Having seen her posts on Instagram, I’ve been wanting to interview Cepee for some time. Cepee has created a community called She Hit Refresh that connects like-minded women, age 30 and over who want to break free from routine and start a life of travel. Cepee is formerly from Houston, Texas and as well as being the Founder of She Hit Refresh, she also has Madrid Blogger Network
Let’s start with your life story, what has led you to now?
Where do I begin? From an early age I always wanted to be free. Free to explore, free from the expectations of my family and the roadmap society had laid out for me. I may not have been able to fully understand what I wanted, but looking back I’d say I was always seeking autonomy over my life. Freedom made me feel alive.
Fast forward to Madrid 2015. At 35 I left Texas to start a new life in Spain. I had spent quite a bit of time in Spain in my 20s and even did a masters here. Four years ago I moved back to Madrid to give it another chance. I loved Spain but needed to make it work on my terms, which meant I didn’t want to teach English and didn’t want to be a mileurista. I had to come back as an auxiliar, the easiest visa to get me into the door to Spain, but I told myself I’d have to hustle my way into something more aligned with my interests. Unsure of what my interests even were, I gave myself a year to find a solution, or else I’d have to move back to the U.S.
Luckily after my first year of teaching, I got hired by Spanish start-up, They sponsored my visa, and I started working in their marketing department. It’s there that I learned about the world of social media marketing. At the same time I had started a blog, just for fun, to chronicle the vegetarian restaurants I had discovered in Madrid. Work and the blog helped me quickly learned the ropes of digital marketing. Next thing I knew I was starting a community in Madrid for bloggers and creatives (Madrid Blogger Network).
The digital marketing and blogging experience led me to the AH-HA moment that remote work was possible for me. And remote work equaled freedom! I left the start-up to try out remote work, and after trying out a few different project based remote gigs, I found full time work as a freelancer, working on social media strategy and content marketing.
This whole journey helped me discover my love of community building. After Madrid Blogger Network, I started my second community, She Hit Refresh. It’s a Facebook group that connects like-minded women, age 30 and over who want to break free from routine and start a life of travel. It quickly grew to a movement of over 5,000 women worldwide and has become my side hustle.
Moving to Madrid in 2015 created space for me to discover my strengths and understand that there was a path to freedom. Acquiring all these new skills and being in a period of creation has led to many opportunities and put me on a path that I could never have imagined. This is the closest I’ve ever been to having the autonomy I always wanted.
When did your business journey start?
I studied marketing in my undergraduate and I did a masters in international relations. However my business journey didn’t start till after I moved to Madrid. Moving here really made me focus on what I wanted to do professionally. Luckily I had the space to explore my interests and found that online marketing was it. By day I work as a social media strategist and I moonlight as the Founder of She Hit Refresh.
I started She Hit Refresh in November 2017 with a friend from Texas. We started a Facebook group and invited our friends to join and quickly the group grew at a pace we did not anticipate! In our first year we found ourselves with 4,000 worldwide members.
As our community wanted more resources to help them with their refresh we tried our best to keep up and create for them, which led to a blog, in-person meetups, an annual retreat, and a podcast. Our retreat was our first paid offer to the community, which SOLD OUT! Ten women from the U.S. joined us in Morocco for a week of exploration, introspection, and inspiration!
Now that the group has been around two years, I’m evaluating how we can continue to offer value to the community, reach even more women, and can create a financially viable business model. I run almost all aspects of the business on my own and out of my own pocket; it’s time to take things to the next level.
Cepee – you moved to Madrid alone and created She Hit Refresh to help Women age 30+ break free from routine & start a life of travel – what is your advice for women, of whatever age, who are thinking about taking the plunge?
Just do it! You’re never too old and it’s never too late. We have women in their 30s and up into their 70s who are hitting refresh. Join my group to get started: She Hit Refresh.
A bit of advice is to have a game plan before you make the leap. Hitting refresh isn’t a cure-all, it’s an ongoing process, so you want to set yourself up for success in your new life, and having a plan, and some security in place, can make the transition much smoother.
You are an entrepreneur running multiple businesses – please give us your personal top three tips for time management!
Time management is one of my strengths, here are my top three tips:
- Find a system that works for you and stick to it. I use a bullet journal to keep me organized and focused on my daily tasks. It’s great because I find I can be easily distracted when I don’t have a schedule to follow. When I wake up in the morning I spend zero time figuring out what I need to do because it’s already listed in my bullet journal.
- Say no. Make time for yourself and actions that are in line with your goals.I say no to lots of things – events, social gatherings, lunch and coffee dates, etc. Time is my most precious resource so I’m very careful on where I spend it. Remember, saying no to others means saying yes to yourself.
- Learn to delegate. When you’re growing a business it’s natural to want to control and oversee all aspects to ensure things are done right. However, in order to grow you’ll need to outsource some of your work. Learn how to give up control, especially when it comes to administrative tasks. Let go of the idea that no one can do it better than you. Done is better than perfect!
One thing you will each achieve before the end of 2019, or have planned for 2020
By the end of the year I hope to have clarity on my first big offer for my community. Will it be an online course, 1:1 coaching, or something else? I’m not sure, I’m doing my market research with my audience to see where I can bring them the most value and help them hit refresh!
What books have you read this year because they inspired you?
I haven’t been much of a book reader this year, I’ve mainly been consuming other people’s content and ideas through podcasts. Some of my favourites are Gary V, Rich Roll and How did this Get Made? Podcasts
What is your superpower?
What would be your advice to the younger you?
Discipline equal freedom. Find comfort in routine instead of confinement; trust me, it will lead to the freedom you seek.
One quote you live by?
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
I am waving my magic make-it–happen wand – what dream are you daydreaming about?
Being my own boss and never having to be an employee ever again.
As part of She Hits Refresh, we are hosting the second Retreat in 2020. Are you ready to break free from routine and start a life of travel? Come join us in Morocco for a magical week of exploration, introspection, and inspiration! March 7-13, 2020. Info: https://shehitrefresh.com/retreats/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/shehitrefresh/
What’s the preferred method of connecting with you?
Thank you Cepee!