Raspberry Interviews: Sue Muller
Sue Muller is a life and business coach, a secret superhero advocate + founder of Smile Chickie - an online community celebrating the many real life, amazing, positive, no-bullshit chicks who are out there quietly getting on with living the best lives they can.
Lover of life, happiness maximizer, magnificent work in progress, proudly imperfect.
She is on a mission to motivate and inspire chicks everywhere to discover and honour their own super powers. To learn and grow and fly… to love the be-jesus out of themselves and their lives.
Let’s jump right in. Sue, what is your purpose?
To squeeze every inch of wonder, joy and adventure out of this glorious life as I can, and to inspire others to do the same.
I am passionate about women owning their own unique magic, focusing on and celebrating their strengths.
To find as many ways as possible as a business and a person to support and inspire women to rediscover how special, how extraordinary they are… to encourage them to get out there and live life on their terms instead of everybody else’s. Life’s too short and precious to waste on anything else.
How did you come to be where you are right now? And what does your current business/work model look like?
I came to be where I am right now by trusting my gut, listening to my heart and working hard… and by keeping going, even when I am terrified.
I have worn many personal and professional hats over the years.
I’ve been a nurse, a mental health advocate, lived overseas, survived motherhood (over 22 years so far, and I’m pretty sure it never ends). I co-founded and ran a confectionery business for 10 years (which means that I also have chocolatier and coffee roasting hats hiding somewhere at the back of my wardrobe).
I then took the lessons that I learned from all of those adventures, and built something of my very own.
The online community beginning of Smile Chickie was born almost 5 years ago, with a FB page, a website and a little self-published book.
I suppose it began as my own little personal crusade to be the change I wanted to see in the world.
It coincided with a time in my life when I had become disenchanted and bored with toxic high school tactics in some of the ‘grown ups’ around me, and was also supporting my teenage daughters who were living through real life high school bitchy girls stuff too.
I had made a decision to walk away from that sort of stuff and I wanted to show them that they could make that choice too.
Living a life you love and choosing to surround yourself with positive, likeminded souls who are interested in supporting and encouraging each other instead of tearing each other down is something that is so important to me.
The Smile Chickie online community was and still is about celebrating the many real life, amazing, positive, no-bullshit chicks who are out there quietly getting on with living the best lives they can. That is the absolute foundation of my business, and everything I have continued to build has flowed on from there.
My current business model has grown into is a magical mixture of this steadily growing tribe, 1:1 life and business coaching, retail products (my secret superhero ring), and my online private community (Secret Chickies Business). I am also honoured to work as a trainer at Beautiful You Coaching Academy (BYCA).
It has really grown into something special.
Can you tell us your big, beautiful vision? What are you creating?
Ah my big beautiful vision… I love that!
I would say that my big beautiful vision is to continue to be a secret superhero advocate.
To continue to find ways to connect with and add value to the lives of women who want more. Who are aching to learn to live life on their terms without apology or explanation; to invest in themselves, and to honour their own inner superhero, reclaim their sparkle, and start moving steadily towards living the life they really want.
Towards the stuff that really matters.
My intention is to keep walking in that direction myself, to grow my business and be open to opportunities to increase the ways that I can reach as many likeminded souls as I can. To keep making a living doing what I love and hopefully inspire others, giving them the courage to do the same
Talk us through what typical day (or week!) in your world might look like.
My weeks and days consist of a fun mix of dealing with the different components of my growing business.
Though I am mainly based in Sydney these days, I’m a bit of a gypsy at heart, and as such I have deliberately made myself location independent so that I can do this work that I love from anywhere.
Where ever I am, most days I can generally be found up early, checking in with and touching base with the Smile Chickie online community, my gorgeous private community ‘Secret Chickies Business’, and also with the Beautiful You Trainee coaches.
Then depending on the day, I work with my 1:1 clients, tend to secret superhero ring orders, writing blog posts, newsletters… that’s all of the magical fun stuff.
Then there is the rest, which is the slog of the back end admin work, the marketing, sales, housekeeping work.
One thing that I think that is so important to factor in when you’re working for yourself to make sure that you schedule in regular time where you’re not just working on your own. I find that connection and peer support really sparks my creativity, and sense of connection. You can miss that kind of stuff when you work for yourself.
