Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Roberta Vigilance, CEO of Vigilance Style & Grace, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business teaches how to secure sponsors for events.
Tell us about yourself
While working as a sales executive, attending college, and assisting with a celebrity calendar project, I learned that there were students at the school who wanted to enter the entertainment industry without having to sleep their way into the industry, so I launched an event planning business, in 1999, called Vigilance Style & Grace to provide information and networking opportunities for them.
I needed money to implement the events. After I asked large corporations to invest in my events and faced consecutive rejections, event sponsorship found me but came with no instructions. I taught myself how to secure sponsors and have secured local to corporate brands. A few years later, I decided to write a book that shares how to secure sponsors so that other professionals, too, can get funding for events.
I'm motivated by communities that want to do great things for today and for the future but, due to lack of support and knowledge, cannot make their events a reality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Sharing my knowledge and expertise in my book and eBook: How To Secure Sponsors Successfully.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Great question: I was stuck on this one. I've found a solution for each hardest things. Every time I think of one challenge, the solution or benefit comes to mind. However, if I had to choose, it would be making the decision to focus on one product - the pros are: the path is clearer, it gives me freedom, and it allows me to be a proactive learner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Become clear on what you're selling or offering. Is it a product to educate, entertain, or inspire?
- Know the value of your product. For example, it helps professionals get funding for events, it shares entrepreneur stories to - and I quote - Turn your "one day" into day one.
- Tweak your business, price, or anything if it takes you away from what makes you happy.
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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