“A supportive network that you trust and feel safe to discuss the highs and lows of your business with is important for your growth as a professional, as a business owner and to ensure the success of your business.”
Owner and founder of eCounselling Australia Lisa Amalfi-Chiera has lived with an invisible illness for over 20 years.
Originally trained as a Residential Youth Worker, and Drug and Alcohol Worker, Lisa moved her career to Counselling, Designing and Writing after she became a widowed Mum, in 2005.
As a Level 2 Member of the Australian Counselling Association Lisa’s goal is to ethically support her clients.
Clients who find themselves dealing with an issue where seeing a counsellor or life coach face to face is difficult (e.g.: rural life, invisible and/or other illness’s, working, single parent, shift work, etc.). This is a service Lisa wished was available at times when dealing with her own life experiences.
After being awarded a scholarship with Women in Leadership Australia for the Executive Ready program, Lisa embraced her training in life coaching and business coaching skills, to create eCounselling Australia, an online counselling coaching services that really just an internet connection away.”
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
I have never stopped for a moment to give a thought to who my favourite entrepreneur is.
However, there is a couple of solopreneur’s and a micropreneur’s I admire.
Solopreneur 1: Ildi Racz from Antplanners – I could not run my business without the product.
Solopreneur 2: Jessi Leigh Hair from Jessi Leigh Hair & Make Up Artistry. No one knows vintage and rockabilly hair and makeup like Jessi, she is my go-to makeup hair artist for formal events.
Micropreneur: Rob Wright owner of “eeny-meeny” cafe in Frankston, the food is amazing and staff really friendly.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
I enjoy the flexibility to be both innovative and creative within my own business.
What 3 pieces of advice do you wish you’d been given when you started?
1. Managing Your Time Well With Selfishness And Disciplined When Working From Home.
It’s easy to wake up in the morning roll out of bed, stay in your PJ’s and think “I have to work on “blah blah today” but first I will:
– journal, enjoy a coffee, go for a walk
– wash the floors and hang out the washing
– food prep for the next week
– take care of this “item” for your partner, kids, family or friends
– have lunch and finish watching last nights episode of Master Chef
Only to discover that its 3 pm and you have not sat at your desk to work.
It’s really important that if you say your working today from 10 till 2 and that is what you do. Be disciplined, and work during the work time you planned. Be selfish with your work time and teach loved ones that no they can not interrupt you when you are working.
Be mindful this is not an easy skill to learn or implement but once it’s an ingrained habit to work during this set times you will be glad you made the effort.
2. Find A Supportive Network That You Trust And Feel Safe With
A supportive network that you trust and feel safe to discuss the highs and lows of your business with is important for your growth as a professional, as a business owner and to ensure the success of your business.
I found starting my business from home was exciting, challenging and at times felt really lonely and isolating. Since joining HerBusiness I now have a network to bounce idea’s off, chat with, reach out to, learn from and with. It has been a very wise investment, for me as a woman and for my business eCounselling Australia.
3. Don’t Let A Chronic Invisible Illness Stop You
Being diagnosed with any illness can be distressing. There will a period of time where you have to mentally, emotionally, socially and physically adjust to the new normal in your life. There will be more lows than highs for a while, and its a crappy and tough position to find your self in. Especially if you have others depending on you.
It’s ok to give yourself time to get used to all the changes you have to make. Just because life has changed does not mean your dreams have to. Yes, you may have to adjust, some a little bit, other a lot but you should not let your illness stop you from doing anything you want with your life. It may take longer to get where you want to be but remember and I quote Bon Jovi “When you cant do what you do … you do what you can.” Meaning even doing a little bit can go along way to achieving your dreams.
What advice would YOU give someone thinking about starting a business?
There are two pieces of advice I would give someone thinking about starting a business.
The first is to do it for the right reasons. Do it because its:
- A way to work from home if that is what you want
- A way to bring in extra money for the family
- when you talk about to family and friends you feel joy and your family and friends can see the twinkle and sparkles in your eyes
Whatever the reason or reasons you want to start a business do it for the right ones.
The second “Don’t bet the farm.” My husband grew up on a farm in country Victoria which is who I learnt the saying “Don’t bet the farm” from.
Starting a business should not require you to go into a lot of debt. If it is going to cost you a lot of money upfront then maybe before you make a choice that could see you lose your home, stop and think things. Get the financial and legal advice you need to ensure where you and or your family live is protected and safe before signing anything.
What skills and knowledge areas would you recommend those starting out in business get acquainted with quickly?.
When starting a business the area’s you should be acquainted with quickly are:
What does your IDEAL business look like? Even if you’re not there yet.
When eCounselling Australia starts to receive word of mouth referrals and can afford to donate 10% of its annual income to charity, that’s when I know I am starting to reach my idea of what an Ideal business looks like for me.
I also hope that people will enjoy the materials and books that I create and write and rave about them to family and friends.
What problem does being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solve for you and your business? And, how?
The main issue being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solves for me and eCounselling Australia is I can reach out and ask for help from like-minded members.
Secondly, The Roundtable and Round-Up force me to be accountable because I am the queen of procrastination when I choose to be.
And, sometimes I find working from home as a solopreneur gets lonely. It’s lovely to reach out to one of your contacts and organise a time for a cuppa with a Zoom (especially during COVID-19 Lockdowns). It’s great to know if I get stuck the HerBusiness Network is just a Facebook message away, there is so much knowledge, that someone will be able to assist and help with my question.