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From Corporate to Community: Building a Purpose-Driven Community with Megan Tobler
Episode 3531st July 2024 • Your Dream Business • Teresa Heath-Wareing
00:00:00 00:39:49

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In this inspiring episode, I welcome Megan Tobler, the founder of Self Start Her, a thriving community for women entrepreneurs. Megan shares her journey of leaving the corporate world and creating a mission-driven business aimed at supporting and uplifting female entrepreneurs. Despite being laid off while pregnant, Megan focused on building a strong foundation for her community first before thinking about monetization. Listen in as she discusses her motivations, challenges, and the incredible support system she has built along the way.


  1. Mission Over Money Megan started her business with a strong mission to help others, putting community building and support before monetization. This approach not only set a solid foundation but also created a loyal and engaged audience.
  2. Leveraging Skills and Passion Utilizing her sales and communication skills, Megan successfully launched the Self Start Her podcast, which became a pivotal platform for sharing the stories and insights of female entrepreneurs. This initiative was driven by her passion for connecting and supporting other women in business.
  3. Navigating Challenges with Grace Megan's journey included significant challenges, such as being laid off while pregnant. However, she embraced these obstacles with resilience and grace, focusing on her long-term goals and leveraging the support of her family and community to continue building her dream business.
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Teresa: You will know that starting a business is not for the faint hearted. And most of us start understandably so with the intention of, I need to make money. I know that was a hundred percent me and we build everything else around that. So money is the first priority. And then we think about the audience and the websites and the messaging and all that sort of good stuff. But what if that wasn't your first thought? What if you started your business purely with a mission to help others first and then making money was the later thought. That's exactly what today's guest has done. And not only did she do that, but she did it after she was made redundant while pregnant with her first child. So in today's episode, you will learn all about why she created a community first and how she plans to monetize this in the future. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Your Dream Business. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. If you are new to the podcast, welcome. I'm your host, Teresa Heath-Wareing. And every week I bring you either amazing guests who have inspiring and awesome stories to tell [00:02:00] And then I mix that up with solo episodes where I give you strategy and tips and tactics and more kind of practical stuff. And today I have an interview for you. Now, Megan is someone I met quite some time ago when I was interviewed on her podcast. And in fact, if I remember rightly, I reached out to her and I found her podcast and said, do you want to guest or would you like me as a guest? And that's how we connected. And we've stayed connected ever since. And I'm so grateful to have her on my podcast now. So Megan Tobler is a trailblazer in the world of woman entrepreneurism. After 10 years in corporate world with a successful career in sales, She became passionate about redefining her definition of success and creating a life that would allow her to have freedom she craved and the ability to make an impact. As the host of the self start her. So it's like stealth self starter, but with her at the end podcast, Megan has created a platform for women entrepreneurs from all over the [00:03:00] globe and all walks of life to share their stories, paths, challenges, and triumphs. It is her goal to inspire more women and follow their hearts, launch their own businesses, and to start living life on their terms. So Megan really truly aligns with me and who I am and the work that I do. But what I love about Megan's story and what you're going to hear is she's kind of gone and done it a different way round to the way lots of people start a business. And the foundation she is building are phenomenal. And this is really coming from a place of passion, a place of wanting to serve. And honestly, you know, when you meet someone and they're just the nicest person. That is Megan. So I know you're not only going to love her, but you're going to be super inspired by what she is creating and building and want to go and follow her and check her out. As always, we link up to everything in the show notes. So you can go to Teresa Heath wearing. com /357 as in the numbers three, five, seven. That's the [00:04:00] number of today's episode. And basically you can find the show notes there and all the links to everything we talk about. So. Please welcome the very lovely Megan Tobler. Megan, I am so happy to have you on the podcast. How you doing? Megan: Teresa, I'm so happy to be here. I'm doing well. How about yourself? Teresa: I'm great. It's been a while since we spoke. When did I come on your podcast? Megan: Oh, goodness. I want to say that we actually touched base about a year ago this time last year. So it was probably March or April ish. Well, I guess we're in May almost, tomorrow. Teresa: Yeah, I think it was because when I spoke to you, you were pregnant. Megan: Yes. Teresa: And it was a very, it was an awesome conversation in terms of like, what you were doing. And I remember immediately being, Oh, I