Female Founders: Chas Young On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Where your attention goes, energy flows, and money grows. Have you ever noticed that when you say you’re tired, you feel even more tired, and so you go have a nap or watch some Netflix. Successful women founders control their thoughts by putting attention only towards that which brings energy and money. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t know why I don’t have any clients”, I can change my thoughts to “there is at least 1 person on the planet of 8 billion who is ready to pay me and change their life.” Keep your attention on the things that lead to your success, and not those that try to keep you from success.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chas Young.
Chas is a business coach with over 20 years of business experience. She activates the power in women to create freedom and joy using business as a tool.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I grew up where my dad’s side of the family were all entrepreneurs. My grandma and aunt owned the small town restaurant and gas station, and I spent most of my time there. I started working there when I was 12 and by 14, was doing the accounts payables and receivables. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. I knew as a child I was meant to lead.
I started my first business in 2002 with another lady. It was my first taste of all the things to do to legally start a business. I sold that to her 2 years later and moved to another city. This is when I had my babies and became a personal trainer, so I could work around my kids schedule. All the while, helping other people feel empowered with their bodies and self-confidence.
It was the spring of 2009 I posted on my Facebook that my body needed a break. I was tired from training and teaching many fitness classes each week. 3 days later, I broke my leg which resulted in sitting on my couch taking that break for a few months.
During this time, I kept thinking about what drove me crazy about working at the gym I was at. And it was people talking on their phones while “working out”. Is it really a workout when you put makeup on BEFORE the workout and can talk on the phone while on the treadmill? No. So I started writing the business plan for one of the first spin/hybrid studios in my city.
After 4 years, I burnt out with the gym. Even though I had 15 staff members, at no time did I ever “shut off” from the gym. I thought about it day and night. My family suffered, and I suffered. So I sold it.
From there I pursued a masters in International Development, because my passion has always been to help women create freedom and joy in their lives, no matter where they live, what circumstances they endure, and what their economic situation. Freedom and joy belong to everyone.
It was with this passion that I started working at a non-profit organization teaching low income women and new immigrants how to start a business, so they could create freedom and joy and independence in their lives. After being there for 3.5 years, I left to start my own business coaching others to start businesses.
And here I am.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I started my business with the intention of owning my schedule, doing what I want, when I want.. However, quite quickly I fell into the trap of doing all the things to get clients. I found I was sacrificing myself to please my clients, to please my family, to please people on the internet I didn’t even know, with the hopes of getting that next client. I caught myself burning out again.
I took back what I could control, let go of that I couldn’t control, and simplified my business down to working 2–3 hours a day on the essentials it takes to grow a business.
This simplification of the business model allowed me both time and money freedom, resulting in me being soulfully joyful.
And my clients love this 3 Hour Workday formula, as well. It helps them work less, and have more time for themselves, who wouldn’t love that?
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?
When I first started my gym, I wanted to be the opposite of the big box gyms. I didn’t want clients to be obligated to sign 2 year contracts that were impossible to cancel. I wanted freedom for my members. So I offered annual memberships paid in advance. This was so great for cash flow in January, and so great for no cash flow in February.
I was crying to my husband about all my business problems, every night. And he was no help, since he’s not an entrepreneur. He is a great listener though.
That’s when I learned the power of coaching and always having a coach. I got my first coach in March of 2010, and have had one ever since. Someone to listen to me, guide me in business, and redirect me back to the essentials.
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?
I am most thankful for my husband who is my greatest cheerleader. He’s the one who sees my potential before I do. He’s the one who reminds me of my powers and gifts. He supports me to rise to my greatness. Coaches come and go, but he’s my constant rock.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
Our patriarchal society has been what has held more women back from founding companies. For centuries, masculine energy has dominated our world. Men have dominated business because of how business was created. And not all women are masculine dominant in their energies and have therefore not felt like they’ve fit into the traditional business mold. But the tides are changing. We are not women trying to make it in a man’s world anymore. Both men and women, masculine and feminine energies can co-exist in business. And this is why there’s been a huge increase in online business in the past couple of years, primarily women leading the path.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
There’s a lot of things that can be done to dismantle the patriarchal society, and many of which are just naturally happening as we speak. To overcome these limitations the masculine world has put on women, women need to stand up, be confident, be courageous, be lights in the darkness, and take bold actions based on their intuition and heart.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
More women should start their own businesses because it’s what they feel is best for them. If you are led or inspired to start a business, a movement, a mission, then let nothing stop you. If you feel the desire, it’s given to you for a reason, and it is your responsibility to act on those desires.
- Founding a business is a tool where the world can see your greatness. It’s an avenue to show your confidence, your gifts, your skills, your heart and soul and your power.
- Founding a business gives you the money freedom to do as you wish. You don’t need to ask permission from your partner if you can buy that bag or take that trip. You do it.
