Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samantha Hawrylack, Co-Owner and CEO of SJ Digital Solutions LLC., located in Coatesville, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
SJ Digital Solutions is a digital marketing agency located in the greater Philadelphia area that supports finance brands around the globe in their efforts to rank #1 in Google and increase conversions passively through strategic SEO and content creation.
Tell us about yourself
I received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master in Business Administration from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I began my career in the financial services industry and shifted to an entrepreneurial role where I could directly impact clients in 2019. My background is in finance, business management, and SEO/content creation.
My husband, John, and I started a blog in 2018 that fueled my thirst for learning everything there was to know about SEO and content creation. I was then able to pivot these learnings into serving clients. Freedom and flexibility to prioritize my values are what motivate me each day to keep grinding.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I quit my corporate job in July 2019 with no clients lined up. My biggest accomplishment is building a business that is sustainable enough for me never to have to work for someone else again.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest aspect of being a business owner, in my experience, is not allowing your company to overtake your life. I've had difficulties with keeping a work-life balance over the last three years. It's really easy to work 16 hours days when you're passionate about what you do and want to give a flawless client experience. However, I've learned that owning a business is only part of your life; it shouldn't be your whole life. Without showing up for yourself, you can't show up 110% for your clients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you're looking to start a business, I would recommend leaning into what you're already good at and/or have experience in. It's much easier to obtain clients/customers when you already have a track record in a particular industry. For instance, my education and work experience are in finance, so I combined my passion for writing/SEO with my background in finance.
- When you're running a business, it's important to be able to predict and plan so that you can delegate appropriately. Don't allow yourself to take on too much because you couldn't forecast the additional help you would need.
- Networking is everything when you want to scale your business. Even as an introvert, I've been able to find comfortable ways to do so. For example, try having 1-on-1 conversations on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Or, you could offer to guest post on someone else's site. Don't let anyone tell you that you need to be extroverted to have any chance of growing.
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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