Career Profile | Alex Beadon, Youtube Star and Founder of TheSparkLounge.com
About three years ago, I was having one of those sucky days when you just wake up feeling sad and unfulfilled with life - this is when I first found out about Alex Beadon. I was about to head out for work and I knew I needed some motivation. So I got onto Youtube and searched something along the lines of, “How to live the life you love” or “How to fulfill your passion”, or something similar when I bumped over one of Alex’s videos. The girl clearly knows how to SEO her content!
Her energy and enthusiasm is what first caught my attention.She made me want to watch more and more of her videos and just like that, she became one of the influences that helped me put my fear aside and launch this blog. Just by listening and internalizing her Youtube videos on my way to work. Isn’t that amazing?
So being the influence she has been in my career, I decided to go ahead and send her a Snap (because she rules at Snapchat: TheAlexBeadon) telling her that I really wanted to interview her for my blog, which was extremely nerve-wracking to say the least! Her response was so nice that I decided to send her an email pitching my career profile, which she clearly accepted. I was thrilled.
Her career has been quite unusual and a dream for anyone who strives to live a life with intention and passion. I mean, she went from a wedding photographer to an internet marketing guru, making more than 6 figures a year and she isn’t even 30 years old yet.
She gives a whole new meaning to “content creation” by bringing her spark and joy over to Youtube, Snapchat, blog and online courses. So in case you didn’t notice, I am extremely excited to take you into the world of Alex Beadon, the girl behind AlexBeadon.com, Feel Good Blogging, The School of Killer Impressions, and her most recent launch, The Spark Lounge, which I am proudly a part of. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
What did you want to do when you were little?
When I was a little girl, the very first thing I wanted to be was an astronaut. I just thought that going into space would be the coolest thing ever, but then my neighbor told me there were space aliens that would kill me, so I was like ok – I guess I’m not going to be an astronaut! Then, I wanted to be a doctor and a singer. I basically went through so many different transformations of what I thought I wanted to be when I was young.
By the time that I graduated college, I knew that what it was expected of me was to go out and get a corporate job, but I wanted to be a photographer because I loved photography. And it made no sense because I never studied photography and I had no experience, but for me it’s always worth taking the risk and putting everything into making your dreams a reality because at the end of the day, it’s not easy to follow your dreams and do what your heart is telling you to do.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. What I feel about what I do, is very, very important to me, so I always knew that I wasn’t going to be happy doing something that didn’t light me up and excite me. I knew in my heart that I really wanted to follow my passion and do what I love. When you follow your intuition, your passion, and you do what really lights you up inside, it can never lead you into the wrong direction.
What did you actually study in college then?
I studied management with marketing. I was always interested in advertising and really thought it was fascinating how companies could communicate with their audience. I was particularly fascinated by pop stars - how they market their music and how they get their message out - especially, when you see people doing it in a really different and unique way like when Lady Gaga first came out; she really mastered the art of becoming famous! Or, if you look at Beyoncé today when she drops these albums out of nowhere and they do really well, it’s like a surprise visual album. It’s like when our parents used to buy tapes or CDs and listen to albums the whole way through from start to finish, but today we just listen to singles and we don’t give the full album the attention that it deserves. As an artist I love how she (Beyoncé) came out with a way to get around that and make sure that her albums are getting the full attention from her best fans. I love when artists achieve what they want to achieve in unique ways that get people’s attention.
That was a very different way to round up your question! But yeah, I always definitely had an interest in marketing.
Okay, so I have to ask this. Every time I watch any of your Youtube or Snapchat videos, I always get so much energy! Were you always an extrovert or do you consider yourself to be an introvert and you just become this fierce character in front of the cameras?
I’m definitely not like this all the time. Some people who watch my videos and then they meet me in person for the first time, they think that I’m going to be super extroverted and super energetic throughout the whole conversation, but I’m actually quite reserved in social situations and I’m definitely more like an introvert.
I love spending time alone. I love reading, I love journaling, I love meditating, I love dance. I do a lot of those things by myself when I’m home alone, which I think are very introverted qualities. But I feel that when I’m on camera or even on my coaching calls, there’s always this little voice that says, “What if you can’t help them? What if you’re not going to be able to be your best today?” and I slowly let it go and let it pass, like cloud. Then, the coaching call starts and I feel this presence that it just comes out of me… I don’t know where it comes from… She’s like a boss! She knows her stuff! She takes over with such confidence and with such ease… I think what it comes down to is that I’m super passionate about these topics.
I believe in the concept “lifestyle design”. I really do believe that every single one of us should be constantly creating our lives to reflect the things that we most love and the things that we most desire. I noticed that whenever I talk about these topics, it’s like I light up as a human being. That’s really where the energy comes from. That’s just the outcome of expressing what you’re passionate about.
I never see bullying in your posts! That’s a blessing, since you have a lot of followers.
I don’t really get hate on my blog, but I get some hate on my Youtube videos, since it’s just like a black hole of people.
So how do you manage the bad comments?
