Sophia MoJo Uses Her Smoky Soulful Vocals To Promote Redemption Despite Her Painful Endometriosis

Sophia MoJo is a rising star powerhouse R&B/pop singer, songwriter, and producer out of Los Angeles, CA. MoJo found her own voice at age six when she began songwriting and later developed her distinguished smoky soulful vocal tone being inspired by artists such as Brandy, Lauren Hill, and Chaka Khan. After being diagnosed with Endometriosis causing serious chronic pain and illness in 2014, Sophia MoJo has been motivated to relentlessly pursue her dreams promoting a message of love, redemption and empowerment. Grounded in faith and driven to make her mark in the music industry, she is an entrepreneur music artist and CEO of Mojo Entertainment LA. Read our interview with the lovely Sophia below…

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

I was motivated to launch my business as the Sophia MoJo brand out of surgery and treatment for Endometriosis in 2014 and a tragic miscarriage in 2015. There is nothing like physical illness and loss to make you evaluate your life and question if you are really living, really going after the things you want or letting life just happen to you. I decided to let my problems start me, instead of stop me. I have always been entrepreneur minded, have always been a natural leader and person of influence. But when I was faced with a chronic illness causing severe pain and the loss of a pregnancy I had been praying for, I had no choice but to let go of the fear of failure that I believe was holding me back from accepting the path to greatness. Realizing now I had a story, a message, a purpose, a calling which propelled my musical journey and the start of my solo career as Sophia MoJo; the Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer and CEO of Mojo Entertainment LA.

Tell us about your business.

As a music artist, I am the business. I am the product and the trusted brand and it is my responsibility to package and market myself properly to the fan who is the consumer. It is imperative to have the right team and bring in consultants to ensure the success of my business and artistry. With that said, I just love music! I am an R&B Pop Soul Singer from Chicago but raised primarily in Los Angeles. My music is real, raw and soulful, my message comes from my experiences of love, heartbreak, disappointment, pain and triumph. My goal in music is to promote love, redemption and empowerment to say simply; if I can, you can. I perform on some of the most popular stages in LA with my show stopping band. My music allows me to connect with people and change lives.

Mojo Entertainment LA is a boutique company my husband and I started which provides services such as sound engineering, lighting, equipment, hosting, live music, Dj’ing, photography, and event coordinating for high-end clientele entertainment and music industry professionals, companies, celebrities, artists and related social events.

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

My single “The Special” was recently released in February 2017 and is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.

List awards/certifications/accomplishments.

I recently had the pleasure of performing at the 10th Annual “Toast to Urban Entertainment Executives” honoring women executives in the entertainment industry.

Where is your business based?

Los Angeles/Hollywood.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

First, I had to be clear on the purpose and goals of my businesses. I have a quote that says, “Know who you are, and others will too.” Second, I had to get my product and services ready. I cannot begin to engage fans or potential clients for Mojo Entertainment LA until I am prepared to be consistent and maintain what I have to offer. This part also included getting funding and budgets lined up. Third, I got a logo, website and my social media together. Forth, was the launch which involved releasing my music, booking shows, radio and blog interviews and posting like crazy. For Mojo Entertainment LA the goal of the launch parties are to draw in potential business and let the business grow based on referrals and word of mouth.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

Launch parties, listening parties, release concerts and partnering with other entities who are different but similar and need what you offer and provide you with something. This allows you to target and reach large groups, build your database or fans and potential consumers.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

One of my biggest challenges is being a mom, while trying to pursue my own dreams and owning my own business. There are times when I have to be away for shows or gone all night. I can definitely feel when my daughter misses me to the point where I know it is time to slow down, stop everything even for a day or two just to spend quality time with her. My husband helps a lot with making sure she is having fun and she spends time with her grandparents, but there is no love like the love from a mother. The other is battling Endometriosis. I have been in disabling pain where I can be immobilized for hours or days bed ridden. This illness has at times slowed me down and made it difficult and in some cases impossible to function. There have been times where I have been in pain before shows and have to struggle to push through. At times I suffer and at times I overcome.

How did you overcome these challenges?

With my daughter, I try to make up for the time spent away for her. If I have been working hard and away from her all week, then the weekends belong to spending time with her. I may be harder to run my businesses while being a mother but I encourage women to pursue their dreams for the sake of their legacy which is our children. We are role models in the home first. I want to be able to tell my daughter, mommy never gave up, mommy believed in herself enough to not let fear or anyone stop her from owning her own, mommy sees success based on putting God first and working hard. These are the values that I get to show my child every day I work towards building a better future for her. I still pour into her future and nurture her talents as well.

