Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Shelton who’s an astrologer, editor and chief writer for the virtual institute of women. I regulary read my horoscopes and being on the cusp of two star signs usually, it differs depending on where I’m reading it, so I tend to read both and go with the one which sounds best. I no longer have this issue since signing up for Jennifer’s North node weekly email program which simply shows the general area that I have to develop , which is much more accurate and specific to me . The opposite point, the South Node, shows the place where I feel comfortable.
So tell me about your business, what is Femcentral all about ? FemCentral is a website dedicated to bringing back the natural balance between the feminine and the masculine, the Yin and the Yang. It has evolved from being mostly a resource site to a place where women (and men) gather to explore and change our collective consciousness about the Feminine.
I focus on a theme or topic per week, going deep on a topic, exploring it from many angles and providing suggestions and guidance for exploring it in your personal life. I feature excerpts from books, meditations, personal experiences, guest experts, and writing exercises. We engage in discussions both in the comment fields of the posts and on the FemCentral facebook page.
There are several content experts who write columns for FemCentral, and their posts appear on Sundays. Some have regular monthly columns and others post every 2-3 months.
Writing promptsgive the FemCentral community the opportunity to use the powerful tool of “free writing” to explore, and expose, personal beliefs and share them collectively. I feature one prompt per month and towards the end of each month, post all the responses as submitted to me.
I also welcome, and frequently feature, content experts who wish to guest blog on a topic or theme (one post or a full week). If interested, please contact me at Jennifer@jenniferlshelton.com
To highlight female role models, every Thursday is Woman of the Week, where I feature an “undeservedly obscure” contemporary or historic female.
A few years ago, I unexpectedly discovered a gift for astrology. Highly skeptical at first, I have come to embrace the perspective the Zodiac provides. Most Fridays are AstroFriday, where I approach the week’s theme from the viewpoint of astrology. (For instance, when I spent a week on the topic of “fear,” AstroFriday was about the planet Saturn, which indicates, in your birthchart, what you fear the most.) I also provide individualized astrological services in the form of chart readings, birthday readings, intuitive coaching and a “life purpose” email subscription service.
What lead you to making the decision of creating your own business? In early August of 2009, I was laid off from my job as the Manager of Education and Outreach for a research institute at a local university. On August 23, 2009, I saw the cover of the New York Times Magazine – Why Women’s Rights are the Issue of Our Time. I have a long time interest in human rights and decided this lay-off was the perfect opportunity to match my professional skills with my passion. I launched FemCentral in January, 2010.
What did/do you find to be the most challenging part of your business? Growing pains. I am ecstatic that FemCentral is growing but I am currently adjusting from being a solo-preneur to someone who absolutely needs assistance and learning that I don’t have to do everything by myself.
What have you learned about yourself during the process of setting up your business? That it is possible to follow your dreams and be successful!
What advice would you give someone considering starting their own business?Know yourself well. Know what you like, what you don’t like, what you are good at. Don’t go into it just for the money. It could take a while before that starts coming in. You need passion to keep you going. But, if you have that passion, you will be successful. Also, don’t be too rigid about what you are doing. Follow the growth, even if that leads to change.
(Also, if you are starting a web-based business, I recommend reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk.)
What products and services do you provide ? (covered above)
What is the greatest success story for your business? FemCentral started with a handful of readers, just my friends and a few families. Two years late, it gets over 10,000 views per month and is attracting sponsors. All of this from my consistent hard work and social networking!