want to work with her. I want, I want to help her. I want to like, she needs to come and work with me in some way. Like I just loved you from the minute we had a conversation, which was awesome. So I always start my podcast same way. I do need to change it up. I will at some point, but we're not there yet. Please [00:05:00] explain to my lovely audience who you are and how you got to do the thing that you do today. Megan: Well, first of all, I have to tell you, Teresa, I think the feeling was absolutely mutual. I was telling you before we hit record today that you said something that really struck home with me a year ago when we connected, and that was to give yourself grace in the season of life. And so for the last year, any single time that I was feeling that I wasn't doing something in the quote unquote right way to really take a step back and just be like, you know what, I'm going to give myself grace right now. I'm going to do a Teresa. So thank you so much for doing that. Teresa: My pleasure. I'm so glad it's that. And I'm so glad you do it because you need to give yourself grace because you're doing a lot of things at once. So yeah, I love it. Megan: And we'll talk all about that. I'm sure about everything that we're doing, but to answer your question, as, as you already mentioned, my name is Megan. I, as from my accent can probably tell that I'm not based in the UK. I am actually across the pond all the way in sunny California. But I am the founder of self start her and self start her [00:06:00] is a growing community of women who really dare to take a chance on themselves and to change their lives. I've created this platform where I have created resources for aspiring and really new entrepreneurs to be able to really learn how to get started and how to grow and sustain a business. So we can definitely dive a little bit further into this, but my story is all about just getting started and taking the right steps and in a direction. Teresa: Love it. So when we spoke, you had either stopped working or you were about to stop working. So tell us what you did prior to starting doing this. Megan: So I spent almost a decade in corporate sales. I was thriving. I was making multiple six figures a year. I was, I was doing great. I thought on paper, I had it all. I had the house, I had the car, I was taking great vacations, but I had absolutely no life. And I knew that that [00:07:00] wasn't something that I wanted to do moving forward once I started a family. And I always had this itch inside of you. I think that you have, some of you have it, some people don't, and that's totally fine. Whatever that is. But I had this like burning itch that there was something that was inside of me that was just craving to, to be unleashed. But I didn't really know what that was. I thought it was more in the corporate world. So I kept climbing that ladder, trying to get the fancier title and the bigger paycheck and all that stuff, but it wasn't doing it for me. So I started dabbling in little side projects, trying to think of, okay, what, what is it that's going to really fulfill that itch? And I didn't know really where to start. So I started, I took a step back and I was like, you know what, what is it that you're good at and what is it that you really like to do? And so I realized, okay, I came from the corporate sales background. I love talking to people. I love hearing their stories and I love helping them. And [00:08:00] also I was good at listening and also good at communicating a message. So I thought, you know what, why don't I start a podcast where I'm interviewing women who are already doing what I want to be doing so that way I can learn from them and at the same time put out that content into the world to be able to make sure that I'm paying it forward. So that way it's really encompassing everything that I was good at and then also everything that I was craving as far as more making more of an impact. So I started with a podcast. And I did that for a few months, and in January, no, March of last year, I was actually laid off after announcing my pregnancy to my company. And I had the choice to either. Teresa: Is that not illegal? Megan: Technically. Teresa: It would be in the UK. Megan: It would technically there, there's workarounds, so they laid off my entire department, so I wasn't singled out. So that's how they get away with it. But I [00:09:00] truly believe I would have been moved into a different department had I not announced my pregnancy to the company. But I think that things happen for you. Yeah. And not to you. Yeah. And so I truly believe that that was meant to happen in order for me to take the leap and just go for this. Teresa: Yeah. Megan: So that's what I did. Teresa: So I want to go back a bit. The the fact that you started a podcast, well, the fact that you went, okay, there's something else here and I want something else and what else could I do? And you then decided to start a podcast. Because anybody who is listening to this and who has had a podcast or thought about doing a podcast, it is a ton of work. Having a podcast is not a like, I don't want to use not easy because it's not that it's not easy. It just, there's lots of moving parts and there's lots of skills that maybe we haven't used before because naturally, you know, Interviewing takes skill and it takes a certain, you know, type of person to be able to do it, getting it out there, [00:10:00] marketing it, getting guests, like there's a lot of moving parts. What made you think, I'm going to do a podcast? And you worked full time, like you had no reason to do something like that. There was no like, I've got to make money from it or whatever. It was