Christine Innes is the founder of The Corporate Escapists, a magazine, podcast and consultancy that helps support and celebrate women as they take the leap out of corporate life to build the business and life of their dreams.
Christine can guide you through what's working or not working about your corporate career and how that might lead you to start your own business.
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We have a quick question for you. Do you identify as either a corporate warrior or a business owning entrepreneur? If you're finding it hard to choose, that's because many of us are often both or aspects of both. Approximately one-third of our community have channeled their corporate experience and skills and savings to leapfrog into starting their own business, often while on maternity leave.
And much like the journey into motherhood, once you've left corporate, it's more than likely your new business is in a completely new field. The drive and determination it takes to create this brand new life is a topic very close to the heart of today's guest.
Christine Innes is the founder of The Corporate Escapists, a magazine, podcast and consultancy that helps support and celebrate women as they take the leap out of corporate life and build the business and life of their dreams in the way that ambition, livelihood and well-being are all interlinked.
Christine can guide you through what's working or not working about your corporate career and how that might lead you to start your own business. Christine, a big welcome to the Mumbition Podcast.
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Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here today.
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We are, too. Now we're big advocates of women embracing their ambition and taking every opportunity they have to make introductions and connect with customers. So please may we invite you to share your 30 second elevator pitch?
00:02:40:11 - 00:03:01:08
Oh, absolutely. I'm so excited. So, The Corporate Escape is about you finding and following your passion. So who you are and what sets you on fire so that you can actually live your best life? We do that by inspirational stories to inspire you and also teach you on how you can follow your passion.
00:03:03:21 - 00:03:24:12
I love how you call it, what lights you up! Because it is about that switch that doesn't turn off and it's really hard to ignore. And I think back on one of my mentors who actually asked me a long time ago, what are you passionate about? What are you really passionate about? And I think that's what you're doing, you're helping find people find that passion in terms of what lights them up.
00:03:35:16 - 00:03:53:09
Yes and I think so many times that we have this idea in life where you go to school, you get a job and you don't have fun until you retire. Life is way too short and we need to actually go back to what life is and not just work so many hours.
So what makes us happy? And honestly, when you're doing something you love, it never feels like work because you're just so motivated to do it and you're like, “Hey, I can't wait to start the day”, “I can't wait to see who I'm going to meet and talk to”. So I love it. I don't ever feel like it's work.
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That's a nice segway into my next question, which is, what do you love about your business right now?
00:04:18:22 - 00:04:33:13
I'm loving the growth that we're having. We are literally going leaps and bounds. We are getting a brand new website because we can't keep up with the content that we have. So our current site keeps crashing.
But we've just gone through a rebrand, because our audience is changing. We're having to then obviously keep up with them as well. So I'm loving the growth. The growth is happening with the business, but also it's happening within myself.
00:04:56:20 - 00:05:15:00
That's such a wonderful, wonderful place to find yourself in, Christine! That's so exciting. Congratulations! And anyone that follows you on Instagram, we will give the account at the end, but part of the story behind your business is what you had to stop in order to start this business. So I'm wondering what it is that you've had to stop doing to it to keep the business going and to keep it thriving?
00:05:22:18 - 00:05:40:10
It is the internal thoughts, which is probably the biggest thing that I've had to stop because I am the queen of self-sabotage. So I will say all the things, ‘Who are you to do this?” or “Why should you be doing this?”.
And that is something that I've had to stop every single day for me to keep going with my business because if I let that come in, it would halt everything that I'm doing. So it's the internal thoughts and the self-sabotage.
00:05:58:11 - 00:06:09:21
So interesting to share that and thank you for sharing that because I think that's obviously a very common experience. But what you don't often hear people say is what you have and how you've expressed it. That it's a daily change.
It's a daily reminder to yourself to stop those negative thoughts. Carrie mentioned in the introduction that we love asking women to practice their business pitch, but we also love making introductions at Mums & Co. So if there was anything that you could ask for right now in business or in a broader context of your life, what would it be?
00:06:32:18 - 00:06:57:09
Oh, good question. For me, I have a hit list of people that I would love to have featured in the magazine. So sitting at the top is Brené Brown, so anybody out there knows her. That's all I want, is to be connected with her. Because the way that she talks about stepping into the ring and only wanting to play with people who are wanting to get into that and are okay to fall down and to get back up.
And who are daring to lead. I think a lot of that comes from us daring to lead our own lives and not following the norm so that we can be our own person. So, yes, it's definitely somebody who I would love to have in the magazine. So any connections please send my way.
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Anyone who has Brene Browns number please send it through, no privacy issues there.
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No, not at all.
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Completely agree she would be a phenomenal guest. I hope she finds her way to you, Christine. You just never know. You never know.
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The power of manifestation and putting it out to the universe is amazing.
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So totally right. And speaking of that, like creating dreams. Obviously the whole concept of your business is built on following your heart and following your dreams. What have you found has been the most transferable skill between the corporate life, so your old, and and running your own business now? Are there any skills that that compliment each other better?
