Business Babe: Ruth Ridgeway
Welcome to my first ever Business Babe Interview! I’m really pleased to be starting this monthly post featuring amazing business women who will set your heart alight with inspiration. And the very first babe to step into the lime light is the lovely Ruth Ridgeway.
Ruth is a super adventurous entrepreneur with a talent for owning her uniqueness. Photographer, website whizz and lifestyle designing extraordinaire: this girls got guts!
She knows what she wants and how she’s gonna get it, and now she’s willing to share those secrets with you!
You can find her at: www.facebook.com/RuthRidgewayCreative/
Hey Ruth, I’m so pleased to have you grace the pages of fifiscarlett.com. I’d love to ask you, firstly, how you find so much time to fit everything into your life?!
Thanks so much for having me, great question!
Well firstly I have to point out I have exactly the same amount of hours in my day as everyone else, I’m just super selective how I spend them! I decided things like the time spent sitting around moaning about what’s not going right, the hours spent mindlessly in front of the TV and a Facebook addiction weren’t getting me very far. So, they’ve either been ditched completely (I have no time for sitting around moaning!) or the time I spent on them was drastically reduced. I was left with the same amount of hours in my day, just a whole lot more to spend on cool fun stuff, and really launching my businesses.
I’m excited about your new project, as having a lifestyle that works for each individual is something I really champion. Tell us some more about the Lifestyle Designers Club.
The Lifestyle Designers Club is all about living your ULTIMATE lifestyle. It’s not a one size fits all, and I help women decide exactly what they want from life, ditch the crap that’s holding them back an provide simple, no fluff, actionable steps to start achieving their dream lifestyle.
How did your business progress over the years?
My entrepreneurial background has had its fair share or twists and turns! From a really young age, 10 or 11, I remember watching a TV program where a woman bought houses, renovated them and sold them for a profit. She used the profits to buy a bigger house and kept repeating the same steps. I remember thinking “one day I’m going to do that”, and so I did. Fast forward to age 20 and I bought my first home. With no experience whatsoever I set about learning everything I needed to renovate the homes I lived in to progress up the property ladder. Yup, from fitting kitchens to tiling bathrooms, I learnt it!
Roll on a few years being tied to a 9-5 to pay the mortgage, I remember thinking this wasn’t fun, it wasn’t me. I hated being told what to do, when to do it, when to holiday, what I was going to be paid month after month. I wanted freedom, I wanted my income to only be limited by my imagination and efforts. So with a love for photography I started my own photography business.
Again, I certainly didn’t know everything I need however I started. Firstly kids, then women’s makeover photo shoots and lastly to creative photography for women in business. I kept refining and tailoring to what I loved photographing the most. It was during this time whilst I was meeting various women running their own businesses that I made a big discovery. Whilst they all had amazing talents and big exciting goals, most were finding it challenging HOW to achieve them. They were ploughing through working numerous hours a day, either scrambling for clients or bogged down in too much work that the lifestyle they’d dreamed about when they first started their own business wasn’t emerging.
It was right then and there I decided things needed to change, and I created The Lifestyle Designers Club. It just felt ‘right’, right to pass my knowledge and experience of something that comes naturally to me on to others so they could lead the life of their dreams too.
What has been your greatest obstacle to overcome in building and running a successful business?
Believing in yourself and listening to your own intuition. When I made the decision to listen to my instincts and live life on my terms, everything started falling into place, both in my personal life and business. When you go against the grain and do something different, like starting your own business, everyone seems to have an opinion – especially when you’re starting out and still finding your feet. Sometimes those opinions come from a caring place, sometimes from a place of jealousy, so be careful which advice (and from who) you listen to.
You’ll hear it all from “your prices are too cheap, you’ll never make a successful business that way” to “wow, that’s really expensive, are you sure anyone will want to buy it for that price?” You’ll hear a million different ways on the ‘right’ way to market your business, doubts from critiques, ‘advice’ from people who have no understanding about your business or area of expertise, recommendations on what you ‘should’ be offering… It’s never ending.
(Editors note || Read more on this topic here: The Vice of Advice)
Have the confidence in your product or service, bring value to others, research your market and understand what sets you apart from others in your field then go out there and show your customers exactly how you’re going to help them! If you come from a place of truly wanting to help your customers, bring awesome value into their lives with amazing service, they’ll buy from you; plus you’ll also start to build a loyal following.
What’s your top tip for kick-arse goal achievement?
Really kicking-arse and achieving your goals is broken down into two for me. The first, most important, non negotiable thing is to be laser focused on exactly what you want to achieve. Goals LOVE you to be specific, the more specific you are the more the universe starts aligning in your favour.
For example, if you want to travel more your goal wouldn’t be ‘I want to travel’, it would be something like ‘On 31st January 2014 I’m travelling to New Zealand for 3 weeks’. That specific, with a set timescale and turning it from a ‘want’ to an ‘I’m doing’.
The second most important thing is then breaking that goal down into bite sized chunks, and clearly organising your time, focus and effort towards that goal.
Can you share with us a time or experience that made you really proud and certain of your choice to be an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur wasn’t a choice for me, it just ‘was’. The idea of being stuck in a 9-5 until I’m 65 scares the crap outta me! Along with the freedom lifestyle it brings, the proudest most awesome thing it brings is the ability to help others. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s a total feel good factor knowing you’ve really helped someone overcome a massive block, progress in their business or achieve a big goal they’ve not been able to achieve despite hours of trying and frustration! Being an entrepreneur and allowing myself to follow my own passion of helping women live life to their full potential has been the most rewarding experience by far.
What is the one piece of guidance or encouragement that you like to share with our fellow business babes?
Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people! I didn’t have this when I started, but my confidence, wellbeing and business soared when I surrounded myself with people with the same aims and desires in life. One of the first things I knew I wanted to start when creating The Lifestyle Designers Club was a positive, supportive community you could not only reach out to, but also give back and provide that same support and encouragement to others. I created a private Facebook group dedicated to do just that, The Lifestyle Designers Hangout. And yes, it’s totally free!
I want in! How can we sign up and get lifestyle designing?!
Awesome! I’d love to have you in the Club. You’ll find me at The Lifestyle Designers Club, (launching July 1st) where you’ll find loads of free resources and actionable tips you can do straight away to start living your most awesome life. I can’t wait to see you there 🙂
A massive thank you to Ruth for sharing her story and expertise with us, it’s definitely got me thinking about goal setting and taking hold of my future! I recommend you check out Ruth’s Facebook page, it’s full of pictures of her crazy antics and adventures.