Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stuart Ellis-Myers, President of Uniquely Speaking, Inc., located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Keynote Speaker selling to and servicing to association and corporate conference meeting planners. Examples: Expedia, Capgemini, Coca-Cola, Merck Pharma, and others listed at my pre-pandemic site www.itwitch.com and post-pandemic site www.mentalhealthforlife.com
Tell us about yourself
I started my lifelong journey with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 8 - being diagnosed at 21. So I learned early about rejection and resilience from the schoolyards of my youth
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every audience is the first. Thirty years ago, at the point of suicide, I was about to jump off some cliffs when I got hit with the epiphany of jumping back into life to help others living with anxiety & depression. 800 performances later, I inspire and equip others on how to return to the light and love life.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Commitment to the first five years is a seven-day-a-week enterprise. Candidly, where your mind is constantly OCD'ing on how to sustain, improve and grow your business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Look inside of your weaknesses to find your true, currently hidden strengths. I combined a love of being on stage as a teenager, the art of embracing rejection as taught to me by school bullies, and the fact that because I had no friends growing up, I ended up being a superstar salesperson for multiple industries. It took me a while to understand my love of sales was actually a mindful therapy where every day, I was able to turn strangers into friends. Many became mentors and close friends. Suppose a new cold prospect said 'no' to that rejection. I never let that slow me down. Instead embraced rejection as a reality being one more step toward a new client I could help and add value for.
- Grit & the school of hard knocks steeled my business plan. Candidly I got sick and tired of working in toxic work environments where one national employer asked me to lie to my sales team. The accumulative effect was they made it easy for me to walk away from high-paying sales positions.
- Write a 50-page business plan before starting out. I did. Double your expense forecast and go 50% on your sales projections. I started my business out of my bedroom. I spent 90 days cold and warm calls contacting over 1,100 meeting planners and blasting them through Maximizer, the CRM. Started at 6 am and ended the emails and proposal requests by 11 pm.
- Re-competition. Get up earlier and work later than they do.
- Social media is great. Most North Americans would rather die than pick up a phone and call a prospect. So memorize 30 seconds - WIFFM what's in it for their voice mail. Then set them in an individual monthly email drip. What is your unique point of difference? Mine is Tourette Syndrome and is known as 'Robin Williams with an inspirational twitch!'
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Act as if you can. Don't overthink. 80% of new businesses fail through a lack of setting up processes.
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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