Elizabeth Joy, founder and owner of the website Conscious Life & Style, offers good advice for those who are new to or planning to launch their own digital business. When Elizabeth started her blog, which morphed into a robust website, the mission of her business was to encourage others to live a more conscious lifestyle while also advocating for more sustainable and ethical practices in the fashion industry.

At the beginning of her business, Elizabeth admits to being tied to her computer “24/7”. But as her business grew, she learned to design her own schedule to find fulfillment outside of work too. For example, she batches tasks hires support for areas of her business that she is least suited to do, and is consistently looking for efficiencies or where unnecessary tasks can be eliminated completely. Most days Elizabeth logs off by 5 pm or earlier to enjoy spending time with her husband, reading books, cooking healthy meals, and being outside whenever possible. Elizabeth’s balance of work and lifestyle has helped her cultivate a healthy, happy, and wealthy life. Enjoy the interview!

Meet Elizabeth Joy!

Wild Web Women Interview with Elizabeth Joy of Conscious Life & Style What inspired you to launch a web-based business? I launched my Conscious Life & Style website (actually, it was really just a blog at the time) in 2015 before I even had a business idea! I started a blog to showcase my writing abilities and knowledge about sustainable fashion for an internship at a fair trade fashion brand. Slowly, I saw that I could earn an income from this blog, though, and slowly grew the platform and its revenue, eventually turning it into an actual digital media business.

What do you love most about having your own business? There is a lot that I could say here, but probably the ability to do something I am passionate about and that I know is making a real difference is at the top of that list!

I enjoy content creation, writing and researching, podcasting and interviewing people, strategizing about the business, and working with an amazing team of women. And on top of it all, the business is centered around the topics I care most deeply about – sustainability and ethical fashion.

What is the most challenging thing about running a business? For me, the most challenging part has been figuring out the legal, financial, and accounting-related stuff. I don’t enjoy it, it’s confusing, and getting support in any of these areas is often quite expensive.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Going full-time in my business was a really exciting accomplishment for me. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to make my full-time income from a website or through brand partnerships and affiliate marketing. So many people (even other online entrepreneurs!) expressed doubts that a blog could really turn into a business, but I was so passionate about the possibility and driven to make it a reality — so I worked for several years to try and make it a reality.

What are some professional risks you’ve taken that led to positive outcomes? Starting my podcast, the Conscious Style Podcast, was terrifying! I was so scared of putting my voice out there, reaching out to guests, and interviewing people I had looked up to.

But I am happy to say that a year later, the podcast is doing really well, I’m feeling much more comfortable with podcasting, and it’s one of my favorite aspects of my business!

Where’s your favorite place to get work done? I find my flow best when I can sit on my balcony and work outside. If that’s not feasible (which to be honest is most of the year in Chicago!), then I enjoy working at a coffee shop that isn’t too loud or busy.

And on the cases that it happens, it’s really cool working at coffee shops while traveling — it really makes me feel like a digital nomad and I have a new appreciation for the fact that I can do my work from wherever I am in the world!

Name three web tools you can’t live without.

  • Asana: the project management system my team and I use helps us keep track of everything!
  • Google Workspace tools: Between Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Drive, I use these tools every work day.. maybe even every hour!
  • Later: I love this social media scheduling tool.

Do you have any professional role models? If so, who? Amy Porterfield is such an online entrepreneur icon! And I love how she is super honest about her mental health journey, workaholism, and finding balance.

She also recently moved her team to a 4-day work week, which I think is so cool! So many entrepreneurs get obsessed with the hustle and make you feel like you have to work ALL of the time to be successful, so it’s refreshing to see someone disprove that by example.

What is the one book you would recommend other female entrepreneurs read? In The Flo by Alisa Vitti was a transformative book for me both personally and professionally. It has helped me understand how my cycle impacts my energy levels throughout the month and the type of work that energizes me (versus drains me) at particular times. Reading that book also helped me start to see that it is more than OK to listen to my body and rest when needed, rather than push through.

This book (and similar resources about the cycle I’ve since found) have made me more self-compassionate, because I acknowledge that it’s natural to have ebbs and flows of motivation and energy. I think it is important to break the myth that we have to be “on” all the time or that being a successful entrepreneur means hustling all of the time. It’s simply not sustainable in the long term.

Do you have favorite podcasts? My favorite entrepreneurship podcasts are Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield and Mindful Productivity with Sara Steckler.

I also found She Did It Her Way an invaluable podcast as I was beginning my journey into a side hustle and starting my own business! It was so inspiring and gave me tons of actionable tips that I implemented in order to “take the leap”. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to start my own business without that podcast.

