Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jen Kem, CEO of Master Brand Institute, located in Walnut Creek, CA, USA.

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

My company, the Master Brand Institute, guides values-driven entrepreneurs to become rich & recognized for the value they bring to the world. We do this by helping them to create their unique message to attract more of the right clients, building infrastructure in their business to keep them in their zone of genius by bringing on team members, and using live events to move people into becoming advocates for their unique message.

I believe that a business is simply a mechanism that creates the space we need to build and develop the legacy we truly want to leave behind. This is why I’m only interested in working with values-driven leaders who want to make a difference in the world. Using our frameworks and strategies, we support them to build a business that gives them the space they need to be the difference. If your goal in business is just to make money, there’s nothing wrong with that - but my company isn’t for you. But if you want to build something that gives you space to really change the world - I’ve got a feeling we’ll get along just great.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business the same way every entrepreneur does - I saw a problem in the marketplace that I could solve. Before entering the world of entrepreneurship, I was the Head of Business to Business Marketing at a Fortune 15 company. My job was to turn products into billion dollars launches which means it was literally my job to spot problems in the marketplace, get the software team to develop a solution then communicate to the marketplace why they needed this solution.
I basically do the same thing. The only difference is my company works with small businesses instead of global enterprises, so results are in a million-dollar range, not the billions.

As for what motivates me - I want values-driven leaders to be rich & recognized for the work they put out into the world. I truly believe that values-driven people have the capacity to create real change in the world. Helping them to clarify their messaging to stand out in the marketplace as unique messengers who champion this change is what keeps me motivated.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Besides creating hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, the true marker and metric of our success are how we’ve been able to create a harmonious work environment that values space as much as action. We believe that creativity is fuel and has to be supported. So, I have a 2-day-a-week creative space to ideate and think about our future, which has allowed us to stay focused and innovative.

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

Being honest with what you need. There’s this stigma in an entrepreneurial culture that you need to grind and hustle and want something that every entrepreneur at your level does. Whether it’s 6-figures a year, or a month, we get caught up in keeping up with the Joneses instead of going after what we truly want.

Honestly, I was caught up in that for a few years, but after COVID gave me space to really think about what I wanted, I changed the direction of my entire business to be in alignment with what I truly wanted. And it paid off. My company makes way more money, we help way more people, I work way less, and I love my life so much more.

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

First, figure out what you truly want, and once clear, align everything you do with that end goal. It’s easy to get distracted by what’s new and hot in the marketplace. The clearer you are on what you want, the less likely you’ll get distracted.

Second, get clear on your niche. Contrary to popular belief, a niche is not your target audience. It’s a specific problem that a specific group of people struggles with. The more specific you can be, the better.

Third, create an outline or framework of your offer and sell it before you ever build it. Nothing is more frustrating than building something and people not buying it. Create just enough of an offer to sell it to validate the market will actually pay for it.

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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