Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Orlandini, Founder of Emily Orlandini, Inc., located in Bellevue, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help those who are looking to ditch the corporate rat race turn their social media followers into clients so that they can grow their own businesses and gain personal and financial freedom. Whether they already have a business in place, are looking to scale, or are starting from scratch with just an idea, I help them get to where they want to be.
Tell us about yourself
I first started with my coaching business as a marketing agency. I went to school for marketing because I was obsessed with market research and consumer behavior, and I fell in love with it. I still love all things marketing-related. It came to a point where people began approaching me a lot more for consulting work and coaching, and I found that I was able to make a much bigger impact compared to solely working on campaigns for clients.
After years of successfully helping companies grow their businesses through unique and impactful campaigns, I knew that I had a framework that could be replicated over and over again across all types of companies. That's when I knew I should move from a marketing agency to full-time coaching.
My family is honestly what motivates me every day. My parents sacrificed so much for me to be the first in my family to go to college. I feel very grateful to have had their support and encouragement throughout everything. I've always worked from a young age, and they taught me how important it is to be in control of my career and to have a strong work ethic.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's hard to say what my biggest accomplishment has been because I feel so many have contributed to where I am today. Getting started and actually acting on my business idea was huge for me because I'm someone who is constantly thinking of ideas and just letting them build up in my brain. But what really makes me happy and proud is when I think back to all of my clients who I've helped grow their businesses and change their lives. When someone sends me a text or writes me a note saying how happy they are and how much I've helped them, there really isn't a better feeling for me, so I would say that my client's successes are my biggest accomplishments.
For example, one of my clients was a nurse who loved doing DIY projects, and her life-long dream was to become an interior designer. By the time I finished working with her, we had launched her business; she was actively gaining new clients. I had gotten her an interview with HGTV and 10 brand deals with huge companies like Sherwin-Williams. Working with clients like that are experiences I will never forget.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The obvious one for me is uncertainty. At a corporate job, you know what your paycheck will be. Typically you have health benefits. For the most part, your job is pretty secure. As a business owner, you can obviously forecast what your revenue will be, but there is a lot less certainty, and if something does go wrong, it's all on you. On top of that, you're the one who personally takes the hit. This is especially true when you're first starting out.
With that being said, I do think it's completely worth it. Especially now, where we see employees coming into work like they have every other day and finding out that they've been laid off, people are feeling less and less secure even at their corporate jobs. So while this is something hard that comes with being a business owner, I wouldn't let that deter you.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research: If you're starting a business, it's important to have a good understanding of who your target market is, who your competitors are, the current landscape of the industry, etc. I personally think coming up with the idea is the easy part. The hard part is following through and executing. It's hard to execute to the best of your ability if you're going in blind based on something that sounds like a good idea.
- Dedication: Make sure whatever business you're pursuing, you go all in on. This isn't to say you should stick with a business plan that's clearly not working out, but more so giving your business a fair shot. I see it very often where someone will start a business, try it for 6 months, and then let it die because they don't realize how much work is involved, or they start to get busy with other things in life and let it go on the back burner. If you're passionate about an idea, run with it and put everything you have into it. If you're not willing to commit, you'll eventually lose interest or motivation to continue, and it will fizzle out.
- Sales: Get good at sales. Whatever business you're in, you need to be able to sell that product, yourself, or your services. I've worked with all different types of businesses, including interior designers, engineers, coders, real estate agents, mental health facilities, and more, and this was something that a lot of them struggled with because while they had experts on their teams who were great at what their product or services focused on, no one knew how to sell it. Read books, listen to podcasts, and find a sales coach. Use whatever medium you prefer, but make sure that it's something you're comfortable with at the end of the day.
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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