FWB – My Humble Beginnings: Chapter Two

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Ahh. . . high school. . . the good old days.  Or were they?  I had a pretty pleasant high school experience but you won’t find me wishing I could go back.  So let’s paint a picture before I get started on my entrepreneur rambling. . .

Jessie in high school. . .  I hung out with the outcasts; the theater kids, the goth kids, the punk kids and the metal kids.  We had our own little group of multicolored hair and crazy-clothes-clad students (really, is pink hair and bondage pants that crazy?).  I wore Gwen Steffani makeup (remember the bindi and crazy eyebrow gems??), bondage pants, and enough safety pins to actually make me a safety hazard.  In short, I was freaking AWESOME.  I made all A’s and B’s and was a model student other than almost getting suspended for my fire engine red hair (that was a bunch of bull right there).  I was outgoing and liked to see my friend’s bands on the weekends.

My first venture into entrepreneurship in high school was by way of a ‘zine.  That’s what the cool kids called magazines.  I made up ‘Black and White and Barely Read’ (get it, read??) and started interviewing actual bands.  I just emailed record labels of the bands that I liked and asked to interview them at their next local show.  I kid you not, I even got photo passes for a Weezer concert.  WEEZER!  Like 3 feet away from my drooling face!  My teenage self was so stoked.  I don’t know what made me do it or why I thought I could actually sway these record labels to let me interview their bands.  The funny (or sad, however you look at it) thing is that Black and White and Barely Read never actually got published.  I just have my typed up or hand-written interviews hanging out in my filing cabinet waiting for the time that I can tell my kids just how ‘hip’ I was in my day.  I love music – I love seeing local bands’ shows or going to large-scale concerts.  I eventually went on to do the same thing but in radio format for my short stint as a DJ of my own radio show in college.

My second, and actually lucrative endeavor was selling glitter makeup to my affluent classmates.  Looking back it seems totally ridiculous.  I would buy glitter gel then clean out the gel and fill the little plastic container with just glitter.  Then I would sell said glitter to my drama classmates – like a drug dealer but way more legal and sparkly.  I had 20 or so colors and would mix custom combinations.  I did this under the company name “Cannibal Cosmetics’ – creepy or endearing?  You decide!  I got the name idea from a friend of mine who started ‘Cannibal Clothing’ – I think the only thing they ever made was a t-shirt with Richard Nixon saying “I am not a cannibal.”  Who knows, I didn’t get it at the time.  With Cannibal Crafts I made some money and continued to feed that entrepreneurial spirit.

One thing I remember clearly about those two “businesses” was that I had business cards.  I actually sat down and designed them – at the age of 14 I was making business cards.  I find that a little silly but inspiring at the same time.  At that age I already knew a huge part of business success. . . fake it til you make it.  Having confidence is key to succeeding in what you believe in.  If you’re behind your ideas 100% it’s easy for others to follow.  That’s a golden gem of advice right there, friends, believe in yourself and others will believe in you too.

And that, my internet readership, is chapter two of my entrepreneurial story.  Stick around for chapters three, four and five!

FWB – The Almighty Business Plan

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

If you’re ready for a snooze feel free to read this less-than-sparkling ’10 Steps to Start Your Own Business’.  Way to kill my entrepreneurial spirit with some boring and totally un-fun tasks. . .  Dammit. . .  I have to admit the eventual truth that actually starting your business isn’t likely to be a sunshiney picnic.  It’s a lot of work – and a lot of technical stuff.

I’m a creative person – my brain shuts down when I see too many words or numbers.  Throw some shiny colors my way and you’ve got my full attention!  I like to be hands-on in my learning which has caused a lot of grief since most information is written – blogs, books, articles and interviews.  So what’s a creative individual to do when it comes to step one – writing a business plan?

Well, you get CREATIVE!  Find other sources, seek out someone with a similar style and find out what THEY did.  I stumbled upon this really awesome and super handy (seriously SUPER)workbook.  It’s really simple – not at all intimidating.  It breaks a business plan down step-by-step and makes the workload seem totally doable.  I am no longer overwhelmed!  Phew!

I’ve been using this business plan workbook for the past businesses that I’ve started and it’s really helpful.  When I get off course I can simply refer back to my ‘Pre-stress sparkle thoughts’ and regain focus to remember WHY I’m doing it.  Do yourself a favor and read or print this bad boy.  It’s a great tool to utilize that will help you conquer the Almighty Business Plan!  And dudes, it’s FREE.  Win!

I hope this helps!  Have a bitchin day!

