Meet Stephanie Shar, a wife, mother, business motivational coach and owner of The Loudmouth Lifestyle. After trying out corporate America, Stephanie decided to pursue her dreams of being a small business owner because in her own words "Freedom takes priority over security". In this interview she gives some really awesome start up advice and talks about how she tries to achieve balance. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what services / products do you offer?
I'm Stephanie Shar and I am a Business Motivation Coach at The Loudmouth Lifestyle (TLL). I'm rebranding for 2016 and will have a new blog name, but my purpose remains the same: I help women wantrepreneurs start creative, service-based businesses that make a positive impact online! I do this through e-books, e-courses, and coaching programs on social media strategy and editorial planning.
Can you share a bit about how you choose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business?
I graduated high school in 2005 and college in 2009 with a degree in Communications. I was always taught to stick to the traditional path of college, then job, then marriage, then kids. After a few "normal" corporate jobs and dissatisfaction with each one, I knew I was meant to do my own thing. Freedom has taken priority over security for me. I love to work, but I wanted to work on what I wanted to work on, and being my own boss is the only way to do that. I left Corporate America in March 2014 and haven't looked back!
Do you take any special training?
I am constantly educating myself through books, courses, and my own coaches. I'm also part of a mastermind of other businesswomen. I believe every coach needs a coach. You gotta practice what you preach!
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
Each time a client tells me I've helped them, that is an accomplishment. I believe that God created me to help people, and knowing that I am living that purpose is the best feeling ever!
What mistake(s) have you made with your business? What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?
Hahaha. I've made so many mistakes! I even wrote a blog post about it. My biggest mistake is being impatient and wanting to do everything all at once without an action plan. It's good to jump into something without fear, but you also need to take you time. There's a fine balance.
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful small business?Organization. You must be organized with your time, money, office supplies, everything. It will save you lots of hassle in the long run.
Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
Educate yourself, find a mentor, hire a coach. Take a class or read a book. Do as much as you can to prepare yourself. Start small. Do what you can with what you have. Don't compare yourself to others!
Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
Oy. Still figuring that one out myself. Definitely keep track of EVERYTHING. It doesn't have to be fancy. Even an old-fashioned ledger will do.
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
I'm not going lie, it's tough. I have a fiance and a toddler, and TLL is not my only business! My social life is pretty much non-existent now. But knowing that it's all worth it for my family's future makes it easier. I handle the overwhelm by taking breaks and not letting myself work more than 6 hours/day. It's hard because I love working, but I love my son more. I want to secure a financial future for him, but I also want to spend time with him now! So, I just do the best I can on both sides. I've learned to be very strategic with my time and work smarter, not harder.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years
If we're dreaming big here (which I like to do), I see myself living on the beach, married, with a couple more kids and a bestseller under my belt. Writing is my first love. Blogging just one platform for that.
Please share a fun fact about yourself
I wanted to be a model and was putting together my portfolio before I got pregnant. But hey, it's never too late!
Thanks for a wonderful interview Stephanie!