Hi guys! This is the final feature in my series on entrepreneurs for the month of January. I know, insert sad face :-(. But all good things must come to an end to make room for the new :-).
Our last guest is a connect I made in this newest season of my business. Stephen is someone I’ve admired from afar as he has experienced sustainability in a short amount of time. He also has an amazing story of transitioning from being homeless to a full-time business owner. Please show him some love and support in his endeavors, and make sure to tune in to his IG Live this Wednesday at 6PM on my instagram page.
Me: Introduce yourself!
Stephen: My name is Stephen Swinson, age 30-35, and I am a Social Media Marketer. My hometown is Capitol heights, MD., and my favorite thing to do in my spare time is play Call of Duty.
Me: How long have you been an entrepreneur?
Stephen: It’s been about a year total.
Me: What motivated you to start your own business?
Stephen: I was homeless to start the year and I needed to figure out something overnight. So, with my background in marketing in sales, I put together my offer and copywriting and started marketing my business.
Me: Why do you feel entrepreneurship is best for you? In your opinion, what qualities and skills does one need to possess to be an entrepreneur, and what qualities do you possess that are in line with your views?
Stephen: I feel it’s best for me given the flexibility in schedule. Due to having a disability, I need time to be able to be 100%. Every job I have worked in the last few years pushed me to the brink of collapse and I had nothing to show for it. I am very creative, and with my experience, I produce results for my clients. One skill, in particular, you need to have in order to run your own business is the ability to be a self-starter. Our society teaches us to go to a bland school, get a bland job, and live a bland life. There is no variation, thrill, or excitement. IF you can think outside of the box and have the drive and motivation to create something outside of what you’ve been taught from childhood to being an adult, you have a fighting chance. I’d say this was my greatest asset.
Me: What support groups do you have in place to assist you in achieving your entrepreneurial goals? What have you found most helpful in keeping you moving forward, especially during tough times?
Stephen: I have a mentor that has walked alongside me for over 6 months and I talk a lot of business things over with my therapist. They are both some of the most amazing supporters and encouragers I know.
Me: What lessons have you learned in your entrepreneurial journey?
Stephen: As far as being an entrepreneur is concerned there are a few things I’ve learned.
- Don’t put the cart before the horse. If you don’t need a $500 video as you’re just starting out, then don’t pay for one. Save your money! A lot of entrepreneurs are bootstrapping and think that investing money here and there is gonna take them from 0-100k. Here it is from me: It won’t. You having an irresistible offer, great copywriting is what’s gonna take you from 0 to thriving in no time.
- Be very clear about one major thing you do. Telling your audience you do 10 things can be very overwhelming. Keep it simple, get your foot in the door, then introduce more.
- Know your ideal audience and speak to them specifically.
Me: What are some challenges you have faced, or are facing in entrepreneurship? How have you overcome those challenges?
Stephen: I don’t have an entrepreneur in my family or immediate circle as an example. I’m the only one. So a lot of my frustrations and low points were experienced alone. Not having a strong network can provide adversity by itself.
Me: What keys would you attribute to obtaining sustainability in your business?
Stephen: A strong offer, strong copywriting and a strong network.
Me: What tips/advice would you give someone who is thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship?
Stephen: Create an irresistible offer and have those closest to you review it and provide feedback before putting it in action.
I started my business iDentity Digital Marketing LLC after becoming homeless in November 2021. I help business owners attract and convert their ideal clients by leveraging my Profit Producing Social Media Strategies. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some stellar clients such as Barry Brewer Jr., Yassin Hall, and Jorge Sierra. A partner in crime, Darrylyn (Steeze) Johnson II helped me out tremendously and really put me in front of some great people. Starting this business was the best thing I’ve done in the last 10 years. Follow me on Instagram or visit my website to learn more: https://www.instagram.com/stephen.swinson/ and www.stephenswinson.com