Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lauren Wakileh, Co-Founder of WJL Productions LLC., serving clients worldwide.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a brand development consultant, content director, and creative strategist. I co-founded WJL Productions LLC, which encompasses brand development, music and film production. Our customers are entrepreneurs and SMEs who are looking to re-brand or launch their dream business. There is a major disconnect for business owners that hire strictly design agencies to produce their brand; they don't understand business and only speak in creative terms. I bridge that gap, having worked for over ten industries in multiple cities nationwide and globally. I understand business objectives and the struggles of an entrepreneur and know how to speak the language of design and graphic art to achieve the ultimate goal for our clients.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a born and raised American, originally from Southern California/Los Angeles, but I have lived in multiple cities and abroad in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I have a global citizen mentality and thrive on learning from cultures/traditions/religion. I am of Puerto Rican and Western European descent, married into a Jordanian family, and have strong ties to the Middle East. My clients represent my diverse outlook.
I love what being an entrepreneur represents - bringing ideas to life. I thrive in environments that force me to adapt and challenge my mentality. I am motivated by personal freedom and the ability to work from anywhere in the world and control my life and day as an entrepreneur, wife, and mom.
The tipping point for me was becoming a mom and not being able to devote my life 24/7 to my entertainment career. As much as I loved working on events and film sets, it's not feasible to be a conscious and present parent.
The business was built from need and inspiration to find the balance and also produce extraordinary work. I believe I chose my clients, and they chose me. Who you allow in your headspace affects every aspect of your life. Choose wisely.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To date, we have launched over six brands, one of which is a major global company. However, the real accomplishment is knowing your clients are happy - that they felt heard and that someone finally understood their vision. This is our guaranteed outcome as a business. Live your why, is the slogan - why are we doing this? Clarity is key.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Learning how to manage cash flow and business development efforts. It's a delicate dance of keeping your overhead low, talent high, and planting the right seeds to bloom when it's time. It takes wisdom and social skills to invest your energy in the right people.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Understand that powerful branding is an investment. Too many people waste funds on the wrong talent and direction, costing them to do it 2-3x over again.
- After branding is completed, find an amazing business strategist - invest in knowledge. This could save years of time and funds in the future. (We have the network for this too!)
- Build a solid team you can trust. Align yourself with professionals who have the same values as you; their energy will impact you tremendously. Know your own weaknesses and partner with those who have opposite strengths.
- Everything that truly matters is in the details! Don't underestimate this.
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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