Name: Liz King
Company Name: I run techsytalk – an online platform dedicated to educating fellow event planners about technology and event experience. My first career is in event planning and while we work with clients on that side, we also realize the importance of educating fellow planners in addition to that. Then, because I can’t help myself, I started FoundHER Network as a resource for myself and all the amazing women I know who are constantly seeking support.
What does your company do? I find myself between event planning and the marketing/media industries. I love the logistics behind seeing a big conference or event come together, but I also have an interest in design and reaching audiences through content. I believe that one of the perks of running a business is that you can indulge your many interests and be involved with lots of fun projects, as opposed to being locked into a single job description.
When did you start your first company and what made you make the leap into business ownership? I officially launched my company on 8/9/10, but that was so I could take my first client on the side of my full time job at Columbia University. I didn’t make the leap into full time entrepreneurship until January 2013. What pushed me to finally make the jump is that my good friend, Ed, who had been working with me over all my first years, gave me the courage to go out on my own. I didn’t believe in myself enough, but my family and friends stepped in and gave me the courage I needed to make the jump. With no active clients, by the way! 🙂
How did you get your first customer? Believe it or not, my first customer came to me via Twitter. I was tweeting about things I was interested in – specifically events – and I guess it attracted the right client. My first client was a great conference for C-level executives and it was the right fit for me because I had branded myself well on Twitter (without necessarily realizing I was!)
Who is the right person to book your services? The perfect person for my event planning business is an entrepreneur who knows that events are critical to building their brand. They want to host small or large events with purpose to engage their audience, increase sales and/or reach new markets.
What does owning your business allow you to do? I am a big family person and I love the flexibility that running my own business gives me when it comes to being with them. While I work long hours, I can choose to work all day Saturday to be with my family for a day off mid-week. Or, I can have date night with my fiancee on a Wednesday morning instead of shoving it into the weekend.
What has been your biggest achievement so far? Hmm – this is a hard one. I always have a hard time celebrating wins. Am I the only one? But I think being able to keep this business off the group for the past four years is what I’m most proud of. When I left my job in Jan 2013, I wasn’t sure I’d make it 4 months, let alone 4 years and I’m so grateful to have these opportunities!
What has been your biggest challenge so far? My biggest challenge is believing in myself. Often, I have a leading to do something new with my business, but I always over question it. I think about all the things I have to do to make it perfect, or all the things that could go wrong. I always have to push myself to take the risk and do what I feel is the best next step.
When you look at your business in 5 years, where do you hope it will be? I hope I can have more sustainable business. I’m realistic enough to know that I am always going to need to put the work in, but I hope to get into more of a routine and have more streams of revenue that will allow our family to live comfortably. I also want to prove to myself that entrepreneurship is not just a risky passion project, but a legitimate source of revenue.
How do you define success? To me, success is a balanced life doing something I love. I don’t strive to be Gary Vaynerchuck, completely immersed in my work. I want to have a great life with my family and sustain my lifestyle in a way where I can give freely, support the people around me and live a balanced life.
Finally, what advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Abandon. The more successful I become in business (and believe me – I have a LONG way to go), I realize that everyone has an opinion. Even those who are closest to you and have the most love for you. They think they know what is best and where you should go, but you have to remember that there is a compass inside yourself. Weigh other people’s opinions, but know when you have to trust yourself. At times, you’ve got to pursue what you think is best with abandon. Worst case, you learn a lesson along the way!
Date: January 27, 2017