Business Tips

3 Ways to Show Your Business Some Love on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day: a day widely recognized as a day to show LOVE.

Although we can all agree that love should be given 365 days per year, there is absolutely nothing wrong with devoting a day to celebrate love in all it’s glory!

Being the business woman that I am, I felt that a day like today would be perfect to, not only show your devotion and affection towards a special person in your life, but to also give that same attention and outpouring of love to your business, which is just as worthy of a little extra TLC.

Here a 3 ways to show your business a little extra love on Valentine’s Day:

 

Give Your Business a “Sexy” Makeover:

Visual branding is important. The way you present your business…your website, social media, marketing materials, etc., will play a key role in shaping a potential client’s perception of your brand, and whether or not they will choose to work with you. Take a look at your current branding and determine if it accurately reflects the look, feel, and message that you want your business to convey. If not, it’s time to give it a visually appealing, aka “sexy” upgrade.

Romance Your Hustle:

Often times, when you have romantic interest in someone, you pull out all the stops to show your love. You choose to date and spend quality time when you truly want to get to know someone and are looking toward a future with them. The same goes for your business. You have to put in the time and the work. Romance your business by taking it on regular “dates” to plan for your success. Get out of your regular work space and find a nice ambiance to really dig deep and learn everything about your business. What’s currently working? What’s not working? Where do you need to pivot and shift? How much money do you have coming in? How much is going out? Just like when you’re dating someone new, you can’t be afraid to ask the necessary questions. You can also use these business dates to determine your social media and marketing strategies, create quality content, and develop a solid profit plan for your business.

Don’t be a Cheap Date

Trust me,  no one likes a cheap date! Just the same, your business will not thrive if you are a cheap business owner. Loosen up your pockets and invest in your business! It cannot, and will not, thrive in the “free zone”…you know, downloading all of the freebies, attending only free webinars and classes, and not putting in a penny towards your business’ growth. It’s just not possible. If you want to win in business, you’ll have to get comfortable spending the money necessary to take it to the next level.

Remember, your business needs love too!

How will you show yours a little extra love today?

Click Here to join the community of other Moguls in the Making on Facebook for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools!

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

 

4 Business Lessons a Comedian Taught Me…

Kevin Hart on Steve Harvey Morning ShowPhoto via Kevin Hart’s Facebook Page

Yesterday morning, as I was taking my kiddos to school, I happened to catch an interview with comedian Kevin Hart on the The Steve Harvey radio show.

Although I love his work as a comedian (he is HILARIOUS!) and actor, I didn’t realize that he was also a phenomenal businessman.

During his interview, he dropped some major jewels that can be translated to pretty much any business.

Here are 4 business lessons Kevin Hart taught me…

1. Don’t let NO stop you. Several studios turned down his idea to turn his live standup shows into movies because they said they would never bring in a profit. Since then, he’s gone on to make over a hundred million dollars and has become one of the highest paid comedians ever.

2. Believe in your brand and vision enough to INVEST IN YOURSELF. He used over 13 million of his own money to fund a project that others would not back, because he was that passionate about it, and was willing to TAKE A RISK for what he believed in. He went on to sell out a 50,000 seat stadium…as a comedian. That has never been done. He made history!

3. If there is a void in the marketplace, FILL IT. He now has his own subscription based network, similar to Tidal. He saw them raking in the money and thought to himself that there was nothing out there like that for comedy, so HE CREATED IT!

4. Use your platform to HELP OTHERS GET ON. He said when you see him going hard promoting his stuff, its not just for his gain. It’s so that he can continue provide opportunities and platforms for others. His vision is bigger than himself. When you make it to the top, its only right that you reach back and pull others up with you, especially those that helped you get there.

I have a new found respect for Kevin. His work ethic is something to be admired.

How can you use these lessons in your business?

Discovery Session with Nikola AhaiweTired of trying to figure this whole marketing thing out on your own? Struggling to get clients or reach your business’ income goals, and could use some help creating a SOLID strategy? Email me at nikolaahaiwe@gmail.com to schedule a complimentary 30min Discovery Call to see how I can help!

