TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
I help service professionals create or improve their online messaging so they more easily attract the clients they want to serve. I do this by writing copy for their websites, and teaching them how to use social media more effectively. I also speak at networking events and conferences and conduct my own workshops.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
When I lost my job during the Great Recession in 2008, I had to reinvent myself. I invested in a direct mail copywriting course, but when I realized that businesses were moving online in a big way, I shifted my focus to SEO copywriting.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
I began my career in television working for the PBS national news program, Nightly Business Report. During my career with NBR, I learned the ins and outs of TV news production, advancing from character generator operator, to associate producer/writer, and finally, to the producer. That experience helped sharpen my writing skills which I’ve put to good use in my business, writing web copy for small businesses and service professionals. And yes, this is my first business.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Seek guidance from a mentor or a coach. Talk with people who have run businesses so you can learn from their mistakes. But realize that you will make your own mistakes and that’s ok. As long as you learn from them, and keep going, you’ll achieve your goals.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:
My greatest obstacle is myself! I spent too many years making mistakes because I didn’t ask for help from a mentor or a coach. I finally hired coaches to help me with different areas of my business, such as speaking and marketing. I also joined a mastermind with other business owners who shared their wisdom and experience with me. I also participated in personal development workshops. All of these things helped me to get out of my own way, and grow my business more effectively.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Leading a 3-day marketing workshop one month after my sister passed away. This workshop had been postponed already (once due to a hurricane threat, again when my sister went into the hospital), and I could have easily cancelled it and given the attendees their money back. But I knew she wouldn’t have wanted me to do that. It was an amazing experience, and I got positive feedback from the attendees.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
The way I blend life and work is to start my day with the intention of how I want the day to go. I meditate, read inspirational messages, and write in my gratitude journal. After breakfast, I go for a walk or take a water aerobics class to keep my body healthy. I make sure that I stop work at a reasonable time and resist checking my email in the evening! ☺
I AM INSPIRED BY:
I get inspired by nature. I love being in the ocean. There’s something about the sight and sound of waves pounding the shore that just puts me at ease and allows me to clear my head and open my mind to new possibilities. I’m also inspired by God. Whenever I’m feeling stuck for new ideas, I spend a few minutes in quiet meditation; I ask my angels for help, or I simply go for a walk and focus on my surroundings, and soon after the solution I need or a new idea will come to me.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I love SEO copywriting because it allows me to tap into both sides of my brain – the analytical one to determine the right keywords for a website, and the creative side to use those words in a way that motivates a web visitor to take action.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
There are several ways I prepare for success. It starts with research. If I’m writing web copy, I interview the client to get as much information as I can about their business and what they offer, so I can tap into their voice when I write. I also rely on my higher power, specifically my writing angels for help when I’m stuck, and can’t come up with a new idea. Spending a couple of minutes in quiet meditation, asking for help, and then expressing gratitude that the help is being delivered, does the trick. It usually doesn’t take long before inspiration strikes and I’m able to start writing again. The final step is to devote myself to learn. I invest in and attend personal and business development courses and workshops because there is always something new that I can learn that will help me grow my business, help my clients grow theirs, and improve my mindset. I also read a lot of books, magazines and blog articles, and spend time talking and masterminding with other business owners.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
I have never written a business plan, so I can’t say whether it was effective or not.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
One advantage women have is that we’re usually quite heart-centred. I believe most women who go into business have a genuine desire to help people, which sometimes can be a disadvantage because, in our desire to help, we don’t always charge what we’re worth. Women also tend to be more collaborative by nature. We look out for one another. We care about our clients. Most of the time, we’re good at forming relationships with other business owners. There are always exceptions to the rule. One other disadvantage women business owners have is that they’re often reluctant to ask for help. I think sometimes, we take too much pride in being able to juggle it all. Trying to manage a family and a business can be extremely stressful. It’s important to get help in one or both areas. Men typically have no trouble delegating, for example. Women business owners need to own their value and let others help them in order to be successful.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Asana. It’s a work management tool that enables me to be organized in my business. I have systems set up for different aspects of my business, such as client management, finances, operations, etc. Each task gets assigned a due date, so each morning I check Asana to see what’s on my schedule for the day. It keeps me on task, so I don’t miss any deadlines. Plus, I love hitting the checkmark next to a task when I’ve completed it. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction. ☺
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
To trust my intuition. When I was younger, I would get a “gut feeling” about a certain situation, and when I ignored it, I would always regret it later. Now I know better. I pay attention to my heart and my gut – that second brain we have that is so much smarter than the brain in our head – which is often ruled by old limiting beliefs and stories we tell ourselves that don’t serve us. Listening to and following my heart has taken me to some fabulous places, and opened me up to opportunities I never would have imagined. So my advice is to listen to your heart and trust your gut. It knows what’s best for you.