Making the decision to leave the partnership I was a part of was a difficult and yet, somewhat easy decision. We simply were no longer on the same page about little things and big things. Which is a nice way of saying we no longer agreed about much of anything. The other partners did not want to put in the efforts necessary to make our business successful. I did. I wanted so much more than a ‘side-gig’. I ended up leaving and the business ended up dissolving. I also won pretty big and retained all the rights to the intellectual property and LLC.
Women Leading the Way
Though that did not resolve itself until the second week of February 2019.
In the beginning
Now my journey begins on January 1st, 2019 when I applied to form my LLC in Arizona has taken me pretty far. I received both my approval from the State of Arizona and my official IRS tax id called an ETIN on my birthday. There have been many hurdles along the way since then.
All the QUESTIONS!!!
The first was understanding what was going to be important to me as a new business owner. What was my primary goal? Who would my target audience be?What should my business plan look like? How would I get over the fear of being on camera or talking to small and large groups? How would I get marketing content done? How does one remain a dedicated and active parent while in start-up mode?
First Things First
The most important thing to me was ensuring I had the right daily setup to manage my tasks. When I left my partnership, the partners had put up so many roadblocks to adopting technology. They feared cost as low as $5.00 per month. It was crazy! There was a brief adoption of free Asana and abandonment twice. It was a product I had no issue using myself, but one I couldn’t get my partners and other stakeholders to adopt. They loved email. A shared email account at that. UGH. The project manager training in me hated the shared email for client communications and task management! I was in my version of Hell when I needed to re-read 20+ email long thread to find out where that client wanted to comma to be, even when it grammatically didn’t make sense.
Unfortunately, every business still needs an email service provider. My domain came with a “free” email box. After just 2 weeks of trying to adapt to the lack of features I am familiar with in my personal Gmail account I opted to move my email services to Google’s Business Accounts (affiliate link, save 20% off the annual subscription: use code: G6LRKFDRGXQKPVK). I am glad I made the change, Google comes with free tools, like Drive to store files and Sheets to make basic spreadsheets. The spreadsheet program has been a joy for making UTM tracking codes for myself and my new clients. A formula for UTM Codes that I can share with my contractors and clients.
Choices were hard! Anxiety Abound
Still the biggest hurdle turned out to be what CRM would I use to manage my businesses daily tasks and invoicing. I had tried one with my old partners and it was sorta okay. It was called HubSpot. And I liked it. But I wondered if there was a better solution, so I searched. I took advice from different types of business owners to explore many options. I got bold and reached out to an old colleague of mine from the days back in the Facebook Office. I reached out to everyone I knew in business. This was a huge deal to me. I wanted to be successful, but I also wanted something that was inexpensive and scaleable. It took about a month to find the solution, Dubsabo.com (affiliate link), and I am in love with it!
The next big hurdle was getting over some of that “stage fright”.
I really didn’t want to be on camera. But who else was going to tell people about me? A few friends were and still are actively recommending me to their friends and family which is great, but slow. As a digital marketing agency I know I must start marketing and advertising my own business. So I set up a video camera and lights. I sit in front of these crazy lights everyday and I go to work, even though the camera may not be rolling. And sometimes I simply work with the camera on, just to help me get comfortable. My first video was a little underwhelming and my nervousness really showed to me. But I kept at it. Not all the videos I have created have made the cut to be on the internet. In fact most are just sitting on my hard-drive un-edited.
Branding from the Start
So after I got past that initial stage fright I had to start doing something to build my brand. The biggest regret one of my Friends was not branding her self from the beginning. So I took note of how she regretted missing out on 18 months of personal branding.
What Brought you here today?
The story of me and my business. I bought an Ad. That is what brought you here today, I sought your attention. You saw one of my videos. You clicked a link and got this far. As creepy as it is for me to say this, I am watching you, or rather LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Pinterest and SnapChat’s tracking or pixels are. So even if you abandon me, I will not abandon you. That is the seriousness with which I have set up my own marketing pixels so I can build my brand and my business. You have value to my personal brand and my business. If you’re interested in getting updates on what is happening on my journey, or if you want to see the latest digital marketing advice click the link to sign-up for my email list, subscribe to one of my channels.
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