Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brieanna Lightfoot Smith, owner of Brands by Brie, located in Arlington, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Brands by Brie is a coaching company helping moms build their businesses or brands while raising their babies. We offer 1:1 coaching, group coaching, and digital courses that help demystify the world of entrepreneurship for moms who are just getting started.
Tell us about yourself
I started the first version of my business back in 2014, but it's become what it is today through a series of events that included being hired full-time by one of my clients. I left that job after passing out in my car at seven months pregnant with our oldest son Jaden, became a consultant for small businesses and nonprofits in New Orleans, and at the time, was curating monthly events where women could come together to connect. I made the switch to focus exclusively on mothers after the pandemic. Many of them were leaving the workforce in droves, as I had back in 2017, but they still wanted a way to contribute financially to their families. Entrepreneurship has helped me have schedule flexibility and still be present with my children, so I thought to myself, "What better time than now to share all the knowledge I've accumulated?"
As cliche and predictable as it may sound, I am motivated deeply by my children. I always want to be accessible to them. I want to be able to cultivate strong relationships, and I want to model what it looks like to pursue your dreams even if you're unsure of how things are going to work out at that particular moment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the number of women I've been able to connect to one another and to other resources.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think the ebbs and flows are one of the hardest parts of being a business owner. I've heard others describe it as a feast or famine. We make our plans, create financial projections and launch new products and services, but there is never a 100% that what we create is going to be a success. Entrepreneurship tests your faith and stretches your resilience.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, I'd say start where you are. Your business is going to evolve. It's a given, so not starting because you don't have it all figured out is a guaranteed way to ensure you never start your business.
Second, I'd say surrender your timeline. Some things are going to happen quicker than you expected, and others may take longer than anticipated, but if you continue to make small steps toward your goal, you'll be shocked at how much you'll be able to accomplish.
Lastly and arguably most importantly, I'd encourage anyone looking to start, run and grow a business to get into a community! Entrepreneurship can sometimes feel lonely, so if you're able to connect to others that are on a similar journey as you, you won't feel nearly as crazy! It's also fantastic to be able to bounce ideas off of people and have a place you can go for encouragement. If you need some recommendations for good communities for entrepreneurs, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'd be happy to share some suggestions!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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