With the Endometriosis, I take it day by day. God gives me strength to endure and stay positive. This is why I think my output is so high as far as multitasking and getting a lot done in little time, because I never know when the pain will kick in and I will be down. So when I am up, I accomplish above and beyond to compensate for the down time when I am unable to do what I need to do.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

My motivation comes from my faith in Jesus Christ and in knowing that He will always make a way for His will to be done. I pray and spend time in praise and worship and in His word. I go to church every Sunday and get reenergized to share my gifts and do what I believe He has graced me to do right now. I write down my goals and speak my dreams to keep a positive mindset. I take breaks and do unrelated things to clear my mind and refocus my energy. The path to greatness is not a sprint, it’s a long marathon.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I feel that each artist and entrepreneur has something different to offer simply because it is coming from someone different. What I mean by that is, I can sing the same song as any other singer but because my DNA is different and the song is being translated through me, it will sound and feel different to the listener. This is what determines whether someone will follow you and buy your product; how you do it affects them differently. I also believe being honest and connecting on a personal level is important in allowing people to be a part of your growth.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

Speak your dreams into existence.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Speak your dreams into existence, have faith, and you’re only truly in competition with your yesterday’s self/and state of mind. Be great, not famous. If you never experience pain, hurt and failure, you won’t grow and reach your fullest potential. Diamonds are made from fire and pressure. Surround yourself with likeminded people and those who have accomplished what you want to accomplish; study the “greats” to be great. They will sharpen you as iron sharpens iron. Keep God first because even working at your hardest you can never stop what God can do to the things you are working on in to your life.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @sophia_mojo
Twitter @sophiamojo
Facebook www.facebook.com/sophiamojo
Website www.sophiamojo.com
Email sophiamojo@gmail.com
Hashtags #sophiamojo #mojoentertainmentla #rednblack

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

“My Mind Is Wealthy” By Author, Billionaire P.A.

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

Marketing and promotion is huge and always something needed to expand my reach. I am also the LA representative for a national Singer Songwriter network organization called, Writing Sessions America based in Atlanta. I have been blessed to work with and learn from Grammy nominated Executive A&R Consultant, Kevin Shine (Creator of Writing Sessions America) and other distinguished music industry professionals. We host mixers and songwriter boot camps and industry conferences to help educate and foster a culture of musical excellence.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?

Mojo Entertainment LA will be sponsoring a Music Meets Fashion Event in May 2017 to raise awareness for Diabetes and partnering to host an event inviting music artist into an artistic and visually stimulating space to have photoshoots and music videos with a number of some of the hottest photographers and makeup artists in the LA area.

Jasmine Skee Helps You Reach Holistic Health By Ending The Dieting Cycle

Jasmine Skee is a Transformation Coach. She is a passionate and results driven woman whose expertise, coaching and guidance can change your life forever. She has spent the last 19 years working for some of the world’s biggest brands throughout the UK, Europe and Australia. Having worked in the heart of London for 11 years, she knows how challenging it can be to discover and maintain the perfect work/life balance, therefore she believes in the power of holistic health and taking care of your mind, body and soul. Everyday she is inspired by wanting to work with people who can see they need to change their life in order to have what ever it is they want. This can be happiness, success, love or being the person they have always wanted to be. It’s the change that takes courage and commitment to become this person. Read our interview with the lovely Jasmine below…

 

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

I always had a passion for helping people so I trained in NLP and then set up my coaching business. I also wanted to write my book “How I Accidentally Became A Size 8” as I had been a slave to dieting for almost 23 years and finally ended the dieting cycle. A lot of books give advice but people don’t do anything after they read it, I wanted to write something that gave people exercises to do to help them work through their issues with food, their body and dieting.

Tell us about your business.

My business is a combination of life and business coaching as well as consulting for corporate businesses as well.

My coaching can include:

  • Weight Loss and ending the Dieting Cycle
  • Setting Goals
  • Business Coaching
  • Learning How To Attract and Manage Your Money
  • Learning To Love Yourself
  • Wellness
  • Leadership
  • Life Coaching 

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

If you sign up to receive my email you can receive the first week of my ebook.

List awards/certifications/accomplishments.

