Black History Now: Meet Tina Wells

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers! My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them. I would like to introduce to you all the final guest of the series…

Meet Tina Wells-Marketing Maven

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1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Tina Wells and I am the founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, which is a company that creates marketing strategies for various clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors.

2) What prompted you to start your own business?

I am admittedly lucky because I found a calling and an opportunity when I was rather young. I was only sixteen years old when I came across the chance to start my own business – I had been writing product reviews for a newsletter that was geared toward young women and one my clients mentioned to me that she had just paid another individual $25,000 to do the same exact thing that I was doing for free. To me, that was amazing and inspiring. With a lot of support from my family and help from my mentor at Hood College, I was able to turn my big ideas into a reality and soon legitimized a business that eventually evolved into Buzz Marketing Group.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

Planning. Lots of planning. Before I even started this business, I used all my knowledge from classes and spent a lot of time discussing with my mentor in order to create an incredibly extensive business plan. By learning as much as I could before the fact, I was able to utilize strategies and schedules to keep my eyes on the goal and achieve what I wanted to achieve. More importantly, planning allowed me to adapt when things didn’t go as expected.

4) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

There are a lot of day-to-day events that I’m inspired by, but I’m most inspired by the freedom that my business allows and encourages. When I was growing up, a career was defined by 9-to-5 cubicle jobs that were “safe.” Breaking into a field that pushed me to do my own thing and follow my dreams my way was electrifying, and I continue to be motivated by the fact that I am not at the beck-and-call of someone else, the fact that I create my own income, and the fact that I am sustaining a business based on doing something that I love to do!

5) How do you define and measure success?

I believe that success is defined and measured on a person-by-person basis. For some, it can be all about the number of A’s on a report card and for others, it can be all about the number of shoes in their possession! Of course, the easiest way to measure success in today’s world is to just evaluate yourself financially – but my definition of success is based on the impact and the quality of the impact that you have on your community and on the world as a whole. That’s not to say that financial success isn’t helpful in creating that impact but it is definitely not the only factor that matters. For instance: although the business world can be focused on quick transactions, superficial relationships, and rapid developments, I have an enormous amount of respect for the men and women that take it a step further and aim to make a positive difference on the people and groups around them. To me, those are the people that are truly on the path to success.

6) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Networking is incredibly crucial. As always, stay true to your vision, mission, and personal brand – but sometimes it is important to focus on who you know and how you interact with them. A woman you bump into at a conference might end up being your partner in business, and a guy you sit next to on the bus to New York might end up being your next biggest client! So it is important to stay on top of your networking game and take note of all the people with whom you interact. Especially when you are starting up a business, networking can be an incredibly useful tool to spread the word about your services and your organization.

You can learn more about Tina’s company Buzz Marketing Group over on their website: http://buzzmg.com/

Feel Free to follow Tina on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/tinacwells

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3 Tips on How to Keep Your Business Going

This is a revamp of a guest post I did. You can find the original article here

As a budding entrepreneur, I face challenges and obstacles almost on the regular. Once I finally learn one trick of the trade and feel comfortable about it, the trends have changed and I have to learn something new all over again. Although this can get frustrating, I’ve never been so excited about work in my life. I truly feel blessed that I am able to take this opportunity and pursue my dreams. With that being said I am aware of a very real enemy that comes to steal your dreams in sly manners such as loss of motivation, and fear.

Passion-based business doesn’t necessarily mean automatic success and sometimes that can be very discouraging. To keep on with the keeping on, I’ve developed a list of 3 ways I stay motivated, and pressing on during the trials and tribulations that come with Entrepreneurship.

1)    Get Accountability

When you’re just staring out in business you’re reminded many times that in order to be successful you need to develop a tendency towards action. By breaking up big goals into small manageable actions steps, you are well on your way to being successful. Sometimes we get off course and the winds of life blow us astray. Accountability keeps us anchored, so when the storms of life hit, we can get back on track and find balance. Accountability could be mentors near and far; your business partner (like in my case), a business coach, your mastermind group, and even your blog readers.

2)    When You’re too tired, or uninspired to create… Celebrate!

Sometimes, because you love what you do, you can end up working yourself into the ground, (Especially when you are first starting out). Exhaustion kills creativity, and the things that inspired you before seem to just weigh you down. That’s when it’s time to take a break and just live. Celebrate everything you’ve accomplished thus far. If you finally got a website up, even if that’s as far as you got right now, celebrate it, have a website launch party if that makes you feel better. You’re amazing and everyone who matters knows the potential in you. As a Gen-Y Entrepreneur my biggest worry is that people won’t take me seriously if I let loose from time to time and just have fun and act my age. I now know that when I take time to smell the roses and enjoy being me, I work better and smarter because I come back to the table refreshed, and inspired. I also realized that I want to work with people who want to work with me; I’m a cartoon lovin, comic book reading, dance star (in my head), who also happens to love helping people realize their dream. Which brings me to the next point…

3)    Stay True to Yourself and Honor Your Values

I’m sure you’ve heard of personal branding. Personal branding is essentially building a reputation for yourself and letting that reputation precede you.  Businesses are run by people, or a person, You. It makes no sense to have a business run by you but you have to put on another persona to run your business. It won’t be fun, it’s a waste of time for everyone involved and it makes you lose inspiration to keep going. I kindly remind myself and whoever wants to challenge the things that bring me peace that my business has a real “home grown” not machine manufactured human behind it (I was referencing The Matrix if you couldn’t tell). I laugh, I cry, I need sleep, and yes I want to spend time with my family and loved ones too. I also realize the amazing spirit inside of all humans, and if I click my heals 3 times, and flow with what life has to offer me, I can really fly and be everything I feel I’m called to be.

At the end of the day, because I consider myself a woman of faith, I’m always humbly reminded that Everything is made possible through the Lord who gives me vision.