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

P.S. Join the community of other Moguls in theMaking on Facebook for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools!

3 Reasons Your Business Is NOT Making Money…and How to Fix It!

3 Reasons Your Biz is NOT Making Money

Let’s face it: we’re all in business to make money. Even if you’re doing something that you absolutely LOVE and would do in a heartbeat if you weren’t getting paid, the reality is you have bills to pay, so you need your business to generate income.

As a business/marketing consultant, I speak with several entrepreneurs on a daily basis, and often get the question “why am I not making any money?” You’re active on social media, blogging on a weekly basis, attending all of your local networking events…you know, all of the things that you should be doing. But, you still can’t seem to land enough clients to bring in a consistent cash flow. What gives?

There are many different factors that can contribute to this, but I am going to break down the three most common reasons your business may not be bringing in
money:

You’re a Jack/Jill of All Trades

You are a photographer, but you also have your own jewelry line, sell homemade candles, makeup, and weight loss shakes. Your goal is to bring in multiple revenue streams. The problem? Your potential customers are confused! They don’t really know exactly what it is that you do because you are offering many different products and services, none of which go hand in hand with one another.

The Fix: Niche down. Decide on the ONE thing that you want to be known as the go-to person for, and do away with the rest. You can still create multiple streams of income by finding several different ways to profit from your primary offering (Example: if you are a photographer, consider adding a photo booth, teaching photography workshops, etc).

You Don’t Have a Real Plan
Simply put: you’re winging it! You’re doing any and everything that you think you should do to find clients, but you really don’t have a solid strategy in place. Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” Well, it holds truth when it comes to marketing your business as well. If you want to attract more clients and start making money, you’ll have to create a strategic roadmap outlining how you will do so.

The Fix: Create a list of specific marketing activities that you will consistently
engage in to increase brand awareness and attract new clients. Then implement, implement, implement! Be sure to include a timeframe to monitor each activity and measure its effectiveness before moving on to something else.

You Aren’t Selling Anything
When I first started my business, I knew that I wanted to teach other entrepreneurs how to create a marketing strategy for their business. I put up a website, I offered tips on social media, but I really didn’t have anything to sell, and, you guessed it, I wasn’t making a dime. Now, it may seem like a no-brainer that in order to make money, you have to have a product or service to sell, but I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t the only one not actually selling anything, while expecting clients to come my way.

The Fix: Get clear on your services and offerings. You should be able to clearly and confidently tell potential clients what you do and how it will benefit them if they choose to work with you.

If you are struggling to make money in your business and could use help creating a SOLID marketing strategy, click here to apply for a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me! 

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

P.S. Join the community of other Moguls in the Making on Facebook for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools!

4 Tips to Stop Chasing Clients, and Start ATTRACTING Them

Stop Chasing Start Attracting

As a marketing strategist and business coach, the number one question that I hear from business owners is: “how do I get more clients?”  My response: you must create an effective marketing strategy that will allow you to stop CHASING clients, and start ATTRACTING them.

There are a lot of components to this, but to quickly break it down, these four steps will allow you to do just that:

Know Your Target Audience 

A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is thinking that EVERYONE is their client. While it may be true that anyone can use your product or service, when it comes to marketing your business, you have to get really specific about the type of clients you want to work with. What do they look like? How much money do they make? Where do they live? How do they speak, act, and dress? Take some time to create your ideal client profile. Knowing this information will  help you weed out those who would not be the right fit for your business, and attract those that you can better serve.

Create a Clear Marketing Message

When putting together your marketing message, act as if you are talking to one specific person: your ideal client. Focus on their pain points and the specific results that they will receive as a direct result of working with you (ex: saving money, less stress, etc.)

Be Strategic About Pricing

Pricing plays a big part in whether or not someone decides to use your services, but maybe not in the way that you may think.  Oftentimes, creative entrepreneurs will under price their products/services because they think that is the way to entice clients. But that strategy actually works to the contrary. Strategic pricing is all about perceived value. Make sure that your clients understand the value of what you do. It should be reflected in the description of what they will receive in working with you, as well as the quality of your marketing materials. Know your worth, and highlight why you are worth every penny!

