The background of Alex Van Doren lies in successfully conceptualizing and implementing innovative marketing initiatives to drive market impact and expansion of product, program, and campaign launch and development efforts. With her comprehensive experience, the focus is on implementing strategic campaigns from launch through complete execution. As well as Alex’s knowledge of both digital and traditional media channels, she establishes the ability to enhance brand awareness and lead generation that prepares her to significantly impact her client’s company’s objectives while reaching levels of success.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Alex Van Doren: My background begins with a degree in multimedia design that took me on a journey working with big-name companies such as Redbull, McDonald’s, & HGTV. After seven years in the corporate world, I decided to go on my own and pursue my passion for marketing with authentic campaigns custom to my clients’ needs. As well as my knowledge of both digital and traditional media channels, I’ve established the ability to enhance brand awareness and lead generation that prepares me to significantly impact my client’s company’s objectives while reaching many levels of success.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Alex Van Doren: Personally, I believe entrepreneurs can either be born or made. Some people are just born with this burning passion to create something, lead others, or both. Others are made (or born as well) out of a circumstance that pushed them beyond their comfort zone. Being an entrepreneur is no joke – there have been so many times where I just wanted to throw in the towel – go back to a 9-5 because it’s “safe”. But here we are – still grinding, still pushing, still dreaming.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Alex Van Doren: I am somewhat of a stubborn entrepreneur. In addition to not giving up easily, I thrive in structured chaos.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Alex Van Doren: We help brands skyrocket their sales and visibility with successful digital marketing.
While it hasn’t necessarily changed, it has evolved into refining our services and how we provide them. The services we provide to our clients are customized based on their needs and communicated clearly so that they gain the best possible experience.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Alex Van Doren: It’s not easy.
Beware of the “coaches” that promise you’ll make seven figures shortly after taking their course. It’s hard work. Basically, you need to accept that for the first two to three years, you will probably be breaking even, working for 10 to 12 hours a day, and only have weekends off, but most likely still work on your business.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Alex Van Doren: Yes, there were quite a few assumptions that I made. Such as, I was mentally able to be present in my new business days after giving birth to my first child. It’s tough. I was running a lean agency which means it was just me and an assistant, which meant I handled all client work. As a professional, I did not want to tell my clients that I couldn’t finish something because I was caring for my newborn. As a result, there were days when I barely slept – trying to juggle it all. I assumed I could do the work on my own when I should have hired someone else to assist me.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Alex Van Doren: Don’t waste your time and money on “coaches”. I wasted thousands of dollars on mentors and coaches who weren’t able to propel my business forward. There is nothing wrong with having a business coach or mentor but my recommendation is, it can wait.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Alex Van Doren: “Just keep trying” was the worst business advice I ever received. Although persistence is key, not everything you try will be successful, even if you keep trying. When something isn’t working, you need to have the courage to pivot, step back, and put your heart into something else if it’s time.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Alex Van Doren: The impact of Covid-19, it has changed all industries. Being an entrepreneur has been one of the largest growing fields since the pandemic started. People are coming out of the woodwork to start their own business with the hopes of creating some sort of stability due to all that has happened. As a new entrepreneur, you should assume competition is thick, and be prepared to work hard to find the clients you want.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Alex Van Doren: If you build it – they will come. When it comes to building a business, this is just ONE piece of a 200 piece puzzle.
My advice would be to make it come to life by living it, breathing it, promoting it, believing in it, and telling everyone about it. As being prepared to be the only one who believes in your business will set you apart. Write 5-10 reasons why you started in the first place. What were your main goals?
As with anything new and challenging, there will be days where you doubt yourself and your business. Go back and read the reasons why – remember your dreams and ambitions.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Alex Van Doren: Overall, I think the most important qualities are to be humble and brave.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Alex Van Doren: My recommendation for a good book is Atomic Habits, and even though the Pursuit of Happiness can be a tear jerker, it is a great film!
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Alex Van Doren: A homemaker. While it’s not always easy, spending more time with my kids makes it all worthwhile.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Alex Van Doren: This is an interesting question that I had never considered before! I’d have to say either Robin Williams, Mother Teresa or Betty White. All of them have been inspiring figures, some more humorous than others, that I’ve enjoyed watching or learning more about throughout my lifetime.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Alex Van Doren for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Alex Van Doren or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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