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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  • An honest review of camel milk: the series. 🐫 SWIPE 😂
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  • One of the biggest reasons why Americans don’t travel abroad – other than not having a passport – is the cost of airfare. Rising taxes, hidden fees, and baggage add-ons don’t help, but if you can manage to travel only with a carryon and during the offseason, then it IS possible to travel frugally. ⠀
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My roundtrip from Cincinnati to Iceland? $300⠀
Chicago to Paris? Close to $350⠀
One way from JFK to London? $290 ⠀
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I don’t usually travel outside of the U.S. during Q4 (because it’s expensive) but I’ve got Colombia, Peru, Iceland again, and wherever we decide to go on our honeymoon on my list for 2020. I’ve written a list of the biggest ways I save money on plane tickets #ontheblog. ⠀
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Where do you want to go in 2020?
  • *me, looking to find something witty to say about the time change; really it’s all a racket by the federal government*🇨🇭photo taken during my trip to Switzerland this past spring with an overpriced latte
  • Damn what a month. 4+ AIER titles on Amazon, wedding planning in full swing, clients served, and my article reprinted by @entrepreneur!? Like what!? 😳 
You CAN turn your passion into your dream career. It’s not easy but the adventure is worth it. ❤️ Read the full article at the #linkinbio
  • Five years ago & a lifetime to go. #PerfectlyPierce ❤️
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  • As a 10-year-old “Mengele Twin,” Eva Kor suffered some of the worst of the Holocaust. At 50, she launched the biggest manhunt in history. In her 80s, she circled the globe to promote the lesson her journey taught: healing through forgiveness.
When I first heard her message about forgiveness in 2014, it challenged me to reflect on my life and live with more intention.
My recent travels to Israel not only emphasized her message but how important freedom is for ALL people – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, identity, etc.
"Eva: A-7063," tells the full, astonishing story of Eva, tracking her from Auschwitz to Israel to the United States - even into the U.S. Capitol for her jaw-dropping arrest - and ultimately to her courageous return to the Nazi death camp. It reveals her hidden pain, unbridled rage and unextinguished love for humanity that transformed her into an international spokeswoman followed by millions.
I'm excited to partner with the Indianapolis chapter of @affnetwork, @aierdotorg, and the Indianapolis chapter of @bastiatsociety to bring Eva's story to the Indy community with a free community screening this Sunday at the Indiana Historical Society.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the screening will begin at 6 p.m. A Q&A session will follow with the director of the film, Ted Green. A reception with appetizers and drinks will take place afterward in the Indiana Historical Society lobby.
Tickets for the reception are $10 and proceeds will benefit @candlesmuseum in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I hope you'll join us for what I know will be an impactful event. (Register for tickets at the #linkinbio.)
  • Looking for the point behind all of those "OBJECTIVE" blurbs at the top of résumés...
I've written and edited A LOT of résumés, cover letters, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles. What annoys me the most at the start of any editing process is the giant "OBJECTIVE" that's slapped on right after contact information. 
Your objective is to get the job, not to awkwardly put your five-year plan above what already speaks for itself – your experience. Plus, you'd be better off talking about your career objective/goals in person with the interviewer so they can ask you follow up questions. (Sometimes, it's okay to purposefully be a little vague!) As we quickly approach the new year, check out my website for more résumé tips if your goal is to land your dream job in 2020.
(I have room in my October schedule to review 5 résumés fo' free; shoot me a message if you want to take me up on it.)
  • *Trying to think of something inspiring to say about the fact that there's three months left of this decade...* Finish the degree, ask for the raise, write the business plan, start the blog...just START. 
If there's anything I've learned in the last decade, it's that there is no such thing as the "perfect time" and that opportunities will arise when you least expect them. 
So just say "yes," and you'll figure it out afterward. (Read more about my unconventional career on my website. #linkinbio)
  • Guess what day it is...👀🐫
  • Ready to go back to camel rides, endless falafel, and adventuring in one of the most beautiful places in the world now pls 🌍

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