What is the Biggest Lesson You've Learned Along the Way?

With Caitlynn Houser

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Caitlynn Houser and I’m the founder of As Told By Women! A few years ago, my best friend and I started a charitable organization in our home state of Delaware. During that time, we were able to give back over 17,000 items. It was an amazing experience but also became extremely overwhelming. I wasn’t ready for how fast we would be able to grow and I shut down. We decided to put The Charity Company on hold. I was feeling so lost and needed somewhere I could look at daily for inspiration and motivation. When I didn’t find what I was looking for, I decided to start it myself and As Told By Women was born. Being able to share women of all different backgrounds stories has been incredible and encouraging.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Not too long ago a friend of mine said to me that nothing is set in stone, we are always changing and always evolving. This has helped remind me to continue pushing out of my comfort zone. Change is often scary and can be hard to push ourselves away from what feels safe but it’s the only way we grow.
 
What would you say to 16 year old you?
I would tell her to put in the work and stop being such a procrastinator. Although it seems great at the time, it creates a not so great habit that becomes much harder to break.
 
What is your greatest fear?
Losing the people closest to me. And also, not actually accomplishing what I want in life because I don’t put in the extra work. I’m afraid that my own doubts will hold me back.
 
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
I’m sure there have been people through my life that have doubted me but I’ve never really noticed. In fact, I have probably been my biggest doubter. It can be hard to get out of our own heads. I’m learning that the not so nice voice that’s in my head sometimes, didn’t originate with me. I’ve allowed outside influences to shape how I feel about myself and that is something I try to be mindful of every day, while working on changing those thoughts.
 
What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are truly capable of doing anything you’re passionate about if you’re willing to work hard for it. Never let anyone tell you that isn’t true. Believe in yourself and believe in the women around you. The more we come together the further we’ll go. We rise together.
 
What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love that Delaware is so small and in the center of so much. You can drive top to bottom of the state in less than 2 hours, which for me means the beach is never too far away. It’s also right by Philadelphia and only a few hours to NYC or DC! Growing up I always thought there was nothing in this state, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate it more.
 
What do you love most about yourself?
This is a hard one to answer. Self-love isn’t always the easiest thing and it feels so much easier to point out the things we don’t like about ourselves. But, I would have to say that I love how I am able to get along with almost anyone I meet. I can be a pretty empathetic person, and although it can be draining at times, I wouldn’t change it because it brings a sense of connection to others.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
That you have to put in the work. Nothing happens without your own effort. You should never wait for the ‘perfect’ time to start something, because that doesn’t exist. Chase your dreams now. Go after them and be willing to consistently put the work in to make it happen.
 
What motivates you most?
Seeing other women achieving their goals and making bigger impacts in the world. Every time I come across someone new who is doing something dope and chasing her dreams it motivates me. It shows that we are all capable and that’s inspiring.
 
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is either tacos or my Mom’s baked/fried chicken. They bring me comfort and happiness, which is what I think everyone’s favorite meal should do!
 
Why did you start your company?
I started ATBW out of my own need. I needed somewhere that I could be inspired, motivated, and encouraged to chase my dreams. We all have a story and I believe they’re all important. Stories allow us to feel more connected with one another and often show us how much we all have in common.
 
Were you scared to start your business?
In many ways, I still am. It can be hard to put myself out there but I know that the more I do, the more women I’ll be able to connect with. One of the best things in life is the relationships and connections we make along the way. 
 
What is something on your bucket list?
I have always wanted to road trip around the US in a RV. There are so many beautiful places around this country and I feel like I’m missing out on so much. I’d also love to travel outside of the States, especially to the caribbean, Australia, and Ireland.
 
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from the women we feature and the people in my life. Connecting with someone’s story inspires me and reminds me that we’re never alone in this journey of life. The people in my life inspire me by the hard work they put in and the constant encouragement they show to not only myself, but others around them.

More About Caitlynn

Caitlynn Houser is the founder of As Told By Women. She dedicates her day to inspire others while reminding all women that they can accomplish anything and everything they’re passionate about.
Caitlynn is from the small state of Delaware and enjoys spending her days laughing.

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