Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jody-Ann Rowe, Founder, and CEO of The Event Certificate, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

The Event Certificate is an online marketing and education company that works with small businesses to increase their online traffic and leads. Our customers are mainly companies in the wedding industry, such as wedding planners, florists, venues, and other wedding vendors.

Tell us about yourself

I first started as a corporate event planner at a university before starting my own event planning business as a side hustle. As my side business started to grow, I would get a lot of questions from peers and new planners in the event space about my strategies for finding clients for my business. In an attempt to share my knowledge, I started The Event Certificate as a blog that would provide answers to some of the questions I was getting asked more frequently. As the questions increased, the business quickly blossomed from a blog into the digital marketing company it is today.

While the original intent behind the blog has changed a bit over the years, the purpose remains the same, which is to help other small business owners succeed. I know what it's like to start and grow a business from scratch and the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. What truly motivates me is being able to provide a shortcut to other business owners, so they don't have to make the same mistakes that I did.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments so far has been a project where I got to partner with Google on a new tool they are launching for YouTubers. I use YouTube as my main platform for sharing content with my audience and always consider my channel tiny, with just over 13,000 subscribers. This partnership was significant for me because it felt like an "I've made it" moment. I find we often define success through financial achievements, and while this project was paid, the highlight for me was that Google found the channel and thought my content was good enough to be considered.

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

I would say trying to redefine the term "balance." As a business owner, there isn't that set a 9 to 5 schedule as you have when working for someone else, so it's easy to get consumed by working too much or feeling like you're not doing enough. As a new mom, I struggled tremendously to find the perfect blend of working on the business, spending time with the baby, and still having some social life. I've had to accept the harsh reality that there is no perfect balance, but rather figuring out what works best for my life and family at specific times.

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

  1. Stop waiting for perfection, and just do it. Don't spend weeks and months trying to make the perfect thing, and start at the perfect time. If your product/service is perfect at the time when you launch, you've waited too long.
  2. Not everyone is your client, and that's ok. One of the most important parts of running your business is knowing exactly who your clients are so you don't spend your time and marketing dollars on customers that have no interest in your product/service.
  3. Be annoying with your marketing. Don't shrink yourself or your accomplishments because you don't wish to "annoy" people. Tell everyone who will listen to your product/service. Market, market, market, and then when you're done, market some more.

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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