Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynn Smith, Founder and CEO of Rylan Media, located in Georgetown, SC, USA.

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

I help CEOs, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs become go-to media experts and get career-changing media appearances. I am also a keynote speaker helping leaders become thought leaders to go from respected to revered and a podcast host of StrollerCoaster, the parenting podcast by Munchkin, the world's most loved baby brand.

Tell us about yourself

Rylan Media is my company named after my children Ryder and Lochlan.  They are the reason I started the company. I was a morning news anchor for 15 years, and it's a career that often blurs the lines between work and life. When my son was old enough to understand that I wasn't going to be home when he woke up, he used to ask me to draw him pictures to leave under his door for the morning. Every morning, at 4 am, I drew his very detailed request. It's not easy drawing a bulldozer covered in spaghetti being chased by police! But it's worth it. We still have many of the drawings, and today, I am home each morning to make breakfast, pack lunch, and drive a carpool. That is the life I wanted, and it motivated me to build a business to make this possible.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Overcoming the inevitable "perceived failures" of a business owner has been something I used to keep going, no matter what. We are all so afraid of failure, but I encourage people to reframe the word from failure to lesson. We would never say we fear lessons. That's what my failures have been. They are lessons that I learned from, which enabled me to see revenue in my first year of business that surpassed my news anchor salary.

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

Uncertainty. I call myself a recovering W-2. There are a lot of benefits (figuratively and literally) to being a W-2 employee. A salary, health benefits, and in my case, the security of a multi-year contract. That said, I always remind people nothing is safe and secure. As we have seen with recent layoffs, sadly, sometimes corporate America can be a numbers game. While becoming your own boss comes with the pressures of everything falling on your shoulders, I have seen the benefits far outweigh the cost of uncertainty.

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

  1. Do what you know and what your expertise is, and let it evolve from there. If you have a skill set, people will pay you for that.
  2. Create multiple streams of income. When I started my business, I created 3 buckets for income. Coaching, Speaking, and Podcast hosting. I initially did this to test the market and see what the marketplace was looking for. Turned out it was all 3, and I saw how beneficial it was to ensure if one month was slow in a bucket, the other buckets kept me full.
  3. Be Yourself. It is the ONLY thing in life in which you will have zero competition.

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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