01.Introduce yourself (include your name, your business/what you do for living)
Hi! I’m Mary, a marketer for a consumer products company during the day and a side hustler at night, where I do business coaching for female entrepreneurs and manage an e-commerce business selling gummy bear molds.
While I enjoy working on big brands during the day, I find what really makes me feel purposeful is creating products and helping others do the same. That’s how my side hustles got started, with the first being creating and launching a custom gummy bear molds product on e-commerce. I learned a lot through the process, and realized what would feel impactful was if I took everything I learned from being a marketer in corporate and launching my own side business to help others make their product idea a reality. So, that’s what inspired me to build my second side hustle of being a business coach.
02.What’s your background?
I was born and raised in Michigan, where I studied business at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. I realized pretty early on that what got me excited was working on products and innovation, and so after graduating, I started my career at a Fortune 500 company working on brands such as Kraft Mac & Cheese, Ore-Ida, Bagel Bites, and Classico. More recently, my projects have been focused on launching new-to-market brands. It’s exciting and so rewarding seeing new ideas come to life.
03. How did you start your business?
After I launched my e-commerce product and was spending only a few hours a week managing it on the side, I was ready to find my next passion project. I ended up buying an educational course to learn more about online business, and business coaching was an idea that stemmed out of that.
Business is such a broad term, and so I started to get specific on what I would focus on as a business coach so that it aligned with my expertise. Since my passion and experience is in consumer products and innovation, I decided that I would be able to add the most value to those that had a product idea and needed help understanding questions such as how can they validate, position, brand, develop, and launch the product as a business.
04. What inspired you as a creative woman?
I started becoming interested in entrepreneurship after I got really into watching Shark Tank. That led me to dive deeper into the entrepreneurship space, and I reached out to other entrepreneurs so that I could learn more about how they started their business. It’s inspiring hearing people’s stories, and seeing them bring their idea to life inspired me to also want to do the same.
05. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable story?
My first job was being a math teacher for elementary school kids. On Saturdays, we had Chinese school where the first part of the day was focused on learning how to read, write, and speak Chinese. After class, all the students had a chance to sign-up for 1-hour extracurriculars ranging anywhere from dance and drawing classes to math and SAT-prep classes. I ended up teaching really basic math to a small group of kids for a year. It was a lot of fun, but also hectic at times especially when I needed to chase a kid down so they would sit back in their seat!
07. If you won a lottery today, will you still continue to build your business?
Definitely YES! I love creating, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Being a business coach gives me a sense of purpose, and I would use the lottery money to invest back into my business.
08. Walk us through your day in both marketing and coaching
The first part of my day consists of going into the office for my marketing job. After work is when I spend my time doing a coaching session or checking on my e-commerce business. It was tough trying to balance everything at the beginning, so I had to learn how to manage my time efficiently early on. I definitely keep myself busy, but I always make sure I prioritize my health and leave time for working out and making healthy meals.
08.What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
There are a few things that come to mind, but I think the highlight that feels most impactful is the people I’ve been able to help as a business coach. I’ve had coaching sessions with women across the US and also in Australia, and it’s so energizing knowing that I get the opportunity to help guide them through the process.
09. Where or what do you think you will be/do in the next 5 years?
If you asked me this question 5 years ago, I would have never thought being an entrepreneur would be in the plan. It’s funny where life takes you! I still plan on growing my business coaching service in the next 5 years, and I know along the way I will continue to create. I’ve also thought about living abroad at some point in my life, so I can see that happening in the near future.
10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you
If you have an idea, take action, and don’t be afraid to fail. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s not considered a failure because you’ll learn so much along the way. You’ll not only learn about what it’s like starting a business, but you’ll also learn so much about yourself. That way when the next idea comes along, you’ll be even more ready to tackle it head on.