Victoria is a Business Storyteller who helps entrepreneurs with their brand and customer experience. Specifically she creates names and taglines, product names, book names, really anything that needs branded language.
Her new offering is Creative Ambrosia, a curated list of media designed to feed creativity in business owners for the long term.
Many entrepreneurs don’t realize they are creative, yet the people who are the most successful are innovators. By feeding your creativity you can create a business that is different from the pack, and that is where your power lies.
Victoria really is a creative powerhouse and I am honoured that she could find time for an Idea Spotlight Interview.
Victoria, tell us what you were doing before you became a Business Storyteller?
I have a pretty eclectic background. Previous to this, I had a screen printing & textile business but that business model was never going to get me to where I wanted to go. I could have had a line of customers out my door, with money in hand, but because of the way my business was structured, there was no way to make a profit. I was making everything by hand, so I was a one-woman sweat shop. I couldn’t make fast enough. It wasn’t making me happy.
After 2 ½ years I decided it wasn’t going to work. I had put all my eggs in one basket. I was really freaked out when this happened and I didn’t know what else to do. That business was everything I had trained myself for.
Tell us about how you created the concept for your current business?
After I got over the shock and I put my ego aside, I started to realize that what I knew that was more valuable than anything I could make.
I started to think about what things I knew as a designer and as someone who’s had a failed business. I also have a professional background in client relations and customer service, so I had a lot of diplomacy and language skills. I understood branding. That’s where I started building this business. That’s how I got my foot in the door, and now I plan to expand more and more.
What have been your highlights as a business owner?
I am really excited and amazed by the people I get to work with. My clients are predominantly women, although there are some men. I am just continually blown away by how many talented, smart, motivated, ambitious women are out there, not only making life better for themselves and their families, but ultimately for the whole world. I am really humbled and amazed by that.
I felt very disconnected before this business, and although I have a wonderful husband and friends, I didn’t feel like anyone understood my ambitious side. In this business, I have been able to connect to so many women, who not only get it, but are way ahead of me on the spectrum and are blazing trails.
On a personal standpoint, the realization that, every lesson and every failure I have had up until this point, is, why I am now having success, has been very empowering. The failures in my life have taught me so much more than the successes. Those were the times when I had to stop and really slow down and observe what was going on. I am feeling much more confident in myself and my business, so I am very grateful for that.
Tell us how you keep your creativity and ideas flowing?
When I went to design school I began to understand that if I was going to have a innovative idea or design I was going to create I had to be looking at a lot of source material. When I say looking at source material I mean taking in different ideas and digesting them, I mean allowing the ideas to come in to who you are and your imagination. And then letting them come out in a subtle way that influences your work.
I like to look for inspiration in unusual places. I look at a lot of business stuff but I also look at a lot of design, music, spirituality, science and technology. I also like to take pictures a lot. My first degree was in Photography. I find when I look through my camera lens, I see differently.
Once you are free to allow yourself to experiment without being result-oriented, you’d be surprised how many ideas come to the surface.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be in it for the long haul. It’s so easy to focus on the immediate win, the making money tomorrow, everything feels like it can’t go fast enough. If you think of it in a long arc, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, train for it that way. If you live your life through that kind of metaphor, you are less likely to get discouraged or burn out.
It’s not about instant success. No matter what it looks like from the outside, it’s never instant. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a matter of continuing to believe in yourself and keeping going. I ultimately believe business success is mostly about perseverance. Yes, you need to have good ideas, build relationships, all of those things, but ultimately you need perseverance.
Key take aways from Victoria’s experience
Ooooh! So much juicy info in there!
Victoria is an excellent example of someone who didn’t allow a failed business venture to get in the way of her eventual success. She analyzed what went wrong, considered what needed to be different next time, she then regrouped and moved on with these learnings to create something new.
Don’t take failures personally. You are not a failure just because you didn’t succeed at something you tried. Success comes from experimentation. If you look at the past of any successful person it will be littered with ‘failures’. These were the experiments on the path to their success.
As Victoria said perseverance is the most important part of entrepreneurship. Don’t let your not so successful experiments derail you completely. Take time to learn from the situation, chart a new course and keep moving towards your dreams!