This month Melinda Emerson, the “Small Biz Lady”, sat down with Parvati Magazine to discuss her passion for serving by helping small business owners succeed and how she starts her own busy days as entrepreneur and Mom.
Parvati Magazine: What inspired you to begin your mission to end small business failure?
Melinda Emerson: When I first wrote my book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, I spent the time to write the book because it was advice I wish I had when I started my first company nearly 20 years ago. I wanted to save aspiring business owners from the pitfalls out here waiting for new business owners. Then my advocation became my occupation. I got on Twitter to start building my brand as SmallBizLady and one day someone asked me why I did it, and my answer was that my mission was to end small business failure. And it is my whole philosophy for what I do to support America’s small businesses. My social media brand SmallBizLady, #Smallbizchat my weekly live tweet chat and my blog succeedasyourownboss.com are really just an extension of that mission.
PMAG: In your book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month by Month Guide to a Business That Works you recommended getting your life plan together as job #1, even before creating a business model and plan. Can you tell us about that?
ME: A lot of times people rush out to start businesses because of a job loss, and that is not a good enough reason because it is really hard to run a successful small business. It’s best to figure out what you want out of life and why you want it through the development of a life plan. People should spend the time to get clear on their personal and professional goals, because that will influence the type of business you should start. The last thing you want to do is leave a soul-sapping job and create a business that feels like a noose around your neck. Starting a business the right way will enable you to build your dream life.
PMAG: And how do yoga, fitness and meditation fit into and serve your life as a busy entrepreneur?
ME: I start most days with prayer and meditation. In my early years in business I didn’t understand this and I was a stress junkie. Once I discovered that you can manage daily work challenges must easier if you start out in a place of peace and calm, I have made it part of my daily routine. I also work out three times a week with a trainer, and I schedule that just like I schedule a conference call with a client.
PMAG: What are the top three essential lessons you would like to share with new entrepreneurs?
1) A good idea is still a good idea three weeks from now. Do your research to make sure you are pushing your business in the right direction.
2) Never let a customer down. No matter what it takes, keep your word.
3) Make sure that you build a banking relationship, don’t just make deposits and withdrawals.
PMAG: What do you hope your business leaves as a legacy?
ME: I want to leave a legacy of service. I want my son and all business owners to understand that you can do good and do well. I think it’s important for people to hold on tight to their dreams, and not let anyone stand in their way.
Melinda F.Emerson “SmallBizLady”, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is an internationally renowned speaker on small business start up, business development, and social media marketing. Forbes magazine named her “#1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.” Melinda’s small business advice is widely read, reaching more than three million entrepreneurs each week online. She publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com, which is syndicated by the Huffington Post. Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, 2nd Edition and the ebook How To Become a Social Media Ninja.