side. What was that experience like for you?
GC: It forced me to get real about the fact that I’m just not in control of certain things. The universe doesn’t care how badly I want something. All that fretting is just wasted energy. Letting go is hard, but holding on is pointless.
BB: What are your hopes for Hazel as she grows up?
GC: That she doggedly pursue her own path and not listen to me.
BB: She Thinks Big is all about women with momentum. Who are your powerful female role models?
GC: Oprah. She is as successful as they come and still has her feet planted firmly on the ground. Her authenticity is inspiring.
BB: What do you hope your listeners will take away from She Thinks Big?
GC: A better appreciation and deep-rooted trust in themselves and their talents.
BB: Okay, now for the traditional Badasserie questions. What motivates you?
GC: The joy of creation and discovery, and the deep belief that we are talented beyond measure and have a s**t-ton of problems requiring urgent attention.
BB: What inspires you?
GC: People who think beyond what has already been created. People who go where no one yet has.
BB: Amen, sister! What makes you feel like a badass?
GC: There’s a fine line on the spectrum of risk between daring, and cavalier. I don’t like being cavalier, but I do like testing myself. Biking from Burma across Thailand, Laos, and Viet Nam and into China by myself comes to mind, as does skiing steep chutes while six months pregnant come to mind.
But, generally, I just do my thing and try not to consider how others view my choices.
BB: What’s your dream trivia category?
GC: The Periodic Table.
BB: Is there anything else you would like to add?
GC: Nope! Baby crying. Gotta go.
To schedule your own free 25-minute call with Geraldine, click here.
Badasserie author Micah Larsen is a rogue persuasion scientist who teaches people easy ways to persuade in about five minutes.
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