Tell us about your journey!
My journey came about somewhat accidentally. I was actually a Registered Nurse for over 30 years, so obviously, I'm not young. When my father came to live with me, I quickly became aware that he had dementia and that he could not be left home alone. I quit my job and went in search of something that I could do for a living that would allow me to work from home. I tried a couple of things and found that I loved working in social media marketing. I took many courses, studied industry leaders, found a mentor and business coach and got to work.When I first began, because I needed to be present at home, I wasn't able to do any local networking. My father has since passed and I have added networking to my marketing plan and feel that it is an integral part of my success.
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship? Necessity. I had to replace the income that I lost from leaving my nursing career. But I found that I loved being able to run my own business, make my own hours, contribute to the community in ways that I didn't before and meet and learn from other business owners.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them? Learning to prioritize was a big hurdle. There are so many tasks that need to be done and so many hats to wear (Marketing Suzie, Admin Suzie, Client - meeting Suzie, etc.), that it was hard to know what to do first and what to place the most emphasis on. Tasks and roles are not equally weighted. The Ivy Lee Method worked very well for me in that regard. Putting systems into place was another hurdle. In order for things to run smoothly, you must have systems. They take time to create but once they're in place, they save time! I used weekends to create and implement systems. Consistency and focus are also big hurdles to overcome. Each of those is something that requires work and repetition. Then they become a habit. Outsourcing! Outsourcing costs money and who has money when beginning a business? But the reason you can't afford to outsource is because you're not outsourcing! Don't waste 3 hours trying to figure something out when there is an expert who can knock the same thing out in ten minutes. Save your time for what you do best.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
There will always be some part of your family and some of your friends who don't believe in you. Do it anyway.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success? Two things: consistency and networking. The majority of my clients are not local but the confidence, ability to think on my feet, relationship-building, and presentation skills are things that I can use anywhere. One of the things that allowed for that consistency was giving up the idea that if all else failed, I could return to my nursing career. The day I decided that I was DONE with nursing was the day my business started picking up steam. Gratitude also played a huge part and still does. I am grateful for every single day.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? I wish I had begun earlier. I enjoyed my career as a nurse but this experience is much more fun! It allows me to use my creativity, work independently, get out and about mingling with other business owners and local influencers and make decisions that are best for my business and me. I don't have a glass ceiling.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally? Just begin. One of my business coaches has a motto "Fail Fast". Fail fast so you can learn and grow. The faster you do that, the faster you will succeed.
Founder and President of The Social Webb - social media management and marketing Blogger/Editor at IntentionalCaregiver.com Pleased to be part of the OMagInsiders, brand ambassadors for O, The Oprah Magazine