How I Became a Small Business Owner
Happy Small Business Saturday! I can tell you first hand that one SMALL purchase makes a BIG difference and today, I’m excited to share my story of how I became a small business owner.
As a kid, when I got the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always answered “A lawyer or a News Anchor”. I liked the idea of being in a profession that allowed me to speak my voice even though I was a fairly shy kid.
I had no idea what an Entrepreneur was and I didn’t know there was a job called Professional Speaker. Social Media also didn’t exist like it does now. So never did I imagine that I would become an Entrepreneur who is a Professional Speaker and Social Media Consultant.
Here’s how it all started…In 2008 I launched my website, yes the one that you’re on now. It was just a blog with no services listed. I was still working full time in radio sales. I loved my job because it was different each day and I was helping people grow their business, but I noticed a huge shift in behavior from consumers. Consumers were relying on the internet more and more for their purchases and people were spending more time on social media sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
I was an early adopter to social media. I had both an Asian Avenue and Xanga in high school (Who else used these sites?). I was one of the first to get Facebook in college. I understood the power of these tools to connect people and I was passionate about using them to help businesses. I decided to learn as much as I could about social media marketing and documented it all on my blog (yes this same blog that you’re reading now).
The more I shared, the more questions I got about how to use social media. I was invited to do radio interviews, TV interviews and to speak on stages, all to discuss the power of social media.
I left my radio job and worked for a few different digital agencies. My goal was to do social media marketing, but I never really had the opportunity to focus on my passion while working for someone else. I knew that in order to pursue my passion to teach and speak on social media, the only way to do it was to go off on my own. So I did! I didn’t “wait for the right time”. I just jumped in and overnight I became a small business owner. Yes, it literally happened just like that. I didn’t have a long thought out business plan (not recommending that you do what I do, just sharing my story), I didn’t have 6 months of rent saved up and I didn’t know exactly how I would make sure I earned more than I already did. One thing I did know though is that I was ambitious and passionate about creating my own opportunities and having a career that allowed me to do what I love.
I immediately got hired to teach college classes about social media and to speak on large stages all over the world. My dream that I didn’t even know I had was coming true. From my speaking, I was hired to manage social media for some large companies. Things were moving quickly and I was able to make a great income with my own business, right away!
A few years later though, things started to shift. More and more people decided to jump on the social media bandwagon and I was getting priced out with my services. Clients no longer wanted to pay me premium fees to run their social media, despite my marketing experience because college kids and new grads were offering the same service for minimum wage. I had to shift my business and I have continued to do this throughout the years. Now I focus on 2 main services that I do best, Speaking and Consulting!
As a Professional Speaker, I get to educate, motivate and inspire people to grow their business with social media. As a Social Media Consultant, I help people stay top of mind, when it’s time to buy through accountability and strategic plans in our custom one on one Laser Marketing Sessions.
10 years later despite all the challenges, long work hours, rejections, I’m still here and couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities that my business has brought me. I’ve been able to travel and world, create my own schedule and my best perk is now being able to spend more time with my daughter while I work from home.