When I first met Gwen Elliot, I knew I wanted to profile her on the See Girl Work blog because she was the first person to really talk about the try and fail aspect of entrepreneurship. It doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes you just have to concede to fail before you can rise again from the ashes and try again. And that’s just what Gwen has done. But in a larger-than-life way.
Gwen Elliot is a media strategist and a TV producer. She helps her clients get their big break with media. Gwen has helped entrepreneurs get featured on Forbes, Virgin, Learn Vest, Daily Worth, Levo, national TV shows, morning shows and local cable shows.
Gwen herself has also been featured in Forbes as a Fierce Female Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post and TEDx to name. As a TV producer, she’s worked on The Naked Entrepreneur TV which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada. Gwen is also the creator of
She is also the creator of Your Big Break, a podcast series that shares the stories of how entrepreneurs got their big break in business with help from mainstream media.
Earlier this year, Gwen let me know that she had recently transitioned from being a side hustler to a full-time entrepreneur. I responded, “well that’s the dream.” There’s something extra motivating about continuing to try until it comes out right.
Please enjoy 10 Questions with Gwen Elliot.
1. In the beginning, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Frustration. I knew I wanted something more than working 9-5pm for 50 years, then retiring and finally deciding to live the way I wanted to. I had a hunch there could be a better way. This curiosity lead me to teachers and friends who were also on the path to creating their lives, their way. The funny part is, on the entrepreneurial path you experience so much frustration… but I now realize I’ll take frustration over complacency any day.
2. What problem are you solving?
As a media strategist, I help entrepreneurs share their story with mainstream media (to help grow their credibility and connect with new customers). The biggest challenges I find with my clients is being unsure which media outlets to target, what stories and advice to share and how to reach out. I help take the complexity out of amplifying your message.
3. What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur?
My most recent struggle has been the transition from side hustler to full-time entrepreneur. This has not been a super smooth transition. As a recovering workaholic, I had to really work on creating boundaries, finding ways to unplug from work, and consciously choosing to have (non work-related) fun to stay sane.
4. What does a typical day consist of?
At the moment, I’m working with a great group of clients on an ongoing basis, so my main focus is finding and creating opportunities for them to share their story in the media. I’m also working on creating a media e-course with my mentor turned collaborator, Natalie MacNeil of She Takes on the World. We’re deep into working on the content and planning the shoots at the moment. I’m also an avid podcaster! I interview entrepreneurs about how they got their big break in mainstream media. Listen to Your Big Break on my website or subscribe via iTunes!
5. What do you love to do at night?
My answer in 2015 would’ve likely involved alcohol as part of the fun. This year, I decided to release drinking alcohol for the year, so I’ve had to rediscover how to have fun as an adult without alcohol. This has quite honestly been a challenge. A quiet night in consists of listening to podcasts and cooking, or going out to restaurants and bars with friends to catch up. I’m 100% open to creative suggestions for fun nights out! Tweet me ideas @gwenelliot 😉
6. How do you dress to exude confidence?
I used to be OBSESSED with blazers…though over time as I’m no longer interested in wearing clothes as ‘armor’ and now am obsessed with feeling comfortable and like myself. I love dresses, flowy clothes, soft pants (bye jeans) and heels that I can walk in.
7. Yoga, strength training, cardio or all three?
I’m quite obsessed with strength training at the moment. One of my younger sisters is my gym buddy. She’s a hardcore gym lover, so she’s there twice a day 4-5 times a week, and I try to be there at least half the time.
8. How does your culture/background influence your work?
I didn’t grow up with any entrepreneurial influences, so I feel like going into this world has been a big experiment. Growing up in a really small town (shout-out to Beaverton) really motivated me to see what’s out there. The media world was my first curiosity and entrepreneurship followed next.
9. What do you consider to be a life well lived?
A life where I remember it. What I mean by that is to be present, and stop obsessing over the past and future. Quite honestly, when I worked in the corporate world I had incredible opportunities to travel to places like China, Ireland and London, but I was so obsessed with working and getting everything right that I didn’t fully take in the experiences. So now I consciously try to be wherever I am, and also surround myself with people who want to be where they are too!
10. If you could write your own obituary, what would the tagline say?
Images courtesy of Gwen Elliot