Female Entrepreneur: Luciana Cousin
What motivated you to start your business?
FosterPrinciples is owned by Liz Foster and Luciana Cousin and this is our story.
We identified that there was a disconnect in the market between people helping people in their personal life and others helping people in business. We believe that if business and personal development are not aligned, then if one falters, the other will suffer as well. Our combined life experiences, skills, talents and abilities provide the structural components (human, useful and practical) that we can share with other women as they reinvent and align themselves in business and in their personal lives. We use these experiences to inspire the necessary evolution (or revolution) in thinking and approach our clients need in embracing and driving success.
We both agreed prior to starting FosterPrinciples that we would keep it real and that we would challenge the status quo and [occasionally] break the rules if the situation called for it.
Tell us about your business.
FosterPrinciples is all about women and big dreams. We empower, inspire and motivate women to achieve their working and personal dreams, goals and success and have fun doing it.
At FosterPrinciples we don’t just talk about change, we make change happen. We are passionate about what we do. We realise that for many women success in business and life can be fleeting or seemingly unachievable, so we created tools ‘The Power Principles©’ and processes ‘Fast Track to Success®’ both of which sit at the epicentre of business and personal development. The ‘Business in High Heels Club®’ supports, encourages and motivates women as they go through their incredible journey to success. We also created the 10 Success Principles® and they underpin every interaction and everything we do:
• Be passionate in what you do and what you believe
• Believe in yourself and in what you are doing.
• Listen to your gut
• Whatever you do should resonate with your values and principles.
• Give back to the community and society. Be it time, money or services
• Keep growing – the business and yourself
• Dream Big
• Re-invent yourself to suit your situation
• Surround yourself with people who care about you but are willing to tell you the truth
• Have fun every day
We believe very strongly in keeping it real and so we tell it like it is; we don’t believe in sugar coating or glossing over things and we don’t promise silver bullet solutions. We don’t pretend to know all the answers but we enjoy problem solving and we know that everything can be figured out. So nothing fazes us.
What is a day in the life of you like?
No two days seem to be the same. And it seems that some days are more manic than other. But running a business means that we need to be flexible and it is not 9 to 5 job, there is no switching off. As you can see, we are still working out the work life balance.
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
The biggest challenge is that we are in 2 different towns – Bath and Tunbridge Wells. If we are not out , visiting clients, doing workshops or events then we work form home and we use Skype.. a lot .We have been known to spend 3 hours at a time.
How did you overcome these challenges?
By the end of summer we are hoping to get a small office in London which will take care of this problem.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
Social media, word of mouth and networking. It is also about knowing and understanding your market and what the customers really want not what you think they need.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Make sure that your idea has legs. Even though it may be a brilliant idea, you must make sure that there is a market for your product or service. The more research you invest in upfront the less risk of failure you will have down the road.
Don’t give up; if you believe in yourself, there is always a way to overcome any challenge.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Both of us believe that there has to be an element of fun in life every day. We also don’t take ourselves too seriously.
‘Changing something. Changes everything’, is another principle we live by and in our experience it is the catalyst to getting out of difficult times and/or situations. Also the best part of having a business partner is that if one is discouraged the other becomes the cheer leader.
What’s your favourite quote?
Our favourite is the one we made up ourselves – ‘Success depends on our ability to reinvent ourselves within the context of those life changing moments’. FosterPrinciples
But we also love ‘Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door’. Coco Chanel
‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’ Marilyn Monroe
Who inspires you?
Women who have survived a crisis; people with a dream.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Integrity, Honesty, Accountability
Get in touch…