Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angie Colee, Owner of Permission to Kick Ass, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a marketing strategist, coach, and consultant for early and growth stage entrepreneurs. Many of these folks are dealing with info overwhelm or comparison-itis with other business owners, and it keeps them stuck and floundering. I help entrepreneurs combat shiny object syndrome and anxiety by zeroing in on simple marketing and sales strategies that help them find a fast path to money.
Tell us about yourself
I started out as a copywriter (sales writer), but after ten years, I was feeling burned out on writing for others. After a journaling exercise, I realized I was called toward coaching and starting a podcast, so I shut down the copywriting arm of my business and pivoted toward full-time coaching and consulting.
I love being a sounding board for people who are in a "stuck" place or who might be feeling low energy or low faith in themselves. More often than not, they're simply too in the weeds to be able to see all the options, and getting that outside perspective gives them renewed energy. My favorite thing on this planet is seeing someone's eyes light up when they get excited by a big, ambitious new goal... and they totally believe they can hit it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Figuring out how to handle a complete business pivot, a shakeup in my personal life, and hitting the road to become a digital nomad... all at the same time. I had a lot of doubts about whether I'd figure it all out or have to go crawling back, but amazingly enough, the act of committing to my chosen path is what forced me to figure it all out. That first year on the road, I launched a podcast, started my coaching practice, took on consulting clients, and finished a draft of my first book.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It's easy to get stuck in your own head. Often we're working alone at our computers or spending time on our own brainstorming the next steps and the 1, 5, and 10-year goals. When we spend all that time between our own ears and don't get any outside perspective (from people we trust, who believe in us - not just any old critic), things get warped and overwhelming.
I can't tell you how many times I felt like I couldn't do something (like start a podcast or travel full time), and then I figured out how to do it by reaching out to people for help and advice and tackled it one step at a time until it was done.
Don't keep all your best ideas and dreams locked away in your own head. Share the vision... you never know who might step up to help you bring it to life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- In your early stages, your #1 focus should be sales/revenue. I see too many people get hung up for years on website design and copy, business cards, or logos and branding. Get out there and sell your thing, and keep it as simple as possible, even if that means making a list of people you know and asking them if they could use your product or service. Focusing on revenue not only proves to you that people want and need the thing you've created, but it also generates revenue to pay for things like websites and business cards.
- Be careful who you surround yourself with - are the people who are where you want to be? In my early days, I joined a mastermind group where we met for breakfast every week, and every week we all had excuses as to why we hadn't hit our goals. Every week, we had the same to-dos, and after a while, it became clear to me that this wasn't the group that would help me meet my goals. I started getting to know people who had the kind of business I wanted and asking them which groups to join... which allowed me to be in rooms where I had to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and play a bigger game to keep up with my peers.
- If at all possible, give yourself a runway. Running a business requires a skill set that you won't actually acquire until you try running the business. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to overestimate what you can realistically deliver. And if you're smart, you'll recognize those for the invaluable learning they are and keep going... which is a lot easier if you've saved up enough to get you through the first 3-6 months until you find your stride. This is all about reducing decisions made out of fear and panic - those are reactive decisions that often have a negative impact on the business. But if you approach it from a place of strength, you're much more likely to grow... and having a cushion and a plan helps you come at it with confidence.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There are over 7 billion people on the planet. To have a successful business, you only need to reach (and convert) a few hundred. I know it can feel overwhelming, but one person at a time is the name of the game. And make sure to keep a "kickass file" of all the compliments and testimonials you get from people, so you have something to pump yourself up on the down days.
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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