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
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
Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update.