Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in public relations but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kojenwa Moitt, CEO of Zebra Public Relations, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are in the business of serving entrepreneurs who are seeking to share their message with the world. Many entrepreneurs have wonderful ideas about what they would like to do and how they wish to serve but have little idea as to how to reach the masses. We help entrepreneurs to reach the masses and to raise visibility so that they can have better credibility with their shareholders and stakeholders. We do this using media and technology to achieve it and place our clients in the news, on television, on podcasts, and in some cases, in stores.
Tell us about yourself
I first started working on my business after leaving my MBA degree in 2008, the start of the second economic collapse since the Great Depression. Many of us had letters offering jobs, but they were all rescinded once the stock market fell. I found myself suddenly having to get creative about how to generate money and earn an income all at the same time. Not having income was a great motivator, and so was a chance to create something from scratch. It turns out that specializing in marketing, entrepreneurship, and studying business cases was the right direction post-MBA. I think what motivates me most is my insane drive to ensure that I have time to spend with my family. The abundance is designed to help me get to a place where I can not only take care of my family and the people I love but also create more time with each of them. This is my biggest motivating factor.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment includes the time I travelled to New York to work on a two-day hackathon for an airline company. I had been incanting Richard Branson for some time and discovered upon arrival that we were indeed going to be solving a problem for Virgin Atlantic. We managed to pitch Richard on day two and won the bid, which resulted in the Virgin Clubhouse at JFK and later the Virgin Hotels in NYC. I love winning marketing proposals, and the most rewarding part of the experience is when the leader implements the idea that is then adopted by the masses.
My other accomplishments include seeing a marketing campaign for snack food giant Peatos unfold after creating a commercial campaign for Tracy McGrady which helped to raise another series of funding and landed the product in Costco stores. I have seen companies like Clyn catapult to rising star status lauded by TechCrunch - entrepreneurs who came to America with nothing serving the economy with brilliant ideas. There are many accomplishments to speak about, but these are some of the most noteworthy ones of my time. Naturally, one of my happiest moments is when my clients are placed in articles that recognize and embrace their value.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur include the daily pressures of having employees and contractors look to you for financial stability. The role of the business owner is to generate business even when there is a downturn. Throughout the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, it is important to remain positive to stimulate the best outcome. Part of this includes nurturing your mental and physical health so that you can serve to be the best beacon at the helm.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Quitters never win, and winners never quit. The key to success is perseverance and grit. The win feels more meaningful when it takes some hurdle to achieve it.
- Create a sacrifice plan. When you're in the trenches, it can appear to your family as though you have no time to spare. Create a plan that communicates to them that you will create space once you have achieved a certain milestone to foster confidence in your personal and private relationships - which also need nurturing.
- Have faith. If you have an idea that you believe the market needs, test it first with friends and family and gradually venture out to people who don't know you. You need to validate your idea in the market first to know whether your concept is viable. Once you begin to earn money for your product and services, you know what you can replicate. As you become savvier with your marketing, you will place greater emphasis on administering to your company but also on marketing it to the masses eventually. To help with this, we have a product called PR DIY that we run three times per year. It's perfect for entrepreneurs who would like tangible solutions for raising public awareness about your brand that you can implement immediately and rise above the crowd with tactics that top-tier publicists are using to make their clients gain the recognition they deserve.
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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