I’m just so aware of my intentions and I know they’re good. I’m here to help people and I think that what I’m doing is really courageous because I put myself out there a lot with content and videos, webinars and advice. Basically, I put out a lot of free goodness for people. So I think that when people respond negatively about you, it says so much more about what they’re going through in their lives, rather than what you’re actually doing.
I also really love constructive criticism and there’s a really big difference between that and people who just comment to say really stupid things that have no value. When people deliver constructive criticism with love and kindness, it is something that I really cherish versus when people deliver nasty anonymous comments. It’s like, if you’re not actually in the arena with me, creating content and not bringing anything to the table, your opinion means nothing to me. I mean, the first time it happens, it takes your breath away, then the next time it does, it’s like, “Cool! Another bad comment”.
I think you’re really courageous about it. I remember this video you made about how you deleted 15,000 people out of your mailing list. That takes guts! I respect the fact that you decided to eliminate people who weren’t opening your emails.
I was at a point where I truly wanted the people on my VIP List (her mailing list) to actually cherish my emails... so if you’re not opening them, I’m just going to get rid of you and delete you. By doing that, I believe it strengthens the relationship with the people who actually open your emails and enjoy your content. It was actually way easier than what I thought it was going to be!
Okay so I don’t want to take your whole day making random questions! Did you get a job in your field right after college or did you just take the leap right into photography?
I moved home right after college because I knew that if I moved to the city, rent was just going to be through the roof and I really needed to get on my feet.
I really just started taking any second shooting photography jobs that I could find from multiple wedding photographers. This was an experience that just showed me that I really did not want to become a wedding photographer, which is what I thought I really wanted to do.
But I think that it’s different for everyone, because some people go and get the wrong job but get so much experience that they can use in the long run. But for me, it was just something that I never really wanted to do… I can’t explain it, but I was just like, I’m going to do this solo and figure this out as I go.
So you just started your own photography business and figured it out on your way?
Basically, I started my business off as a photographer and then I realized that it was really frustrating because I could only sell a certain amount of shoots every week because I could only be in one place at one time.
So, I was making these Photoshop actions for myself, which are very similar, in essence, to Instagram filters, where you just press a button and it edits your picture. And at one point, I was like, ‘Hey, I should sell these!”. So I started selling them online. That was actually my first successful business in which, between a year, it was already a six-figure business.
From that experience, I learned that I really loved selling digital files and the fact that I could sell a million of these and never run out. There’s no limit to how much money I can make. I noticed that I get really excited by limitlessness, is that a word?! I don’t like feeling like I’m in a box and with photography, I always felt like there was a limit on how well I could do. So I knew that I needed to make some changes if I wanted to grow, continue, and expand.
Honestly, when I came out with the Photoshop actions business, I swore that I just figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And then a few years after selling Photoshop actions, my passion for photography completely disappeared. It went from me being so obsessed with it that I wanted to get a tattoo of a camera… to the point that it defined me so much that I just woke up one day and knew that the last thing I wanted to do was touch my camera.
At that point, I knew I was in trouble and it actually took me about six months to a year to actually decide that I was going to stop doing photography. I thought it was just a creative block, but looking back it was just my intuition telling me, “Okay, time to move on to the next thing!’ . That's really the running thread through everything in my career. It’s like I’m always following my intuition, my passions, and what excites me.
At that time, I was really into helping other people sell their products online and doing all this coaching work for free. So, I knew I was going to start my path as someone who helps other people do what they love for living and teach them how to sell themselves online.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from being a wedding photographer?
Wedding photography, even though I love it as an art form, was not for me. Working on the weekends, being on my feet for 10-14 hours non-stop without taking a break, and not having meals was not something I wanted to do.
I learned that even though I have a lot of energy, I should spend it in ways that I want to spend it. I learned that the whole point of being self-employed is to not feel stressed out, and to feel like I can have the freedom to be very flexible. The biggest lesson for me was that, if I’m going to be self-employed, I’m going to make damn sure it’s super enjoyable.
Puerto Rico is going through one of the worst economic crisis right now, which is the main reason a huge part of the younger generation is leaving the Island in search for a better future. What do you recommend to Puerto Ricans who want to have creative careers and own their own businesses in the midst of the crisis?
Investing time into entrepreneurial activities and investing time towards building a business is possibly one of the smartest things that people in situations like this can do. Especially in this date and age where we have the Internet with access to a lot of people with a lot of investing power anywhere in the world.
It’s tough being around people who can’t understand why you’re doing all these entrepreneurial activities when they think you should be worried about getting a 9-5 job and playing it safe. I think that is one of the worst things that you can do. Like sure, if you have to get a 9-5 job to get by right now, do it. But when you get home, hustle to make sure your business is going in the direction you want to be in.
People look at me now and they say, “She can take the day off whenever she wants.” [.] Yeah, but when I first started, there was a huge amount of hustle, forward motion, planning, strategizing, and really working hard to get myself until this point. For anyone reading this who feels discouraged because they have to work a 9-5 job, I would say to really focus on loving and embracing the stage of your life that you’re in right now. And at the same time be super excited about what is coming.
