Quite frankly, I just wasn’t happy working anywhere else or working for somebody else. I always knew I wanted to have my own. I come from a family of women entrepreneurs. I remember watching my aunt do nails in her basement, my other aunt had her own daycare and my other aunt had her own private practice as an OBGYN. My mother showed me how to have multiple streams of income. My business started with a bet from one of my “girlfrans.” I use to help plan her fashion shows which were successful and she said to me one day, “If this upcoming fashion show goes well then you need to start your own business, you are really good at this.” The fashion show was amazing and that Monday I registered my business name - in May of 2008.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdles for me was trying to find someone to learn from in the event industry just starting out. I wanted a mentor. When I approached and reach out to people they looked at me as a competition and said why would I let you work with me if you have your own business. I never understood that. I was just trying to learn. My thought process is that it is enough money out here for everyone. There was no competition, I wanted to LEARN from the ones that were successful in the industry. So after I heard enough No’s and/or nothing at all. I just started learning myself. Because of this I think I went through a lot more obstacles that could have been avoided if I had a mentor at the time but I think this was suppose to be apart of my journey. I overcame things by just doing the work, researching and telling fear to get out of my way when it tried to pull me back of why am I doing this, did I really think I can do this mentality.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Am I the only one who reads like three books at a time..lol. I am reading Ask the Good Doctor: The Detox Edition Remixed For A Healthy New You by Dr. Lajoyce Brookshire, The Power of Broke by Daymond John and Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship. My recommendation for entrepreneurs to read would be a book I co-authored, Planners Unplugged: Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Event Planners. It may sound like a book about event planning but it’s not. Its an amazing read about the struggles we went through and how we overcame in our businesses (www.crystalmarieevents.com/brand-portfolio)
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?
My family has always been very supportive in their own way, even if they didn’t understand it. They were use to working one job for half their life and me on the other hand would move on from a job in a minute.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Creating my own lane and staying in it.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
That fear is literally a disease that creeps up in an entrepreneurs mind daily. You have to practice good habits that keeps that demon at bay. It will try to keep you from living your best life. Take risks!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Remember that the journey isn’t about you..It’s to help somebody else later who will have the same struggles. So you can tell them how you didn’t give up.