Are you part of any mastermind or networking groups? If so, which ones? I am part of a fashion advocacy group called Remake that is doing absolutely incredible work in protecting garment workers and pushing the fashion industry to become more just and sustainable.

Wild Web Women Interview with Elizabeth Joy, founder of Conscious Life & Style What does your typical day look like? I wake up around 6:45 am, make breakfast, enjoy a hot tea, and have a calm morning with my husband before he leaves for work.

I’ll start work around 7:45-8 am, beginning with checking in on Asana and email and responding to any necessary emails or notifications. Around 9 I’ll dive into my work! I try to batch my work, so I take care of different tasks each day. Monday is my Admin Day, Tuesday is my Social Media Day, Wednesday is my Podcast Day, Thursday is my Newsletter/Website Writing Day, and Friday is for any leftover miscellaneous tasks that didn’t get done during the week. I try to end early on Fridays when I can.

I’ll also take an hour break for lunch, which helps me stay productive in the afternoons.

I try to finish work around 4:30 pm and then do a workout before going on a walk outside (when the weather permits!) and cook dinner with my husband. This leaves a couple of hours for relaxation like reading books, catching up with loved ones, or watching a good show.

How do you unplug from work? It probably sounds a bit cliché but I unplug best by getting outside and going on walks! There’s truly nothing better to clear my mind than fresh air and being in nature.

In the evenings I love to read. I recently moved and finally joined my local library a few months ago which has been a game-changer. I used to read books digitally or get audiobooks because I didn’t want all the clutter of physical books, but by borrowing them, I can read physical books which helps me calm down so much better.

What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen? Set boundaries and stick to them: this is something much easier said than done of course, but some boundaries might be taking the weekends off of social media or not looking at email/working before a certain time in the morning and/or after a certain time in the evening.

I think that it’s also important to build a life that you’re excited to get to. When you’re building a business, it’s easy for that to take over your life because you love it so much and are so invested in its success that maybe “regular life” feels not as exciting in a sense. (At least I experienced this for a while on my journey!) But I think it’s important to realize that you can have a successful business AND a life that is fun and meaningful too. Take time to develop hobbies, nurture relationships with family and friends, and to get moving and get outside in some capacity.

What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself? This might sound strange, but daily solitude is so important for me as an introvert. It’s something Dr. Chaterjee talks about on his wellness podcast and how moments of solitude are an accessible way for us all to care a bit more for our mental health, see life with a better perspective, and stay calm even as life throws us unexpected twists and turns.

Solitude means no podcasts, no phones, no scrolling social media… just you with yourself in the quiet so you can truly process your thoughts and decompress.

What is a quote you live by? This is a quote I am trying to live by! “Nothing in nature hurries, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu.

This is a much-needed reminder for me to stay patient through my journey — in life and business — instead of rushing to achieve the next goalpost. This quote reminds me that it will all work out, and there’s no need to stress or rush.

What investments have most helped your business grow? Undoubtedly, all of the best investments I’ve made are in my team — in hiring people to grow the mission of Conscious Life & Style. They bring new ideas, accomplish elements of the business much better than I ever could, and they free up my time to focus on the big picture.

Business-wise, where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see Conscious Life & Style growing to become a leading multi-media business in my industry, with a website that sees hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. Plus, our podcast would continue to grow and we would expand into docu-series video content and create community.

I also own Conscious Fashion Collective – a second platform that I purchased later and now manage. I see it becoming the foremost community in the sustainable fashion space — a hub for professionals that are seeking to work in the space, brands and businesses that want to be seen, and everyday citizens that want to learn about slow fashion and find resources to support them. I hope we can even develop an app and offline IRL local communities as well.

What advice would you give your younger self? I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to trust herself more and listen to her intuition instead of letting other people’s ideas of “success” get in the way. I wasted so much time worrying about what other people would think about me starting my own business and that definitely held me back for a while.

What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business? It is okay to grow slow! You don’t need to keep up with anybody else or feel like you have to hit certain growth numbers to be “successful”. I used to feel discouraged that I wasn’t growing as quickly as some of my peers (my traffic, my social media followers, my revenue, etc.) but now I am quite grateful that my business grew slowly. I could be really intentional about every person I hired and every business decision I made.

Fast growth is glamorized, but I have heard a fair share of people talk about how exponential growth has been totally overwhelming for them or caused them to burn out. High growth numbers may look like “success” on the outside, but it’s important to be honest with yourself if you think that level of growth would actually be sustainable in the long-run for you — or the business.

Learn more about Elizabeth’s business by visiting https://www.consciouslifeandstyle.com and following her on Instagram, Pinterest, and tuning into her Conscious Style Podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *