Janelle Christa is a Holywood coach, actress, producer, screenwriter, and the creator of “conscious entertainment”. Having come from a history of affairs, divorce, and family dysfunction as well as a bipolar diagnosis, she strongly believes that happiness is a choice. Janelle’s level of expertise sees her coaching celebrity clients and people from all walks of life seeking to bring fulfillment into their lives. Janelle is also a founder of conscious production company Le Murian Dreams.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Janelle Christa to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
My career as a coach, actress, producer, author, and writer started with a dark event. When I was a teenager, I experienced a pretty brutal sexual assault. At the time, my way of healing was to fantasize about becoming a movie star. At the time, I believed that by being a movie star I would be in a position where no one could ever hurt me again, and I could also inspire others to heal. I believed that I would take this experience and make something beautiful out of it, then others could too.
Except…I skipped the healing part.
At twenty-one, I was addicted to drugs, a college dropout, and working at what seemed like a dead-end job at the Salt Lake City Airport as a rental car agent–very far from my dream as a movie star. I was then pregnant and my whole world shifted. I had someone growing inside of me that I could have the ultimate influence over. And although just one person—to her, I could be as big as a movie star. I suddenly had this audience to inspire.
So, I immediately got clean from drugs, I started to kick ass at my job, quickly breaking international sales records, and became the #1 sales representative. At twenty-one, and as a single mom, I bought a house and paid off my car, and was making over 100K a year in commissions. Soon, I was picked up by a consulting firm to coach others across the country in sales.
What a dream! My audience was growing. I was helping others and witnessing them grow and succeed, it was remarkable.
But—-I’d still never really healed from my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. I had put my entire focus externally and outward on other people. So, life had other plans for me.
I began to experience a major health crisis that would FORCE me into healing myself. After receiving no help from western medicine, I began to embark on a spiritual unfolding, where for the first time in my life I would have to heal for myself. Not for my child, not for some audience to inspire, not for clients.
So, I started to pursue a career in acting. I figured I had given that dream up for the sake of others so I needed to pursue it. But unfortunately, Hollywood taught me very quickly that to start a career in acting meant driving around to ten auditions a day unable to pay rent.
As a broke actor, I began a bunch of odd jobs doing photography, building websites, helping companies with branding, and doing random consulting jobs. I was miserable in my career but was mastering high levels of personal development in my private life. All of my money, resources, and extra time went into healing myself. I was spending tens of thousands of dollars on courses, therapy, teachers, seminars, audiotapes, workshops, coaches, and more.
Eventually, I got to a point where I started to coach others on spiritual and personal development. I realized this was the real reason I “wanted to be a movie star.” Yes, I loved acting and cinema, but when I actually went back and looked at that original adolescent dream, I wanted to inspire others that they could heal. But I needed to heal first.
I created my own production company and this year I produced two shows that I got to star in, wrote five other screenplays, wrote and produced two online courses, and wrote five books which will all be launched over the next couple of years.
Now, my spiritual coaching is really focused on helping people bring their creative dreams into reality, by breaking through whatever is blocking them and helping them to heal their dreams and create the reality they truly desire.
And, while doing that, I am also able to pursue my own creative pursuits in acting, producing, and writing. I create content that is consciousness related and thought-provoking.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
Right now I am really focused on bringing in excellent partners/team members that are good at the things I am not great at. I know the power of Facebook advertising, SEO, and marketing campaigns and I also know that I am only one person and if I want to continue to do the things I am good at, then the best way to grow my business is to grow my team. I think it’s important for every entrepreneur to delegate when possible and find people to work with that are better than you at things so you can focus on your craft. I found the EMyth to be very helpful because it breaks people down into managers, technicians, and entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs are actually technicians (artists) and their businesses can go sideways because they are taking on roles that someone else could better take charge in.
