Alexa Carlin is a force to be reckoned with. She is a professional speaker, TV personality, and founder & CEO of Women Empower X (WEX), the premier community for women entrepreneurs. Alexa is also a newly published author of the book, “Adaptable: How to Lead with Curiosity, Pivot with Purpose, and Thrive through Change.” Her current venture, Women Empower X, has impacted over 200,000 women and is focused on helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and brands through WEX’s cutting edge courses, events, and publishing division, WEX Press. As if that weren’t enough, Alexa is an influencer who has worked with Fortune Global 500 brands to create captivating and relatable content and she’s been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Cheddar TV, FOX, ABC, CBS, TEDx and in Entrepreneur, Glamour Magazine, and Forbes among others.
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How did you get to where you are today?
When I was still in high school I launched my first business, designing jewelry for an L.A. based fashion company. That led to an amazing internship opportunity in NYC, which was the summer that spurred my first blog idea. Through these ventures I learned the power of social media and using your voice to get the word out. Then, when I was in college and growing my blog, I contracted a deadly bacteria that caused my body to go into septic shock. I was induced into a medical coma and given a one-percent chance to live. This near-death experience changed my life forever. And then a few short months later I was diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating autoimmune disease.
But these health challenges gave me a passion for sharing my story vulnerably and authentically. When no one would give me a stage to speak on, I built my own. Through speaking to different groups I saw there was a need for an organization bringing together more diverse women in business – different ages, backgrounds and industries. That’s where the idea for Women Empower X (WEX) came from. What started as an event gathering a thousand people grew into a worldwide movement and online platform focused on elevating diverse female voices in business.
What do you think has helped you the most with your success?
Being vulnerable and authentic! The more I shared not just what I did but WHO I was, the more I grew. People follow people and it’s important to always add who you are in what you do in order to rise above the noise. It was scary sharing about challenges I was still going through, like my autoimmune disease, but the more I shared the more I inspired others to share. I showed people that even though I’m still going through the hard times, I am also still pursuing my dreams. I don’t believe you have to wait to overcome anything in order to be the person you aspire to be. You can do that right now, regardless of the circumstances.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome in order to achieve your goals?
Definitely my health challenges. When you don’t have your health, it’s almost impossible to achieve anything let alone have the motivation to try. There were so many days I wanted to give up, and I had every excuse. I had lost all hope at one point along my journey and while this almost stopped me, I decided to exchange hope with curiosity (something I talk about in my book!). This curiosity about what may happen if I don’t give up, and if I wake up one more morning, or if I try one more thing is what led me to push through and rediscover the hope within.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud that I’m 100% self-made. I think it’s important for women to celebrate that! I started Women Empower X with just $2,000 in savings (which I earned from my past entrepreneurial ventures) and ran with the idea. Since then we’ve been able to thrive and grow through our cash flow alone.
What are three pieces of advice you could give to our readers?
- Focus on the things you DO have control over.
- Confidence and energy is imperative to success. Build the skill of confidence and share your authentic energy with the world.
- Just because the first plan, or second plan, or even third, fourth, or fifth plan didn’t work out, if you believe in your purpose, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Know that there are a million ways to reach success. Don’t ever give up on the first try.
You inspire us, but what/who are YOU inspired by?
So many things and people inspire me! Books, my old journals, traveling, movies, TV, and stories of others who have turned tragedy into triumph. I think it’s important to constantly seek out the things that inspire you and document them! Grant Cardone, Glennon Doyle, Brendan Burchard, and Jamie Kern Lima are currently inspiring me.
How do you reward yourself when you’ve reached a goal or a after a hard day of work?
Depends on the goal! For small goals I achieve I may run out of my office to treat myself to a cup of coffee from my favorite local cafe. For larger goals I’ll celebrate with friends and family over dinner or a night out. I think it’s super important to reward yourself for all the wins, both big and small.
What is one sassy saying or quote that inspires you? Why?
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” This is a quote from “A Course In Miracles.” I love this saying because it reminds me to not stress and worry about my dreams and to be more patient. I truly believe my dreams will come true and many times my impatience gets in the way of enjoying the journey to making them come true. This quote reminds me to tap back into my core beliefs around my dreams and know they are all happening at the right time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Commit to your purpose rather than the path. This is also something I share in my book. Many times we get so caught up in the path we are on that when something doesn’t work out or we feel like we failed, we perceive that our dreams have failed. But there are so many different ways to get to where you want to be, and if you tap into your purpose, you’ll always find a way that aligns with your values to turn your dreams into reality.
Holly Christy is a local small business owner, wife of 20+ years, mother to tweens, and an entrepreneur. She holds an MBA, and uses her talents for writing, event planning, and making connections to grow her own business as well as those of her clients.