Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a monthly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Nicole from Sparkly Ever After
Tell us a little bit about what you do and how long have you been doing it?
I write about Disney, Orlando and girly things at SparklyEverAfter.com and make YouTube videos on the same subjects. I also teach social media marketing classes online and do some consulting. I have an Etsy shop too. In the past I had an online iPhone photo apps class and I’ll have a new one out some time in 2015. Basically I like to put pretty, fun and informative things on the internet. I went full time digital entrepreneur in 2013 and haven’t looked back since!
What are some of the pros and cons you experience from working at home?
Some of the pros are flexibility, freedom, no commute, workin’ in my jammies. I feel like that’s a common conception about bloggers. Hey, sometimes it’s true. I feel free and independent working from home (or remotely) and my creativity is unleashed.
Some cons are getting distract–ooh, sparkles. Getting distracted is a big con for me. But I was just gifted an amazing planner that helps. It’s the Day Designer by Whitney English and it’s made for entrepreneurs. I’m loving it. Another con is talking to my dog and cat too much. They’re great but they don’t respond. Sometimes I miss talking to people. My boyfriend always gets a trail of words when he gets home.
What was the best piece of advice you were given?
The best piece of advice I was given was that I need to go for what I actually want. When I first left my part time job at Walt Disney World, at Star Tours, I thought I might do social media management or something to get started as an entrepreneur. It wasn’t where my heart was though. I enjoy consulting with others about their digital plans but not managing accounts and my real joy is in content creation. I went to school for Theatre, mostly dance, and Education and I love to entertain. Now my audience is on the internet. I wouldn’t have realized I was dancing around what I actually wanted if my friend and mentor, Jenn Selke, didn’t ask me what my real goal was. Many times in life I’ve chosen less scary or indirect paths to what I want. There’s still a chance you’ll fail so why not just go for the gold? Life’s too short to sugar coat or not express your feelings.
What goals do you have for your business over the next three years?
Over the next three years I want to do more online workshops and YouTube videos. I’ve been slowly but surely collecting everything I want to film with and have a bit of a home studio now. I want to make videos that inspire people and fun stuff like Disney Princess hair and makeup tutorials. I’ve been toying with some web series concepts for far too long and I’m ready to get them rolling. I’d like to offer some workshops on iPhone apps and editing. I’d like to go to Europe, too, and visit some real castles and share the experience on SparklyEverAfter.com. God sometimes surprises us though so I’ll see what He has in store.
What do you do when you need some inspiration?
I usually go to Instagram for inspiration. You can just type in a hashtag and see whatever you want. Things that uplift and inspire you. I feel like I’m on the other end of the question though. I usually have way too many ideas floating around up there. Sometimes it’s like a t-rex trying to catch a bunch of helium balloons on strings.
How do you define success as an entrepreneur?
I feel like we have to keep redefining as we go along. I thought success for a blogger meant massive numbers behind the scenes. After a few conferences I realized it was just about having good content and connecting my dedicated niche of readers with monetization opportunities they might benefit from. I’ve carefully chosen sponsors and affiliate programs that will benefit my audience and found success as a smaller blog that way. At this point for me it’s about paying the bills and having a little to play with, enjoying the neat opportunities I get as a blogger and, most importantly, inspiring people. If I’m not making people better I’m not successful.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become an entrepreneur?
Don’t be afraid to ask people for help but Google will be your best friend. I learned how to do a million things by watching YouTube videos or reading blog posts. Always have some people that are killing it as entrepreneurs in close reach. Follow them on Twitter or Instagram and look at what they are doing when you have a down day because it happens. When you see other people reach success it’s a nice reminder you can too. Everyone started as a tiny baby. Warren Buffett and Beyonce were once tiny babies and look what they did. You were a tiny baby too. What will you do?