Be Consistent

A key part of marketing is knowing where your ideal clients are hanging out, then determining how to get your marketing message in front of them. However you decide to do that, whether it’s blogging, social media, email marketing, etc., the key is to be consistent with your efforts.   It generally takes a client 5-7 points of contact before they are ready to make a purchasing decision, and they will only buy from those that they know, like, and trust. Being consistent with your efforts will keep you at the top of their mind when it is time to sign on the dotted line.

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Dr. Nicoline Ambe

Today’s MITM Entrepreneur spotlight features Dr. Nicoline Ambe,  Parenting Speaker, Educator and Amazon #1 Bestselling Author of two books – Above & Beyond and A Teacher’s Notes.

Through teaching, speaking and training, Dr. Ambe has helped many parents develop great relationships with their children, resulting in academic excellence. A significant part of her mission involves teaching children to recognize their talents, stay focused, develop a learning mindset, and succeed in school.

Check out her interview…

Nicoline Ambe
Name: Dr. Nicoline Ambe

Location: Compton, CA
Business Name: Nicoline Ambe International
Years in Business: 4

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Part-time. Full-time Educator.

Why did you start your business?

To offer parents strategies and techniques to help their children excel in school and prepare for a successful life.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

Seeing parents change their thinking with regards to parenting, and being more.  Seeing enough evidence of children raising their grades in school as a result of being willing to improve their personal and parenting skills in the interest of their kids strategic parental involvement.

Nicoline Ambe1

What are your biggest challenges?

Booking more speaking engagements, building better relationships that result in more prospects and clients, getting paid what the content and information is worth, and getting known and recognized for my expertise.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Believe in yourself, and believe in the value of the product you offer.

Nicoline Ambe3

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I have a team of one: my assistant. He drives me to speaking engagements and handles book sales during events while I’m speaking with parents.

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

To be honest with you, I love what I do. I enjoy the process and the journey. I have no goals and no timelines. Each waking day, I simply decide to do one thing to move the business forward. Perhaps the one thing could be making one phone call, following up on a client, sending an email, writing my newsletter, marketing on social media. I see my business as just one aspect of my busy life…just one aspect of the grand scheme of things that life offers. So I am just having fun and not stressing out about long term goals. Maybe that’s why I’m still part-time (but I’m okay with that too!)

Nicoline Ambe2

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

I would say STAY FOCUSED ON YOURSELF. Take plenty of time to THINK. I would also say, be healthy. Business is extremely difficult, and if you’re not in good shape, you won’t have stamina and energy to keep going for a long time. Your body helps you live your dreams, so take care of it by eating healthy foods and staying fit.  Lastly, think through your ideas, think through your strategies, then take immediate ACTION to implement your ideas. Always pray for vision and discernment because it is vision that drives the action.

To learn more about Dr. Ambe, connect with her online:

Website| Facebook | Twitter

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

P.S. Join the community of other Moguls in the Making on Facebook for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools!

{VIDEO} Stop Waiting For Things to Be Perfect

If you want to be successful (in life and business), you have to stop waiting for things to be perfect…perfection doesn’t exist. Get off the ledge and start taking ACTION!

Check out this quick video where I share tips to help you get out of what I like to call “analysis paralysis”, and get you on the path to growing your business.

Do me a favor? If you liked this video, or found it helpful in any way, please share it so that it will help someone else! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/makingmoguls so that you don’t miss out on any of my Mogul Biz Tip videos!

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe
Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

 

 

 

 

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

Want to join a group of savvy, like-minded female entrepreneurs doing BIG things in their business? Join the Mogul in the Making Mastermind Group on Facebook by clicking here.

5 Steps to Reaching Your Business’ Income Goals

So, you have a great business idea, you’re very passionate about what you do, and you’re working your tail off to make this dream of being a successful entrepreneur a reality.  There is only ONE slight problem: you’re not making any money. Yikes!

How to Reach Your Business' Financial Goals

Although money may not be the only driving force behind starting your own business, let’s be honest, it’s an important one.  After all, you need money to pay your bills, support your family, and to create the lifestyle that you desire…and deserve!

