In This Episode
From a constantly relocating “Army brat” and eventual high school dropout to successful entrepreneur, Aprille Franks-Hunt has persevered and risen above the rest. With the help of video and online technology, Aprille is on the hunt to ensure women’s stories are told with dignity, conviction and, most importantly, truthfulness. MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR’s Landon Ray sits down with the inspiring Aprille to find out what her challenges are, what being a leader really means, the legacy she will leave behind, and much more.
1:06 Humble Beginnings
An experienced Aprille reflects on the start of her journey and the advice she’d give her younger self now.
7:25 Dysfunction Sparks Innovation
Being an Army Brat forced Aprille to adapt and become resilient in keeping up key relationships.
8:41 Shining On Camera
Video has catapulted Aprille into the limelight….literally.
10:21 Becoming a Greater Leader
Building a team has proven to be a bigger challenge than anticipated.
13:53 Be an Inspiration
Don’t let excuses drag you down. Rise up to meet the challenges to make an impact.
15:16 Being a Modern Entrepreneur
Stay receptive to the new innovations knocking at your door so technology doesn’t leave you in the dust.
– Aprille Franks-Hunt
LR: Welcome to MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR. I am Landon Ray. Today we have Aprille. She’s a master business coach, brand strategist, and entrepreneur. She’s also the creator and CEO of Women Recharged, which is a motivation movement that amplifies women’s voices and triumphant stories of truth. She’s also the founder of Coach, Speak & Serve, a next-level consulting company that helps modern-day authors, speakers, and coaches to maximize and monetize their messages. Her companies have served 2,000 clients, more than 2,000 clients, establishing Aprille as the go-to expert for purpose driven-entrepreneurs who want to do business on a higher plane and, in turn, reap higher profits.
LR: Yes, that’s it.
AH: That’s it!
LR: Thank you so much for being here.
AH: Well, thank you for having me.
LR: Yes, it’s great to talk to you once again.
LR: You’ve had a lot of success over the years. You’re now in charge of a significant business, made a major impact for a lot of people. How long has it been? When did you start?
AH: Actually, Women Recharged started in 2013, and then I launched the Coach, Speak & Serve brand in 2015, so I can’t even believe what’s-
LR: You’re brand new, what are you talking about?
AH: I know!
LR: Just fresh out of the whatever it is.
AH: Listen, fresh out of the baby water.
LR: Yeah, exactly. Okay, so, we’re in 2017, almost 2018 now. If you were able, though, to go back … You learned a lot in a few short years, no doubt. If you were able to go back and kind of give your five-year-younger self a hot tip, what would it be?
AH: Hm. That’s a really good question. I think, Landon, for me, one of the things that I wish I had done in the beginning … There’s two things: one of them is, I would have had more guidance, I would’ve saved more money.
AH: Those are really the two things. Save more money so I can invest in, can invest in the right ways and the right things to help grow my business earlier on. Those are the things that I really wished that I had at that time was, who’s the right mentor or coach for me to help me mitigate mistakes-
AH: Right? And, minimize as much as I can, so I can kind of fast track myself, as much as you can, right? Because, there’s always gonna be mistakes that you make.
AH: Then, I could’ve had the guidance to make the right investment. What softwares do I need, do I need to join a mastermind? Do I need to travel to this event to learn this? Those sorts of things.
LR: That tip sounds like it’s something that you learned from maybe some hard experiences.
LR: What would you … how do you find the right guide, or … It’s hard to know who to trust. Right?
AH: It is. It really is, and I think that’s one of the biggest things, and that really is why I created Coach, Speak & Serve, and that’s really where it came from. For me, I don’t want to say I wasted money. Right? Because, this is life, and these are lessons that we learn, so nothing goes for naught.
AH: You know? I wish that I had of … It’s almost hard to know, because social media, while it’s great, and I love it, and 98% of our revenue comes from social media, Facebook specifically. It’s hard to know who to trust, because everyone looks amazing.
