Your confidence in your vision is the greatest resource your business has. Once you lose your mojo or confidence, things can start to spiral downhill. Protect your mindset by reflecting on your goals every day and spending time checking in through meditation.
I had the pleasure to interview Cat Howell. Cat helps businesses and entrepreneurs find success through Facebook ads. Having built and scaled a highly successful FB ads agency (Eight Loop social) to one that generates over six figures per month, she subsequently launched The Academy and FATC to help freelancers and agency owners bypass the costly and lengthy learning curves involved in building out a FB ads business — from enrolling clients through delivery and agency processes. She’s also had the privilege to have worked with hundreds of clients — including brands of the likes of Coca Cola Amitil and Contiki, as well as grassroots startups and well-known influencers my team at Eight Loop Social — one of the world’s most recognized and top FB ads agencies — has one of the highest industry ROI rates!
Thank you so much for joining us Cat! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Aseries of consecutive failures as a wannabe entrepreneur trying to build an online business. The failures actually lead me to land my first client as a freelancer and through a hundred more face plants I eventually and somehow landed where I’m at now.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I think for me a big thing that has always come up from the beginning is a sense of being an imposter of being found out. It took me quite a few years to start realising that this is something everyone experiences and — once I understood this — I was able to shift my perspective around imposter syndrome, realising that when you hang around the right group of people you’re naturally going to feel stretched, you’re going to feel out of your comfort zone, and you’re going to feel small within it all — thinking that you know it all and have all the answers is when you run into problems and stagnate the growth of your business. Imposter syndrome can actually be a really healthy indicator that you are taking risks and pushing yourself.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Well, we just had our fastest staff turnaround happen recently. Hired a UX developer — great guy — and he quit after just 72 hours. Funny but also disconcerting, haha.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company was initially and mostly set up remote and — after shooting an eight week documentary where we had seven agency owners staying in our (then little) office in Auckland — I made a decision to build the team locally as I realized the vibe of being able to bounce off people and have a collective of like-minded people working on a shared vision is somewhat intoxicating. Our company succeeds because of the team at the core of it all.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We went on a whim about a year ago to set in motion a web series for the industry we worked in. It was so isolating for me getting started out — and the stuff you see in the media about entrepreneurs doesn’t usually look into how challenges and frustrations play out in the context of working with clients — and how this is actually so normal! Launching Pay the Invoice has changed the way we as a business are choosing to connect with our audience and an opportunity to create catalysts in thousands of freelancers and agency owners.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Your personal shit will mess up your business side if you don’t structure your company properly. Stop trying to pretend you’re a good multitasker and accept help AND the fact that things won’t be 100% the way you may want it and that perfection is just a stalling mechanism.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
It’s really easy to let ego get in the way when you call all the shots, never lose sight of the power in listening and learning from others.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
This woman [Anna Shiliana] is a bit of a crazy entrepreneur herself and she’s been instrumental in my success, helping me to navigate steep valleys — not only as a business context but it the literal sense as a friend.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m a big believer in the idea that success begets success. Everything I have always done, even before the success came, was about helping those around me thrive.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Your confidence in your vision is the greatest resource your business has. Once you lose your mojo or confidence, things can start to spiral downhill. Protect your mindset by reflecting on your goals every day and spending time checking in through meditation.
- It’s really easy to let ego get in the way when you call all the shots, never lose sight of the power in listening & learning from others
- Your personal shit will mess up your business if you don’t set it up properly. Your business revenues should not be reflective mood or speed bumps you face personally. There will come moments when you lose drive, feel fearful or unsure and unsettled personally. Hiring people that can help you see your vision through and the right processes in place will prevent your personal stuff from interfering with your business growth.
- You’re not a good multitasker. By trying to do it all, you’re just doing everything half-assed. Prioritize the levers that will create the most impact and follow through until completed.
- You don’t know it all — make advisors and mentors from those playing at the level you’re gunning for. Surrounding yourself with people smarter than you are is both humbling and exceptionally powerful in helping you to build up your business — not only because it helps you to normalize new levels of success but also through the obvious benefits in being mentored on how to bypass painful learning curves.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You are the universe pretending to be a human for a little while” — Ekhart Tolle.
It grounds me every time I hear it — reminding me that regardless of what’s happening around me — there’s a great big sky above me with millions of stars and none of us really know what’s going on.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