Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding and self-fulfilling realism to anyone who is willing to put in the hard work and effort that it takes. One such millionaire entrepreneur who did that is Mrs. Joyce Brown. Joyce is a successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, and happy mom who co-founded a company called EarthCare from scratch and turned it into an $125 million dollar publicly traded company within 18 months with a $10,000 dollar investment. Mrs. Bone took the time out of her busy schedule to interview with My Fabulous Style about entrepreneurship, success, family, and what you can do to become a successful entrepreneur.
1.) Can you tell me about your background and how you started the company Earth Care?
I started the company with my former boss and we took the company from scratch to a $50,000,000 million dollar publicly traded company in 18 months. When I started the company with my boss, I decided I wanted to go big. I was at home with my first child, and my goal was to be a millionaire by the time I was thirty. Some people are afraid of giving up equity in their company, but I needed to raise $50,000,000 dollars. Earth care had grown from one employee to 350 . After the success of the company, I ended up leaving and venturing into other business endeavors. Once I left the company, I started a real-estate investment firm, Emerald Real Estate, LLC and now am working on building other business endeavors, speaking, and going back to school to get my Masters Degree.
2.) You’re a loving mother and wife. How do you manage balancing a successful business and family?
I tell my children that this is what mom has to do and let them know the benefits for them. I am able to provide them the things they need and want. My eldest son once let me know that he really appreciated the time we are able to spend together. It is the little things that count. I am able to do things with my children on my own terms and when they need me, I am able to be there. I am not on anyone else’s clock. There is great flexibility in being an entrepreneur and working for yourself. When the children understand how my work benefits them, they are more than happy to let me do the things that being an entrepreneur requires.
3.) What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business but is afraid?
Forget fear. You have to take action! Reduce expenses that are hanging over your head so you don’t have that financial burden. For example, I spoke with Michael Coles who started The Great American Cookie Company which he sold several years later for $100,000,000 million dollars. He told me that when he started, he drove a Mercedes and his wife drove a Jaguar. In order to reduce debt, they both sold their cars and bought a Honda Civic which they shared. Reduce expenses hanging over your head and face your fear. You have to the cajones to take the necessary steps and just do it!
4). In your book, you talk about the need to be financially independent even if you are married, can you elaborate on that concept?
I’m shocked at, especially, how some women don’t have a handle on their finances. With the divorce rate at around 54%, you have to be able to provide for yourself and your family. As far as fear, that would be one of the scariest things to not know. You should know where you are financially.
5.) What advice would you give to someone who may have started a business and has had moderate success, but only has a limited budget for marketing?
Now is the best time in history for a small business to market themselves. You have the ability to compete with the corporate big boys. I get e-mails all the time from women who say they can’t market. I tell them to go to their local library and learn about marketing. I didn't’ know how to take a company public while I was sitting at home working with a baby, but I did! You can do social marketing, which could include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You can also do fliers, webinars, seminars, interviews etc. Like this interview that I am doing now, it is essentially still marketing.
6.) In your book, Millionaire Moms, you talk about leveraging your resources to finance a business. What ways can someone leverage resources to finance their business?
Leveraging can be your time. For example, if you are a writer and you need a website, you can email a website designer and say, “Hey I can write content for your site in exchange for your designing my site. Another example is if you have home equity, you can have that as an asset in your business. There are many ways you can leverage what you have in order to fund the growth of your business.
7.) Of course, you know about mastermind groups. Can you elaborate on how an entrepreneur can use mastermind groups to grow their business?
Mastermind groups are wonderful as well as networking. There are many ways you can do mastermind groups or network. You can do Facebook, LinkedIn or create your own. One thing I recently noticed was that my professional inner circle began diminishing so I began to network again. Having influential contacts can play a vital role in the success of your business.
Mastermind groups, though, must be the right fit for you. For instance, some stay-at-home moms in my neighborhood once asked me to participate in a mastermind group, which I did. I realized, though, that I was not being challenged. I needed to be challenged. I was ahead of many of them, so I needed something that would help me grow and further myself. It was good for socializing, but not for my business growth, so I didn't continue. You need to surround yourself with people that are more advanced than you so you can continue to grow and learn from their advanced knowledge and expertise.
8.) Is there any final advice that you would like to share with our readers?
The entrepreneurial journey is a good thing and you have to build your self- confidence and grow from there. You are the person who can embark on the entrepreneurial journey. It takes courage, strength, and determination, but most of all action! Do what is right for you at that time. The difference between someone in Corporate America who may have lost their job and a successful entrepreneur who goes bankrupt is the entrepreneur won't let fear hold them back from starting another business. It would be easy for the entrepreneur to crawl under a rock and say never again, but the successful entrepreneur knows they can start a business again and make it more successful than the previous one, due to their knowledge and experience and understanding the obstacles from before.
Never accept failure. Entrepreneurs don’t see failure. We see obstacles that may have arisen and take it as something to learn and grow from. Like a rock in water, the water may go around the rock, above the water, or on the sides, but it still flows. Obstacles may come in business, but the business will still go on as long as you don’t give up and learn from your experiences. It is a joy to be an entrepreneur, you are able to determine what you can do with your time.
You can learn more about Mrs. Joyce Bone by checking out:
www.millionairemoms.com It is a free entrepreneur website where successful women entrepreneurs share advice and tips to other women entrepreneurs who want to do the same.
You can purchase her wonderful book Millionaire Moms which gives a wealth of information, insights, and tips about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.