2014

2013

  • Winner of Best Digital Activation – Hollis Sponsorship Awards
  • Winner of the Best in Europe – European Sponsorship Excellence Awards
  • Best Use Of Social Media – High Distinction
  • European Sponsorship Excellence Awards
  • Ranked 8th in the Event Magazine Top 100

2012

  • Winner of Event & Entertainment Sponsorship – Hollis Sponsorship Awards
  • Winner of Brand Sponsorship – Hollis Sponsorship Awards
  • Winner of Sponsorship of the Year – O2 Academy, Hollis Sponsorship Awards
  • Most Effective Sponsorship – Field Marketing Awards
  • Best Use of Video – O2 Academy TV, Social Buzz Awards 2012
  • Best Brand Experience Strategy – Experiential Awards

2010

  • Top 100 Emerging Talent in Advertising – Hospital Club
  • IPA Effectiveness Awards 2010: Gold Award – IPA

Where is your business based?

I live in London but have clients all over the world.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

I did my brand guidelines which included establishing my values which I think is incredibly important. I then wrote a business plan off the back of this. I remained flexible in terms of changing this plan to ensure I did and delivered work that I am proud of and had a client base that shared my values.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

  • Get a content strategy right and one that reflects your message
  • Get your website set up correctly (mobile responsive)
  • Collaborate with like minded people

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

I think it is key to always stay aligned with your values. Sometimes this is hard as you may get offered a project that is financially rewarding but you know in your heart that it isn’t right.

How did you overcome these challenges?

I think understanding your self worth and having faith in yourself is incredibly important.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

I think having a daily routine in place is incredibly important and I think setting goals you want achieve each day/week and month helps as well.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I think people buy into people so my customers and clients resonate with what I have to say and my method of working.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

I am a student of the enneagram and it sends out a ‘thought for the day’ for your type. I love this as it reminds me to stay aware and conscious of my thoughts and behaviors each day.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Make sure you have a network around you that understands and supports you and you can also learn from them.

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

Xero, it is brilliant for managing the financial aspect of my business.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @jasmine_skee
Twitter @jasmineskee
Facebook Group @jasmineskeecoach
Website www.jasmineskee.com
You Tube www.youtube.com/user/jasmineskee
Email jasmine@jasmineskee.com

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

I loved “Shoe Dog” by Phil Kbight.

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

I think it is important to always be open to learning.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?

I would like to get additional content into my site that provides my customers with access to a number of courses which they can subscribe to. In addition to this, I would also like to start doing a weekly podcast.

Suzanne Spiegoski Documents Her Daily Adventures With Her German Shepherd Dog And People Love It

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Detroit, Suzanne Spiegoski is a New York City writer, blogger, and novelist, debuting her crime-thriller novel, ‘The Fisherman’s Lily‘ in early 2015. She is also a freelance portrait and lifestyle photographer. Her work has been published in The Huffington Post, Elle UK, Cosmopolitan FR, The Michigan State PressComplex’d MagazineL’Oeil de la PhotographieSous Style, A.Zine Magazine, Westfall Music GroupFigure Skating in Harlem, Writing Trend Magazine, Prestige International Magazine, feedfeed, and Backstage. More recently, she is the Founder & Creative Director of MaQ + Suz, a lifestyle blog of Suzanne and her German Shepherd dog, MaQ, sharing their daily adventures in fashion & beauty, health & fitness, food & recipes, photography, travel, and more. Read our interview with the lovely Suzanne below…

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

Right before I started MaQ + Suz, I had endured some pretty heavy-duty, life-changing experiences which encouraged and led me to my new platform. Along with my desire to find an outlet where I could put both my visual eye and writing mind together at the same time had always been apparent, it wasn’t until I entered the world of blogging before everything came full circle.

Tell us about your business.

MaQ + Suz is my newest baby. I have put all my time and energy into my new business and have built it from the ground up. It is such a privilege to work in the creative field every day and I’m always so excited to share that with others as well as continuously striving for progress and improvement. 

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

Not at the moment but I often do giveaways with my first novel a few times a year! If you’re into crime thrillers and love to read, keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram (@suzannespiegoski) as this is where I usually hold my giveaways. 

List awards/certifications/accomplishments.

  • PUBLISHED NOVELIST, The Fisherman’s Lily, TouchPoint Press, Jan. 2015.
  • 12 12 Gallery Women’s International Juried Photography Finalist / Group exhibition, April 2010.
  • Publications in The Huffington Post, Elle UK, Cosmopolitan FR, Michigan State Press, Offbeat, Complex’d Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Westfall Music Group, Figure Skating in Harlem, Writing Trend Magazine, A.Zine Magazine, Food Gawker, feedfeed, Prestige International Magazine, Sous Style and Backstage.