- Founding a business gives you time freedom so you have time to do what you want in all the aspects of your life. You are more than a business. You have other roles to play. But you are a physical being, a spiritual being, a relationship being, so much more that you can create space to grow in.
- Founding a business gives you joy. Not just fleeting feelings of happiness. But deep rooted emotions of joy from the pride of what you’ve accomplished and the change you are creating in the world.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
3 myths about being a founder I’d like to dispel:
- You have to work all the time. It’s your business. It’s your choice how much you want to work. You didn’t leave your day job to create another job. Don’t fall into the temptation of working all the time. You’ll only burn out.
- More work = more money. This is the masculine energy toxic vibe that more work = more money. If that were true, all house cleaners would be billionaires, and they’re not. Focus on the essentials of building a business and let all the other drama fall aside.
- It’s hard work. I always like to ask, “what does hard work mean to you? What does “easy” mean?” For many, hard work means long hours, or a constant struggle. And easy means not doing any work, or some might equate it with being lazy. I believe businesses don’t need to struggle or require long hours. The hard work is the emotional ebbs and flows you go on as an entrepreneur. That’s the work. Implementing the strategies is the easy part. The mindset work is the hard part.
Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?
After teaching and coaching hundreds of women to start businesses, I don’t think everyone is cut out to be a founder. Some skills that are required to be a successful entrepreneur, one can’t teach. For example, you need to be a risk taker to be an entrepreneur. One can certainly grow in the ability to take risks, but some are just more risk tolerant than others. Ability to take financial risks is vital, and if one’s basic needs are not being met, it will be quite hard to be a founder, but not impossible. Those who make it possible are ones who are driven to succeed no matter what. If you are the type of person who is going to quit as soon as times get tough, it might be best to stay as an employee. If you are struggling to pay for your housing, food, and clothing, you should keep your regular job until your self-employment income replaces that day job income.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
The following are 5 things you need to thrive and succeed as a woman founder:
- Where your attention goes, energy flows, and money grows. Have you ever noticed that when you say you’re tired, you feel even more tired, and so you go have a nap or watch some Netflix. Successful women founders control their thoughts by putting attention only towards that which brings energy and money. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t know why I don’t have any clients”, I can change my thoughts to “there is at least 1 person on the planet of 8 billion who is ready to pay me and change their life.” Keep your attention on the things that lead to your success, and not those that try to keep you from success.
- A support system. I learned very early on in business, that my husband is a great sounding board, but not a great business or marketing coach. To keep my marriage strong and grow my business, I needed a business coach to be there for me in ways my husband couldn’t. I needed a network of other successful women who showed me that it is possible to make a lot of money doing what I love.
- A clear vision of where you want to go. Visualize and feel into what it feels like to be at the top of the mountain. Every morning I spend time visualizing and meditating on what success looks like to me today, and then taking time to lean back and listen to my intuition for what the path is to get closer to the top of the mountain. The path may be a clear path today with no rocks or obstacles in the way, the next path might have some rocks you may have to maneuver through. Regardless of how bumpy the path is, you do whatever it takes to reach your mountain top, one step at a time.
- Successful women founders know what they can control and what they can’t, and release all they can not control. We put so much pressure on ourselves to reach this goal, make this amount of money by the 30th of the month, or do all the things by this time. And yet, we have no control over who is going to buy from us and when. We can only control when we put out our offers. We try to tell ourselves we are good at multitasking and like working under pressure. But I believe this pressure and time frames we put on ourselves, makes us miserable. 2020 was a year that triggered me to my core and I was having a lot of anxiety. I did a lot of meditations and inner work to identify what I could control and couldn’t. And in letting go of that which I can’t control, I have learned to manage anxiety and pressure and am soulfully joyful as a result.
- Emotional Intelligence. This is our ability to understand, use and manage emotions to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. These are marks of the female leader, the woman founder. For example, when someone posts some harsh criticism online, the successful woman founder doesn’t react right aways with a comeback that might be hurtful, but takes a step back to evaluate the circumstance, the thoughts, and the emotion that’s being triggered, and then replies in a neutral state, or doesn’t respond at all. The emotionally intelligent success woman takes actions from her heart.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
My purpose in life is to make the world a better place by starting with empowering one woman at a time to create time and money freedom for themselves. I started with empowering myself. I have role modeled to my daughter the leadership and strength by being a female founder. I have worked with clients who have created businesses that raised them out of poverty. I have worked with international organizations and local non-profits designed to make the world a better place. Making the world a better place has been what’s made me successful.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Let’s create a movement of women who are activated and inspired down to their core, that no matter what, they can create freedom, joy and wealth in their lives. Where we don’t let circumstances that surround us, limit us. We are activated. We are powerful. We move mountains.
We are very blessed that some very prominent 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.
I would love to have a sit down with Robin Arzon, Peloton. She is a heart-led hustler, who moves mountains and inspires millions. She is a reminder to always wear your crown straight, and take your place on the throne.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.