A great example is when I am in Sydney, I try to do a regular Monday morning breakfast ‘power session’ with my friend and fellow coach Katherine MacKenzie Smith. It sets the tone and energy for a brand new shiny week, gets us focused and sends us bounding off and overflowing with purpose and energy.
Down time, and the work vs. life balance deal. How does this vibe with you? How do you make it work?
Work vs life balance deal is uber important to me. I make it work by having a very specific list of self-care non-negotiables in my daily life, and being mindful of that happening.
I wore a lot of hats for a lot of years, and had an advanced degree in people pleasing. I know from experience how absolutely unsustainable, that is and how vital it is to set loving boundaries and maintain a balance. Having suffered with depression many years ago, has also led to me being extremely protective, and mindful of my own mental health.
Two of my big non–negotiables are:
My basic self-care routine. Not fancy, expensive self-care. Real basics, such as daily fresh air, sunshine, big smiles, laughter. Taking regular breaks, putting good fresh food into my body and moving it every day. Practicing daily gratitude. I do enjoy the odd spot of meditation and I’ve even learned to cleanse my chakras a bit lately… not sure if I’m doing it exactly right… but its right for me and that’s what’s important.
Weekends are weekends. Wherever possible, I take weekends off and fill them with fresh air and face-to-face time with the people that I love. Life is short, precious and a great big adventure. My business is a part of that adventure, but not its entirety.
What has been your most rewarding project to date, and why?
This year has been such an amazing adventure in life and in business for me… with so many highlights and radical moments.
If I had to choose one, it would be the launch and of my secret superhero rings.
I love sending out those precious little packages into the world to make magic.
I cannot even begin to explain how it feels to see other amazing women out there rocking their own lives and businesses, gaining strength, motivation, and inspiration from wearing their rings. To see them proudly owning their magnificence.
I love hearing the stories of how they are making a difference to every day people’s lives.
It has been an absolute highlight of my year.
What three key lessons have you learnt, which continue to carry you forward?
That long term, sustainable success is about making small daily choices in the direction of your vision… It’s a marathon, not a sprint. To ignore the “I can show you how to make 6-figures in 6 minutes” sales pitches. To stay focused and keep moving forward. It’s totally cool to feel fear, it’s supposed to be a scary rollercoaster of a ride… I just don’t make those choices based on that fear. I choose to make them on facts instead.
Don’t get caught up in what everybody else is doing… you will drive yourself crazy and lose momentum. My focus stays firmly on my own business and what I need to get done.
To always be loudly, proudly, unapologetically myself. Give my business my own unique flavor. The world needs my voice, my magic, not a copy of someone else’s.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Build yourself a support network of likeminded souls who are just starting out too. These are the people that you can share your hopes, your dreams, celebrations, peaks and troughs with in a way that our usual support systems and loved ones, while they love us, may not be able to. This network will get you, get what you are going through. You can build each other up and help spread each other’s messages to the world. Collaborate and grow together. It turbo boosts your results, and it makes the adventure that is this journey so much more fun.
Please tell us your favourite:
- Book: “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown… I am such a shameless Brene fan girl.
- Website: Do you know what? At the moment I’m having a love affair with my own. Because I’ve only just swapped to over to Wordpress, and worked out how to do most of it myself… its like I’ve bought a house and I’m loving adding my own little touches and being in control.
- Early morning activity: My all time favourite early morning activity would be getting up early and starting my day with a walk on a beach at sunrise. The reality of my every day early morning walks when I am not at the beach looks more like: Hit snooze twice, be dragged complaining out of bed for a walk and after 5 minutes of the beautiful new day, turn all Pollyanna, claim it was all my idea and be full of the joy and sunshine. No matter which way it started or where I got to wander, starting the day out there in nature and the fresh air, sets the tone and is the perfect start to the day for me.
- Late night activity: Would be snuggled up in my jarmies under a great big doona with a bottle of wine, my two gorgeous daughters and a chick flick, snort laughing together.
- Gourmet snack: Lately it’s Loving Earth Mandarin chocolate…. It’s the chocolatier coming out in me… I love love love Loving Earth chocolate.
Thanks so much Sue! Hop over to www.smilechickie.com to find out more.