Where is your business based?

New York City.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

I already had a website for my photography and novel. In addition to my other bodies of work, I created and then incorporated a blog into my site. I also did a lot of homework, researching and studying the world of blogging before diving head first into it.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

AUTHENTICITY. I believe if you stay true to yourself and your branding image, along with high-quality content, then new and old customers will genuinely want to follow you and your business.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenges so far has been being able to multi-task with everything that I do on a daily basis. Not only am I a full-time blogger, I’m also a writer, creative director and photographer. I sometimes think it’s time to hire an assistant to get a helping hand but I am kind of a control freak and have anxiety giving someone I don’t know a lot of responsibilities I know I can handle on my own. It might take a longer amount of time in the long run, but at least I know it’s being done right!

How did you overcome these challenges?

As easy as it may seem, these kind of challenges don’t happen overnight. They take perseverance & determination, hard work and discipline and yet at the same time it also requires you to not take yourself too seriously. Otherwise, it’ll no longer be fun anymore and life is also meant to be enjoyed. I guess it’s all about finding your own balance, and everyone has a different path and in variated times in our lives.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Whenever I’m having a pretty awful day, I cut myself loose and leave the ‘office’ for the day. I’ll go and take a long walk with my German Shepherd, MaQ and the city always is an escapism from another escapism. New York has a way of clearing your head and at the same time eating you alive (if you’re not careful enough). And sometimes there are days that’ll defeat you, where you’ll feel so bad about everything that getting up seems hard enough on its own. But then I think of all the shit that’s brought me to where I am today and I do believe I made it here for a reason. Perhaps the past has made me who I am today, but it has certainly motivated me to keep going and to keep pushing boundaries I didn’t think were possible. You have to keep on keepin’ on…

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I don’t. And neither should anyone else. The only person you should be competing against is yourself. I’m always striving to be a better person than I was the day before and I’m not perfect but I certainly am always trying and wholeheartedly. Nothing is ever half-ass with me. I give my all in everything that I do and I’m always trying to elevate everything to the next level. There’s always room for improvement and the way that I see it, I’ll be progressing until the day I die.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

This is really difficult for me, but I am really hard on myself and therefore can sometimes be hard on others. I’m a hardcore perfectionist. But it’s good to let go of things out of your control. It’s not settling or being lazy, but knowing that no one can be at their top form every single day. Sometimes you’ll be against the elements and you HAVE to adapt and move forward. If you’re doing the best you can, that’s all you need!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Word HARD. Be NICE to people. And always appreciate what you have rather than wanting what you may not have (yet). That glass is half-full, guys, I swear!

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

Instagram. I love connecting with others through visual and/or written stories. Some of my closest friends as of recent I’ve met through this platform! And it’s my most visited social channel, I love being able to put my favorite creative outlets together in one place.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @suzannespiegoski, @maqandsuz, @maq_life
Twitter @sspiegoski
Facebook www.facebook.com/maqandsuz
Website www.suzannespiegoski.com
Email Suzanne.spiegoski@gmail.com
Hashtags #MaQandSuz #SuzanneSpiegoski #SuzsLook #SuzsRecipe #SuzsThoughts

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

“Document” by Henry Leutwyler. It’s not necessarily something you’ll “read”, to its entirety but you will most certainly learn something from this book.

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

Always trying to learn more about internet growth, SEO keywords and other ways to boost traffic to all social media platforms. I’m also always trying to learn from my followers as they are a key factor in my success. So I’m constantly researching and figuring out what kind of content they really connect with.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?

In recent months, I’ve been heavily focused on styling. Being the creative director, stylist, editor, and basically being everything for my blog, except taking the photo itself (in which case I do take self-portraits frequently), I’m trying to elevate my progress in the fashion field. I’ve been working with a lot more showrooms and boutiques in the recent months along with attending NYFW (which is so much fun) so I’m looking forward to connecting with more designers and brands in the future!

