Lena Elkins is a marketing and personal branding coach, online entrepreneur, and Forbes Coaches Council member. She is a Future Shark who is leaving normal behind that can accelerate your life and business.
I had the fortunate opportunity to spend time with her to give you this exclusive Future Shark interview.
This interview is value-packed and action oriented.
I know you will enjoy! 🙂
Here we go . . .
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Where are you from?
I am from San Francisco and Tel Aviv. I frequently travel back and forth.
What are some of your hobbies:
I like writing, traveling, teaching, and forcing my dog to wear embarrassing outfits for the sake of a good Instagram picture.
What are you working on?
I’m the Founder of Lena Elkins Coaching. Right now, I’m working on some of the most exciting projects of my career.
I’m in the process of developing Tel Aviv’s first ever elite mastermind for English-speaking entrepreneurs, I’m running between cities internationally for various speaking engagements, I’m working with several clients who are on the brink of hitting the 7-figure mark, and I’m preparing to write my first book.
On the personal side, I’m planning my wedding (happening in June!) and settling back into Tel Aviv life after touring through the States for the past three months.
It’s been a busy and extremely exciting time!
How did you come up with the idea of your coaching business?
Although I’m currently working on many projects, the overarching idea behind my business is consistently shining through:
I’m driven to help ambitious young entrepreneurs and thought leaders break through barriers pertaining their income, influence and impact on the world.
Throughout my own journey in building my business, it quickly became apparent that millennials need to take ownership over their own lives and careers. If millennials want to have a meaningful, fulfilling, and profitable career then it is up to them to do so instead of relying on others to build their life for them.
My mission is to teach young people internationally that they have the opportunity to thrive and gain critical life skills (communication, self-respect, work ethic, creativity, financial literacy, the list goes on) through entrepreneurship…and the time to do it is now.
What separates/differentiates your coaching business from other coaching businesses?
My coaching business is different because it has a zero fluff policy. I’ve worked with a lot of business coaches (many of whom are amazing and some of my closest friends), but more than not, I see that they primarily operate in a supportive, cheerleader-type capacity.
While I am very supportive, my clients work with me because they know that I get shit done and they’ll see real, accelerated results through high-level marketing, branding and mindset work.
You can’t get to where you want to be by doing what you’ve always done, so I help my clients step out of their comfort zone to break through barriers and see massive progress. But, while my programs are very fast-paced and high-level, they’re also a lot of fun. A key part of my coaching style is bringing humor and fun into the work. I can’t think of a single client who just sees me as a coach, I’m also their friend.
What’s your dream with your company?
I don’t believe in dreams — only goals. 🙂 Lena Elkins Coaching will eventually bloom into a dynamic accelerator community for entrepreneurs to learn about everything under the marketing umbrella (social media marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, paid media, SEO, etc), public relations, personal branding, funnel building, and more.
I imagine it operating as the YMCA of the entrepreneur space — a place to take courses, find mentorships, meet future business partners, form collaborations, participate in masterminds, and be a part of a community that will hold each member accountable.
What makes you special?
I’m a relentless unrealistic goal achiever. I don’t stop until I achieve what I set out to do, and I hold the same standard for my clients as well. Plus, people have said that I’m “the perfect balance of no-bullshit and super-sweet”.
I’m also a big believer in execution over perfection — I’m good at making big, fast decisions and being flexible when it comes to the ups and downs that are naturally attached to entrepreneurship.
How do you creatively advertise?
I realize that people do not invest in products or services — they invest in the human being behind them.
My greatest advertising strategy has been investing in the growth of my own personal brand and allowing my potential clients to connect with me before ever trying to sell them something.
Uncoincidentally, the main places where my clients come from are Instagram (@lenaelkins18), my Facebook group (Millennial Go-Getters), and at live events where I’m speaking.
People pay attention to information, but they’ll put down money for the person behind that information.
Be that person who people need to work with, and your business will be golden for life.
What is your biggest failure and some major successes?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes (what entrepreneur hasn’t?), but this one stands out like a sore thumb.
My biggest failure was when I went into a partnership with a company that turned out to be a scam. I lost a lot of money and credibility. And while I turned it around quickly, it weighed on my heart for a long time.
I’ve also had a lot of big wins, but three come to mind: When I landed my first all-expenses paid international speaking gig, when I got accepted to the Forbes Coaches Council, and when I helped a client make $23K in revenue in his first two weeks of working with me.
What is the best entrepreneurship advice you can lend to us?
Entrepreneurs are often stumped by the idea that you have to be perfect before moving forward.
As long as you’re half a step ahead of the person you’re helping, you should be executing at full force. Learning how to make decisions quickly and take risks without killing yourself over it is the number one way to get ahead.
Execution over perfection every time.
How can entrepreneurs go about getting featured in press and publicity?
Awesome! This is a great question.
I have something perfect for this.
I’ve actually created a vlog for you that shares the 3 steps to getting featured in any publication.
Related: Here’s how to get into Forbes and Huffington Post.
What are most entrepreneurs forgetting right now?
You are ready for success now.
No, not after you finish that course.
Not after you have x experience.
Not after you save x amount of money.
You are ready NOW.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
If you want to grow, put yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Get out there and immerse yourself in places you would never normally go. Speak to people you would never normally meet.
Take on experiences that would normally scare you. Say ‘yes’ where you would normally say ‘no’.
It’s scary while it’s happening, but will pay off over a lifetime.
What do you think you do better than most people?
Doing exactly what I want and achieving exactly what I want while completely ignoring societal expectations and norms.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Make money and prioritize that everyday. So many people get caught up with the stress around the thing and the worries around the thing and the procrastination of the thing and talking about the thing…but none of that is the thing. Doing the thing is the thing.
So stop prioritizing making business cards and writing Facebook posts about your new business and covering your desk in inspirational quotes. Stop distracting yourself and do the work that makes you money.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
Here are some of my favorites:
- Start with Why
- Purple Cow
- 80/20 Sales and Marketing
- You Are A Badass
These are some of my recent favorites.
Last question, what does ‘Leave Normal Behind’ mean to you?
Do whatever the hell you want. There are no rules.
Where can we follow you and stay connected?
Here are my profiles! I’m looking forward to connecting with you all. Thanks for this amazing Future Sharks interview !
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Lena shared great insight!
Oftentimes, we get in our own heads and suffer fro paralysis by analysis. We want everything to be perfect.
We want to do everything right.
While this is a great intention, it is pretty unrealistic.
What ends up happening is that our fear of messing up slows down our forward momentum because we are timid to get in the game and start taking action.
The time to act is now.
You have everything that you need to succeed right now.
It’s not about how many resources you have, it’s about how resourceful you can be.
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If you or any Future Shark is leaving normal behind and is looking for the opportunity to be featured then email me: firstname.lastname@example.org