Welcome to our weekly edition of Women Making it Happen (#WomenMakingItHappen). Each Wednesday on the blog we’ll feature a woman entrepreneur who’s making it happen in the world of entrepreneurship! She's gonna share with us how she keeps it moving for her business venture(s).
Today’s featured woman is Tonya Franklin, owner of Upwrite Solutions;a virtual marketing and consulting firm. We met Tonya through a networking group on Facebook.
"A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." —Eleanor Roosevelt
We asked Tonya to share a bit about what keeps her pushing and striving to #MakeItHappen in business!!!
- First, we’d like to thank you so much for being a featured guest on our blog.Tell us a little bit about your business ventures.
In April 2016, I launched the first magazine for virtual assistants of color. The magazine is designed to cater to virtual assistants of African-American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian backgrounds. Our magazine is to celebrate our successes and be able to share and assist one another in overcoming our challenges in the industry. Our future goals are to establish a resource and networking community among other virtual assistants as well as other industries. I am also the Chief Administrative Officer and Back Office & Planning Strategist of UpWrite Solutions, which outsources back office, event planning, consulting as well as basic marketing services to small and start up businesses. And I'm an author, writing business motivation as well as inspirational books.
- What propelled you to venture off into entrepreneurship?
In October 2014, my job downsized tremendously. Being fed up with having my financial destiny shifted in the hands of others, I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship, which would help me to feed the passion I have for restoring ethics and integrity in business owners of color. I also have worked in various industries and sectors, and wanted the opportunity to utilize those skills through the freedom of having my own business.
- What are three important lessons you’ve learned since starting out in your business(es)?
Surround yourself with people who are like-minded. Family and friends who are not pursuing your dream are not obligated to understand your dream.Be authentic. There is always someone who is going to be doing the same thing you're doing. Be yourself and stand out. We all may have similar interests, but we all have unique purposes.Learn how to support others, and allow others to support you. No man (woman) is an island. I am usually the one always being the cheerleader, but I've learned that I can't make it in this business trying to do it all on my own. I have to allow others to pour into me and support me.
- Have you faced any particular struggles being a woman owned business owner?
Oh yes! I am not always taken seriously or I am "pegged" as being a particular way because I am a woman in business. But, I have learned that being authentic and showcasing my passion, has made me not only stronger in what I want to do, but it opens doors for others to take notice me as a serious entrepreneur that seeks to be a game-changer.
- Tell us a little bit about your support circle; who do you rely upon for support and guidance?
Well, I did a virtual internship several months ago, and my advisor has transformed into a mentor for me. She has guided me throughout my journey and is consistently pushing me to do greater and move farther in turning my "I've always thought of doing" into "I AM doing."One of my magazine staff members is such a huge supporter of everything I'm doing. To motivate her, is also motivating me. She is always cheering me on, and seeing my potential to manifest my dream when everything gets a little cloudy. She most definitely helps me to clear the weeds to see the vision.I have two "sisters" who are always in my corner. Even when no one else shows up to my events, they are there supporting me.
- What advice would you give other women seeking to delve into entrepreneurship?
I did a meme not too long ago that said when opportunity knocks, answer it. Sometimes people will tell you what you can't do. Don't take that as defeat, use it as just an opportunity to be a trailblazer and do something that no one has done before. Be the answer to your own dreams.
- Supporting other women in business is part of our mantra so tell us how can we support your business ventures?
I am preparing a host of webinars on business practices. We have many that talk about how to build your business through lead pages, marketing, etc. and nothing is wrong with that; even I have a webinar coming up on how to use your fan page Facebook tabs that is free later on this month. But the basic building blocks sometimes go ignored, and I think we have to get back to those basics. Also, if there are any women (or men) who are virtual assistants, subscribe. Like my pages, comment on posts, and let me know how I can help you.
"We Write It Right!"