Chazaree’ Good Helps Build Physical And Spiritual Confidence

Chazaree’ Good (formerly Wright) hails from New Haven, Connecticut. As a former high school and college athlete, Chazaree’ has held various leadership positions. In 2007, Chazaree’ received an Associates of Science Degree from Lon Morris College in Jacksonville Texas. Three years later, she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems from Montreat College in North Carolina. With many years of athletic training, Chazaree’s life mission is to empower others to promote healthy lifestyles. As a devout Christian, Chazaree’ believes that true transformation starts from within and it is our sole responsibility to take care of our bodies. Read our interview with the lovely Chazaree below…

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

I saw a need to help women, not just with their external appearance but more importantly, their internal needs.

Tell us about your business.

Wright Fitness is geared towards helping each client achieve their fitness goals by practicing effective workouts. I believe that through the use of motivation, dedication and proper exercise routines, every individual has the ability to achieve their ideal physique.

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

We recently wrapped up a “Spring Into Action” Raffle contest. Three lucky women won the opportunity to win FREE personal training sessions with me or a FREE pass to the Wright Fitness Boot Camp. We are planning on holding another raffle in the upcoming months for the summer.

List awards/certifications/accomplishments.

AAAI/ISMA Certified Personal Trainer.

Where is your business based?

New Haven, Connecticut.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

  1. Received a personal training certificate.
  2. Established Wright Fitness as an LLC.
  3. Targeted the audience that Wright Fitness would appeal to the most.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

The most effective way of getting business/new customers has been mostly word of mouth and social media.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenge so far has been recovering from an Achilles Tendon Rupture injury. This injury was a major set back because I could no longer physically personal train clients or run boot camp sessions.

How did you overcome these challenges?

I have overcome these challenges by first and foremost allowing herself to heal and understanding that it was only temporary. The healing process has been slow, but I am gaining back the momentum that I had pre-injury.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

My faith and relationship with God is what has kept me grounded and motivated through difficult times.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

We focus on building not only your physical confidence, but your spiritual confidence of who you are in Christ.

 

What is the best advice you have received recently?

Stay focused and build your brand!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Timing is everything. When you focus on building your brand, the recognition will come and the doors of opportunity will open at the right time.

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

Canva and Google Analytics.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @_Wrightfit
Facebook www.facebook.com/Wrightfitness2013
Website www.liftwright.com
Email Wrightfit2013@gmail.com

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

8 Small Business Owners Who Put Their Growth Plan Into Action!

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

I am currently learning about expanding my business.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?

Before the end of this year, I would like to run Boot Camp classes in another state. I want to make Wright Fitness known across the country!

Michelle Yuan Made The Forbes 30 Under 30 List By Creating Asia’s Largest Online Wedding Platform

Michelle Yuan is the CEO and Founder of Asia Wedding Network, Asia’s largest online wedding platform that allows couples to search for vendors throughout Asia, create inspiration pools, use wedding planning tools, and have access to thousands of tailored wedding content for both brides and grooms. The platform also allows brands, venues, and wedding professionals around the world to effectively market and promote their products and services to thousands of newly engaged couples in Asia each day. In 2016, Yuan was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List in the Media, Marketing, and Advertising category for her team’s work on Asia Wedding Network. She has a degree in Economics from Columbia University and previously worked in investment banking at J.P. Morgan before founding her own business. Read our interview with the lovely Michelle below…

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

So a lot of friends and family around me were getting married and I saw that they were all using websites from the US to plan their wedding in Asia. They said they were using it to get inspiration for their wedding but they couldn’t use any of the vendors or any of the information they read as they were all targeted for couples in the US. Plus, it was all in English only! Instead, they found their vendors and wedding ideas on Facebook or Instagram or through exhaustive Google searches.

I thought there must be a better way to find vendors and plan your wedding in Asia – weddings here are so different and there are plenty of amazing professionals in the industry that remain undiscovered. After extensive research about the wedding industry in Asia, I found that there was definitely a business opportunity here – and it definitely helped that I loved weddings and pretty things! Hence, Asia Wedding Network was born!

Tell us about your business.

Asia Wedding Network (www.asiaweddingnetwork.com) is now Asia’s largest wedding platform for couples getting married in the region. The online platform has everything from a vendor search system to an inspiration search function where you can save your favorites and create Pinterest-like inspiration boards to plenty of wedding planning tools such as a budget calculator to manage your wedding costs. It also has a wedding hashtag creator, wedding planning checklists according to the number of months before your wedding. Additionally, it has what type of wedding you’re going to have to an auspicious wedding date calendar for you to find lucky wedding dates. We also have thousands of tailored wedding content especially made for the bride and groom.

