They say it’s all about who you know, and I fumbled the one chance I had at scoring a real marketing job for a huge company. I still reminisce on the ConocoPhillips Marketing Position I turned down to focus on my businesses. My aunt had me in the door, and I simply wouldn’t open it. That must’ve been God saying, “If you really want to know what it’s like to be a full-time entrepreneur, just chill.”
Although I settled for a front desk position at a gym to shut my parents up, I didn’t want to work for anyone. What I didn’t know was how little support I’d receive for shunning corporate, or how hard it would be to become a millionaire. So many times I thought about the ConocoPhillips position, so many times I wondered how far ahead I’d be if I would’ve just gone to meet the lady my aunt knew. I was so stubborn. However, since I started my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned more than I would have in a position focused solely on marketing.
I learned business. I learned how to get a start-up off the ground… even if it was 3 years after starting the business. I learned how to create business plans, contracts, partnerships, economic and budget models, vision diagrams, and all the stuff they didn’t teach us as Marketing majors. I thought I knew it all coming out of college only to realize I had so much to learn. We were taught how to go work for Fortune 500 Companies, not to build them. That didn’t matter to me.
I was determined to figure out how to start and run my own business. I lost friends, fell out with family members, and I reached a place where I no longer cared who I got rid of. Looking back, there were some people I should’ve listened to, some projects I should’ve collaborated on… at least I learned the lesson? What I admire about myself is my inability to give up, though many times the idea of quitting was mighty tempting.
Starting off, all I could see was the bigger picture. When we created the PPL PXRTY, I had no idea what we were going to sell or provide. When we started 1st Ladies Bar, all we knew was we had dope marketing and how to get people to have a good time. I had no reasonable goals, I just wanted to end up a millionaire! Had I known about all the finance and accounting I’d have to face, the budgeting, the Human Resources, maybe I wouldn’t have been as excited to jump off the cliff. With the PPL PXRTY, I now throw biannual showcases for artists and entrepreneurs attracting over 200 event attendees, 20 artists and 10 vendors per event. 1st Ladies Bar is now an online platform linking event staff and event coordinators. Though I’ve come far from the “I just want to be an entrepreneur” mindset, I still have a long way to go. It takes TIME to build something worthwhile and the work never ends.
Coming into 2018, I am proud. I’m proud of the decisions I made, sticking it out, no matter the ridicule and hardships. I’m proud of the dumb mistakes, neglecting to think about profit and how to pay ourselves. I’m proud of the friends I lost, as the people I love most are still near and dear. I’m proud of the lack of support I received, the long lectures about how I should be in corporate America, the failed events people chose not to come to despite how “dope” our marketing was, and the time I put in despite all of this.
Today I introduce my newest company, Anais Marketing Group, specializing in Business Consulting, Creative Direction, and Innovative Marketing for artists and entrepreneurs. Friends and family have been contacting me left and right about building websites, managing social media, creating business plans and so forth. I decided to utilize my learned business skills to help other creative people triumph over the obstacles I encountered. Trial and error can be such a long and bumpy ride, and I am a walking testimony. 3.5 years later, I understand my Business Bloopers, how to fix them, and how to help others start-up the right way! I’m connected to freelancers who can do what I can, and some of them do a way better job! Now we offer the opportunity for people to invest in themselves, and turn their visions into reality.