Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Whitney Hahn, Founder of Provoke Better, located in Frederick, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
#ProvokeBetter provides strategic marketing leadership and marketing training. I'm typically working with companies that have a marketing challenge to solve today and want to build their internal capacity for tomorrow.
Tell us about yourself
I'm driven by a desire to develop people as I help businesses grow. This has been true of employees within my own agency, and it is equally true with the client teams I work with. I love the challenge of marketing because it merges science with art, and humans with tech, to try to persuade. Therefore, combining the influential nature of good marketing with a leadership role where I can guide others to faster success really makes my tail wag.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When you ask about accomplishments, my first thoughts go to how my team members have professionally developed under my direction:
- I've had former employees start their own businesses and reflect on how they take what they learned from me with them.
- Others left my company to seek new challenges in bigger firms, feeling well prepared to succeed there.
- One produced a full-length feature film and traveled the world competing (and winning) in film festivals.
I consider myself some small wind in their sails, having been smart enough to recognize and nurture their talent and confidence.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you have got to continually learn, experiment, fail, and grow forward anyway. There's been no magic "once and done" formula for me, as I am always looking to improve. That mindset for lifelong learning can be really hard for some people, but it is what will elevate you over time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
To start, run and grow a business today, you must:
- Be very clear and specific about the problem you solve and for whom. That becomes the center of your marketing and helps you define your services.
- Surround yourself with other business leaders who are succeeding at what you want to do (including a healthy work/life balance) and emulate what makes sense for you.
- Intentionally experiment with low-risk moves in order to avoid emotionally reacting in a high-risk situation. It builds your resiliency and confidence that you can make the hard decisions and recover.
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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