Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michele Tonkovitz, Founder of Green Onion Creative, located in Milwaukee, WI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Green Onion Creative is a strategic and creative marketing agency rooted in Milwaukee, WI, and growing companies worldwide. We're an easy-going, hardworking bunch specializing in copywriting (including SEO), design for print and websites/digital, social media, public relations, and vendor relations. We help B2B, B2C, and governmental clients, as well as other agencies, get results. Need to create a new brand or breathe life into an old one? We can do it. Got a minimal marketing budget that you want to maximize? That's our specialty. Want a fresh, professional opinion on your current branding and marketing efforts? We can help with that too. Let us know what Green Onion Creative can do for you.

Tell us about yourself

When I was 15, I blew off my parents' advice. Didn't we all? Fast-forward 18 years, and there I was again with my dad telling me what to do. This time I listened. He said, "Kid, you're good at what you do, and you already have some freelance clients. Why don't you just start your own business?"

Damn, if he was right, but he was. I already have 13 years of experience under my belt working as a proofreader, copywriter, marketing specialist, and social media guru. I paid my dues at mom-and-pop agencies and held senior positions at global companies. But most of all, I remembered why I got into the advertising and marketing business in the first place: My crazy Auntie Mary was a media buyer for an advertising agency in the '80s, and she met Mr. T. and Jay Leno! I wanted to meet them too!

Well, I haven't brushed elbows with any celebrities. But I do have to say that the career path I chose in the 8th grade has been lucrative. I've had the opportunity to work on brands like Every Day with Rachel Ray, Coca-Cola, the NFL and MLB, and so much more. How cool is that!?!

I have and continue to use the insights, strategies, and proven practices I've learned along the way to not only grow Green Onion Creative but support our clients in achieving greater brand awareness and market share while also helping up-and-coming companies develop their unique identities and grow to become bigger players in their respective scenes.

I'm not looking to make a million bucks through Green Onion Creative, but my recent filings through Taylor Tax Service (I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this accounting firm for small businesses) show I'm definitely on the right track … someday. Green Onion Creative exists for one reason: To help companies achieve their brand awareness and marketing goals. It's that simple. We'd love to help you make your dreams come true … and make you money doing it.

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What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Becoming a business owner is the biggest accomplishment! Not letting fear of financials and the unknown stop me from pursuing my dream.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I'm a person who works in words and not numbers, which is why I'm a copywriter by nature. One of the hardest things for me is the admin work of running a business. But I have a great accounting team (, a small business attorney (, and a virtual assistant ( to help me along.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be honest with yourself and your clients/prospects about what it is that you know/are good at and tell them what you don't know/is outside your wheelhouse; you don't have to be everything to everyone.
  2. Find yourself experienced, honest and trustworthy partners and advisors like an accountant, attorney, and virtual assistant to help take some of the admin work off your shoulders so you can focus on being great at what you really do and why you started the business.
  3. Start growing your team with either employees or subcontractors to help you manage the work at hand and bring on more projects/clients... you don't have to do it all alone and burn yourself out before your business gets a chance to truly shine.

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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