I lost my position as Director of Content Marketing at an ice cream company in September 2015. I applied for jobs after that, but after a couple of months, I decided I wanted to control my own destiny. I wanted to create an opportunity for myself to use my experience and education in food and culinary arts with my marketing, journalism, and communications background. I wanted to write my own paychecks. I wanted to create and control my work environment. I researched the opportunity, I started listing potential prospects, and once I felt confident my concept had the potential to be commercially viable and lucrative, I wrote a business plan, formed Saltshaker Marketing & Media LLC, sold off some shares I had in the market, and started! Saltshaker is entirely self-funded, except for a small investment from my sister.
Jeff is my biggest cheerleader. He lets me drive what I need out of our weekly meetings. I know that he has run several large businesses of his own, but yet he has a great way of listening and helping me discover what the best path for my business is, while offering valuable insight or helping me see things from a different angle. He's very approachable, which is helpful, because I rely on my meetings with Jeff to troubleshoot the things that I am most concerned about -- I make myself tell him the things I am most worried about every week, so we can work on them before they become major problems. Jeff has set up speaking opportunities for me, and he's told other people about what I do, which I think is awesome! Something small but touching to me: At the end of every meeting, when I thank Jeff for his time, he says, "No. Thank you." Wow. I can't imagine why. That's really precious.
I first went to SCORE to take the SimpleSTEPS series - I did all of the SimpleSTEPS classes, which were helpful. I also took the Mini-Business Plan Course, which was very helpful. I later went in for one-on-one mentoring to have a mentor review drafts of my business plan and help me with my income statement and other financial statements. I now have a standing weekly appointment with a SCORE mentor. It does a lot to help me stay on track. It holds me accountable and it gives me an opportunity to troubleshoot the things I am most concerned about. I feel it's critical to my success.