[email protected] Interview
Interview with Angela Bryant
“Firstly I would say to go for it! Secondly, I would say- as mentioned before – it’s never to late to come off the path that is expected of you and follow your true purpose. Anyone thinking of founding a business should be asking themselves; what is their vision for what they want to create in the world.” – Angela Bryant
Today we feature Angela Bryant, the founder at Angel Rated. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
My name is Angela Bryant, and I am the founder of Angel Rated, an independent directory and user review site focused on the products and services most frequently used by female online business owners; and is also the co-founder of Cowork Crowd, coworkcrowd.com, an online coworking and accountability community for women in business.
I am also a podcast host, certified health coach, and travel blogger. When I’m not travelling or working, I’m wild swimming in the Thames, singing with my choir, and brain-training with cryptic crosswords and logic puzzles.
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
After studying for a degree in Maths at the University of Southampton and my Master’s in Operational Research, (which is basically maths for business), I entered the corporate world.
I worked for well-known companies including British Airways and Vodafone, yet after a number of years, I realised that I had allowed my personal ethics, morals, and beliefs to slip down my priority list. I found a role leading a sustainability consultancy, then moved on to run a climate change charity; pivoting to work with organisations that were making a change in the world and which were closer to my heart.
However, in 2012 I suffered from burnout and quickly realised that I was working long hours and putting everything into my work in order to make someone else’s dream come true.
I decided that in order to create the impact that I wanted, I needed to make a change for myself and so I left the corporate world to go traveling and refocus on my goals. I established several businesses, qualified as a health coach, and created the UK Health Coaches Association, but still felt I hadn’t found my calling.
In 2017, after spending my time researching and creating different online businesses, I had a realisation about where my focus should be placed, and that started the next step of my career.
Once I had spotted that there was a lack of unedited and unbiased reviews relating to the digital tools and online courses that I was using to build my businesses, I realised there was a gap in the market, and all of a sudden the seeds were planted. These seeds grew into what is now known as Angel Rated, an independent review site for online business owners, that came to fruition in 2019.
One of my goals is to continue helping other female entrepreneurs to embrace their love for what they are doing and to make a difference.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
Angel Rated is an independent directory and user review site focused on the products and services most frequently used by female online business owners. Angel Rated, the first website of its kind, helps female online entrepreneurs find the perfect tool, course, or person for the next stage of their growth, in a time-efficient and informed manner.
The platform also provides increased visibility and independent reviews for the businesses listed and offers reviewers the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of the different products and services.
Angel Rated offers safety and security to the women who use the site, giving them the confidence that the product or service they are choosing is well-reviewed, that others have had genuine success with it, and that their investment is well placed. It gives the product and service owners accountability for those reviews and visibility to their target audiences.
Though I am currently UK-based, the site itself is global with no geographical limitations as to who it can help.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
My first big ‘aha moment’ was in realising there was a need for this type of business. The second came throughout COVID, when I realised that my progress and that of Angel Rated could be magnified by working with others. I joined an informal peer accountability group, and every so often we would have a virtual coworking session, which was transformational. It really helped with loneliness, structure, accountability, procrastination and so much more. (That has since become another business, Cowork Crowd, but that is perhaps another interview!)
Angel Rated, the first website of its kind, helps female online entrepreneurs find the perfect tool, course or person for the next stage of their growth, in a time-efficient and informed manner. The platform also provides increased visibility and independent reviews for the businesses listed, and offers reviewers the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of the different products and services. As stated before, the first of its kind.
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
At the start of this year I had been a ‘solopreneur’ for 12 years, and the year began like any other year – with the added fact that we were all still reeling from the impact of COVID and lockdown. Following my experience with the peer accountability group, I really took on board the lesson that you don’t have to do it alone.
It was in July 2021 that I co-founded another business, Cowork Crowd with a fellow entrepreneur, to offer other businesswomen that same support. This was the first time I’d had a business partner and I have learned so much from the experience.
There is an African proverb ‘if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together and that by far has been my greatest learning of the past year.
Having a business partner to share pressures and responsibilities, and to check in with every day, it has meant that business growth looks totally different to that of a solopreneur. My partner has a completely different set of skills to me, and it has been such a lesson in how sharing the workload can increase progress, while reducing stress.
Definitely the knowledge that I can progress better when I’m not alone in my journey, the idea that working with someone else and collaborating is beneficial to business growth. I would also say recognising the importance of self-knowledge ties into this – knowing myself well enough to understand my strengths and weaknesses and what I love to do, versus what I do not love and should be willing to seek support with.
One big thing for me is that I wish I had known or realised that by waiting for perfection, I will limit my progress. I was waiting to make things perfect before I took action, which resulted in no action taking. So learning that messy progress is better than perfection was a really important learning for me.
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Based on my journey, I would say that it’s never too late – you can totally change your life in your forties (or later!) and you don’t need to follow the path that is expected of you. If the corporate world isn’t for you, that’s ok. If you want something different from the 9-5, that’s ok too. Make your life and your job work for you and what’s important to you. And don’t ever stop searching for your true purpose in life! I would also say that success takes hard work and it’s important not to get sucked into all the flashy stories online about ‘overnight’ success – there is no such thing!
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
Actually this is so hard to answer as this is what Angel Rated is all about!!! I love tools and apps, and Angel Rated has 100’s listed, which I use loads of so it’s not easy to pick. That being said, currently, I am loving Airtable.
It is fantastic for pulling information together and collecting it in the same place. I adore Canva – I am sure I’m not alone there! – for graphic design, social media post creation and scheduling, video, and more. I also love BuzzSprout. This is the platform I use for my podcast and I couldn’t be without it. Can I give a mention to ConvertKit as well, I use it for my e-marketing and it’s fantastic.
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
Definitely the knowledge that I can progress better when I’m not alone in my journey, the idea that working with someone else and collaborating is beneficial to business growth.
I would also say recognising the importance of self-knowledge ties into this – knowing myself well enough to understand my strengths and weaknesses and what I love to do, versus what I do not love and should be willing to seek support with.
One big thing for me is that I wish I had known or realised that by waiting for perfection, I will limit my progress. I was waiting to make things perfect before I took action, which resulted in no action-taking. So learning that messy progress is better than perfection was a really important learning for me.
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
I recently won an award for ‘Product Creator of the Year’, which was a very proud moment. Not because I am chasing awards and accolades, but that award represents the positive impact that Angel Rated has had within the industry.
As my business is women-focused I believe that we have taken another step towards gender equality. There are still fewer female entrepreneurs than male, and it isn’t seen as a valid career choice – for instance, it’s not suggested in schools – so the more we can do to support and encourage women into starting their own successful businesses the better – and that is something Angel Rated help with.
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
There is one very important personal goal for me; each year I donate a percentage of income to charities chosen by Angel Rated’s reviewers, and that will continue. However longer-term I plan to establish a foundation to fund research into alternative approaches to everything from energy to health.
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Firstly I would say to go for it! Secondly, I would say- as mentioned before – it’s never to late to come off the path that is expected of you and follow your true purpose. Anyone thinking of founding a business should be asking themselves; what is their vision for what they want to create in the world, and how can they bring their unique combination of skills, passions, and experience together in their business to bring that vision to life?
That way they always have a bigger picture that is pulling them forwards, and they are building a business based on who they are rather than trying to fit into a mould or be someone that they are not. Figuring out how to have fun along the way is also super important.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Angel Rated”
To learn more about Angel Rated Visit www.angelrated.com
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