FWB – Entrepreneurship and Etsy

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Have you heard of Etsy?  Yes?  Perfect, you know just how amazing it truly is!  No, no clue what an Etsy is?  GO CHECK IT OUT!!  It’s an online marketplace for all things vintage and hand-made.  There are over one million sellers world-wide – that’s crazy!  I’m pretty much in love with it.  In fact, I’m a seller on Etsy as well (fancy, huh?).  You can check out my vintage and upcycled wares at AEROLOGIE!  Etsy is great in so many ways but the most impressive feat is the amount of people it’s enabled to start their own business.  That’s some powerful stuff right there!

I wanted to share a great report that Etsy gathered and presented to show who is behind these small businesses, what their goals are and how Etsy impacts them as an individual as well as the economy as a whole.  It’s a really great read – check it out.  Entrepreneurs venture out into the business world on their own for many different reasons.  Personally I like the feeling of pride after completing an order.  Something I enjoyed making is going to a dreamy bride in Vermont who needed that perfect hairpiece for her wedding.  I LOVE that!  It’s so great to make a positive impact on others.

More than anything I want to start my business to help people.  I want to share my journey through the wild woods of the unknown so that someone else somewhere can relate and maybe even get some useful info out of it.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’ve read more than my fair share of articles and blogs but what does that mean in application?  I don’t know but I’ll be damned if I don’t try my hardest to figure it out!

What’s the number one reason YOU want to start your own business?  Flexibility?  Money?  To help others?

Thanks for reading and have a great Friday!

FWB – My Humble Beginnings: Chapter One

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

It all started in my childhood house – in the middle of the living room on any given weekend morning.  I would sort through my toys and carefully decide which ones I had outgrown or demolished past the point of recognition and I would set up shop.  At the age of 6 that ‘shop’ was the ironing board proudly centered in the living room where I would peddle these reject toys to the very same people who BOUGHT them for me.

Ballsy, right?

The great thing is that my parents totally went along with it – my grandpa was my number one customer!  Business was booming!  I thought I was the smartest kid on earth – I was completely oblivious to the fact that selling used toys to the people who bought them for me was crooked as hell and a little rude actually.  I would make $1 on a slow day and maybe $2.50 on a really good day.

I have no idea what my family did with those discarded treasures but I like to think that I at least made them smile with my industriousness and savvy for business – a tiny little business lady with a couple missing teeth and a Rainbow Brite nightgown.

Adorable!

So where did YOU start?  What was your first experience with entrepreneurship?

FWB – Only Eleven??

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

In my quest for ALL THE KNOWLEDGE about starting your own business I came across this little gem:

http://blissbombed.com/11-things-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-my-business/

I like it!  It’s honest, sincere, helpful AND she says ‘ladyballs’.  Win!  It’s great to hear from someone who’s gone through the euphoria phase and moved on to the more grounded and realistic phase of building (and maintaining) a business.  Right now I’m at the sparkle stage.  “I can do anything!  Business will be booming!  I know EXACTLY what I’m doing!”

It was great to read this and see what’s truly in store – not just my day dreaming fantasies.  I’m not excited to run out of money one day (see number 4) – but it’s good that I’m better prepared now for what seems to be the inevitable later.

I will take whatever I get and add it to my ‘Entrepreneurial Domination Notebook De La Muerte’.  Yup, I started some serious notebook action.  Sure I can ‘favorite’ or ‘book mark’ all the great reads I come across but I like to see and TOUCH things (naughty!) so I’m saving them up and possibly killing a tree in the process. . .  Sorry environment!

Thanks for joining me on today’s journey.  I’ll see you tomorrow with some other great wisdom to share.

FWB – Step One. . . START

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hello!

My name’s Jessie (with an IE) and I want to start my own business.  I’ve researched the crap out of starting my own business and have found it a little overwhelming.  I started with a goal – be a full-time Entrepreneur Coach by the time I’m 35.  This seems like a fairly achievable goal – I have time, I believe I’m capable of doing it and it’s something that I can put my passion behind.

So here I am – on wordpress – STARTING something.  I want to track my journey from clueless to successful and share that with anyone else out there trying to make it on their own.  Join me as I leap, fail, give up, return and eventually SUCCEED.  I know it won’t be easy and my knack for starting then promptly giving up on things is counting against me but DAMMIT this will be the one thing that I complete and continue on as a career.

I’ll be sharing my stories, connecting you with the resources that I’ve found helpful and taking this entrepreneurship thing one day at a time.

Thanks for reading!