For so long I thought that being open and honest and emotional meant I was weak. But I have realised that being strong enough to share your issues and show your vulnerability is actually really brave!
Alli Grant is an entrepreneur, author, wine producer , coach and motivational speaker who created Alli & Co which she describes as a “wacky, supportive, inspiring and entertaining world” that helps women be OK with their issues. She shares her own stories of wins and losses, pain and joy, tears and laughter, and everything in between to loyal readers who hang on in her every word. And what a breath of fresh air.
Alli joins WOMAN.com.au as our resident Agony Aunt. Hit her up about your issues.
I’d be mad not to be! I created Alli & Co to connect women with the stuff they need, and each other, to help solve their “issues”. I’m all about inspiring, supporting and entertaining women, and woman.com.au mirrors everything we stand for in the world of Alli & Co. We’re the perfect fit, like triple cream brie and crusty white bread. Yum!
You’d better make yourself a cup of tea and settle in! Actually, grab a glass of wine. I spent the first 15 years of my career in marketing, PR and the media working for big brands. I spent my days making brands like McDonald’s, Emirates Airlines, Bunnings, Adidas and Suncorp look good. But I had a bit of a breakdown (or a breakthrough!), as you do. I’d been running a big PR agency and the pressure was on, plus my first marriage had broken down. So I packed my bags and headed for the Sunshine Coast – with my tap dancing toy boy pilot-in-training. Incidentally, we are now happily married and have a four-year-old together. Go figure! Anyway, ran away to the Coast to regroup, and 12 months later I found myself ready to step out on my own. It was time to start my own business! I started doing what I was good at – PR and marketing. I got me some clients, and life was good. Then a friend asked me if I knew anyone who might like to take on the editorial for her new magazine. My hand went straight up, and for five years I worked with Genine on Profile Magazine – and loved it! I got to share the real, raw and honest stories of so many amazing women. Clearly, we wanted more authenticity and vulnerability. Got me thinking …
So, off the back of this, the world of Alli & Genine was born. We wanted to encourage women to be okay with their issues – because we all have them. To gain the trust of our community, we knew we had to go first – so we shared our issues via our blog, book, radio show and public speaking. We became the “Chicks with Issues” and enjoyed considerable success, while still juggling our other businesses and priorities. Our goal was to encourage women to feel less alone and more normal, and give them a laugh in the process.
But something unexpected happened back in August 2013. Genine announced that she was moving interstate and wanted to leave the business. You could have blown me down with a feather. All of a sudden I found myself with a brand I couldn’t use, and a gaggle of roles I could no longer fulfil. For a brief while I fell in a heap, but then I realised that I had to take my own advice. I had to get my big girl’s panties on and get on with life!
So that’s what I did. I rebranded as Alli & Co, so I could be all about the company I keep. I rock at supporting women, at making them laugh, at encouraging them to be more okay with themselves, and each other, but I can’t fix all their issues. So, I have brought together the most amazing gaggle of women – all experts in their own fields, from mindset, money, relationships and self esteem, to small business issues like social media, cash flow, marketing and client attraction. We have just launched The Swagger Project – my life’s work. I have been through so much in my life, so many issues, and I embrace my role as The Issues Chick. I want to help women just like me.
Today I wear a lot of hats. I’m a public speaker, a blogger, an author / writer, a small business coach. I’m also a wife, and mum to Hudson (and the Max the kitten and Henry the Cavoodle), with baby number two finally on the way. I have a gaggle of businesses: Alli & Co, The Swagger Project, The Little Shoe Box and Big Girl’s Panties Wines (supporting women). I’m really proud of what I have achieved, and what I have overcome, but really, I’m just at the beginning of this Alli & Co journey. Bring it!
The biggest lesson I have learnt is that being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. For so long I thought that being open and honest and emotional meant I was weak. But I have realised that being strong enough to share your issues and show your vulnerability is actually really brave! Yay me! I’m finally proud of who I am and the gift I share with the world. The other thing I have learnt is that fortune favours the brave – feel the fear and doing it anyway.