My Journey to Entrepreneurship (+ What I’ve Learned Since Starting My Business)
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We all start somewhere.
The beginning of my entrepreneurial journey wasn’t that I woke up one day and said, “I think I’ll start making YouTube videos and make an income online.” No, it was more like I woke up one day and wanted something more than what I was doing at the time. I wanted more time, more freedom, and the chance to make a difference.
Before I was an entrepreneur, I was a dental hygienist. I know, crazy right? Went from cleaning teeth all day to now working on the internet, and I really make sure my business now that I’m doing things that fuel me, not things that I’m looking at the clock constantly and counting down until I don’t have to do that work anymore.
So, I was a dental hygienist. I was cleaning teeth all day every day and I am a people person, so it was great to work with people and I will say that that was actually the place where I started to build my speaking abilities. It was like every single patient that would come through was where I could start telling my stories and then I would like split test my stories to be able to share a different story and have a different tweak or a different epiphany bridge or something to be able to make them laugh, and that’s how I started to get comfortable with speaking in front of people by having new patients every day that I could test my stories on. But ideally, at the end of the day, I hated the feeling of being stuck to a job, stuck to a ceiling of income that I could only make a certain wage for a certain amount of time. I was trading my hours for dollars and I hated that.
My journey to leaving the nine-to-five wasn’t actually intentional. I didn’t think that I was going to start a social media agency and then move into a video marketing and YouTube agency. What I actually did was I was just bored in the dental office. So, I started doing their social media on the side, and their IT guy, who took note said, “Hey I noticed that you’re doing this for this office. Would you be able to do social media for another one of my clients? Can I refer you?” I said, “Well sure I guess.” I don’t really know too much about what I’m doing yet and he referred me to all of his clients. And that was my initial push of hey this is actually a business opportunity.
I had no idea that something that I was just naturally good at creating content and posting on social media, and really understanding the platforms could be a quite lucrative business. So, then I started to really take this seriously, how can I learn more so that I can remove myself from the nine to five? That I can serve more clients that I could get them better results? Because the more that I can get my clients results, the more opportunities I have to work with more people.
So, I started investing in courses. I started going to events and meeting other business owners and entrepreneurs to understand what were their pain points. How could I help them? That was the biggest thing is understanding, what did people need that I could provide them? A lot of people have insecurities about who am I, like imposter syndrome. Who am I to have this kind of business or who am I to ask for money from someone? But all you need to do is be able to solve a problem for that someone else has.
A lot of times people will also hold themselves back by thinking I’m not an expert, but really all you have to know is more than the person who’s hiring you knows. If someone who was out in the sea and they needed a life preserver, would you say to them, well sorry it’s not the right color or this person probably throw harder. Really it’s about the effort you make and how you can support them in getting to their next goal. So, you don’t have to worry about what is my expertise or how can I actually do this, who am I to do this? It’s really about shedding those false beliefs, knowing that you have something to offer to them by knowing more than what they know and giving them the solution to their problem.
I say this from experience because that was certainly a problem that I had, having that impostor syndrome, knowing that people are paying me money. I need to solve a problem for them. I need to make this worth it so that they will continue to keep paying me or that I can give them the solution to the problems that they have. The thing that I really learned from that was this quote I want you to hear this. “When you get nervous, focus on service.”
By making it about me and my ego and how does this make me look and can I do this, was really taking away from the value that I can provide for my clients. The next big thing I learned was that I can’t and shouldn’t do it all myself. When we first start out our entrepreneurial journey, we’re absolutely doing everything by ourselves. Being a CEO turns into being a chief everything officer and I thought well I have to be the one that writes the copy, I have to be the one that creates the strategy, I have to be the one that edits the videos. And a mentor of mine and a good friend Alex Charfen said to me “Marley you’re not that special” and it might seem like a harsh reality, but it’s true. You’re not this snowflake unicorn that you’re the only person that can do it. And now I have a team of 14 people that are incredible and so skilled at what they do that some of the things that they do, I couldn’t even imagine doing anymore. They’re much better at video editing or they’re much better at writing copy or they’re much better at designing a sales page than me and it allows me to move into my zone of genius and allows me to actually really enjoy what I do and be working in more revenue-generating strategic opportunities.
So growing my team was the biggest thing for me that really accelerated my business and allowed me to grow both personally and professionally and grow the revenue in the business. The other big thing that I learned was that video was the huge vehicle for my business, and you might be watching this for a while, you might be brand new to this channel. If you are, comment below, say hello. I’d love to get to know who you are and what you do. If you’re an OG of this channel, also comment and let me know how long you’ve been following me for but the biggest thing for growing my business was understanding how to use the power of video to scale my audience and ROI and really get leads for life because I have videos that I create once that are still generating leads for me for years to come by using YouTube as a search engine that it is, and that’s also what I teach other people how to do is how to get leads for life and have predictable recurring, reliable revenue by using video as your vehicle that shares who you are, what you do, drives traffic and generates leads.
So, if I did have to start out tomorrow, if my YouTube channel was deleted in an earthquake, if my business was burned up in flames if all of my equipment was thrown in the garbage, I know that if I had to start over, the biggest thing that I would do is start on video by creating the attractive character, by explaining who I am and what I do and creating that epiphany bridge to show here’s my story, here’s what I’ve achieved and you can too by showing that me currently as the after picture and the potential audience that I’m speaking to being the before picture, showing here’s how you can achieve what I’ve done and here’s like all the value to be able to show you how to do that.
So if you’re someone who’s wondering how do I generate leads how do I create that attractive character for myself, you really don’t have to go much further than looking at your own origin story and how you got to where you are, because if you’re the one who has achieved all the things that your audience wants to achieve to, the basic thing is showing them how you did it and how they can do it too by putting it into systems and processes, showing them kind of like a done-with-you format and a done-for-you format to get them to where they want to be.
That alone is one of the biggest things that keeps me going and what inspires me is knowing how I’m able to help other people. Let’s go back to that quote I said before when you get nervous focus on service.
If I ever notice myself getting insecure about who I’m being or how big things are getting or if I’m not growing to the level I can be, I need to take that focus off of me and put it on to someone else. Another Alex Charfen quote is if you want to get momentum, give it to someone else. So, the more you’re able to help other people is able to put that meant him back into you by knowing that, I’ve made a difference, I’ve helped someone and seeing them grow, like one of the big things that we see in our business is, we want to help the individuals so that they can change their family, their business, their community, and the world and by being a part of that ripple effect, by seeing the clients that we’ve been able to support and having multi-million dollar launches and to growing their audiences into the thousands and hundreds of thousands, that makes me feel like I’m really making a difference. Even if no one knows who I am but if I see that the difference that I’m able to make in my clients and the difference that they’re able to make in their lives that is what inspires me and keeps me going and I hope that that can inspire you for whatever your effort is, and what you’re doing in the world.
So if you’re someone that’s just starting or in the middle of your entrepreneurial journey, the biggest thing that I would love for you to take away from this is to focus less on society’s perceived success and more focus on your own fulfillment and impact for yourself, your family and also in the lives of others.
I’d love for you to get my “Thought Leader” handbook. It’s an absolutely free handbook showing you how you can position yourself as a thought leader in your niche, no matter what industry you’re in.