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

We’ve currently launched our Buy & Sell Gowns section where past-brides (or even boutiques and individual designers) can sell their wedding dresses for a one time listing fee of $19.99 USD. The dress is listed on the Asia Wedding Network until it is sold. We don’t take commission on the sale and we let the buyer and seller communicate directly for the purchase!

List awards/certifications/accomplishments.

  • Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Asia (2016)
  • Current Luxury & Lifestyle Columnist for Forbes
  • Former CMO at luxury e-commerce startup
  • Former Writer for the Wall Street Journal
  • Former Investment Banker at J.P. Morgan
  • Masters in Journalism and Media from the University of Hong Kong
  • B.A. in Economics from Columbia University

Where is your business based?

Headquartered in Hong Kong, but the site is made for brides and grooms all throughout Asia – we also have offices throughout the region.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

The first and most crucial step was that I needed to hire a core team with the same focus and vision as myself for the company. This was key as it has been absolutely fundamental for our growth today.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

Well first and foremost, in any business, you need to have a very good product, so for us, that meant a very good, easy to use website that made brides and grooms want to actually use it. From there, raising awareness meant creating more useful content and having an effective SEO strategy. This helps us rise up in the Google search ranks, increasing our organic traffic – which is where the majority of our brides and grooms come from.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Finding the time to do everything required of a startup – you have to wear multiple hats in any position you take on, but then you also have to find the time to wear multiple hats! It’s a big challenge to use time as effectively as possible, make quick decisions, and really get stuff done!

How did you overcome these challenges?

For myself, I create an effective time management system that allows me to stay on schedule and get as many things done (throughly!) as possible each day. Also, I surround myself with positive and support people (both professionally and personally) because that makes a huge difference! Negativity is the worst. Oh, also less sleep and more coffee 🙂

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

I was generally a pretty motivated person in the past – and even more motivated now that I am running my own company.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

A lot of the wedding resources in Asia are either just a wedding blog, which aren’t functional (i.e. don’t have many wedding planning tools), or just don’t have the look and feel that most modern brides and grooms in Asia want. Most large wedding websites in our competitive landscape are run by older men who see weddings as a lucrative business. We really try to use our passion for weddings to cultivate something for today’s brides and grooms that they can relate to, looks good, and is actually useful in the planning process!

What is the best advice you have received recently?

To really understand your customer and what they go through to achieve the end result (for us, that’s what the bride or groom has to go through to plan their dream wedding). You have to understand what happens from the very beginning of the process until the end – this will help you build something that they will love!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

I would say that you should try to work really hard but also enjoy the process. Being an entrepreneur is certainly not an easy road. You’re taking a big risk with a lot of uncertainties. It can be very stressful and there are times where you want to give up, but if you remember back to the basics of why you are doing this, then it will be worth it in the end. Keep your eye on the big picture.

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

I would have to say Instagram because there are a lot of wedding professionals and couples using Instagram so that’s where our main audience hangs out! Plus, with the new metrics and analytics data, you can see which posts get the most engagement from your audience!

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @asiaweddingnetwork, @michelleyuan
Twitter @asiawedding
Facebook www.facebook.com/AsiaWeddingNetwork
Website www.asiaweddingnetwork.com
Email team@asiaweddingnetwork.com
Hashtags #asiaweddingnetwork #asiaweddingmagazine

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

I read growthhackers a lot. There are so many useful tips there for really growing your business – it can be quite technical too!

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

Currently, we are looking for sales and support teams to answer the inquiries coming in from vendors and brides!

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?

For the next few months, we want to keep increasing the number of brides using our site – we haven’t done much marketing (our traffic is mostly organic) so we’ll be spending a bit more time and resources on marketing our site more. Also, we’ll be on the lookout for strategic partnerships to do collaborations with!

Tameka Allen Helps You Master Facebook Ads And Sales Funnels

Tameka Allen is an Online Marketing Strategist and the Founder of tamekanallen.com. She works with personal development coaches who are struggling to attract quality clients online. Tameka helps them achieve online marketing mastery with Facebook Ads and Sales Funnels. You can connect with her at tamekanallen.com. Read our interview with the lovely Tameka below…

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

After spending 12 years in a successful corporate career, I hit a fork in the road. I wanted to do something different but wasn’t sure I could make a living doing it. I wanted to combine my love for marketing, tech, and training into the perfect career. Coincidently, through a conversation with a colleague, I discovered the world of coaching and fell in love. Soon afterward, I got certified and started my first coaching business, part-time while working a full-time job. Ultimately, I wanted to use my gifts to serve others while creating income and making an impact in the world.