AH: Right? Everyone looks amazing. Everyone has great websites and profile pictures-
LR: Followers …
AH: You know?
AH: People buy into that, and so it’s hard to decipher. What I would tell a person who’s looking for someone to help guide them, mentor them, coach them, is to really do your due diligence, and watch a person over a period of time. Not only watch them, but watch the success of their clients.
LR: Oh, there you go.
AH: You know? I often tell my clients, and my audience, I’m like, “Listen, don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. Watch the people who are working with me.” You know? What is my track record? Even if you’re new in the bus, or whatever, everyone has a track record. Like, before I started doing this I was successful at something else. Right? That’s really what I would say is, pay attention to what people’s patterns are, because there is a lot of, “here today, gone tomorrow,” brands-
LR: Yeah, totally.
AH: I don’t want to be that, so I created what I felt like I would’ve wanted early on.
LR: Uh-huh. Yeah. What did you blow your money on?
AH: I blew … Well, let’s just get right to it.
LR: I mean, Were you talking about shoes? Were you talking about gambling?
AH: Oh, no. Hell no. Can we say hell? No, to gambling. Shoes. You know, I don’t know, y’all tell me. I think … You know what? To be really honest, I don’t blow my money-
LR: You said your thing would have been to save more money, what would you have saved it … what would you have not spent the money on?
AH: Okay. What would I have not spent the money on? Travel.
LR: Really? Just literally suck it up for a few years so … because you need a little nest egg to get going.
AH: That’s what I actually did. When I came to a realization that … This was the realization that I came to in 2011 when I wrote my first book was … The year before I started my business I took nine vacations.
LR: Nine? Yeah. That’s a good year.
AH: What I realized was, I was trying to live the life … I wasn’t trying to on purpose, but I was living the life that I couldn’t afford to live-
AH: It’s not like I was in debt over it, but I could’ve used that money for other things. I could’ve hired staff, I could’ve done this-or-that, but instead I was spending the money on vacation, because I love to travel. I put myself on restriction, and I didn’t go on vacation for like three years-
LR: Oh, wow.
AH: I said, “When I look at the money I’m spending on vacation, I can really be doing so much in the business.” It wasn’t that I didn’t deserve to go on vacation, but from a standpoint of, “What is the reward? What am I rewarding myself for really?”
LR: Yeah. Yeah.
AH: If you don’t meet your milestones-
LR: Yeah, you don’t even deserve it.
AH: Why did you even buy the car? You know what I’m saying?
AH: Are we just spoiling ourselves and just going into debt for no reason? What is the reward? Reward enough isn’t just let me get a little money, right? It’s got to be that we’re meeting our objectives in the business. I like to test myself and say, “Okay, when I do this launch, if we can meet all of our…”
LR: You hit this goal.
AH: Exactly. For example, I’m working on, as a partner with ONTRAPORT, I have a specific dollar amount goal I want in my account every month from you in this company, because I’ve referred enough people. That’s a goal. That goal is paying for my Tesla.
LR: Oh, awesome! That is my kind of girl.
AH: You know, that goal is paying for the Tesla. I can afford the Tesla today but, it pushes me to have something to strive for. You know? I think everyone could have some level of that. Whatever that looks like, paying off your student loans, hiring an assistant, whatever it is, right? Getting a new website developed, paying for ONTRAPORT for a year, whatever it is you want to do. I think that if we stop rewarding ourselves for having a goal, and start rewarding ourselves for accomplishing the goal … I’m just saying, you know?
LR: Yeah. Awesome. You’ve made a pretty big splash in a short amount of time-
LR: What is the skill set that you think that you have that has enabled that? What is your unique-
AH: It’s a dysfunction-
LR: Dysfunction? You’re unique dysfunction is?
AH: My unique dysfunction is that I’m an Army brat-
AH: That means that my father would come home and say, “We’re moving to Germany in 30 days.” Then, we’d move to Germany and we’d live there for a few years, and he’d come home again and say, “We’re moving to America in 20 days.”
