Meet Susan Melony – an entrepreneur, a blogger, and an editor-in-chief of many websites. She’s also extremely passionate about health and fitness and has blog posts about a myriad of techniques on how to stay fit and healthy. She’s also a blogger with various guides on healthy recipes and tips on how to maintain a healthy diet (Product Diggers). Susan strongly believes that even though your goals are important, a healthy lifestyle should always come first. A healthy lifestyle can and will help you achieve your goals.
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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.
Susan Melony: I have always been interested in health and fitness as well as entrepreneurship. I started my journey by offering guides and reviews about various products on the internet via my company which is known as Product Diggers. Product Diggers is the premier destination for high-quality, unbiased reviews as well as expert tips and insights on home decor, home improvement, and interior design.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Susan Melony: I believe they can be both. We may all be transformed into something if we put in our best effort. The school system would be the biggest con of all time if nurturing did not exist inside greatness. Successful entrepreneurs are born, but they must use their characteristics in a certain way. However, no one is born with all of the essential characteristics to be completely successful on their own.
In entrepreneurship, there is no such thing as a “one-man-band.” Every successful entrepreneur has acquired new skills along the road, making mentoring essential. Every entrepreneur on the globe has a mentor or a network of individuals they could get advice from, learn from, and bounce ideas off of. So I believe it is a bit of both.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Susan Melony: I’d say I’m an entrepreneur that is dedicated to improving the quality of life of everyone within society through a healthier and balanced lifestyle.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Susan Melony: I have a number of companies but my main company is Product Diggers. It’s remained relatively similar throughout the years. We provide product reviews of various Bathroom, Kitchen, and home products from around the globe. The only thing that’s changed is the complexity of the products that we are reviewing. As technology advances, as does the complexity of reviews.
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?
Susan Melony: There is a lot of pressure associated with being an entrepreneur and they should be prepared. No job is secure in the eyes of big businesses and politicians until it is outsourced to a cheaper worker who will work for less money. However, many assume that running a business is smooth sailing compared to a normal 9-5 job.
However, for an entrepreneur, this is not what entrepreneurship entails. The dangers are far more serious and unstable than what awaits you after retirement.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Susan Melony: That the alternative with the lowest price typically wins. That isn’t always the case. Price is the most powerful marketing message, and for a startup, high-value, high-price alternatives are typically the best approach. Having the lowest price does not always imply volume (see cheap sushi), and it typically necessitates a large amount of cash.
I tried to go with predatory pricing and ended up in a vast amount of debt, albeit for a brief period. Climbing out of that hole was no easy task!
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Susan Melony: I would tell myself not to exhaust myself and work smarter instead of harder. People who work 80 hours a week seldom increase their output by more than a few percentage points above those who work 40 hours a week. Working smarter, not longer, is the way to go. I would help myself recognize that individuals have lives, families, and the need for relaxation, regular exercise, and so on in order to boost collective productivity.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Susan Melony: The worst business advice I ever received came from a group of folks who were certain that I was setting myself up for failure. I wanted to start my company when I was 21, but I was told I was too young, inexperienced, and arrogant by individuals twice my age and older managers. In retrospect, I believe that what many others believed would be ‘helpful’ really inhibited my ability to achieve what I wanted to do. Because I didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, I put off beginning my business for four years.
‘Don’t allow others to cloud your judgment or project their doubts onto you – take the plunge and let your work speak for itself,’ I advise every fledgling entrepreneur.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Susan Melony: Businesses must have an entrepreneurial mentality and commit to change that embraces innovation in order to survive in the near run. In order to thrive in the changing market circumstances, businesses must be adaptable. Entrepreneurial potential must be tapped by managers and legislators. Entrepreneurship is regarded as essential in a thriving economy since it provides the push for growth.
With the awareness that entrepreneurship may take three forms: profit, non-profit, and hybrid, the role of entrepreneurship in society has changed. Traditionally, entrepreneurship was viewed as simply an economic actor, but this has changed as recognition of entrepreneurship’s social impact has grown.
Entrepreneurs are tenacious and strong-willed, I believe that is something that hasn’t changed and will never change.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Susan Melony: A common myth is that you need a solid business plan that is set in stone to succeed. Sure, investors and lenders want to see a business plan before handing you a check, but if you don’t need these funds right now, you might be able to launch your company based on the findings of a feasibility study and subsequently gain momentum with consumers. Some Internet entrepreneurs, such as Demand Media’s Richard Rosenblatt, know how to get a website up and running in a matter of weeks. These astute businessmen understand that market research is more essential than writing a business strategy.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Susan Melony: Creativity: The ability to view things differently is the root of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are driven by an innate ability to spot gaps in the market and create solutions to address them, whether it’s with new products or new procedures. Though it isn’t the only trait required for success, creativity may be the most fundamental mental ability. Entrepreneurs are able to let go of what they currently know in order to find new knowledge and ways of thinking about an issue by asking the “what ifs” that drive inquisitiveness.
Finding comfort with discomfort: Similarly, a skepticism of prediction and analysis produces an environment in which uncertainty reigns supreme. Uncertainty is, after all, the entire nature of business. Entrepreneurs are at ease in the gap between the seed of an idea and a finished product, and they thrive in the broad expanse of experimenting, modification, and testing.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Susan Melony: Disruptive technology is likely the most difficult challenge that entrepreneurs will face in the future. When it’s time to adjust to the change, how will you know? It might happen, for example, when your competitors begin to use new technology. It’s time for your early warning system to take action. Reading trade periodicals and participating in learning events, such as business conferences and trade exhibitions, are examples of this.
What you should do right now to prepare. Identify simple measures you can do right now that won’t take a lot of time or money but will help you adjust when the time comes. Investigate what other industries have done in comparable situations to gain ideas for action.
‘Rich Woman’ by Kim Kiyosaki is perhaps my favorite book on entrepreneurship which informs women everywhere about the power of money.
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?
Susan Melony: I would probably choose to be a nutritionist! I thoroughly enjoy making diet plans for friends and family and would also love to do it as a profession. I sort of already do through my blogs.
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?
Susan Melony: It’s hard to pick just one, so I’ll go with:
- Elon Musk: He’s one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs out there.
- Michael Jackson: One of my most favorite artists ever. I remember listening to MJ even as a child.
- Oprah Winfrey: She’s one of the most inspirational female entrepreneurs and her story of going from rags to riches seems like something out of a movie.
- J.K Rowling: Rowling is also an inspiration and has inspired many young women to take up entrepreneurship, including myself.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Susan Melony 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 Susan Melony or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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