Ali Brown had no idea she ever wanted to be an entrepreneur. After hopping around from job to job within her first six years out of college, she landed at a small ad agency in midtown New York City. While she loved the fast pace and variety of projects, and was coming into her own as a talented copywriter, she found herself frustrated at not being able to change and improve things: Her ideas fell on deaf ears.
Then, in 1998 Ali made the decision that changed her life forever. “It finally dawned on me I should be an entrepreneur. Here I was working in this tiny company, doing everything from talking to clients, designing campaigns, and servicing accounts… to fetching coffee and fixing the fax machine. I realized I had the skills to at least try this on my own.”
She quit her job and began to freelance. 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 folding kitchen table in her tiny NYC apartment.
Hitting Bottom and Bouncing Back…
Although happy at being free from a traditional job, this was a difficult period. She had trouble finding enough clients, didn’t know how to market herself, and was flat broke. “I felt a bit delusional—thinking maybe I’d made the jump too soon,” she says. “The wakeup call was one night going to the ATM and not being able to even withdraw one $20 bill. My balance was $18.56. I will never forget that number. I had to go back home and call my friends and cancel our plans. I had maxed out my credit cards. I had been putting all I had into figuring this thing out.”
But Ali hung in there. The thought of giving up her independence was too painful to bear. “I trusted myself,” she says. “I knew this was my path. I felt deep down this was leading me to what I was supposed to do, and I just took it day by day.” And that’s when her business started to move in the right direction.
Ali’s early proficiency at online marketing—which was just beginning to escalate in demand—combined with her proficient copywriting skills eventually landed her freelance projects with numerous ad agencies as well as prestigious clients such as New York Times Digital, Adweek Magazines, Scholastic Books, and Dun + Bradstreet. Her marketing communications business continued to grow. But the best was yet to come.
From Nowhere… to Self-Made Millionaire… To Entrepreneur Mentor
The moment when Ali realized her risks would really be rewarded was when other women she met inquired about her success. They asked questions like, “How do you market yourself? How do you get clients? How do you use the Internet? How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?”
She began to teach all she knew. Ali’s following gained, and her expertise grew well past online promotion into marketing, business, and success strategies for entrepreneurs. Her offerings expanded into online courses and programs, then live seminars and events, and then into private mentoring and consulting.
And while her clients always included both men and women, she decided to devote her venture to help more women business owners take their businesses to scale. “Less than 2% of women-owned businesses break the million-dollar mark,” she explains. “I wanted to help change that. Not only help them surpass that mark, but well beyond. Because that’s where they can really make a huge impact in their industries and beyond.”
Dedicated to Helping Women Entrepreneurs Scale Up
In 2014, Ali launched her award-winning Glambition® Radio show, which quickly shot to the top of the podcast charts in several categories. The only show of its kind for entrepreneurial women, it exclusively features prominent female founders and leaders. Recent guests have included Orange Theory founder Ellen Latham, Wall Street legend Sallie Krawchek, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, corporate leader Beth Comstock, creative icon Julia Cameron, Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp, celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser, Vicky Tsai of Tatcha skincare, Paige Adams of Paige Denim, human rights activist Zainab Salbi, and more.
Learn More About the Podcast
In 2017, Ali debuted her annual private ‘ICONIC with Ali Brown’ workshops, which cater to a more specific client: The women entrepreneur generating or on track to reach $1 million+ in annual revenues. These closed-door retreats are application-only to attend and have become a de facto ‘rite-of-passage’ event for the game-changing women leaders who fly in from all around the world.
And in 2020 — after experiencing a lack of solid networks for women at the higher levels of revenue — she launched The Trust: the new, premier global network for women entrepreneurs generating 7- and 8-figure revenues, featuring access to exclusive events, special guest advisors, and more.
Behind the scenes, Ali still advises and consults on the businesses of several of the female entrepreneurs you see thriving today. She has helped her clients increase revenues by millions of dollars a year, birth new brands, monetize their messages, create lucrative programs and trainings, host moneymaking seminars and events, reposition themselves on the higher-end of the spectrum, connect with other leaders in their industry, gain media appearances, and more. Ali’s coaching is so influential that CNN featured her in its piece “How Mentors Make Superstars”.
Work that is Leaving a Legacy
Ali’s philanthropy has been recognized over the last decade via awards, media, and exclusive opportunities. She is a recipient of the Stevie® Award for Women Helping Women, the Commitment to Philanthropy award from the Step Up Women’s Network, and back in 2011 she gave away $100,000 to inspiring active members of her community on the ABC primetime TV show, Secret Millionaire.
She 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 to create new approaches for scaling change in the social sector.
Ali was an official entrepreneur delegate at the United Nations Foundation’s first ever Global Accelerator conference in 2014, bringing together 100 international business leaders to work on solving world issues at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. She has served as an Advisory Board member on the Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 initiative (EBW2020), the Advisory Board of the Directors Institute of Sydney, Australia, and the esteemed Global Committee of the Athena 40 Initiative based in London. Ali is also a private angel investor with a special interest in women-led ventures.