So how do you get on track to reaching your business’ income goals?

I’ve outline the 5 step action plan for you below:

Determine how much money you would like to make monthly

Set a specific, and realistic dollar amount.  How much can you truly expect to make in a given month.  How much do you need to earn to live the type of lifestyle that you truly desire? What do you need the money for: bills, savings, supporting family, vacations, etc. Factor all of those things in when determining your ideal monthly income.

 Create a detailed and specific plan on how you will reach this goal.

Start by asking yourself these very important questions:

  • How many days/hours per week do you want to work?
  • How many clients do you want to work with each week?
  • What is the average fee you need to charge to reach your income target? (Really break these down, especially if you offer multiple services/products)
  • Who is your target market/ideal client and how will you consistently place yourself in front of them?

Put it all on paper

Write the answers to all of the questions down on a sheet of paper.

Example (let’s say you are a business coach): I want to coach 25 individuals at an average fee of $350 per month, so I gross $8750 per month.  My ideal client is a creative service-based entrepreneur who earn more than $60k per year.

Place your written statement somewhere that you will see it constantly

Read it aloud twice daily…first thing when you wake up in the morning and again just before you go to bed.  Constantly filling your mind with the things that you want, and actually “hearing” these desires, will keep you focused and dedicated to reaching your goal.

Make it happen

One of my favorite quotes is from the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.   It says “Wishing will not bring riches.  But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”  This means, once you decide how much you want to make, you will have to become almost obsessed in your mission to get it, make a solid plan to get it, and do not let failure be an option. There is a difference between wishing for something and being open and ready to receive it.  You cannot be ready to reach your income goals until you believe without a shadow of a doubt that it is possible for you to reach those goals.

What steps are you currently taking to consistently meet your business’ income goals? If you’re not reaching those goals, what do you think is holding you back? Leave a comment below.

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe

Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Amanda Loveland

Have you ever met someone who’s personality was so magnetic that, after just one conversation, you felt that their happiness and energy seemed to immediately rub off on you?  That was my encounter with Amanda Loveland, founder of With Love, LLC.  If you watch any of her videos, follow her on social media, or have had the pleasure of meeting her in person, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about!

Amanda is passionate about helping people build and grow businesses that make a difference in the world…oh yea, and making money while they’re at it!  She is well known for her unconventional approach to business that fosters dramatic and consistent results for her clients in record time. She is certified as a Dream Builder Coach through the Life Mastery Institute and as a Parent Coach through the Parent Coaching Institute.

Check out her story…

Amanda Loveland

Name: Amanda Loveland

Location: Sherman Oaks, CA

Business Name: With Love, LLC

Years in Business: 5

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Full time.

Why did you start your business?

I decided to help people make money in their business after years of inconsistent cash flow, struggling to pay bills, and working my tail off for little reward. The defeat that comes after putting so much time, energy and resource into something that you love and seeing it flop is devastating, and I knew there had to be another way.

I deeply believe that our income is a direct reflection of how well we’ve learned to serve the world, so the fact that I was making little to no money let me know I hadn’t yet figured it out. So, I made it my mission to impact the world in a positive way while generating an income that created a stable and freeing life for myself and my family. Once I did that, I realized how many other people needed help along that same path, so I started teaching.

Amanda Loveland

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

I have the privilege of hearing the messages people were born to speak before the rest of world ever gets to hear them. Until the world learns how magnificent you are, I’m the one who learns from you and soaks in every inch of your brilliance. I feel tremendously honored to be a part of the story right at the beginning, and stand next to people while they raise the baby that is their life’s greatest purpose. It’s miraculous.

What are your biggest challenges?

My greatest daily challenge is talking myself out of a second cup of coffee. In business, my greatest challenge is stepping back and allowing my message to spread like wild fire like it is capable of doing. Through my own anxiety, or need for perfect, or doubts of who I am, I slow it down. I know that my message is powerful, but I sometimes doubt myself in the spreading of that message.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever heard is from my husband, just last week. “I think it’s time you start learning from yourself.” I spend so much time reading, learning, and asking out in the world to make myself the absolute best I can be, and I often need to step back and remember how genius I am, and that I was born to do this. No one else knows the things that I know or does the things that I do, and there’s a reason for that.

