We’ve launched Secrets of Success, a new weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum. I’ve asked some of the smartest, most innovative, most successful people I know to share their insights and success secrets.
Meet: Britt Michaelian is a producer, writer and consultant. She’s the CEO of Soluma Productions and the founder and editor of Work Smart Mompreneurs and Work Smart Lifestyle. Britt also regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and other business and lifestyle publications.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Britt Michaelian: When I was a young girl, I loved drawing, writing, singing, acting—anything creative. When asked what I wanted to be, I would never give the same answer, it just depended on my mood. However, the theme was always related to some form of art. Funny how some things never change.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Michaelian: My first business, Britt Michaelian Fine Art, was created to support my painting. My agent suggested that I form a company (sole proprietorship) for tax purposes and that made me feel very “official.” A few years later, my first LLC was formed when I produced a child safety video, and that was the beginning of my obsession with business.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Michaelian: My pivotal moment in business was the moment I hired a coach and really began educating myself about business systems and best practices. Before I had a firm understanding of how business really works, my businesses were basically hobbies.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Michaelian: If you are a solopreneur, write a business plan that includes your personal life. This is especially important for moms. Being an entrepreneur can be very exciting, but it can also swallow up every moment of time (and money) if you aren’t very clear and organized with business planning.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Michaelian: This is a hard question because there are so many best practices that cannot be ignored! I’m a big believer in systems and this is an area that I often work on with my clients. Design daily, weekly and monthly activities that support your client attraction, client services, customer loyalty, financial and team growth.
Lesonsky: Do you have a 2014 small business prediction?
Michaelian: This year is all about social media influence. Savvy brands will be sharpening their content creation and curation strategies to build influence that gives them an edge over competitors.
Lesonsky: Do you have a favorite book?
Michaelian: I have many favorite books, but the one I find myself quoting most often is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It boils down business and life into the most basic building blocks for success and makes being a good human an asset. I love that!
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Michaelian: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
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