AH: Having to get up and reinvent yourself in all these places and leave friends behind made me resilient and adaptable. It also helped me understand how to build and leverage relationships, which is why I am the queen of building tribes.
LR: Yeah, because you had to do it over and over again as a kid.
AH: Over and over again, and it really stuck with me on keeping in touch with people, nurturing relationships, and it served me in my business very well. You know? To be quite frank, our business didn’t even have a website for years. And, we had generated almost a million dollars … just from Facebook.
LR: Just from … Facebook.
AH: From leveraging content and showing up with intention.
LR: Interesting. What’s working right now? You’re growing quickly. What is like that thing that’s driving most of your business right now?
LR: Video. Yeah.
AH: Yes, my audience loves me on video.
LR: What a shock.
AH: Like, “Hey, what’s up?” Right? They love me on video, because … I mean, I like to have fun. I don’t take myself too seriously, and I think people try to be perfect and I’m not looking for that. I think perfection is for our individual ego. Purpose is for everyone else. Everyone else is looking for you to be purposeful in their life. So, are you giving me purposeful content, are you giving me things that I can actually implement, or are you just up here for fluff, right? My job is to be purposeful. As long as I’m doing that it’s continuing to work.
AH: You know?
LR: It’s about connecting.
AH: Yeah. I’m literally in launch right now. I did a webinar last night, I launched a program last night, I’m recording videos on top of being here, and doing, and fulfilling my obligations, and having fun with all of you guys. It’s just a part of the whole pie, you know?
AH: I stopped at ONTRAPORT yesterday-
AH: And, I did an interview with Megan.
LR: Oh, good.
AH: We talked about live streaming … No, we talked about developing deeper relationships at events. You know? And, why we do events, why you do them, why we do them. Things like that is what sets me apart is the willingness to think outside of the box, or to recognize that there really isn’t a box. You can do what you want. You know?
LR: It’s inspiring.
LR: Inspiring. People get behind that, right?
AH: Yeah, they do.
LR: Tell me what is the cutting edge for you? What are you learning right now?
AH: What I’m learning right now, honestly, is how to integrate … You mean technically what I’m learning?
LR: No. Yeah, like, what is the next thing that you want to learn that you’re struggling with, and trying to figure out?
AH: I think one of the things that I struggled with that was really hard as an entrepreneur, creative CEO, crazy ADD person, is really being a great leader for my team. Because, a lot of entrepreneurs, we do a lot of stuff when no one sees. You’re in your bed, or you’re at the kitchen table, and you’re drilling away it’s like, you don’t have to communicate with people, and you get very possessive and controlling about your stuff. Building a team, I think, is really something that I want to be better at. I’m great at leadership for my tribe. And, one of the things that I’m improving on is being a better leader for my team, and being more inclusive in decisions, as it pertains to how we run our company.
LR: I hear that. Yeah.
AH: You know? It is hard. It’s not a dictatorship, I don’t want to be like, “You gotta!” You know? We all have to do this together in order to make it work, and I want them to be happy that they’re a part of Coach, Speak & Serve-
LR: How many people are on your team now?
LR: Four people. Yeah. This is the thing: between like four or five and a dozen people is where you have to figure that out.
LR: That’s what everybody figures out. You actually can’t … You’re gonna start doing so much stuff that you can’t do it yourself-
AH: You can’t.
LR: You gotta figure out how to kind of let go, and get people included, because you’re a force of nature, and it’s easy to drive a lot of stuff early on, right?
LR: Pretty quick, it’s not all about you anymore.
AH: No, it’s not. Then, it’s interesting, because then it’s like it becomes a real company.
AH: Even though technically on paper it’s a company, it’s like you don’t feel like it’s a real company, because you’re either not paying yourself, you’re not doing this, things are raggedy on the side, people don’t know it, because you’re kind of drilling away. Then, you start to grow in scale and then you recognize that there’s deficiencies in your operation, and you gotta fix it.
AH: If you want to go higher. You know what? I have to compliment you. I love your company. I think it’s awesome.