just almost a hobby, I guess, at the beginning, was it? Megan: Absolutely. I, it was a curiosity factor. I really wanted to understand how to build my own business. I knew that I wasn't at a place yet to completely make the full transition out of corporate into a life of entrepreneurship. If I didn't really knew, know what, I wanted to do. So I think that's where the podcast started, but I also didn't think about it even being hard. That didn't even cross my mind to be honest with you, Teresa. It was one of those things where I just made the decision and sometimes getting to the decision and make taking the action is the hardest part. So once I just made that choice, I just said, you know, I'm going to go for it. So I actually used my sales skills [00:11:00] and I created a prospect list of every single female entrepreneur that I knew personally. And I started using my sales tactics and I wrote personal emails to each one of these women not only emphasizing what I was doing, but how I could really highlight them and how it could really impact their business because it, it, it wasn't about me. It was about them. And so, and then also the bigger mission. So I made sure to really emphasize like, how, why this is important and why I believed in what I was doing. So I got a resounding yes all across the board, but I was really intentional by who I reached out to first, because when you get started, it truly is the hardest part. So I really wanted to make sure that I started with positivity and that I knew that I would reach out to someone that would give me that yes in order to keep going. So I got someone that I knew would tell a wonderful story, but also someone that would, I don't know how to say [00:12:00] this, but like boost my confidence level and the fact where I could get that yes to keep moving forward. So I started recording in June of 2021, I believe, or is it 2022? All my dates are getting mixed up at this point. But 2022. Yes. Cause we're in 2024. Thank you. And so I started in then then, but I, I just kept recording and recording, but I didn't publish anything. I really wanted to make sure that I had a library of resources built up to make sure that I could keep going. And then I found Kathy Heller's podcasting course and I'd already started everything, but I needed a little bit of a jump or kickstart in the derriere to get me to actually publish it. So I will tell you, I didn't even finish Kathy's course, but what it allowed me to do is to get back into the game, get the confidence to post it and also to surround myself with a community of women who were [00:13:00] also going through the similar process and we all just really linked arms together and we just did it. And so Kathy is a huge reason why I put it out there. And I will tell you, I was a little gutsy. There's something called the pod fade, and I believe it's around seven or eight episodes where if someone starts a podcast, they typically fizzle out. And so I learned about this through Kathy and I decided that at that point I had seven or eight episodes already recorded and I didn't want to be the pod fade. So I reached out to Kathy, I did a personal video and I said, Kathy, I, I just invested in your course. I'm one of your students. I have this many podcast episodes recorded. Will you be my number eight? I didn't get a yes, but I got a really nice response back. But that allowed me to put myself out there and to just announce what I was doing. Because once you announce it, it's real. So here we are. Teresa: There's so much of this that I resonate with so [00:14:00] much. Like the putting yourself out there, the, the, So much of this I have done, whether it was an intentional or not intentional and or something I learned afterwards, but the fact of I am really good when I've told the world I'm doing something and then I do it like sometimes if it's like I am going to do that, I am going to, but I'm not telling anybody. It takes ages to happen. Things like the sending the personal messages out to people. I a hundred percent did that when I got my first few guests. It was very much like, I want you and I will make every effort to make sure I get you. And I think, I mean, it still blows my mind that you were working and you did this as like, you know, a side thing. And I do think, I just want to say, I think there is something about American people that have a very different approach to work to UK people. So one of the things that I have noticed a lot is [00:15:00] I went and did a talk in Nashville a couple of years back now for seven figure business owners. And so many of those seven figure business owners had still had jobs or were just waiting until it had hit another point or a certain point before they left their job. And they were running businesses alongside a full time job. I'm working with someone at the moment who's in one of my group programs Who has two jobs and is creating an online business like you guys work, you are not afraid of putting your, you know, your head down and going, I'm gonna try and make this happen. But, but what's interesting in this story is, correct me if I'm wrong, but there was never a, a money goal immediately in mind. There was never like, I'm doing this because in three weeks time I want to earn this, doing this. Or did you always have a long thing in mind, or it sounds like it was like a self-discovery thing first before it was anything else. Megan: It was absolutely a self discovery thing. So you're completely correct. I had no intentions to monetize it [00:16:00] right away. I started, I put the first episode out in October 2022. And we're going to go back on that.




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