The gorgeous Cara Alwill of @thechampagnediet interview is all about being resilient, doing the thing and never looking back! A self published Author of nine best selling books and counting, she has build a remarkably successful brand putting her heart on her sleeve, all while teaching women to stay confident and true to themselves in the process. Authenticity at the core of all she does, her journey will enlighten you with passion to follow your own voice. Whether you’re part of her world through her programs, follow her Award winning 8M+ downloads podcast Style Your Mind or have read one of her books, she will make you soar.
Bring us back to the first book you’ve written, and then also to the process of you becoming a writer and a businesswoman?
So, I have been self publishing my books for nearly a decade now. I started with a blog in 2008, that I was really inspired to start because I felt like I had stories to tell. I was at a point in my life where I was in my mid 20s, and I think that’s kind of the point in a lot of women’s lives where you’re like; okay, what direction am I going?, am I going to keep doing the same thing that I’m doing every day? Do I want more for myself, and I really wanted more for myself. I was actually inspired by a glass of champagne, hence, the name: the champagne diet. At that times, I had a glass of champagne for the first times in my life, and I just felt so elevated when I drank, it was the whole experience around it. And I started to quickly Yeah, just like this effervescent, kind of like beautiful experience. And I started to really view champagne as a metaphor for my life. So I started just blogging about my experience, and getting out of a bad relationship, all while trying to figure out my career path. I knew that I wanted to write a book also, so that was really the whole like, impetus for writing the blog. It was really because I wanted this platform because I felt like well, people need to know who I am. I can’t just, you know, come out of the gate with a book.
The reason I decided to start self publishing was because my first book idea was rejected by 19 publishers.
Talk to us about your first book ; Sparkle.
It was really a representation of my blog at the time. It was stories about life, love, work and career all mixed with personal development. With this book, I wanted to speak to an audience that I felt wasn’t being properly addressed in the personal development space. At that time, there was Tony Robbins, and it was a very masculine kind of energy and industry. There was nobody that was reaching out to girls like me, who are in their 20s, and eventually 30s, and even 40s, who love to go out and love shopping, and love Chanel and love beautiful things, and are really girly and feminine, but at the same time, also want to grow and want to create businesses and reach for their dreams. It’s that lack of that inspired me to start writing to fill this void in the market. That’s how, one book turned into two, three and so forth. Girl Code i was my fourth book, a kind of thank you that kind of put me on the map. That year, I had independently sold 50,000 copies, which is a lot in book standards.
I think books are a great way to really put your message out there because it’s affordable. Coaching can be expensive, when you’re working with somebody, one to one or a group. Now we have podcasting, but this was really before podcasting was a big thing. It’s just been almost 10 years now that I’ve been doing this, and I just continue to write and I don’t really know when I’m going to stop.
Were you always somebody that reflected and wrote, did you have journals growing up, or did you just kind of wake up and start writing?
I always knew I wanted to write like, I would say, when I was a little girl, that I’m going to be an author someday. I didn’t know that I would end up writing about my life. I always thought I would write fiction because that’s what I was reading at the time. I always loved writing, I excelled in it in school, and I wasn’t even an English major, I also want to point that out, I dropped out of college to go work. So it’s not that they have a writing degree or anything like that. I just loved to write, and I just practice, and I got good at it. And I built my platform slowly over time. And that’s kind of how I wound up making a career for myself.
On top of being a writer, you’re also a business woman who has so many different things going on. Can you take us through kind of how that happened? And how they segmented into, into who you are today?
As soon as I started writing, I knew that I wanted to connect with women on a deeper level and really help them. For a while, I actually thought of becoming a psychologist and go beyond the blog. Ultimately, I decided I didn’t want to go back to school, and I discovered life coaching. And I learned that like coaching is really a way to work with people who are in a really good, you know, functioning state, with no real mental illness but instead want to function optimally. These people who want coaching, want to reach their full potential, and live life as their best selves. That was really appealing to me. So in order to make that happen, I went to coaching school at night. So it was on the phone, and I would work all day at my job, I was still working full time for MTV, and I would come home two nights a week, and the classes were three hours a night. So I’d stay up till 10 or 11pm, doing my core studies and practice coaching. At the end, I got a couple different life catching certificates.
That was really how I started to actually create like a feasible business model, because I was making some money off my books, but at the time, it wasn’t enough to live off. So between the coaching and the books, I was able to start creating like a really good sustainable income and built an amazing business around that.
Looking back now, what kind of advice would you give yourself to help you?
I would say to never let people talk you out of your dreams. I think it’s very easy to want to get everybody’s opinion and approval of what you’re doing, but if they don’t have that vision, there’s a reason for that. You have your vision for a reason. But I do believe that we are not given a vision we are not meant to execute and fulfill. So if you can just kind of stay like really focused on what that is and not let outside voices get to you. Because I think a lot of people are very well meaning, but if they don’t believe something’s possible for them, how are they going to believe it’s possible for you?
People can only support you to the extent they can support and believe in themselves. So yes, find mentors, for sure. Find trusted mentors and coaches and people that you can kind of look up to who have done things you want to do. But I think be really cautious about who you share your dreams with, because everyone’s gonna have an opinion.
Where do you see your brand and vision in the future?
I have an online boutique that I started a couple years ago, where I sell vintage and some custom stuff. I always wanted to own a store, like I’ve always dreamed of having a little shop and you know, having an actual brick and mortar space. I envision a space where women can come and shop and they can find clothes that make them feel empowered, confident and beautiful. A space where I can host meetups and do book readings and have like events and connect other women with each other. That’s something that I’m working really hard on. It’s in New York City. So you know it has its own set of challenges. So I think that will be my next step kind of moving out of just the solo providing that in person experience.
What inspires you to keep growing and pushing your limits?
I think life just inspires me, I really don’t look at what other people are doing, because that can kind of throw me off my path. Life has always been so inspiring to me and seeing things through the lens of optimism and positivity and to always remember that life is happening for me and not to me. I think a lot of people, they don’t even know what it looks like to live a positive life because they’ve been so conditioned by their family, just to be negative all the time, and to expect less and not live abundantly and not believe things are possible for them.
How do you centre yourself and find balance amidst your hectic life?
I listen to music all day long. It’s something that’s really important to me, I don’t watch the news or TV. I always try and create an environment that feels good, I light my candles, work out, and try to do things that make me feel like most like me. Fitness is really a big part of my life, like exercising, showing up for myself in that way has been life changing. I also like going for a walk around my neighbourhood, dance or at least something physical. It shifts your energy chemically, and changes things in your body.
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