Virginia Phillips is an Author/Speaker/Coach and the founder of The Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. She specializes in creating a personal mindset and executive leadership for success. Honing them will empower you to go from idea paralysis to profiting from your passion.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was severely injured by a car accident and endured 1,278 days of intense rehabilitation only to be left 100% permanently disabled and unemployable. I refused to let my years administering mergers and acquisitions, creating leaders, and handling some of the hardest crises for big business be squandered. Today, I leverage my experience spent as big business’s go-to person for the toughest challenges, to coach new entrepreneurs from ideas to success.
Tell us about your business.
We exist to inspire and guide people to create success from individual passion and profit through excellence. Our experts guide entrepreneurs with a mentoring style of coaching to bring their dreams to life and create thriving profitable businesses. Our combination of years of corporate experience, entrepreneurial success and personal triumphs create a uniqueness that can’t be duplicated.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I am asking entrepreneurs to submit their start-up story to me in 500-800 words. The winner will receive 6-hours of free coaching. Submissions must be received by June 20, 2017. You can submit your entries to my email virginia@AOEEnow.com.
- VIP Woman of the Year Circle honored for my excellence, leadership, and commitment to my profession, while encouraging the achievement of Professional Women
- Nominated for the Colorado Springs Best of 2017 by locals voting for the best of their city
- Executive Leadership from the University of Notre Dame Mendozza College of Business
- Workplace and Divorce Mediation form the UCLA
- Wellness Coaching – from the Institute of Wellness and Education
- Time Management Certification – from Expert Training
- Inner Mammal Trainer (Happiness and Brain Chemicals) from Inner Mammal Institute
- Climbed Pikes Peak 14,114 feet 100% disabled
- Co-Authored “Inspiration for Women By Women”
- Co-Authored “Create the Life You Want: Mindfulness and Meditation”
Where is your business based?
Colorado Springs, Colorado.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I had an opportunity at a partnership and quickly came up with a business name and a brand to capitalize on the opportunity. It is not how I advise any business to start, but I learned from Richard Branson that sometimes you need to jump in and then figure things out. I don’t regret one step of her crazy start-up process.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Networking and the use of social media and media in general. As a small business, it is hard to compete with bigger businesses in the information age. Using a grass roots strategy has been effective even though I don’t yet have a large following. For me, it is about making the right meaningful connections.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Being a new business owner with new disabilities is a learning curve unlike anything I have experienced. Every minute of every day it is about overcoming something. My other big challenge has been branding. My business had many issues because of poor planning. I have spent months to get it right on the second go around.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Trial and error, planning, and I hired experts. The landscape of business is changing so fast – a new business owner can’t possibly learn everything there is to know about business. It is always a good idea to hire experts.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I think about my mission and the wounded warriors and military personnel overcoming injury. Several years ago, I spent time alongside these amazing people as I recovered from my injuries and illnesses. They taught me so much about freedom and the desire to live life.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
My attitude, experience and education sets me apart. It is rare to find the disabled coaching the abled. My clients choose me, because they know I will be in the trenches with them leading them forward. They know if I can do it, they can do it. My clients gain a mindset from me that can’t be taught, but can be mirrored.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Dr. Loretta Breuning recommends understanding expectations and a box of chocolates. When you take one chocolate from a variety box, the choice is risky. Choose to be happy with what you get because you will be happier when you regularly seek to be happy.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be authentic. I once saw a speaker give a speech at a business luncheon to 75 women in very casual clothes without make-up because her luggage was lost and her plane was late. She was mortified but the audience could see themselves in her position and they loved it.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Zapier. I don’t know how they make it work but I love it. Their technology connects my favorite applications and automates my processes. It saves me a ton of time.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk M.D.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am learning about ever changing social media platforms and bots.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Launching my new brand and programs. I have a PR team, a marketing team, mentors and coaches giving me valuable advice and guidance.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/entrepreneurexcellence
Hashtags #AoEE #entrepreneurexcellence