Did you know you were always going to run your own business? Or maybe you just fell into it by chance. Researchers argue that individuals with a higher propensity towards entrepreneurship were simply born that way. Whatever the case may be, a transition from employee, to freelancer and soon after self-employment, is second nature for many young professionals.
Nancy Vaughn, Founder of the White Book Agency, knew that entrepreneurship was in her future. After getting her feet wet in various industries, Vaughn parlayed her corporate learnings into a full time communications firm. Learn how Vaughn’s preparation, focus and vision prepared her to lead a venture focused on “big agency results with small agency passion.”
Company: White Book Agency
Founder, Age: Nancy Vaughn, YF & Thirty-something
Location: Tampa, FL
Industry: Public Relations (Advertising & Marketing)
Startup Year: 2009
Startup Costs: Undisclosed
How I Got Started: I think I’ve always known I’d eventually own my own business. I’ve worked in a variety of industries and feel like I’ve learned and gained something from every job I’ve ever had, which has helped me with my own business. I have an extensive background in writing and have always worked numerous freelance writing projects consistently, allowing me to experience self-employment as well. When the time was right, it was natural for me to make the transition to becoming an entrepreneur and business owner.
I started the research for business ownership over a period of time and in 2007, I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who has been in business for 30+ years in my industry (public relations, marketing, branding, advertising). I feel like I’ve been in business a lot longer (because of preparation, research, etc.), however, my firm officially launched in 2009.
Best Success Story: It’s hard to pick just one! I feel very blessed since launching the agency and have had some great success stories. I think everyone always remembers their first client and one of our first projects was for an author and playwright. We handled publicity for the launch of her new play. There were so many challenges, last minute venue changes, etc. It was difficult to determine how it was all going to turn out. We successfully garnered full-page coverage in the metro newspaper, two television spots and the play premiered in front of a full house. It was great! Another success we’ve had is assisting a small business client reach five-figure per month revenues in less than six months. That was awesome!
Biggest Startup Challenge: Realizing you are your own network for a little while and you’re going to make mistakes. I think most of us like to get it right, and preferably all of the time, when possible. Even if you have a good support network of mentors and coaches, there are some decisions that are yours alone to make and you may not always get them right. You have to be willing to deal with the good and the bad, it’s business and it’s all yours!
#1 Tips for Newbies: Take time for yourself to step away from your business, think and switch gears when necessary. I believe the saying goes, “busy working in your business instead of on your business.” When launching a business, there are so many balls up in the air at once. It’s important to give yourself time to think, whether it’s a quick walk around the block or a call to a loved one. Remembering your business vision, remaining focused and determined, and taking the time to refresh your mind and think will help you reach your business goals.
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Photo Credit: Amy Pezzicara
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