Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in public relations but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lana Rogers, Founder of Gentle Lion Communications, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Gentle Lion Communications is a communications company fiercely advocating for brands that stretch beyond convention. We get in the trenches with strategic communications planning to jumpstart and max out a brand's potential. We help illuminate, refine and share stories, and our structured yet adaptive process bids farewell to formalities and best-kept industry secrets. As partners, we eat, sleep and breathe our client's DNA. We also have the aptitude to tame a project or let it run free, giving our clients the tools and teaching them how they can become their own communications and marketing machines.
Tell us about yourself
After being entrenched in the PR industry for over a decade, I saw a gap in how public relations professionals were approaching projects - clients would ask for help, only to have the PR expert whip up a short-term solution that had no lasting power the "buzz" or "hype" never had long-lasting results. I wanted to provide clients with more than just a quick fix campaign, but a long-term marketing strategy that actually spoke to the needs and wants of their target audience. I'm an avid lover of Champagne, so much so that I even created a brand around it. Champagne Friday is a come-as-you-are concept that brings connection to the community through different experiences.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Cultivating the most amazing team! Chantal, Sydney, and Lily are constantly inspiring me, and I learn something new from them every day. Spending 40 hours a week together practically makes us a family. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Burnout is real. And hard to come back from. Learning how to step back from the business and take more time for myself personally. I never realized how much time was spent working on and in my business (after hours, weekends, vacations), and it was causing my personal life to suffer. Yes, I'm passionate about my business, but it's never going to tuck me in at night, so I make sure to prioritize self-care as much as possible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your brand values; these are the guardrails that help keep you on track when you have to make any decision. Live and breathe them.
- Have a collaborator mindset; the best ideas come from connecting with others, and if you choose to silo or hide ideas, you might lose out on the missing piece that completes your business puzzle.
- Hire a business coach; you started your business because you were passionate about an idea. But what about all the backend stuff to keep the passion train on the tracks (financials, HR, forecasting, hiring, etc.) A business coach is key to helping a business grow.
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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