Business Profile | Aly PainPosted by Office Guardians / February 1st, 2016 / No responses
Mel: What three pieces of advice would you give to a college student who wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Aly: I would first ask them, if what they are thinking about making a business, is a deeply rooted passion. If they are not creating a business from a passion then they are only doing it for more money or flexibility; don’t bother. Passion is what you need to make it through over time. Watch other people doing business the way you want to (not necessarily doing the same business). Model their habits and systems in a way that works for you. A million people will tell you not to do it. Listen only to their information and check it if you need, but don’t listen to or take on their stories and crap about how you won’t succeed because they didn’t. NEVER!
Mel: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Aly: My biggest failure was working with clients who were not a match for me in values and secondarily in generation. Every time I did that (fortunately not more than 5 clients over 10 years), it always ended badly. Not career ending badly, but still not a pleasant experience and in one case there was some real clean up to do.
You can change and adapt, but without passion you are dead in the water.
Don’t take a job for money, they never work out because your underlying agenda is getting paid and not following your passion. Sounds like a fine line, I know. But the minute making money is more important than making a difference, it will end up in a mess. Your career will withstand a few hits, but fixing a bad reputation is harder than you think.
Mel: Describe your typical day?
Aly: Quick check of e-mails/texts to make sure no scheduled clients need to re-schedule. Don’t spend too much time there or you go into reaction mode. Then I read some articles or type out some creative thoughts for articles, blogs, or marketing ideas. I call clients in the morning when my mind is open, creative, and calm. Afternoons are for e-mail follow-ups and social media posting, along with meetings to get out and network. I also try and hit the gym before dinner. Evenings are for family unless there is a special event, or my monthly small business workshop.
Mel: How do you build a successful customer base?
Go after clients that feel beyond your reach.
Aly: Follow your passion (see #1). You will be successful when you work from your passion and your clients’ will love you. You also have to be persistent. Don’t take no for an answer and ask for what you want. Go after clients that feel beyond your reach just a bit. Not because you are ‘selling’, because you see pain points with people and businesses that you really want to help. Put your head down and do what it takes for your clients. Before long, you’ll have a list of happy clients writing referrals for you.
Mel: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Aly: Oprah. Sounds cheesy, I know. I started speaking on stage when I was 7 and as an advanced learner in school, I was coaching other students around the same. I was out there and BIG, but I didn’t know what that meant I could be. I remember Oprah’s very first show and watching in awe because she was doing what I was meant to do. Not sensationalized for ratings; although I think she did sometimes, but to educate and inspire a global audience. I have been introducing myself as the next Oprah for some time and I still hold that’s where I’m going. Not to be her, but to be me in as big of a way
Mel: To what do you most attribute your success?
Aly: Pig headed stubbornness with a commitment and hard work ethic. I’m a dreamer with strong intuition. When I see or feel something really strongly, I won’t give up until it happens.
Mel: If you were to design the perfect team of 4 people to help you run this company, what characteristics would those four people have?
Aly: Love this question, as it is part of my 2016 goals. These are my top core values:
Authentic: I am my whole self wherever I go. Working with people who bring only their ‘professional post up’ to work is not my idea of authentic. I don’t mean going on and on about personal life drama, but if you have something going on, let’s talk about it. Be real, not an image of yourself.
Ambitious: I love being around, and working with people, who see solutions and challenges as adventurous speed bumps along the way. I love people whose passion is so strong in them they might stay up all night getting it out, and then rest the next day. They take opportunity when they see it and eagerly learn what they need to be the best they can at anything, without ever having or claiming to be perfect.
Facebook: I follow TED, Fortune Magazine, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Female Entrepreneur Association. Both of those pages have frequent and great posts; not only to better myself with tried and tested habits, but also to improve my business with systems and processes. We are so lucky to have such incredible learning at our fingertips for free. The great thing I see on Facebook is how it leads me to follow other companies on other platforms such as: Twitter and LinkedIn.
Twitter: I don’t follow any one person or company. I rather search conversations with #leadership and #entrepreneur and jump into conversations like that. If I’m going to spend time on twitter with massive feeds or even specific lists, I don’t want to be wading through a bunch posts to find something interesting. Unfortunately, so much of Twittter now isn’t live conversation, but sales and promotion. Real conversations and Tweetchats are far more interesting and beneficial to me. From there I meet people I decide to follow and some I connect with more.
LinkedIn: is not what it used to be either. I get more spam in my inbox and having to check in two places for messages doesn’t work for me. I use LinkedIn to look up people and get connected to top dogs in companies I want to work with and want to follow. I also use it to search contracts which means getting connected and introduced to other people.
Apps I use and won’t give up:
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