By Olivia Preston and Sujany Baleswaran
With the changing world of technology, our lives, careers and businesses are becoming heavily dependent on the digital revolution. From a simple radio to just a mere click away from searching the web at our fingertips, technology is taking over human interactions. With a mission to find her business purpose in her 40s, Miz Feiler expanded her expertise to the Metaverse, educating businesses and entrepreneurs on the evolving industry of technology and business. We spoke to Miz Feiler at Business Woman Today, as she shares everything from motherhood to NFTs.
What is being created will mean that on any given day, we will seamlessly move from the physical world into the virtual realm.
Your businesses focus on creating a strong community of women. What inspired you to create Max Volume and 40 to the Max?
When I turned 40, I was determined to find my mojo again after a decade of building my business, relocating to a new country and raising three small children. I decided to approach my 40s with a decade-long approach and wrote a list of 40 things I wanted to do, experience and become in my 40s – it is called My Maximalist. I started blogging about being 40 and speaking to a women’s group on personal empowerment.
My Maximalist is my guiding light for my 40s. One of the items on my Maximalist is to build a business that makes a global impact. My core values as an entrepreneur have always been collaboration, community and creativity. The pandemic has blurred the lines between personal life and work life, so it seemed natural to me to build a collaborative community of small business owners and entrepreneurs, and help them raise their volumes to Max in both business and life. It also gave me a way to keep evolving my Max brand – I won’t be in my 40s forever! Now that I have thrown myself into the Metaverse, I will be taking my community on this journey with me by transforming Max Volume into a DAO – a decentralized autonomous organisation. What this means is that Max Volume will become a cooperative on the blockchain, and my community will own it and grow it with me.
How will the Metaverse change the way people work?
The internet is changing, and how we interact online is about to transform. The Metaverse will be a new experience online that converges the existing technologies of augmented reality, virtual reality, avatars, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, NFTs and cryptocurrency. What is being created will mean that on any given day, we will seamlessly move from the physical world into the virtual realm. You will interact with your colleagues as both a physical human and as your avatar in a virtual environment. In time, this will become normal. It is such a major shift that I have launched a new podcast, The Metaverse with Miz, to educate small business owners and professionals about what it means, and to make sure nobody gets left behind in understanding these new developments.
How can people prepare for a new way of working?
I believe it is always better to be proactive. Take time to read, watch or listen to topics like Future of Work, The Great Resignation, Web 3 and The Metaverse. Follow people on LinkedIn who are thought leaders in all these areas. Think of your own business and how these developments will impact and enhance what you are currently offering your community and your staff.
Why is using alternative ways of communicating with clients, such as your podcast, so effective?
Each individual absorbs information differently. To effectively communicate with your community, it is important to have that information shared in written, visual, audio and video formats. Without a doubt, it adds to your workload to create content in all these formats. However, if you are genuinely wanting to be inclusive and meet your clients’ needs, it is important that they can absorb your message in the way that is most effective for them. I always make sure to survey my members before undertaking any ambitious new content direction to make sure what I want to release is something that they will actually need, appreciate and listen to, read or watch.
I have a very simple philosophy when it comes to being a community builder – LEARN > DO > TEACH. To be an authentic community leader, you need to have actually done what you teach other people how to do. I have a genuine interest in connecting people to opportunities to learn and grow and using my own experiences as a case study.
Why is it so important to be up to date with the latest trends especially if you are an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs thrive on two things – solving problems and chasing opportunities. When you have an entrepreneurial mindset you are constantly observing the world and keeping your finger on the pulse of new developments.
I see you have started an NFT project, could you explain what they are and why they are important for entrepreneurs to use?
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a new class of digital tokens that exist as data on the blockchain and are created and transacted through a binding agreement called a Smart Contract. They are unique and have a value attached to them. You purchase an NFT using cryptocurrency, and you need to set up a digital wallet to be able to purchase, receive and store your NFTs. It is also possible to receive an NFT as a gift. Because it is a digital asset, it can be anything of value or anything that would be bound by some type of contract. Think of NFTs as a digital ticket that unlocks unique offerings and experiences for your community. You can use NFTs to build, engage and ignite your community around your brand in a whole new way.
As a mother of three, how has motherhood impacted your business?
Motherhood and starting a business are both complicated endeavours! I started my first business in response to losing my full-time job when I was 5-months pregnant with my first child. That was 17.5 years ago, so I have only known being in business as a mother.
I made the decision to always prioritise my role as a mother over my business. That came with many sacrifices, and it has definitely slowed down the overall pace of my business growth and the types of ventures I have been able to take on. You need to make choices as a mother, whether you are a business owner or a professional working for someone else. Mothers experience the full gamut of emotions from exhaustion to guilt, worry, resentment, fulfilment, and hopefully, also triumph.
What lights me up is when my children take an interest in what I am doing and are proud of my accomplishments. I can see they are absorbing what hard work, problem-solving, determination and creativity look like in an entrepreneurial context.
What is your message for mothers who are thinking of starting their own business?
You need a support system. To grow a business takes time and focus, and both are very hard to achieve if you are also the main carer of your children. Set realistic expectations of what you can achieve in any given time period, and figure out how much you can afford to outsource in terms of child care and family chores. Whatever choices you make, be comfortable with them. And remember, you are always free to change your mind.