Meet Wendy J Young. She helps business owners manage their online reputation through comprehensive SEO on their website and in blog posts. Her desire is to give people their free time back by managing their marketing to-do list and focus on what they do best.
Since a very young age, she’s been interested in a variety of things, like investigation, writing, and creativity. All of those interests have culminated with exciting and unusual employment opportunities (everything from the FBI to cake decorating). Along the way, though, certain skills have always remained true. Her expertise lies in writing, researching, copywriting, and has expanded into the marketing arena with her writing skills at the forefront.
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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.
Wendy J Young: I know business owners to be hard-working people who wear all the hats in order to push their business toward success. I know you want to see your company thrive while also being able to turn your attention away for family and much-needed rest. To get your personal time, you need to delegate the tasks which are currently sucking up your time. The problem is maybe your team isn’t large enough or you don’t think it’s in your budget to hire someone. So you feel stuck.
You are working yourself toward burnout. Pushing so hard with no end in sight ruins relationships and even your health. I understand what it’s like to start up a business and feel the need to do all the jobs.
You deserve to focus on your passion, the reason why you began your business. And you are the reason I started up my business. Let me help you succeed by taking some of the pressure off your marketing to-do list.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your view point, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Wendy J Young: I believe all entrepreneurs are born with the desire to work for themselves… but anyone can do it if they have guidance, self-motivation, and a decent measure of luck. Not all people have the burn to work for themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But just because someone has the will to create a new product or build a business doesn’t mean they’ll succeed. It definitely takes hard work, effective study, building a team of experts to fill the areas you don’t know well, and lots of patience and experimentation to persevere when things aren’t panning out right away.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Wendy J Young: I’m a self-motivated individual whose main goal is to help others succeed in their lives. That wasn’t always the case. A few of my businesses have failed because I came at it from a perspective of need and desperation. I was being selfish… and it failed. I believe a business owner has to have a pure motive, especially in the beginning when they’re reaching out to people and gathering a faithful following. People want to buy from people. You must have a face, a personality, and a good character to draw people in.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Wendy J Young: I started as a freelance writer in 2011 and learned the process of creating blog posts and articles that rank in Google search through effective SEO practices. My business has morphed from simply writing blog posts for various content mills to building my own business engaged in creating content for websites, building out blog posts, engaging on social media, building out email campaigns, and helping business owners establish themselves as an authority through backlinks and other reputation-building strategies.
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?
Wendy J Young: With so many new businesses being formed, finding your specific niche and what makes your business unique from everyone else is vital. You’ll need to capitalize on those differences right away in order to market yourself effectively and reach your prime audience rather than initially pursuing the wrong people.
One of the most difficult things to realize when starting up is that not everyone is your ideal customer. You can’t be offended when someone isn’t interested. Be thankful you’ve realized the wrong direction and pivot. There will be someone who wants what you’re offering… you just need to find them and go after that group.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Wendy J Young: One of my first attempts at starting a business from home completely failed because I assumed several wrong things:
- “I’m home so I have time to build a business!”.
So wrong! I was a brand new mom with an infant and no family base nearby. I couldn’t just go out canvassing with a newborn/toddler.
- “The products are popular and they’ll sell themselves!”
Regardless of how many people wanted to help me get started, they weren’t my target audience, and eventually, my sales would dry up. It doesn’t matter how good your products are… this is not an effort-free venture. You will still need to pitch and sell.
- “I have a website, so now people will find me!”.
It’s a mistake to think that just because you’ve got a website that people will be able to find you. There are so many strategies in building a foundation behind the scenes in order for Google to consider your website reputable and worthy of pushing up in search results. I didn’t know any of that…. and I failed hard!
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Wendy J Young: My advice for any new or aspiring business owner is to begin by reading some of the classic marketing books about building a brand and creating an effective strategy for building a business. You’ll begin to see some of the most common perspectives and be able to effectively brainstorm how to implement those strategies into your business.
Along with my reading list, I would encourage each business owner to begin by performing each of the tasks themselves so that when it’s time to start delegating certain tasks, they know exactly what they want from their new employees and can communicate a clear Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Understanding each position you hire out for enables you to be the best kind of boss because you’ll be able to manage your expectations as well as provide clear instructions so there’s no confusion.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Wendy J Young: The worst advice I received regarding running a new business is that anyone could do it with minimal work. “All you have to do is…” are the six words of death. No business is complication-free or a no-brainer situation. If someone is making the work of starting a business so simple, they’re selling you something that will benefit only themselves.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Wendy J Young: In this new phase of life, after the pandemic, anyone wanting to start up a business should automatically assume that the nature of their business will likely change… if not the actual products and services, then the mode and method of providing those services and marketing those products. Learning to pivot and setting yourself up for a massive change will continue to be a vital aspect of planning for ultimate success. Covid taught us all that nothing lasts forever and if you don’t make a plan for changing along with the culture and progress of technology, you will not survive.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Wendy J Young: One myth perpetuated about entrepreneurship is “All you need is a good idea to make millions.” While a ‘good idea’ is certainly necessary for any measure of success, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be able to scale it into a multi-million dollar business. There are techniques and up-selling strategies that some of the biggest names have accomplished for their success. Regardless of whether you try to replicate those things, you may not end up being able to match their level… and that actually may not be the best outcome for you. Some people really shouldn’t be responsible for that much money or for all the people required to make that kind of business work.
My advice is to determine incremental goals to scale, but always reassess to make sure you haven’t gone beyond your personal capabilities. You could lose everything if you go too far over your head. Be honest with yourself and only pursue your business to a level that you know you’ll be able to handle… and proceed with caution when venturing further because you’ll need people around you that you can trust with your life (literally).
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Wendy J Young: Mandatory character traits and things to know before starting a business:
- Clear vision
- Listening to guidance
- Highly motivated
Understand elements of reaching the target audience, build a persona of your ideal customer, create a strategy for how to reach out to that customer, and keep studying and learning from those who’ve gone before.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Wendy J Young: I’ve read so many books that increased my basic knowledge, cemented that knowledge and built upon it, and inspired me to reach higher than I ever have before. Some of the books that have helped me the most are:
- ‘Superfans’ by Pat Flynn
- ‘Visual Sale’ by Marcus Sheridan
- ‘Building a Storybrand’ by Donald Miller
- ‘Marketing Made Simple’ by Donald Miller
- ‘They Ask You Answer’ by Marcus Sheridan
- ‘Hook Point’ by Brandon Kane
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?
Wendy J Young: The whole reason I started my business is that I needed the flexibility to be the main caregiver of our children not because I dislike working for other people. The downside of working for others is that they don’t have your best interests at heart and will jerk you around to fit their needs. Regardless, because I love writing and researching I would want to continue that realm of work, whether freelance or in the marketing department of another company.
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?
Wendy J Young: I would love to have a memorial to one of the most influential scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton. He developed new laws of mechanics, gravity, and motion which are ingrained in our world over 300 years later.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Wendy J Young 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 Wendy J Young or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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