Tell us about your business.

I work with personal development coaches to attract leads on autopilot, so they can build a freedom-based business they love. I help my clients get what I like to call Marketing C.S.I – Clarity, Strategy, and Implementation. We work together to achieve online marketing mastery using Facebook Ads and Sales Funnels.

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?

For personal development coaches who are looking to fill their group programs, masterminds, and online courses, they’ll need to build an email list. And in order to build an email, they must have a compelling free offer. And to help them, I’ve released a brand new guide entitled, the 5 Simple Steps to Create the Ultimate Free Offer. This free guide I created will help them do just that.

You can access it by clicking here.

I also have a few spots available to work with me on your Facebooks Ads campaign to promote their next webinar, online course, or group programs.

Apply here.

List awards/certifications/accomplishments. 

I’m a Certified Personal & Executive Coach through the Coaching & Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute as well as a member of the International Coach Federation.

Where is your business based?

In Gulf Breeze, Florida (on the Gulf Coast). 

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

I invested in business coaching to help me get clear on my marketing message and services. From there I launched my website and moved forward with marketing my business on and offline. But the biggest part for me was making a decision to commit to the journey. In other words, I had to be willing to do the real work. I’d never owned a business before and I was very used to depending on my employer for a paycheck. And I quickly realized if I ever wanted to quit my full-time job, I had to give up being in my comfort zone in order to build the business.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

I obtain my clients through a combination of my network, podcast interviews, email marketing and speaking.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenge has been being open to stretching myself outside of my comfort zone. I’d been thinking about adding Facebook Ads Management to my business, but I was hesitant. Ultimately, I was struggling with the imposter syndrome. I wasn’t sure that I was “good enough” to pull it off.

How did you overcome these challenges?

I had to do a lot of mindset work with my business coach, accountability partner, and my husband. They all played a part in helping me get over that hump.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

I reflect on my “why”. Being in business for myself allows me the freedom to create my own schedule, determine my income potential, be available to my family, and make an income doing what I love. Ultimately, I know that going back to a corporate job will not allow me the lifestyle I desire. And my faith in God strengthens me to keep going even when times get tough. 

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I only work with a small group of clients to give them special individualized attention to not only manage their Facebook Ad campaigns but I also provide assistance with their Sales Funnels that help them fill their coaching programs and online courses.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

Own your worth. Don’t take for granted the expertise you possess. The truth is, what you’re good at doesn’t come easy for everyone else. Don’t allow fear to stop you from sharing your expertise with those who need your help.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to achieve a goal, it’ll never happen. Get out of analysis paralysis and start before you’re ready.

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

I absolutely love Google Drive. I use it to store all my documents, sheets, and slide presentations as well as to share information with my clients. And the best part is I never have to worry about losing my data… it’s all in the cloud.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Facebook www.facebook.com/tamekanallen
Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/freedombuilderscommunity
Twitter @tamekanallen
Website www.tamekanallen.com
Email hello@tamekanallen.com
Hashtags #freedombuilders #femaleentrepreneurs #salesfunnels #facebookads #onlinemarketing #marketingstrategy #allenempire

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

I recently read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s an excellent book that talks about using four principles to excel in your personal growth. It has helped me tremendously in my personal life and my business. 

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

I am currently learning how to better use videos in my marketing strategies. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been providing value to my followers via Facebook Live on my Facebook page and group as well as recording videos for my weekly blog posts.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them? 

My goal for the next few months is to launch my upcoming online course to teach personal development coaches how to market and profit with Facebook Ads and Sales Funnels. I’m also in the process of building a team to provide my clients with a one-stop shop for their Facebook Ad campaigns (copywriting, graphic design, and video editing).

Jacqui Cooks Trains People How To Market Themselves Effectively On Social Media

With over 15 years of International and Domestic experience in the Hospitality Industry, Jacqui Cooks has taken a decidedly different step in the digital direction as a “Twitvangelist” and Social Media Addict. This thirty-something year old travel junkie & foodie, proudly South African chick has a strong desire to help others. Read our interview with the lovely Jacqui below…

Cocodash Boudoir Photography

What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

  1. A strong desire to help people, particularly women starting out in business
  2. My passion for travel

Working in the corporate world or for someone else does not always afford one the flexibility or freedom of helping others nor travel. These are two of my driving forces. Working for myself allows me the flexibility to balance these two great loves of mine. Authenticity and discipline are key! When working for a boss, one has to adhere to their guidelines and policies. Working for myself, I am able to work according to my values without compromising the level of service or my integrity.

