Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dana LaRieal Morales, Founder & Coach of The Happiness Bucket, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help busy Solopreneurs, and Side-Hustling Professionals combine what they are naturally doing in their environments with what they want or need to be doing to develop their unique, organic organizing system(s). This method not only teaches them how to get organized but also how to stay organized by understanding what systems and methods work for them and their environments. It enables them to be more efficient in both their business and personal lives.
Tell us about yourself
By trade, I am a certified project management professional for a global corporate law firm. In my career, I spend my days focusing on process development and improving efficiencies in our environment. This enables me to see where people are struggling with work processes as well as navigating their personal lives. I also know what it's like to want to live your dream of entrepreneurship while trying to work a full-time job and raise a family.
In deciding to start my company, I knew I had value to give to Solopreneurs and Side-Hustling Professionals to help them navigate building a business and raising a family, all while working a full-time job and/or making ends meet. I was tired of seeing people create inefficient processes in their businesses and homes, and I knew I could help. Ultimately, I saw a gap in the industry and decided to help fill it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was when I developed Organized Academy, my on-demand learning portal. I needed a way to multiply myself, so I could serve more people. My clients spend their days running their businesses and/or working full-time jobs, so the normal resources weren't available to them when they needed them. I meet with Clients during lunch, at night, and on the weekends, but that time was limited based on my schedule. I wanted to scale my offerings and make sure that I could serve my Clients no matter what time they carved out to work on their business.
The portal delivers on-demand courses, which were developed with bite-sized lesson formats. These lessons are easy to digest and allow each student to systematically accomplish something related to their business to help define their processes. The Academy was started with one a la carte course and has grown to include a Vault Membership, which gives you access to all training in the Academy for a low monthly fee.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is that you have to wear hats that you normally don't wear or didn't expect you'd have to wear. Most new business owners come in with one expertise, and that is their focus, but as a business owner, you have to learn the back office and marketing and customer service and onboarding, etc. Needless to say, there is a lot of trial by error and learning on the job.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't avoid doing something because it seems hard. In most cases, it is much easier than you are making it out to be, or you just need to ask for help. However, once you get guidance or help, you have to be willing to do the work. Don't expect it just to magically happen.
- Don't try to do too much too fast. I see this a lot with people trying to "keep up with the Jones." The truth is the Jones may be struggling themselves. My rule of thumb is to develop a well-thought-out plan, get someone to help review/evaluate that plan, then execute the plan, but if necessary, don't be afraid to adapt the plan too. Truly account for the time you actually have while accounting for your known (and sometimes unknown) variables. It's ok to be ambitious and have a drive, but don't inadvertently set yourself up for failure by trying to do everything all at once.
- Take the time to set up your financial ecosystem (I'm not referring to just your accounting system, either). Your finances are the foundation of your business. You should know what is coming in and going out of your business without having to ask your Accountant. You should be able to evaluate your profit and loss statement to determine if you need to implement something or let something go. To see how much a new program or product costs you to put on or make. As well as how many sales it brought in. So many people are just making numbers up or have no idea what is happening on the financial side of their business, and that is really scary.
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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