So I talked to my boss at the time and told him I needed a change. Keep in mind I have worked for this man for two companies and for over 10 years in total. Even though I can't say things were always perfect I learned a lot from him and he was very supportive during this time. He understood that I couldn't stay there forever and agreed to become my first client.
All the signs were pointing to starting my own business. It was something I had dabbled in over the years but never fully committed to. It's scary! Or at least it was. That is until I changed my mindset.
So, what was this mindset change and how did I do it? I pushed fear to the side and made the decision based on numbers, strategy, and faith in myself. I had been building businesses or departments from the ground up my entire career. The only difference is this time it's my money on the line, my income, my family, my name, everything was mine. Still sound scary? It is but it's also empowering. I didn't have to ask someone to make a business decision. I didn't have to wait on a sales person to bring me business. I didn't have to worry that my customers weren't getting the best care. I could do all that!
I was very lucky to have a customer right out the gate. I understand that is not always the case. However, you can build your business on the side while you maintain that 8-5 job. (Sidenote: I hate that it's refered to as a 9-5 job. I have never in my life been offered a job where I don't have to come in until 9.) Yes, having a side hustle is hard but it's not permanent and you have to decide what is most important. Would you rather continue in your current situation forever, switch to a different 8-5 that is a different view but no different in how it effects your life, or would you rather endure a little suffering now to open up a world of possibilities and freedom?
Obviously, you know what I would do. My first step was to evaluate my past experience, my skills, my passions, and what of that could generate me a profitable income within the confines of my schedule. Once I had that I created my brand, filed my federal and state registration documents, set up my website, email and social media, set pricing, and then announced it to the world.
The great thing about social media is that even people you haven't talked to in a while can keep up with you. Over the years I had proven my work ethic, skills, and customer service to those I worked with. It's important to remember that even in your hourly or salaried positions, EVEN IF YOU DON'T DIRECTLY INTERACT WITH THE COMPANY'S CUSTOMERS, you have customers. Every person you come into contact with is your customer, from the receptionist to the sales person to the production crew. This is something my dad taught me as a child and that I carried with me through every job I've ever had. How you present yourself and how you treat others matters! It's because of this that when I announced the start of Slated my past co-workers reached out. They recommended me. They wanted to learn more and I couldn't be happier to hear from them. Not only did it mean good things for my business but I was able to breath life into relationships that had faded away due to no one's fault other than time. I was able to build my tribe on my time now and build it to include people that inspire me.
Inspiration is key to motivation. Now I try to go to at least one networking event in my area a week. This keeps me inspired, motivated, and engaged in my community. It allows me to find new customers and provides me information on other businesses that I can support.
So one year later, what do I have to show for taking a leap of faith on myself and starting Slated? Everything. I have a business with a solid foundation, I have a tribe of inspiring people around me, and I have the flexibility with my time to make sure that my family comes first. What else could you want?
I'm so excited to be traveling to San Diego at the end of February for this amazing event! Even better I'm volunteering and I've already connected with several other members and volunteers.
The event is put on by Social Media Examiner and hosts approx. 5,000 marketers and creators every year. Here is a small sampling of the 170+ expert speakers...
Guy Kawasaki (Apple’s former chief evangelist), Mari Smith (leading Facebook expert), Jay Baer (social customer service authority), Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner’s founder), Ann Handley (MarketingProf’s chief content officer), Brian Solis (social futurist), Amy Porterfield (online marketing pro), Mark Schaefer (social futurist), Tim Schmoyer (leading YouTube expert), Gini Dietrich (crisis authority), Shaun McBride (top Snapchat influencer), Sue B. Zimmerman (Instagram expert), Zach King (filmmaker and YouTube celebrity), Peg Fitzpatrick (leading Pinterest pro), Joel Comm (top live video authority), Viveka Von Rosen (top LinkedIn expert), Derral Eves (YouTube authority), Amy Schmittauer (vlogging pro), Pat Flynn (top business podcaster), Madalyn Sklar (leading Twitter pro), Robert Rose (leading content marketing ninja), Darren Rowse (top blogging pro), Cliff Ravenscraft (top podcasting pro), and Christopher Penn (analytics guru).
This is a great opportunity for me to connect, share ideas, brainstorm, and amplify my social marketing with other marketing professionals and subject matter experts. Don't worry I'll be bringing this knowledge back to Kansas and to you! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook for updates during and after the conference.
Who am I? What is my background? Let me give you the condensed version.
I went to college and studied something I thought I would enjoy and hopefully could make money at. I entered the workforce with little expectation of a pension plan or social security to take care of me at the end of my journey.
Starting off small I accepted a position that put me in the industry I went to school for and offered a decent salary that could support a recent college grad with no other responsibilities. I was able to carve out a name for myself with the company and its associated vendors and customers. With that grew the desire to take the next step and become a manager. Luckily my work spoke for itself. Without even looking I was asked to go on an interview, with a local entrepreneur, to start and lead my own department. An opportunity I took and ran with.
During this time I was also offered the opportunity to teach online college classes. Being someone who believes heavily in multiple revenue streams this was another opportunity I took. An opportunity that prepared me for today's world more than I could ever have imagined at the time.
Although I loved running my own department I knew that I would never reach my full potential by staying put. Enter the world of advertising. It was a great experience that came right when I needed it. For most the advertising world is stressful and time consuming but for me the experience was the most carefree I've ever been in business....that is until I was laid off.
So, I went back to working for an entrepreneur. Something I think everyone should try at least once in their career. It gives you crash course and insights into all facets of business. Things you would never learn at a large corporation. In fact, it was this experience that allowed me the confidence I needed to take the next step and start my own business.
For years I had been taking very deliberate steps to become a well-rounded employee. In starting my own business, I had to question what it was I really wanted to do. I was 34 and just then figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up. The answer came to me in the form of a webinar. I was introduced to the world of social media management, online advertising, and online courses. From that moment on I was hooked. It played to all my strengths and experience. I dove deeper and deeper into this world and found my true calling.
I want to help small businesses. Not just with social media management but in all forms of business development.
When this realization of what I wanted in life came to me I knew I had to shift my way of thinking about my career. I don’t want to just help one small business, I want to help ALL small businesses. That’s what I strive to do every day. I hope to serve as a resource for both business owners and employees to work smarter not harder.
So that is me and how I got here. If you want more information or need help for your small business let me know. I’d love to help!