Ali Brown is the voice for women’s entrepreneurial success. As founder and CEO of Ali International LLC, she has created a dynamic enterprise that is devoted to empowering women entrepreneurs around the world, and currently has over 75,000 members in her online and offline programs.
Over the past three years alone, Ali has received the honor of being:
ranked on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies
named one of the Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine
included in the Ernst & Young Class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women
a winner of the Stevie® Award for Women Helping Women
a recipient of the Commitment to Philanthropy award from the Step Up Women’s Network
named “The Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily
dubbed one of Forbes’ Women to Watch
featured on the season finale of ABC’s Secret Millionaire show
spokesperson and panelist for Chase’s Mission Main Street Grants program for small business
“I had no idea I ever wanted to be an entrepreneur…”
Ali’s entrepreneurial plans were hatched while working at a small New York City ad agency. She found herself frustrated at not being able to change and improve things, and her ideas fell on deaf ears. Then, in 1998 Ali made the decision that changed her life forever. “I finally realized that I should be an entrepreneur! I was working in a tiny company and was doing everything from talking to clients, to servicing accounts, to getting coffee for people, to fixing the fax machine. That was when I realized that I had the skills I needed to do this on my own.”
She quit her job. Without a mentor or coach to guide her, Ali immersed herself in books on marketing and success. Using a second-hand computer gifted by her younger brother, she discovered how to use online marketing to build her business. It appealed to her because it was low-cost, had a broad reach, and she could work from her kitchen table at home.
Hitting Bottom and Bouncing Back…
Although happy at being free from a traditional job, this was a difficult period for the budding entrepreneur. She had trouble finding clients, didn’t know how to market herself, and was flat broke. “I remember one night going to the ATM,” she says. “I was meeting some friends for drinks, and I couldn’t even take out a $20 bill. My balance was $18.56. I will never forget that number. I had to call them and cancel and go home. I had maxed out my credit cards. I had been putting all I had into my little start-up business.”
Ali hung in there. The thought of giving up her independence was too painful to bear, and her perseverance today illustrates how to find success if you really want it. “I trusted myself. This was my path. I listened to my heart and knew that this was what I was supposed to do. Soon enough I figured it out, one day at a time.” And that’s when her business started to move in the right direction.
Ali’s proficiency at marketing her business via e-mail newsletters or “e-zines” earned her the moniker “Ezine Queen”, and she started to land projects with prestigious clients such as New York Times Digital, Adweek Magazines, Scholastic Books, and Dun & Bradstreet. But the best was yet to come.
From Nowhere…to Self-Made Millionaire…to Entrepreneur Mentor
The moment when Ali realized her risks would be rewarded was when other women she met asked her about her business success with questions like, “How do you market yourself? How do you get clients? How do you use the internet? How do you publish an ezine?”
Ali’s a-ha moment was to create her first e-book, titled Boost Business With Your Own Ezine. She posted it online and sent an offer to the small e-mail list she had nurtured at the time. Scared stiff, she feared her clients might reject her because she was selling to them. So she took some time out and went to the gym. On her return she saw her inbox full of orders and was stunned. “I’ll never forget that feeling,” she says. “There were dozens of orders that had come in. And I realized, I’m not working right now! I had done the work, and income was coming in. I thought, I want to learn more about this and teach it to others.” Ali then fast became a respected industry leader in driving sales and marketing via email publishing.
Ali’s following gained, and her expertise grew well past online promotion into marketing, business, and success strategies for entrepreneurs. And due to demand, her offerings expanded into courses, programs, seminars, events, and mentoring. She became a millionaire by age 35, and since then has devoted her entire venture to help nurture other women business owners—from part-time home-based moms to dedicated empire builders who want to change the world.
Ali’s business-building insights and heartwarming spirit are big draws on the international stage as women all over the world seek her expertise. She hosts entrepreneurial events that change lives, and her workshops are unlike any other seminars out there, combining her innovative business success strategies with steps for personal growth—to help women take their businesses and lives to whole new levels.
A Natural Media Maven—From Online to Print to TV
Success has seen Ali and her businesses featured on Forbes.com, More.com, Business News Daily, The Huffington Post, Smart Business Los Angeles, Kiplinger.com, Yahoo.com and more.
She’s been highlighted in the books Your Network is Your Net Worth (2013, Atria), The Prosperity Plan (2011, Tarcher), Smarter, Faster, Cheaper (2010, Wiley), Coach Yourself to a New Career (2010, McGraw Hill), Small Businesses Give Big (2009, Alma Publishing), Birthing the Elephant: A Woman’s Go-for-It Guide to Starting and Growing a Successful Business (2008, Ten Speed Press), Mastering Online Marketing (2007, Entrepreneur Press), and The Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing (2007, Entrepreneur Press), among others.
She has been interviewed on the Fox Business Network, E!, ABC News Now, the Style Network, and on ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and Sirius XM news and morning shows around the country. (She’s even been spoofed on Jimmy Kimmel Live.) And her philanthropic efforts were featured in the spring 2011 season finale of ABC’s hit primetime series, Secret Millionaire.
Ali has also been featured in numerous print publications in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, including Inc. magazine, Success magazine, Self-Made magazine, the New York Post, the Sydney Morning Herald, and Investor’s Business Daily.
Ali and her business advice has been featured on…
Helping More Women Thrive as Entrepreneurs Than Ever Before
After several years of personally mentoring hundreds of women business owners, it was time for Ali to expand her reach. In November 2008, she launched a large-scale program that would become Elevate®, delivering several tiers of education and coaching for both experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Although Ali’s career has been full of many outstanding triumphs, she shares what fills her with the most pride is the achievements of her clients. “Nothing makes me more proud or excited, sometimes to the point of tears, as when I see them have a big breakthrough, share a success story that changed their lives, or multiplied their income in ways they could only have imagined.”
For years, Ali’s annual live event SHINE inspired entrepreneurs to think creatively about marketing, and to take the smart risks that allow their businesses to thrive no matter what state the economy is in. Ali provided hands-on exercises and personal coaching at each event, where she interviewed numerous inspiring women including real estate mogul and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Baby Einstein founder Julie Clark, Academy Award® winning actress Marlee Matlin, maternity-wear design maven Liz Lange, and Dermalogica Founder Jane Wurwand.
And by popular demand, Ali is regularly invited to speak on stages around the world, delivering powerful messages and practical action steps to groups ranging from entrepreneurs to corporate professionals to nonprofits and women’s groups.
Transforming Her Life Into a Legacy
Ali is expanding her message to women around the world. Through it she’ll take more women on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship to experience the freedom of choices for themselves and their families that they have always wanted.
Her philanthropic efforts are being recognized via awards, media, and exclusive opportunities. Ali is a recipient of the 2010 Stevie® Award for Women Helping Women, the 2010 Commitment to Philanthropy award from the Step Up Women’s Network, and gave away $100,000 to inspiring active members of her community on the spring 2011 ABC primetime show, Secret Millionaire.
Ali was also one of a handful of entrepreneurs invited to attend Virgin-brand mogul Sir Richard Branson’s “New Frontiers in Philanthropy” summit on his private island in BVI, where 20 philanthropists and entrepreneurs joined together in 2011 to create new approaches for scaling change in the social sector.
After 13 years in the Los Angeles area, Ali recently relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she lives with her fiance, Brett, and their infant twins, Jordan and Maddison.