In addition to that, I am also doing a lot of podcasts and Instagram interviews. This has been super fun and enlightening. I love to meet new people and it’s been an excellent way to talk about my business while bringing value to others.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
I primarily focus on Instagram and have just started a Youtube channel. I think Instagram is great because it offers posts, highlights, stories, and lives. It allows your main feed to act as your magazine and allows you to get more personal with your community via lives, and the highlights act as a great way to showcase your services and offerings. It’s also been fun during these COVID times to do Instagram lives with other entrepreneurs to bring value to your community.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
I have had a lot of success with Facebook ads and really keep my focus there. I think it’s best to stick with one platform and master it. I also do use affiliate programs for my online courses and have found it to be a great way to get new people in the door. I don’t think “shout outs” are really a great way to get recognition. Once, when I was working as a model I was approached to do a paid shout out on some massive Instagram modeling page. At the time I thought it would be a great way to be seen. Ended up being a disaster. I got spam messages for months, tons of people wanting me to do more shout outs. I stay away from those now.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
I really try to create a personal relationship with everyone that buys an ebook or course or sends me messages on Instagram. I think this is really important and I know I won’t be able to do this forever, so I really enjoy it and it’s a special period. I send out personal emails or write notes to people in giveaways. I also include my personal email in my books and leave it open for people to email me and ask me questions directly. This also helps me get to know my “avatar” so I am able to best serve them. In a world where many people focus on how many followers you have and just focus on increasing that number, I really try to connect with the followers I already have and keep an open line of communication with them.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Nothing really beats word of mouth. People trust their friends. So do everything you can to create awesome relationships with your current clients and give them perks to share your stuff.
Also, Facebook marketing is great. I have had thousands upon thousands of people sign up for my email list through Facebook ads. I have found that even if they don’t buy right away, they usually end up purchasing something later. This falls into that same idea that people buy from people they know and trust. By receiving value-filled emails from you, they get to know you and trust you.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I made in the last few months had to do with removing some people from my life. The relationships were no longer serving either of us because they had become toxic and I realized that I had outgrown them. I was only holding onto the relationships because of the memories from the past. They were clearly not committed to making any change and anytime I spent time with them I felt drained. It was very sad and very hard, but I knew that in order to honor the friendship, I needed to step away and give my time and energy to people that were focused on a healthier lifestyle. I feared that they would think I was a snob or think I was better than them. I felt like I had given up on them and hurt them. I also felt like they wouldn’t like me anymore or think I was a bad person and turn others against me. But in reality, after I kindly closed the door, my energy levels went up and I was able to focus on the relationships that felt balanced and healthy. This made me happier and healthier and gave me more vitality in my daily life. It was really hard but it was a necessary step. It also made me a better friend to those that were still in my life because I could show up 100%.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Ugh. No one likes to answer this question! Ha! I have made a lot of money mistakes over the years. But the biggest one was probably quick decisions on buying something I want at the moment rather than just waiting it out after the “want” goes away. I have straight up WASTED money on crap. Especially the online gigs on how to “grow your business overnight with this one technique you won’t find anywhere else.” Ha! I have spent so much money on things promising me money it makes me sick. Making money is a skill. Treat your money like your own team, like an energy that gets depleted when you don’t care for it. Treat money like a friend, like little soldiers out there working for you.
What new business would you love to start?
Randomly, I would love to start an RV rental car business. After traveling across the country in an RV, it brought me back to my roots of rental cars but on a whole new level. I would love the opportunity to lead a rental car company and provide guests unbelievable experiences living on the road. I found RV living to be one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done. I’d also love to start a chain of gluten-free bakeries. I love baking and so does my daughter, I’d love to see her doing what she loves. I just would hate to contribute to the diabetes and obesity pandemic happening across the country. So we’d have to find a way to make that work. Other than that, I would just love for my production company to blow up so I can just make movies and TV shows for the rest of my life!
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
There is a quote somewhere by someone that says “if you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch one.” If. I could go back in time, I would focus on one thing at a time and give it my full 100% focus and attention and do it with confidence. I would not care what people think and work through any blocks or barriers that kept me in the mode of people-pleasing. I’d listen to my favorite rap star Eminem and just not give a f*ck a whole lot earlier in my life. I’d be more offensive and have more fun. But mostly I would just stop giving so much of my energy away into caring what people think or how they would react.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
One of my best friends recently passed away and before he died he told me that pursuing my dreams doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but to me. He told me that he was just a poor farmer boy from Arkansas and had he listened to everyone else he would have stayed a poor farmer boy from Arkansas. He had some wild and crazy ideas and before he died he owned some fifty-something businesses, made multiple millions of dollars, and had helped more people than you could possibly count. He told me that no one recognizes the prophet in their hometown. I agree with him wholeheartedly. Your dreams don’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Get as much help as you possibly can. Enlist mentors, ask lots of questions, be willing to be a beginner. Stay humble. And literally schedule a time to wind down, to have fun, and to get bored. I know that sounds weird, but when we get bored, our creative juices start to flow. Give your brain a rest. Take staycations if you can’t afford vacations. As my husband says “you are in the long haul.” Don’t expect to get everything done in one day.