Ladies, I have been so excited to bring you this feature of one iconic, powerhouse woman that has completely taken the world by storm, broken through barriers, and created a life for herself that she is completely obsessed with.
Let’s welcome Cara Alwill. A New York City-based entrepreneur who inspires thousands of women around the world to not only live their best lives but also believe in themselves, their abilities, and their dreams. Cara left her corporate career to pursue her passions and dreams and with tons of hard-working, dedication, and passion, she has created that life.
I always joke around and say Cara is my secret mentor because she has become my secret mentor. Her motivation, drive, and eagerness to inspire women around the world has inspired me and continues to inspire me every day.
Cara shows women around the world that with hard work, belief in yourself, and a burning desire to have the life of your dreams, anything is possible. The only person standing in your way is you, and now is the time to get out of your own way, and make it happen for yourself. I hope you are ready for this incredible interview because it is incredible. When I read through it, I literally got chills down my spine. Get ready to be inspired.
What inspired you to start The Champagne Diet?
The Champagne Diet was literally inspired by a glass of champagne. It was 2008, and I was working in my full-time job in digital advertising at MTV. My job looked great “on paper” and I was really good at what I was doing, but I was unfulfilled. I desperately wanted a change. I wanted to reach my creative potential and do something more meaningful than serving ads on the internet. I was overworked, so I was treating my body like garbage. Late nights, take-out at my desk, and stress had caused me to skip my workouts and put on weight. I felt exhausted. I decided to begin my transformation from the inside out and pick up a healthier routine. During an afternoon conversation with my co-worker, I made a commitment to start eating a whole food, mainly plant-based diet upon her recommendation. My burning question was, “Can I still enjoy a cocktail?” Her reply was simple: “Of course, but you can only drink champagne.” As it turns out, a glass of champagne has under 100 calories, and in her words, “it’s the sexiest drink around.”
That very day, I embarked on my “Champagne Diet” as I called it, and had my first glass of bubbly. I immediately felt different holding that beautiful flute of champagne in my hands. The whole experience made me feel more elevated, glamorous, and worthy. Champagne quickly became a metaphor for life. We should be having those luxurious moments every day! We should be finding a reason to celebrate, to toast ourselves, and to upgrade our lives. I started a blog, which I called “The Champagne Diet” to chronicle my own personal transformation.
12 years later, that blog is now a thriving brand that includes 9 bestselling books, a podcast with nearly 7 million listeners, a loyal and engaged social media following, and a coaching and consulting business where I help other female entrepreneurs create the brand of their dreams.
How has your blog and business shaped your present self?
Creating my brand and building my business has been the biggest lesson in the personal growth of my life. I’ve learned about my own resilience, how I respond to failures or mistakes, and how to believe in myself even when I’m being rejected or ridiculed. I’ve learned to have a thick skin and realize that nobody needs to see or understand my vision but, me.
As an author of 9 Bestselling books, what advice would you give to a woman wanting to self-publish?
First and foremost, do your research. Check out other books in your industry, find out what people are responding to. Then, find the void in the marketplace and fill it with your own unique voice. For example, when I self-published my very first book, Sparkle, in 2012, I didn’t see any personal development books that were written from a funny, light-hearted, “chick lit” style. I wanted my book to be inspirational, but I wanted my readers to laugh and relate to me. I’m a girl’s girl, and I wanted my book to reflect that. The last thing I wanted was to sound preachy or prescriptive, which is a lot of what I saw in the market.
Whenever I write my books, I focus on a specific theme that I’m passionate about. I “test drive” my audience with small pieces of content like a podcast episode or Instagram post to gauge their interest in that topic. I take notes, save posts, and pull quotes out that get a lot of engagement. I make sure I’m aligning my passion with a need from my audience.
Then, once you know your book idea, start doing your research on the process. I use KDP, which is the self-publishing platform owned by Amazon. It’s a print-on-demand platform that costs nothing to use. I highly recommend finding a professional editor, cover, and interior designer to make your book look as professional as possible. Sites like Fiverr are great for finding people to help you bring your book to life.
What prompted you to leave your corporate career and pursue your dream life?
I knew I was wasting my potential by staying at my day job. I was so happy and truly on fire when I was writing and working with my coaching clients, and my corporate career held me back from that. There’s only so much you can accomplish with a side hustle. I planned a very strategic exit; building my brand and producing enough consistent monthly income before I took the leap. Leaving for me was a little bit of faith and a lot of hard work.
What prompted you to start the Style Your Mind Academy?
I love working with private clients, but the cost can be prohibitive for many women. I wanted to create a space where nearly everyone could experience personal development that goes deeper than a book or a podcast but was also affordable. I also know I’m excellent at building communities, so creating a space for hundreds of women to connect was important to me.
Each month has a specific theme and members get a dedicated workbook for that month, I host a Zoom group coaching call every other week, as well as a monthly Zoom “girls night in” where members get direct access to me. I was intent on pricing it so that most women could afford it and I could also scale. For less than $1 a day, you’re getting an incredible value. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments to date!
Where do you find the inspiration behind all your content, podcasts, and books?
I’ve become very self-aware throughout the years and I use every life experience as a teaching moment. I’m constantly looking for a deeper meaning to things — the lesson in everything. I take what I’ve learned, tell stories, and give women actionable tools they can use to apply those lessons to their own lives.
What advice would you give to a woman trying to build a career and establish herself?
Be consistent and be patient. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else. Like I wrote in my book Girl Code, we all have a unique path to walk in this life. When we compare, we lose. Happiness truly is found in the process.
What advice would you give to aspiring women wanting to start their own businesses?
Make sure you’re doing what you truly want to do. That’s the only way to find the stamina to make it for the long haul. Don’t just get into business because you think you’re going to make a lot of money or have a lot of free time. It’s often the opposite for a while! You’ve gotta be passionate about whatever you are creating or else it just won’t work.
With social media being the new place to build a career, what are your two tips for using these platforms effectively and efficiently to grow your career?
Be sure you’re consistent with your branding and messaging. Social media is noisy, so you want to make sure you stand out from the crowd and create an experience people can rely on. It’s truly about adding value and giving people a reason to come back to your page every day, to tag their friends, and share your content. And if you think you’re posting too much, you’re probably wrong! Post often and post unique content. Try not to share other people’s work that can be found everywhere. Give people a reason to fall in love with YOU!
What is your definition of success?
To me, success is a feeling. It’s doing what you love every single day and feeling like you’re contributing to make this world a better place. I think a lot of us have a vision of success implanted in our minds from a young age. That vision typically includes money and things, and rarely includes a sense of purpose and fulfillment. I think success is something you determine for yourself. If you feel successful, then you are!
What is your opinion on females supporting females?
It’s a no-brainer. We have to support each other. If we could get out of our own way, we could truly run this world. Women are stronger together. Period, end of story.
This interview was incredible. Cara is proof that you can achieve anything you want in life if you are just willing to go after it. Nothing stands in Cara’s way, and because of this she has achieved great success and continues to grow, evolve, and inspire women daily. If you aren’t following Cara on social media, you should be. She has recently launched her Iconic Blonde Agency for creative entrepreneurs that are wanting to take their brand and business goals to new heights.
Follow Cara on Instagram and Subscribe to her website for constant inspiration & motivation.
Website: The Champagne Diet Blog
Instagram: The Champagne Diet