9-5 to CEO: How I Accidentally Started My Business…and Grew It

In 2012 I was a waitress.

From 2013 to 2014, I was working multiple internships to put myself through college.

By 2015, I was a college graduate who accidentally started a business. 

Going into 2020, I’m the owner and CEO of a marketing consultancy with a payroll. 

My business started when I was approached by a few individuals I knew from previous internships who needed small tasks completed. Ghostwriting, some social media help, and simple website design. 

I was bored outside of my marketing 9-5 and said, “Sure! I can help!” From there, word spread, and I found myself juggling anywhere from 4-5 clients on a monthly retainer outside of my regular job. 

In 2016, I took a phone call from a former boss who offered me a contract position working for one of the biggest marketing operations in our nation’s history. (Buy me a drink, and I’ll tell you all about it.) 

I gained confidence and grew leaps and bounds because of that contract, and I’m forever grateful for it – along with the agency positions I was able to take afterward. 

This amount of experience allowed me to take what was just a handful of clients…to almost ten times what I originally had in 2015. 

Almost five years later, I registered for an official LLC, hired an accountant, and now have a team that works with me to establish winning content and marketing strategies for businesses, brands, and charitable organizations.

Had I been asked if I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I was younger, I would have laughed. I never thought that it was something I would want to do – or that I’d even be good at – but I stumbled into it literally because of a few LinkedIn messages years ago. 

I’ve been able to work remotely and live as a #digitalnomad, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I attribute these aspects to the growth and success of my business and would suggest them to any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner.

Push yourself. 

Be willing to put yourself out there. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started, but had I not been willing to face this venture early on, I probably never would have started.

Work more than 40 hours a week until you don’t have to.

At my busiest, I’ve worked 100 hour weeks and a “slow” week is somewhere around 60 hours. Even on some holidays, I check my email and try to knock out smaller tasks. Even if I’m on vacation, I’ll check in with my team in the evenings and am available. It’s hard to not completely unplug – especially when I want a break – but it’s not always an option. “Busyness” as a status symbol annoys me and going into 2020, I’m working on being better about balancing my life.

Learn how to delegate.

In late 2018, I realized that I needed help if I wanted to really grow. So, I hired incredibly smart and talented people. I “let go,” in a sense, and learned how to delegate and divide and conquer so I could better serve my clients and grow my business. 

Listen to your clients.

I listen! It’s one of the most valuable qualities I bring to my clients. Most of the time, the problems they “think” they have with their marketing or overall media strategy isn’t exactly what they need to be successful. 

Network and do all you can to grow.

I’m naturally more introverted, but as the saying goes, “you don’t grow in your comfort zone.” I’m thankful for networking organizations in Indianapolis and around the world that allow me to meet with like-minded, entrepreneurial people who push me to be my best self. 

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