Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Russell, owner of Chaos Coordination, LLC, located in Odessa, DE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a copywriter and content strategist for small, inclusive businesses across the United States. Through a collaborative approach, I help entrepreneurs craft the perfect copy to build brand awareness and represent the world-changing brand that they are.
Tell us about yourself
I am a paralegal by trade, but after working in the legal space for a decade and having three babies in 4.5 years, I could no longer keep up with the fast pace that a great firm demands. Tired of an hour+ daily commute and long hours, I decided to stay home after I had my youngest and took a couple of years to be a stay-at-home mom before figuring out my next step.
In April 2019, I decided to start freelancing as a virtual assistant, and that quickly grew into the content creation firm that Chaos Coordination is today. I've always been a writer at heart and truly love the work I do each and every day.
It is probably super cliche to say this, but my kids really motivate me to keep my business alive. I want to leave them a world that is safe, inclusive, and empathic. Working with brands with the same mindset is my way of working toward that goal. I also love that they've had a front-row seat to my entire entrepreneurial journey. They've seen me build this from the ground up and always share in my excitement when we reach a new goal or pass a big milestone - like when I hired my first junior copywriter.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've thought about this answer for a while, and I don't know if I can pick one major accomplishment because it all feels pretty big. I've always loved writing and telling other people's stories, but I never imagined I would be able to turn it into a career. I've had some big moments, like when I worked with the ACLU, have been featured on podcasts, or started earning enough to bring on a second person, but to me, the whole thing feels pretty big, honestly. Growing up, I was never the "smart kid" or the kid people thought was "going places." No one expected me to be anything, so it's just such a surreal feeling that I've built this business for myself.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is financial insecurity. I don't have anything to fall back on. What this business brings in each and every month totally depends on me. Luckily, I'm in a good place right now, but that wasn't always the situation I was in, and that's stressful for anyone - let alone when you have three small mouths to feed at home!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top three tips for business owners are:
- Do something you love. It sounds so cliche, but it's true. If you hate ice cream with a burning passion, don't open an ice cream store. But if you love setting up systems and helping people, look into a service-based business that allows you to do that. You're going to be spending a lot of time, money, and energy on your business. Make sure it's in a field you enjoy.
- Treat your business like a business from the very beginning. When a lot of people are getting started, myself included, they talk about their business like a hobby. Don't do that. If you don't treat yourself like a legitimate business, why would your customers?
- Don't be afraid to outsource! There is only so much you can do on your own. I put off hiring a junior copywriter for a long time because I didn't want to give up control. Now that she's on board, I can't believe I didn't hire her sooner. The same goes for legal and financial help. Make sure your business is doing everything by the book by consulting lawyers and bookkeepers that specialize in small businesses. The last thing you want is to grow a huge business just for it to come crashing down because of a mistake you made setting it up.
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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