By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie
Natalie MacNeil is an Emmy Award-winning media entrepreneur, author of She Takes on the World and The Conquer Kit, and the Creator of SheTakesOnTheWorld.com.
She Takes On The World is one of the top sites on the planet for entrepreneurial women. It was recognized by Forbes on “Top 10 Websites for Entrepreneurial Women” and was featured by ForbesWoman on “Top 100 Websites for Women.” She Takes on the World is also the 2013 recipient of “Website of the Year” at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Today, Natalie and her team at She Takes on the World are focused on transforming businesses around the world through The Conquer Club, a 12-month implementation incubator for ambitious entrepreneurs.
Natalie is frequently quoted and interviewed in the media. She has appeared in top media outlets like Glamour, People StyleWatch, Inc., Forbes, ForbesWoman, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Entrepreneur.com, Globe and Mail, Mashable, and more.
If you think that all sounds super impressive, that’s because it is! And how exciting that Natalie is sharing with us her insights into the role events play in her life and business.
Thank you so much for speaking with us today Natalie, I am absolutely thrilled to have you with us! I absolutely love what you are doing with She Takes On The World and the Conquer Club, can you please give our readers a quick rundown of who you help and how you help them?
I started She Takes on the World as a personal blog in 2008 that I wrote as I built my media business and traveled the world. She Takes on the World gained recognition as a top business blog for women, and soon I found myself being featured in media outlets around the world, including being listed by Forbes on “100 Best Websites for Women.” I used that momentum to turn She Takes on the World into its own company, and I launched The Conquer Club.
The Conquer Club is everything I wish I would have had when I was starting. The truth is, you can learn a lot in a 6 or 8 or 12 week program, but it’s not enough time to actually implement and apply all that learning. That’s why The Conquer Club is a 12 month incubator that helps you take massive action. My goal with The Conquer Club is to also feature several mentors and experts in the community, and not just me, although I love sharing my expertise and helping our members grow. You need different perspectives when you’re building a business and that’s really the bridge we’re building for people.
Looking back, what role have events played in your own personal journey from when you started your business until now? And have you found that attending or hosting events opened you up to more contacts, networks and opportunity?
Yes, events have been powerful catalysts for my growth and success. Events are how I got to connect and ask questions to powerhouses like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Gina Bianchini, and so many other entrepreneurs I look up to. In hosting events, I have deepened the relationships I have built with people online, and nothing beats that in-person connection.
As part of the work you do, you connect regularly with your gorgeous community through speaking and events, namely your AMAZING retreat for the Conquer Club. Why do you choose to have events as part of your business?
On my book tour earlier this year I had the privilege of speaking at events and meeting so many entrepreneurs. In the early days of She Takes on the World I knew everyone in our community by name. With the growth we have experienced in our business over the last few years, that’s just not possible anymore yet I care about maintaining those personal connections more than ever.
Events create that bridge between my team and I, and our community. I just arrived home from hosting our annual Conquer Retreat and the feedback has been mind-blowing. It was our best event yet, and mostly importantly, it has brought everyone in The Conquer Club Inner Circle closer together.
One thing that I think we can all agree on is that everything you put out into the world is done with such passion. It literally jumps off the screen! How do you translate what is online, into the real world at your events? Do you do anything in particular with your branding, session topics, venues, speakers or the way they are run?
Thank you. That’s exactly what I want people to feel when they engage with my work. I spend a lot of time scouting locations. We have been to ten countries with our events now, and I always want our venues to feel like inspiring places to reflect and grow. I aim to make the experience feel expansive, with time for planning and also time for recharging and nourishing the soul.
There are also lots of surprises and gifts we weave in, which always bring people so much joy. I have trained in modalities like EFT and reiki, and I’m also a meditation teacher, so all of that training comes into play during our retreats too. I believe personal growth and business growth go hand in hand, and focusing on both during the Conquer Retreat is probably way our attendees always accomplish so much in the months following the experience.
When you are running your own events, is there a certain part of the day that just really lights you up and gives you an incredible amount of joy? A part of it that may even make you want to shed a few happy tears?
Definitely the meditations I lead. On our last two retreats I have led the group through a 90 minute meditation and sound healing journey that participants have had the most incredible experiences through. We just got back from Tulum, Mexico and we’ve had numerous emails and messages saying, “That literally changed my life. I can’t believe it.”
Being able to hold space for that kind of experience brings me immense joy, especially since I’ve done all this training over the last decade and created a deep personal practice to be able to do that. I’ll be creating more of these multi-dimensional experiences as I move forward creating more unique events for our community.
This is one cheeky question we like to ask our cover girls, just like musicians have riders, business owners usually develop their own little list of must haves. What can’t you live without at your events?
I bring my Tibetan bowls, tuning forks (lots of questions at airport security about those haha), lots of printed #SoulShots from our new meditation experience soulseconds.com, candles, and amazing music playlists that people love.
And finally, for the entrepreneurs and business owners out there who want to know the secrets to running an event that is raved about for the days, months and years to come, what is your best advice?
Leave space for magic and serendipity. Don’t pack the schedule so tight that people don’t have a chance to personally connect with each other informally. Create space for people to get to hang out, enjoy the environment, relax, and experience those serendipitous connections and moments that you just can’t force. That is my biggest piece of advice to all of you as you create your own event experiences that people remember you for.
What beautiful insights from a gorgeous entrepreneur! You can keep up with all of Natalie MacNeil's events and programs HERE.
All photo credits belong to Natalie MacNeil