Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in content creation but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Fei Wu, Founder of Feisworld Media, located in Grafton, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m the owner and founder of Feisworld Media. We offer video marketing and YouTube strategy services to small and medium businesses. Most of our clients already produce content on their own such as podcasts, blogs, infographics, reports, and courses. We help them use content more strategically as part of their acquisition and retention strategies. In plain and simple terms, helpful content is one of the best ways to attract new and better customers. Given the rise of advertising costs across multiple platforms, content strategies are at the forefront of what companies are looking for in terms of organic growth these days.
Feisworld Media is also a content hub itself. We’ve been running our own podcast since 2014, launched the Feisworld Documentary on Amazon, and have had a monetized YouTube channel since 2019. Content creation is in our DNA, and we love working with clients to help them grow, enjoy the process and avoid burnout. It’s a win-win.
Tell us about yourself
I came to the US as an international student when I was 17. After graduating with a degree in computer science and math, I chose tech consulting and advertising for the following decade. I learned a lot and built important relationships, all while knowing that corporate life was not for me.
Without a lot of people to turn to as an immigrant and woman of color, I decided to start podcasting in 2014, when it wasn’t nearly as popular among solo creators. Drip by drip, I began interviewing teachers and entrepreneurs who showed me what was possible and how I wanted to and could live my life every day. This process was obvious in retrospect but very subtle when you are in that moment. I was exhausted from my full-time job and trying to release a new episode every week. I didn’t know how long I had to podcast before I could attract enough clients and quit my job. If you are reading this and feeling that way, you are not alone.
A year after I started my podcast, I stumbled upon an earlier version of my business unexpectedly, helping clients build their websites, talking to them about their personal brands, and creating videos and podcasts for them. Many of these clients came from my podcasts - some were guests, and a few were listeners. I left my full-time job in late 2015 to pursue freelancing full-time. I never looked back, and my business never stopped evolving.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It took many trials and errors to create an entrepreneurial life that I like and can sustain. There’s no blueprint or one-size-fits-all that’s going to show you the way. No guarantee either. As for me, the ability to walk for hours in nature each day, to be a caregiver for my mom, and to take time off anytime I want with short notice to clients and partners gives me the freedom to do what’s most important to me. The ability to take care of my loved one is very high on my list. I’m able to do that because I’m an entrepreneur.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Creating my current lifestyle to balance my work and life wasn’t straightforward. As a nonlinear thinker and multidisciplinary person, I had (and still have) many interests and ideas that excite me every day. On top of that, I’m used to constantly working.
When you are your own boss, and your life and work begin to blur, you can burn out and struggle with mental health issues. The challenging part is that you may love what you do and want to do even more each day. But it’s essential to check in with yourself, know the signs, and take action early before your stress and anxiety become a real issue. I’m a big advocate of meditation, CBT, online therapy, and education around these topics. Experimentation is key to finding what works best for you. Don’t give up too early.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The myth that you need to know your niche, know what you want, and succeed within a short period of time (such as six months or a year) is not only stress-inducing but completely unrealistic for most people. Deep down, we know overnight success is rare and near impossible. But somehow, when it comes to success stories, we want to be the odd ones out, the viral story. That’s a trap!
- You evolve, and so does your business - more often than you think. Especially at the beginning, you have to be flexible and try different things. Don’t limit yourself.
- Giving yourself permission to do what works for your business. For Feisworld, our model of creating our own content 50% of the time and working for clients 50% has served us. But the split hasn’t always been in the middle (50/50). You need to make sacrifices and adjust your business model to serve your unique mission and play the long game.
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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