Amanda Loveland

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I have the best team of all time. My awesome assistant is my only regular staff person at this time, and I love her madly. I also bring in people for various projects, like website building (The Brand Gals are the shiz), event support, and graphic design. Crazy important members of my team are my accountability buddies who help me set and push to reach goals, my mastermind team which helps me to overcome my limiting beliefs and brainstorm ideas for business, and my best friends who listen to me vent without telling me to quit. I also consider my clients as being a part of my team – they inspire me every day to get up and keep pushing forward at a wildly fast pace. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m constantly grateful for them.

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

I see myself on stage in front of thousands of women in their 20s and 30s, spreading my message of being wealthy and changing the world. I also see myself as a published author. And, I imagine myself having an all-inclusive web platform for people desiring to build businesses that change the world, providing them the steps they need to do so along with connections and mentorship to help them along their path. More than anything, I see myself laughing and hugging, a lot.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

Find no excuse why the world cannot be changed, and why you cannot do it.

 

Amanda will be the guest speaker at tomorrow night’s Mogul Meetup, teaching attendees unconventional ways to create MIND-BLOWING financial results in your business.  As a bonus, Amanda will be giving each attendee a copy of her 7-Day Sales Plan workbook to take home and work from the week following the event! Grab your ticket NOW! http://bit.ly/1x75yvK

September Mogul Meetup

For more information on Amanda Loveland, check her out online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe

Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Katie Bressack

Today’s MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight features Katie Bressack, founder of Balanced Beings,  a health and wellness company specializing in women’s health. Katie’s mission is to inspire and support women so that they can live healthy and vibrant lifestyles!  She draws on her own personal health experiences to teach  simple and easy steps to create more wellness in your life. With energy, enthusiasm and passion, Katie motivates and encourages women to take that small step in their life to create a healthier, holistic lifestyle.

Check out her story…

Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

Name: Katie Bressack

Location: Manhattan Beach

Business Name: Balanced Beings

Years in Business: 4 This November!

Are you a full or part time business owner?

Full time.

Why did you start your business?

I was a 28 year old living in New York city with a thriving career and active social network of great family and friends. I was happy, healthy and succeeding in all areas of life, that is until I found myself with a sinus infection. This was not just your run-of-the-mill sinus infection that can be treated with a cycle of antibiotics, but one that lasted for an entire year. Based on my happiness, continual hustle and bustle of city life, and career success at the time, I blindly assumed I was “being healthy” and kind to my body. What I failed to realize was that this perfectionist, type-A city woman was so full of stress, adrenaline and quick–fix medicine that I was unable to recognize that the lifestyle I was living was actually doing more harm than good and would be extremely detrimental and unsustainable in the long-run if I did not make some changes and fast!

The first step on my journey to wellness was finding a holistic doctor to guide me through the process. I was fortunate enough to find a doctor that changed my life and I will be forever indebted to her. Her advice ironically enough, was extremely simple: Stop taking medicine that was just masking the symptoms and not actually fixing the problem and more importantly, relax. She gave me a prescription for a neti-pot, probiotics, yoga and meditation. While normally this stubborn New Yorker would have laughed at the idea of relaxation and natural remedies as a solution, I was so desperate to get over this year-long infection that I was willing to try anything. And so with this appointment, I had my “aha” moment with my health.

From that day forward I vowed that life is too short to live that type of stress-induced lifestyle and I would never allow myself to get back to that place again. I started incorporating health and wellness into my life through meditation, yoga and an improved healthy diet amongst many other elements. Since then I’ve changed from an illness prone stress case into the woman I am today, and haven’t had a sinus infection for seven years. This experience entirely changed the trajectory of my life. I realized that in order to practice health and wellness regularly, I needed to permanently put myself in an environment that fostered this lifestyle. I decided to quit my high-stress job in New York, move to the South Bay, become a yoga teacher, return to school to become a Holistic Health Coach and launch my own health and wellness consulting business. It took me years to figure out the best way to take care of myself and my health and it is from my own experience that I draw inspiration to help women feel healthier and more joyful in their lives.

Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

What continues to inspire me is watching my clients transform their lives right in front of my eyes, one day at a time. It is the most incredible feeling to see all of the women I have supported feel so proud and comfortable in their bodies and dedicated to maintaining the new healthy and active lifestyle I’ve worked with them to create. I’ve seen so many of the women complete the program with so much increased confidence that they are willing to take risks they would never have considered before. For example, upon completion of her program, one recent client was so motivated to take life by the horns and not let another minute pass her by, decided to move to London to follow her dreams! It is women like this that drive me to run my business.

What are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge is managing all of my ideas! I get inspired so often when I am working with clients or just in a yoga class that I want to implement things right away, but that often gets in the way of growing my business with focus. What I have done is create a document where I can write down all of my ideas and when I have time I look at the list and see what would be the next best step.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

That being busy doesn’t mean your business is growing. I often get stuck in the small every day details but what is most important is the big picture. If I sit at my desk every day writing blogs but I am not meeting new people, then my business might not grow.

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

One woman show.

Katie Bressack - Health and Wellness Expert

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

My online community Thrive In Your Body is flourishing and I have woman all of the world being a part of this online community where we have group calls and an online platform where we will all be supporting one another with our health and wellness journey. I will be holding retreats and my book Thrive In Your Body will be a New York Times Bestseller!

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

To always listen to your gut and keep moving forward. Set-backs and challenges are important and we learn so much from them and never ever give up!

For more information on Katie Bressack, check her out online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe

Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more valuable business tips, resources, and tools! If you found this post helpful in any way, don’t forget to share it with your network!

MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ajarae Coleman

What do you do when you’re searching for a service that you could really benefit from, but simply can’t find anything like it? Well, if you’re anything like today’s featured Mogul in the Making, Ajarae Coleman, you simply start a business offering the service yourself!

As an actress, she couldn’t find a place where she could network and build the quality relationships needed to build a successful career, so Coleman started The Workshop Guru, an online community that allows actors to save time and money by giving them the inside scoop on casting director workshops.

Check out her story, as she shares a few golden nuggets about what it’s like to start a business with little capital, the importance of finding a mentor, and the best way to build a loyal client base.  You’ll want to take notes on the wisdom she dropped!

Ajarae Coleman The Workshop Guru

Name: Ajarae Coleman

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Business Name: The Workshop Guru

Years in Business: 2

 

Are you a full or part time business owner?

I am an actress, so the amount of time I can dedicate to my business varies with my project and audition schedule. For the most part, I run my business part-time to fund and support my creative endeavors.

Ajarae Coleman The Workshop Guru

Why did you start your business?

I started my business because I needed a service like The Workshop Guru myself to help me with the networking and relationship-building side of my acting career, and it simply didn’t exist. Allow me to explain. There is a positive trend in the actor and artist community right now… actors recognize that it’s not enough to be an amazing actor and be good at your craft. In order to be successful in this competitive landscape, we have to treat our acting careers like businesses. We have to develop trust with industry decision-makers, and let people know that we exist. One of the tools many actors use is “casting director (CD) workshops.” These workshops are classes taught by professionals who hire actors for film, television and theater projects. Actors who purchase these workshops perform short scenes for the CD, and in return the CD gives them feedback, explains how the casting process works, and offers real-world advice. Casting director workshops are controversial, because some people see them as paid auditions, but actors can use them strategically as a tool to build relationships. I have personally found casting director workshops useful in building meaningful relationships with people who have later hired me for jobs. Actors who are most successful with workshops are strategic in their approach. They target specific projects based on their strengths and qualities as an actor, they figure out which CDs casts those projects, and then they develop relationships with those CDs via workshops and other methods. Before TheWorkshopGuru.com existed, however, it wasn’t easy to use workshops strategically. There are over 40 different workshops studios in Los Angeles, and over 20 in New York City. These studios offer classes with different CDs for vastly different prices, in different formats, and in a wide range of facilities. Workshop Guru helps actors find the workshops they will be most successful in, for the best prices, on a time and date that is convenient for the actor. A WG membership allows actors to target specific casting directors, and to share reviews of casting directors (as teachers of the workshops) and workshop studios (as service providers). I describe The Workshop Guru as “Yelp meets Kayak for casting director workshops” (and now also agent/manager workshops) in LA and NYC. No other service like ours exists, and I’m proud to be filling this void for actors who want to save time and money and use workshops to market themselves more effectively.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of having your own business?

