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Clare is the founder of The Virtual Nudge – a birthday reminder service. When I first heard that I thought – hmmm, but can’t I do that on my iPhone? It was when I actually spoke to Clare about her business that I realized that no I can’t, and the mission of The Virtual Nudge is much more than purely reminding…
The concept behind the service is to help people connect in a deeper way. The way we used to more often before just writing “Happy Birthday!” on our friend’s Facebook walls. The Virtual Nudge reminds you before the birthday to give you time to think about a thoughtful gift and the service gives you gift and party idea inspiration.
The Virtual Nudge is all about heart to heart connections and creating more smiles in the real world. It’s about making the people we care about feel special. What’s not to love about that?!
So Clare, tell us what you were doing before starting your business?
Before I started The Virtual Nudge I worked as a trolleyologist helping businesses grow and become more successful. I felt disconnected though, I couldn’t use my creativity and over time my passion for this type of work faded.
Sorry, what? A trolleyologist?
Pause while we both burst out laughing – a market researcher for supermarkets. Ah ha!
What made you think of starting your own business?
It was a gradual process over the last few years of me becoming less satisfied at work and thinking more about what I believe in and what I think is important. I’ve always prided myself in being very thoughtful, I’m also a creative dreamer, but I’ve a practical side and like to get things done.
So it just came to a point where the logical conclusion would be I do something with my ideas. I made an active decision to live the life I wanted.
How did you get the idea for The Virtual Nudge?
I love to do kind, thoughtful things and we live in such a busy world that we often get forgetful. This gave me the idea to create a simple service to help people be more thoughtful in their lives. The birthday reminder idea really tied everything together for me and it felt right. Remembering someone’s birthday is a really practical, easy thing to do and it absolutely deepens connections between people.
I also want to encourage people to celebrate life more, the big and small special days. I love to dream and dance (Clare actually performed in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics games!) so I have made sure these elements have been incorporated into how I do business.
What have been your challenges as a business owner?
It’s all about the attitude and not the aptitude. A major challenge for me has been to admit that I can’t do it all alone. I had to confront my technology fears and ask for help in that area.
What have been your highlights as a business owner?
I am so proud of my website. Even though I didn’t do a lot of the programming I made a really active contribution to the design side and I am so happy about how it turned out.
I did also enjoy getting lots of lovely compliments about the site too! And getting my first client who was someone I didn’t know!
Another big highlight was creating my 14 day EveryDay Moments | Celebrate Your Life eCourse.
What would you say to aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you need an e hug, come and see me. I’ve got your back!
Know that you are not alone. You are unique in your aspirations and thought processes but a lot of people will have gone through your challenges and had the same fears and doubts before you.
It will be ok.
Key take aways from Clare’s experience
As Clare says it’s all about attitude and not the aptitude. Despite not feeling confident with technology Clare has been able to create a business centered on her belief in kindness and connection by being a doer and working out how to get the technology part done.
It’s perfectly ok to ask for help. Clare worked out how to do some things and for others she hired in help. You may not be able to work it all out yourself – in these cases get in the help.
‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ – Simon Sinek.
When I realized that The Virtual Nudge is all about improving relationships and creating heart-felt connection I was right there with my credit card. Think about how you can integrate your ‘why’ into your business.
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Have you been thinking about starting a business?
How can you put more of your ‘why’ into your business?
Have you made up a new humourous name for your job title?
Let me know in the comments below…