By Sina McClendon
How do you maintain your integrity in an otherwise very competitive and sometimes unscrupulous industry, as business can sometimes be cut throat?
I am a firm believer of what goes around comes around so I try to treat everyone the same. My business has honestly been able to grow by word of mouth. I have a return ratio of 85% which is something that is almost unheard of. I am up front and honest with my clients, I meet my deadlines and they are always able to reach out to me if they have questions or concerns. I wear integrity like a badge of honor so it’s important for me to have good business principles. I’m also very big on the vibe. Not all money is good money and I have turned clients down if they ask me to make something that is offensive.
How difficult is it to maintain a work-life balance? What measures do your take to ensure that you have that?
This right here is a struggle. As I type this, it’s actually 6:41 AM in the morning and I have not had any sleep. My work load is constantly growing. Entrepreneurship is hard, consistent and sometimes insane work. On the outside it appears to be easy, fun and care free but there are so many mechanisms needed to keep the wheels turning for your business. Often times we are learning as we go, seeking to find our own way. I’m still working on learning how to balance my personal life and run two businesses.
How hard was it breaking into the business? We hear stories of people who try for years and never make it, and then other stories of “overnight in the right place at the right time” sensations. Which one do your think there’s more of? Those who pay their dues, or opportunity meeting preparation?
The hardest part of breaking into “ANY” business is realizing who your target market is. The biggest mistake that people make when starting off is targeting their business and services to their friends and family members and becoming frustrated when they’re unable to make sales. You need to formulate a plan and pitch your business to customers who have a need and want for it. In my opinion the businesses that have longevity and success are the ones that have put in years of work. Overnight sensation normally doesn’t last too long because they are unprepared.
What advice do you have for others who have THE dream?
I would tell them to pursue what you are most passionate about. Do the one thing that you would absolutely do for free. Your passion is connected to your purpose. This kind of work is meaningful. When you have hard, rough days the love for it will keep you afloat. You need to not only love it but you should want to MASTER it! This will require you to consistently learn and revamp your craft. I don’t think anyone should ever get too comfortable, you should always be seeking for ways of how you can improve and scale your business. For me I’m never in the current moment. I’m always 4 steps of ahead in planning exactly where I want to go. Prayer is also very important. Pray through the process it keeps you centered.
What are some of the things you do to wind down and relax after grueling events and preparations for them?
I’m old school. A nice hot bath, candles and smooth jazz playing soothes me. I add a little Epsom salt mixed with lavender, smear some sugar scrub on my face and close my eyes. I normally like to retract for a day or two and just have quiet time to myself to recharge my energy and rejuvenate my spirit.
Are you single?
How difficult is or was it dating in your profession?
You need to have a very understanding partner that is supportive because lots of times the business takes up a lot of time and energy.
In your opinion why are relationships failing today and if you could remedy them, what would you do?
Each relationship is different in its own right. I would say most fail because of communication issues. I don’t really have the answer to this question because each situation is different.
Who’s been the greatest influence in your life?
The women in my family have influenced me greatly. I watched my Mom put herself through college with three small kids and completely change her life around. That taught me that anything is possible through hard work and determination. My Grandmother is a warrior in her own right. I would give up a lot and cry and say things like “I can’t do it. It’s too hard” and she would tell me, “there’s no such word as CAN’T.” She told me if I wanted something badly enough I would continue to try. She is strong and wise. I’ve learned a lot from watching her.
Hope “The Novelist” McGill