Tell us about your business.

I have 2 businesses:

1) My Travel Blog, The Jax Blog where I share anything/everything travel related. I have also partnered with some great travel brands such as TravelStart.co.za to bring my readers the best travel deals! I work with selected travel brands in marketing awesome new destinations or restaurants that I feel my readers will enjoy.

2) The Jax Inc – My Social Media Marketing Consultancy. I train people how to market themselves effectively on social media through workshops, one-on-one consulting and campaign management. I feel very strongly about empowering people, particularly women entrepreneurs; with the basic skills to market themselves online.

Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about? 

I’m currently offering a FREE Digital Marketing seminar in Cape Town, South Africa. To attend this FREE talk please register here. I am looking at offering some online digital courses in the future, so do keep an eye out on my Facebook page: The Jax Inc.

List awards/certifications/accomplishments. 

2001

  • Backpacked through Europe financed by myself at the age of 21 and then moved to the USA on my own (this was a major accomplishment for a fresh faced 19 year old who left home to traverse the globe on her own dime straight after high school).

2004

  • Diploma in Drama from AADA (American Academy of Dramatic Arts) 

2009

  • Starred in a BBC Documentary: The Lost City of Atlantis

2013

  • Sales Management Certification
  • Marketing Certification

2014

  • Sales Manager of the Year of Sun International
  • Sellhard Western Cape: Best Salesperson in the Western Cape Reality TV Show Season 1 winner   

2015

  • Speaker at the ETAS (East African E-Tourism Summit)

2016

  • Hubspot Inbound Certification 

Where is your business based?

Cape Town, South Africa.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

I created awareness of my workshops through my social media platforms, and I created my website. So I’d say just putting myself out there.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

Word of mouth and social media marketing.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

People not wanting to pay for my services as they do not understand the value thereof.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Educating people through my FREE talk as to why we need digital marketers and what their role is in advertising/marketing. I also realized that my if I want to assist entrepreneurs with digital skills, I would need to relook at my social media payment model without having them break the bank.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Honestly, I pray… a lot! I also lean on fellow industry colleagues for insight on how to improve and for support.

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

I strongly believe in authenticity and integrity. So my being completely brutally honest with my clients at all times even when I’m wrong is what sets me apart. The customer is not always right, but neither am I. Growing and maintaining healthy client relationships through honesty, fosters trust and not only repeat business but lifelong friendships.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

Don’t give up! My new favorite saying: “Work, Pray, Slay!”

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

  1. If you have a dream or passion, just do it! Whether you succeed or fail at least at the end of your life you can safely say you tried. No what if’s, no regrets.
  2. Also make sure you have a really strong support system of friends and family you can lean into when times are tough. Going it alone can be emotionally and spiritually draining, besides the obvious physical exhaustion.
  3. Never think you have to do it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Even if it is a simple prayer to God and no one else. Ask and you shall receive.

What is your favorite business tool or resource?

Wow I have so many. But I’d say my number one tool that saves me a lot of time is Buffer scheduling app. It helps me to schedule my articles and posts on all of my social media platforms from one place, thus saving me a ton of time.

What social media outlets do you use? List them below.

Instagram @thejaxblog
Twitter @thejaxblog
Twitter @jacquicooks
Facebook www.facebook.com/thejaxblog
Facebook www.facebook.com/thejaxinc
Website www.thejaxblog.com
Website www.thejaxinc.com
Email info@thejaxblog.com and jax@thejaxinc.com
Hashtags #thejaxblog #StopDreamingStartTravelling #LearnWithTheJax

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

I’m currently reading two great books. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and “Sisterhood” by Bobbie Houston. Both speak of women in leadership.

What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?

I’m constantly feeding my mind with the latest trends in digital and travel. A deeper understanding of Google analytics and Adwords is on the cards at the moment. An intern would be most welcome at present. This can even be a virtual assistant. I simply don’t have enough hands or hours in the day to do it all and I would love to afford a young person starting out in this field some hands on experience through assisting me with my day-to-day admin tasks.

What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them? 

Currently working on an amazing Social Media Marketing workshop for South Africans. However, my heart lies with empowering women so I am working on a top secret program for young ladies. Lastly, I would love to write a book, but that is something in the pipeline.

Cocodash Boudoir Photography