LR: Yeah, me too.
AH: I think that I like the way that you all do business. I like the family type feel that you have. It’s like little Google. You know what I’m saying?
AH: Google’s like a cool … I mean, it’s a monstrous situation, right? I like the environment and the energy that we live and work here. You know? We don’t just work here.
AH: I really love that. When I came to the campus there was like kids running around, and I was like, “Where are these kids coming from?” I was talking to one of them, and she just ran right by me, it was hilarious. I was like, “Whose kid is this?” You know? Her mom came and she was like, “That’s my kid, she likes to run,” you know? You all were at lunch or something, and they were visiting, because you have the childcare on campus.
LR: Daycare, we do, yeah.
AH: I mean, that’s like a big deal.
LR: It is.
AH: I want my company to be like that. I want my team to feel empowered to do their job, and to have fun, you know? And, to feel like it’s a place that they can call their second home. I think that’s really important.
LR: Yeah. Awesome. You’re just getting started.
AH: I am.
LR: It may be hard to think forward a decade, or two, or three, but what would you like your legacy to be?
AH: My biggest piece of who I am is … I’m an underdog, right? I dropped out of high school, I don’t have a college degree. I have no desire to get one. I don’t have a GED. I have no desire to get one.
AH: I like who I am, because it says that I am the epitome of no excuses. You can’t come to me and say, “I’m scared, I have this childhood, I have this, I don’t have a college degree, I don’t have this certificate.” You can’t say that to me and use that as the reason why you can’t do something.
LR: Yeah. Interesting.
AH: You just can’t, because it’s bullshit. You know? I think that our drive, and our actions in what we decide to do every day makes a difference on the impact that we can potentially make. You know? Not only in the lives of other people that’s important, but in our own lives as well. For me, it’s important that people know that the underdog can win. You know? You can come from wherever, you can look like whatever. Listen, I’m a double minority, it’s no surprise … I’m chocolate, right? I’m a female-
AH: You know? You can still do stuff. You can do big stuff. It can be amazing and you can make a lot of money helping a lot of people.
LR: Yeah, yeah. Awesome. We live in this modern moment where business is changing so fast. We named this thing MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR to try and get perspectives on what that means. What does it mean, do you think, to be a modern entrepreneur? What are the opportunities that are unique to this time? What are the responsibilities?
AH: Yeah. I think modern entrepreneur, to me, means that you are open and receptive to what’s being … what’s happening now, what’s innovative, what is different, you know? It’s putting away the Yellow Pages, you know? It’s picking up the iPhone or the whatever, the Droid-
AH: Total iPhone junkie-
AH: You know? It’s putting away the phone book and saying, “I want to be innovative. I want to explore. I’m open to what’s going to help me connect … on what’s happening right now.” Not what was happening, because … I listened to your keynote last year, and what I loved, and I said … and, this is why I really like you, is because … I said, “These people are growing.” You’re an entrepreneur, too. You started with an idea, and you implemented, you got help, and I was like, “It’s nice to watch a company grow up.” I told somebody yesterday, I was like, “I want to be like Landon.” I really said that. I don’t know who it was, I don’t know if it was Val or somebody, you know? You want to watch, and you want to be with companies that are also growing, where you can see their growth. It’s like, “Man, I remember when … You guys remember when we were in that so-and-so, and we did this, and remember when we were in this one little room?” You know? “We were all trying to talk on the phone.”
LR: It was real.
AH: You know? It is!
LR: People doing real stuff.
AH: So, yeah. I think being a modern entrepreneur is being open to what’s new. And, not allowing yourself to get stuck in what’s comfortable, because technology is accelerating- You know? It’s just moving very quickly, and we gotta get with it or else we’re gonna get left behind and leave a lot of people behind in the process.
LR: Well, there you go. Aprille, thank you so much for being here. Will you sign our wall?
AH: I will sign the wall.
LR: It has been a pleasure.
Want more MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR Podcast?
Check out the previous episode featuring Patty Aubery of Canfield Training Group.