[Weekly Article] Today, Just take ONE step (that’s all)

It was February 2007. I remember that I had spent months (or even years) up to this point trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. 

I wrote to do lists, pros and cons of different paths to take, and read What Color is My Parachute? I was pooped – totally mentally exhausted and drained from all of it.
I’ve often found that right when you’re about to lose it, something miraculous happens. The Universe (or God or a higher source – however you may see it) steps in and basically says, “It’s OK. I got you.”
 And that’s exactly what happened. I was freaking out and an opportunity presented itself.
One day, while I was organizing my mom’s walk-in closet, she said 5 words that ultimately changed my life forever:
 “You should start a business.”
Now, many times, when your mom says something to you, you don’t listen – or at least I don’t. But this time, for whatever reason, whether it was because I was overwhelmed or at my breaking point or the stars were aligned, I went for it.
Of course, I probably first responded with high levels of doubt and hesitation. But I knew that this was a life preserver being thrown my way, and it was my choice to reach for it or keep treading the water.
Now, I didn’t know the first thing about starting a business. I didn’t know what it meant or what it looked like, and I didn’t have friends who were business owners. I was 100% clueless.
That said, the idea of continuing to feel purposeless and directionless felt considerably scarier than pursuing something that I knew nothing about.
So this is what I did. I took one step. Really. One single step. And then another. 
My mom took me to Barnes and Noble and she bought me a bunch of organizing books. Then I started googling companies that would certify me in professional organizing. Then I signed up for one of them. Now whether I would take the same steps now or not doesn’t really matter in telling the story.
The point is, that I took one step at a time, and I just kept moving. 
Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, or you recently started one, or you’ve had one for a little while, but feel stuck and need to figure out how to get more clients and make more money asap. Wherever you are right now is totally okay.
If you’re reading this newsletter, it’s probably because you know deep down that you need some additional support and guidance. You know that whatever you’re doing right now isn’t totally working for you. And that’s totally okay too.
Today, just take one step. Let’s set up a 30 minute complimentary Business Strategy Session for you and me to talk about what’s going on for you right now, where you want to go, and how you can get there. I don’t believe in coincidences, and I know that you’re reading this today for a reason. I only have a limited number of spots available, so be sure to sign up asap. So excited to speak with you soon!
Want to receive these articles every week delivered directly to your inbox? Plus, you’ll receive your Free 5 Day Mini Course: “The Five Secrets You Must Know to Be Your Own Boss” as a bonus. Sign up here!

Introducing Colleen and Stephania: Our Weekly Women Entrepreneurs

Colleen and Stephania help host Thursday night dinners from both Louisville, KY and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Colleen and Stephania don’t pretend to be professional cooks or crafters, but after over 300 dinners, they are expert multi-taskers, idea-generators, and friend-gatherers. They’ve been cooking up delicious dinners and adorable crafts for more than seven years, and are certain that their laid-back approach and economical, user-friendly instructions will encourage and inspire cooking and crafting newbies and veterans alike.

What was your proudest moment?

I think so far our proudest, and most excited moment, was winning the DailyCandy “Start Small, Go Big” Contest http://www.dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig/index.html. It was very satisfying to get some validation that all of our hard work was paying off and that Thursdays has widespread appeal.

What was the most exciting aspect of starting your own business?

The most exciting aspect is the possibly of one day being able to quit our day jobs and be our own bosses and to put all of our energy and effort into this project that we are very passionate about.

What was the best compliment you have ever received about your business or your business efforts?

Some of the greatest compliments we receive are from women who connect on some emotional level with our site. We think it’s a huge compliment when women want to tell us about their own stories about themselves and their group of friends.

How do you stay calm when your business stresses you out?

We have Thursday night dinner with our girlfriends to keep us calm! Seriously, for us cooking, being creative, and spending time with our friends is the biggest stress relief in the world.
What did your parents or friends say when you told them you wanted to start your own business/ about your business idea?

Our parents and friends have been incredibly supportive- whether it’s modeling for photos for the website, sending us recipes or craft directions after our incessant nagging or just sharing in our excitement when something good has happened for us. We can’t be more grateful to have the kind of friends and families who support us 100% but also continually challenge us to be better and to do more than we think we can.


Big Announcement!

This week on Embarkability channel: It’s (almost) January 2011.

