Interview: What I’ve Learned on the Small Business Journey

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Vizaca, an online magazine for global entrepreneurs and small business owners, for interviewing me about my small business journey. It was a pleasure to discover this resource and share my experience with others.

Jaime Shine, Owner of Clearly Conveyed Communications


Tell us about yourself?

I’m Jaime Shine, founder of Clearly Conveyed Communications. I’m a writer, marketing professional and social media strategist helping brands communicate with their target audiences.

While most kids were playing with blocks or dolls, I was publishing magazines and newspapers – feature articles, ads, sports box scores, the whole nine yards. From promotions director to advertising roles to branding projects, I’ve always been interested in all forms of marketing. That interest blossomed into a career path and led me to open my own business in 2012.

It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Growing up in an unincorporated village, owning a business isn’t something you do. I’ve learned so much about business – and myself – along the way.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

It was an aha moment 15 years in the making. One day at work, I realized that so many small business owners don’t know how to market themselves and can’t afford traditional agency fees. With my diverse background in marketing, I could start a business offering professional marketing services and experience at affordable rates. I could give brands a voice – via marketing, writing and social media services – so business owners could focus on the reason they’re in business, their sweet spot, and not struggle with marketing decisions, writing copy and developing social media strategies. While I work with brands of all sizes, I do have a soft spot for fellow small businesses and startups.

“It was an aha moment 15 years in the making.”

How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?

I’m not focused on market share, because I realize I’m a small fish in a big pond. My focus is on finding the right mix of clients that generate enough revenue while still allowing me to deliver the personal service they expect.

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

Three books have impacted my life the most.

A Big Life in Advertising by Mary Wells Lawrence gave me big ideas about my future (in marketing and advertising) when I read it in college. Lawrence left her mark in a male-dominated space and encouraged me to do the same.

On Writing by Stephen King is a memoir by my favorite author and a straightforward, practical guide to help writers perfect their craft. This book (and a professor) inspired me to pursue writing as a career.

Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking felt like it was written for me. There’s value in listening to all voices – not only the loudest – in business and in life.

Browse CCC's work at https://jaimeshine.com/portfolio

 

What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

My home makes me smile every time I walk in the door. Even though I bought it at the worst possible time (right before the Great Recession), it was a smart decision. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for 10 ½ years!

Owning a home can be frustrating and expensive, so my worst purchase has probably been a service company who failed to live up to my expectations (or even show up).

What takes up too much of your time?

Owning a business takes a lot of time. I’ve implemented processes to handle administrative work more efficiently and am starting to outsource some activities, such as IT, but there’s still room to improve. The more I can focus on my clients and revenue-generating activity, the more my business will succeed.

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?

Learn from every opportunity. Pay attention and make yourself useful in every situation, from the classroom to volunteer work to your current job. It may not seem related to what you want to do, but there’s insight to be had if you’re looking for it.

Network, network, network. Your professional network can be a big boost to your career or business, but it’s up to you to build and maintain it. Get to know professionals in your industry, offer your help when appropriate and listen when they speak.

Plan and adapt. Starting a business is a big risk, but you can mitigate your risk by planning as much as possible. Why do you want to start a business? What market need are you satisfying? Who is your target audience or ideal customer? How will you pay for your business? Despite all your planning, you’ll need to adapt – to changing consumer tastes, market conditions and life occurrences. The ability to adapt is one of the biggest advantages of startups and small businesses, and you’ll need it to succeed.

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

I’m impressed by Richard Branson, both his accomplishments and his outlook on life. He’s experienced successes and failures but learns from every situation, even today. He’s an innovative thinker, calculated risk taker and genuine human being.

Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.

This spring, my business celebrated its sixth anniversary. Most small businesses fail, so I’m proud that Clearly Conveyed Communications is still giving brands a voice. It’s been a long, winding road, but what a feeling of accomplishment!

How should people connect with you?

Visit my website for my full contact information, so we can connect via your preferred channel. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

*****

Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner? Vizaca can help you showcase your business, connect you with the right audience and promote your products and services worldwide.

Continuing on the small business journey,
Jaime

https://www.facebook.com/ClearlyConveyedCommunications/ LinkedIn_2013_30x30 Pinterest_2013_30x30 Twitter_2013_30x30 https://instagram.com/jaimeshine

 

Vlog: CCC Turns 6!

 

This week, my crazy, little venture turned six. It’s been a roller coaster ride, but I would do it all over again.

I’m blessed to work with amazing people and am so appreciative of everyone who has supported me — and my fledgling business — along the way.

It’s been so much fun (and life-changing) to build a business from the ground up and watch CCC grow. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

If you have a marketing challenge, writing opportunity or social media question, we would love to help.

Thank you for the past six incredible, challenging years, which have felt like a lifetime, yet passed in the blink of an eye.

We’re looking forward to working with you!

Grateful and proud,

Jaime

Gender Equality: Making Progress But #NotThere Yet

March 8th was International Women’s Day, and this year’s celebration made me think.

Make it happen! International Women's Day 2015

Making progress one day at a time thanks to ladies such as Maya Angelou.

It was inspirational to see the tweets, posts and updates across social media celebrating achievements by women. I f*cking love science‘s #WomenYouShouldHaveHeardOf campaign was downright educational. How many of these ladies did you learn about in school?

It was also a little dispiriting in 2015 that we still have such a long way to go. Glass ceilings and cliffs, gender stereotypes and marginalization are all alive and well today. Where do we go from here?

The good news (for women and men) is that more people than ever are discussing the problem, which is how problems are solved. Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, explained to Inc. why unfair gender norms around giving — where women are taken for granted while men are rewarded — are bad for businesses. Have two minutes? Listen here.

Elsewhere, the HeForShe movement is bringing together men and women in the push for gender equality worldwide. The movement’s goal is to “bring together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project

While we’ve made progress toward gender equality, the No Ceilings initiative reminds us that we’re #NotThere yet.

“Women’s rights are human rights.” -Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, co-founded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Clinton Foundation, is bringing a data-driven approach to gender equality. And the data shows that while significant gains have been made in women’s rights in the past two decades, we’re not there yet.

That was the topic discussed by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Melinda Gates during Not There Yet: A Data Driven Analysis of Gender Equality, an event held on March 9th. Miss it? Watch it here.

Inching closer but not there yet… That seems to be the status of gender equality today. My hope? I want to live to see the day that we achieve true gender equality. An ambitious dream, but a worthwhile one.

Moving forward one day at a time,

Jaime

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