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Yeah, definitely. I was in a lot of management roles. So now i I'm growing a team I’m able to use that to multitask all the different areas of the business. So project management skills, and the managing of people. But the people management is not just with my staff, but it's also dealing with people that I come across on a daily basis.
And I think we forget that listening is one of the most transferable skills that everybody has. We all have the ability to listen to someone's story and just give them that space that they absolutely need to to share.
00:08:55:16 - 00:09:18:16
That's beautiful. And I remind my kids that God gave us two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we talk. So great reminder. Now we're all about a community that supports us and is around us, and it's in our name.
In Mums & Co, the Co stands for partners and kids or step kids, friends, your parents, clients, former corporate colleagues. Could you tell us about your co and how they support you?
00:09:33:15 - 00:09:54:02
Look, it is my amazing family and friends, who are probably part of my crew. That's how it all started, because it literally was just me when I first started out in business and I would yell out to my parents, “Oh my God, I just spoke to somebody new” and they would be my champion.
And then my partner was the one who said, “You know, Christine, you need to start charging for all of this”. So I think when people look back, your loved ones are the ones who have the biggest cheerleaders and but instil so much trust and faith within yourself.
And now it's growing into a beautiful worldwide community where we have over 200,000 people worldwide that are tuning in for The Corporate Escapists. And that is now part of the Co as well because the conversations are worldwide. It is not just here in Australia.
It is something that we all want to talk about, how can we follow our passion? How can we actually do something that lights us up? And now this is a worldwide community. So it started off just in the bedroom and talking to my family. And now it's a beautiful worldwide community, which is amazing.
00:10:46:12 - 00:11:09:04
Congratulations. Thank you, and know that you are impacting so many. You're very generous with your social media and sharing your own story, such as the way that you've learned to prioritize your own health. Behind the scenes of social media and your fabulous photoshoots, what's an insight into Christine that we might not see?
00:11:18:16 - 00:11:37:13
Oh, look, the key thing is that I do have meltdowns, so I don't share those! But a lot of things that I don't share is when I spend time with with my family.
I have a beautiful grandson that I just love and adore and get to spend time with. So I like to keep those moments really precious as well. But I try to be as transparent as I possibly can, and I'm not going to show all the time when I'm sitting there crying and, you know, rocking back and forwards and going, “Oh my God, this is just not working” or “Why is this happening?”. But I would definitely say I do share a lot with it because I'm all about authenticity.
I like people to show up as themselves. And we're human beings. We we have moments in life and that's just what we're all about. This is how we learn and grow as individuals. One of the other things that I don't share is that you won't see me having a cooking show because I'm just not very good at cooking. So if it's my turn to cook, it's Uber Eats, that's what it is. That's one thing that you will not see a cooking show with this thing.
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Maybe not yet. Never say never with that.
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I never say never. But I will go and cook with my mum because she's an amazing cook. But yeah it's not my passion. Let's just say that.
00:12:55:24 - 00:13:08:16
Fair enough to you. And Christine, just on that note talking about daily activities and the things that you do. Is there something that you do for your wellbeing and your sense of groundedness every day that really helps you with your business?
00:13:09:10 - 00:13:27:12
Gratitude. It's the one thing that if I don't write it down, I will always wake up every morning and say three things that I'm completely grateful for. Those things are always my health and for my loved ones and it's actually waking up in the bed because for six months of when everything hit rock bottom, I was sleeping on my parent's couch.
So I'm just grateful for the things that we consider basic things that we take for granted. That's what I'm grateful for. So I will write down three to ten things every day that I'm grateful for because we can’t attract more into our life unless we're grateful for what we currently have.
00:13:47:21 - 00:14:11:12
So beautifully said. We need those perspectives more than ever at the moment. Now let me flip it back to your amazing business, which I've seen. I've got copies of your magazine. You've just mentioned huge milestones with your podcasts. What's something that you're promoting in your business right now that we can help you share with our community of business owning mums?
00:14:19:21 - 00:14:39:13
Well, I'm actually excited because we are going to be doing the very first coauthored book for The Corporate Escapists. So we're having twelve amazing men and women from all around the world who would like to share their story of how they've dared to follow their passion and use it as part of their marketing campaign for their business.
Become a bestselling author, but also give them that groundwork to really help share their story. We're excited to bring that and we will be finalising all of that by December and ready to launch in January next year.
00:14:55:18 - 00:14:58:12
Exciting! Watch this space.
00:14:58:13 - 00:15:16:00
What types of processes have you set up to protect your your business from risk? And do you think that your corporate experience has helped or hindered or a bit of both in that the problem?
00:15:17:22 - 00:15:36:19
That is a really great question, because I worked in learning development, so everything was processes and writing out steps and procedures. So I do feel like that has helped to protect me as well because I can sort of see what each process is going to look like.
And really, we used the term like, what's the end in mind that you want so that you know what you're going to achieve? I've now gotten a contract, for people who come into the magazine.