You know exactly what to do to take your business to the next level. You are in a community of other like-minded, high achieving young women entrepreneurs. You feel supported, motivated, and confident that you have everything it takes to succeed. On your mark, get set, let’s play big. http://bit.ly/aClxNk

Mondays with Jordana

Brought to you from She’s the CEO...

This week: What are the books that have most influenced us as business owners?

Introducing Jamie: Our Weekly Woman Entrepreneur

Jamie is a children’s entertainer, actress, and music teacher from Miami, Florida. She has performed with Literally Alive Children’s Theatre and taught music classes at Citibabes and Kaplan Nursery School.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I moved to New York in 2003 to be an actress, which meant I had about 5 different jobs (waiting tables, babysitting, doing the mailing list for a boutique… the list goes on!) I gradually dwindled down my jobs and began to work with Citibabes, a NYC family club where I was one of their main music teachers. Singing songs and dancing with children definitely beat waiting tables!

After working with Citibabes for a year I wanted to go off on my own and perform for children. The only problem was that I had no idea how or what I would be doing. A friend of mine’s sister was looking for a children’s entertainer for her son’s first birthday party and she said that I should perform. I was SO intimidated by this idea. I thought, how am I supposed to entertain 15 sugar-high children by myself for 45 minutes??? I knew this was a great opportunity to start a business, so I tuned my guitar, bought some fun props and instruments, and started “Jam with Jamie!” The party was a HUGE success and from there the business kept growing. I now perform for at least three parties a week, do private playgroups, and teach music classes at Kaplan Nursery School on the Upper East Side.

What was the best compliment you have ever received about your business or your business efforts?

I entertained at a first birthday party and the parents filmed my entire performance. I was later told by the mom that her daughter watches the video over and over again and “loves to sing-a-long with Jamie!”

What is the craziest/most interesting business experience you have ever had?

It is amazing what some families will do for their children’s birthday. On one occasion I walked into a first birthday party and I could have sworn that I had been invited to a wedding reception by accident. Fifty tables dressed in white satin, caterers running hors d’oevures, and an ice sculpture of the number “1”- the whole nine yards! I wasn’t sure if I should ditch the ABC song, and instead warm up my vocal chords for a performance of “At Last!”

What is the best lesson you could give a young woman who wants to start her own business?

When you are starting your own business it is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when it is just you orchestrating every part of the business. It is important to stay organized. First step is create a website that is clean, inviting and to the point. Once you have your website, get the word out about your business through the internet. Find out WHO would be interested in your business? I targeted all mommy and kid websites and tried to get listed on as many of these sites as possible. The internet is a very powerful tool when starting a business. 60% of my business comes from the internet and the rest is from referrals. Once you have gotten your name out there it is important to keep in touch with your clients, follow up with them through e-mail and continue to network. Lastly, always have business cards with you, you never know who you might meet, they may be interested in working with you!

Describe a moment where you might have said, “I can’t believe I am getting paid for this?”

Every day!



Twitter: @jamwithjamie

Thank You For Being So PERSISTENT

This week on Embarkability channel:

Pick up the phone. Write that email. Send your prospects some love, and see how many of them turn into clients.

10 Gifts That Give Back to Women

Buy bracelets from women artisans in Rwanda and feed the movement lifting women out of poverty by giving them the tools to become entrepreneurs

Aristians from Honuras construct “firefly candles” decorated with natural materials that, when purchased, help fund a shelter for abused women and their children, a home for pregnant women, and a microlending program

Turning your old T-shirt into a custom laptop sleeve can provide female human trafficking survivors with employment, language skills, and vocational training

Choose for a number of handmade gifts to purchase to support women entrepreneurialism and skill in regions of conflict and post-conflict

Women-made, eco-friendly items that, when purchased, help women worldwide gain economic security

Works with women artisans in Thailand to design and manufacture an eco-friendly line of handcrafted home and personal accessories which, when purchased, directly support and help to empower village women and their families

Offering clothes and accessories for sale that, in turn, provide income generating opportunities for women in
impoverished and conflict-ridden areas of the globe

450 women embroiderers in India earn income through their products sold by receiving benefits in the form of a savings plan, school scholarships for their children, and technical courses to upgrade their skills.

Handiwork from India that whose profit offers women opportunities to earn a fair wage and to have work that draws on their talents

Pouches and pillow covers handmade by Afghan women and girls who receive 100% of the proceeds from their sales