Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elizabeth Chapin, Founding Partner at TwoCents Riot, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At TwoCents Riot, we offer a unique combination of corporate expertise, entrepreneurial drive, and creative strategy to deliver branding solutions that turn blank spaces into connected experiences. We focus on company naming, brand value messaging, and startup consulting for a wide range of clients, but we are particularly proud of the work we do with women-owned businesses, tech companies, nonprofits, and creative studios.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve always been interested in new ideas. My background working for entrepreneurial-driven companies like Wired Magazine and Apple made starting a business a natural next step for me after deciding to leave the corporate world. Before starting TwoCents Riot, my business partner, Dawn Nadeau, and I created VONK, a digital platform to safely connect kids with friends and families through virtually shared play.
We realized if we shared our experience of running startups with other founders, we could help get more good ideas out into the world. We started TwoCents Riot motivated by a belief that when you share meaningful work you love, you inspire others. No matter what the company does or what market sector they operate in, great brand messaging sparks that inspiration to create, innovate and connect.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My greatest sense of accomplishment comes from hearing how much our clients love the work we do for them. A win for us is a client telling us they feel like they’ve struck gold because a new name or brand message has captured their company perfectly and helped them communicate complex information in simple and creative ways. Those are often the clients that come back for another project. Repeat business and referrals are the highest form of compliment for a business owner.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a small business owner and founder is having to be the dreamer, doer, and everything-maker. The accounting department, business development, HR, tech support, strategy…check, check, check. It can be overwhelming sometimes. Then you get to stop and remember the beautiful thing about owning your own business: that you get to decide what defines success and how and when you want to get things done. Flexibility is freeing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The best tip is one that applies no matter the type of business or size: define your own measure of success, both financial and personal. We talk to clients about the idea of the 3 Cs: Control, Content, and Compensation. Define for yourself in each of those areas what success looks like. Be honest with yourself about what is most important - is it the flexibility and control over your schedule and being selective on projects, or do you aspire for growth and scale? The more you dig into your own goals and desires, the more successful you will be in your work life.
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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