So, we're legally protected now and it’s our own intellectual property. And I think as business owners, we forget that we're all about what products that we sell. But we forget actually what we have, all the information that we have in sort of our own beautiful mind. We need to protect that as well, because that's actually forms part of that business.
00:16:16:23 - 00:16:37:19
It's an excellent point. It's a really excellent point. Thank you for sharing that. Speaking of processes and developing your own brand, what do you think your number one tip would be for any woman who's listening today and thinking, “OK, Christine makes a lot of sense here”, and she's dreaming of taking the time to start her own business. Is there something that you would say to that woman right now?
00:16:42:22 - 00:17:00:07
Just do it. The more that we sit there and we procrastinate, the more we're going to think of things that will go wrong or why you can't do it. So the easiest thing is to actually just do and put it out there. Stand behind yourself. I said this to a client this morning, “There is no white knight on a white horse that's going to come and save you. You actually have to do it for yourself.” And that's the same in business and in life.
00:17:11:09 - 00:17:36:04
I'm actually all for it, too. It is taking that brave step, but it's also taking the action like you've got to put in the hard yards, the effort. But also the conversations that you have to find the right information to create those relationships that will help your business thrive. Be brave enough to do it, but then also do the work.
00:17:45:17 - 00:17:58:00
I was first introduced to the Law of Attraction when I was sort of going through everything and changing my life and finding who I was. And the Law of Attraction was all about putting it out there.
But the key thing is is that you can dream big. But if you don't have an action and if your action doesn't include the way you're talking to yourself and what you're actually putting out there, it's never going to become a reality.
So the action is two parts, it's you actually physically doing it, but it's also you taking action within yourself and the way you talk to yourself. The way you act and present yourself as well. So like you said, talking to clients, talking to people about the business, talking to people outside of your circle.
That's the action that you need to do to start showing up for yourself. But I'm very spiritual, and I believe that when you're doing the action, you're putting that to the universe that you are so ready for and you want it and you're ready to receive it.
00:18:50:01 - 00:19:02:08
That's beautiful, and I'm nodding vigorously. I've been reading about the Law of Attraction myself, and I love how you put that in. It's so important that piece about talking to yourself and how you talk to yourself is so important.
Speaking of the harmony in life, I guess at Mums & Co, we talk about harmony is being a beautiful triangle around vision and a livelihood and our wellbeing. How would you describe the shape of a good life for you?
00:19:18:17 - 00:19:42:21
Oh, it's literally how I feel. It's a feeling. I don't believe this something that I can write down on paper. It's all about feeling. It's about the people that I bring into my life, the people I'm surrounded by, how I am showing up for my clients and how I'm excited every single day.
And that's a feeling that I want to continuously embrace because I have had the polar opposite of that as well. And I'm not saying that every single day that I'm like, happy high. You know, we all have these ups and lorries.
But the thing is, is that I want to embrace that feeling of being excited, being around loved ones and, you know, just enjoying life and just embracing everything that comes with it.
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00:20:16:02 - 00:20:35:23
It's a great way to describe it. Now I know that how you show up every day and you you support so many women on their journey as well. Who are some of the more ambitious women, those that are unapologetically blending their ambition and motherhood that you would like to say hello to?
00:20:37:00 - 00:21:01:10
Well, there's a really amazing person over in the states who's quite spiritual. Her name is Gabby Bernstein, and she literally changed my life and reading her books. And I think that for what she's been able to do and be able to still remain true to herself and true to her own beliefs, and then also be an amazing mother.
And honestly, the other person is my mum and I saw her raise three children and we also had foster children. But she showed up for herself, and she worked. And now I see her in retirement and how she's showing up for me. She's showing up for my siblings, but also, the grandchildren and great grandchild. You know, I think there's just so much that we look outside to other people, but sometimes it's the people that are closest to us that really can show us where our own values and where our own personal beliefs and that come from as well.
00:21:51:07 - 00:21:54:17
A great shout out. Hi, mum!
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I'm feeling a bit teary.
00:21:59:21 - 00:22:15:09
She's my biggest supporter. It's amazing now. We didn't have a really great relationship growing up, but now we do. We talk every single day. And she's always the one going, “Hey, how are you going today? Are you OK?” and “I want another copy of your magazine”. I never thought that I would have that relationship. But I see now that she always wanted the best for everybody.
So even though she might have been hard on us or doing all these different things, it was because they want the best. And I think when we're growing up as kids, we don't see that, we just see the harshness or what we don't think is right. But now I can say, that everything she did was for a very particular reason, and it's made me who I am today.
00:22:57:06 - 00:23:20:06
Christine, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing that really, really beautiful message there to your mum.
00:23:37:17 - 00:23:40:14
You thank you so much. It's been so much fun.
00:23:44:02 - 00:23:47:01
Where would you like to actually escape to?
00:23:50:04 - 00:24:08:16
Anyway, by the beach, I just love the beach anyway. By. That would be my absolute dream to wake up and to walk outside and be living by the beach. So that is my retirement plan in my five years.