Carrie Sharpe is a Communication Consultant and Speaker at “He says, She says.” She has a degree in Political Science and Psychology, is a Contributor, and has been quoted in a variety of publications. She has spoken on stages across the United States and Canada. Carrie lives in Northern Michigan with her husband, Ryan, and their five children. Read our interview with the lovely Carrie below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve done public speaking for as along as I can remember. It really ramped up for me in high school after I won a couple of local pageants. During that time I traveled throughout Michigan to promote my town and local festivals. During college, my Political Science degree required vast amounts of communication skills, debate, and public speaking. During my first year of law school, I decided I’d rather be a stay-at-home mom than an attorney. Our third child, Maverick, almost died at birth from a rare bacterial infection and spent weeks in the NICU. Afterward, my husband and I were asked to share our story of that experience. We spoke at all sorts of conferences – men’s conferences, women’s conferences, church conferences, and business conferences. When I became pregnant with our twins, we knew we couldn’t keep up the heavy travel schedule associated with in-person public speaking so we brought the majority of our business online after their birth. I absolutely love public speaking, and I believe effective communication is the foundation of every great relationship, so I’m happiest when I’m teaching those skills to someone else.
Tell us about your business.
I own “He says, She says” along with my husband, Ryan. We help clients overcome communication challenges and build stronger relationships. We both have experience and training in public speaking and communication, so we coach clients in public speaking skills, relationship building, sales techniques, and marriage/family communication. We utilize Facebook Live, Zoom, Skype, and videos to train and coach our clients. We also do a lot of live online events like online Date Nights, marriage conferences via Facebook Live, and virtual Girls Night. We still do in-person public speaking, but we are pretty protective of our schedule and only accept engagements that won’t take away from our family time. I homeschool our kids, so it’s important that I guard my calendar.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I always offer a free 15-minute “Chat with Carrie” for anyone who wants to learn more about how communication coaching can benefit them. Maybe they’re interested in learning how Facebook Live can grow their business, or maybe they want to see if we’d be a good fit to help them with their marriage communication. Whatever their interest is, they can schedule a no-obligation and no-pressure chat with me to learn more. Anyone can schedule that here: https://ryancarriesharpe.com/pages/chat-with-carrie.
I have a degree in Political Science and Psychology from Lake Superior State University, and I have over 25 years of public speaking experience and training. Most recently I earned a certificate for Online Presenting from Dale Carnegie Training and completed a public speaking course by the founder of Ted Talks through Udemy. I write for a variety of publications, including the Huffington Post, and I’ve been quoted by Bustle, Livestrong.com, Business Insider, and Forbes. I’ve been interviewed on several radio shows (including shows on iHeart Radio) and podcasts (including Dana Malstaff’s Boss Mom podcast). I’ve also written two e-books, and I’ve created several communication courses and coaching programs.
Where is your business based?
“He says, She says” is located in Gaylord, Michigan, and we work with clients world-wide.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My husband and I work together, so we first brainstormed ways we could utilize our skills, talents, and love of communication together. Once we had an idea of what we wanted to do, we met with an attorney who did our LLC and gave us advice for how to proceed from there. Our business is a very natural extension of ourselves, and it evolves as our skills and interests too.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We have a strong local network, and we’ve done a lot of networking through Facebook groups and LinkedIn. Many times, our clients know us fairly well before they work with us because they’ve gotten to know us either in-person or online. Those strong relationships also cultivate referrals.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I also homeschool our five children, so time management is always a challenge. We also have to constantly learn new things to stay on top of our industry. Even things like Facebook Live change almost daily, so keeping up is always a challenge.
How did you overcome these challenges?
For time management, I start work at 5am so I can get about 4 hours of work in before I homeschool at 9am. I take client appointments later in the afternoon. I’ve had to learn self-discipline with my daily schedule in order for everything to work. For learning new things, I find it’s important to constantly be reading, taking classes, and working with mentors. That keeps my knowledge fresh so I can best help my clients.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I find difficult times to be the most motivating times. Difficult times bring opportunities to find creative ways to solve problems and overcome struggles. As much as I hate being uncomfortable, I really do come alive when I’m uncomfortable.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
My personal, friendly touch is what distinguishes me from competitors. I provide a judgment-free zone for clients to grow, learn, and make necessary changes. I’m a good listener and have good instincts about what a client really wants and needs. My main goal is to help clients connect effectively, whether it’s with their own clients/customers or a spouse. I’m basically a friend who comes alongside another friend to help them connect with others in the way they want to.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Stay true to yourself. I think that’s great advice always. It’s easy to look around at what everyone else is doing and feel pressure to do things their way. However, it’s important to remember that I am me and need to do what works for me and my clients.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be patient, especially if you have young children. They’ll only be little for awhile, and you may need to make adjustments to your business during that time. When they get older, it’s easier to devote more of yourself to your business. Now that my kids are all tweens and teens, they are more independent which gives me a lot more freedom with my business. I’m glad I didn’t try to do too much with my business while they were little. We found a good balance.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I love Facebook Live. It’s such an easy tool to utilize to connect with an audience (and it’s free!). I use it a lot in private Facebook coaching groups to teach, answer questions, and build relationships.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group Both debut in January 2017: Communicate to Connect, and Wife Chat
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Chase the Lion” by Mark Batterson is one I’ve read recently. I always love his books. Each one has inspired me to do more, work smarter, and pursue my dreams.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently working on a talk I’m giving at a business conference for women in March. I’ll be speaking on ways to utilize public speaking to grow your business, so right now I’m making sure I know the latest about doing that.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
One major goal for the next few months includes debuting two new Facebook groups. One is for business owners and mompreneurs who want to implement a speaking strategy into their businesses. I’ll be providing tips and resources for using Facebook Live, videos, in-person speaking engagements, and other techniques. I’m excited to learn from others in the group, too. My other new group is for wives who want to develop effective communication skills to strengthen their marriages. I’m excited to work hard to make those groups successful and useful to their members. I’ve worked with a few ladies who specialize in Facebook groups, and I’ve read countless articles, in order to learn as much as possible before my groups launch.