I’m so pleased to have Laura Dolgy on the blog today! Laura is full of energy and enthusiasm for her job and it 100% comes through in her interview. She’s honest and insightful for anyone looking to make the jump to working for themselves!
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m a Digital Marketing Specialist that has been working in the retail/e-commerce space for over 5 years. I currently own my own Digital Marketing Agency, Helix.
What is your business?
Helix is a Digital Marketing Agency that has over 10 years of experience in Shopify development and marketing. Our agency specializes in search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and more.
Why did you decide to start your own business, versus work for someone else?
My parents both own their own business, so I was always inspired to run a business of my own. I’ve always known that I wanted to work for myself and so after my first full-time job in 2015, I knew I wanted to go freelance. I was working close to 70-80/week working full-time and building my freelance business at night.
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?
Focus on what you’re really good at. In your business/line of work, you’re going to be good at maybe 1 or 2 things. Focus on those. For example, I’m creative and great at strategizing, but numbers? No thank you. I know I’m terrible at it, so I’ve learned to offload that work onto other people.
What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business?
Honestly, some personal relationships. Not everyone will understand your drive and passion, but they need to be willing to meet you halfway. If you’re not being supported by your partner or friends for your decisions, you should rethink those relationships and learn to establish boundaries. At the end of the day, this is YOUR passion, YOUR life – not theirs. Are you really going to sacrifice your goals and desires for someone else’s fear or insecurities?
What business books would you recommend to someone starting a creative business of their own?
Radical Candor by Kim Scott: Whether you’re just starting off or beginning to lead a team, you need to understand what makes a great manager and leader. This book describes that sweet spot in getting your team to work effectively and passionately.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: It’s more of a self-help, personal book, but can help a lot with pushing yourself to adopt a more understanding and accepting attitude in business and your personal life.
Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis: 100% Rachel Hollis convert. It’s a great book for anyone wanting to start goal setting or looking to improve their productivity by establishing long and short-term goals.
Has failing at something or quitting ever lead to success for you? Walk us through that.
I’m a true believer in failure, as making mistakes and knowing what you cannot do only helps you grow. All entrepreneurs/business owners fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
- Are you passionate about this new business/work? When you’re working for yourself, you’re going to need to motivate yourself every. single. day. If you’re not passionate about your business, it’s going to be very hard to throw yourself into it.
- Do you have self-discipline? Not every person has the drive and motivation to start their own business and that’s okay. You need to understand that working freelance or owning your own business is NOT easy and is going to require a lot of discipline and drive.
- Do you have support from others? Probably one of the most important. Do you have family and friends that are going to support you in this new business? I don’t mean financially (even though that’s always nice), but are they going to understand you having to work an entire weekend on strategy or travelling 3-4 times per month for tradeshows? As much as people like to say there’s such a thing as work/life balance, sometimes that’s just not true. You’re going to need the understanding and support of all those around you.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I journal every single morning by writing down 5 things I’m grateful for and then listing out 10 goals I want to achieve, but writing them down as if they’ve already happened. For example: “I’ve made six figures,” “I bought a house.” By writing your goals down in the present perfect tense, it allows your brain to believe the goal is attainable and achievable!
Thank you Laura!!
If you’d like to get in touch with Laura you can get in touch through her website or contact her directly by phone.
Laura Dolgy was a participant in a Headshot Day. Interested? Read more about my days here.