What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I think it was always in my blood. I worked for others for many years, and was getting fed up with the 9 to 5 life. I wanted to do something exciting and make a difference.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
For the first few years I struggled to make a living - (I got burnt out on several occasion). Looking back at it, what helped me overcome my initial difficulties was my perseverance and my belief in what I was doing. I also learned that I deserve better for myself - especially day in day out. This changed my perspectives relating to getting paid for my gift and talent. Therefore, I began charging very reasonable fees, I stopped working for free or for peanuts, I started valuing myself more.
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?
Yes, my mom once gave me a bit of an attitude re: taking this risks. I proceeded without her blessings. In fact, things turned out to be great - now she is proud of me without hesitation. I am grateful for the all challenges and having an advocate in my life, surrounding the inception of my company. I always knew I would be successful. My clients base is overwhelming in numbers momentarily!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Everything. Oh my dear, I made so many mistakes, particularly - customer service engagement. I now realize that every customer wants to feel important and treated with respect when they walk in your doors no matter the race,gender etc. I also didn't realize how much it takes to actually build a brand and how much professionalism is involved. It's not a matter of posting some pictures or building a simple website, it takes much more than that!
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Go for it, but be really sure that you are willing to work hard, sacrifice your weekends and hanging out in bars and clubs, and be determined to make it work. Don't expect immediate results and stay positive! Know that sometimes you will have quiet times, and sometimes it will be too busy to handle. Make sure you delegate less important tasks to interns or freelance staff. Believe in yourself, and live your dream!