What would you say to people who are bashing others because they are looking for success out of the Island and “not helping make Puerto Rico a better place”?
At the end of the day, you have to do you. And as far as I’m concerned, we are all citizens of the globe and staying somewhere because you feel guilty or you feel like you have to contribute is really not a reason to stay.
A real reason to stay is because you not only love Puerto Rico, but you are dedicated to turn things around and be part of that movement. But I believe that if that’s not something that you feel in your heart, then you don’t have to stay.
Trust that the universe has everything figured out and it’s using the right people to stay and fight the Puerto Rican fight. It’s all about trusting that you are going to do what you feel it’s right for you.
How did you start Youtube? Did that came out of a whim?
My sister came over one day and told me, “Alex! Video is the next big thing and if you don’t get on the van wagon now, you are just wasting time.” So, I was like “Okay!”
I think video is one of the most important things that I’ve done for my business and so many people hire me solely by watching my Chatty Tuesday Videos. It’s something that I’m truly grateful for and it truly excites me because when my mom was my age, she could’ve never done this. The fact that it is so new and fresh, even though it’s been here for so many years, makes me feel really excited about future generations.
What’s the biggest challenge of owning your own online business?
The biggest challenge is staying in your own lane. I think the Internet is such a blessing because it connects us to so many people, but it’s very, very easy to always be looking at what other people are doing and be hard on yourself because of it.
My advice to anyone who’s starting an online business is to know that you should be so busy and excited and passionate about your projects that you shouldn’t have time to look and see what other people are doing and get down because of it.
How do you keep yourself in such a great mood? You’re always creating content and making us smile on all your social media channels!
I only create when I feel like it and want to. If I feel I’m in a bad mood, I don’t create.
So many people force themselves to create, and even though I feel it’s good to challenge yourself, at the same time, I feel like it’s really important to listen to what you are feeling and only do it when you are excited to share something. When you feel like you have something that is going to add value to people’s lives, and not just doing it for the sake of doing it.
A great example is when I moved to Trinidad and Tobago from Tampa, I did not want to create, so I stopped creating content for like a good 6 months. I was still making Spark Lounge Videos and using Snapchat, but I gave myself full permission to not do anything if I didn’t feel like doing it.
Talk to me about The Spark Lounge! How did it all started?
When I give so much of myself online, it sometimes feels very draining , because there is only so much of a connection you can have with people in the comments sections. I wanted to create a space where I could be closer, intimate, and more available to people. I wanted to create a space where people could come together and really feel love and support from an incredible group of people who are like-minded, believe in the power of positivity, and who are also entrepreneurial-spirited.
It actually started through a free Facebook group, which was super overwhelming for me. There were thousands of people in this group and it didn’t have enough boundaries to really make it a magical place. I decided that if I started to charge for it, it would create a steady income for me. It was great because when you have to pay for something, you show that you are dedicated, committed, and that you value something. That makes sure that I’m attracting only the people who want to be there.
In The Spark Lounge, I basically show myself on a more regular basis and in a less formal basis. I know that I can just upload a video that I just recorded from my iPhone and not worry about editing it and the whole world to see it. We are such a loving and caring community in there, so I can say things and be more vulnerable in a way that I can’t on my Youtube channel.
What is the next big thing for Alex Beadon?
Constantly experimenting with new offers for my people and detaching from the results. Up until this point every time I do a launch it’s super exciting and super stressful at the same time, because I know how much money I want to make, how much I want to sell, how many people I want to reach, etc.
My big thing right now is focusing on ‘here is this thing that I made, take it or leave it and I’m cool either way’. I’ve been coming into my business with that energy and it’s completely different than where I was earlier. It’s really exciting and challenging at the same time!
I’m at this place in my life where I know that my priority is how I feel in the inside. Being in alignment and knowing why I’m showing up to do my work. Knowing what I want my outcome to be, but also knowing that if I don’t get that outcome, I’m cool.
What advice will you give someone who wants to start their own business?
To find five people who are already doing what you want to be doing and learn as much from them as you possibly can. Even if you have to hire a coach I really believe in the benefits of shortcuts and you can shortcut a lot of pain if you can hire someone who has already been there.
And lastly... Some fun facts about Alex Beadon (because I clearly can't get enough of her!):
Favorite TV Show: SuperSoul Sunday
Coffee or tea: Flavored Green Tea
Movies or Netflix: Both, it depends on my mood.
Cat or dog person: Dog but I would probably be a cat person I just never had a cat.
Indoors or outdoors: Outdoors!
Favorite social media: Snapchat first and then Instagram.
Youtube or blogging: Youtube
A Role Model: My Auntie Joanne.
Favorite website: Youtube
Morning or night person: Morning
Any tattoos?: I don’t, but maybe one day.
- A beauty product you just can’t live without: I love highlighters but I can’t live without concealer!
I had such a great time interviewing Alex through Skype and I really hope this interview captured it. But most importantly, I wish you take every single piece of advice she gave us [in]to heart, just like she did (and continues to do) right when I started blogging].
Did you know about Alex Beadon before this post? Let me know on the comments below and share some love! :)
Until next time,