How does a social worker with no formal business training end up owning and running a business that supports her family? And what are some of the challenges and the lessons learned along this journey?

From Social Worker to Business Owner

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You’ve heard from other business owners and women in leadership, but today, Holly interviews me about my own business journey. We’re kicking off a few episodes focused on leadership in business, so we thought it would be fun for you to hear a bit of my backstory, how I ended up where I am today, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Direct Sales:

My first business was with a direct sales company shortly after graduating college and beginning my social work career. I was invited to a scrapbooking party and ended up becoming a consultant. I continued this business for about 3 years.

After this, I joined a different company which focused on wellness, and quickly found that it had a more profitable business model. I was able to work with that company for over 9 years and earned consistent income.

That business allowed me to go from working full-time as a social worker to eventually being at home full-time.

My Passion:

One of my passions has always been writing. I started my blog in 2006 and continued it, though sporadically, over the next 9 years. However, at the end of 2015, I started to feel burnt out from direct sales, and the desire to write and reach women became stronger. I felt that God was putting it on my heart to pursue the writing again.

So I stepped back from my business at the time and began focusing on my blog. I learned everything I could about online business, growing an email list, gaining traffic to my blog, and creating income from a blog. I became a podcast listener and took in as much as I could to help me with my blog. I also took courses to grow my understanding and skills as well.

Over the next year, I implemented a lot of what I was learning and began seeing results. I loved writing and connecting with the women I was reaching. Most of all, I loved helping others.

Starting My Own Business:

As much as  I loved working on my blog and connecting with the women there, we got to a point where I was going to either have to go get a job, resume my direct sales business, or start something new.

It was then that I realized that I had a lot of skills and natural strengths that I had used and/or learned by working on my own blog. Not only that, but other people would actually pay me to do a lot of those things for them as a virtual assistant.

So in January 2017, I officially began my business Morningstar Media Services as a virtual assistant. Soon I transitioned into being on online business manager, as I was offering support in a variety of ways as well as strategic input into my clients’ businesses. Later, I niched down to focusing on working with business owners who have (or want to have) a podcast to help grow their business.

Mentors:

I could not have gotten to where I am today without the impact of mentors. I learned a lot from various mentors during my business journey, and I share about 3 of them: Sheila, Kindel, and Julie.

Business Challenges:

  • Learning how to promote my business without being obnoxious
  • Learning how to hear the word “no” and be okay with it
  • Managing my time and schedule

Business Wins:

  • Hitting my first advancement
  • Being able to provide a consistent income for my family
  • Reaching my goals more quickly than expected when I began Morningstar

6 Business Lessons Learned:

1. Business is all about relationships. The reason that my business took off as quickly as it did is due to the relationships I had developed online during the previous year and a half–with no agenda.

There’s nothing that has been more powerful in my business than the relationships I’ve developed.Click To Tweet

2. I’ve learned the importance of taking your wiring into account when deciding what business or opportunity to pursue. As an introvert, there are certain things that come much easier for me than others. When I shifted to doing work that was more in line with how God had designed me, I felt better and was able to make a bigger impact.

3. You can achieve the same goal with different tools. Through all of my business ventures, my goal has always been to help people. But the vehicle I’ve used has been different in different seasons.

The end result has been wanting to help people; it’s just been a different vehicle that I’ve used to achieve that goal.Click To Tweet

4. Don’t hold back what you know–your skills, passions, and natural strengths that God has given you. To not use these things is actually dishonoring to God.

5. None of it is luck. Business is a journey, and there are times when things will go really well, and other times when you want to give up and throw in the towel. You have to be willing to follow God’s leading, even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

6. Always continue learning and developing your skills. Remaining open to what God may want to teach you as well as new things you can learn is essential if you want to grow as a leader in business.

Leaders Are Learners:

I share my favorite resources for learning and growing a business, most of which are podcasts.

We hope this conversation has been helpful for you to hear the background of my business journey. Thanks to Holly for interviewing me! We would love to continue this conversation in our Facebook Group so that you can share your business tips or questions.

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Other Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 23: Using Your Voice & Telling Your Story as a Leader with Abbey Jo Bailey

Other Ways to Connect with Esther & Holly:

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Today’s show is brought to you by the Confident Leader Club. If you’re a Christian woman leading in ministry or business, and you have a desire for deeper community with other leaders, accountability towards reaching your goals, access to ALL the downloads I’ve created, monthly bonus content including workshops and trainings on specific topics, and much more, I want to invite you to check it out. Visit confidentleaderclub.com to learn more.

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