I love that I am in control of my schedule. When I worked at a corporate job, I would get so grumpy on Sunday evenings, because I dreaded getting up and spending the entire next day at work. And I actually liked my corporate job, so I can’t even imagine how people feel when they are in traditional jobs that they hate! It is also extremely rewarding to step back and look at a business that you created from scratch…from just an idea. There is a huge sense of accomplishment that comes from that. But the best part of my day is when I get an email or social media message from a fellow actor telling me how much they love the site, and how much it helps them. That makes all the work totally worth it. Ajarae Coleman The Workshop Guru

What are your biggest challenges?

I started my online business having very little start-up capital or knowledge about how websites work and are developed. It’s been a very interesting journey, to say the least! There was no out-of-the-box software solution for our application, so I’ve had to figure out how to develop the website in an affordable way. The site is still a work-in-progress, but I’m happy now with its usability for our members. Another major challenge was that I started the business on my own. I’ve helped run a much larger company, but I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve enjoyed making all the critical business decisions, and developing systems on my own, but having no partner has been a huge challenge. I’ve had to figure out when to ask for help, when it’s best to pay to delegate, when to take others’ advice, and when to go with my gut. Now I would say that my biggest challenge is that when I don’t know exactly how to do something, I tend to procrastinate. I’m sure a lot of Moguls in the Making can identify with this. I have to stay aware of that tendency, and consciously overcome that resistance every single day. It’s crucial that I buckle down and get started on projects, even when I don’t know the path to completion. My job is to identify the next step and do it. Otherwise, new initiatives drag on and on.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best business advice I’ve ever received is that “education-based marketing” is the key to success. Rather than trying to sell potential customers something, it’s so much better to come from a place of service, and teach them something they really need to know. Then position the purchase of your product or service to help them take what you taught them to the next level. If you can add value and build trust with your prospective customers before they spend a dime, they will happily invest in what you have to offer, and will be loyal customers and ambassadors for your business.

Ajarae Coleman The Workshop Guru

Do you have a team or are you a one man/woman show?

I have a small team that consists of a web developer, a social media assistant, and a team of research assistants who keep all the data on the website accurate every day. Customer service is a passion of mine, and I love interacting with fellow actors, so I handle all customer service myself for now. I am currently looking for a great team member to start to delegate that responsibility to, so that nothing falls by the wayside when I am busy with acting projects and auditions, or when I travel.

Where do you see your biz in the next 5 years?

Over the next five years, we will steadily continue to grow our base of actor members, and cultivate the best online resource for information about casting director practices and preferences. The Workshop Guru will be a thriving online community of proactive actors who share information and support each other. We’ll also have a more extensive free knowledge base for developing actors in our blog.

What advice would you give to other Moguls in the Making?

I would advise other Moguls in the Making to find a coach or mentor who’s been an entrepreneur for 7 or more years to support them through the process of starting a business. I personally think it’s a great idea to invest financially in a coaching program, because that made all the difference to me. I would also tell them to take time to read at least one book per month by a successful business owner. When you are in year 1 or 2 after starting your business, and struggling to get your bearings, it can be difficult to keep perspective on why you decided to become an entrepreneur. The guidance these experienced business owners can offer is invaluable. A book I re-read often that is applicable to artists and entrepreneurs alike is Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It’s all about overcoming resistance when we’re pursuing something worthwhile. Good luck!

For more information on Ajarae Coleman and The Workshop Guru, check them out online at:

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

If you would like to be featured in the MITM Entrepreneur Spotlight, please email your request to info@nikolaahaiwe.com

To Your Prosperity and Success,

Nikola Ahaiwe

Business Success Coach | Marketing Strategist | Motivational Speaker

Nikola Ahaiwe

 

 

 

 

 

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